Problems and Soulutions
"This is what you shall do: love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to everyone that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence towards people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown, re-examine all you have been told at church or school or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul, and your flesh shall be a great poem."
- Walt Whitman, Preface to the first edition of Leaves of Grass
The future is calling. Are you listening?
For every problem there is a solution ... a soulution. This is a good thing, because we face many problems and many people find this entire discussion overwhelming. We face such a cascade of problems that questions arise very quickly, like "Where do we begin?" amd "What do we actually do?" Often times specific individual soulutions, specific individual actions, seem like a drop in the bucket, or even less.
And so we don't take them. We do nothing at all, because we are unsure of what we should do or what impact it could possibly have, and thus the world gets a little bit worse (by not getting a little bit better).
Well, really, it gets a lot worse - because we have cascaded and layered one problem on top of the other, because of the way in which we have warped beliefs our into a system which supports ur anti-life behavior and, even more to the point, supports the idea that we cannot stop acting that way, that it is in our nature, a human flaw.
Virtually the entire Christian theology exists merely to support this concept: We are sinners, born in sin; sinning is what we do. So why bother stopping, especially when we can't anyway, when Jesus has died for our sins and the primary ingredient in salvation is not to even try to do better, but just to "have faith". Forget the fact that this flies directly in the face of what jesus actually said, taught and believed - this is what most Christians today believe.
But the reality is that the only way to stop evil in the world is by action, by refusing to engage in, cooperate with or be a part of, that which is wrong - by actively resisting evil.
So it isn't all that complicated, at least not yet. In the beginning it is just about taking responsibility for what we say and do, and understanding that our decisions about such apparently mundane things as where to eat or where to shop may have ramifications relating to a better (or worse) world that dramatically supersede our faith.
It gets somewhat more complicated later because of the fact that we have, as a species, gone so long and far down this road of denial and refusing to accept responsibility.
We talk about solutions as "soulutions" not because we are religious (we aren't), but because the problems we have created and must face are the direct result of belief and behavior and therefore the true answers to those problems are not scientific or medical or relisgious - but they are spiritual ... that is, they must come from "our hearts", from deep inside us, from a place that is primal and alive and understands the deep connection we have to each other, to our communities, to the "web of life". When we we are able to acknowledge that connection and re-build our beliefs and views and behaviors and - yes, even our institutions - to reflect that connection, we will have made progress.
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