Friday, August 17, 2012

Catholic sisters in shift

Barbara Marx Hubbard and LCWR, August 17
Listen to Barbara Marx Hubbard tell of “the most remarkable experience of [her] life,” having addressed the 900 sisters at the LCWR convention. She said she had made two important addresses in her life—the first in 1984 at the national Democratic convention and this one at the LCWR convention with 900 women deciding how to respond to the decree from the Vatican. The difference for her was stark:  “Here, you’re already doing it.”

She saw 900 women in a few days make a cooperative decision. The leaders “leaned into” what everyone at the small discussion tables believed should happen and the participants informed the leaders of the decision. It was to open the field for more dialogue, more telling of their truth. It was the best example of democracy at work that she has ever seen. At this time in the evolution of humanity, when old structures are failing, she saw the sisters demonstrate a new structure of oneness, wholeness, and goodness to help the planet emerge as co-creative, cooperative humanity.

At the standing ovation, she recognized the seedbed for the future of humanity—caring for each other and for the unmet needs of humanity. The democratic structure she saw was new to her, not new to them. She felt privileged to be invited and feels like an evolutionary sister of the sisters.

Paul Ryan v. S. Simone, August 26, 2012
Of course I root for S. Simone, leader of the nuns on the bus, in this exchange with Robert Royal, a Catholic defending the Ryan budget. I wanted her or Moyers to say more about big money in Congress getting the tax code structured so that the wealth created by middle class labor is directed to a few financial elites. Productivity of working people has risen impressively but they are not enjoying the fruits of their labor.

Over the past 30 years, a larger and larger portion of America's income growth has gone to those in the top 10% of incomes, and outlandish portions to those in the top 1%. This is a major change from the prior 60 years, in which the top 10% and the bottom 90% shared income gains. Wages have been steadily falling, while profits have been steadily rising. Financial elites have piles of money but are not investing in businesses because middle class consumers lack enough money to create the demand that investors need to create jobs. People have needs and wants but lack enough money to pay for them.

So diverting wealth away from the middle class hurts the entire economy. Wealth inequality not only is unfair; it hurts everybody, including the wealthy. They also depend on a healthy society. There’s plenty of supply—fabulous wealth lies ready to be used—but the demand is lacking. This is the root of our sick economy.

The Ryan budget has everything exactly wrong. Its tunnel-vision sees only the budget deficit and as a solution looks only at cutting funds for domestic needs. It looks at one tree and fails to see the whole forest of our sick economy. Middle class people work harder and harder just to stay in place. Families with two incomes still are struggling, still are falling behind. Adjusting for inflation, 85 to 90% of Americans have made no financial gains in the past 50 years, while CEO earnings have exploded.

The speaker in the last video thinks the solution cannot come from government. He thinks those with excess profits need to be convinced to pay fair wages for their own benefit, because systems don’t stay out of balance for long. They correct themselves. Either there will be a quiet revolution or a noisy, disruptive revolution. He may be right, because this imbalance will not go on for long. I hope enough financial elites catch on soon enough to avoid bedlam.

Those of us who recognize the inner world as the source of solutions can do more than pray. We can stay informed and help to educate our society dying from the illness of wealth disparity.

2 comments:  Florian said...

So have you finally come around to the truth that the solution cannot come from government? Have you then finally seen the light and so now will stop voting for stupid democrats?

The Ryan budget is at least a budget, which is more than the Democrats have. The Democrats do not want a budget so that they have a campaign issue: blast the Republicans for the budget cuts they propose. But even the Democrats know budget cuts are needed because government spending is out of control; they are just not being honest about it.
August 27, 3:31 PM
Democrats have consistently taken the position that fixing the deficit requires both budget cuts and revenue enhancement (raising taxes). Responsible Republicans agree, but they have been out-shouted by Tea Party extremists, who forced Boehner to walk away from the deal he and Obama were close to making. Now Boehner pretends it's Obama's fault.
Another example of Republican irresponsibility as a result of Tea Party pressure: Republicans overwhelmingly voted for sequestration, which would cut from all programs, including the military. Now Republicans are complaining about that law, which they voted for. Their rhetoric would make it seem it was an Obama thing. Not the truth.
One has to stay informed to know what is really going on politically.
September 14, 5:16 PM


S. Simone at the DNC, September 6, 2012

Click and listen to S. Simone Campbell at the Democratic National Convention, and to the thunderous ovation. It will lift you up.

Shift to a new earth, September 11, 2012
The Shift network describes itself as a group of global co-creators, that is, awake and aware evolutionary pioneers who intentionally participate in the Birth to the next era of our evolution. They have arbitrarily chosen December 22, 2012, as the birthday of a new earth, a world that works for everyone. The “undisputed planetary midwife” of this movement is futurist Barbara Marx Hubbard.

In this excerpt of her address to the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, Barbara Marx Hubbard claims an a-religious, agnostic, materialistic, secular, Jewish background, and wonders at the opportunity of her presence at the LCWR conference. The anomaly of Roman Catholic nuns having her speak at their conference stirs her immensely.
No one could have planned it this way, but perhaps the higher consciousness of the Divine is at work . . .
She claims,
a shared sense of mission” with the sisters at this most critical time in the history of humanity. We’re facing a moment of choice because the system is not sustainable as it is. . . . [It will shift] one way or another—toward radical breakdown, or innovation, creativity, love, and breakthrough. How the system tips depends on what happens, and this is happening.
By “this” I think she meant the linking of her secular spiritual movement with the sisters.

In the conscious evolution she intuits, we are at a chaos point, the critical tipping point in an evolutionary trend out of the present state of behavior, which cannot continue. The system is launched on a new trajectory to a new structure, a new mode of operation. The timing is perfect for this exact situation to have occurred. With intuitive, evolutionary eyes, she sees this as a 13.7 billion year trend, a pattern of breakdowns and breakthroughs.

My friend Sondra Lewis has this reflection on the movement:
This whole shift is like a tsunami that is still way out in the ocean. Without any sophisticated monitors you don't see it coming until it hits shore. Our sophisticated monitor is noticing and connecting what is happening below the radar.
This “sophisticated monitor” operates in every human breast but on a level not acknowledged by most. I think it explains the panicky fear and fanatical resistance to change exhibited by some. When I get discouraged by political and religious events, I hold in mind these thoughts, and I am consoled.

Self and soul, September 18, 2012
Two submissions of mine were published in the last few days. In “Economy stifles middle class with unfair tax cuts,” I quote several conservative economists who refute the right-wing belief that tax cuts would stimulate and cure our country’s sick economy, resting my statement on the economic model of supply and demand. We don’t need more supply—billionaires have plenty of money to start businesses. What’s lacking is demand—customers with enough money to demand services and products.

My other published submission is not available online. It was a letter in National Catholic Reporter responding to an article in the previous edition of NCR. My letter prompted, in turn, a phone call I received from an 81-year-old in Phoenix, Arizona.

The article in NCR bemoans the shift of emphasis from soul to self in religious writing “because soul is a key word in a world that gave structure and meaning to a spiritual way of life.” The writer claims that changing the focus to the dignity of the individual was the root cause of changes in religious life over the past 50 years, writing,
With the eclipse of the soul, religious life found itself bereft of its essential focus.
She implies that religious communities have lost their souls and this caused their demise. She does not appreciate the vibrant spiritual health of religious sisters today.

I take a radically different view of the shift from soul to self. Traditional talk of saving our souls assumed that we had souls, disconnected things attached to our persons like appendages, white things pictured in religion class with black marks from our sins. Having moved past traditional Catholic training, I say we are souls; they are our essential selves, our whole selves.

The word “self” does not denote egotistical narcissism. Soul and self both refer to my deepest, divine self, my Higher Power, my inner Beloved, the “Christ in me,” to quote Paul in Galatians. This higher self, distinct from my ego personality, guides me, encourages me, brings me up short when I need it. I welcome the change in thought from having souls to being souls, our essential selves. Rather than a retreat from spiritual values, this incorporates spirituality into the whole of life.

The caller from Phoenix was very happy to see my statement, an insight she had come to from working through suffering.