Friday, December 3, 2010


Self or other sabotage by direct perpetration and /or active or benign neglect is a critical factor to the actual existence and the quality of our lives as human beings on this planet.  In many countries we have access to a huge amount of information. We have enough material and physical resources to sustain every living creature. We have already generated thoughtful and creative solutions to many of our major environmental challenges. We now know a lot about how to resolve conflict constructively without blowing each other up. We know a lot about what helps to fundamentally sustain us even during the toughest of times and yet we are currently in very deep trouble. How come?

There has been a proliferation of self-help books with the arrival and growth of the baby boomers generation in the affluent world. The bookstores are literally bulging with such materials. Latter day gurus and speaking tours abound throughout our capital cities and our regional centres. Courses and resources are available online and offline.

If we know so much how come we keep doing more of what doesn't work?

There are real issues associated with being challenged by the prospect of change - especially fundamental change. Change can elicit profoundly uncomfortable feelings and our ability to anticipate and predict our worlds.  We sabotage our potential for transformation as humans because we are frequently terrified by the vulnerability that occurs when we change in fundamental ways. Such change represents a marked threat. Indeed, we may be far too threatened to let go of hierarchies, huge gaps between the rich and poor and our notions of inferiority and superiority as they pertain to class, race, gender or species. If our hearts are closed then our capacity for genuine compassion for ourselves and other creatures is constricted and numbed.

The notion of becoming an active intervenor and creator of our own destinies in those areas over which we have control is exceptionally challenging for most of us. We often far more comfortable in being life-long victims, martyrs, aggressors or passive bystanders (re-creating the stories of active or benign neglect) rather than learning how to act out of healthy wise selves and define ourselves by who we are and how we behave, rather than what we think we have or we own.

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