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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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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