Tag - oil spill

Oil Spill & 10 Steps to Better People-Part III

By Dr. Stewart Bitkoff

So here we are: today NEWS people are now reporting that scientists are just beginning to suspect that the oil spill is much worse than initially reported.

No surprise there.

It’s the old mushroom philosophy: ‘keep people in the dark and see how much manure you can pile on.’

While I hesitate to compare people to mushrooms, I believe many corporations and members of the elected government treat us that way.  We are living in an age, where only a catastrophe of some sort, gets people working together. In a catastrophe, there is an immediacy to fix the problem and people join together.  Witness the many hands helping with Katrina and 911; and we are again seeing local people joining together to work on the devastation caused from the gulf oil spill.

Under normal circumstances, wouldn’t it be wonderful, if people could work together and look out for each others interests and prevent/minimize the effect of these catastrophic events?

Call me a dreamer. But I think more and more people are wondering how we can get the majority of people to look out for each other and take personal action to make this planet a better, kinder place to live.  A place where the rich do not take from the poor and governments use their energy to help their citizens.  A planet where natural resources are not used up like old toilet paper.

Fortunately, making the world a better place, is exactly the goal of human development systems like Sufism; where the world is enriched through human excellence, one person at a time.  By adding a degree of individual and personal spiritual experience to other skills, individuals reach human excellence; reaching higher, contributing in myriad ways to make their family, community and world better.  Through personal spiritual experience, individual’s know they are their neighbor’s keeper; spiritually, they have experienced we are all part of the same family. And it is part of our social duty to contribute to the larger community/world.

In many areas, as a society, we do a reasonably good job educating people.  For most of us that’s the standard package of going to school, learning from family, friends, and church. However, in this curriculum of sorts there is a missing ingredient.  That is personal spiritual learning, and experience of self as a citizen of the universe; and part of our journey in this life is to help others reach higher.  Spiritual learning and personal enlightenment is available through religion, however, many people leave their birth religion before this learning occurs.  This experience of our Oneness and transcendental self is available to everyone all of the time.  Hence, in our open society, we now see the proliferation of new age systems, interest in self help, and experimenting with exotic eastern mystical traditions. People are striving to reach higher, and this personal experience of our own transcendent nature, that we are all children of the One, potentially can save us from ourselves.

Remember, it is in our own best interest to care for our neighbor and honor the Earth Mother.  The First Universal Law states: We are all One, and when One is harmed all are harmed.

The following 10 Steps or Learning Goals first appeared in an unpublished piece entitled: A Teaching For the Ages.  In silver minnow catching class, these were the 10 most important learning steps taught to young turtles, and helped make The World of Pond a place where all creatures helped each other reach higher.

Of course, ours in not an idyllic world like The World of Pond, but each of these learning goals help point the direction of what is required for people to reach higher and make this world a better place. In addition to all the other things we learn about, I wonder what the world would be like if children were taught the following.

10 Steps to a Better You

  1. Strive For Excellence.  Be excellent at something. Everyone has hidden talents. Once we are excellent at something we can begin to generalize our capacity/skills to other areas.
  2. Be Yourself.  Don’t let others pressure you to be something that you are not.  Inside of you there is a knowledge of who you are. Journey within. You have your own Life Plan and have brought with you the skills necessary to accomplish it.
  3. Help Others.  It is part of our normal social duty to help others and help the Planet. In helping others reach higher, we learn more about ourselves and touch our highest potential.
  4. Let Others Help You.  We are born into a world of wondrous experience and in order to reach our full potential we need to let others help us to learn.
  5. Discover Who You Are.  Each is a spirit that has taken on a physical body. We came here to accomplish many things and enjoy this experience. Take the time to explore the many parts of yourself; you are a galaxy with many hidden treasures.
  6. Enjoy Yourself. This life is multi-level experience and your body is a pleasure machine.  Enjoy the moment and daily give praise to the universe for providing this wonderful experience.
  7. Experience Your Transcendence. You are a spirit, a beam of Light, that is traveling through the many worlds on its way back to the Origin.  Experience who you are! Seek out spiritual learning; it will help balance and enrich you, and everyone will benefit.
  8. Love Someone Else. The Universal Life Force is all Loving.  Connect with that part of yourself that is most like the Life Force. Love another and then you will know how the Universal Life Force has been concerned about you since the very beginning. In Love there is only forgiveness and joy.
  9. Be a citizen of the Pond/Planet. We are citizens of the Universe and the Pond is our home.  Not to honor the Pond/Planet is not to honor ourselves; everyone must work to keep the balance.
  10. Live Each Day Completely.  Seize each moment. Leave nothing out. Live each day like you are not promised another day. For one day, we must travel on to the next place- taking with us glorious memories.

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Also by Dr. Bitkoff, A Commuter’s Guide to Enlightenment, Llewellyn, 2008 and Journey of Light: Trilogy, Authorhouse, 2004; these books are available from publisher, Amazon.com, or at local bookstore. For more information about the author go to: www.stewartbitkoff.com.

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Oil Spill & Better People- Part II

By Dr. Stewart Bitkoff

Gradually in this age we are remembering, authentic religious and spiritual teachings are tolerant and The main purpose of religion and spiritual development systems is to provide a basis from which a more complete, balanced life and society can be created. Ideally, religion and spiritual development systems provide a set of rules, a moral code and structure that can be used in daily life, and with training an inner yard stick develops against which to evaluate personal and societal action. Daily, this moral code provides a framework to help the individual and society make positive decisions which affect the greater good; when the spiritual traveler has added a measure of personal spirituality to their life, they have a vision of what is possible personally and for society.

Spiritual development systems, like Sufism, were the original human development systems and were designed to foster human excellence, one person at a time.  These personal development systems work alongside religion; being the basis from which this more advanced spiritual learning occurs.  When better people are created, who have added a degree of spiritual awareness to their other skills, a healthier more complete society is created, through individual personal excellence.

Slowly across the planet, there is re-emerging a vision of the First Universal Law; that everything on this planet is all One- we are all Children of One God and must learn to share this planet with each other. This inner connectedness, that we are all part of the same family, has the potential to save us all.  What is growing, is the understanding that we are indeed our brother’s keeper, and it matters if thousands of children die from starvation, or others blow themselves up to get even with their ‘oppressors.’

Remember, because we all connected, we cannot take from each other without it affecting us all.  Today, because of the potential destructiveness of our technology, unless we work for common good, we can literally destroy ourselves.  Witness the devastation by the atomic bomb and the oil spill in the gulf.

While religion and spiritual development systems can rightfully be blamed for many of the wars and injustices in the world, most often when this has occurred there was a directed manipulation of sorts; a situation where an individual power broker or religious leader used religious ideology to reach their own selfish end.  Typically, the ‘fear and reward’ mechanism was involved and the scenario ran something like this.  “Ours is the only true path, and because ours is the only true path, we have been instructed from on High, that we have a responsibility to do ‘such and such.’  Further, all unbelievers must follow the only true path as well, and follow these instructions, because they come from on High.  Also, if you follow this set of instructions, good things will happen to you. If you do not, bad things will occur.  Sociologically, this type of motivation, is a form of indoctrination and brain washing.

Gradually in this age we are remembering, authentic religious and spiritual teachings are tolerant and based upon love; where individuals are taught, over a period of time, to make their own decisions. With authentic spiritual teaching, individuals are not threatened or motivated by personal reward; they are motivated by what is best for the situation and have developed an inner spiritual sense to measure potentials against.  Coercion through fear and reward, creates fanatics and automatons, who have no tolerance for different ways of believing. Multiplicity of religious form, because people are different across time and culture, frightens them.

After the investigation of what went wrong in the gulf coast, it is likely what will emerge is that specific individuals used the fear and reward motivation to feed personal gain. The boss said, work faster, take some short cuts, and we will be rewarded.

Cut corners, get this well online, feed the God of Money and we can all take more from the situation. Further, if you do not follow me, you will be fired.

Where were the spiritual champions to stop this dangerous situation from developing?  It seems that there was at least person who stood-up for what was in everyone’s best interest; and sadly he died on the rig. He knew what was right and took action; as a planet, we need to help create more people like this.

Look for Part III- 10 Steps to Create Better People

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