March 23, 2015

They Know Not What They Do

Until recently I had forgotten about the two primates who in 2013 had planned to attack a passenger train in Toronto. It has been the up to date news about their trial and guilty verdict that again got me thinking about them. Fortunately, it was the plot of these terrorists that was derailed and not the train. We have to give thanks to the law enforcement people who prevented that horror. 

What really fascinated me about their court case was the position taken by the accused Chihib Essghaier. He refused to have a legal representative and presented as if the Canadian legal system had no relevance to his situation. He claimed that only shariah law would do and that Allah was the only one to judge. If Allah is the only judge, why then did he think himself qualified to be the judge of our democratic society to the point of murdering innocent people? It is not hard to spot the deep flaw in his logic. Too bad he can't see it.

Another interesting fact about this hominid is his education. He was a doctoral student; he has an undergraduate degree in industrial biology and a master's degree in industrial biotechnology. Basically this means the guy had been studying biology for a very long time. However, it looks like he missed one extremely important scientific fact. He has not taken into account that humankind is just one particular strand in the web of life.

I suspect, like many in our species, he has been clinging on to an anthropocentric world-view.  As a student of biology I bet he can look at the other creatures and see that their bestial instincts and aggressive impulses are constantly affecting their actions. Yet, it looks like he has no real inkling of the impact of his own bestial origins and the influence that his conditioned animal brain has upon his own thinking. While in prison I hope he can acquire an authentic humility because without it he will remain shackled to his delusions of grandeur. He will keep thinking that his wishes represent God's will and thereby continue to be a danger to the rest of us.

Faithfully yours,

Sheila Banks


                              Ronfromyork/Dreamstime.com

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March 12, 2015

Lions, Tigers and Hominids, Oh My

Although I label myself a Christian mystic there are some days I feel like joining the ranks of the New Atheists like Dawkins and Harris. However, the one problem with that course of action is the fact that I had a mystical union with the Almighty in 1997. So for me, there is no denying the existence of a cosmic consciousness whether you call that God, Allah or Jah.

What has got me feeling this way is the spin that some of the fundamentalist Christians have been taking in the USA. Just like moderate Muslims who do not want to be lumped into the same category as ISIS, I fear that I too will be written off as one of these Christian loonies just because I wear a cross around my neck.

Talk about another bunch of deluded primates! These so-called followers of Christ actually are thrilled about ISIS: they believe that the destruction and suffering brought about by this group of deranged creatures, who call themselves Muslims, is great news. They think it points to the End Times and the return of Jesus Christ. They actually believe that after we human primates engage in self-destruction unparalleled in our species' history, Jesus will be descending from the heavens in order to save us or at least the Christian hominids.

The real scary part is that many of the Republican politicians have swallowed the same "kool-aid". And, they impact American foreign policy. These leaders don't want to recognize America's role in creating ISIS in the first place. Fuelled by paranoia and bestial instincts just like the Islamic terrorists, they aren't seeing things clearly. I just wish everybody in the world could take a long and penetrating look in a mirror to see the primate staring back. If so, maybe then we will see an increase in the humility that it is going to take to end the current chaos and to truly bring heaven on to this Earth.

Faithfully yours,

Sheila Banks 



  

February 21, 2015

A Mystical Meeting

I was one of the lucky ones this year; I attended Bob Marley's 70th birthday bash in Negril, Jamaica. Also, I did my pilgrimage to Bob's gravesite and toured the museum that honors his legacy. And, in the photo below I can be seen making music with some Rastafarians in Kingston. 

I had the incredible experience of presenting the paradigm shift found in my book Thoughts From A Contemplative Beast: The Paradigm Shift For The New Millennium to a group of Rastafarians. I think they were in shock by the time I departed as I also had informed them of my discovery about their king of kings, Haile Selassie.
 
Just last year while reading the speech Selassie gave to the United Nations on Oct. 6, 1963, I saw the following: 

         "We must become something we have never been and for which our education and experience and environment have ill-prepared us. We must become bigger than we have been: more courageous, greater in spirit, larger in outlook. We must become members of a new race, overcoming petty prejudice, owing our ultimate allegiance not to nations but to our fellow men within the human community".

Here Selassie clearly is talking about our responsibility for human evolution. All the information I have sifted through in the past 18 years points to this emperor as truly having understood the evolutionary message of Jesus The Christ (as presented in my earlier blog posts). This finding certainly justifies the Rastafarian preoccupation with their Ras Tafari. Although Selassie did not perceive himself to be Christ-like and could not buy into the Rastas' idolization of him, this last emperor of Ethiopia had the same rare insights about human evolution as Jesus. It appears that the man had had a hatching of a Christ-mind but unbeknownst to him; and, I think I know why. Let me explain.

Shortly after my mystical union I was given a book entitled The Stormy Search For Self  by Stanislov Grof. Actually this turned out to be a God-send, literally, as the book had valuable information on how to negotiate spiritual awakenings. Grof in his book, states that there are two paths to spiritual realization. The first path involves a gradual emergence of spirit and the other path is that of the emergency. I had the latter which resulted in a sudden and radical shift in my brain chemistry and thus an undeniable transformation of my perception. I would imagine that with the emergence scenario, the person is afforded the opportunity to adapt slowly. As a result, he may be vaguely aware of the shift in his thinking but over time. I think this may be the case with Haile Selassie. When you look at his speeches to the League of Nations and the United Nations you can see that he truly was miles ahead of his peers in terms of insight into the real evolutionary task at hand. 

The astonishing fact though, is that the first Rasta, Leonard Howell, picked out Ras Tafari as a king of kings long before the emperor made those speeches. Actually Howell utilized passages in the Old Testament of the Holy Bible to predict the arrival of Christ-consciousness for his day. At that time he had no facts about Selassie's theology and yet he rightly saw something divine in this last emperor from the line of King Solomon.    

When I was in Kingston with the Rastas chanting down Babylon, I was all charged up and even more so because of this mystery about Howell.  For me, on that day there certainly was a natural mystic flowing through the air.  

Faithfully yours,

Sheila Banks
 
 
   

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January 28, 2015

Delusion in the Name of Sanity

The following poem speaks to the flurry of accusations made against a couple of celebrities on both sides of the Canadian/Us border. It is based on an actual incident with someone who told me emphatically that he was a Christian ("and that's with an explanation mark"). Never underestimate how much delusion goes on in the mind of a human primate in the name of sanity. This poem can be found in Thoughts From A Contemplative Beast: The Paradigm Shift For The New Millennium.


O Ignorant One

 Grabbing at my body parts,
sticking your tongue in my mouth,
objectifying me with every word that you utter,
grinding your member stiff against my pelvis,
informing me that you like to squeeze my "ass",
degrading me with your fantasies
that have no relation to my feelings.

Ignoring my comfort zone in spite of my pleas,
refusing to put flesh in its proper perspective,
thinking yourself to be a Christian, a child of the light,
yet self-deceiving with your every trespass. 

O ignorant one, you disturb me.
 

                                                              Aplefs/Dreamstime.com
 
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January 8, 2015

Wake Up, For Mohammed's Sake

The Lord says:
"These people come near me with their mouth and honor me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is made up only
 of rules taught by men." Isaiah 29:13
 
It has been said that the two men who killed unarmed Canadian soldiers had mental health problems. Does this mean that the 35,000 ISIS followers have unstable minds? What about the three young women travelling to Syria from the USA? They wanted to join ISIS but were intercepted in Germany. Are they too out of their minds?  What about the Taliban and Al Qaeda?  
 
ISIS  and the other Islamic terrorists claim that their goal is to set up a worldwide Islamic caliphate. They actually believe that they are acting in accordance with Mohammed's vision for humanity. For certain, Mohammed was interested in promoting our collective ability to follow a moral code. However, my study of this prophet leads me to believe that he absolutely would be appalled at the actions of these terrorists.
 
Mohammed was interested in promoting a society where we can all get along. And, like the biblical prophets, he emphasized the individual's need to defer to the will of God in order to do so. And just like the other prophets, Mohammed's views about morality and other topics were shaped by the practices and information of his time. That is why he believed that Jesus was born of a virgin. How could he have known that our current scholarship points to something different? How could he have known that this myth was used as a propaganda ploy to lure pagans into the early Christian fold?
 
Mohammed viewed Jesus as a great prophet. However, he did not know about Christ's evolutionary message. How could he when that message hadn't been clearly articulated in the "bible" of his time? Even today most Christians haven't fully appreciated what Jesus had to say. It has only been since 1945 that the Nag Hamadi library was unearthed. In this collection is the Book of Thomas; here we see a Jesus truly aware of the human's need to expand conscious awareness beyond a mere animal self-centeredness. We see a Christ fully cognizant of  the impact of our primate nature upon our conscience. Yes, that same nature that causes us to kill one another in the name of Allah in spite of our Creator's decrees.

Faithfully yours,


Sheila Banks
                          Pic:Clarsen55/Dreamstime.com


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December 15, 2014

Christmastime In This Human Zoo





I hope you have a happy holiday and a merry Christmas. It certainly will be interesting to see what the new year brings. Just when I think that it can't get any crazier something else comes along to prove me wrong.
 
Below is a poem recently penned.
 
Faithfully yours,
 
Sheila Banks
 
 
 Christmastime in This Human Zoo
 
It's Christmastime in this human zoo.
So much strife and delusion.
What the hell are we going to do?
 
We've got fairy tale economics and
psychopaths at the helm,
over and over the deadly mistakes of the past.
And, oh yes, we have a history
of visionaries being snuffed out in a flash.
 
Yeah ..., it's Christmastime in this human zoo.
Seriously folks, what the hell are  you  going to do?





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November 28, 2014

The Struggle for Civil Rights: The Real Jihad

".... For many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today,
 have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny.
 And they have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom".
                                                                                                Martin Luther King Jr. 1963

The unrest in Ferguson, USA has stirred up protests across that country and in Canada too. In Toronto, however, it was reported that the white folk in the crowd were literally asked to stand at the back and to let the black protesters take up the limelight in the media. I wonder what Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. would have to say about that tactic.

Some of the younger activists believe the ways of people like King and others from the 1960's are not relevant in this day and age. They are disappointed with the results of the old-timers' efforts. It seems like it is the same old, same old: black lives are disposable. Social change has been so incremental that it is almost imperceptible to some.

It is true that change has been slow to come. However, there have been changes since the days of the flower children. The technological advancements alone are staggering. But, what is more important is the information we have gained about the human condition. Our genetic studies, neuroscience and primatology all point to our species' evolutionary ties to the other primates. We now have a much better understanding of how our bestial origins play a major role in shaping our thoughts, actions and even our racism. 

Humans, like chimps and gorillas, are wired up to protect themselves from perceived threats. And, just like other primates, our territorial imperatives have us viewing those outside of our own clan, tribe or species with suspicion. Herein lies the deep roots of our racism.

Our animal origins, then, have had us battling all kinds of wars with each other. If it is not the whites lynching the blacks, it's the blacks lynching the gays. It is the Greeks despising the Armenians and the Chinese wanting to snuff out the Tibetans. All over the planet we humans have used one excuse after another to justify what is basically our animal inclinations. It is in this sense then, that the civil rights movement really is about the struggle to further emancipate our species from its bestial nature. 

So, Dr. King had it right all along. The destiny of the white folk in our species is intricately tied up with that of the black folk; and for that matter, with the destiny of every race on the planet.  As the activists go about doing their "holy" work, let their ways be guided by this truth.

Faithfully yours,

Sheila Banks


                                                                            Pic: Dr. King marching with white folks
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