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I Am A Citizen of the World And My Religion Is To Do Good

Politics / Religion Jul 21, 2015 - 03:48 PM GMT

By: Michael_T_Bucci


"I am a citizen of the world and my religion is to do good," said Thomas Paine, American revolutionary and pamphleteer. He didn't use a gun; he used a pen. Like today, a tangible paradigm shift occurred that shook the foundations of the old monarchial order to clear a path for 'the rights of man'.  Those rights are under fire today in America, Great Britain and the EU. Market forces have appropriated democracy for itself. The Seven Deadly Sins have become beatitudes and virtues. God died in the 1960's, said Time magazine.  Today, Divinity is called Universe and Universe includes Planet Earth, should it survive.

Paine was a visionary and from his illumined nature flowed the design for the Declaration. He was a bridge builder who ultimately realized the entire world would be converted to democracy. For this reason and more he identified himself with the entire world and enlisted himself as the first citizen of it. The epoch ahead will feature leaders and followers like Paine – citizens of the world.

What is a "world citizen"? It is a person who cares for and is concerned with all life on this planet irrespective of state and national biases that lead to internal and external conflicts and wars. Presently, the three most pressing issues humanity as a whole must face are economic, military and technocratic ones. The global reach of each has complicated former alliances; provoked unnecessary aggression between nations; destroyed the environment; created totalitarian surveillance and submission to technological processes; and is plummeting whole peoples into a downward spiral of poverty and global war where nuclear arsenals will be employed to achieve ends that benefit a small but powerful class sector that has – to date – already moved the hands of the Doomsday Clock to "three minutes to Midnight".

Our present moment is an historic one, for it is virtually the first time humanity has the technical means to halt climate-change, solve world-wide hunger and want; provide a basic platform for universal health care; eliminate homelessness; and adopt an evolutionary philosophy that abandons the "Old World Order" of Empire-building through financial and military force with another paradigm that inverts the current order and hierarchy, now struggling against fatigue and are crumbling. The militaries of the world together with neoliberal economics have brought this planet to a crescendo that now retards humanity's destiny. That destiny is intertwined with an evolutionary ascent in spiritual consciousness that will substitute militarism, materialism, consumerism and ruthless competitiveness with a realization that unless we act together as citizens of the world and caretakers of this planet, unless we act with respect for each other and our environment, we will die together. The next paradigm for our world, the one that is evolving from the "Age of Reason" culminating in rational dominion over the whole of being to an age of that recognizes the spiritual realities that underlie all creation, will be built upon this rock.

The time is urgent. The hands of the Doomsday Clock wait to be halted from reaching what atomic scientists call Midnight. People must emerge who will light the path so others can see.

For those who hold the vision of a peaceful earth evolving toward higher understandings and purposes that enrich all life forms, it is not a time for passivity. It is a time not of reformation but of new birth. Glimpses of the next paradigm emerge slowly - sometimes privately and sometimes publicly. Childbirth is not without pain.

Inching ahead with only pinpoints of light in the heavens to guide is the circumstance. In time, stars grow brighter, but clouds of negativity that shroud our present world distort and block our view; upon growing more gray and thicker, such darkness can convince the most optimistic that defeat is imminent.

To believe humankind will approve its own destruction is to view oneself as worthy of annihilation, and, by extension, all humans. If privately held, it is the penultimate death wish few will publicly express. But if destructive forces now permeating entire continents are not systemically countered with non-violent mass disapproval, those forces stand approved and sanctioned. Approval is often conveyed through silence, withdrawal, complacency and cynicism, and from the deadly effects of nihilism. These counter-productive mechanisms, often possessed by highly sentient and cognitive people, are disguised forms of escape from fear, frustration, helplessness and hopelessness. Generally, the populace when not sufficiently educated to make an informed decision is often left confused, if not misinformed, by vested interests powerful enough to dictate public policy and command media acquiescence. These factors lead to a paralysis in the electorate and democratic process thereby enabling surrender.

The next paradigm is not the proverbial "New World Order" built on fearful elements of the present world nor is it to be found in one or more emerging nations that have adopted Western templates sans pitfalls in order to seek supremacy in a coming multi-polar world. In fact, a paradigm shift doesn't occur in material form until after it is born in consciousness.  Countless people have experienced personal "shifts" that change them to a greater or lesser degree. Each day someone has a new baby, lost a job, gained a job, won a million dollars, lost a million, had a heart attack, lost a loved one or unexpectedly fell in love and "their whole life changed". They re-prioritize their affairs and values. They see an issue once pressing now secondary and another in its place. Following this might come a change in habitat, location, job and friends. The personal paradigm shift was unexpected yet contained within it a set of instructions that altered the whole person. It is a mysterious process that no more can be understood by the mind than understanding how a seed can become a tall maple tree. Likewise, a planetary, human-wide paradigm shift is experienced in much this manner. Where did the idea originate of forming an independent republic in the minds of the Founders? What was the textbook and guidebook Paine consulted? There was no guidebook for Paine and the idea planted in the collective minds assembled on Chestnut Street in 18th Century Philadelphia was a "set of instructions" that paradigm provided so it, an evolutionary leap, could be achieved. And God is dead?

There is no guidebook or map for the next paradigm. It will occur within the collective minds of those entrusted to bring it from the womb. The battles today seem entirely dressed in black business suits and camouflage outfits. These are externalized ghosts of the "Old World Order" fighting against a force that no weapon of finance or army can defeat.

Humankind has the ability to create either a Heaven-on-earth or a Hell. It has chosen the latter. Unless the fires burn themselves out, they will burn all humanity.

I do not believe humanity will permit it.

"My religion is to do good," wrote Paine. Hilel might add: "all the rest is commentary". Be good and you will be better. This is the only way to change the world by changing yourself first. This is the only way to help give birth to the next paradigm. Begin where you are.


By Michael T Bucci


(c) 2015 Michael T Bucci. All Rights reserved.

(Note: responses to emails might be delayed or not met.)

Michael T Bucci is a retired public relations executive from New Jersey presently residing in New England. His essays have appeared at The Market Oracle (UK). He is the author of nine books on practical spirituality including White Book: Cerithous.

© 2015 Copyright Michael T Bucci - All Rights Reserved Disclaimer: The above is a matter of opinion provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. Information and analysis above are derived from sources and utilising methods believed to be reliable, but we cannot accept responsibility for any losses you may incur as a result of this analysis. Individuals should consult with their personal financial advisors.

© 2005-2019 - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.

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