July 17, 2015

Let's Go Fishing

"Come follow me and I will make you fishers of men."
                                                                    Jesus Christ (Mark 1:17)

The Republicans in the USA are going to do what they can to botch the deal with Iran. They say they are afraid Iran will enrich uranium unbeknownst to the rest of us. Well, frankly the rest of us are not too sure how wise it is for the US to have their own nuclear weapons. From an outsider's point of view it looks like there is a lot of crazy going on in that nation too.

Across our planet there is some form of lunacy or another. We have got the Greeks demanding fairy tale economics; and, in other realms we have ISIS and the like wanting to see heads roll, literally. It is no wonder many of us feel anxious about the future. After all, on a daily basis social media bears witness to the high levels of corruption, chaos and violence going down. The scary part is that we have over 7 billion human primates and many of them do not even recognize the influence their bestial nature has upon their own behaviour. This goes for our politicians and religious leaders too.

All the political promises in the world cannot solve this evolutionary crisis facing humankind. It is apparent that our species' egocentric tendencies have outlived their usefulness. What really is required is transformations in human consciousness.The kind of human needed now is one who is aware of the angst and insecurity arising from his animal origins. Because of such insight, this new- age human is better able to follow an inner moral compass and logic as opposed to reacting to animal imperatives such as fear and lust.

Two thousand years ago Jesus proclaimed: "The body is a domestic animal. Therefore, you must go about perfecting yourself". Now at this point in our species' evolution, it appears that this is exactly what we must do. That is, if we want to give our collective a fighting chance at survival.

Faithfully yours,

Sheila Banks



                                                                                



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July 8, 2015

For The Love of St. Francis

"Intellectual advancement must accompany spiritual growth or growth
 is one-sided and a warning sign of danger ahead if harmony is not restored."
                                                                                                         Gopi Krishna 
                                                                                                   The Secret of Yoga

I actually feel sorry for Pope Francis; he has got one hell of a job to do. Not only does he have to deal with pedophiles and financial corruption in his Catholic church, but now he has to contend with push back from Republicans in the USA. Jeb Bush, the former governor of Florida, advises the Vatican to keep church and state separate. He and his capitalist cohorts do not want to hear the pontiff promote responsible consumerism or related socialist agendas.Who cares if the Bible demands our wise stewardship of the planet.

Talk about being out of touch. Excuse me Mr. Bush, but don't you know we have an environmental crisis going on here. And, the very survival of our species is dependent upon our willingness to face that fact and do something to adapt. I applaud Pope Francis for having the courage to point out what the power brokers want us to ignore.

Whether Bush and the boys like it or not, the converging conditions of the global village are ushering us into a new era in the ascent of humankind. The truth is we can no longer conduct ourselves as if our Creator's designs need not concern us. There is no escape from the laws governing our organic predicament. We cannot continue to destroy our habitat without facing dire consequences. Pope Francis recognizes this and has intelligently outlined the issues and some solutions in the Vatican's latest encyclical.

At this critical juncture in our species' evolutionary journey we are being called to the sensible management and equitable distribution of the Earth's resources. We don't need any more manifestos promoting division, aggression and greed. What we really need is the reality check and the clarity of vision that Pope Francis has put forth in his latest letter to the faithful. Yet, we also will need to go a giant step further and look where the Catholic Church has not yet dared to go. That is, the issue of effective population control.

Faithfully yours,


Sheila Banks

                                     Pic:Elenray/Dreamstime.com
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June 10, 2015

Atonement Big Time

For most Canadians cultural genocide is something that happens in places like Africa and the Middle East but never in our own backyard. However, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission has just blown that misconception out of the water. This commission's report reveals that there has been a conscious policy of cultural genocide when it comes to our First Nations people

In the name of benevolent assimilation, a despicable brutality was inflicted upon our aboriginal children in the form of residential schools between 1893 and 1996. In these institutions, run by so-called followers of Christ, there was at least 6,000 deaths/murders. And, there were unspeakable acts of physical and mental torture perpetrated on little children.

Now that we know about post-traumatic stress disorder, it is no wonder we are witnessing very high rates of suicide, addiction and violence in many of our aboriginal communities. These are the tell-tale symptoms of deep psychological wounds. We are seeing the generational impact of the trauma that our forefathers inflicted upon our aboriginal people. And, the sad part is that some of us continue to damage with our ignorance and hostile attitudes.

However, there is the good news. The fact that we now can see the injustice is progression. Sixty years ago our ideas about human rights did not allow for this kind of understanding. Today we can look back at our legacy of colonialism and wonder what the hell were they thinking. Herein lies an example of the evolution taking place in humankind.

The values of freedom and equality to which we all like to think we aspire, have been slowly working on Homo sapiens' psyche. And, what was tolerated in the past is no longer acceptable. It looks like we are becoming a more emphatic species. I think the dismantling of both Apartheid in South Africa and the caste system in India is further proof of this. 

The masses no longer want to perpetuate the law of the jungle in human relations; we have aspirations for a true democracy. As we move into this new millennium we will continue to shine a light on the injustices of past and present. After all, we are waking up to the truth about our animal origins. Now, the big question for Canadians, and others across the globe, is all about how best to atone for these sins of our fathers.

Faithfully yours,

Sheila Banks



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May 28, 2015

Now Ain't That A Kick In The Pants

The latest scandal to hit the world of sport comes as no surprise to those in the know. Apparently allegations of  FIFA's racketeering have been floating around for decades. However, it is just now that the authorities have collected enough forensic evidence to indict some of the organization's top officials.

What else is new? Every other week the media reports on but another case of moral decay and corruption. Although the ancients warned us about the pitfalls of greed, you cannot deny how powerful a motivator money is for the human primate. Hell, we even have had a financial scandal in the Vatican.

But the good news is that we finally are confronting the status quo. These scandals are bringing to light just how insidious our animal ways truly are. Like a squirrel that piles up nuts, many in our species have a preoccupation with stock-piling money regardless of the impact on neighbors. But, it can't be business as usual because evolution is demanding something else from Homo sapiens.

This new millennium has us facing the converging conditions of the global village. Consequently we are at a stage in our evolution where unprecedented levels of cooperation will be required from all of us. We cannot let lust for material goods threaten our quest to become an ethical species. Without an expansion of our ability to cooperate, Homo sapiens surely will die out.

It will be interesting to see what the court proceedings reveal about FIFA. I won't be surprised if they find that it is one more example of greed gone amuck. As we learn to heed to the wake up call that this and the other scandals bring, you can count on a lot more butt-kicking to go down.

Faithfully yours,

Sheila Banks

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May 14, 2015

Come Back To Love

The following poem is found in Thoughts From A Contemplative Beast: The Paradigm Shift For The New Millennium. Written over 15 years ago, its message is more relevant than ever.


Bringing Our Boys Back Home to Love


Now boys have you come to your senses?
Will all your war games come to an end?
Can you rise up and come out of the trenches?
‘Cause we got the whole wide world to mend.

Now boys can you aim to be meek
or has that ego still got you by the balls?
It's humility and God's truth we must now seek
if we're to answer our ailing Mother Earth as she calls.

Now boys can you speak of love and respect
or has the cat still got your tongue?
Olive branches you must now go fetch
if there's to be a kingdom left to come!

 
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April 2, 2015

The Real Culprit: The Machinations of the Beast

......  The whole world was astonished and followed the beast  .....
                                                                                   Revelation 13:3

Recently Dr. Paul Craig Roberts was brought to my attention when I received this link to one of his radio interviews.  Hear for yourself his take on our current geopolitical turmoil. His views are worth noting. He is willing to put aside patriotic fervor to give a brutally honest account of America's dark side and the USA's role in producing much of our current chaos.   

Dr. Roberts, an American economist, has a lengthy list of impressive credentials including editorship at the Wall St. Journal and authorship of numerous thought-provoking books. And, during the Reagan administration he was appointed as the assistant secretary to the USA Treasury. I think it is safe to assume this guy knows what he is talking about. As evidenced in the interview, his analysis is spectacularly clear.

According to Dr. Roberts, the USA on the hunt for resources and power, has been interfering in Middle Eastern politics on a whole bunch of fronts. He maintains that even the European Union is wanting to dissociate from America for fear of being dragged into a war with Russia. He also sounds the alarm on some elements in the US government who are determined to get a war going with the Iranians. Chillingly Roberts ends the interview with a scary observation. He warns that there are "crazed neocons in control of policy" and that "they are literally insane".

What are we to make of these dramatic statements coming from a man like Dr. Roberts? Is he just exaggerating for the publicity? Or, is he using references to psychiatric pathology to underscore the seriousness of the problem he sees brewing?  Although we in the West are quick to spot the sociopathic tendencies driving Islamic fundamentalism, shouldn't we be looking at our own through the same lens?

Our answer must not ignore the knowledge gleaned from our cognitive science. Researchers have come up with a lengthy list of cognitive distortions by which humans have operated for thousands of generations.  Our scientists now have a better idea of how a human's inner kingdom of biological impulses and territorial imperatives gets translated into some extremely defensive, bordering on paranoid, thought in that human primate. I like to call this tendency "machinations of the beast". I wonder if this is what Dr. Roberts is seeing in some of these neocons in Washington.

I feel a sense of urgency in Robert's presentation. It is no wonder. After all, much of human history is a testament to what happens when Homo sapiens'  bestial machinations are left unchecked. We have managed to concoct one holocaust after another all the while fooling ourselves with self-righteous estimations about our own virtue. Is this the insanity Dr. Roberts sees percolating  in the USA?

It is obvious that humanity, in the East and in the West, needs an upgrade. The time has come for us to confront head on the beast within, and out there. We must not turn a blind eye to the scary truths Dr. Roberts has observed in Washington or any other place on the globe. Leaders, political or religious, without an authentic humility are a very real liability as they are inclined to promote machinations of the beast.      

Faithfully yours,                                 

Sheila Banks

Happy Easter 2015
 
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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


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