In preparation for a trip to Egypt in 2012 I was studying their ancient history. The question came to my mind: how did they live for thousands of years in peace and harmony? During this time they created magnificent expressions of technological, scientific, architectural, agricultural and artistic prowess some of which we could doubtfully recreate today. What allowed them the inspiration, time and energy to development such magnificence?
We are currently in a world filled with dissention, chaos, technological fast-paced development, catastrophes and greed. It appears to be every man/woman for him/herself with little regard for each other, with a “lets get all we can out of today” attitude which leads us to abuse our resources, to destruction of our integrity, which in turn leaves little for the next seven generations to inherit.
Through the rapid pace of technological advancement we have become an interdependent global community. Production is outsourced. People are communicating around the world playing video war games together or reuniting with old friends or making new ones. If you call the help line you are most likely talking to another person very far away who will call him or herself by a familiar name and walk you through the solution to your problem.
The catastrophe at Fukushima, Japan is a fine example of the dilemma that we find ourselves in today. Through a natural occurrence, in this case an earthquake, the whole planet is slowly being poisoned. We currently do not have the expertise to contain the nuclear contamination that is slowly leaking out into the Pacific Ocean poisoning its inhabitance and the planet in turn. We have developed nuclear power without first devising a plan or means for dealing with the waste material or the possibility of natural disaster interfering with the structure of the power plant itself. This disaster hit the news big time at the time of the earthquake but then died down and we moved our attention on to next sensational crisis. Meanwhile radioactive salmon are showing up in fisherman’s nets on the West Coast of the U.S. and are appearing in the market place. Why?
In ancient Egypt the rich fabric of a complex spiritual tradition informed every aspect of the culture and the lives of the people. It was not the case that Egyptians went to their temples on Sunday for an hour and a half and then came home to a completely different reality. It appears that instead that all aspects of life were imbued with their spiritual tradition. There were festivals every day to remind people of the importance of the divine forces that governed their lives. The way in which they planted their crops, ate their meals, gathered as families, structured their society and culture, etc. was contained in the underlayment of their spiritual traditions.
“I am an old man, and ancient one, and I have been many things, lived and died many times, and loved as often as possible. And I tell you the gods exist within the limits of every thing–stone or vegetable, woman or man. Even the red clay the potter molds hides their essence. That a creature or thing exists makes it one with god. Blessed are we all. Because we exist we live for eternity as women or men, birds or fish, stones or wheat, dust in the wind. We shall be what we imagine though we know not yet what that may be. Blessed are we in eternal changing. We live among gods because we are gods. Blessed are the creatures and gods of earth, things of the air and water, flame from the fire.” Ellis, P. 160
The basic principle was that of Ma’at, of Truth. When life came to a close, the heart of the deceased was weighed against a feather. If the heart was as light as the feather then that soul was allowed to continue on into immortality. If the heart, filled with anger, resentment, fear, etc. was heavier than the feather then the soul was returned to live another life filled with further lessons.
If we are looking to apply some of these lessons to our global community today then we have to look beyond one unifying spiritual tradition. The complexity of today’s humanity calls for a different kind of underlayment that perhaps could have the same peaceful, truthful results.
What can we learn from those who have gone before us who have successfully created great civilizations? How can we honor the Earth, ourselves, the interdependence of all of the species with which we share this beautiful place and the growing interconnectedness of many different kinds of people all over this land?
I propose to explore ways in which we can learn from our past that can successfully inform our present and from which we can create healthy, vibrant, life sustaining probable futures for a new Earth. This in turn will support and delight the next seven generations. Experience from a variety of spiritual traditions point to a common theme. If we live out of the place of the heart, consciously creating the heartfelt emotions of gratitude, appreciation, caring, loving, happiness, joyfulness, etc., we come into a dynamic of coherence. This consciously created heart centered living strengthens and uplifts our inner wisdom, our sense of interconnectedness with all of life which results in a deepened health and well being of our body, mind, spirit, among all aspects of life and the Earth as well.
In this book we will look at wisdom from various spiritual traditions, experience in living that wisdom and the scientific research that examines the results of living from the heart in partnership with the brain. We will examine the ways and means to develop this partnership as well as partner with Nature. There will be stories of how people have developed and sustained this experience of coherence in themselves, how they bring it to their families, how it can be spread into the workplace and the communities within which they live, how this in turn affects the global community and our partnership with the Earth and Nature. Basically the premise of this book is that your loving heart is the epicenter of World Peace. As each of us develops more skill at living consciously from the heart we can have a profound affect on the Whole.