Microcosmic and Macrocosmic Aspects of Peace – Part II

Peace is a living concept and men and women’s understanding of what constitutes peace, and what is comprised by its antithesis i.e. violence, is evolving as the human race itself evolves.

Violence is more than direct aggression; there are also structural and cultural dimensions to violence like poverty, unemployment (structural), censorship and sexual discrimination (cultural). If governments, educators, the media and every aware individual were to label these additional categories of violence as such, more men and women would come to understand how far we still are from creating a culture of peace and how important it is to create new structures, or to reform the existing ones, in order to guarantee a more peaceful future for the present world community and future generations.  Continue reading

Microcosmic and Macrocosmic Aspects of Peace – Part I

In response to Brad’s #PeaceChallenge, I will make a series of 4 posts. Hope you find them of value. Blessings, Sam 🙂

Microcosmic and Macrocosmic Aspects of Peace – Part I

In the midst of the innumerable, intractable global conflicts of today and the existence of nuclear weapons capable of destroying the world many times over, it is arguable that world governance can no longer be left solely to political decision-makers. At a microcosmic level, each and every aware individual can begin to assume greater responsibility for the state of the world by taking up the challenge of embodying the peace (microcosm) that he/she hopes to see mirrored in the world community (macrocosm). In order to embrace peace, it is helpful to understand some of the underlying reasons for the manifestation of its antithesis i.e. violence. Why do individuals resort to violence?

Individual acts of physical violence can be considered a response to physical, emotional, mental and/or spiritual disharmony. For example: a difficult childhood can lead to feelings of frustration and aggression in an adult human being, who then uses violence as a mental-emotional outlet; the resort to violence could also be an action taken to protect physical basic needs such as safety and access to food; or on a spiritual level, historical antecedents such as the fact that a distant past has been characterised by war could hold violence in the collective subconscious, making it the line of least resistance. Moreover, direct aggression can have its cause in more than one instigating factor. Continue reading

Swiss Bubbles Saving Lives & Livelihoods

Hotels have been advocating the responsible use of towels for years. Hang them up if you’re willing to use them again, or leave them on the floor for a replacement. But what about the complimentary soaps? The ones hotel guests leave behind after checking out even if they’ve hardly been used?

SapoCycle SoapsThanks to the Basel-based SapoCycle Foundation hotel soaps throughout Switzerland are now being recycled in a way that not only benefits the environment, but also saves lives and provides jobs. That’s definitely amazing enough to put a smile on my face!

Dorothee and Rudolf Schiesser set up SapoCycle in 2014, and already more than 40 hotels across Switzerland are contributing solid soap bars to the program on a regular basis. Moreover, 25 Swiss hotels from the AccorHotels Group have just joined the scheme.

Participating hotels are responsible for collecting the used soap bars and sending them on to SapoCycle partner WohnWerk. This organization takes care of the recycling, thereby creating jobs for disabled people in Switzerland.

The recycled soaps are then distributed to countries with high child morbidity and mortality rates caused by acute lower respiratory infection and diarrheal illnesses. Did you know that more than 1.5 million children under the age of 5 die each year from these illnesses, which could be prevented by hand washing?

For full article, click: Swiss Soaps Saving Lives and LivelihoodsSapoCycle in Country.jpg

Article by Sam Red for Newly Swissed Magazine

Photos c/o Idit Kobrin and SapoCycle Foundation

 

Using the fruits of meditation in daily life

Meditation had brought spirituality to the forefront of Joy’s life. The results of her spiritual practice echoed throughout the day. It implied a state of consciousness and being that she endeavoured to work on at every moment. This brought with it a level of objectivity and detachment that was enabling her to more often observe and direct her thoughts, words and actions in everyday situations.

No longer being compartmentalised as a mere relaxation technique, meditation had gradually taken on more and more significance. It had become the channel through which Joy set the tone for her day and for her life. She now deemed her life to be a spiritual experiment. Meditation and contemplation of spiritual matters were for Joy a bridge to another – unseen – world. She could glean meaning about the significance of day-to-day living from that world which wasn’t physical.

To use the fruits of meditation in daily life was something Joy felt was intrinsically important. She became almost nauseous whenever she met people who purported to actively practise a spiritual or religious path, but who in daily life systematically acted and spoke with bigotry, intolerance, racism and other forms of selfishness. Continue reading

Understanding relationships

Through numerous, relatively short-lived relationships with men, Joy had been forced to learn detachment and how to stand on her own two feet. She had discovered that relationships referred to something much more encompassing than mere intimate relations with members of the opposite sex. There was the relationship that existed between each man and woman and the rest of the human race, for example. And beyond that, Joy was learning to sense the relationship that existed between her self and the Soul – the human Soul; not her individual soul, which was another illusion created by the limitations of the rational mind. Even more encompassing was the relationship between humanity and the planetary entity, or greater still, the larger cosmos. When she looked up at the stars at night, Joy experienced a sense of revelation. How short-sighted it was of humans to go about their daily lives without due consideration for their place in the universe. This wider cosmic perspective on relationships was paralleled by her contemplation of the smallest aspect of her being – the cells in her body that were, in essence, nothing more or nothing less than energy. Continue reading

Nature – a gateway to expanded consciousness

Nature offered human beings a space where they could more easily align with what might best be referred to as the one Life. By this Joy meant the Life that animates all the kingdoms – mineral, plant, animal and human – making out of their component parts one whole. This Life energy remained a mystery to the human mind. It originated from the non-visible world and surrounded and imbued the four kingdoms. As such, nature offered human beings the opportunity to more easily reach beyond the limits and divisive tendencies of their conscious minds, and thereby gain an intuitive understanding that humanity is a part – although only one part – of a greater existence.

The destruction of the environment by human activity was to Joy an indication of just how far off the spiritual track human beings, controlled by their lower minds, had wandered. Nature was a gateway to an authentic awareness of humanity’s place in the greater scheme. The rational mind, fearing its own annihilation, was driving men and woman to destroy that gateway – the door to their liberation.

Excerpt from “My Name is Joy”

Transformation of consciousness

“Do you believe that my father – Dino – and the rest of us are part of one existential energy?” Joy asked.

“Isn’t that stuff for saints and mystics?” Bruna replied, biting slowly into a croissant that had been warmed in the oven.

“Maybe in the past it was, but more people than just mystics practise daily meditation and live according to spiritual principles nowadays. In so doing, they’re bound to come face-to-face with the Truth that the very same Life energy runs through each and every one of us.”

“What you’re referring to isn’t totally new, Joy,” Gino intervened. “Theories about universal energy have been around for millennia in different guises and ideologies, so what makes you think that mainstream humanity is going to suddenly be impacted in some transformative way if until now that hasn’t happened?”

Joy poured out the coffee and took her place at the table.

“I’d say that what’s different nowadays is that freedom from the lower mind and the emotions is something many people are hungry for. The injustice, the inequality, the corruption, the manipulation are all becoming increasingly visible. They’re affecting more and more people directly, so it’ll become harder for them to just stand by and watch. Humanity stands on the brink of what to me looks like an abyss. Recognising our intrinsic common identity would be a saving grace. Until now, humans have believed but they haven’t known. How could they have real knowledge of spiritual truths when they’ve been stuck in mental illusions and turbulent emotions?” Continue reading