If our perception shapes our world, or our own individual interpretations of the base reality unfolding in this biosphere create our subjective image of the world, we must understand that we are conditioned culturally and socially to pigeonhole other groups of Earthlings and brand things, events, processes and individuals in certain ways. And if we accept that the planet we inhabit is a single living organism and we are veritable cells within that organism, we can extend our empathy to every living being on the planet.
I would not suggest that the various group-think mind sets, organizational drives and belief systems seen to date on this planet are not without merit and are wholly fictitious, but rather grounded in myths born of interpretations of the base reality of this evolving biosphere and intended to increasingly expand empathy - from blood ties, to religious ties, to national ties and now towards continental and global ties. Ultimately, we need to extend our empathy to every living being in this world and an easy way to do that is to imagine that if Earth is a living entity, then it makes sense that the continents are organs, water and air form the lifeblood and the biological life-forms are all cells. And what we know is that a harmonious organ is a healthy organ and healthy organs make a healthy being.
So, what went wrong?
Perhaps nothing went wrong, perhaps it's all part of a growth process for individually evolving conscious beings in a growing biosphere. If greed is good in the caterpillar stage, then harmony is essential for balanced flight in the butterfly stage.
And if Earth was once an unfertilised egg, a harmonious, Eden-like world, we are free to interpret where the "cosmic sperm" came from, how they manifested in our collective reality and why the process of achieving harmony between male and female energy, the tuning process as it were, has been so turbulent.
Here things could get complicated and lead us down rabbit holes and all sorts of wild and wonderful possibilities and plots conjured up imaginatively, but as American author and Christian pastor John C. Maxwell said, "Educators take something simple and make it complicated. Communicators take something complicated and make it simple."
And for me the simplest universal notions that we can use to guide our lives are the Law of Attraction and the Golden Rule.
The Law of Attraction means that your life is essentially the sum total of whatever you attract into your world with your thoughts and intentions and feelings and emotions towards them over sustained periods of time. This is best illustrated by the idea that worrying is like praying for, or meditating on, something you don't want to happen and unwittingly bringing that negativity into your world.
American motivational author Louise Hay explains the law this way: "The more I focus my mind upon the good, the more good comes to me. The key is that my thinking creates my experiences. I use this key in every area of my life."
And particle physicist John Hagelin puts it like this: "Happier thoughts lead to essentially a happier biochemistry; a happier, healthier body. Negative thoughts and stress have been shown to seriously degrade the body and the functioning of the brain, because it's our thoughts and emotions that are continuously reassembling, reorganising and recreating our body".
The Law of Attraction is the reason why dogs attack humans who respond to them with fear; why hypochondriacs end up getting sick; why worrying about your bills will bring you more bills to worry about; why stress leads to dis-ease, why successful people have full confidence in their ability to succeed, why adverts for medicines are not a good idea; why those who feel trapped are trapped and those who feel free are free.
The Law of Attraction is the reason we must always be mindful - of whether we choose to turn a sniffle into a cold in our minds or a debt obligation into a ball and chain around our necks instead of a stepping stone towards greater harmony.
But don't just take my word for it. As has become the norm, here I'll offer some quotes on the subject.
"We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves." - Buddha
"If you think you can or you think you can't, you're right." - Henry Ford
"Nurture your mind with great thoughts, for you will never go any higher than you think." - Benjamin Disraeli
"A man is but the product of his thoughts. What he thinks, he becomes." - Mahatma Gandhi
"Imagine. What you think, you create. What you feel, you attract. What you imagine, you become." - Adele Basheev
"Every positive thought propels you in the right direction" - The Dalai Lama
"As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives." - Henry David Thoreau
"If you realised how powerful your thoughts are you would never think a negative thought." - Peace Pilgrim
"Your thoughts have the power to control; our being, our emotions, and the way we view the world that surrounds us. If you don't constantly re-think what you think of on a daily basis, how do you ever expect to evolve into a being of wisdom, truth, understanding, love, and above all, to be there for others?" - Martin R. Lemieux
"You need to learn how to select your thoughts just the same way you select your clothes every day. This is a power you can cultivate. If you want to control things in your life so bad, work on the mind. That's the only thing you should be trying to control." - Elizabeth Gilbert
"Choose your thoughts carefully. Keep what brings you peace, release what brings you suffering, and know that happiness is just a thought away." - Nishan Panwar
"Imagination is the beginning of creation. You imagine what you desire, you will what you imagine and at last you create what you will." - George Bernard Shaw
The Golden Rule was spoken of by Confucius and Jesus and is covered by every major religion in one form or another. It is basically "do to others as you would have done to you", "what goes around comes around", "karma". It is also a manifestation of the Law of Attraction, following the notion that balance and harmony are always the objective.
The Golden Rule basically suggests that what you send out into the world, or subject others living in the world to, will come back to you; that goodwill towards others will bring you goodwill in return. That hurt people end up hurting people, bitterness and stress lead to ill health, while acceptance and positivity lead to harmony.
On a collective level as Earthlings evolving in a living biosphere, the Golden Rule could explain why humans feel so trapped and enslaved by a system. I mean, if we feel it's acceptable to mistreat our fellow Earthlings by subjecting them to laboratory testing, factory farming and a life of incarceration in zoos and water worlds; a system where monoculture growth ruins the land and restricting the movement of natural herds leads to desertification, then we must accept that the Golden Rule will ensure we are equally enslaved. If we release the animals and the natural systems, perhaps we will be free.
And we have the technology and the wherewithal to do it - check out the cradle-to-cradle or waste-is-food concepts for green technology and effectively getting rid of the concept of waste, with everything returning to the natural cycle quickly; check out nanotech and other advances in renewable/infinite energy production that could get every living unit and building off the grid and carbon neutral. And this abundant energy could be used to support independent water and waste processing systems for every individual structure, i.e. no grid, no pipelines and cables and landfills and power stations, and could be used to fuel hovercraft vehicles without the need for petroleum products or motorways. We have 3D printers to replace mass manufacturing of household items and clothing in factories with enslaved workers; perma-culture and home growing options to replace destructive mono-culture farming and a shift away from planned obsolescence to optimised production levels and ensuring technical devices are made to last and adapt and not wear out and become obsolete in a few years.
So, to conclude, believe what you want, imagine what you will, follow any rule you wish, but be mindful of the Law of Attraction and when interacting with the world around you don't worry about sin and judgement, only the Universal Golden Rule.
"Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated" - Confucius