Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Losing our lands, gaining the world

I was talking to someone the other day about land rights, here and abroad, the middle east, all that stuff. You know what its like. The endless to and fro about who was there first, the injustices and horrors.

I thought about the ISIS stuff, the christians, and all the other religious wars and persecutions. I wondered about the Jews claim to their God given homeland, the cries of the Palestinians, the Ukrainians, and all the other eastern Europe conflicts. The aboriginals, the American Indians, on and on through history.

So much is tied up in national identity and its relationship to the land. Humanity has what I would call an obsession with the land being integral with their identity. The history of countless generations becoming an almost physical part of the soil they stand on. Every nation on earth has this.

Countless "superior" nations have invaded and conquered weaker nations and tribes, dislodging them from their native lands, often cruel, and even genocidal. Often those earlier nations did the same with even earlier cultures and tribes. It's a cycle that humanity keeps going through.

History proves that man learns nothing from history. This seems to be a prime example. People tromping over each other, claiming some superior reason or right - often a "reclaiming" of old lands that are their heritage, as if who they are is inherent in the particular patch of earth they "own".

Sure, there are nations that "get it" in the sense that no one owns the land. But they aren't that common any more. Many of them have been forced into the same "ownership" mentality.

How sad that humanity keeps thinking that anything outside of themselves - external to them - is of such value that they are willing to kill for it!

I understand the spiritual connections to the land, but as a species we keep elevating that connection to our personal and corporate identity. We think that if we don't stand together with our tribe on our "ancestral" land (and that goes for any country/nation/tribe/culture) we will lose all meaning and hope.

What a waste!

Seriously, it's a tragic delusion that focuses on the external, the material, as if that is what makes us who we are.

Patriotism - what an absolute ripoff! Yes, I love the country I live in and all the benefits I have as part of that culture, but patriotism is a deep "us and them" arrogance. It says we are better, stronger, nicer, happier, we have better morals, better government. It separates into tribes and build walls. It stands in defiance against humanity's unique unity.

My country is no more special than yours. I love where I live, but its not my identity. We hold ideals as if they magically make us better. We think our "rich" heritage actually means something. Sure its interesting, but its not WHO WE ARE.

America, the Middle East, ALL of us. We are humanity, we are one! This isn't some hippie drug induced dream - its the only way forward. No religion will ever provide a solution, no political system will make a difference. Only our determination to break apart those paradigms and actually see each other as loving beautiful people, will make any difference.

How do we do this? How do we actually get to this point? We simply start doing it. We stop being patriotic, one individual at a time. We stop looking for our identity in others, in our environment, in our culture, in our family. We still love them, but they are not US. It's not an unachievable pipe dream. Its as simple as letting go and choosing to see with eyes that love - exercising empathy and compassion, over and above our obsession for cultural identity.

It's simply living loved.