We Must Build Our Own Dawn An Offering in Memory of Mahatma Gandhi

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May humanity
and all the living creatures of this earth benefit from the memory
of Gandhiji and his works. May our children live long, live free.
May we build a new dawn of peace on earth, goodwill toward all.
May all beings be happy.

Mahatma Gandhi
stood for and died for truth, self-reliance and integrity. He showed
us the efficacy of integrity in human affairs to a depth seldom
displayed among men: a man fully integrated in congruency of thought,
word and deed. To think one thing, say another and do a third is
to lie, to dis-integrate. Gandhi was an integral man: he did not
lie, nor did he engage in secrecy. By contrast, today's world is
a sea of lies in which the biggest decisions which affect the lives
of billions of people, and perhaps even the future of all life on
earth, are made in secrecy behind closed doors and sealed in classified
documents. We live in a disintegrating society, one of escalating
mindless violence.

Even language
itself is being slaughtered, when, as Arundhati Roy notes (The
Algebra of Infinite Justice
, 2002), it is being systematically
employed to mask intent and to create a breeding ground for
exploitation in the space between what is said and what is done.
The space of lies. It is in this space that a new kind of imperialistic
war of scorched-earth destruction is being fought. The battleground
is mind-space: the aim of conquest is human consciousness itself.

Without a moral
compass, neither individual nor society can navigate the storms
of life. Unless we can find the Pole Star of Truth, we are in big
trouble, with the very survival of civilization in jeopardy. Even
now, having created a world gone mad with the violence of its greed,
can we say we are civilized? Are we humane?

The Mahatma
is not with us except to the extent we imbibe his example of truth,
self-reliance and integrity into our individual lives. We must build
our own dawn.

At the University
of Chihuahua in northern Mexico, an international conference was
held in 1991 to debate the USA-controlled World Bank's plan to finance
a pulp paper mill project which would destroy the last remaining
old-growth forest of the Sierra Occidental. Facing an audience of
trade officials, bureaucrats, scientists and environmentalists stood
an elder of the Tarahumara tribe, in his hand a cheap pulp magazine.
Gazing calmly at the bankers and industrialists, the Tarahumara
spoke softly: "You are cutting the last of our trees to turn
them into this. The forest is the life of my people. When you have
cut our trees, we will die and you will read this."

A few miles
from the University, Tarahumara women and children live in burrows
dug into mounds of garbage at the city dump. At a remote village
in the Sierra, a Tarahumara elder had told me, "My young men
want to fight. I tell them no. We must be patient."

Politically
correct public statements of "concern" notwithstanding,
the State's actual volition was revealed to me by the request of
a peace activist conference attendee for me to fly her to a remote
village without filing a flight plan. She had just spoken at the
conference to expose the timber mafia — government nexus in which
corrupt bureaucrats seek bribes in exchange for logging permits
in protected areas. Visibly shaken, she said "My life is in
danger, I must get away quickly." I dropped her off at the
edge of a short, nasty little crosswind dirt strip on a ridge crest
near Pino Gordo.

I had come
to Chihuahua as a volunteer pilot for an awareness campaign to fly
opinion leaders for a first-hand look at clear-cut logging devastation,
aimed at generating motivation to stop the World Bank. The Gulf
War was on. The juxtaposition of these two American-financed operations
crystallized in my mind as a kind of epiphany. I determined to leave
my country forever, to remove myself entirely from its economic
activity, to cease paying the taxes that finance its war-mongering
greed.

I could not
then have foreseen how much further we would sink into barbarian
depravity, thrust by lies into the pathological insanity of Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld
State Terrorism.

Here in India,
I try to implement the other component of non-violent resistance
discovered by Gandhi to be essential to remaining psychologically
whole: a program of positive constructive action in support of social
and moral uplift. Although I fall far short, Gandhi's example continues
to inspire me.

We are not
ruled by an Emperor these days, nor by a Prime Minister, Parliament
or Legislature, but by an inhuman, dehumanizing System-Structure
which owns, controls, markets and operates all of the above as a
machine. And this machine is out of control, run amok. It is a cancer
of exploitation-greed which is destroying — quite rapidly — the
biological web of life on earth and the living, organic social body
of humanity. Democracy, Self-Rule, is a sham in world ruled within
the institutional framework which has arisen to protect the interests
of criminally corrupt corporations, the real rulers of the world
(although it may be argued that the ultimate rulers are the Central
Bankers who print, own and debase through inflation the money which
fuels the engine of commerce).

This Government
System-Structure is the originator of war and ecological destruction.
It is a death-machine which could well annihilate humanity if not
soon dismantled and sent to the scrap yard to be re-cycled in accord
with the "Fourth Revolution" of TN Khoshoo in Mahatma
Gandhi, An Apostle of Applied Human Ecology
(Tata Energy
Research Institute).

"In
all history there is no war which was not hatched by the governments,
the government alone, independent of the interests of the people,
to whom war is always pernicious even when successful."
(Leo Tolstoy).

"TO
END TERRORISM, END STATE TERRORISM"

Johan Galtung,
JUST Commentary, Vol. 2, No. 9, 2002

The title above
says it all. Beneath the surface are the many documented case histories
of States creating terrorists (e.g., the Reagan Administration's
creation of Jihadism and the US training of bin Laden) and supporting
their activities. States need opponents and war to justify their
existence as pawns of the military-industrial complex and international
bankers who control the States. These entities need wars in order
to have clients (often on both sides) to whom to loan large sums.
To find the origin of a particular war, follow the money. States
need bogeymen like bin Laden and will either find them or create
them.

Is not desecration
of the planetary ecosystem through Corporate Warfare State economic
weapons of mass destruction in fact tantamount to slow-motion terrorism?
Where else are we going to live? Is not the angst of watching helplessly
one's lands, waters, livelihood, culture be destroyed by stealth
invasion of anonymous corporate financial forces the moral equivalent
of genocide? Witness the current Indian State's exercise of eminent
domain to transfer hundreds of thousands of acres of farmland to
multi-national corporations for industrial parks, displacing very
large numbers of families from their ancestral lands, leaving them
destitute and resulting in many deaths, especially of children.
"Investigations" notwithstanding, huge bribes will never
be disclosed.

Might Gandhi
suggest we now ask ourselves: would I trespass my neighbor's land,
steal his crop, poison his well, cut his trees, rape his daughter?
States and Corporations sponsored by them do it on a daily basis,
financed by taxes on our labor. If I willingly support a political
regime which does these things in order that I might have a higher
standard of living and return them to office, do I not then have
a derivative responsibility for their acts of destruction, terror
and genocide? What is my responsibility if I merely acquiesce without
protest? What is my responsibility to life itself? Is there some
point at which, as a non-protesting tax-payer, I become an accomplice
to murder, with blood on my hands?

The sitting
President of a so-called "Democracy" is the same man who
directs the extra-terrestrial ambitions of US security policy,
pursuant to which laser and "kinetic kill" weapons systems
are deployed in battle stations in space whereby "populations
can be eliminated via remote control" (Admiral Eugene Carroll,
USN, in JUST Commentary, Vol. 2, No. 6). Can there be any doubt
that these deadly capabilities, in these hands, place into jeopardy
our very survival? Did we the people consciously choose this destiny?

One of Gandhi's
clearest teachings is that on Means-As-End. It is the same as Buddha's
teaching on the Law of Cause and Effect. The end of any action is
defined, predicted and included in the means. Means is seed, end
is tree. They are inseparably linked. A good end cannot arise from
immoral means. A neem seed cannot beget a mango tree. It is Law
of Nature. My every action affects directly or indirectly the welfare
of my fellowmen. The first moral law is Do No Harm. Because non-violence
is my most fundamental moral responsibility, it is also my most
fundamental human right. This means that I cannot be required to
support or approve of the State in breaching the precept of Ahimsa
(non-violence).

Gandhi said
that one must be motivated by a great loyalty to humanity — the
whole of it — which supersedes all other loyalties, racial or national.
His concept of equality was based on the interconnection of all
life; his rejection of tyranny and force was based on respect for
divinity of all creation. His rejection of institutions such as
Parliaments, armies and law courts arose out of his conviction that
love is superior to force.

The System-Structure
which holds us in thrall is inhuman and it dehumanizes. Gandhi writes,
"The individual has a soul, but as the State is a soulless
machine, it can never be weaned from the violence to which it owes
its very existence." The State is organized violence, force,
coercion. Power is the central motive of politics. Because of their
financial and commercial power and their control of the media, corporations
are the de-facto constituents of "representative" democracy,
not individual voters. Our world is ruled, therefore, by corporations
which exercise their sovereignty through the "Iron Triangle"
of business-politics-military. The State is soulless and the corporations
which control the State are soulless: nowhere is there personal
accountability. We are controlled by a machine within a machine,
neither of which has a heart. We have abdicated our moral sovereignty
to the State, and thereby lost control of our destiny.

Beginning with
Gandhi's attribute of the State as "soulless machine,"
let us further examine the inhuman character of the System-Structure
which rules our lives, the primary and most powerful constituent
of which is the modern multi-national corporation.

A corporation
begins life as a virtual entity on paper, a concept wrapped in words.
It is a legal abstraction, its "body" is a judicial construct.
It is a designed process, a machine intended for a single purpose:
to generate maximum revenue at least cost. It is not a living being.
It cannot feel pain, sorrow, remorse, shame or compassion. Most
of all, it cannot love. When it hurts people or destroys ecology,
it feels nothing. It is incapable of feeling. Yet, under law, it
is deemed a natural person with all the legal and political rights
of a person except for actual voting. This is why corporations are
so dangerous: they act in human affairs without feeling and with
wholly selfish motives, driven by greed only. And they have become
very powerful, often being more powerful than the host government
of which they are a parasite. And the fact of their immortality
changes everything on the scale of human values.

For corporations,
nature, ecology, animals, people, even their own employees are no
more than ciphers on a balance sheet, mere disposable objects to
be used and discarded. Witness the infamous management dictum, "Change
the numbers or change the faces." They are absolutely ruthless
in their exploitation. Look at Union Carbide's behavior in the Bhopal
disaster; Dow Chemical's CFC's depleting the ozone layer which protects
entire humanity; Halliburton and Blackwater in Iraq.

There are two
fatal design errors of the present institutional system which place
our survival at risk: (a) the basic design parameter is to foster
greed and endlessly increasing unnecessary consumption which gives
rise to predatory competition, envy and delusion. This sets up the
spiral of escalating violence, hatred and ecological destruction.
Since greed is known to be as old as life itself, a more sensible
design would be based upon nurturing and supporting contentment,
compassion and love. (b) The system protects perpetrators of violence
from the consequences of their actions through the legal constructs
of limited liability and sovereign immunity. It establishes as the
major actor in human affairs a soulless corporate entity endowed
with the economic and political rights (except actual voting) of
a person, but without corresponding moral reciprocity, social responsibility
and full liability. These are the entities which control politics
and governments and brainwash the populace and sponsor war. Representative
government is an illusion. Corporations rule the world.

To be ruled
by corporations is to be ruled by inhuman machines in the absence
of love. Pursuant to the Law of Cause and Effect and Gandhi's equation
of Means-End, how can we expect to escape the effects of what we
ourselves have caused? If the goal (end) is satiation of greed and
the means is exploitation facilitated by lies and backed by unlimited
State power, how can we expect a result other than violence and
destruction? The evidence of current experience and history indicates
that the worst among us are attracted to the top echelons of State:
those addicted to power and domination.

The disconnect
between humanity and its institutions is because the institutions
are no longer controlled by human beings subject to their conscience.
These institutions are controlled by corporations which are non-human
entities genetically incapable of acting with conscience. And the
consciences of their mentally conditioned "robot-human"
operators are often subsumed by personal ambition or need to survive.
The employee's success depends upon his contribution to profitability
of an abstract entity, typically described by a balance sheet. He
has become a member of a corporate "tribe," and he draws
his identity, esteem and security from approval of superiors and
peers. To succeed within the tribe, which he must do in order to
preserve his livelihood, he feels compelled to make his "tribe"
successful at any cost. Other people – outsiders – don't matter
except to extent they are his market. It is subtle parasitic predation:
this other person is not my brother, he is my meat for today. We
are cannibalizing each other and destroying the earth in the process.

If the company
man's conscience is at all bothered, he may go into psychological
denial because of his need to succeed within the corporate culture.
This denial and dissociation extends beyond his inner self, to his
relationships with others and the earth. Result is a subtle but
profound alienation which desensitizes the mind to violence. According
to Khoshoo, for an Indian, this dynamic will result in further alienation
from his cultural inheritance: "Gandhi was no doubt a profound
environmentalist, like Mahatma Buddha and Asoka the Great. The false
idea that human beings hold supremacy over Nature is alien to Indian
culture. Indians have been utilizers, not exploiters of natural
resources. Had Indians in the past exploited anything like today,
how could its great civilization have survived these 10,000 years?"

Khoshoo goes
on to point out earlier agriculture-based urban civilizations that
died because of their disregard for Nature: the Mediterranean, Lower
Mesopotamian, Nile, Indus, Huang Ho and Mayan all peaked and crashed
within the past 6,000-8,000 years. "Forests precede civilizations,
deserts follow them." It is pure arrogance to think we are
exempt from this fate, even if we do not first blow ourselves up.
Ecological security is the foundation of economic security — just
as for the individual, "health is wealth." Gandhi's message
is about respect for life.

If
the commons of humanity, our ecosystem of land-water-air-forests-flora
and fauna, were managed by actual flesh and blood human beings who
were personally accountable and would have to look us in the eye
while proclaiming stewardship, our chances would be good, despite
many problems. However, so long as the commons remains under control
of the soulless, heartless, conscienceless State-Corporate combine
whose design code is exploitation for money and power, we are in
jeopardy. The sheer wanton waste of the destruction is daunting.
Nothing is sacred before the death-bound juggernaut that destroys
ecology, poisons air and water, generates mass extinctions, fosters
war and genocide in order to fulfill artificial needs created by
media hype so that a few may entertain themselves with expensive
toys in idle and useless pastimes, while the many are oppressed
and exploited by the corporations and central bankers who own and
control the system and the governments that dance to its tune. It
is a dirge of human devolution, a dancing with death, a trashing
of all that is goodness, beauty and truth.

To
withdraw support from all-pervasive violence requires a certain
love combined with Will. It demands one turn his back on all that
is known and familiar, walk away from the battlefield (perhaps alone),
and try to create a new life grounded in love and compassion. For
the generation whose mind has been brutalized and desensitized by
exposure since earliest childhood to the gratuitous violence of
TV-internet-video games-MTV and cinema, it is difficult to conceive
of withdrawal from a system which provides one's livelihood and
also seems "normal." There is no mental ground on which
can stand moral outrage. The ground has been washed away by mindless
media, TV and deliberate State propaganda delivered through the
public education system. The moral compass needle lies broken and
useless. How can there be reverence for life when all one knows
is an abstraction of it, a video image on a cathode ray tube?

Anyone
who seriously considers Gandhi is eventually forced to confront
himself and ask if he is part of the problem or part of the solution.
Then comes the question, what next? Every person has both direct
and derivative responsibilities for sustaining a peaceful society.
The substantial abdication of these responsibilities is, I believe,
a major contributing factor to our present situation. In the end,
we collectively get the society we have earned: this is the Law
of Cause and Effect.

Mind matters
most. Each of us must begin with the only mind we can change: our
own. It is possible to learn from direct experience that the natural
mind of man in a purified state is one of love and compassion. One
way this experience can be gained is through insight meditation
practices. Mental purification through self-observation leads to
inner peace. A compassionate mind can also be cultivated by intensive
selfless service. A compassionate mind, being fearless, can act
with detachment for the benefit of all. It can work in a peaceful
manner to prevent exploitation, having learned to rotate anger into
love. Only peaceful individuals can create a peaceful world.

Gandhi proved
that all domination-exploitation is based upon some level of cooperation
of the exploited. The power of any tyrant depends entirely on people
willing to obey. Power resides in the obedience, not the imprisonment
or the guns (Shepard, 1990). Gandhi said, "I believe that no
government can exist for a single moment without some level of cooperation
of the people." He successfully employed outright civil disobedience,
non-cooperation and tax refusal. He proved that ultimate responsibility
rests with we the people. By virtue of his example, we have no choice
but to face this reality of human culture. He is echoed by the recent
Prime Minister of India, Mr. Atal Vajpayee, saying in August 2006,
"Politics can influence society, but cannot run it …. Politics
cut off from society cannot hold for long." (Times of India).

I think the
modern System-Structure has evolved to some essential differences
that render some of Gandhi's methods inapplicable. We are controlled
and manipulated by an inhuman machine that in turn dehumanizes us.
It violates, brutalizes and desensitizes the human mind for the
calculated profit of a few who are willing to murder. Those who
hold sway over the mass mind manipulate our own mental defilements
of greed, hatred and delusion for satisfaction of their greed, hatred
and delusion. It is all a game played by manipulating the mass mind.
Violence is everywhere because it is in the mind. The mental energy
field of human consciousness is polluted. It is like the situation
of a cancer that has metastasized throughout the entire social body.

Gandhi's non-violent
resistance was against overt physical occupation and oppression
by foreigners. The struggle of Martin Luther King, Jr. in America
was against oppression from a clearly identifiable source. By contrast,
today we face a hydra-headed monster of pervasive moral oppression
by defilements that have taken up occupation of the mass mind. There
is no singular identifiable oppressor. We have participated in the
creation of a System-Structure for which we support in office those
who manipulate and oppress us. We are captives of our own ignorance,
laziness and apathy. We permit our minds to be manipulated by media
and hype and spin and everywhere lies. We must change our mind by
resisting the urge of our own mental defilements which pull us to
participate in the greed-artificial need-destruction cycle.

Those in power – acting through and behind the shield of sovereign immunity and
corporate limited liability – will never voluntarily relinquish
their dominion. And we cannot employ violence against anybody. The
answer may be to withdraw participation and work to establish a
parallel system based upon the highest human values, leaving the
existing system to decay into irrelevance. If we can find a way
to starve it of finance, it will collapse.

The best living
cultural benchmarks before us are in remnants of agrarian cultures
that have lived in relative isolation from modernization, such as
Ladakh and Bhutan, where people actually know of healthy contentment
and peaceful happiness even though living at material standards
of comfort far below the so-called First World. We can study these
societies for precepts of holistic community morality (although
we must move quickly now, for they are rapidly being extinguished).
See, e.g., Ancient
Futures
by Helena Norberg-Hodge, as well as all of the works
of the International Society for Ecology and Culture and of the
Other India Press, Goa. We can also study what may be the longest-lived
functioning democratic society, the society of monks in the Buddhist
Sangha. Leaders can also learn much from research into the compassion-based
governance of Emperor Asoka the Great.

We must work
simultaneously at the levels of mind and form. Meditation techniques
which generate individual inner peace are very helpful. There can
be no world peace without peaceful individuals. One example is Inculcation
of Values through Self-Observation courses, taught by Prof.
PL Dhar, a Head of Department at Indian Institute of Technology,
Delhi.

At the level
of System-Structure, the work of Ramaswamy Elango needs to be widely
known. He has pioneered village-centered development on a large
scale in South India. At a time when it is in vogue to belittle
Gandhi, the great man is adored by Elango as the one who truly understood
India. Elango came to understand early in life that there can be
no individual happiness if there is misery all around. Elango is
optimistic about village republics in India. He says "There
is an emerging force not visible to the media and most people. It
is at work changing India from below. This force cannot be stemmed."

JC Kumarappa
strongly influenced Gandhi with his assertion that man is not a
wealth-producing animal, but a social being with spiritual, moral
and political instincts. He theorized that an economy of permanence
could be wrought with mutual cooperation. Elango is successfully
implementing the ideas of Kumarappa through development of village
republics.

Ancient wisdom
of India postulates the Universe as a great mental force-field in
which the most subtle, yet most powerful vibrations cannot be detected
by man. It appears to me that findings of modern physics do not
refute this. Nothing is faster, more subtle, more immeasurable than
thought. Yet, it is of immense potency. The fate of we denizens
of this force-field depends upon the nature, the moral quality of
thought vibrations emitted into the flux of consciousness.

With TV, internet,
video games and cinema as moral preceptor and mind conditioner of
childhood, there is reason for concern that we might be finished
as a species, gone to history only. Our minds are being brutalized,
desensitized, conditioned by violence, debauchery, public and private
lies everywhere, betrayals, adultery glorified, commercial predation
glorified, all manner of egoism glorified. A great cancer is growing
in the body politic and the vector of its malignant cells is the
corporate construct of personal non-accountability for one's decisions.

All beings
love life and fear death. All of us suffer pain, disappointment,
loneliness, fear, hope for dreams unfulfilled. Many suffer from
physical privation, hunger, thirst, misery of grinding poverty in
midst of filth. All of us have a tendency to do the wrong thing
as well as to love. So we must live with compassion, we must love
one another. We are all in the same boat. Again Gandhi: "The
good of the individual is contained in the good of all." Only
through duty and responsibility is there real unity. Absent these,
we are totally alone.

I submit that
much of our alienation stems from abdication to the State of our
personal responsibility and moral sovereignty. In my view, the State
as a system-structure is a vehicle of collective madness. As a species,
we seem to be facing a terminal mental illness, and the State as
vector bears the same relationship to our disease as rats to the
bubonic plague. The mere existence of the State, conceived in and
sustained by violence, is admission of the failure of the human
spirit: that we cannot live in peace and harmony, that greed and
violence dominate our consciousness. How much of what we know of
other cultures is derived from TV reports of the latest State bombing
of their women and children?

If actions
of the State were to be examined by the parameters of clinical psychology
applied to an individual human being, the diagnosis would be chronic
paranoid delusions, a pathological tendency to commit murder and
acts of extreme violence and cruelty, an obsessive acting out of
ruthless domination: criminally insane.

I feel we
are a species that has lost its way. Witness Khalil Gibron in Sand
and Foam
:

"Trees
are poems that the earth writes upon the sky.
We
fell them down and turn them into paper
that
we may record our emptiness."

Financing the
drum beat of war by paying taxes levied upon the sweat of my brow
has become intolerable for me. The pole star of peace beckons to
quiet walks in the woods, or to comforting a child, or communing
with a cow (so calm, gentle and nourishing, a cow). Communing with
a cow reminds me of my identity with all that lives.

Unable to oppose
its imperialistic destruction in any meaningful way, I left my country.
It is my way of meeting my derivative responsibility as a member
of the total human community. My choice was to participate as an
automaton in the organized, systematic destruction of life or to
withdraw from direct participation in the corporate-controlled society.
I live on savings accrued through sale of my enterprises. I am a
temporary guest in a foreign land, paying no tax to any jurisdiction,
except whatever portion of the price of daily rations may include
some unknown sales tax.

My human-ness
knows not of national borders or "national interests."
My human-ness loves the life which conceived it. I would rob this
life from no other being. We are interconnected and interdependent,
all of us in the same boat trying to cross the ocean of samsara
(incarnate existence). As Kurt Vonnegut says in A
Man Without A Country
, "We are here to help each other
get through this thing, whatever it is."

Freedom and
moral sovereignty are my birthright. No one has the right to deprive
me of them. Just as my birth into a family of slaves would not bind
me forever to slavery, so my birth under a particular State's political
system cannot bind my conscience to its depraved values. I have
entered no contract with a State pursuant to which I waived my rights,
assigned my conscience. No institution created by a preceding generation
has valid authority to control my life, to conscript me to murder.
Nor can the wastrel foolishness of a preceding generation obligate
me to its debt. I have contracted no debt save for that which bears
my signature.

I stand free
and whole now only — how can the dead gone before me claim an enforceable
contract over my life energy, of which they could not imagine or
foresee, let alone bind by contract? I am bound by no constitution,
nor by any tomes of so-called "law" created by forbears
or so-called "representatives" unknown to me and to whom
always I will remain unknown. Except I voluntarily agree or submit
to forceful coercion, someone else's rules cannot bind me. How can
there be a valid contract where one party is anonymous, unsigned,
protected by sovereign immunity, and thus unaccountable, non-responsible,
and non-liable for consequences or specific performance? And yet,
is it not by just such nonsense that the State would bind us to
its rules? There is no accountable individual at risk of personal
liability for actions of the State. Without mutual accountability,
how can there be a valid contract?

I conceive
as a great error of humanity its attempt to institutionalize life.
This urge seems to originate in fear. It is a grasping for security
that robs us of liberty, and finally of authentic living. How can
we grasp life, any more than we can grasp the wind? Better to be
born free, live free, arrayed like lilies in the field, than to
cower behind desks piled high with musty books of the laws of institutionalized
serfdom.

Many are now
enunciating a stark choice for humanity: evolve or die. We must
exorcise our arrogant ideologies, belief systems and mythologies.
We are pressed, hemmed in on all sides by minions of State. The
horizon is darkened with clouds of lust for power, promulgated by
America as "full spectrum dominance" to be established
by tactics of "shock and awe." How to re-orient our minds?
Each must find his own way, yet we must all help one another. This
solitary work cannot be done alone. I offer brief recollections
of experiences that might resonate with some, especially if the
reader may be of the generation that remembers the movie Sound
of Music
, with lines of the song "I go to the hills
when my heart is lonely."

The following
diary quotes are words evoked by experiences in the Grand Himalaya
of India. "Against this awesome grandeur, one witnesses human
wretchedness and realizes the depth of his moral responsibility
— a universal responsibility toward all beings. May I learn from
these mountain villagers fewness of wishes, and generosity. May
I learn to simplify and to use least possible in order that others
may live. Only qualities of heart and mind will accompany me to
the next world, there to determine my destiny. May remembrance of
untrammeled wilderness and a vibrant web of natural life not vanish
from the mind of man. May beauty and the Mystery spark the latent
urge to inquire within "Who am I? From whence have I come?
Where am I going? How may I understand, penetrate the cause of birth,
old age, decay and death? How shall I live?"

September
9, 2006

Jeff
Knaebel [send him
mail
] is an expatriate American domiciled in India since 1995.
He formerly practiced as a registered professional engineer, having
been trained at Cornell Univ. and the Colorado School of Mines.

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