It was the best of times. It was the worst of times. It was a time for reaching out and a time for letting go. It was a time of beauty and a time of horror. It was a time of hope and a time of despair. It was a time of war and a time of peace.
It was a time when in the face of great change, on the surface, everything seemed the same. Jobs were still scarce and people were still losing their homes. Money was still the currency of politics, corporate executives and Wall St. bankers still were paid yearly salaries most people would work a lifetime for and never achieve. The rich had it beyond good and the poor had long ago fallen through the cracks.
And some who sought the highest office of the land would declare that government has no role in helping those who falter. They would proclaim that those who work hard and succeed have no duty or responsibility to extend a hand to those less equipped than they. He who has, deserves. He who has not, deserves not. Let those who fall be consumed by the forces of nature, like the animals in the jungle, they declared. And lest their carcasses litter the landscape, let them also figure out for themselves how to deal with sickness, old age and death.
It appeared there was no love in the land and fear seemed to rule the day. Fear breeds mistrust, and in their fear, the people turned on each other. They were no longer each other's neighbors and fellow countrymen. They became each other's enemies. Their hearts and minds were poisoned with lies masquerading as truths. No one knew who to trust or what to believe anymore. Thus, they were rendered easily controllable by those in power.
On the surface, it didn't look good for them. It looked like the good guys were losing, yet again. That is, unless you'd developed an eye for looking between the cracks and reading between the lines. Unless you were attuned for seeing what is not obvious and hearing beyond words, you were likely to miss it. Yet there, growing ever so imperceptibly in the dark, a tiny ray of hope emerged. It was shy at first. Its tiny ray barely cast any light upon the earth.
But there were those who felt it before anyone saw it. Having stood vigil for millennia, in their hearts, they sheltered the spark that would ignite the flame that would illuminate the world again.
And then, when the world was at its darkest, one of them shook off her slumber, opened her eyes and declared herself awake. As she stood up, the darkness surrounding her was flooded with light and there was warmth and love in her midst. She turned to those around her and saw they were asleep. Gently, she tapped them on the shoulder and encouraged them to awaken. As the others awakened, they stood up and there was more light and love in their midst. They looked around and saw still more who were asleep and so it went. Those who'd been sleeping awakened and saw what there was to do.
In the end, after so long in darkness, it took but a moment for the light to return. It only takes one spark to ignite a forest fire, and in the end that's how it went. Human hearts awakening, the fires of unity spreading in an instant, and the last human being awakened.
This brings us to the myth of the "Hundredth Monkey" -- a new age allegory that refers to the time when a critical mass is achieved and collective behavior shifts. Storytellers, philosophers, astrologers and indigenous people have pointed to this time, 2012, as the time of the "Great Awakening."
Peter Russell, author of Waking Up in Time, calls it time wave zero, the time when time ends as we know it. A time beyond time, beyond measurable time anyway. The prophecies surrounding this age are filled with conflicting predictions. Time will end, the world will end, apocalypse now vs. complete paradigm shift, humanity evolves to the next level and harmony will reign upon the earth.
No one knows what the future holds. We don't even know what the next breath will bring us. But I wonder what would happen if enough people held a vision around a "Great Awakening" to begin at an appointed hour? What would happen if a critical mass of human beings opened themselves to the possibility that a collective event, like a massive paradigm shift, could happen?
Whatever these times may be, Mayan prophesy aside, we are the ones occupying planet Earth in 2012. We are the ones whose choices set the stage for all that follows. We are the ones who, in our daily lives, either allow our inner light to shine in the world, expressing love and reflecting the highest good for all of mankind, or out of a mistaken belief that there is a limited supply, or that who we are is not enough, shield our inner light from view. Whether or not there is a collective event that involves a "Great Awakening" for mankind depends upon our collective willingness to have it be so.
Clearly there is work to be done. Can we do it? The eternal optimist in me says absofrickinlutely we can! Will it happen in our lifetimes? Who knows? That part is not my concern. My only concern is that I live my own life aligned with the values I believe are essential for this event to occur and that I encourage others to encourage others do the same.
What are those essential values to live by? Here's my list. I don't claim for it to be the last word on the subject. I'd love to hear yours.
10 Essential Values for Living a Transformed Life (And Ushering in the 100th Monkey)
1) Accept personal responsibility -- 100 percent of the time. No exceptions. Responsibility is not blame. It is a choice, a place to stand, from which freedom, aliveness and creativity is possible.
2) Honesty -- 100 percent of the time. Tell the truth as you know it, especially when it's uncomfortable. No exceptions.
3) Integrity -- Honor and live as your word.
4) Authenticity -- Be and live as who you are. You're the only you, everyone else is taken.
5) Generosity -- Live from an open, giving heart. What goes around comes around.
6) Contribution -- Make a difference in the lives of others. Life has meaning and purpose when we live for something larger than fulfilling our own personal needs.
7) Oneness -- Love my neighbor as myself. We are one and the same. Outwardly different, inwardly the same. All is one.
8) Love -- Give it, be it, express it, be open to receive it. Love is all there really is. Everything else is the absence of love.
9) Abundance -- We live in an abundant universe. There is enough of everything, despite appearances. Live from the overflow. The source of love is infinite.
10) Vision -- Create a vision for your life that is large enough to hold your dreams. Live from your vision, not from circumstances. Vision trumps circumstances every time.
This is just a beginning. Spend some time with this and you'll come up with many more. Please do share them here as well as your thoughts about the 100th Monkey and the new year.
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Thanks for being here. Blessings on the path.
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