February 12, 2017
“The only things that can stop us are fear, ignorance, self-centeredness, and greed.” Bill Bradley, The New American Story
The Big Questions:
- If the total breakdown of our society is inevitable, what is our best course of action?
- What, if any, of the issues that are so threatening be diminished or turned around?
- To what degree do we put time and effort into resisting this breakdown or would our efforts be better served if we grow communities that are best able to survive the breakdown? What skills and knowledge would be most vital for these communities to have?
- What is the nature of the interface between our spiritual reality – our connection with the whole of reality – and the external circumstances of our lives?
- Are there particular places in our culture, trigger points, where we can maximize the effectiveness of any efforts we might make to both ward off much of the suffering and tribulation and to build the foundation for a new and better society?
- How can we best help, support, nourish, and empower one another – especially the youth – to deal with the dramatic changes that are upon us?
- Who are those in the best position to facilitate the most effective responses to these current challenges and in what domains of our life do they live and work?
- What medium or media can be most useful in achieving whatever results and goals we have determined are achievable, viable, immediately necessary, and necessary for the long term?
- To what extent do we need to take action to halt the denigration now and to what extent do we need to plant the seeds for effective action in the near future, the next decade, and over the next century?
- What are the actual and the potential major crises that we need to address and that we can address?
- Of the various areas of our lives that are calling civilization as we know it into question, which ones deserve the most immediate attention? How might we prioritize them?
- Are there particular demographics that we should try and reach and organize that can be especially helpful in helping us negotiate this enormous transition that were entering?
- What particular kinds of education are required of us as we grapple with the challenges facing us?
- To what extent do we need to or can we look to government to be an active agent in helping us through this transition or do we need to find other organized contexts to help us steer our way through the calamities we are and inevitably facing?
- If a longer-term perspective is one of our best strategies, what will it take to move people towards that long-range view whether it be one or more decades?
- How can we best organize ourselves for effective action?
- To what extent do we need to make sure the interior life is and needs to be an equal partner in addressing the exterior problems? And how can that best be achieved?
- Do we and can we tackle the underlying causes for our social breakdown, like greed, apathy, self interest, fear, prejudice, ignorance, etc.?
- Is it possible to galvanize people who have a real, deep, and abiding spirituality – a living connection with source, with their God, but who have different beliefs about that, different languages that each uses to approach the Divine Presence?
- How can religious traditions help us through these difficult times and/or to what extent can we look to more current revelations and teachings that are available to assist us in deepening our connection with divine presence?
- How can we best prepare young people on an ongoing basis to creatively engage the troubles and trials that they will inevitably encounter?
- If we need to educate and develop our youth to come to terms with these stark inevitabilities, how can we use and engage those areas of life which are major influences on the youth? The family, media, education, peer influences and religious traditions where applicable?
- In any efforts to educate and organize ourselves to engage these current challenges/opportunities to what extent can we rely on media – the Internet, social media, etc. to provide the context for achieving results and how important is it that people work together live and in person?
- Given that many have put forth strategies that can enhance the prospects of being able to heal ourselves, can we provide a forum for the analysis and resulting implementation of what people find is the most effective strategy for them to pursue?
- What influential people can we engage with right now to help us implement whatever programs, plans and strategies that we have determined will be the most successful in helping us navigate our way through these cyclonic changes? What fields will we find them in?
- If we determine that we can still look to government as an effective player in managing our difficulties, can we count on the two-party system to do that or do we need to develop a third-party or perhaps another mechanism?
- Is our constitutional Democratic Republic still strong enough to provide the leadership we need to maintain and enhance our democracy and the freedoms therein?
- What countries are in the best position to be the vanguard for the superior ways of handling these challenges?
- Are there particular places in the world that would be best to start the kind of communities that we need to develop that will be in place to build a new society as the old one is collapsing?
- What skills do we need to develop to survive and continue to evolve during this time of massive upheaval?
- How can we best engage the forces of indifference, ruthlessness and cruelty that are major parts of the problems that confront us?
- How can we bring the diverse organizations and movements that are already working on both solving the problems that we face and attempting to resolve them together so as to maximize the effectiveness of each of these organizations and our collective intention?
- What are the most unifying, encouraging, nurturing, empowering, and cooperation building practices that we can develop as we engage these pressing issues?
- If we can see that we need to be trained in new and more advanced techniques for dealing with these crises, what will need to be in that training and how and where can it be best delivered?
- How does money play a role in helping us survive these hard times?
- How can we best manage the fear that plays such a significant role that drives our lives and fuels our motivation?
- If, as it could be argued, that the fundamental issue is the problem of duality – the belief that we are separate from one another – is the core misperception and as a result the underlying cause of all human conflict and suffering, and, given that this premise is hardly recognized by most people, what will it take to inform and motivate people to address this crucial dilemma?
- How important is our own willingness to change ourselves to augment any efforts we might make to make changes in the demands of our external circumstances?
- Which parts of the societal breakdown are most urgent? Nuclear threat? Climate destabilization? The security state? Others?
- Do we need to wait for a ripening and a readiness for people to come to the place where we can engage these kind of questions, do we wait for painful circumstances to precipitate that, or are there ways we can, through conscious effort, help to move things along?