September 19, 2015

UNDERSTANDING THE PATH

Through my many years of research I have often stumbled upon events that caused me to pause and reflect. I have spent much time attempting to understand the path we appear to be on. It seems, lately, that we are reminded constantly about how the rich are getting richer, the poor are getting poorer. Almost like in the West we have some kind of caste system that has locked all individuals into “their place” with no chance of escape or change. The caste of the rich just keep getting rich off the backs of the poor.

However, if you stop and ponder that just for a moment, take off the cloak of emotion, cover your ears so that you might deafen the constant chant of the progressives. And just listen to any sort of solid reason you’ll realize that people at the bottom are moving up and people at the top are fading away.

Certain elements of the population desire that you accept that you have been wronged in some way because they are groveling somewhere in the middle class. While those nasty rich people are flying around in private jets. Through the ages the word disseminated by the great teachers has been that of individual freedom and liberty; not a group of elites taking from some to give to others. What has always been taught is that one achieves what one believes; that what you can conceive – you can achieve. What is the path we find ourselves on?

Understanding The Path

Ben Franklin painted by Jean-Baptiste Greuze

FREEING OURSELVES

How is it that we manage to keep freeing ourselves, generation after generation from the tyranny of the takers? If certain elements in our society had figured it out correctly, we should all be slaves of a few rich and powerful guys running the world. But stop for a minute and think about that proposition. Can you name five men (families) who control significant portions of the population?

The Kennedys don’t control the nation, the Rockefellers don’t control the nation, none of the guys who helped set up the country, Ben Franklin, Jefferson, Washington, Madison; or the Monarchs in Europe – none of them possess any major control of the population any more, most are just for show where they still exist and really, think about it, things didn’t go well for the Russian Monarchs or the French ruling class either; did they? So, can we determine the path with any certainty?

Understanding the Path

One of the wealthiest men in the world – Bill Gates

Let’s consider the really rich right now. Are any of the top 100 wealthiest people from “old” money. Gates, Buffett and Sims are all new money capitalist who developed their wealth in a single generation. The internet barons have replaced the oil barons, who replaced the railroad barons, who replaced the steel barons, and so it goes through history. Wealth grows with innovation, passion, desire and luck (some might call it divine intervention). I have a story where I was growing a real estate business, doing fairly well, and I was hit first by Hurricane Ike and then by the 2007-08 financial market meltdown. The business was “blown” away by the perfect storm of life! Is that bad luck or divine intervention? I’ll leave that one for you to decide.

INNOVATIVE HUMANS

My point in all of that is that we humans are highly motivated and innovative. If there was a way for individuals to capture and control the population they would have figured out how by now, but something always happens; either the monarch dies off with no capable person to continue control or after some time corruption sets in and the dynasty collapses through its own corruption, power struggles and abuses. Mostly however, dynasties die, great men die, and wise men die, powerful men die. It really is all of us (the individual) who carry the torch forward through our knowledge and experience of history, our courage to support freedom and our discipline to protect that system, generation after generation. It is our innate wisdom about cooperation and striving for harmony that keeps bringing us out of the darkest of tyranny.

In history when our ancestors stuck to a set of specific standards good things happened. This statement applies to religious or non-religious societies, monotheistic or polytheistic, it doesn’t matter about religion because it is the set of standards followed not a religion that seemed to matter. Hammurabi creates an early version of law code, which is very similar to the Semitic law code at about the same period, there is much debate and argument about who’s was first – but it doesn’t really matter – there is real possibilities that there was some “cross pollination” at this period with these cultures. The two law codes are very similar so there was either some sort of cultural diffusion, or it is another example of one of those “100th Monkey” events. On this one I tend to believe cultural diffusion because of proximity, population and language similarities.

Image of Stele of Hammurabi

Stele of Hammurabi. Ca. 1,760 BC. Now in the Louvre, Paris.

PERIODS OF ENLIGHTENMENT

Just as with the rise of the Jewish nation the Babylonian empire under Hammurabi succeeds under his rule and law. There is a rise in population, trade (economics) and culture within the state created under this rule. What occurred with a strong, principled, ruler was rise in culture: a period of enlightenment, a rise in trade, safe transportation and trade routes. Clear, consistent and transparent laws to be followed by all of the citizens of the state. Standards set to protect lower classes against abuse by the wealthy and certain property protections were included in this early law system. Hammurabi’s reign lasts about forty years. After his death the empire wastes away rapidly through inept leadership and a corruption of the state’s laws and standards. The same sorts of results that occur with the Jewish nation every time the people of Israel ignore the “laws” of the Lord.

However, this pattern repeats itself over and over again. There is nothing new or mysterious about it. When we follow certain standards or principles we are happy, healthy and there is an abundance of prosperity. You will find harmony by rediscovering The Path. The happiest you will be is when you are creating your future as you were meant to be and not coveting someone else’s future. Make your own stuff. Do your own stuff. Live your life to the absolute fullest everyday and help someone else to understand this wisdom also. The only limit is in your own head…