Possibilities for hope and healing are glimmering amid the dark violence and greed of our world: a deepening environmental consciousness, a more sophisticated movement for nonviolent communication and peace, a growing acceptance of gay marriage, and even a widening commitment to corporate responsibility, to name a few. Our task as spiritual activists is to articulate the common spiritual dimension in all these areas and to show that spiritual energy will light the path forward. Taming the ego and finding the deep human connections underneath, and trusting in a power and presence beyond the material world, are the essential ingredients for tikkun olam, healing and restoration, in the 21st century.

Introducing spiritual concepts into policy discussions is not easy, but fortunately science is on our side. The latest developments in physics, biology, neuroscience, and psychology all confirm the fundamental connection of all humans and the centrality of consciousness to existence. Now we can talk hard science as well as soft-hearted spirituality in advocating for change.

My judicial career has been focused in family law, which is hopelessly behind in coping with 50% divorce rates and 40% unmarried parent rates. Family fragmentation on this scale, the worst in the world, is going to have devastating social consequences unless we soon develop more child-friendly legal and social structures.

In this talk, drawing on the piercing legal critique developed by my friend and Tikkun editor Peter Gabel, and the latest scientific evidence brilliantly summarized by Lynn McTaggart in her new book, The Bond, (referring to the bond between people) I offer a vision of divorce without courts. The substantive issue–humanizing the divorce process–is terribly important. Equally important is that this kind of spiritual analysis can be applied to many other issues. Watch it and tell me what you think! My email is bruce.peterson@courts.state.mn.us.

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