30 March 2008

Jane Goodall Institution

Below is from the Jane Goodall Institution: Ways You Can Help:

Welcome to JGI’s action center! We’re going to expand this section in coming weeks, but in the meantime we offer a few ideas to help you take positive action for people, animals and the environment.

Note: We know making a positive impact – especially when it comes to the environment – can seem like an impossible job. For that reason we’ve included some meaningful actions that are, well, embarrassingly easy. They're marked with this badge

Live Greener

Shut off the water when brushing your teeth.
This is one of Jane Goodall’s most frequent suggestions to her audiences when she’s on the road. Did you know older faucets release 3 to 7 gallons of water per minute? That could add up to more than 5,000 gallons per year flowing down the drain while you brush!

Wash your clothes in cold or warm water, not hot.
If you wash two loads per week this way, the reduction in carbon dioxide is as high as 500 pounds per year, according to the Greenhouse Network.

Cut down on your meat-eating (or better yet become a vegetarian).
Even cutting out one meal of meat per week can have an impact!

Learn more about solar energy!
The earth receives more energy from the sun in just one hour than the world uses in a whole year, according to SolarBuzz. Here is a fun resource: http://www.eere.energy.gov/solar/educational_resources.html#science

Join an online community for sustainable living!
This site links to forums on everything from hybrid cars to “tightwadding” to wind power.

Make an organic flowerbed!

For The More Adventurous

Landscape Sustainably!
Learn how to landscape your home to be “Fossil Fuel Free!”

Install a compost toilet!
Composting toilets have been an established technology for more than 30 years!

Shop Ethically

Buy fair-trade coffee and other “fair” food.
Fair-trade coffee protocols guarantee farmers a decent price so they can earn a living wage. According to US certifier Transfair, participating farmers can avoid cost-cutting practices that sacrifice quality. Global Exchange offers a list of retailers including Starbucks, Trader Joe’s and Safeway, plus a list of outlets by state (not all states included).

Make Your Voice Heard

Write that letter!
Don’t expect the government to take the lead. Even in sympathetic administrations, governments rarely take the lead. The most innovative and creative ideas come from we, the people. Finding your member of Congress’s contact information is easy. Just click here.

Help Chimpanzees

Spread the word
The number of humans born each day is greater than the number of chimpanzees, gorillas, orangutans and bonobos left in the world. Many people aren’t aware that great apes are endangered – so spreading the word is critically important. Tell people that without our intervention, today’s children could come of age in a world without chimpanzees and other great apes living in the wild. But it’s not too late to make a difference. Click here to support JGI’s work on behalf of the endangered chimpanzee.

Branch Out

Turn the tide
Join a remarkable program endorsed by Jane Goodall, “Turning the Tide.” It features nine personal actions to protect the environment -- complete with calculators that tally and track individual and collective impact right away! This program comes from the Center for a New American Dream.

Use RedJellyfish Long Distance

Our partnership with RedJellyfish Long Distance helps you put the environment first! RedJellyfish provides high quality long distance service at a low price, and RedJellyfish donates 8% of its profits every month to the Jane Goodall Institute.

RedJellyfish offers clear, easy to read, monthly statements that are printed on 100% recycled paper, or you can choose their tree-free electronic billing option. The RedJellyfish calling cards are made from recycled plastic, and the RedJellyfish website is completely powered by solar energy! You'll get great rates, friendly customer service, and crystal clear connections, while knowing you are supporting a company with progressive environmental business strategies! Click here to visit RedJellyfish Long Distance

Support JGI

Join Us! A monthly gift of $15 can start three international Roots & Shoots groups, giving them the tools to create positive change in their communities. A gift of $35 provides three days worth of food, shelter, and care for an orphaned chimp in one of our JGI sanctuaries. Click here for more information.

27 March 2008

Why Today's Peace Activists Should Not Be Discouraged: An Example from 1958

Below is an article I found at Nuclear Age Peace Foundation I hope you enjoy it friends.

Why Today's Peace Activists Should Not Be Discouraged: An Example from 1958

By Lawrence S. Wittner

Originally published on History News Network

After nearly five years of bloody, costly war in Iraq, with no end in sight, many peace activists feel discouraged. Protest against the war and the rise of antiwar public opinion seem to have had little effect upon government policy.

But, in fact, it is too early to say. Who really knows what impact peace activism and widespread peace sentiment have had in the past five years or will have in the near future? Certainly not historians, who will spend decades pulling together such information from once secret government records and after-the-fact interviews.

What historians can do, of course, is assess the impact of popular protest on events in the more distant past. And here the record provides numerous intriguing illustrations of the power of protest.

One example along these lines occurred fifty years ago, in 1958, when the Soviet and U.S. governments stopped their nuclear explosions and commenced negotiations for a nuclear test ban treaty.

Ever since the first explosion of an atomic bomb, at Alamogordo, in July 1945, the great powers had been engaged in a deadly race to develop, test, and deploy what they considered the ultimate weapon, the final guarantee of their "national security." The United States, of course, had the lead, and used this with devastating effect upon Hiroshima and Nagasaki. But, in 1949, the U.S. monopoly on nuclear weapons was cracked by the Soviet Union. In 1952, the British also entered the nuclear club. As the nuclear arms race accelerated, all three powers worked on producing a hydrogen bomb--a weapon with a thousand times the destructive power of the bomb that annihilated Hiroshima. Within a short time, all of them were testing H-bombs for their rapidly-growing nuclear arsenals.

The nuclear tests--which, by late 1958, numbered at least 190 (125 by the United States, 44 by the Soviet Union, and 21 by Britain)--were conducted mostly in the atmosphere and, in these cases, were often quite dramatic. Enormous explosions rent the earth, sending vast mushroom clouds aloft that scattered radioactive debris (fallout) around the globe. The H-bomb test of March 1, 1954, for example--which the U.S. government conducted at Bikini atoll in the Marshall Islands, a U.N. trust territory in the Pacific—was so powerful that it overran the danger zone of 50,000 square miles (an area roughly the size of New England). Generating vast quantities of radioactive fallout that landed on inhabited islands and fishermen outside this zone, it forced the evacuation of U.S. weather station personnel and Marshall Islanders (many of whom subsequently suffered a heavy incidence of radiation-linked illnesses, including cancer and leukemia). In addition, the Bikini test overtook a Japanese fishing boat, the Lucky Dragon, which received a heavy dose of radioactive ash that sickened the crew and, eventually, killed one of its members.

Recognizing that these nuclear tests were not only paving the way for mass destruction in the future, but were already beginning to generate sickness and death, large numbers of people around the world began to resist. Prominent intellectuals, such Albert Schweitzer, Bertrand Russell, and Linus Pauling, issued public appeals to halt nuclear testing. Pacifists sailed protest vessels into nuclear test zones in an attempt to disrupt planned weapons explosions. Citizens' antinuclear organizations sprang up, including the National Committee for a Sane Nuclear Policy (better known as SANE) in the United States, the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament in Great Britain, and dozens of others in assorted nations. In the United States, the 1956 Democratic presidential candidate, Adlai Stevenson, made a halt to nuclear testing a key part of his campaign. Antinuclear pressures even developed within Communist dictatorships. In the Soviet Union, top scientists, led by Andrei Sakharov, appealed to Soviet leaders to halt nuclear tests.

Polls during 1957 and 1958 in nations around the globe reported strong public opposition to nuclear testing. In the United States, 63 percent of respondents favored a nuclear test ban; in Japan, 89 percent supported a worldwide ban on the testing and manufacture of nuclear weapons; in Britain, 76 percent backed an agreement to end nuclear tests; and in India (with the survey sample limited to New Delhi), 90 percent thought the United States should unilaterally halt its nuclear tests. In late 1957, pollsters reported that the proportion of the population viewing H-bomb testing as harmful to future generations stood at 64 percent in West Germany, 76 percent in Norway, 65 percent in Sweden, 59 percent in the Netherlands, 60 percent in Belgium, 73 percent in France, 67 percent in Austria, and 55 percent in Brazil.

Within the ranks of the U.S. government, this public aversion to nuclear testing was regarded as bad news, indeed. The Eisenhower administration was firmly committed to nuclear weapons as the central component of its national security strategy. Thus, halting nuclear testing was viewed as disastrous. In early 1956, Lewis Strauss--the chair of the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission and the top figure in setting the administration's nuclear weapons policy--insisted: "This nonsense about ceasing tests (that is tantamount to saying ceasing the development) of our nuclear weapons plays into the hands of the Soviets." The United States, he told Eisenhower, should hold nuclear tests "whenever an idea has been developed which is ready for test."

And yet, other administration officials felt hard-pressed by the force of public opinion. In a memo written in June 1955, Secretary of State John Foster Dulles noted that, although the United States needed a nuclear arsenal, "the frightful destructiveness of modern weapons creates an instinctive abhorrence to them." Indeed, there existed "a popular and diplomatic pressure for limitation of armament that cannot be resisted by the United States without our forfeiting the good will of our allies and the support of a large part of our own people." Consequently, "we must . . . propose or support some plan for the limitation of armaments."

But Dulles equivocated over specific plans, and the administration increasingly felt the heat. In September 1956, with Stevenson's call for an end to nuclear testing now part of the presidential election campaign, Eisenhower ordered an administrative study of a test ban, citing "the rising concern of people everywhere over the effect of radiation from tests, their reaction each time a test was reported, and their extreme nervousness over the prospective consequences of nuclear war." Given opposition from other officials, this study, too, went nowhere. Even so, Eisenhower remained gravely concerned about the unpopularity of nuclear testing. In a meeting with Edward Teller and other nuclear weapons enthusiasts in June 1957, the president told them that "we are . . . up against an extremely difficult world opinion situation," and "the United States could [not] permit itself to be 'crucified on a cross of atoms.' " There was not only "the question of world opinion . . . but an actual division of American opinion . . . as to the harmful effects of testing."

By early 1958, the outside pressures were becoming so powerful that Dulles began a campaign to halt U.S. nuclear tests unilaterally. Having learned, through the CIA, that the Soviet government was about to announce a unilateral suspension of its tests, he called together top administration officials on March 23 and 24 and proposed that Eisenhower issue a statement saying that, after the U.S. government completed its nuclear test series that year, there would be no further U.S. nuclear testing. "It would make a great diplomatic and propaganda sensation to the advantage of the United States," Dulles explained, and "I feel desperately the need for some important gesture in order to gain an effect on world opinion." But Strauss and Defense Department officials fought back ferociously, while Eisenhower, typically, remained indecisive. Testing was "not evil," the president opined, "but the fact is that people have been brought to believe that it is." What should be done in these circumstances? Nothing, it seemed. Eisenhower remained unwilling to challenge the nuclear hawks in his administration.

However, after March 31, 1958, when the Soviet government announced its unilateral testing moratorium, the U.S. hard line could no longer be sustained. With the Soviet halt to nuclear testing, recalled one U.S. arms control official, "the Russians boxed us in." On April 30, Dulles reported that an advisory committee on nuclear testing that he had convened had concluded that, if U.S. nuclear testing continued, "the slight military gains" would "be outweighed by the political losses, which may well culminate in the moral isolation of the United States." The following morning, Eisenhower telephoned Dulles and expressed his agreement.

Thereafter, the president held steady. Meeting on August 12 with Teller and other officials, he reacted skeptically to their enthusiastic reports about recent weapons tests. "The new thermonuclear weapons are tremendously powerful," he observed, but "they are not . . . as powerful as is world opinion today in obliging the United States to follow certain lines of policy. Ten days later, after a showdown with the Defense Department and the AEC, Eisenhower publicly announced that, as of October 31, the United States would suspend nuclear testing and begin negotiations for a test ban treaty.

As a result, U.S., Soviet, and British nuclear explosions came to a halt in the fall of 1958. Although the French government conducted its first nuclear tests in early 1960 and the three earlier nuclear powers resumed nuclear testing in late 1961, these actions proved to be the last gasps of the nuclear hawks before the signing of the Partial Test Ban Treaty of 1963--a measure resulting from years of public protest against nuclear testing. Against this backdrop, the 1958 victory for the peace movement and public opinion should be regarded as an important break in the nuclear arms race and in the Cold War.

Thus, if peace activists feel discouraged today by the continuation of the war in Iraq, they might well take heart at the example of their predecessors, who recognized that making changes in powerful institutions requires great perseverance. They might also consider the consequences of doing nothing. As the great abolitionist leader, Frederick Douglass, put it in 1857: "If there is no struggle, there is no progress."

Lawrence S. Wittner is Professor of History at the State University of New York/Albany.

21 March 2008

Emotional intelligence: popular or scientific psychology?

John D. Mayer, PhD
University of New Hampshire

Emotional intelligence is a product of two worlds. One is the popular culture world of best-selling books, daily newspapers and magazines. The other is the world of scientific journals, book chapters and peer review.

Most people, I suspect, became familiar with emotional intelligence through the popular 1995 book, "Emotional Intelligence," by Dr. Daniel Goleman or through the many mass-market books, articles and television programs that followed in its wake. Attendees of last year's APA Annual Convention heard the popular version of emotional intelligence at the opening session. Others read about it in the APA Monitor.

Emotional intelligence, according to Time magazine, "may be the best predictor of success in life." According to the book "Emotional Intelligence," evidence suggests that it is "as powerful, and at times more powerful, than IQ," and provides "an advantage in any domain of life." Such enthusiasm may lead APA members to wonder what the scientific literature actually says. In this column, I will describe some of the scientific literature, and compare it to the popular accounts.

A scientific account of emotional intelligence

The popular accounts often refer to the 1990 articles on emotional intelligence that I published with my colleague, Dr. Peter Salovey. Those two articles contain the first formal definition of emotional intelligence, and provide a first demonstration that certain ability tasks may serve to measure the concept.

Increasingly, we have viewed emotional intelligence as a potentially standard intelligence (see our 1993 and 1996 articles in the journal Intelligence), and we revised our model accordingly in the 1997 book, "Emotional Development and Emotional Intelligence" (Basic Books). There, emotional intelligence is defined as the capacity to reason with emotion in four areas: to perceive emotion, to integrate it in thought, to understand it and to manage it.

My colleagues, Dr. Salovey, Dr. David Caruso and I, have developed a new set of 12 ability tasks that assess this four-branch model. Sample tasks include asking people to identify emotions in faces, and asking people to identify a set of simple emotions which, when combined, match a more complex feeling. Research with these new scales suggests that emotional intelligence can be measured reliably, exists as a unitary ability, and is related to, but independent of, standard intelligence (see our forthcoming 1999 article in Intelligence).

Is the popular version accurate?

My colleagues and I appreciate the popular discussions of the above work. At the same time, the popular treatments have represented our concept in three ways that are cause for concern.

First, the meaning of emotional intelligence has been stretched. Emotional intelligence is now defined by popular authors in dozens of ways--typically as a list of personality characteristics, such as "empathy, motivation, persistence, warmth and social skills." Dr. Salovey, Dr. Caruso and I refer to these definitions as "mixed models" because they mix together diverse parts of personality.

Second, popular models of emotional intelligence imply that we can predict important life outcomes using such a diverse list of variables--which is, of course, correct. But let's be honest about such lists: They contain variables beyond what is meant by the terms "emotion" or "intelligence," or what reasonable people would infer from the phrase "emotional intelligence." Such popular models are using a catchy new name to sell worthy, old-fashioned personality research and prediction.

Third, the popular and scientific concepts of emotional intelligence are separated by a "claim" gap. Our own and others' ongoing research indicates that emotional intelligence may well predict specific, important life outcomes at about the level of other important personality variables (e.g., 2 percent to 25 percent of variance explained). We believe that such predictions are both useful in practical terms, and impressive theoretically. In contrast, the popular literature's implication--that highly emotionally intelligent people possess an unqualified advantage in life--appears overly enthusiastic at present and unsubstantiated by reasonable scientific standards.

Why it all matters

One point on which both the popular and scientific treatments do agree is that emotional intelligence--if substantiated--broadens our understanding of what it means to be smart. It means that within some of us who are labeled "romantics," "highly sensitive" or "bleeding hearts," serious information processing is taking place.

I believe the identification of such emotional processing is new and powerful enough to advance a psychological agenda, without recourse to stretched definitions or sensational claims. For that reason, I invite serious practitioners and researchers to distinguish between popular and scientific approaches, and to take a look at the research in the young field of emotional intelligence.

John (Jack) D. Mayer is a psychology professor in the department of psychology at the University of New Hampshire.

Source: APA Monitor

17 March 2008

How Well Are You Doing at Being a Responsible Integral Global Citizen?

People fight passionately for their human rights, but these rights also have their corresponding and equally important responsibilities. This quiz and article is the responsibility-side companion to the the rights defined in the United Nations' Universal Declaration of Human Rights. As you review it, you may find yourself repeatedly surprised by the integral perspectives held within every true global citizen's social and spiritual responsibilities.

Much of its content of the Universal Declaration of Human Responsibilities below was written by members and clergy from the world’s spiritual denominations. It is recognized by our organization, Integrative Spirituality, as part of our statement of "good citizen" responsibilities that we encourage our members to embrace in order to better live a congruent spiritual lifestyle in the globalized 21st century. Recently, we have added new responsibilities not seen anywhere else in any other versions of this article.

As you read it, use it as a quiz to see how you are doing.

The Universal Declaration of Human Responsibilities


Fundamental Principles for Humanity:

Article 1
Every person, regardless of gender, ethnic origin, race, social status, political opinion, language, age, nationality, or religion, has a responsibility to treat all people in a humane way.

Article 2
No person should lend support to any form of inhumane behavior, but all people have a responsibility to strive for the dignity and self-esteem of all others.

Article 3
No person, no group or organization, no state, no army or police stands above good and evil; all are subject to ethical standards. Everyone has a responsibility to promote good and to avoid evil in all things.

Article 4
All people, endowed with reason and conscience, must accept a responsibility to each and all, to families and communities, to races, nations, and religions in a spirit of solidarity: What you do not wish to be done to yourself, do not do to others.

Non-Violence and Respect for Life:

Article 5
Every person has a responsibility to respect life. No one has the right to injure, to torture or to kill another human person. This does not exclude the right of justified self-defense of individuals or communities.

Article 6
Every human being is always to be treated as an end, never as a mere means, always as a subject of rights, never as a mere object, whether in business, politics, communication, scientific research or other areas of life. No person or organization has the right to use undue psychological influence, coercive psychological tactics or any form of physical or technological mind control that robs the individual of the meaningful execution of their informed consent or free will.

Article 7
Disputes between states, groups or individuals should be resolved without violence. No government should tolerate or participate in acts of genocide or terrorism, nor should it abuse women, children, or any other civilians as instruments of war. Every citizen and public official has a responsibility to act in a peaceful, non-violent way.

Article 8
Every person is infinitely precious and must be protected unconditionally.

Article 9
The lives of animals and plants which inhabit this planet with us likewise deserve protection, preservation, and care. That is, we humans are a part of nature, not apart from nature. Hence, as beings with the capacity of foresight we bear a special responsibility - especially with a view to future generations - for the air, water, and soil, that is, for the earth, and even the Kosmos.

Justice and Solidarity:

Article 10
Every person has a responsibility to behave with integrity, honesty and fairness. No person or group should rob or arbitrarily deprive any other person or group of their property.

Article 11
Property, limited or large, carries with it an obligation; ownership not only permits the personal use of property but also entails the responsibility to serve the common good.

Article 12
All people, given the necessary tools, have a responsibility to make serious efforts to overcome poverty, malnutrition, ignorance, and inequality. They should promote sustainable development all over the world in order to assure dignity, freedom, security and justice for all people.

Article 13
Economic and political power should not be misused as instruments of domination, but for service to humanity. Therefore mutual respect and the will to mediation should be fostered so as to reach a reasonable balance of interests in a sense of moderation and fairness.

Article 14
Wherever rulers repress the ruled, institutions threaten persons, or might oppresses right, human beings have not only the right but the responsibility to resist - always initially and whenever possible non-violently.

Article 15
All people have a responsibility to develop their talents through diligent endeavor; they should have equal access to education and to meaningful work. Everyone should lend support to the needy, the disadvantaged, the disabled and to the victims of discrimination.

Article 16
All property and wealth must be used responsibly in accordance with justice and for the advancement of the human race. Economic and political power must not be handled as an instrument of domination, but in the service of economic justice and of the social order.

Truthfulness and Tolerance:

Article 17
Every person has a responsibility to speak and act truthfully. No one, however high or mighty, should speak lies. The right to privacy and to personal and professional confidentiality is to be respected.

Article 18
No politicians, public servants, members of the military, intelligence agency members, business leaders, scientists, writers or artists are exempt from general or universal human ethical standards and law, nor are physicians, lawyers and other professionals who have special duties to clients.

Professional and other codes of ethics should reflect the priority of general standards such as those of truthfulness and fairness.

Article 19
The freedom of the media to inform the public and to criticize institutions of society and governmental actions, which is essential for a just society, must be used with responsibility and discretion. Freedom of the media carries a special responsibility for accurate and truthful reporting. Sensational reporting that degrades the human person or dignity must at all times be avoided. The communications media, to whom the freedom to report for the sake of truth is entrusted and to whom the office of guardian granted, do not stand above ethics but have the obligation to respect human dignity, human rights, and fundamental values. They are duty-bound to objectivity, fairness, and humaneness. Hence, they have no right to intrude into individuals' private spheres, manipulate public opinion, or distort reality.

Article 20
While religious freedom must be guaranteed, the representatives of religions have a special responsibility to avoid expressions of prejudice and acts of discrimination toward those of different beliefs. They should not incite or legitimize hatred, fanaticism and religious wars, but should foster tolerance and mutual respect between all people. Nor should the representatives of religions ever physically or mentally harm or abuse their own members or those they deem to be adversarial to their religious beliefs.

Mutual Respect and Partnership:

Article 21
All individuals and groups are obliged not to treat other persons as mere sex objects or disadvantage them because of their sexuality. No one should subject another person to sexual exploitation or dependence. Rather, sexual partners should accept the responsibility of caring for each other's well-being and should treat each other in their sexual and kindred relationships with respect and as equal partners.

Article 22
Marriage, which, despite its cultural and religious variety, should be characterized by love, loyalty, and permanence and guarantee mutual security and support.

Article 23
Sensible family planning is the responsibility of every couple. The relationship between parents and children should reflect mutual love, respect, appreciation and concern. No parents or other adults should exploit, abuse or maltreat children.

Article 24
Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any state, secretive government agency, group, corporation or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the responsibilities, rights and freedom set forth in this Declaration and in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948.


Our world is precious, fragile and beautiful. The earth and her people need to be cherished and nurtured with care and vision. They can survive and flourish only if a shared world ethic is both affirmed and followed.

As women and men who embrace precepts and practices of the spiritual wisdom of the world's religions:

WE ACKNOWLEDGE that we have fallen short of these guidelines and principles. In many places our world is broken and in agony. In many places the suffering is so pervasive that we must urgently recognize the anguish so that the depth of weeping and pain may be made clear. In many places peace and justice is elusive... the planet is being destroyed...neighbors live in fear... women and men are estranged from one another... the young die needlessly.

WE CONFESS our complicity in this tragedy. We have too often failed in the interpretations or the living of our traditions and thus contributed to injustice.. We seek divine and human forgiveness, so that we might begin afresh to live together a global ethic.

A global ethic challenges and helps to heal the abuses of earth's ecosystem; the poverty that stifles life's potential; the hunger that weakens the human body; the economic disparities that threaten so many families and nations with ruin; the social disarray of the nations; the disregard for justice which pushes citizens to the margin; the anarchy overtaking communities; the insane death from violence. In particular, a global ethic helps correct all exploitation, aggression and hatred committed in the name of religion.

WE BELIEVE a global ethic is necessary for healing and celebrating life. This ethic offers the possibility of a better individual and global order, and leads individuals away from dispute and societies away from chaos.

WE PLEDGE ourselves as members of society and the world's religions to implement this global ethic in order to sustain our precious, fragile, and beautiful world; in order to serve and to understand one another better, and in order to hold one another accountable for creating ways that lead to justice and peace.


- Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world and implies obligations or responsibilities,

- whereas the exclusive insistence on rights can result in conflict, division, and endless dispute, and the neglect of human responsibilities can lead to lawlessness and chaos,

- whereas the rule of law and the promotion of human rights depend on the readiness of men and women to act justly,

- whereas global problems demand global solutions which can only be achieved through ideas, values, and norms respected by all cultures and societies,

- whereas all people, to the best of their knowledge and ability, have a responsibility to foster a better social order, both at home and globally, a goal which cannot be achieved by laws, prescriptions, and conventions alone,

- whereas human aspirations for progress and improvement can only be realized by agreed values and standards applying to all people and institutions at all times,we hereby proclaim our agreement with and action based support for the Universal Declaration of Human Responsibilities.

From: http://www.integrativespirituality.org/postnuke/html/modules.php?op=modload&name=News&file=article&sid=494&mode=thread&order=0&thold=0

This article is derived also in part from the following web documents:
http://users.online.be/interfaith_guidelines/paginas/6andere teksten/global ethic draft text, chicago 1993.htm

12 March 2008

Rolling Thunder

"Scientist will eventually discover what Pagans have always known." ~Rolling Thunder

While working for the Menninger Foundation in 1971, Doug Boyd met Rolling Thunder, a spiritual leader of the Cherokee and Shoshone tribes. About the shaman, Boyd wrote, "Each day it was becoming clearer to me that Rolling Thunder was a teacher who could offer me insights that I could never achieve in the laboratory or discover in the library."

One day during lunch, Rolling Thunder explained the Indian's view of chaos through ecological imbalance.

"When you have pollution in one place, it spreads all over. It spreads just as arthritis or cancer spreads in the body. The earth is sick now because the earth is being mistreated, and some of the problems that may occur, some of the natural disasters that might happen in the near future are only the natural readjustments that have to take place to throw off sickness. A lot of things are on this land that don't belong here. They're foreign objects like viruses or germs. Now, we may not recognize the fact when it happens, but a lot of the things that are going to happen in the future will really be the earth's attempt to throw off some of these sicknesses. This is really going to be like fever or like vomiting, what you might call a physiological adjustment.

"It's very important for people to realize this. The earth is a living organism, the body of a higher individual who has a will and wants to be well, who is at times less healthy or more healthy, physically and mentally. People should treat their own bodies with respect. It's the same thing with the earth. Too many people don't know that when they harm the earth they harm themselves, nor do the realize that when they harm themselves they harm the earth...

"It's not very easy for you people to understand these things because understanding is not knowing the kind of facts that your books and teachers talk about. I can tell you that understanding begins with love and respect. It begins with respect for the Great Spirit, and the Great Spirit is the life that is in all things -- all the creatures and the plants and even the rocks and the minerals. All things -- and I mean all things -- have their own will and their own way, their own purpose; this is what is to be respected.

"Such respect is not a feeling or an attitude only. It's a way of life. Such respect means that we never stop realizing and never neglect to carry out our obligation to ourselves and our environment."

Rolling Thunder offers a philosophical or religious basis for contemporary ecological thought. His view is fundamental to understanding Native American belief systems. Certainly, there are sound scientific reasons supporting the various ecology movements, and for scientific minds that may be enough. However, integrating both views may ultimately prove more reliable and productive than choosing one or the other.

10 March 2008

Create Your Own Reality

Adapted from Power, Freedom, and Grace by Deepak Chopra (Amber-Allen Publishing, 2006).

Our senses tell us that events happen within space and time. There is a past, present and future, and the world operates through linear cause-effect relationships. I have to walk from here to there, from one location to another. This causes a timeline to appear.

That is how our senses experience the world, but in fact the world is not like that. The world is synchronistic, it's coincidental, it's happening simultaneously. Infinite possibilities coexist at the same time. Everything is happening all at once, and everything is correlated and instantly synchronized with everything else. This simultaneity can only happen through what is called infinite correlation. Infinite correlation is the ability to do an infinite number of things and correlate them with one another at the same time.

SIMPLE SOLUTION: Physicists no longer use the word time; they use the term space-time continuum because they know that time is a relative phenomenon; it's not absolute. The movement of planet Earth spinning on its axis and hurling around the sun at thousands of miles per hour creates our experience of time. But time is an illusion; it's an internal dialogue we use to explain our experience or perception of change and relationship.

How does all of this apply to us? Well, the way we interpret the concept of time—how we metabolize our experience of time—brings about distinct physiological changes in the body-mind.

In the present, you can experience the past; in the present, you can anticipate the future. But if you can stay in the present, if you can be with the present, then even the physical changes that normally occur with the passage of time will not occur in your body. There is a saying from a Vedic master: "The only reason people grow old and die is that they see other people growing old and dying."

06 March 2008

The 7 Spiritual Laws of Love

Adapted from Kama Sutra by Deepak Chopra (Virgin Books, 2006).
Within every love story hides the wooing of the gods and goddesses. This is one area of life where the practical meets the mythical. For many people the experience of romantic love is their first experience of spirituality, although they may not know it.


The First Stage of Love: Attraction
The Law of Attraction states, "To be attractive, you have to be authentic." What makes a person attractive? The wisdom traditions tell us that attraction first and foremost comes from naturalness. Nothing is more beautiful than naturalness.

The Second Stage of Love: Infatuation
This law states that infatuation exists to open the door to a deeper, transcendent reality. Infatuation happens when the attraction between two people is so intense that it transports them beyond ordinary perception and the ordinary world becomes enchanted.

The Third Stage of Love: Communion
The Law of Communion says that communion is contact of soul with soul. Communion is the sharing of spirit. Therefore, communion is the basis of trust. In this stage, lovers move into territory of the unknown, taking from each other what they did not possess alone.

The Fourth Stage of Love: Intimacy
The law of Intimacy states that in true intimacy flesh merges with flesh, and spirit with spirit. In intimacy, sexual energy and spiritual energy are recognized as one. Sexual energy is seen as the creative energy of the universe.

The Fifth Stage of Love: Surrender and Non-Attachment
The Law of Surrender says that losing yourself in another person is the best way to find your true self. Surrender is the result of relinquishing the ego's last claims to separation. Surrender and non-attachment open the door to the miraculous, because miracles exist outside the realm of I, me, and mine.

The Sixth Stage of Love: Passion
The Law of Passion says that higher reality is experienced in the merging of the masculine and the feminine in one's own being. Passion for life and passion in love are the same thing. This is because life, in its essence, is love.

The Seventh Stage of Love: Ecstasy
The Law of Ecstasy says that ecstasy is our original state. This is where we come from, the Garden of Eden, the state of grace to which we shall one day return. Ecstasy is the final stage of intimacy with spirit that flows through love.

01 March 2008

Spirituality and Animals

Friends, I now have sad news to tell you: The Canadian Seal Hunt is begining soon. It begins each year around the end of March. As of the date of this blog post, we have 26 days until the Harp Seal Hunt begins. I encourage you to sign this year's petition to help end the Canadian Seal Hunt.


Here is a list of 15 things you can do to help stop the cruel deaths of beautiful creatures:


Thank you for your support!

Today's blog:

Animals and Spirituality go hand and hand. Since ancient times, animals have been looked upon as sacred. The wise one's has taught us to respect all of mother nature - animals included. Below are a few great philosophies on respect for animals:

George Bernard Shaw:
“When a man wants to murder a tiger he calls it sport; when the tiger wants to murder him he calls it ferocity.”

Native American:
"Treat the earth and all of her aspects as your mother. Show deep respect for the mineral world, the plant world, and the animal world. Do nothing to pollute our Mother, rise up with wisdom to defend her."

“Every animal knows more than you do.”

Immanuel Kant:
“If man is not to stifle human feelings, he must practice kindness to animals, for He who is cruel to animals becomes hard also in his dealings with men. We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals.”

Dalai Lama:
"Because we all share this planet earth, we have to learn to live in harmony about peace with each other and with nature. That is not just a dream but a necessity. We are dependent on each other in so many ways that we can no longer live in isolated communities and ignore what is happening
in those communities."

"Taking care of animals is essential to developing more happiness in human beings"

Abraham Lincoln:
“I care not much for a man's religion whose dog and cat are not the better for it.”

Pope John Paul II:
“Animals possess a soul and men must love and feel solidarity with our smaller brethren…the fruit of the creative action of the Holy Spirit and merit respect…as near to God as men are.” He reminded people that all living beings came into being because of the “breath” of God. He spoke of St. Francis’s love for animals declaring, “We, too, are called to a similar attitude.”

“For all forest creatures are mine already, the animals on the mountains in their thousands. I know every bird in the air, whatever moves in the fields is mine.”

Mahatma Gandhi:
“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated… I hold that, the more helpless a creature, the more entitled it is to protection by [people] from the cruelty of [human kind]”

Prophet Mohammed:
“A good deed done to an animal is as meritorious as a good deed done to a human being, while an act of cruelty to an animal is a bad as an act of cruelty to a human being.”

“As long as man continues to be the ruthless destroyer of lower livings beings, he will never know health or peace. For as long as men massacre animals, they will kill each other. Indeed, he who sows the seed of murder and pain cannot reap joy and love.”

Ko Hung:
“Respect the old and cherish the young. Even insects, grass and trees you must not hurt”

Albert Einstein:
“Our task must be to free ourselves— by widening our circle of compassion to embrace
all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty.”

“The soul is the same in all living creatures, although the body of each is different.”

S. Parkes Cadman:
“Personally, I would not give a fig for any man's religion whose horse, cat and dog do not feel its benefits. Life in any form is our perpetual responsibility.”

May Peace be with all of you this weekend.