Decency Day

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The answer when someone asks,

“What’s the alternative?”

May 14, National Decency Day (really!)

The Problem of Evil

To celebrate National Decency Day, I will take up the problem of evil, which often stands between us and decency.

A minor part of this problem is identifying the true sources of evil. For example, are Putin, the evil dictator, and Russians, his evil minions, attacking Ukraine for no reason, killing for expansionist fun and profit? Or are the US and NATO the greater, more powerful evil, forcing Putin and his Russians to defend Russia’s borders and honor against Western imperialism? Or, are all warmongers and politicians evil, making money and careers from death and destruction? Or are the soldiers themselves evil, at least the ones who volunteer because they get off on the adrenaline rush of killing while risking death? Identifying the exact locus of evil is a game we’ve all been playing since we were three and forced to deal with siblings and parents. And whose fault is that?

If God is pure good, if God is love, and if God is omniscient and omnipotent, why is there so much evil and suffering in the world, regardless of who else might be to blame? Why did God implant in us such powerful impulses to compete, blame, and kill? In fact, aren’t evil and suffering proof of God’s incompetence or nonexistence?

First, let’s just admit that none of us is in any position to judge God or God’s creation. I, personally, have seen a child I love running through the house with a knife he found on the kitchen table. I stopped that child, took the knife away and spoke to him sternly about the dangers of running with a knife. He was furious. He acted exactly as if he wanted to beat me to death. If he had still been holding the knife, he would have stabbed me with it. Then, he screamed and cried as if I were torturing him. He loved that sharp and shiny knife and, in his excitement, desperately wanted to run around the house with it. I took it because I was afraid he might fall and stab himself in the eye or cut his own throat or in other ways cause suffering to himself or others. I took it, and I didn’t give it back, despite his protest.

We mortals know less about our omnipotent creator and the universe we live in than my two-year-old knew about me and knives. For us to criticize God for anything happening here on Earth is absurd. We do suffer, and we see others suffering, and what we see or experience makes us sad or angry, but that is no excuse for impugning the motives or competence of our creator. That approach to the problem is just childish.

Some suffering is caused by the Earth itself. Earthquakes, floods, droughts, fire, and tornadoes definitely cause suffering, so is the Earth evil? Is the Earth’s violence an indication of God’s incompetence? A native American friend who was in Japan during a minor earthquake laughingly pointed out that earthquakes don’t do much harm to people who live in teepees, but even people whose high-rise apartments fall down are unlikely to become furious at the Earth. They are more likely to blame the contractor who used salty concrete and substandard pylons to increase profit.

Most phenomena that appear or feel evil are the consequence of someone’s selfishness. The horror of selfishness and the bliss of selfless love are the lessons we are on this physical Earth to learn. That is the game we are here to play. Each of us is free to selfishly pursue pleasure and power. We are also free to lovingly pursue mutual satisfaction and universal wellbeing. We are here to discover conclusively that one of these pursuits leads to a state of being we refer to as hell, while the other leads to paradise. Guess which is which.

I have taken up the problem of evil because, in our ignorance, humanity has devised a system of governance that penalizes decency and outlandishly rewards the selfish pursuit of power. As a result, the US, Russia, Ukraine, and most of the world are ruled by men and women who cause so much suffering they appear quite evil. Regardless of the team we're on, their selfishness keeps most of us quite furious and/or miserable much of the time. 

Global suffering is the direct, inevitable consequence of a laser-like, loveless focus on winning the competition to amass great wealth and power or, in animal terms, achieve dominance. Competition on behalf of self (person, family, team, company, political party, country, class, race) causes the most powerful people on our planet to denigrate or ignore non-self, often referred to as “others.” Selfish seekers of dominance have no interest in mutual satisfaction or universal wellbeing. They live to compete and win, to rise above and protect their “selves” from the unwashed masses, whose suffering is of no concern to them.

Because selfish men and women rule, our world is increasingly hellish, even for the winners. Selfishness and the suffering it causes could be regarded as God’s fault, but not if consciously and voluntarily abandoning selfishness is the lesson we’re on Earth to learn. The freedom to be selfish and experience the painful consequences could lie legitimately within the will of God even if God is secretly hoping we will learn the lesson of love.

The suffering and rage that results from selfishness are real and, if poorly managed, tend to cause more selfishness, rage and suffering. If we are meant to somehow interrupt this vicious cycle, we have no cause to blame either our selfishness or our suffering on God. God put us in this game or, perhaps, allowed us to enter this game for reasons as far from our comprehension as Earth is from the black hole in the center of our galaxy. Our task is to learn to play well with others, which we will fail to do if our energy goes into disparaging those others, the game itself or the creator.

Mediation, as I have pointed out and as Terry and Rebecca demonstrate to all who read the book, is the decent, loving way to manage power. Mediation is the pursuit of mutual satisfaction and universal wellbeing. Mutual satisfaction and universal wellbeing are the keys that unlock the door to paradise.

The objections I often hear are: You’re a dreamer. Life is competitive. Evolution is survival of the fittest. Nature is red of tooth and claw. The pie is finite--if I get more, you get less, face it. It’s human nature to take as much as we can get. There are evil people out there. We can’t possibly make everyone happy.

My two answers are: 1) we don’t know if universal wellbeing is possible or not because we’ve never tried to achieve it and 2) we have no choice but to try. It’s becoming increasingly, painfully obvious that if we hope to avoid near-term human extinction, lift ourselves out of hell and proceed toward paradise, we must, absolutely, change the way we relate to each other and the Earth. That means changing the way we make decisions, which means changing the way we do politics. And my suggestion is, put political power into the hands of mediators rather than power-seekers. To see how this could promote decency in the hands of superheroes, please read Terry and Rebecca Save the World https://www.peacinstitute.org/grp

To read the book, use the + - slide to get the font the right size, then use your cursor to drag the page so you can see the part you're reading. 

To read previous emails, see Stevez E-mails at: https://www.peacinstitute.org/stevezemails

If you are interested in the Global Resolutionary Party, send me an email. ([email protected]) The GRP does exist. It has a Federal ID Number. If several of you show interest, we can create an online forum. If any of you wants to run for office on the GRP ticket, we can figure out how to help you. I am increasingly convinced that nothing anyone says will have any meaning at all until we have a party committed to mediating.

Violence starts with taking or winning without caring about the loser. The use of power without love is destroying us, and taking down the powerful won’t save us. Mediation is the antidote to the endless power struggle currently failing to solve our problems. Mediation is the loving way to manage power, but to do what we need done, mediators must have the power to bring everyone to the table.

 

Steve Leeper
http://www.peacinstitute.org/



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PEAC Institute · Montclair, NJ 07042, United States
This email was sent to [email protected] To stop receiving emails, click here.
You can also keep up with Steve Leeper on Twitter.
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Victory Day

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The answer when someone asks,

“What’s the alternative?”

May 9 or Victory Day in Russia

We’re Thoughts in the Mind of the Universe

Or maybe we’re devices connected to the Great Internet in the Sky. Nope. The Internet, without the corporate oligarchy, has no will and is not conscious. Once you get to know it, the Universe is clearly conscious. The Universe knows what it’s doing. It has purpose. It has a purpose for you, in fact, or you wouldn’t be here. Do you know what your purpose is? Mine is to tell you something about how love relates to power.

Some say love is just another form of power. It’s true that love is or has power, but the difference between loving power and loveless power is the difference between heaven and hell. We all have a certain amount of power. We all have a certain amount of love. Our most important task on this physical plane is to use our power in the service of love, that is, to empower love. When we succeed, we lift ourselves and the world around us closer to paradise. When we use our power in the service of loveless, selfish ego, we plunge ourselves and the world around us toward hell.

“How do you know?” you might ask. “How do you not know?” I might respond. The need to insulate power with love is one of the most fundamental, obvious thoughts in the mind of the Universe. Watch for it!

If this idea comes as a surprise, the society you live in probably believes the Universe is a collection of lifeless, mindless, purposeless particles bouncing around aimlessly, temporarily gathering into various dead and living forms through random chance and mutation, then evolving through highly competitive natural selection. If the thought of a conscious Universe repels you, you are on the dark side. You are in full rebellion. Only love can save you.

We are all free to choose how we use our power. We can use it selfishly for the purpose of amassing more power and better electronic appliances, or we can use it lovingly in pursuit of the greatest good for the greatest number, including those with no appliances at all. Those who use it selfishly may say, and may actually believe, that the amassing by them of greater power will, in the end, be good for all. After all, no king can bring happiness and prosperity to his kingdom if his subjects refuse to obey him. No father can make his wife and children happy if they rebel against him. This obsolete dominance paradigm believes that obedience to power comes first, then happiness. Obedience-first is quite popular among the dominant.

But the loveless use of power cannot possibly lead to happiness. If the king is selfish, his selfishness spreads like a pandemic, and the kingdom suffers. If Father or Mother is selfish, wife or husband and their children grow selfish, and the family suffers. Our world today is ruled by a collection of extremely selfish, loveless kings. We can tell because most of the world is suffering horribly.

The loveless use of power has given an enormous number of dollars and other conveniences to a tiny few, while the rest of humanity suffers. 80% of us are living on less than 10 dollars a day; 10% on less than 2 dollars a day. About 25% are “food insecure.” 30% have no easy access to clean water. 60% have no toilet in their home. About 20,000 children die each day of hunger or easily cured disease. The population of refugees (forcibly displaced persons) fleeing violence, economic collapse, and/or environmental disaster is about 84 million, approximately the population of Germany, approximately 1% of the world’s population. This misery persists in a world where the less-than-1% have multiple mansions, multimillion dollar yachts, dozens of cars, private planes, servants to do any actual work that might need to be done, plenty of the latest electronic appliances, and gold-plated toilets.

Grotesque inequality is the obscene result of power used without love. No one on Earth is hungry due to a lack of food. The cause of all hunger is our collective lack of love. The way to fix this problem is through the loving management of power, as demonstrated by Terry and Rebecca. https://www.peacinstitute.org/grp

If you find this difficult to understand and even more difficult to believe, please read Terry and Rebecca Save the World because I wrote it for you. https://www.peacinstitute.org/grp To read the book, use the + - slide to get the font the right size, then use your cursor to drag the page so you can see the part you're reading. 

To read previous emails, see Stevez E-mails at: https://www.peacinstitute.org/stevezemails

If you are interested in the Global Resolutionary Party, send me an email. ([email protected]acinstitute.org) The GRP does exist. It has a Federal ID Number. If several of you show interest, we can create an online forum. If any of you wants to run for office on the GRP ticket, we can figure out how to help you. I am increasingly convinced that nothing anyone says will have any meaning at all until we have a party committed to mediating.

Violence starts with taking or winning without caring about the loser. The use of power without love is destroying us, and taking down the powerful won’t save us. Mediation is the antidote to the endless power struggle currently failing to solve our problems. Mediation is the loving way to manage power, but to do what we need done, mediators must have the power to bring everyone to the table.

 

Steve Leeper
http://www.peacinstitute.org/



-=-=-
PEAC Institute · Montclair, NJ 07042, United States
This email was sent to [email protected] To stop receiving emails, click here.
You can also keep up with Steve Leeper on Twitter.
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May Day

 

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The answer when someone asks,

“What’s the alternative?”

 

Ending Class Warfare Before It Ends Us

I’m sorry to be so persistently in your inbox, but yesterday was May Day. Like most peace-culture pacifists, I am totally, unalterably opposed to all war, even class war. In fact, of all the wars taking place today, including Ukraine, the class war is the one we most need to terminate peacefully right now. After all, the class war and the selfish, hierarchical war-culture mindset behind it are directly responsible for all the other wars.  

My motion to terminate the class war will certainly be seconded by rich people. Rich people instinctively oppose class war. The few who are consciously and deliberately fighting that war work desperately to keep it out of public consciousness for fear of the pitchforks. But from what I can tell, most rich people have no idea they’re fighting other classes at all.

When ants crawl on my kitchen counter, I don’t think of myself as going to war. I’m a pacifist, and yet, I smash those ants with my bare hands or a sponge or something and, if they keep coming back, I spray the counter with 50% vinegar solution (chemical weapon). That seems to keep them away for a while. I don’t see this as war. I see this as me re-establishing what I consider to be the proper order of things, namely, ants not on my counter.

Me and ants is exactly how rich people think about non-rich people. That is, they really don’t think of them at all. If they get out of hand and crawl into spaces where they’re not allowed, they are smashed. Other than that, they can watch TV, freeze in their homes, starve to death or do whatever they want. It’s a free country. Smashing people who get out of line is not class war. It’s maintaining law and order.

If someone says, “The rich don’t pay their fair share of taxes,” the rich donate a bit more to their favorite politicians. That’s how they can make sure their tax rate never goes up, that they never have to pay tax on most of their property (stocks and bonds, for example), and they keep their income tax rate far lower than that paid by your average middle-class sucker who works for a living and can barely make ends meet. But from a rich person’s point of view, this is not war. This is just smart rich people cleverly using the system to get richer and avoid getting poorer. This is the fabulous, anti-communist American Way that Superman and the CIA fight so hard to defend, along with truth and justice.

Poor people don’t see themselves in a war against rich people. For one thing, they don’t have time to think about rich people. They have to find something to feed the kids tonight. For another, they blame themselves. They should never have dropped out of high school. They should never have gotten pregnant. They drink too much. They take too many drugs. They shouldn’t have got caught stealing that loaf of bread.

And finally, poor people respect the rich. If truth be known, poor people want to BE rich. Rich people won the lottery. Lucky them. Unlucky me. Smart them. Stupid me. If I get a dollar or two extra, I’ll buy a ticket. Maybe I can win the lottery, too. I guess I’ll pray and give 10% to that nice preacher on the radio.

And then, the college graduates in the middle. These folks hate even to think about class war because they don’t know which side they’re on. They’re working, after all. It’s in their direct financial interest to respect their employers, work hard, do what they’re told, and rise through the ranks to get a bit richer. The higher they climb, the less they see fighting the rich as serving their interest; the more carefully they examine what they could lose.

Even joining a union is probably more dangerous than helpful, right? Better to keep your head down, talk about how much you love the company or the country, praise the rich, join in blaming and looking down on the poor. Better to figure out what team you’re on and forcefully attack whoever your teammates are against. Could be gays or lesboquarians or white supremacists or people of color or the police or immigrants or feminists or liberals or Trumpers or FOX News or MSNBC or the media, or peace activists, or the military, maybe Musk or Bezos or billionaires, but not the rich, not as a class. Not CEOs and employers, not as a class. Not the bankers or Wall Street or the vulture funds. Not the funders of think tanks and other lobbyists. Not the political donors and other bribery experts. Not the World Bank and the IMF. Not the US and other colonial powers and their spy agencies. Better to punch down or across. Punching up is just not safe.

So year after year, the rich win the class war without hardly even trying. The poor get poorer. The ones who actually starve to death or die of easily cured diseases are mostly in failed states or across the tracks, unseeable even with our best telescopes. But eventually, as in Sri Lanka now, even the middle class gets too hungry. Then, society explodes.

When the explosion happens in the US, maybe Musk, Bezos, Zuckerberg, Bloomberg, Gates, Soros, Clinton, Bush, Trump and a few other rich guys whose names are publicly known will be rounded up and marched to the guillotine. Their blood on the Mall in D.C., their heads on those pikes in the fence around the White House will be hugely satisfying for a few minutes, but unfortunately, the dead will immediately be replaced by even worse rich people, and the poor will still not get enough to eat. In fact, food will no longer be properly produced and delivered. Grocery shelves will be empty. Medicines will vanish. Trucks will stop coming by to pick up the trash. Ambulances will stop coming by to pick up the sick and injured. Electric and water systems will fail. Nuclear power plants will explode for lack of electricity and proper maintenance. Millions will die.  And in the chaos, the scum of the Earth will arise as warlords whose armies will offer the only ports in the storm in return for obedience and a willingness to be exploited. From near-democracy all the way back to feudalism in a few short, painful strides.

It doesn’t have to go that way. Mediation is the peaceful way to end class warfare. Mediation is how to take power and money out of politics so rich and poor, workers and management can work together to solve common problems. And ending the class war in this way is how Terry and Rebecca save the world.

If you find this whole class warfare thing ridiculous, please read Terry and Rebecca Save the World because I wrote it for you. https://www.peacinstitute.org/grp

To read the book, use the + - slide to get the font the right size, then use your cursor to drag the page so you can see the part you're reading. 

To read previous emails, see Stevez E-mails at: https://www.peacinstitute.org/stevezemails

If you are interested in the Global Resolutionary Party, send me an email. ([email protected]) The GRP does exist. It has a Federal ID Number. If several of you show interest, we can create an online forum. If any of you wants to run for office on the GRP ticket, we can figure out how to help you. I am increasingly convinced that nothing anyone says will have any meaning at all until we have a party committed to mediating.

Violence starts with taking or winning without caring about the loser. The use of power without love is destroying us, and taking down the powerful won’t save us. Mediation is the antidote to the endless power struggle currently failing to solve our problems. Mediation is the loving way to manage power, but to do what we need done, mediators must have the power to bring everyone to the table.

 

Steve Leeper
http://www.peacinstitute.org/



-=-=-
PEAC Institute · Montclair, NJ 07042, United States
This email was sent to [email protected] To stop receiving emails, click here.
You can also keep up with Steve Leeper on Twitter.
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Created with NationBuilder, software for leaders.

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Evolution

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The answer when someone asks,

“What’s the alternative?”

Evolution: Mindful or Mindless

Earth Day reminded of evolution, which is what we’re supposed to be doing here. Some say life and love are mere byproducts of the mindless, purposeless evolution of genes. Both are tools used by organisms to pass on the molecules that will replicate their private little selves into the future. In his book, The Selfish Gene, Richard Dawkins argues that biology’s focus on organisms is misguided. Life should instead be considered from the point of view of individual genes “seeking to perpetuate themselves through countless generations.”

“Seeking to perpetuate themselves?” If evolution is, as Dawkins insists, a matter of random chance and natural selection, where does “seeking” come in? “Seeking” implies some sort of will to perpetuate. In fact, the term “selfish” in “selfish gene” implies some sort of desire in some sort of self. Is there no contradiction here?

According to science, the whole Universe started with a Big Bang, for which science has no explanation whatsoever. Materialists seem to assume that it, like the Universe itself, was a mindless, mechanical happening utterly devoid of consciousness or will. But if the Big Bang was devoid of will, then when and how did will arise? At what point in the evolution of the atoms, gases, stars, planets, the Earth, and its minerals, plants, animals and humans did will enter the picture and begin to play a role? If will, too, is a byproduct of life, then somehow, for no conscious reason and having nothing to do with will, life evolved. Once life evolved, it somehow developed the will to keep living, that is, the survival instinct. Or according to Dawkins, the genes themselves developed the will to pass their "selves" on to the next generation. A pretty complex desire for collections of sugar and phosphate groups.

If, at the very bottom of it all, the Universe is a collection of mindless, aimless, randomly bouncing particles obeying only the laws of physics and chemistry, where did the genes’ selfishness come from? And why? This will to survive or (for Dawkins) the will to replicate “self” into the future is the fundamental principle of evolution. If so, when and how did genes start caring about the future? Did mindless, randomly accumulated gatherings of particles start caring about survival merely because it enhanced their chances of survival, which they came to desire and pursue by random, accidental mutation and natural selection?

On the other hand, if the Big Bang was a manifestation of creative will in an inconceivably powerful mind, then our entire Universe was born of that mind, as were we humans, as a species and as individuals. We would then be the creation of a being that has been known by many names but, for purposes of argument, let’s call it Wakan Tanka, which is Dakotan for Great Mystery.

So the question is, what was behind the Big Bang? Nothing? Or Wakan Tanka? To date, we have no scientific way of proving either answer, so we are free to choose the one we prefer. On the other hand, some of us have actually encountered Wakan Tanka in ways that leave no doubt. For those who have encountered Wakan Tanka, the question evaporates. The idea that this entire Universe, including my own mind, is made of dumb, mindless, randomly careening, collecting-then-separating particles with no relationship to any overarching conscious will or purpose is absurd. And for those who have experienced Wakan Tanka, the use of power for selfish aggrandizement is insane because selfishness is self-destructive.

I bring this issue up because Rebecca takes power out of politics, and Terry helps to make that possible through love. Terry and Rebecca save the world by insulating power with love, which is precisely what the creator is hoping, but not insisting, we will all do.

 If you find this difficult to understand and even more difficult to believe, please read Terry and Rebecca Save the World because I wrote it for you. https://www.peacinstitute.org/grp

To read the book, use the + - slide to get the font the right size, then use your cursor to drag the page so you can see the part you're reading. 

To read previous emails, see Stevez E-mails at: https://www.peacinstitute.org/stevezemails

If you are interested in the Global Resolutionary Party, send me an email. ([email protected]) The GRP does exist. It has a Federal ID Number. If several of you show interest, we can create an online forum. If any of you wants to run for office on the GRP ticket, we can figure out how to help you. I am increasingly convinced that nothing anyone says will have any meaning at all until we have a party committed to mediation, the loving way to manage power.

Violence starts with taking or winning without caring about the loser. The use of power without love is destroying us, and taking down the powerful won’t save us. Mediation is the antidote to the endless power struggle currently failing to solve our problems. Mediation is the loving way to manage power, but to do what we need done, mediators must have the power to bring everyone to the table.

 

Steve Leeper
http://www.peacinstitute.org/



-=-=-
PEAC Institute · Montclair, NJ 07042, United States
This email was sent to [email protected] To stop receiving emails, click here.
You can also keep up with Steve Leeper on Twitter.
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Created with NationBuilder, software for leaders.

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Earth Day 2022

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The answer when someone asks,

“What’s the alternative?”

 Earth Day, 2022

 

Yes, I admit it. I just wrote on Easter Sunday, but today is Earth Day, so I would like to pay my respects.

The Earth has been a wonderful home for a long time for so many wondrous species of plants and animals. And maybe, when we’re gone, it will recover and become a good home for some other self-conscious but possibly less destructive species. I hope so. The Earth deserves another chance to graduate from selfishness to love. If only we could have done that.

It seems this year we are again seeing some sizable demonstrations, with some brave souls getting themselves arrested. Millions of people around the planet are expressing their intense desire for survival through sustainability. We are being asked by earnest and deserving young people to invest in our planet. They are asking us to clean it up, and thousands, maybe tens of thousands of them are out doing just that – to the extent they are able in one day. (Can’t make a habit of it; how would they pay the rent?)

They are asking us to think from Earth’s point of view about what we wear, what we eat, and what we do. As a result, millions of people will turn to Sustainable Fashion, stop eating meat, and start planting trees. Meanwhile, we will all tell each other the facts – like, for example, the fact that, despite all the COPs and protocols, international conferences and rebellions in the street, CO2 emissions continue to climb. Fact – half of all the excess CO2 emitted into the air over the last 300 years was put there since 1980. Fact – that means that half the problem we confront today was created AFTER the first Earth Day in 1970. Fact – the whole problem was created AFTER John Tyndall first told us about the greenhouse effect in 1859.

What are we? Stupid? Greedy? Well, way back in 2010, Stephen Hawking, famous smart person, said, “Mankind is in danger of destroying ourselves by our greed and stupidity.” And since then, every single indicator of stupidity and greed has grown worse. Unlike the resources of our planet, our stupidity and greed appear infinite.

But it’s not really stupidity and greed that will get us. It’s competitiveness. It’s our inability to resolve conflict peacefully. When we disagree about something like the role of CO2 in global warming, we have no way to think together in pursuit of the truth. We just establish our positions and pursue sufficient power to inflict our beliefs on opponents. We have no way of bringing together all the pieces of truth seen by all the billions of us into a more accurate approximation of THE TRUTH. And we have no way of analyzing and dovetailing conflicting interests. Instead, we compete. We fight to win. We take what we can get without caring about anyone else.

I guess Hawking would defend his analysis by asserting that we’re too stupid and greedy to think and resolve conflict cooperatively, but which comes first, competitiveness or stupidity and greed? Terry, Rebecca and I believe that our political system MAKES us stupid and greedy. Our system is predicated on the pursuit of power, not the pursuit of solutions. To see what we should have been doing since 1859, please read Terry and Rebecca Save the Worldhttps://www.peacinstitute.org/grp

To read the book, use the + - slide to get the font the right size, then use your cursor to drag the page so you can see the part you're reading. 

To read previous emails, see Stevez E-mails at: https://www.peacinstitute.org/stevezemails

If you’re interested in the Global Resolutionary Party, send me an email. ([email protected]) The GRP does exist. It has a Federal ID Number. If several of you show interest, we can create an online forum. If any of you wants to run for office on the GRP ticket, we can figure out how to help you. I am increasingly convinced that nothing anyone says will have any meaning at all until we have a party committed to mediation, the loving way to manage power.

Violence starts with taking or winning without caring about the loser. The use of power without love is destroying us, and taking down the powerful won’t save us. Mediation is the antidote to the endless power struggle currently failing to solve our problems. Mediation is the loving way to manage power, but to do what we need done, mediators must have the power to bring everyone to the table.

 

Steve Leeper
http://www.peacinstitute.org/

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Easter and Violence

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The answer when someone asks,

“What’s the alternative?”

Easter Sunday, 2022

What Are We Trying to Conquer?

 

Yes, I just wrote yesterday, but today is Easter Sunday. I’m reminded that this is the day when Jesus, if you believe the Bible, conquered evil and death by coming back to life after having been executed and in a grave for three days. Is this also the day when His Father, the omnipotent Creator of all (if you believe the Bible), killed Pontius Pilate and all the Roman soldiers involved in torturing and killing his only begotten Son? No, it is not. I have read the Bible, and I have not found any passage in it where God takes revenge for Jesus’ death.

    Jesus’ only crime was criticizing the powers that be. And yet, He was humiliated and killed in a terribly gruesome, painful way. Then, as he was dying, if we can believe the Bible, He prayed for those who persecuted Him, and His Heavenly Father, who could have instantaneously wiped all of Rome off the map, let it happen and never punished anyone. To me, this lack of punishment means that, to Jesus and God, peace and love are more important than justice. Here I have to agree with Jesus and God. What could be more obvious? If justice comes before peace, we will never have either.

   According to Father Emanuel Charles McCarthy, Jesus and God submitted to the unjust crucifixion to prove that evil can be conquered by nonviolent love of friends and enemies, and death is not the end. The theologian John L. McKenzie, the only Catholic to serve as president of the Society of Biblical Literature, has said, “If we cannot know from the New Testament that Jesus rejected violence, we can know nothing of his person or message. It is the clearest of teachings.”

   Turn the other cheek. Return good for evil. Pray for those who persecute you. Leave vengeance to God. These are the principles Christians are supposed to follow if they wish to conquer evil and death. But how many Christians believe this? Not many, judging by the Christian horror show we have been watching for the past 1700 years. Christians love Jesus so much, they just have to kill anyone who doesn’t love Him as much or in the same way as they do. While burning heretics at the stake, Christians sent out crusade after crusade for 400 years attempting to kill Muslims and dominate the Holy Land, the sacred home of the nonviolent lover of friends and enemies.

   The word “Islam” means peace. The Prophet's goal was a society in which no person had to fear another’s hand or tongue. But the Sunni Muslim Ottoman Empire dominated much of the world for six hundred years, a feat not accomplished peacefully. Nor does Islam have a reputation for peace today. Yemen. Afghanistan. Iraq. Iran. Syria. Libya. Others have been involved, but there’s no denying that Muslims are killing Muslims. Not peaceful.

   Buddhists are the same. Part of Buddha’s enlightenment was the realization that we are all one. No one can hurt anyone else without hurting themselves. That’s the law of karma. His enlightenment was achieved because Buddha was so self-sacrificially determined to find a way to free humanity from suffering. But not long after Buddha’s death, Buddhists started killing each other over ownership of the true meaning of Buddha’s esoteric teachings. Now, like Christians, Buddhists kill each other for power, money and other indicators of social status.

   Literally thousands of spiritually advanced sages have attempted to persuade us (humanity) to give up violence and start loving each other. This seems to be a hard lesson to learn, but we stand on the verge of understanding that, as Martin Luther King, Jr. told us the night before he was assassinated in 1968, “The choice before us is no longer violence or nonviolence. It's nonviolence or non-existence.” After tens of thousands of years attempting to defeat evil through violence, we are just about to experience the consequences of our philosophical and emotional immaturity.

   Neither nuclear weapons nor carbon dioxide can be defeated through violent competition. They can only be defeated through global cooperation. We have no time for animosity. We have no time for “winning.” We need to shift, right now, from cutthroat competition to loving cooperation in pursuit of truth and universal health and wellbeing. To find out how this could be accomplished through mediation, please read Terry and Rebecca Save the World. https://www.peacinstitute.org/grp

To read the book, use the + - slide to get the font the right size, then use your cursor to drag the page so you can see the part you're reading. 

If you are interested in the Global Resolutionary Party, send me an email. ([email protected]) The GRP does exist. It has a Federal ID Number. If several of you show interest, we can create an online forum. If any of you wants to run for office on the GRP ticket, we can figure out how to help you. I am increasingly convinced that nothing anyone says will have any meaning at all until we have a party committed to mediation, the loving way to manage power.

Violence starts with taking or winning without caring about the loser. The use of power without love is destroying us, and taking down the powerful won’t save us. Mediation is the antidote to the endless power struggle currently failing to solve our problems. Mediation is the loving way to manage power, but to do what we need done, mediators must have the power to bring everyone to the table.

 

Steve Leeper
http://www.peacinstitute.org/



-=-=-
PEAC Institute · Montclair, NJ 07042, United States
This email was sent to [email protected] To stop receiving emails, click here.
You can also keep up with Steve Leeper on Twitter.
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At Long Last

Get a GRP

The answer when someone asks,

“What’s the alternative?”

April 16, 2022

Remember how Terry and Rebecca Save the World was supposed to go up on the website a couple chapters at a time? Well, stuff happened. I came close to giving up on Terry and Rebecca. But the book and I have been saved (long story). The entire book is up now. Please read it. I will send you occasional emails to encourage you to read the book then join me in creating the Global Resolutionary Party (GRP). I am doing this to keep from exploding.

Encouragement One

We all know the current social, political, economic system is not working for most of the plants, animals, and humans on this planet. We all know we shouldn’t be using so much energy, discarding so much waste, and emitting so much carbon dioxide, but we keep driving our cars, air conditioning our houses, and buying products made of and/or wrapped in plastic.

Jeff Gibbs, in his controversial film Planet of the Humans, does a great job of letting us know that none of the green, renewable solutions to our crisis are actually going to allow us to keep living the way we do, and yet, we do. Partly, global civilization is a giant ship. It doesn’t turn on a dime. Partly, we are being greenwashed, whitewashed, brainwashed, and gaslighted to the point where no one knows what’s true. Partly, we have no leaders who don’t belong to or work for the elite few for whom the current system is working quite nicely, thank you. Partly, our society has devolved into a never-ending power struggle where the powerful keep winning at the expense of everyone else. But to a great extent, our pervasive social and political paralysis is due to the lack of a viable alternative.

If we don’t know who to trust, we need a way to pursue and discover the truth. If we are being duped, we need a way of discovering who is lying and who is not. If our leaders are controlled by their donors, we need to take money out of the equation. The way to discover truth and take money/power out of the equation is mediation. Terry and Rebecca are superheroes I’ve employed to demonstrate how mediation could save the world. Because they are superheroes, they make it look easy, but like anything worth doing, it’s easier written than done.

Putting political power in the hands of mediators will require a political party committed to running mediators as candidates. Those candidates will have to be good mediators, of course, but they will also have to be squeaky clean, completely transparent, unselfish, and overwhelmingly popular. My belief is, squeaky clean, completely transparent, unselfish candidates will be overwhelmingly popular if we can get them over the first hurdle or two. This can only be done by word-of-mouth or word-of-keyboard communication. So we need to create the Global Resolutionary Party (GRP), and we need to start spreading the word, one post at a time.

At first, our ideas and candidates will be ignored. Then they’ll be laughed at. Then, they’ll be slandered, defeated through foul means, and sometimes murdered. Then, they’ll win. Once they win, they will have to demonstrate the art of bringing all the stakeholders together to make collective decisions. To do this, they will have to rely on their ability to mobilize shocking numbers of people in shockingly short times. Once they have learned how to force powerful, recalcitrant warriors to the negotiating table, they will prove that collective decision making is vastly superior to the dysfunctional power struggle. Once they have proven this, they will be protected by the masses, including people in institutions that will initially fight them.

If you find this difficult to understand and even more difficult to believe, please read Terry and Rebecca Save the World because I wrote it for you. https://www.peacinstitute.org/grp To read the book, use the + - slide to get the font the right size, then use your cursor to drag the page you can see the part you're reading. 

 If you're interested in the Global Resolutionary Party, send me an email. ([email protected]) The GRP does exist. It has a Federal ID Number. If several of you show interest, we can create an online forum. If any of you wants to run for office on the GRP ticket, we can figure out how to help you. I am increasingly convinced that nothing anyone says will have any meaning at all until we have a party committed to mediation, the loving way to manage power.

Violence starts with taking or winning without caring about the loser. The use of power without love is destroying us, and taking down the powerful won’t save us. Mediation is the antidote to the endless power struggle currently failing to solve our problems. Mediation is the loving way to manage power, but to do what we need done, mediators must have the power to bring everyone to the table.

Steve Leeper
http://www.peacinstitute.org/



-=-=-
PEAC Institute · Montclair, NJ 07042, United States
This email was sent to [email protected] To stop receiving emails, click here.
You can also keep up with Steve Leeper on Twitter.
-=-=-

Created with NationBuilder, software for leaders.

1 reaction

Take the Pledge!