December 15, 2014

Christmastime In This Human Zoo





I hope you have a happy holiday and a merry Christmas. It certainly will be interesting to see what the new year brings. Just when I think that it can't get any crazier something else comes along to prove me wrong.
 
Below is a poem recently penned.
 
Faithfully yours,
 
Sheila Banks
 
 
 Christmastime in This Human Zoo
 
It's Christmastime in this human zoo.
So much strife and delusion.
What the hell are we going to do?
 
We've got fairy tale economics and
psychopaths at the helm,
over and over the deadly mistakes of the past.
And, oh yes, we have a history
of visionaries being snuffed out in a flash.
 
Yeah ..., it's Christmastime in this human zoo.
Seriously folks, what the hell are  you  going to do?





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November 28, 2014

The Struggle for Civil Rights: The Real Jihad

".... For many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today,
 have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny.
 And they have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom".
                                                                                                Martin Luther King Jr. 1963

The unrest in Ferguson, USA has stirred up protests across that country and in Canada too. In Toronto, however, it was reported that the white folk in the crowd were literally asked to stand at the back and to let the black protesters take up the limelight in the media. I wonder what Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. would have to say about that tactic.

Some of the younger activists believe the ways of people like King and others from the 1960's are not relevant in this day and age. They are disappointed with the results of the old-timers' efforts. It seems like it is the same old, same old: black lives are disposable. Social change has been so incremental that it is almost imperceptible to some.

It is true that change has been slow to come. However, there have been changes since the days of the flower children. The technological advancements alone are staggering. But, what is more important is the information we have gained about the human condition. Our genetic studies, neuroscience and primatology all point to our species' evolutionary ties to the other primates. We now have a much better understanding of how our bestial origins play a major role in shaping our thoughts, actions and even our racism. 

Humans, like chimps and gorillas, are wired up to protect themselves from perceived threats. And, just like other primates, our territorial imperatives have us viewing those outside of our own clan, tribe or species with suspicion. Herein lies the deep roots of our racism.

Our animal origins, then, have had us battling all kinds of wars with each other. If it is not the whites lynching the blacks, it's the blacks lynching the gays. It is the Greeks despising the Armenians and the Chinese wanting to snuff out the Tibetans. All over the planet we humans have used one excuse after another to justify what is basically our animal inclinations. It is in this sense then, that the civil rights movement really is about the struggle to further emancipate our species from its bestial nature. 

So, Dr. King had it right all along. The destiny of the white folk in our species is intricately tied up with that of the black folk; and for that matter, with the destiny of every race on the planet.  As the activists go about doing their "holy" work, let their ways be guided by this truth.

Faithfully yours,

Sheila Banks


                                                                            Pic: Dr. King marching with white folks
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October 29, 2014

A New Age Is Coming

A short poem to ponder on. Recently penned.

Faithfully yours,

Sheila Banks 

 
A New Age Is Coming
 
A new age is coming.
Fascination with crystal pendulums
won't help to bring it on through.
Nor is Jesus going to materialize
in order to save you and you and you.
 
With another crank of the cosmic gearbox
the Age of Aquarius rolls in.
Homo sapiens now the scientific hominid
is about ready to dig deep down
to confront the beast within.

                                  Pic:Badhoo/Dreamstime.com

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October 6, 2014

Let There Be More Light

These days I am looking for a glimmer of hope wherever I can find it. Funny enough,  I see the recent "Climate Change" protest in New York as just that, but in a paradoxical way. For sure it is unfortunate we have reached this critical situation in the first place. However, the hopeful part is that there are increasing numbers of us waking up to the truth. It appears that the expanding extinction of assorted flora and fauna finally is capturing mass attention.

The good news about the environmental crisis is that it is actually helping us to see more clearly our position within the scheme of things. The deleterious impact we are having on Mother Earth is forcing us to come face to face with our bestial origins and human nature - from somewhat of a transcendent perspective - as we try to figure out what to do with ourselves. Now more conscious of humanity's interconnectedness to the rest of creation, we are discovering the true meaning of humility.

More of us are seeing our species as it truly is. We are a bunch of primates on a deadly trajectory.
It is becoming increasingly apparent that our species' survival is going to require unprecedented levels of cooperation amongst all of us. We humans are being asked to cultivate a conscience that far surpasses anything our species has had thus far. More than ever, we need to be conscious of the impact of our individual and collective behaviours.

Perched on the brink of extinction, humankind can no longer afford to be driven by an animal self-centeredness. More than ever, our species needs to ascend the evolutionary ladder; we need a transformation in human consciousness. Fortunately, the protesters in New York and many others around the globe are on to it.

Faithfully yours,

Sheila Banks


                                                              Pic:NASA


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September 20, 2014

So Much Delusion In So Many Beasts - God Help Us

I initially posted this poem in January 2011. Considering the current set of world affairs, I thought I would post it again. It can be found in my book, Thoughts From A Contemplative Beast The Paradigm Shift For The New Millennium 

Faithfully yours,

Sheila Banks

                                                                                                                                                           Pic: Us National Archives (208-N-43888)
 

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August 31, 2014

Waking Up To Love

Wow. The old order continues to crumble just as predicted by the astrologers years ago. Somehow those conjunctions between Uranus and Pluto keep cranking out revolutionary impulses designed to bring about the ascent of humankind. We had the Arab Spring, the Occupy Movement, more wars and now it is the protests in the United States. What's next?  And, according to those in the know, this ballet in the sky will continue through into 2015 and have evolutionary impact long after.

As our collective awareness is being transformed, many people across the globe are waking up to the truth. We no longer want to play out the pecking order handed down to us by our ancestors. Those lofty ideals about human rights and democracy have taken hold in the human spirit. Now, our species must somehow put these moral convictions into practice.

Just stop to think about that for a minute. We are talking about human primates here. This is all easier said than done. But one thing is for certain; nothing can happen without our humility. Folks have to face the truth about our lowly position within the scheme of things. It is only when we are humble that we can become familiar with our self-centered delusions. It is only when we have humility that we are willing to change and do what is necessary in order to satisfy our Creator's demand for one love.

Faithfully yours,

Sheila Banks
 


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August 21, 2014

More Deluded Primates - The Hangers-on

"This calls for wisdom. If anyone has insight,
let him calculate the number of the beast, for it is man's number. ...."
                                                                                                          Revelation 13:18
 
 
Today I shed tears for a human being I did not know, James Foley. He was the journalist recently decapitated by ISIS, those barbarians in Iraq. When I heard the tribute his parents gave through the media, the dissociation protecting me from the emotional impact of the story melted away. Hell!! It could have been my child who fell into the hands of such beasts!!
 
When I speak about these murderers as beasts, I really mean it. Deep within the structures of Homo sapiens' psyche lie the remnants of our bestial origins. After all, our species has only been around in its present form for about 195 thousand years. And, like the chimps and gorillas, our territorial imperatives have us feeling vulnerable. It is what we do with this existential angst that helps differentiate human primates from the human beings.
 
Faithfully yours,

Sheila Banks
 
                                                            Hugo Rheinhold's Philosophizing Monkey

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August 8, 2014

Birthing A New Age

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth,
for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away ...
 
                                                                  Revelation 21: 1
  
Yikes! Things are looking pretty grim these days. Maybe those proclamations about being in "End Times" are correct. The ongoing war machine and rumors of more war are the order of the day. So too are the almost-daily disclosures of corruption in high places. Add to that, repeated blows to the environment arising from human stupidity or neglect.

If ever there was a time for humanity to wake up, it is now. The old paradigm, with our species at the centre of the universe blindly doing whatever it likes to others and the ecology, just doesn't cut it anymore. After all, we are a collective of almost 7 billion human primates marooned on Mother Earth. And, as a result of our population explosion and technical prowess, we now have the converging conditions of the global village. We have created an unprecedented circumstance of interdependence to which our species must adapt.

Right now humanity is being called to bring in a new age or as John, the author of Revelation calls it, a new heaven and a new earth. At this juncture in evolution, there must be a developmental leap in our species' ability to cooperate. Rather than spying on each other in the age-old game of one-upmanship or opting for the same aggressive tactics that our fathers, grandfathers and great grandfathers took, our species must find another way. We must not let our ability to cooperate be diminished because of our bestial tendencies.

The good news is that right now we do have the tools to bring about a new Earth.  We know what makes for effective negotiation; and, we have the cognitive behavioral science to help us tame those bestial inclinations that get in our way. And, really uplifting is the fact that there are more of us willing to admit that our animal nature is leading us astray. There are more of us comprehending what Jesus meant when he proclaimed that it will be the meek who shall inherit the Earth. And, as our numbers increase the first heaven and the first earth are sure to pass away.

Faithfully yours,

Sheila B.
                                                                                               Kim Lee Design



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May 18, 2014

Shame on Sudan

It pains me so to think about the position in which Mariam Yahia Ibrahim Ishag finds herself. This Sudanese woman converted to Christianity, married a Christian and is scheduled for execution. According to the Islamic baboons that prosecuted her, she has committed apostasy. Just think, she has had the courage to step outside the narrow- minded restrictions that these alpha males impose; and, now they want to snuff her out. These primates have not a clue about the right to worship the Almighty in a manner of one's own choosing.

Presently Ms. Ishag has a reprieve from her demise as she is pregnant. However, upon giving birth she will be given 100 lashes with a whip and then put to death. Leaving behind two young children and a husband, her commitment to Christianity is admirable; and, that's putting it mildly.  Like Nelson Mandela she is clinging on to The Truth at all costs. I hope she knows that the evolved on this planet are behind her 100%. I hope she is finding comfort in her faith.

The truth is folks: regardless of your religion there is no escape from the evolutionary message of Jesus the Christ. By virtue of being primates on the evolutionary ascent, dynamics between us must evolve.  Unlike chimp societies, our alpha males no longer serve a function. If we are to manifest our highest aspirations for human rights and universal democracy we will need much more cooperation and a lot less domination. At the turn of this new millennium it is becoming increasingly apparent that Jesus had it right all along. It really will be the meek who shall inherit the Earth. And, when they do, they are sure to look back on people like Ms. Ishag with great gratitude for the sacrifices they made in order to keep the Truth alight.

Faithfully yours,

Sheila Banks 

                               Pic:Sophiecourit/Dreamstime.com

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May 7, 2014

Tears for Nigeria

Mother's day is soon to be here in Canada and my thoughts turn to the moms in Nigeria. My prayers go out to these women who just wanted to give their daughters an education. They just want to help their girls get prepared for the 21st century. Now their children have been kidnapped by a group of thugs who actually believe they are operating on behalf of the Almighty.

Here is a blatant example of how deluded the human primate can get. Boko Haram, the terrorists who have been marauding Nigeria, intend to sell their captives to the sex-slave trade. I am wondering if these near-chimpanzees have ever asked themselves what Mohammad would say about their violations. On second thought, I have to realize that these primates are actually at a different level in evolution. They have not yet discovered how to use their innate ability for self-reflection. They have not yet realized that their mission is one of taming the beast, that reptilian part of the human brain that affects the human psyche.

So folks, here's the big problem. There are groups of primates spread across this planet who literally are at a lower evolutionary level. They are driven by greed, aggression, lust and have no inkling that their animal instincts are steering their actions. Although they may think they are acting on behalf of Allah, the truth is they have not a clue about how to align their behaviors with the Law of God.  They think the commandment "Thou shalt not kill" refers to somebody else. In their mind's eye, they are exempt from the laws that make for harmonious human relations.

Nevertheless, there is some good news. Humankind is compelled to ascend the evolutionary ladder. The stragglers, those opposing an evolutionary upgrade, will no doubt continue to cause havoc. However, with the coming of the Cosmic Christ, that evolutionary impulse driving all of creation, be comforted by the knowledge that their days are numbered.

Faithfully yours,

Sheila Banks

Pic:Kim Lee Design


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April 18, 2014

Resurrecting The Resurrection

In some Christian circles, there is the belief that Jesus will reappear in the human arena. However, this son of God clearly told us that he would ask the Father to send us another counselor who would stay with us forever. In John 14:17 we are told that this counselor is the Spirit of truth. Yet, there are still those Christians who insist Jesus, the man, will arrive on the planet and save us all from our own folly. Let me offer you an alternative interpretation of the resurrection that takes into account our  human predicament.

There are two aspects to Jesus: the human and the divine. The human part of Jesus, the
man, was immersed in his own culture and religion (Jewish) just like the rest of us human primates. But, the divine aspect of Jesus, the Christ, is not so easy to comprehend and needs more explanation.

The Almighty's evolutionary agenda for our species requires a further distancing of humanity from bestial origins. Evolution, then, demands that people like you and I undergo transformations of consciousness. Yet, in order to set in motion this transfiguration of humanity, the Creator needs a change-agent to work through, acting as an evolutionary catalyst. This is the function of the Christ.

Jesus knew that he was acting as that change-agent for the Creator. "It is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work.", he says in John 14:10. His role is to help us recognize the truth about our humble position within the scheme of things. By virtue of being a part of the emergent universe, our species truly is an animal in the throes of transformation. Our evolutionary ascent actually demands radical self-development from us. We need to learn how to temper our animal aggression and to manage our bestial instincts. First, however, we must recognize our need to do so. We need humility.

Jesus Christ's message speaks to something other than religion; He is on to something more fundamental. He wants his species to come to grips with its lowly status as a primate. He hopes to shift our paradigms to such an extent that we get greater clarity about the organic predicament in which we are situated. We too are subject to the Law that governs all of creation.

Jesus, the man, will not be coming down from heaven and saving us. Rather, our salvation lies in answering this Christ's call for a profound humility. By resurrecting the evolutionary message of the Christ in our hearts and minds we, like Jesus, can become channels for adaptive change.  Now that's a resurrection that contemporary minds just might find more worthy of looking into.

Happy Easter.

Faithfully yours,

Sheila Banks 
                                      Pic: M. Wisniewska-Dreamstime.com

March 14, 2014

New Age Claptrap

Please note:
I have amended this post to include the actual scripture quoting Jesus rather than my reinstatement of it. 

It's the same old story but now it is in the Ukraine and in Venezuela too: human primates everywhere can't get along with their neighbours; and, the alpha males of our species keep trying to lord over the masses. But right now I don't want to go on about the similarities between this and chimpanzee societies. Those who have been following my work can guess my take on it. Rather, in this post I am going to speak to the New Age claptrap to which I keep being subjected.

Listen folks, you can chant "I am God, I am God" or for that matter any other mantra all you want as some of these New Age gurus suggest. But, don't expect this to bring you self-realization. An evolution in consciousness requires a hell of a lot more from a human primate.

When Jesus was called Good teacher he replied: "Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone" (Lk:18:19). By insisting that you are God, you are actually setting up a huge roadblock to your self-actualization. After all, if you are God and God is perfect then what motivation is there for you to pursue self-development? What motivation is there for you to observe and negotiate your inner kingdom of thought and emotion in order to tame your animal nature? The ancients tried to warn us about the dangers of this kind of self-righteousness.

"The body is a domestic animal. Therefore, you must go about perfecting yourself", Jesus said in the Book of Thomas (The Contender). He knew that a deep humility is the key to self-realization not self-aggrandizement. When we truly understand ourselves to be one of God's creatures we are more likely to relinquish our delusions of grandeur and face up to our imperfection. With this humility we are more motivated to work on expanding our conscious awareness beyond a mere animal self-centredness.

It is only when we have done the tough psychological work of cultivating virtue that we get to liberate ourselves from the mental slavery brought on by our bestial origins. It is only through such an effort at self-actualization that we get to ascend the evolutionary ladder and come to truly know the realm of the divine Creator within.

Faithfully yours,

Sheila Banks


 
 
 
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