‘Value Change for Survival’
Founder Global Forum of
Spiritual Parliamentary Leaders
As I type this article, the clock is ticking as Climate Change worsens, and there’s agreement of Native and Western Scientists that we have less than a decade to transform modernity ethics. The work required seems daunting, and has millions, perhaps billions of people, wanting to address the problem but not knowing what to do and virtually paralyzed from acting. Perhaps the paralysis stems from the Albert Einstein quote, “The consciousness that creates a problem isn’t sufficient for addressing it”. Shifting consciousness does seem hopeless unless there’s an existing consciousness to which a culture can return. Fortunately, the consciousness we desire may be lived by many Eastern and Indigenous people all over Earth who’ve lived, flourished, and survived for millennia.
Our challenge is to discern our Indigenous roots, how they’ve been
compromised, and reintroduce Earth based ethics into our moral fiber.
Many of the points made in this paper will be referenced and further elaborated in a book, To Restore Earth’s Balance: Awakening Our Already-Knowing, co-authored by Dr. Ruth Miller and me, and it will be referenced to enhance points that follow.
A Hopi Teaching
The teaching stems from a hieroglyphic that accurately describes the ravaging of Earth with the possibility of destroying life as we know it, and also teaches us that if we wish to return to a past consciousness then we must embody it. This is a relatively simple process to articulate, and therefore seems readily implementable.
At the center of the above diagram is my simplified drawing of the hieroglyphic where the bottom horizontal line is the Hopi Earth based consciousness; the vertical line represents leaving that consciousness; and the upper horizontal line the adopting of Empire values that are integrated into current modernity with its ethical shortfall. The loop is composed of ten (10) ellipses, and begins with All systems are alive: Nature was our sole mentor, and then flows in a clockwise direction. The next ellipse, Separation from Earth, began around 5 thousand years ago coinciding with the beginning of Empire, and it is in the Empire era that Earth base values were either replaced or obscured.
Isn’t it these Earth values that constitute, “The value change for survival” to which we now strive?
Thus, we’ve travelled the portion of the loop that created our dilemma. Now let’s examine each of the ellipses necessary to infuse the embodied essence of Earth cultures into modernity cultures. Although the sequence appears to be linear, the ellipses are interdependent. The work for each ellipse informs the work of the other ellipses with critical feedback, thus creating a systemic environment.
Each description of an ellipse will include the importance of Tikkun, ‘repairing the Earth’, as well as the critical role Judaism and its Interfaith colleagues plays in the success of this implementation.
Diminished & Obscured Life Processes
When we think about our world and feel the pain of conflicts, social injustices and climate, it seems axiomatic to conclude that we have an ethical shortfall. And even if we look at all the improvements in terms of worldwide health, prosperity and other such measurements, Climate Crisis continues to lead to oblivion.
I recommend you stop reading and Google Ilarion Merculieff’s Youtube, Asking the Right Questions, and reflect on the following questions raised and his suggested action --
- What Have We Wrought?
- What is the Root Cause?
- They shouldn’t be studying the environment -- they should be studying themselves.
I think that because I was raised in a Jewish tradition where my father taught comparative religions, I was encouraged to ask questions and seek my own truth. As I reflect on Jewish scriptures and stories, I can readily discern when our culture separated from Earth’s mentoring, and we lost our recognition of interdependency with all other life; organized hierarchically and lost our relational ways; left our oral tradition and became subject to the limitations and mistranslations of alphabetic discourse; and were affected by domination both as perpetrators and victims.
I have several other questions regarding changes that transpired such as when/how did prayer change from gratitude to requesting; spirituality to religion; and valuing all life to anthropomorphism. Thus, the questions resonate deeply, and the introspection regarding traditional Jewish beliefs, behaviors and outcomes, leads to understanding of the need for an infusion of Earth based values.
Addressing our ethical shortfall, and accomplishing it immediately is essential. It is the path to changing the decisions that are made throughout our current institutions, organizations, and as individuals. We know this is possible if we think back to the Pope’s visit to the U.S. Congress September 24, 2015, and challenged lawmakers to live up to Constitutional values. The Speaker of the House, John Boehner, a devout Catholic resigned unexpectedly the next day. How many of us are conflicted because we know the values we are perpetrating are so different than those we hold most deeply? What do we need to hear, and from whom? Do we need permission to think and act beyond the dogmatic teachings that evolved from separation?
Discerning the ethical dimension of climate change is also essential because our current solutions to Climate Crisis are technological which are necessary but not sufficient. They are not sufficient because they only solve the immediate problem, but the root of our problem is ethics.
The scope of this work will be significantly informed by an understanding of Living Languages described in the next section, Creating Bridges.
Who is best suited to convene this work to determine where we are in this process, how best to move forward, and accelerate these most important activities of ethic reevaluation and change?
The bridges are necessary because the essence of Earth values that is intuited by those who embody them, aren’t understood by those cultures that separated from Earth. These bridges go beyond teaching and articles – they are designed to awaken an already knowing -- an embodiment experience.
Living Systems & Paradigm Shifts
When teaching, the diagram on the left is either shown on the screen or mapped on the floor so the students can move to the quadrant of their choice. Their movement is related to how Modernity and Earth cultures differ in terms of how they perceive Organic and Abundance. Both Earth and, Modernity cultures seek compassion so that scarce life giving needs like water, soil, and food will be shared. But Earth cultures also know that all organic systems cleanse, heal and restructure so that life will flourish, that they are inter-dependent, and are blessed with the endowments of Creation.
With regard to Abundance, Modernity cultures believe this to mean infinite and they can take and take, while Earth cultures know that Earth will always provide as long as we uphold our mutual stewardship responsibilities so life will continue to flourish.
The students are then asked four questions ‘Which one of the 4 quadrants best describes:
1. Who you are being at this time in your life?
Their response is overwhelmingly Social Justice
2. Who your parents and their generation are being?
Their response is generally Business with some Social Justice.
3. Who our country is being?
When the U.S is embroiled in conflicts students move strongly to Warring/Colonizing, otherwise some opt to move to the Business or Social Justice quadrants
4. Who you wish to be in your life work?
Here the response is very strong, often unanimous, Earth Based.
The students have expressed a paradigm shift for themselves – almost unanimously from Social Justice to Earth Based.
In addition, the students seem to grasp the initial point of the chart – there are three (3) paradigm shifts we need to make.
- Our thinking from Mechanical to Organic (Systemic)
- Our world-view from Scarcity to Abundance (Sufficient)
- The infusion of Earth based ways into each of the modernity constructs –
Business, Warring, and Social Justice.
The students also seem to understand that this infusion will bring with it relational leadership, valuing all life, and Earth based principles that will minimize, in some cases eliminate current problems in each construct.
Note that this profound shift takes place in a class period, sometimes as little as ½ hour. At a Portland High School the students were asked to talk about the guest facilitators who impacted them most deeply and one student stated, “Natural Systems thinking as the most powerful. He described how after reading Ishmael, he felt discouraged like we are all damned if we do and damned if we don't. Systems thinking provided him a strategy to respond to the challenges of our world.”
For me, the student named the type of learning that’s absolutely essential, Natural Systems Thinking.
A more detailed description of this bridge is on pages 59-70 of To Restore Earth’s Balance: Awakening Our Already-Knowing.
“This opens up the possibility of discoveringDr. Matthew Sheinin, comment regarding
what we don’t know we don’t know.”
The Ancient Hebrew matrix
The graphic below is adapted from a matrix on page 62 of Carlo Suares’, Cipher of Genesis: The Original Code of the Qabala as Applied to the Scriptures. I believe it to be an accurate understanding of the Hebrew language as spoken by Abraham and his community; that like so many Indigenous languages it was derived from Earth vibrations, and later lost – probably in slavery; and holds the key for re-translating the most sacred stories for all the Abrahamic traditions. It is not only a template for the Hebrew language, but for the original Jewish culture.
When I studied Living Systems, I had the privilege of being on a design team on which Dr. Fitjof Capra co-taught my Antioch U. cohort. Dr. Capra told us that in addition to the Living System attributes of continually self-organizing as they cleanse, heal, and restructure so that they might flourish in their emergent processes, all life is endowed with several life processes. I didn’t know what he meant at the time, but sensed it to be very important. And when Carlo Suares touted the Ancient Hebrew as a Living Language, I hoped that I would sense them or see them in his book. Lo and behold, each of the nine (9) columns in Suares’ chart is an endowed life process expressed in our language and appreciated by our people. What’s more, the three (3) rows in the matrix express three energies – the Creative Cosmological force, the energy derived from Experiencing the process, and the Archetypal nurturing energy for each process. When I’ve shared this representation of Hebrew with Indigenous colleagues, the response has been overwhelming – one began crying as she felt the similar energy to her own language, and another said to me, “When we speak our language, it’s like awakening an already knowing.”
When I look back to the Hopi drawing, I feel there was a time, the time of Abraham, when the sole mentor was Earth, and the Earth based values were reflected in our language. One revelation is that every Ancient Hebrew word is a story, and this became apparent when I heard Mahatma Gandhi’s grandson, Arun Gandhi, tell the story of going to his grandfather and asking him to explain peace. As Arun tells the story, the Mahatma gave his grandson a kernel of grain and sent him on his way. Arun put the kernel in a box and then forgot about it. Several days later he remembered, and then asked his grandfather to explain the shriveled kernel. His grandfather said, “If you had placed the kernel in nurturing soil and watered it, it would have created its own seed, and with some work you could have had a whole field of grain.”
I met with Arun after he told the story, and asked him if his grandfather was energetically connected to Sanskrit. He gave me a surprised look and said, ‘Yes. Why do you ask?’ I told him of my study of the Ancient Hebrew and my ‘aha’ moment when I thought about the Jewish word for peace, Shalom, (Sheen-ש, Lammed-ל, Vav-و, final Mem- מ), and how it tells the same story that his grandfather shared with him. I went through each character’s meaning:
- ש is the Cosmological Force that creates Organic Life;
- מ is the Cosmological Perfect Seed;
- و fertilizes that seed; and
- ל is the Organic Life we experience.
We’ve lost the perspective that these ancestors discerned regarding Creation and the creative processes, and I think it’s an imperative process to understand if we’re ever to truly understand Genesis, our most sacred story. I felt it was the Cosmological characters (the 3rd row in the matrix), the force that created each of the Life Processes, that drive the story. I wasn’t disappointed, and I’ve enlarged the Cosmological characters of B’reishit, בְּרֵאשִׁית, the first word of Genesis. It should be noted that each word in the Ancient Hebrew is a story unto itself, and I believe that B’reishit is the story that is the context from which the rest of creation emerges. When the three Cosmological forces רֵ, Perfect Order & Structure, שִׁ, Organic Life (the Breath of God), and ת, Birth with Resistance, act in conjunction with the Archetypal nurturing energies of בְּ and א, Perfect Order & Structure and The Life-Death-Life Continuum respectively, all Existential Life, י, Yod, will emerge.
Please look at pages 35-45 of To Restore Earth’s Balance: Awakening Our Already-Knowing to discern a different understanding of several Hebrew words.
A most interesting side note is that in my original work, B’reishit was the only word I found with three cosmologic characters, but in doing this paper I discovered another Hebrew word with three (3) Cosmologic characters, Tikkun, תיקון. When the three Cosmological forces ת, Birth with Resistance, ק, The Life-Death-Life Continuum, and ן, Possibilty, act in conjunction with the Archetypal nurturing energy ו, Fertilization, new Existential Life, י, Yod, will emerge.
Note that the Existential result of both B’reishit and Tikkun is the emergence of life, both the physical life we observe in plants and animals and the energetic life from learning, conversations, spirit and love.
As B’reishit serves as the container for creation, perhaps Tikkun serves as the container for renewal. Both of these sacred words tell a sacred story, and from each emerges a better understanding of life processes that are obscured by modernity.
It might also be inferred from the last five (5) Cosmological Forces of Attraction, Energy, Possibility. Fertilization, and that we are blessed with implicate order grounded in loving, interdependent relationships.
One of our major challenges is to be able to replicate the nuances of Indigenous Talking Circles – a purely relational space where every voice is equal and opinion welcomed, intentions are established for future events, and unity of spirit establishedbrings a group oneness and commitment.
Earth based cultures that are connected to life processes flow with change more readily than modernity cultures, thus avoiding the conflict that stems from resisting change. 100% Consensus prepares the conflicting parties to think and act more communally, imagine beyond currently perceived barriers, shift from defining worst to best possible outcomes, learn from Nature, and change our internal stories that no longer resonate with us.
Other Necessary Bridges
As we relearn to play the game of life there are several other bridges that are necessary. Perhaps the most important being Valuing all Life and developing and living in accordance with Un-compromised Guiding Ecologic and Communal Guiding Principles. In addition we’ll need to understand and design bridges to better understand Emergence, Blending Apparent Opposites, Quantum Reality, Relational Leadership, Systemic Understanding, and blending modernity ways into an Earth Based Framework.
You can’t organize this.Albeta Iron Cloud Miller
If there’s not spirit,
it’s not going to happen.
Modernity, specifically colonization, has decimated most Indigenous cultures, and it is those who’ve tenaciously preserved their Earth relationships to whom we turn. As Marcus Terena, the spokesperson for just under 1000 representatives of Indigenous People from all over our planet. told the delegates at the 1992 Environemtal Summit in Rio DeJanerio,
“This life code that no scientist has ever managed to unveil rests with the Indians. You don't have to look any further. Are you prepared for that? Is the contemporary world prepared for what we want to convey after 500 years?”
We will have to demonstrate our readiness to listen, offering atonement for what we’ve wrought by asking and responding to what they need from us. Hopefully, the wisdom they share will include their perspectives on what it is to live in balance and harmony with Earth and all it’s life forms, the spirit that emerges through ceremony and communal consensus, the bridges they discern need to be developed, and the assistance they can provide for Engaging the Masses.
The masses have been awakened in events that are seeded and then self-organize such as the Climate Change, Women’s, Peace, and Black Lives Matter marches. By acceptinging Indigenous relational leadership bolstered by a widely accepted Earth base ethic and more broadly embodied authentic wisdom, these events can be trasformed into organic processes where spirit will be infused in currently dis-spirited cultures.
Tribe follows tribe, and nation follows nation, like the waves of the sea.
It is the order of nature, and regret is useless.
Your time of decay may be distant, but it will surely come
for even the White Man whose God walked and talked with him
as friend to friend, cannot be exempt from the common destiny.
We may be brothers after all.
~Chief Seattle, Suquamish Nation,1854
My hope is that this paper will serve as a blessing. There is the recognition that we are addressing a foremost existential threat – Climate Change. If we disern it as a puzzle, and as shown in the Hopi Teaching graphic there are very few pieces. These pieces fit together easily in both a straightforward flow, and with interlocking dependencies that are readily understood. Also, there is the fact that our greatest ally is Mother Nature who’s continually cleansing, healing and restructuring so that life will flourish. May this be a path for better understanding, appreciating and flowing with her.
https://www.hopi-nsn.gov/ (official website of the Hopi tribe). Both Chief Oren Lyons and Hopi Elder Thomas Banyacya attended Aoki’s Global Forum where Banyacya spoke about the Hopi prophesy. https://apnews.com/article/e7999bab03deec1f9147ada135c00659
 Yakoana, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ep-ClwQr1qI