Saturday, November 2, 2013

Imagine

One of my all time favorite "pop" songs from the 70s is "Imagine" by John Lennon. Most anyone near my age bracket will probably know most of the lyrics by heart.

Lately I have been thinking we need to carry such an anthem to a higher level...meaning a level of "doing" versus just "imagining". To that end, I break down some of that song's lyrics to basic real ideas that could help make that song more of a reality in our lives...yes, in this lifetime.

Imagine there's no heaven
It's easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today...
This song starts out with the most startling and profound thought..."Imagine there's no Heaven". The first decade of my life was heavily programmed by church and religion to the extent that until my teens I couldn't imagine that this life may be all there is. Yet, as I started reading all sorts of books on comparative religions, psychology, communications and looking realistically at the sciences I studied in school compared to the belief systems I studied at church...I realized that all things must be questioned, examined, reasoned and either embraced or discarded.  To be on the fence on such things can only be pure hell mentally, emotionally and even physically.

It took me well over 20 years from age 16 to become comfortable with admitting that I could no longer believe the institutional religion I was brought up in compared to the knowledge and experiences I had gained in the real world. While I understood...and still miss...the simplistic comfort of fundamental faith in a "personal God" and the sense of community that religions bring to our sometimes lonely existence, there came a time where I found myself "confessing" my current agnostic mentality that our institutional approach to God and religion just don't add up in the light of extreme scrutiny and reason. I know most people past 25 or 30 never go back and question the fundamentals that their belief systems were built on...and it is excruciatingly painful psychologically and socially to do so...but those of us who break through it from my observations are the freest, most independent, self actualized people on the earth...and probably beyond.

I say "beyond" because I believe we are more likely to find other "worlds" and "human life" in other parts of the vast universe science has revealed to us than we are to find a heaven or a God. So, for me life is definitely more meaningful and self fulfilled now that I have realized that this is probably "all there is"...but that is okay because what is here gives us all the tools and opportunity to create and advance a civilization that will eventually overcome our current simpleton institutions of governments and religions. When we humans can get comfortable in our own "skins"...and get beyond the skin to realms of unlimited minds pushing technologies and science to its limits..that is when hope and love of self and others can truly start being attained by the masses.

Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace...
I have grown quite convinced...and even more so this past decade since 9/11...that the world will never be at peace until we get rid of borders, governments and religions that ferment exclusion, isolation of the masses and the control of those masses by very powerful minorities. We need to build systems of INTER dependence more than isolationism.  We need to annihilate racism and sectarianism.  While we need to respect "difference", we don't need to respect ignorance or mysticism. It is important to sustain individual sovereignty that is mindful and respectful of ALL individuals on this planet as long as those individuals are not lording their race or creed at the exclusion of others. Until we can give up our armaments designed to kill or enforce OUR will over the will of others...we will always have war.  Until we can educate and convince the masses that they, not "God", are responsible for themselves in a cause and effect world based on HUMAN decisions, values and actions...NO ONE will take responsibility for the world's sad state of affairs. We need leadership that UNITES versus DIVIDE.  We need leadership that is SELFLESS, yet SELF MOTIVATED in being a catalyst for peace and prosperity for all.

You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will be as one
The world perishes because the masses have lost hope and no longer have viable dreams that can be realized.  Our lives are so programmed and controlled from the minute we are born by teachers, media, family and institutions that we are left with little room to dream or become unique. We are compressed and manipulated into "huddled masses" of discontent. We can no longer trust our governments or leaders.  "Big Brother" is everywhere...watching and controlling our every move. They want to control where we go, who we go with and what we consume in our daily lives. They have sold us on the idea that they are good for us. They somehow protect us from ourselves. Personal expression and uniqueness is "discouraged".  Conformity is rewarded. Behavior modification is levied on us from our first breath. "They" would prefer us to be robots under controlled behaviors than imperfect humans who experiment, love adventure and wanting to reach our own personal limits or ambitions. Millions of laws have been passed in an attempt to reach a Utopian society of uniformity and "utilitarianism"... the ethical doctrine that virtue is based on utility, and that conduct should be directed toward promoting the greatest happiness of the greatest number of persons versus the pursuit of INDIVIDUAL happiness or prosperity.  To serve is to be glorified, and to serve yourself to be disdained.

The masses just don't understand that to "be as one" simply means we all relish and respect personal freedom and no one lives as a slave to another.  There is no "greater good" than the individual cause of liberty and happiness. Yet, from day one we are bred to feel guilty about our personal wants and indulgences. One day they push you to succeed or excel...the next day they want to bring you down a few notches to make sure you remain humble and don't think you are better than others.  Somehow equality of rights has been interpreted that no one is better than the other and competition is a bad thing because there are winners and losers.  In trying to make everyone a "winner",,,all are losers.

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world...
America has led the way the past 100 years in being the greatest consumer nation in the world. We are known by our appetites for excess. Our lives are measured by how much money, property and "things" we can accumulate in our short lives. People take false pride in their family's wealth or status versus creating their own station and status in life. We live in the age of entitlement where families feel entitled to handouts from their elders and citizens expect their governments to take care of them. To that end, we have allowed these rich families...controlling most of the banks and institutions in our lives...to dictate to the rest of us where we can live and under what rules we can pursue business and/or pleasure.

We must come to realize that there is no reason for poverty or hunger apart from the controls of distribution under the powers of the few. If the rich hoarders do not soon realize that they must share and help those less fortunate to be self sustaining...the fattened pig WILL be slaughtered. I'm not suggesting virtue in socialism or communism...but I am extolling the virtues of sharing in responsible ways our knowledge and our excess with those who are trying to work and succeed as we have.  If we do not learn to share...we will soon find ourselves overrun by the starving, ignorant masses...and they will feast on our fattened, spoiled corpses.

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