"We can change the world,
Rearrange the world,
It's dying ...
To get better"
- Graham Nash (CSN&Y)
"The sixties weren't the answer. They just showed us the possibilities."
- John Lennon
Welcome to Soulutions Now
The future is calling. Are you listening?
We are here, we are alive, we are relatively well.
I hope you can say the same, or better, when speaking of you and yours.
I have been ... very unwell ... for a very long time now, and thus these pages haven't been maintained. I apologize for being unwell, if apology is necessary ...
Returning visitors and members will notice that things have changed, and the entire site won't be loaded for a few days, but it is coming. Please be patient.
These pages are about hope. They are about a light at the end of the tunnel, about finding our way back home.
One of the great misunderstandings about Soulutions is that it is a religious site. It decidedly is NOT.
Nor do we share a common belief in anything called "God". While there are Soulutions Now members who come from many backgrounds and have diverse beliefs, there are also many who claim to be agnostics or even atheists. Please see an article about this under the "spiritual" heading. I have had some interesting debates with members who believe they are atheists.
We are all spiritual by definition. It isn't our bodies that make us what we are. It isn't even our personalities, though both of those are part of what makes us who we are. It is our spirit, and belief in this doesn't imply belief in "God" or any particular theology: It is just common sense.
Furthermore, it is the spiritual connection that makes us real and whole and creates the common link between us and all other life. For those who follow such things, the field of physics is confirming this link. It isn't imaginary, it is very real - and our denial of it is no small part of how we got to where we are.
Soulutions Now is an informational and activist site. We believe that all of us contribute to what we call "reality" and that all of us must accept a degree of responsibility for what occurs in this world. Many of us have no idea of what is going on "out there", of what is being done in our names, of the lies we are being told - and the truths we are NOT being told.
We are so immersed in our culture, so much products of our culture, that we see everything through the same prism, until we remove the veils that cloud our vision.
This is one of the things that we mean when we talk about transformation: learning to see again, to acknowledge what is really going on in the world, to acknowledge that reality for what it is ... to stop playing the games of pretense and denial, to take responsibility, and to take action - direct action - to make the world a better place.
If you are firmly convinced that the state of the world is perfectly fine, then probably this site is not for you; you're more than welcome to be here, of course, but we are decidedly not a status quo organization!
If, however, you have even a sense that things are not well, that we have gotten off-track and that we have some very real problems that need to be addressed very soon, please consider what we have to say here.
Look around your world and take an inventory. We live now in a culture devoid of any real community. We come together in a crisis, sort of, but only very briefly. In the meantime, our newspapers are filled with the stories of murder and mayhem, visited upon us by our neighbors, our co-workers, our families, our children. Killing within ones family is a daily event in the U.S. now, and most of it is parents killing their children. Most of it, in fact, is mothers killing their children ... and only occasionally is a case considered sensational enough to make the news.
Our schools are attacked by their students on a fairly regular basis, usually leaving a path of dead in the wake.
Workplace violence is a daily event and workplace murder has become pretty common.
Just about everybody in the world hates the USA, some so much that they engage in acts of almost unbelievable violence against, not just it's military, but against it's citizens ... the theoretical innocents.
The natural world (aka the "environment") is being destroyed at such a rapid pace now that we have been formally declared to be living in one of the great extinctions of history - not human history, mind you, but the history of earth, and the first extinction to be the direct result of species-specific activity, human activity.
And yet we get up every day and go to school or work, laugh and joke, go to parties and get uncomfortable (or annoyed) when people - people like me - bring up the state of the world ... the world which our children will inherit from us if you're my age, and that YOU will inherit from US, if you are young.
"Ooh, this is depressing" I can hear some of you saying. "We thought these were pages of hope."
Well, they are, BUT - always the proverbial BUT, right - BUT before we can find solutions (or soulutions) to our common problems, we first need to acknowledge the existing state of affairs and we need to do so frankly, because otherwise the soulutions won't work ... because they won't be addressing the real problems they are intended to.
The odds are close to 50-50 that you are very well aware that we are in serious trouble. and that you just don't know what to do. In all likelihood, you find the situation we (the human race) are in just a little bit overwhelming. Perhaps you look around and you see things like a breakdown of morality and a lack of respect for each other, the failure of religion and religious institutions to meet human spiritual needs, a political system that minimizes choice (George Bush and John Kerry? Is that the best the USA can do?)
We hear the phrase "thinking outside the box" alot these days, so much so that it has become a cliché, but like many clichés, the core concept has validity. Thinking inside the box means, in political terms, continuing to believe that one must choose between the left and the right, when the reality is that they are both problematic and do not represent long-term soulutions.
Thinking inside the box doesn't enable deeper questioning about where are, what we've become, where we need to go and how we're going to get there, becuase thinking inside the box means that the entire discussion is hoing to be framed by very concepts that are culturally accepted as true.
We wind up with either/or alternatives and we see conflicts where there need not be any and we see what appear to be solutions, but they resolve nothing. And the reason they are so ineffective is that they are based on a very superficial examination of the problem. Often we reject transitional (short-term) soulutions because they don't seem effective enough in the context of our long-term goals, when in reality they could provide a valuable stepping stone to the long-term soulution. And worst of all, we are unable to see the difference between the former (ineffective soulutions) and the latter (transitional soulutions).
One of the things we're going to talk about here, increasingly, is the need to see the two different roads: one being the short-term soulutions and the other being the long-term soulutions. And there will, at least occasionally, appear to be some conflict between the two. But the fact is that this approach is imposed on us by, if you'll excuse the evangelical sound of the phrase, "the lateness of the hour". Just a few years ago, it was still probably possible to avoid the worst of the fallout from what we have done to the natural world. That is almost certainly no longer the case. Now our best options are to minimize the damage done when the crunch comes. There is still hope in that - alot in my opinion, because there is still so much that can be saved and the truth is that none of us has an exact yardstick to measure these things, so the simple truth is we need to get going.
An example of the short-term vs. long-term paradox is this: ideally, we would like to drop the number of cars on the road to a fraction of what it is today, but we know that is not going to happen in the short-term (although we know with a certainty that it is going to happen in the long term, whether we like it or not). So one of the short term answers is alternatives to fossil fuels. The long term answer is for as many of us as possible to be living, working and even vacationing, closer to home - or at home.
Another example might be the political system. It sucks and we all know it - or most of us do, at any rate. The long-term answer is to bring democracy home, to the local level as much as possible, and to take ownership of it, take responsibility for it ... to take back our towns and cities, our states and provinces, our country ... they belong to we, the people, not to the politicians and the corporations. We need to work towards an understanding of consensus rather than tyranny of the majority, and we need to re-develop and re-create social and political systems and dynamics and structures that embody and embrace the values inherent in consensus.
But the short-term soulutions are different: They range, for example, from boycotting the political system to supporting progressive politicians as the lesser of evils, because they at least have some concern for the issues that really matter to people.
Perhaps the beginning of it all is to begin (or continue) the path to a deeper understanding of how we came to this place of separation and isolation - from each other, from the natural world, even from our own families - and then working towards ending that separation.
Looking at the big picture, we have spiritual institutions (religions) which are totally irrelevant to most people (we'll discuss later the bizarre concepts which underlie the very idea of spiritual "institutions"); we have an economy which serves only the (already) very wealthy, but which we all (or the vast majority of us, at least) perceive to have a vested interest in. We have a political structure which serves only the already powerful, and in which the rest of us have no real voice. We have a social structure which is fragmented and decaying, resulting in a division, isolation and separation - and increased anger and violence not just in society in general, but in our schools, our workplaces, at home.
We have disconnected. Once upon a time we understood that the natural world was a web, of which we - the human race - were just one strand. And we understood that all the strands in that web were connected, and that disrupting those strands had far reaching ramifications. So our "footstep" was, by definition, as light as possible.
But over time, that understanding of the world changed and we came to see nature as the enemy, a force that we needed to conquer, we came to see ourselves as having dominion over the rest of the natural world, and as we - with surprising success - separated ourselves from the natural world, we triggered a process which ultimately led to our separation from each other, and the destruction of anything we could realistically call "community".
We no longer see ourselves as an integral part of the natural world, neither less nor more important than any other part. We no longer see ourselves as part of anything; we have just become cogs in a machine of production and consumption, a machine that feeds on itself, feeds on a world whose resources are finite (limited) and feeds on the community of life.
Unnecessary consumption - consumption for it's own sake - can be defined only as what it is: we are consuming the world. And that is not - cannot be - a good thing.
The way we begin to change this inherently destructive behavior is by a process which involves re-connecting with the natural world, re-connecting with (and re-building) our communities, changing our behaviors and our attitudes and our views, getting and sharing information about the way the world is being run and who is running it, and for whose benefit ... becoming involved with each other, involved with and engaged with, our communities, engaged with life - by which I mean not just fully engaged in being alive (which most of us are NOT), but also engaged with (and aware of) the community of life to which we belong.
So spend some time, consider talking to us, supporting us, joining us.
We would love to hear from you.
Please feel welcome to send us your
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