Posted to Subscribers on 18 Janurary 2014


Dear Subscribers,

In a world gone amok with greed and violence, it behooves us to take the time to compose ourselves and reset our vibrations, if not daily, then at least occasionally. The doctrine of nonviolence is one part of a larger ethic that accords equal rights to all, not only to all people regardless of socio-economic status, age, gender, race, and religion, but all kingdoms of Nature. Though in modern times, Mahatma Gandhi was credited with reviving this ethic, its roots trace back to the Jain religion, one of the most nonviolent of all world religions. Gandhi, however, gave the philosophy a political position and proved that a determined man in a loin cloth could bring down the British Raj. Millions of people worldwide embraced the Indian cause and later the morally abhorrent issues of apartheid that divided people against people. The late Nelson Mandela as well as Dr. Martin Luther King whose birthday we are celebrating this weekend took their cues from Gandhi and proved that the moral high ground can prevail against exploitation, bigotry, prejudice, and all the other social injustices that plague civilization.

In Sanskrit, "ahimsa" means the opposite of harmful, i.e., harmless. We see the "a" in countless words in English as well, everything from atheist to apolitical to countless other words in common use. The "a" can mean "not" so "ahimsa" means "not harmful" or "harmless". Like most precepts, there are simple levels of interpretation and more profound ones. On the simple level, nonviolence means to refrain from actions that cause injury on a physical level. We can apply this concept to warfare as well as social and domestic violence . . . and if we did so on a global scale, there would be a massive redirection of energy with untold benefits for billions of people. We can also take this concept to another level. For instance, many followers of the Jain religion wear masks to avoid inhaling insects. Tibetans prohibit digging in the ground out of fear of injuring earthworms and other organisms that live in the soil. We may find these practices quaint or impractical, but those who take the teachings seriously apply the concepts as they see fit.

In several South American countries, the concept of nonviolence is now being applied to the environment. It is a constitutional right in Ecuador and is spreading rapidly to other parts of the continent. Again, taken seriously, there would be impact studies before permits are issued that would potentially weaken our ecosystem. The idea that the Earth itself has rights is anathema to those who see Nature as something to be exploited. However, practically speaking — and I believe ahimsa to be a practical doctrine — we ought not to limit our concerns to degradation of the environment and risk to the present generation but rather to recognize that sustainability is a responsibility, not an optional life style.

For instance, if the nuclear industry had been obliged to perform safety studies, the absurdity of building plants with a 40-50 year life expectancy would have been immediately apparent. The purpose of the plants is to boil water to create steam to turn turbines to produce electricity. For this, we are willing to risk the leakage of tens of thousands of tons of radioactive waste with half lives, in some cases, longer than the geologic history of Earth. This is but one of countless examples of the total folly of placing more value on immediate power and profit than on responsible and ethical activity.

To say therefore that ahimsa is the moral high ground is to draw attention to the concept of responsibility and to urge social, political, and spiritual maturity as prerequisites for leadership in any endeavor. There are, however, even more profound interpretations of ahimsa, another being that our thoughts are "things". Over the last few days, I listened to some arguments about Internet monitoring in which it was contended that we are all parts of a holographic Universe in which we are not simply one with one another, but co-creators in reality. The idea is that one can monitor search terms to see where the psyche of humanity is positioned and from this, we can actually predict the future. If we are drawn into the fear of endless babble about war and economic hardship, our vibrations tend to concentrate on these subjects and we create that which we fear. If, however, we concentrate on kindness, respect, health and healing, and compassion for all living things, we will create another world, a paradise. The choice and therefore also the responsibility are ours.

Obviously, I am on my soap box, but I have been so dedicated to peace for so many lifetimes that it is hard to resist the opportunity to refocus attention on what truly matters. We are bound together by love. It is a coherent force whereas violence is a disintegrative force. We can never achieve anything of lasting benefit by resorting to means that are harmful. We pay the price, not just in karmic reverberations but in disfiguring what is essentially eternal. Our essence is immortal and purposeful. That which has no purpose but to destroy is not a remover of obstacles but rather an unskillful manager of polarities that ultimately have to be united by love, not destroyed. This philosophy is therefore the foundation of all that is sensible, coherent, and lasting.

I urge each and every person reading this to take time to explore inner balance, to take responsibility for the imbalance, and to take actions to resolve the imbalance. By starting with ourselves, we heal ourselves and then those closest to us, and then those who learn from our efforts. This is the hundredth monkey effect and shift can happen quickly when people of conscience embrace what is right and stand for peace and justice. By justice, I do not mean punishment, I mean respect. It is unjust to subject others to hardship when the means to uplift them exist. Rerouting our energies is powerful. No one can stop coherence when it is supported by right mindedness and commitment to the high road.

To celebrate this concept, we are having a three-day sale to raise funds for the Institute. Yes, we will make less profit but we will perhaps reach more people and ultimately come out a tad better. We need the funds badly because what we plan to do does, in fact, require some monetary input. I will therefore be very grateful if you will spread the word: use your social networks and tell people that they can get 20% off all the Sacred Medicine Sanctuary products on bioethikainternational.com from now through Monday. The coupon code is, of course, "ahimsa" without the quotation marks. Thank you so much for your support.




Copyright by Ingrid Naiman 2014



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