It has become increasingly clear that only Sacred Activism-the fusion of the deepest mystical knowledge, peace, strength, and stamina with calm, focused, and radical action in every arena of society, culture, economics, and politics--can be of help in our growing world crisis. Neither a purely "spiritual" nor simply "activist" approach can solve our enormous problems. The core teachings of all the major mystical paths make it clear that there is, within human beings, an enormous unused reservoir of pure divine power, the pure power of sacred wisdom consciousness, passion, and compassion--the power of what Jesus called the kingdom of heaven, and of what in Hinduism is known as bliss-consciousness. These core teachings also reveal that if we can learn how to use this power-or rather how to let it use us as its luminous instruments--we will harness the "energies of love" and discover for ourselves how a clear, focused, purified, divine passion devoted to transformative action on all levels can birth a new world.
"Now life is the only art that we are required to practice without preparation, and without being allowed the preliminary trials, the failures and botches, that are essential for the training of a mere beginner. In life, we must begin to give a public performance before we have acquired even a novice's skill; and often our moments of seeming mastery are upset by new demands, for which we have acquired no preparatory facility. Life is a score that we play at sight, not merely before we have divined the intentions of the composer, but even before we have mastered our instruments; even worse, a large part of the score has been only roughly indicated, and we must improvise the music for our particular instrument, over long passages. On these terms, the whole operation seems one of endless difficulty and frustration; and indeed, were it not for the fact that some of the passages have been played so often by our predecessors that, when we come to them, we seem to recallsome of the score and can anticipate the natural sequence of the notes, we might often give up in sheer despair. The wonder is not that so much cacophony appears in our actual individual lives, but that there is any appearance of harmony and progression."
Lewis Mumford, Historian of Technology & Science, (1895-1990)
I vow to myself and each of you: To commit myself daily to the healing of our world and the welfare of all beings. To live on earth more lightly and less violently in the food, products and energy I consume. To draw strength and guidance from the living Earth, the ancestors, the future beings, and all my brothers and sisters of all species. To support each other in our work for the world and to ask for help when I feel the need. To pursue a daily spiritual practice that clarifies my mind, strengthens my heart and supports me in observing these vows.
"It begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve, to serve first. Then conscious choice brings one to aspire to lead. That person is sharply different from one who is leader first, perhaps because of the need to assuage an unusual power drive or to acquire material possessions...The leader-first and the servant-first are two extreme types. Between them there are shadings and blends that are part of the infinite variety of human nature." "Servant leadership" also is a management philosophy which implies a comprehensive view of the quality of people, work and community spirit. It requires a spiritual understanding of identity, mission, vision and environment. A servant leader is someone who is servant first, who has responsibility to be in the world, and so he contributes to the well-being of people and community. A servant leader looks to the needs of the people and asks himself how he can help them to solve problems and promote personal development. He places his main focus on people, because only content and motivated people are able to reach their targets and to fulfill the set expectations.
Robert K. Greenleaf
If anybody asks you what the Path is about.... it's about generosity. It's about morality. It's about concentration. It's about gaining insight through focused self-observation. It's about the cultivation of subjective states of compassion and love based on insight. And it's about translating that compassion and love into actions in the real world. Shinzen Young
"When asked if I am pessimistic or optimistic about the future, my answer is always the same: If you look at the science about what is happening on earth and aren't pessimistic, you don't understand data. But if you meet the people who are working to restore this earth and the lives of the poor, and you aren't optimistic, you haven't got a pulse. What I see everywhere in the world are ordinary people willing to confront despair, power, and incalculable odds in order to restore some semblance of grace, justice, and beauty to this world."
- Paul Hawken
What does the word thrive convey that the word sustainable does not?I would suggest four principles of Thriving:
1. Thriving is the spiritual dimension of sustainability. What sustainability is to a material economy, thriving is to the spiritual economy. We intuitively know that it is not enough to birth a new world that provides the necessities of life without acknowledging and attending to the spiritual implications for each person in their own lives. To the extent that sustainability is about economics, then thriving is about each of us embodying (living our true nature) that new economy: becoming that new economy expresses not only our love of each other but manifests Love as the primary principle of being alive.
2. Thriving is the fire of spirit and the air of open heart-space.Sustainability evokes the esthetics of earth and water. Thriving is about the inception and integration of a divine fire that infuses all our actions with open-hearted possibility.
3. Thriving is the precarious edge of balance.If sustainability invokes balance, thriving challenges us as chaos challenges predictability, birthing an order where emergent complexity demands continuous innovation. Here, at an evolutionary edge, consciousness speaks nature into being, becoming the locus of adaptation and experimentation, the trial and error of organic vitality.
4. Thriving is the mythic dimension of sustainability, the meta-narrative of possibility. It is a reference to the continuous, spontaneous process of creating, modifying and re-forming the open architecture of diversity; where distributed networks of freely accessible information and self-organizing governance activate the free-flow of resources to meet real needs."