Reflections on society, politics and nature XXIV

 

Continued from previous posts…. These posts are collections of brief notes on society, politics, and nature. I sometimes include short personal notes as well. Click “read more” to see all the entries.

Wholesome

I watched A beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, and although I initially was skeptical I loved it. I like wholesome approaches to life. For me, that means addressing serious problems in a way that’s kind, informed, pragmatic, and with heart. And although I grew up in Norway and wasn’t exposed to Mr. Rogers as a kid, I get the impression that he had just that approach to life.

I like that he emphasized how we relate to our emotions. That’s key to a good life. Do we relate to our own emotions with intention and kindness? If so, we are much more likely to have some peace and contentment and good relationships with ourselves, others, and the world.

This is also a reminder that much of what’s most important in life is very simple. It’s simple to understand. And takes a lifetime to explore and learn to live from.

Heat death or cycles?

What’s the fate of the universe? Will it continue to expand until it cannot anymore sustain life? Is it cyclical? Something else?

Right now, it seems that mainstream science favor the heath death view.

But from a spiritual view, it makes more sense with a cyclical model. That’s probably why we find it in, for instance, traditional Indian spirituality.

If this universe happens within and as the divine, as a way for the divine to explore and experience itself in myriads of new and different ways, a cyclical model makes more sense. It’s like a child on a beach building a sand castle, which is taken by the waves, and the child makes another. One that’s a little different. New. Another way for the divine to express, explore, and experience itself.

April 19, 2020

Back to basics

I have another article with entries for pandemic-related reflections, but thought I would mention something essential here too.

The pandemic brings us back to basics.

To friendship. Family. Kindness. Gratitude for what we have. Knowing we cannot take anything for granted.

The importance of a society with good universal health care. Good social safety nets. Where everyone is paid a living wage. That’s locally and regionally self-reliant. That has the big picture and the long term in mind. That prepares for inevitable collective challenges.

A society that lives within ecological boundaries. Where sustainability and social justice is at the center, because – in our global world with global challenges – we thrive or go under together.

A society where solidarity is local and global because it’s about us. It’s about all of us. All of us in the Earth community.

April 20, 2020

Waking up from irresponsibility

I have written reflections about the epidemic in another post, but will mention one thing here. If a policy, orientation, or view doesn’t hold up in a crisis, it’s probably equally useless otherwise.

There is no lack of blatantly irresponsible and short term views. And I deeply hope that at least some will wake up and support more responsible policies and take the longer term and big picture into account.

What are some of these irresponsible views and policies? A focus on lining one’s own pockets at the expense of ecosystems and future generations. Focusing on petty self-interested issues while overlooking the far more important bigger issues. (The hallmark of FrP, a political party in Norway.) Lying about Brexit for own short-term political gain. Republicans in the US willfully lying, misleading, and creating polarization – again for their own short-term gain without thought of what it does to society and people. Not supporting universal healthcare. Not supporting strong social safety nets for the ones who needs it (which can be any one of us tomorrow). Not supporting a green revolution. Not supporting policies that takes ecological realities into account. Not supporting culture change in a life-centered direction.

All of these are views and policies that some think they can afford because they live in a relatively well functioning society, or they personally are able to insulate themselves from the consequences of their views and policies. In a crisis, all this is starkly illuminated. Many will probably not want to see. But some may. Some may sober up.

Hopefully many of us will sober up, if only a little.

Food waste

When I have food in the house I know I may not eat before it goes bad, I sometimes remind myself where it comes from.

Many people have spent time and energy, and given care to this food – to grow it and bring it to me. This food is the product billions of years of evolution of this living planet, and even more billions of years evolution of this universe.

That’s often enough to nudge me to eat – and enjoy! – the food.

A poorly run company

A while back, I worked for a company that helped residential clients with awakening, emotional issues, and/or addiction. On my way there – to a place in California – I talked with a psychic friend of mine about the place and mentioned the guy running it (well known in non-dual circles). She immediately said “he is a psychopath, he destroys people”. I was taken aback since I hadn’t heard her say something like that before, and it also didn’t fit my impression so far. It turned out she was right.

Not only was the company poorly managed in several ways, he also had a use-and-discard approach to people. It’s too much to list here but I’ll mention a few things:

The two leading the company would make drastic decisions without input from anyone else and often without telling anyone. We had to discover it for ourselves.

The main person leading the company engaged in systematic and regular insurance fraud. I spoke up about it since it was not only unethical but put the company at risk, and was dismissed and punished for speaking up. They were eventually found out although he was able to avoid prison by going back and forging a large number of records before giving them up to the insurance company.

At some point, they fired the experienced people and put a young inexperienced person in charge of most of the work with clients. (She had a long history with drug addiction, psychological problems, and chronic fatigue. Not surprisingly, she collapsed from over-work and pressure and went from relatively well functioning back to drugs and misery. All of us who had an inside view knew what was going to happen, repeatedly told the two running the place, and our concerns were repeatedly dismissed.)

They misled prospective clients and the insurance companies about how suitable the therapy would be for them. Some clients were obviously not good candidates for the specific therapy they used but were told to come as clients anyway. For the guy running it, money was more important than giving clients what had the best chance to help them.

When the guy running the company was confronted with unethical behavior, he would go into defensive and deflecting rants that reminds me of Trump. (More smart sounding but with little to no internal logic or relevance to the topic.) He would then make sure to punish the person one or two weeks later. (Often, by telling them they were not needed for the next several days.)

They used double-standards. They would tell me in the morning whether I was needed or not that day. But was not allowed to ask for time off if I was needed.

The people working there were afraid to speak up and speak their mind. Several quit because of the unethical behavior and how the company was managed, and would tell me in private but told the guy running it a more innocent-sounding reason.

Note: This post is shorter than usual since I move several notes to the new Brief Notes of Healing and Awakening article

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