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Contemporary economist, David Korten tells us “in the world we want, the organization of economic life mimics healthy ecosystems that are locally rooted, highly adaptive, and self-reliant in food and energy. Information and technology are shared freely, and trade between neighbors is fair and balanced. Each community, region and nation strives to live within its own means in balance with its own environmental resources. Conflicts are resolved peacefully and no groups seek to expropriate the resources of its neighbors. Competition is for excellence, not domination.” (Living Oneness, p. 134)
Point by point one sees how much the world must change to experience such a reality. The greatest change of all must be the relationship between man and his ego. As long as man allows himself to be convinced of his specialness, he will continue to commodify, abuse, and destroy the world around him because he fails to see its relationship to himself.
Author Wayne Dyer describes how the ego convinces one of their specialness, by judging some to be more worthy than others, denying the equality of creation, giving one a fear of not being special, encouraging one to accumulate things (to increase happiness and affirm one’s specialness), and by denying unconditional love. He says our ego is ready to be offended by telling us how we expect to be treated and how others should think, feel and behave. The things that offend one are the things that play to one‟s self-absorption.
People who are discovering their Oneness are no longer offended by what others do for; they are only doing what humans do. From a position of Oneness, you see fellow human beings as they are rather than as how you think they should be.
Dyer offers some suggestions to help transcend what he calls ingrained ideas of self-importance. The first thing one need do is to stop being offended. Offence is the ego at work convincing one that the world shouldn’t be the way it is. Yes, we do need to act to eradicate the horrors of the world, but we can do this from a place of inner peace rather than from a destructive energy that only serves to escalate the horror.
Let go of your need to win. There are no losers in a world where everything is one. When we become observers to the world around us we are able to realize that winning only means that on a certain day, with certain competitors, and with certain circumstance, one performed at a certain level in comparison to the levels of others on that day. It simply is not possible to win all of the time.
Let go of your need to be right. Dyer tells us this is like refusing to be the slave of one’s ego by choosing kindness instead. He suggests stopping yourself in the middle of an argument and asking, “Do I want to be right or be happy?”
Let go of your need to be superior. Superiority comes from perceiving something lacking in another. This is the ego protecting its specialness. In a universe where everything is one, each creation has its special job to do and has been given just what it needs to accomplish that job. The gifts each has are unique to their purpose but no purpose is more or less important than another.
Let go of your need to have more. The ego is never satisfied. To transcend the selfish nature of ego one must allow abundance to flow to and through you. In the words of St. Francis of Assisi, “…it is in giving that we receive.”
Let go of identifying yourself on the basis of your achievements. Jesus said, “It is not I who do great works, but my Father.” Billy Graham said, “I am not a great speaker, I just have a great message.” Jesus and Graham transcended the egoistic desire to take credit. Again, the ego seeks to protect our specialness and we must transcend the desire to believe the ego. We are not our achievements anymore than a hammer is a house or knitting needles are a sweater.
And finally, Dyer tells us to let go of our reputation. Reputation resides in the minds of others leaving us with no control over it. When we are overly concerned about how others perceive us we are allowing the opinions of others to be our guide. Character, on the other hand resides within us; staying on our purpose, detaching from outcome, and taking responsibility for ourselves. Character is where we must place our attention.
As the awakening to Oneness has continued to unfold, many speakers, writers, groups, and organizations are appearing with a consistent message that we are not our ego and that ego is a powerful master of deception. There is an uncanny resemblance of ego to the powers and attributes Christians have ascribed to Satan. Evidence is mounting that the battle between good and evil is not necessarily one between nations, armies, religions, or even gangs of thugs, but rather a battle between the Soul and the ego of each individual.
If this is true, then it must also be true that world peace will not happen out there someplace, but will happen one person at a time wherever they reside and whenever they are ready to make the commitment. Some people will always be called to active service like building bottle schools in Guatemala, offering hurricane relief in Haiti, feeding the hungry in Somalia and attending to the many ways that people are suffering in the world. But many more people will be called to grow where they are planted.
For many people their contribution to Oneness and world peace will come from the simple acts of everyday life. In the book, Divine Nobodies, Jim Palmer recounts the stories of ordinary people who have a divine impact on those around them. A few dollars or the right words delivered in a time of need, an unexpected assist with a difficult task, or even just coffee, conversation or friendship; all are simple acts that can have divine consequences. For when we suspend judgments of others and release our attachment to the outcome of our generosity, we are transcending ego and experiencing the connection to Oneness and creation.
Living in an awakened state to Oneness, and consciously making an effort to transcend one’s ego, will lead to many changes in our society. In place of charity delivered with an attitude of benevolence we will find actual caring, loving, and friendship offered to the needy. Our cars will become a reflection of our need for transportation and our homes will become more functional as they reflect and fit a responsible less consumptive lifestyle. Technology will become the tool it was designed to be rather than the status symbol it has become. As our wants give way to our needs, we will find the time spent working to acquire money shrinking and the time found enjoying our lives, family, and friends will grow.
Some people will return to an earthly connection found in gardening or farming, others will find their place in the traditional volunteer organizations, still others will turn their creativity into other types of production that support them in body and soul. For some, their awakening will take them on a journey down the streets of their community putting them directly in touch with those who are most in need of love and acceptance.
One thing is certain, no law can ever be passed that will ensure peace. Laws are a device used by the ego to tell us how things should be, but rarely are. Humanity, as the collective consciousness of mankind, has created the world in which we now live. To change the mind of humanity, we must first change ourselves.