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A new year speech

In the morning I drank some coffee and read the news. The finnish news referred to mr Putin's New Year speech, among other things saying that love of one's own country and nation is one of the most elevating and uplifiting emotions there is. That sparked a strong memory in my mind - I was 18 years old, Soviet Union was collapsing, and I read a book "Seven Arrows" by Hyemeyohsts Storm, a Native American Indian. (Thinking of it, those are among the peoples almost completely destroyed by European invasion.) So, with these memories I gave my own New Year Speech.

So, the book had a lot of wise thoughts phrased in a beautiful way. I was particularly inspired by the view about the development of human spirit; At first an individual identifies with himself, cares about himself and his own needs. As his spirit grows bigger he learns to identify with his family, taking care of all the family members, protecting the common good of the family. This doesn't mean that he should forget himself, it is just that he sees his own needs balanced with the needs of the family. And growing even greater, the third sphere of identification is the nation. The soul feels love, respect and awe, being connected with the whole nation. Now the individual needs and the family goals are brought to balance with the greater common good of the whole nation. But that is not the last stage of spiritual growth. For a human soul it is possible to reach the fourth stage, where the spirit identifies with the whole Nature. All the individuals, families and nations on The Earth are seen as family members of the Great Family of Mother Earth. Disagreements or conflicts between nations seem unnecessary and harmful, as we are all Sisters and Brothers, we all breathe the same air, drink the same water, and there is the same Blood of Life running in our veins.

To me it seems that especially in the western history there has been a tendency to emphasize the first level, ie. the individual identifying with himself. Individual quest for success is seen as the ultimate goal of life, and things like tradition, nation, state or goverments shouldn't hinder that quest. Every person should be free to pursuit their own happiness, and if they fail it is just their own fault. And, to me it seems that is is exactly this story which also leads to great suffering. As, in reality, we are not just single individuals like the iconic lonely rider in a spaghetti western movie. Those individuals who run big companies or have high posts in the state organization, they can also use their power to benefit their own family and allies. And a single individual alone is rather powerles when struggling in competition against megacorporations and state machinery. But they just keep on telling this story of "individuals seekind for their own success", to keep the individuals competiting against each other. In case those individuals group together, they might suddenly become strong enough to topple goverments and to seek justice against megacorporations.

Then, the other line of movement is when people feel betrayed by the political and economical elite. A single individual feels him/herself ashamed and ripped of self-esteem. And to fight that some find the call of the nation - identifying with their own nation they feel awe of really belonging to something big and powerful. And all too often this love towards ones own nation comes with a distrust and hatred towards other nationalities. Political leaders know that, and that's why they want to harness that dangerous and potentially destructive power of a national identity. Vladimir Putin has been effectively using those sentiments to back his power and to justify his gamble on global power politics. And many of the presidents of USA have used national pride and identification to justify their crimes of war, sending ordinary people to go kill some other ordinary people. So, no wonder liberals and thinkers and hippies often see this third stage as a threat to peace and love. Then, in turn, that gives more fuel to those who find their glory in a national identity - they are angry because they feel that the liberals hate the national identity and want to get rid of it. And when the nation is under a threat, that calls for a heroic defense of the brave warriors...

Oh well. One more point to illustrate this. As, the state officials are supposed to be working inspired by the third sphere of spiritual development - namely, working for the common good of their country and their people. But, for example Viktor Yanukovych, the former president of Ukraine, seemed to ignore the common good, using his power mostly to benefit his own family. In such a case it is no wonder if you see people demonstrating in protest. People grouping together creates a powerful force, as they are no more identifying with the story told by the goverment, but they find their awe in identifying with the new story of a spontaneous co-operation of ordinary people, aiming together for a greater common good for everybody. And that is exactly what the political and economical elite is afraid of, both in Russia and in the West.

Also, political leaders often want to stick with the national identity as if it was the ultimate highest level of human spiritual identification. That's because on the third sphere you can command an army of loyal soldiers. But on the fourth stage an army becomes useless, as the soldiers walk away unwilling to aim guns at their sisters and brothers. And, thinking of it, to me it seems that armies actually are mostly useless. An army is supposed to protect the common good of the nation and to repel any dangers which might threaten the nation. But what are those dangers? Are they the other nations? Not so much, I think. The greatest threats to human existence is buried inside us. It is things like egoism, greed, fear, hatred and distrust. And no army is going to destroy those emotions. But those emotions sure have a power to destroy the whole mankind. It is the greed running big business causing pollution, carbon emissions, overfishing, deforestation, droughts, and mistreatment of local people. It is fear and distrust which arms our militaries with nukes and fighter jets. These are the things threatening the Great Family of Children of The Mother Earth. (Yes, I think that the Mother Earth herself is anyway going to survive, it is just a question if the planet can still sustain human life as we know it. If we destroy those conditions, we are pretty much doomed.)

So, this is my New Year Speech. I don't have an army in my command, I don't have any political nor religious power. I'm just a lone hippie living in the Finnish Woods. Nobody needs to listen to me, I'm not a great figure of human history. I'm just one of these small ordinary free people, one of the Children of the Mother Earth, humbly talking with my sisters and brothers. Listen to your heart. The first three spheres of spiritual growth are awesome and great, but there is no need to stop at the third stage. It is not a question of first and third sphere conflicting with each other. It is a question of finding the fourth sphere, a deep emotional feeling of being united in a single familyhood. Love and Peace, folks!

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philosophy
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PS. So, I think that under the name of "liberalism" there are broadly speaking two major branches. The one wants to have a maximum freedom for the individual, getting rid of all the restrictions imposed by a culture, tradition, the society and the state. Then, the another branch is about the fourth stage of spiritual identification. That branch wants to get rid of such aspects of tradition which promote division and contradiction inside the Great Family of The Earth.

I have been learning about these truths for some years now. It is amazing how we grow up totally ignorant of what is actually going on, we believe what we see on TV and what our parents tell/show us. For most that is just a continuation of what we see on TV etc.. now the internet also. I would like to think it is becoming more easy to see through the illusion. But it seems we are even more absorbed with our little screens and media, meaning even more absorbed with the propaganda which is most of what we are exposed to. Such a nice illusion to believe in too.. most are unable to get passed it. They are lost, for now at least. Which is why I am glad to see this post you have made. All we can do is live by example, and speak the truths we have learned to anyone who will listen. Even if we are deemed to be crazy. In the end, we are the most sane.

One of my favourite quotes, by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe: None are more hopelessly enslaved then those who falsely believe they are free.

Have a good 2015 from the West Coast of Canada.

ZaCormyr

I often feel that I was actually lucky to lose faith in my own parents when I was 4 or 5 years old. I learned to think critically right from the beginning. But of course there were other problems, and sometimes strong feelings on uncertainty and self-doubt. Especially as I grew up in a small countryside village, where all the social circles where rather small. But this takes me to one powerfull memory from my teenage years.

For different and strange reasons I took part in a weekend gathering of religious people. They were of some sort of charismatic movement of Christianity - for example, they believed that angels and demons are actually present and interfere with our daily life. So, spending a weekend with them in an isolated countryside place was ... umm... interesting, yes. One evening I was hit by a massive wave of self-doubt. "What if those people have it right, and I'm just a fool with illusionary visions about inner peace and love?". It was winter, I went out for a walk all alone, I walked to the lakeside, where a chilly wind was blowing with a full force, drifting icy snow hitting my face. I bared my chest and exposed my skin to the cold harsh wind, kind of a praying: "Okay, my God - should I believe in my inner feelings no matter what the other people say? Or am I just a misguided fool, should I believe in their descriptions even when it feels wrong deep in my soul?" And suddenly that icy wind felt cold no more - it was as if a power generator sparked up inside my chest, I felt warm and vigorous, joyous and without doubt.

But, yeah, philosophically speaking this is a tricky question. Let me bend the Platon's story a bit. It starts with persons inside a cave, watching shadows play on the inner side of the wall. That is all what they know, and they take the shadows as the only reality. Then one of them finds a way out the cave, sees the sunlight and those real objects out there, which are casting the shadows onto the cave wall. He tries to tell the others about this, but they just tell that he is crazy. OK, sure the one who has escaped the cave now has a broader perspective than those who believe the shadows to be the only reality. But how can he be sure that he has reached the ultimate level of truth? The strong personal experiece of "waking up" might not alone be a guarantee of anything. Maybe there are more levels, more steps of "waking up even more and more".

I mean, I've seen people who strongly believe in some subset of propaganda, and they believe that they got it right and everybody else is just brainwashed. And how do these people know that their own brand of self-brainwashing is then somehow better than the mainstream brainwashing? Simply, because they have such a strong experience of "waking up to the reality". And then they stop there, never asking if there is yet more of the "reality" to be found.

When I went to the University, I was struggling with this kind of questions, until I finally found my inner peace in admitting that there is no ultimate reality. But there is just a healthy habit of never stopping to ask critical questions - always remembering also to check ones own positions, ready to drop or to alter views if new evidence or good arguments suggest so. And that, that is the best antidote to any kind of propaganda and brainwashing =)

Cheers!

(ah, and in comment to your post in Steam. The movie title "Once Upon A Time in The West" is translated to Finnish as something like "The Harmonica Avenger". So, we are joking on that =) )

It is true that we can never know if we have reached the ultimate truth. We would have to be one of the top elites in the world, and even then have many many questions. So to be in a state of question and awareness is, for me, the best answer. I only started learning any real truth about the world until nearly 30 years old. Before that I spent my time messed up on drugs and booze, trying to subtly end it all.

At around 11 years old I went to a christian summer camp for a week or so. My mother forced me... I think it was the last night there, they made everyone attend this service in the camp chapel. Out of nowhere I broke down and started to cry with this overwhelming feeling of being loved and being part of something, accepted. At the time I thought it was god and I started to actually believe in god, started to consider myself christian.

The next year, I came home from school to find my house on fire (lucky to be alive actually), I thought my mother was home. She wasn't (to be honest, I would have been better off if she was in the fire, so I can relate to your childhood pain in some ways). But we did lose everything including two dogs and a cat. I recall sitting in the ambulance watching my stuff get thrown out my bedroom window so there was less fuel for the fire. It took 30 firemen like 6 hours to put it out. Big house full of crap my mother collected... Anyways, that turned me away from being christian.

Point is though, in my 20's, I thought back to that christian camp and realized I wasn't crying for god. I was crying because I was away from my abusive mother, I felt free and with people who at least pretended to actually care about me and took care of me. That realization helped me continue on the path of understanding life my own way. Not some religious way. For me, the religions don't make sense, I understand them as the crowd control that they are.

I posted a bunch of comments yesterday, don't feel you need to respond to each of them haha I don't intend that to happen.

I just put Once Upon A Time in The West into google translator and got Huuliharppukostaja. I put that back into google translator to get back to english but it just gave me Huuliharppukostaja again haha

I just returned home after a long day of work. The sky is clear, there is full moon and it is -18°C. I'm about to go for a short walk with the horses. I try to write a proper reply after that. For now only this short note:

Yup, Finnish grammar is not easy for a machine translator =) I bet it becomes easier if I tell you where to split the words. First, try separately "huuliharppu" and "kostaja". And further, you can split the first part to its basic components "huuli" and "harppu" =)

My control panel shows the latest comments, so for me it easy to spot when people are commenting on old posts. I think I should install something like that for readers too - one day when I have enough energy to work with the machinery running this site =)

Anyhow, I tried to pick links to the ones I replied:

http://www.enormouselk.com/?q=erkkasblog/images/20th-april-2014
http://www.enormouselk.com/?q=erkkasblog/images/15th-june-2014
http://www.enormouselk.com/?q=erkkasblog/images/29th-june-2014
http://www.enormouselk.com/?q=erkkasblog/images/17th-august-2014
http://www.enormouselk.com/?q=erkkasblog/images/17th-december-2014
http://www.enormouselk.com/?q=erkkasblog/images/1st-january-2015

That would be very useful, something that allows your readers to looks at all the comments in one place, too. It is a shame that the RSS feeding protocols are not designed do that. D:

Hey, you added a "recent comment" overview! I love that, thanks!

Yup. As usual, I'm not at all satisfied with the way it looks. But at least we have the functionality up, and I try to improve the layout later on. EDIT: I also tried to add pager function to the "recent comments" list, but for some reason it didn't become visible. So, now it only shows you the latest 10 comments, with no ability to browse later comments. I hope to get that fixed...

Actually, I'd like to have a single listbox, where readers could choose filtering criterias. In addition to the standard "show the recent blog posts" there could be this "show the recent comments" and then "show the most liked posts", "show ones tagged with ..." But that kind of dynamic list takes a bit more of coding, and there are several ways to do it. I need to think about it.

But, yeah, I also added a search -bar near the top right corner. That can be used to search old posts with a free word search.

This is awesome! :D

... and thanks for sharing a personal story.

The lucky things is that even after a not-so-good-childhood it is possible to find an inner feeling of being loved. Many people attribute that feeling to a god, because in that kind of moments the love might feel somehow total, absolute and stronger. Well, but it easily gets problematic when all kind of other stories and group hierarchies are built on top of inner experiences, and soon we have an organized religion which easily turns into a crowd control as you say. (I think there is a lot of same mechanism in how some political leaders use strong sentiments to control the followers... the followers become dependand on this feeling of being accepted and the awe of belonging to something bigger and stronger. And as they are not strong enough to let go, they just follow the crowd and the leader, stongly believing in what ever the leader is telling is good for them...)

And for some such experiences come with a professional therapy, and some find them through a sports club or a hobby or being with friends. Or wandering alone in the woods. What ever - I think that the ways are numerous, but all in all it still is possible to find an inner feeling of being accepted, even when such feelings were damaged and hurt in the childhood. And the better if we find the inner peace in such a ways which don't lead to further hatred and distrust towards other people =)

I guess it often goes that when a person X finds a strong feeling of being loved and accepted in a group Y, then X starts to believe that the group Y is the only good one, and the rest of the world is worthless, uninteresting, or even bad and evil. But, as you and many others have found, it doesn't need to be that way. The inner love and acceptance is the main thing, and no group, no religion, no nationality, no movement has special rights for that.

Oh, okay, it is half past two o'clock in the night. Maybe I'd better stop writing and hit the hay =)

"(I think there is a lot of same mechanism in how some political leaders use strong sentiments to control the followers... the followers become dependand on this feeling of being accepted and the awe of belonging to something bigger and stronger. And as they are not strong enough to let go, they just follow the crowd and the leader, stongly believing in what ever the leader is telling is good for them...)"

Obama used this... yes we can! Watch the old campaign videos. People act like they see jesus haha I laugh but it is sad really.

I don't know about Finnish TV, but here in North America the advertising is using extremely emotional topics in order to get to people's hearts. It's even being talked about in the news because it is crazy how some companies are using this. Like showing a truck load of toys being delivered to a poor town and showing how happy the people are to get these "free" toys.. this kind of thing. Marketing is sick, and it's not just used for selling products. It's for politicians, the church, everything now uses this in some way. Anyways.. I can rant all day about this stuff haha

"I guess it often goes that when a person X finds a strong feeling of being loved and accepted in a group Y, then X starts to believe that the group Y is the only good one, and the rest of the world is worthless, uninteresting, or even bad and evil. "

Yes this is a serious problem of US and THEM. Kids are targeted by marketing using this.

Anyways, take care dude. I must go see if there is still a problem between my wife and I.

Here I am, reading this again, nearly an year later. When you talk about "people grouping together", I can't help but remember of this demo: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=el9S1GNp4vQ

Yes, and the army. I always said to my family and friends that armies and mandatory military service are stupid and useless things, and of course I was labelled as crazy and utopic, and told that I didn't understand how things work. Well, I guess I know how things work, armies exist mostly because our leaders are not wise enough to put their differences aside, unwilling to cooperate, and then they get into a fight, not unlike two kids fight in a school because one said the other was ugly. Yes, there are other purposes for armies, like helping people in a catastrophe, but then, voluntary work could be used for this. I think that those who are willing to help don't need to carry rifles and missle lauchers...

There was this friend of mine whose brother had to go to the army and he was humiliated several times in there, and lived many situations in which he could have died. And he was not in a war, just in the training camp. When he got out, he told these stories of humiliation and shame with pride, and his wife praised how the military made him a better man instead of a "silly dreamer boy". And I guess this kind of story happens all over the world, which is very sad...people being brainwashed to believe that their country is superior...

I don't have a solution for the problems of the world, but I try to do my part, being reasonable, peaceful, avoiding consumerism, etc.

That demo is hilarious, thanks for linking!

Yup, I think that is the way it goes. And if we can't fix all the problems of the world, I'd guess it certainly is enough just not to make things worse. And to do something good every now and then.

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