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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November 14, 2014

Obama: Solomon or Lame Duck?

I bet you that President Obama cannot wait for his term to end. If I were in his shoes I would be thinking "get me the ---- out of here".  I am not well-versed in American politics but from an outsider's view it looks like treacherous territory.

Being Canadian, I aspire to values like universal health care and multiculturalism. As a result, I find it difficult to understand why the Republicans would not want all their citizens to have greater access to health care. Maybe I am missing the point here. But, what I am sure about is the intelligent move Obama has made by putting a moratorium on the Keystone pipeline. As far as I am concerned the president is displaying the wisdom of Solomon.

Human beings have this propensity for magical thinking. That is why we have allowed nuclear reactors to be built in earthquake zones. We act as if we are infallible.  As a result, we now have the ongoing Fukushima disaster. Oh yes, and I wonder how the ecosystem is bouncing back from the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Isn't it time for caution to be the order of the day?

President Obama's move speaks to the truth about humanity's humble position. One ill-conceived project could destroy the water table in Nebraska, the very life force for millions. Being an intelligent man, Obama likely knows that in the end it really will be the meek who shall inherit the Earth. The way things are going though, it makes me wonder what shape our planet will be in when that time comes. I hope all of humanity wakes up real soon.

Faithfully yours,

Sheila Banks
                                                 Pic:Reusit/Dreamstime.com

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October 29, 2014

A New Age Is Coming

A short poem to ponder on. Recently penned.

Faithfully yours,

Sheila Banks 

 
A New Age Is Coming
 
A new age is coming.
Fascination with crystal pendulums
won't help to bring it on through.
Nor is Jesus going to materialize
in order to save you and you and you.
 
With another crank of the cosmic gearbox
the Age of Aquarius rolls in.
Homo sapiens now the scientific hominid
is about ready to dig deep down
to confront the beast within.

                                  Pic:Badhoo/Dreamstime.com

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October 25, 2014

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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October 6, 2014

Let There Be More Light

These days I am looking for a glimmer of hope wherever I can find it. Funny enough,  I see the recent "Climate Change" protest in New York as just that, but in a paradoxical way. For sure it is unfortunate we have reached this critical situation in the first place. However, the hopeful part is that there are increasing numbers of us waking up to the truth. It appears that the expanding extinction of assorted flora and fauna finally is capturing mass attention.

The good news about the environmental crisis is that it is actually helping us to see more clearly our position within the scheme of things. The deleterious impact we are having on Mother Earth is forcing us to come face to face with our bestial origins and human nature - from somewhat of a transcendent perspective - as we try to figure out what to do with ourselves. Now more conscious of humanity's interconnectedness to the rest of creation, we are discovering the true meaning of humility.

More of us are seeing our species as it truly is. We are a bunch of primates on a deadly trajectory.
It is becoming increasingly apparent that our species' survival is going to require unprecedented levels of cooperation amongst all of us. We humans are being asked to cultivate a conscience that far surpasses anything our species has had thus far. More than ever, we need to be conscious of the impact of our individual and collective behaviours.

Perched on the brink of extinction, humankind can no longer afford to be driven by an animal self-centeredness. More than ever, our species needs to ascend the evolutionary ladder; we need a transformation in human consciousness. Fortunately, the protesters in New York and many others around the globe are on to it.

Faithfully yours,

Sheila Banks


                                                              Pic:NASA


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September 20, 2014

So Much Delusion In So Many Beasts - God Help Us

I initially posted this poem in January 2011. Considering the current set of world affairs, I thought I would post it again. It can be found in my book, Thoughts From A Contemplative Beast The Paradigm Shift For The New Millennium 

Faithfully yours,

Sheila Banks

                                                                                                                                                           Pic: Us National Archives (208-N-43888)
 

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