beyond the natural mind – a 21 day manifesto
“Today I will start to notice an intense dissatisfaction building inside me at the pain & suffering caused to the inhabitants of planet Earth through my beliefs & actions”
If you’d asked me several years ago about what I was dissatisfied with, I’d have told you that I didn’t have enough money, I wanted to own my own house, and I wanted a better car, a more attractive girlfriend, I didn’t have enough holidays, and I wanted a bigger television. How times change!
“The condition or feeling of being displeased or unsatisfied; discontent”
Being dissatisfied is usually something that can be attributed to a lack of something, something tangible like a car or intangible like love; but one thing’s for sure, it’s always about “me”.
So what are you dissatisfied with? I won’t hazard a guess, but take a moment to reflect, or even write a list!
Right, I assume you are ready to continue? Was your list similar to mine or did it have noble things on it like war, poverty or hunger? It did? Good for you!
Man: “I am dissatisfied that there is still poverty and hunger all over the world and I want to do something about it.”
Me: “How will you stop world poverty and hunger?”
Man: “For starters I sponsor a child in india, and I donate money to oxfam, I am also thinking about taking a year out of my job and volunteering with a charity in africa or india.”
Me: “Well, that is good to hear. What is it you do?”
Man: “I work for a bank. And before you say anything we donate a lot of money to charity every year”.
Me: “Good for you. I’m sure the children of the world will thank you.”
So is that it for this topic? Is donating to charity or volunteering the way we deal with our dissatisfaction? Of course not!
Remember the title for this topic is “Today I will start to notice an intense dissatisfaction building inside me at the pain & suffering caused to the inhabitants of planet Earth through my beliefs & actions”. So what is it I am doing that is causing pain and suffering to the inhabitants of the world?
Although we are talking about “the world” remember the world starts with me, and radiates outward. It begins with a thought but may end in war, hunger and poverty. My choices can have an effect that can be felt the world over.
“Something one accepts as true or real; a firmly held opinion or conviction”
When we talk about belief, I’m sure many of you are thinking we are talking about belief in “god”, but belief can be about anything that we think is true or right.
“I believe that sending in the troops to overthrow dictator x is right” “I believe that the state is right to execute the criminal.”
“I believe smacking my child to teach them what they are doing is wrong is right.”
“I believe I was justified sacking that employee has benefited the company.”
“I believe communism /capitalism/ socialism is the best form of government.”
“I believe we need to keep secrets from the general public if it is in the national interest,”
“I believe cutting down the trees is fine, as people need wood and it provides jobs.”
“I believe that I was right in that argument and my wife was wrong.” “I believe climate change is not affecting the planet.”
“I believe the right to bear arms is my human right.”
“I believe that pollution is a necessary by-product of industrialisation.” “I believe the armed forces are needed to protect me.”
“I believe killing animals is right as man is a meat eater.” “I believe we should hang paedophiles.”
So, belief is much much more than just about god. Holding a belief is part of our every day lives, but we never think about our belief having an external effect, and if we do, we can easily justify it, after all it’s our firmly held opinion!
Search your minds right now for any firmly held beliefs, and write them down. Now no one is saying you can’t hold these beliefs, after all, I respect your right to hold these opinions.
The Earth Speaks To Humanity
“As you may or may not be aware I am the organism that sustains all life on this planet. I have been quietly doing my job for many years, and have observed you throughout your short history. I have provided oxygen for breathing, have filtered the sun’s rays to allow you to survive without being burnt to death, I have provided water for you to drink, and provided the materials from which you make fuel, cars, televisions, and guns, and cities. I have provided animals, fish, insects, and bacteria to keep the world in balance, I have provided plants for you to eat, and land for you to stand upon.
This is my role. For doing this I ask nothing in return. I provide management services at no extra cost to you. I seek out imbalance and rectify it, and although I have stood silently all this time, I have decided to come to you to tell you that you are making my life increasingly difficult. You are pushing me to my limits and I think it’s time I told you all what I think of you.
I breathed life into you, and nurtured you as you grew. I gave you a mind capable of great understanding, and a body capable of great creation. I fed you and clothed you, but you weren’t happy with what I gave you. You decided you wanted more than you already had, even though just by being able to experience the beauty which I created is more than any other planet I know has given to its inhabitants.
They all thought I was stupid giving you all this power but I told them that you would deal with it responsibly. Little did I know that you would let me down so badly! I have now become the laughing stock of the universe.
All you had to do was live well and enjoy yourselves. I provided you with plenty to eat and plenty to drink, but the large brain I gave you must have been flawed, for as soon as you could walk you used your brain to think deviously. You used the beautiful hands I gave you to create weapons; weapons you used to kill my animals, and my fish. You used the amazing brain I gave you to plot against each other, and developed traits never seen before in the universe.
You planned murders of people who didn’t agree with you, you took land that wasn’t yours to take, you robbed my soil of all its nutrients, and minerals which you used to make yourselves more powerful. You polluted my rivers, and my oceans, but even that was not enough for you. You created weapons capable of such destruction that you would end my world forever.
What am I to do with you? You have reached the point where you can no longer be allowed to continue. The planet I created and manage is not your playground although you treat it so, and in my role as estate manager, I have to make a decision.
You have been given numerous opportunities to change but you will not. In the end I will not be able to manage you any more, you will destroy my world, and yourselves. But you know this don’t you?
You know you hold the very same power of creation in each of your individual minds but choose instead the way of greed and destruction.
I come to you now, as your friend to plead with you to change your ways, to understand your minds and transcend the violence within you. This is the last time I will come to you.”
Your friend, The Earth.
“What a load of rubbish no one’s going to stop me taking what I want, I don’t care about the stupid planet. I can do what I like”.
So maybe The Earth was right, maybe humanity is past the point of no return. What a shame.
“Yes but I sponsor a child in india and I give money to oxfam.” “Sorry, too late…”
You see, being dissatisfied with hunger, poverty and war isn’t going to save us. And don’t think I am a merchant of doom when I tell you this. I tell you this because we have destroyed so much so quickly, and become so numerous that when The Earth itself says it can’t keep going on like this, you have to sit up and listen. Don’t you?
Well if someone had handed this topic to me twelve years ago, I would have thought what a load of nonsense, I’m too busy to think about this and I wouldn’t have listened. I was busy thinking about salary increases, new televisions, girlfriends and holidays.
So what happened? Well, I woke up! I started to notice things around me that had never been on my radar. I started to notice the futility of my acquisitive life, I started to notice that people close to me were suffering through the way I behaved towards them. I noticed how much I wasted and wondered where it all ended up. I realised that things I was buying had a huge human and environmental cost attached to them – in short, I started to care about the impact I was having as opposed to my superficial desires. I started to realise what a great opportunity I had been given just to breathe the air on this planet.
I realised that my beliefs about what was right and wrong had no truth in them, that I only saw what I wanted to see, that my eyes were not truly open to what was happening in the world.
I was asleep.
Of course, I thought that sponsoring a child in india or giving money to oxfam was the way I was going to overcome my dissatisfaction, but I soon realised that I had to become dissatisfied with myself, for helping to create this world of pain and suffering through my beliefs and actions. So I fundamentally changed the way I thought and acted, and here I am twelve years later, writing for you fine people!
And before you think it’s going to take twelve years for you to change, don’t worry, I’ve done a lot of the hard work for you here already. But you must open your mind and your heart to the consequences of all that you create. Once you start, it won’t take long for the dissatisfaction to begin.
And if it doesn’t well, that’s up to you.
by alan macmillan orr