Archive | December, 2012

Small We — Big We

This Sunday I met my dear friends Kristian and Pelle at Stortorget, the big square, in the center of Malmö. I had an idea and we did a five minute embracing exercise at the square before heading to the restaurant.

  • First we focused on ourselves — ignoring everyone else.
  • Then meeting each other as a You — I see you and I am here for you.
  • Forming a circle, holding hands — recognizing that we are a group formed by all of us.
  • Embracing the circle with arms behind each other — experiencing being held by a field bigger than us.
  • Releasing the hands and keeping the field — being that field and being inside it together.

From there we could have gone further and embraced ever wider circles, but the dinner was waiting …

For me two things became more clear:

It’s not about creating anything, it’s just an awareness of what is. That’s why it’s possible to do it fast.

There’s a tremendous difference between the Small We that only is aware of the individuals in the circle and the Big We that embraces its parts and is more than the parts.

The photos below are from Stortorget in Malmö in May 2011. What relations do we create when we take photos?

Big Heart Embracing

When we ask the question “Who is Embracing?”
Our consciousness expands — as a deep inhalation
For each breath we embrace a wider circle
Embracing as our group, humanity, the biosphere, the Universe

But for each inhalation there is an exhalation
The perspective shifts direction
From expanding to embracing
My group embraces me, humanity embraces us, the biosphere embraces life, the Universe embraces everything

What is embraced is held and seen
Embraced with unconditional love
Nothing else is possible

Big Heart of humanity embracing us,
Big Heart of the biosphere embracing life
Big Heart of the universe embracing everything

The inhalation expands — a wider embrace
Freedom and vastness
Pain and problems are illusions

The exhalation relaxes — embracing what is
Love and intimacy
Pain and problems are real

 

All pictures from a walk in the nearby forest this Friday. 

Individuals or Species — What matters?

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Most of us hold two very different moral systems — one based on the individual and one based on group belonging.

The humanistic worldview says that every human life is precious and inviolable. We don’t really live by it, but we strive to. To save the life of a fellow human being is the highest morality. No matter who, no matter the cost.

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We have a very different morality concerning individuals who don’t belong to our species. We shift from a morality that counts individuals to one that counts collectives. The good morality becomes to save a gene pool big enough for that species to survive.

Of course there are exceptions, animals can be seen as individuals if they for example are your dog, a stranded whale or a cute panda. But 99,99 percent of the animals and plants on this planet are only seen by us humans as parts of a species.

As long as we don’t extinguish other species, or are unnecessarily cruel, we should do what is best for our own species. And if we can’t really see how that other species can serve us, it’s more or less okay if it vanishes.

We not only can, but we should, use as much land as possible for our species, no matter if someone else lived there. And of course eat the tasty ones.

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In order to hold these two very different morality system, one based on individual and one based on species, we have to put up a very sharp border between us and all the others. The same type of borders that the ethnocentric world view puts up between our group and other humans.

From the ethnocentric perspective it’s fine to treat other humans, humans who don’t belong to our group, as something other. And we can take their land and kill them, turn them into slaves and commit genocide, if that is good for our group. History and today’s news are filled with acts done from this world view. But as our ability to embrace wider circles has evolved and become more inclusive over the years, many of us can now deeply identify ourselves with all of humanity, and that is wonderful!

When you widen your perspective further, when you start to identify as, not only humanity, but the biosphere, you see new things, from a very different perspective. It’s not we and them, it’s one life, the split just isn’t there any more.

When I’m able to be all the different embraces, the embrace as myself, my group, humanity and the biosphere, I can start to see a new morality emerging, that takes all those perspectives from all the embraces into account. A morality that doesn’t deny that my family is closer to me than a baboon, or that mammals are closer to us than insects. But also acknowledge that we are all one life, individuals and species, and we can all flourish together on this beautiful planet!

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If you think that the perspective from the biosphere is something like these sentences — you haven’t got it:

  • Our grandkids will hate us if we destroy this planet and extinguish the baboons.
  • We don’t have the right to kill other living creatures and destroy their habitats.
  • It would be best if we humans disappeared from this planet.
  • If we all meditate and love each other everything will become perfect.
  • We must take responsibility for this planet as the highly evolved creatures we are.

These are anthropocentric views. From the embrace as the biosphere these statements don’t really make sense. It’s a huge difference to actually embrace as the biosphere or to think about the biosphere from a human perspective. Can you see how these sentences are human centered?

The more you exercise embracing as the biosphere and see from that perspective, the more your eyes, mind and heart will open to that perspective. And then we can form a world view and a morality, that takes all the different perspectives into account; the egocentric, the ethnocentric, the anthropocentric and the biospheric. But you have to do it!

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The pictures are from my visit to Cape of Good Hope in South Africa in June 2012.

Wikipedia: … the baboon population on the Cape is “critically endangered.” This is due to habitat loss, genetic isolation, and conflicts with humans.

Cape baboons have been eliminated from the majority of their range across the Cape Peninsula, and the Cape of Good Hope section of Table Mountain National Park provides a sanctuary for the troops that live within its boundaries. It provides relative safety from nearby towns, where people have killed many baboons after the baboons raid their houses looking for food.

Baboons are also frequently injured or killed outside of the park by cars and by electrocution on power lines. Inside the park, some management policies such as allowing barbecues and picnics in the baboon home ranges cause detriment to the troops, as they become embroiled in conflicts with guests to the park.

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