Monday, 21 January 2019

4 gods-within us — continued

For the past 6 years, 3 friends and myself occasionally meet for coffee in downtown Ottawa . We first met at local peace events and discovered we shared a common humanity of ‘the god-within’. We enjoyed meeting for coffee, and soon called ourselves the ‘4 gods-within’.

This is my third report about our meetings which began in December 2013.


We are: Bill, a retired political scientist, author and Gandhian fellow; Mony, MBA, author and television producer and her artist husband Alberto; and me.

On January 16 we began our 2019 meeting with a flood of new ideas heralding a new era of nonkilling, love and joy.

Koozma presented two ethical stories from Jon-Lee.

Story One was about a group of alumni who got together for a visit with their wise professor. When the conversation soon turned to complaints about endless stress of work and life, the professor offered his guests coffee. He returned from the kitchen with a large pot of coffee and an eclectic assortment of cups: ‘porcelain, plastic, glass, crystal, some plain, some expensive, some quite exquisite.’ Quietly he invited them to help themselves to some fresh coffee.
As his former student had a cup of coffee in hand, the professor quietly cleared his throat and began to patiently address the small gathering. ‘You may have noticed that all of the nicer looking cups were taken up first, leaving behind the plainer and cheaper ones. While it is only natural for you to want only the best for yourself yet that is actually the source of much of your stress-related problems.’
He continued. ‘Be assured that the cup itself adds no quality to the coffee. In fact, the cup merely disguises or dresses up what we drink. What each of you really wanted was coffee, not a cup, but you instinctively went for the best cups. Then you began eyeing each other’s cups.
‘Now consider this: Life is coffee. Jobs, money and position in society are merely cups. They are just tools to shape and contain life, and the type of cup we have does not truly define nor change the quality of the life we live. Often, by concentrating only on the cup, we fail to enjoy the coffee….’
The happiest people don’t have the best of everything, they just make the best of everything. So please remember: Live Simply. Love Generously. Care Deeply .Speak Kindly.
And remember — the richest person is not the one who has the most, but the one who needs the least.
Story Two was about a 92-year-old wise man, whose wife just died. He was waiting patiently in the lobby of a nursing home, ready to move in himself. As he maneuvered his walker to the elevator, the nurse provided a visual description of his tiny room, including the eyelet sheets that had been hung on his window.
‘I love it,’ he stated with enthusiasm.
‘Mr. Jones, you haven’t seen the room; just wait.’
‘That doesn’t have anything to do with it,’ he replied.
‘Happiness is something you decide on ahead of time. Whether I like my room or not doesn’t depend on how the furniture is arranged....it’s how I arrange my mind. I already decided to love it. It’s a decision I make every morning when I wake up. I have a choice; I can spend the day in bed recounting the difficulty
'I have with parts of my body that no longer work, or get out of bed and be thankful for the ones that do.
‘Each day is a gift, and as long as my eyes open, I’ll focus on the new day and all the happy memories I’ve stored away. Just for this time in my life.
‘Wise age is like a bank account. You withdraw from what you’ve put in.
‘So, my advice to you would be to deposit a lot of happiness in the bank account of memories! Thank you for your part in filling my Memory bank. I am still depositing.’
Remember the simple rules to be happy:
    1. Free your heart from hatred.
    2. Free your mind from worries.
    3. Live simply.
    4. Give more.
    5. Expect less.
We discussed 5 films
  1. The Good Place ’ is a fantasy comedy series on Netflix on common grounds of morals and ethics. It reminded me of my University of Saskatchewan days where I took a fascinating philosophy course on Morals and Ethics from the memorable Dr. Robert Paton.
  2. The Reluctant Saint ’ is a 1962 film about Joseph of Cupertino, a 17th-century Italian Franciscan friar and mystic, who did not seem to fit in anywhere, but found a solid place in society with simple actions of love.
  3. Inner Worlds, Outer Worlds ’ is a 5-part series on YouTube, which explores the inner and outer worlds via different philosophies. It provides us with a wider perspective in seeing ourselves as part of nature.
  4. Brother, Son, Sister, Moon’ is another classic film, an examination of the life of Saint Francis of Assisi. This man spoke to the poor in France and other parts of Europe by denouncing the wealth of the Catholic Church, while rejecting many Catholic dogmas and doctrines, especially the need for ordained priesthood, and working towards a world without wars.
  5. Roma’ is a 2018 film about life of a housemaid in a Mexican neighbourhood Colonia Roma — highly recommended! It is said to be an antidote to our highly fast-paced Smartphone society. We need to stop, look and listen to life in our environment, and enjoy its existence.
We talked briefly about the Mondragon cooperatives in Spain, founded in 1956 by graduates of the local technical college. Its first product was paraffin heaters. By 2014, it employed 74,117 people in 257 companies and organizations in four business divisions: finance, industry, retail and knowledge. Today, they have over 100,000 members, all owners of their workplaces with votes in their businesses.

What is the essence of the god-within?

We ended with this question. Invoking ‘the higher God’ was creatively refrained towards the ‘inner god-within’ as a way to get to the core of humanity. Instead of invoking Jesus Christ, Buddha, Allah, etc., why don’t we simply invoke ourselves by our actions as showing the way of love, beauty, compassion, and nonkilling? Is that not the essence of truth into the mysterious realm of spirituality? After all, are we not real energy-driven instruments of these practical qualities that make us human?

The story of the Greek Gods and Godesses is history. Most people today would acknowledge that ancient story of divine and semi-divine figures as mythology and religion.

In the 21st century, can we now acknowledge that man is connected to divine energy? Can we now publicly proclaim ‘I am an instrument of love and compassion?’ Or ‘I am an instrument of peace?’ When congruent, our intent and our actions of the gods-within form the strategic map of reality as part of one common humanity of brothers and sisters in spirit. The old ethical maxim (‘Do unto others as you wish them to do onto you’) has been enriched. The traditional wisdom masters of the past (Jesus Christ, Buddha, Allah, Lev N. Tolstoy, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., etc.) would be pleased.

7 comments:

  1. You're a wizard, dear Koozma. The way you put together essence of everything we spoke about in those two hours at SL is brilliant. No edits needed, it's perfect.

    Amazing that we have been meeting for 5 years! Just to remind myself of what we chatted in previous meetings, I browsed the Links you had at end of this piece. Mae Popoff and Glenn Paige's comments are endearing, tomorrow happens to be Glenn's second death anniversary. Let's celebrate him doing our bit in working towards his humanizing vision of a global nonkilling society.

    Love you all,
    Bill

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  2. Wow! I love it! You are great, Koozma! Wonderful work! Thank you so much!
    Alberto

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  3. You are indeed a wizard with words, Koozma! Thank you for capturing the essence of our gathering, and the wisdom that pours forth from each of us. It is a gift to be among you.

    Love you all,
    Mony

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  4. Beautiful stories, Koozma.

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  5. Great discussions Koozma. Thanks for sharing. I have seen some of the film suggestions and concur they are great conversation starters.

    Our world is extremely monetized and controlled from the top down by a small so called elite. But Bankers and Corporate cartels and their media spin doctors are not our saviours, they are our achilles heal. Localization, a closeness to nature, biomimicry (mimicking nature instead of trying to control it) is the essence of the new agriculture and science movement.

    If we don't down size, localize and make our local tribe accountable and knowable, then our diversification and choices will be vastly depleted. How can you trust someone if you don't know their story?

    I also feel that meditation on some scale in our lives is a grounding force that would help put the rest of our lives in perspective. You can actually meditate while you walk, sit, play or work at some mundane task. Doing this on a regular basis rinses out the stress and the monkey brain chatter, giving your (body, mind, spirit) a recharge and a more rational perspective.

    CALM - Conscious, Aware, Loving and Mindful through much of your day goes a long way in spreading positive change in this world. With all the needless suffering, we know that this is certainly a welcomed respite. Throw in some art, humour and compassion and we are on a legal high without the side effects.

    Technology will never save us but caring for all life will.

    Peace and love,

    Kman
    CCFSH.org - Food Justice News
    DigileakCanada.weebly.com - Social Justice News
    Over the Hill Productions - Art imitating life

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    Replies
    1. Koozma J. Tarasoff22 January 2019 at 21:55

      Great suggestions Ken!
      Calm, Conscious, Aware, Loving, Mindful -- with Art, Humour and Compassion added -- are all friendly life-restoring resources for all of us seeking a world fit for the living.

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  6. I love the two stories. They offer a change in perspective for anyone who is perpetually worried about personal success, myself included. The secret to a successful life is, simply put, a happy life. Thanks for sharing, Koozma. :)
    ~ Sam Y

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