Saturday, June 9, 2018

What is Love?


What is Love?


The word, “love,” is used in so many ways that it is difficult to know its true meaning. Many of the ways are selfish, but I would debate if selfish love is really love at all.
I once had it referred to as “fish love.” People who love fish love the way that fish tastes. Their passion is to eat fish, but they do not really care for the fish. In fact they want the fish to be killed, cleaned and fried so they can eat it.
Then there are those who love flowers so much that they want to decapitate them and bring the blooms into their houses so that they can watch them slowly die and wither away.
Animal lovers often want to limit the freedom of animals so they can be kept as pets or caged up in zoos to be gawked at by tourists who love to see animals trapped in a way that they can be observed without any threat to the observer.
Many times these selfish forms of love are transferred to human love. We choose someone to love and we love them as long as they do as we please and fulfill some need in our lives. If they can meet our basic needs such as food, beauty, companionship, etcetera, we are well satisfied, but when the purpose is fulfilled we no longer want anything to do with them and do not care if they live or if they die.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

American Holocaust


Learning from the American Holocaust

When we mention “holocaust” we immediately think about Germany and World War Two. However there was another more severe and widespread holocaust that we are just starting to hear about.

Why does the German Holocaust get so much attention? Because Germany lost the war. Had they won we would be praising Hitler and the Nazi regime for their great effort of advancing the human species. Hitler’s idea was to speed up evolution by eliminating inferior races. Fortunately the rest of the world did not agree to his methods or even to the idea of an inferior race. The world war put a stop to ethnic cleansing.

If we now talk about the American holocaust it makes many people very uncomfortable. The terror of this holocaust lasted for more than 400 years. It is the ultimate story of bullying. A warring people invaded a relatively peaceful land and destroyed many ethnicities that had not advanced war strategies or weapons enough to defend themselves. The Americas at that time was the home of many nations. Although there was some conflict among them as they jostled for territory, they had no need to develop weapons past the point of bows, arrows and spears. These were mostly used to hunt for food but could be used for self defence when needed. The conquerors regarded these peaceful ones as savages when they put up a fight of self preservation and used that as an excuse to use their gunpowder and rifles to destroy  defenceless nations.

With complete victory over the rightful citizens, the Europeans began to fight among themselves. Now they were fighting on equal terms and sought an advantage. The original inhabitants of the land had a better knowledge of the territory and also used strategies unfamiliar to the Europeans. They had proved themselves in bravery and methods by the amount of resistance they gave the intruders using their simple weapons. The conquerors now used empty promises and outright lies to convince unsuspecting nations to join them in their effort to defeat competing European nations so they could lay solitary claim to this stolen land.

Meanwhile, the work of imposing European culture on a foreign land required much labour. An attempt was made to enslave the local people, but there were still friends and family that would help them to escape, so they turned to other nations to enslave and bring to America. The American nations had faced death to a point near extinction, but the African slaves had to endure a living hell. Murder was again used as a tool, but not to bring the race to extinction. Hellish ordeals were devised to force them into submission. A man would be selected and his four limbs would be bound to four horses. The horses would then be sent in different directions, tearing the body apart. This was done in front of other stolen bodies to show them what would happen if they did not do as their masters directed. Hard labour with insufficient food and rest took a toll of many lives, but not satisfied with that alone, these nations were subject to torture, rape and murder with no recourse. The law was on the side of the masters and any resistance was written into the law as a crime. They were regarded as possessions with no rights of their own and completely at the mercy of those who possessed them.

This holocaust we are not to talk about, because the decedents of the perpetrators are still living and in power. We do not want to embarrass the many European nations that played a part of this beastly terror. And what of the new nations of the Americas that were formed by these European renegades? They have become some of the most powerful in the world. How can we now tell them that the butchery and terrorism that they engaged in to earn their position was wrong? If they must correct for the wrongdoing of their ancestors, they may have to admit that exploitation in all forms is wrong, and if the rich cannot exploit the poor, the whole social system would be upset.

The eight richest people have as much wealth as half of the world’s poorest people. Thus, if we could find some equitable way to alleviate these eight people of this great burden by using half of what they own, almost four billion of the world’s poorest citizens could have twice as much. This is oversimplified and you know these rich ones are not going to hand over half or their riches without just cause. What we need is a new system that is not based on materialism, greed and exploitation. We must find new ways to evaluate ourselves without the need to put a monitory value on our net worth.

It was due to this view of our current situation that I wrote the fictional history, “THE ALTERNATIVE”. I regarded slavery as an extreme form of exploitation and showed how this system was not only hurting the slaves, but it was holding back the whole society. I didn’t base this on my own speculation, but studied the lives and writings of some of the wisest men and women of that time era. By suggesting an alternative to written history I was hopeful that errors in our current system could be corrected.

During slavery, much of the worlds brain power was kept in ignorance slowing down the rate of useful inventions. If the American elite had not engaged in this evil practice, technology could have developed sooner and better.

Today we see another form of exploitation were the rich try to maintain their wealth by keeping others poor. Since it is more difficult for a poor person to engage in higher education, the social elite widen the gap between themselves and the common workingman. Although the poor are given handouts to keep them alive, they are not given much opportunity for advancement.

Natural laws have a way of finding an equilibrium. Although man has a way of manipulating nature, humanity is not exempt from natural law. The system of the materialist puts power in money, but money is already losing its power. One hundred years ago two cents would buy a loaf of bread. Fifty years ago twenty cents had the same power. Now we need to search to find bread at $2.50 a loaf. The penny of one hundred years ago held more power than the dollar of today, but that is not the end, it is just a warning.

People are survivors and, if they cannot get by in one system, they will find another way to survive. When the freed slaves were struggling in an economic system that wanted to exclude them, they formed cooperatives and helped each other get by and succeed. In the same way, if those who control the money lock out those in poverty, they will develop a new way to survive and find new ways to measure success. Money has already taken a big hit and it will not take much more to render it of no value. Even when the gold standard was in effect, the gold only had such value as people assigned to it. Now, being replaced with paper, plastic and electronic bank legers, the value of money is at the whim of those who use it. If one segment of society has too much while another does not have enough, it will not take much for it to mean absolutely nothing. Suddenly the playing field will be given a new set of rules and those who produce what can be eaten will have the power. Money was only used as a standard of exchange to purchase our needs. If it no longer does that it will become useless and people will put value on things that are more tangible.

Saturday, April 28, 2018

The Pathway to Peace.

The Pathway to Peace.
Learning to get along.
Many are convinced that wars and aggression are an intrinsic part of humanity. In our children we see such traits as flaws that must be corrected. When Johnny hits Suzie we tell him he needs to be nice to his sister and that hitting her is bad, but when our country wants to hit another country we feel it is our patriotic duty to aid in the battle. In this sense I use we as the collective conscience of the nation, but there are many exceptions, myself included.
I grew up in the 70’s when protest against war was prevalent and the most common slogan was, “Make love, not war.” Now I try to avoid the sexual connotations of that quote, but I still believe that peace is better than war and I believe that most people want peace. Unfortunately many buy into the propaganda that the way to peace is through destroying our enemies. If that is true we should have encouraged Johnny to kill Suzie so he could be done with her irritations and have peace. When it is our children we insist that they learn to get along with each other. Why can’t we do the same thing with our nations?

More from George McNeish, read “THE ALTERNATIVE.” Visit www.9li.ca.

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Sunday, April 23, 2017

Last


As every follower of Baha'u'llah knows well, humanity's ultimate well-being is dependent upon its differences being transcended and its unity firmly established. (Universal House of Justice, 2017 Riḍván message.)

My lot is life has not been as a team player. As a child, I was last to be picked if I was chosen at all. Whenever I tried to form my own team, I became a team of one. While others were known by the friends they associated with, I became known as a loner. Even yet I struggle to be an effective member of any team.
In 1970 I became acquainted with the ultimate team. World unity required that we all be on the same team. Now I know I have to be chosen, yet I am excitedly jumping up and down saying, “Pick me, Pick me!” One by one, the team is assembled and it must ultimately include all, yet I wait patiently for my turn. “Pick me, Pick me,” is repeated with less enthusiasm as I watch others being chosen for key positions. Yet I am bypassed again. I do have the comfort of knowing that I cannot be excluded, but it seems my lot in life is to be chosen last. I have a long wait ahead of me as each individual in the world is chosen for the team of the unified human race, but, alas, someone must be last and with my vast experience it might as well be me.
I can now look forward to being a member of this exciting team. Although I am sure to have a very minor role there is comfort in being picked last. I know that, when my time comes, full unity of the world will be realized.
I have been conditioned to being last. I can remember a time I had joined the cub group in our church when I was a young boy. One day we were asked to line up for our snacks. For some reason I competed harder than usual for a position near the beginning of the line. For the first time in my life I had made it close to the front. The cub leaders, wanting to teach us children a lesson, turned the line around quoting, “He who was first shall be last.” I believed I learned the lesson very well for I never again attempted to be first. Now, whenever I am in a line up and I find someone behind me, I simply let them go ahead. My position is to be last and I will hold that position with honour.
God’s great Messenger for today,  Bahá'u'lláh, has come to bring about the unification of the entire human race. All are lining up to join in this honourable endeavour. Each time I get near the action I look around and say, “You are more deserving that I, please go ahead of me.” I can usher and guide the ones God has chosen for this immense task, but I will not enter until all have gone in before me. Perhaps I will be too late and there will be nothing left for me when I get there, but someone always has to be last, so why not me? Perhaps I will find the stragglers, the lost sheep who cannot find their way, the blind, the cripple and those who fear the light. They must be guided and shown the way. They will all enter before I do.
Looking in from the outside I can feel the excitement. There is happiness and cheer in there. There is dining and dancing and it is obvious all are having a great time. There is excitement and anticipation on the faces of those in the long line to get in. All are assured they will be allowed entry. I take my place at the end of the line, but then I see another struggling to approach. I go back to help him and he gains the position ahead of me.
I was never much for competition. I have had no drive to be better than anyone else. Be assured, if you are a late arriver, you will find me at the back of the line. Feel free to go in ahead of me. I am patiently waiting my turn.