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|Tuesday, October 09, 2001
We Are the Ones We Have Been Waiting For
Once called the "religion of healthy-mindedness" by the philosopher William James, the New Thought movement was born almost 150 years ago as a revolt against the negative dogmas so prevalent in the churches of that day. Last month, Hawaii-based writer Ed Elkin attended the third annual meeting of the Association for Global New Thought (AGNT) and reports on this most timely event, presented by several notable speakers.
PALM SPRINGS, CALIFORNIA - October 8, 2001 - (OTVNewswire) - Seventeen days after the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, more than 600 people came together in a context of human, social and spiritual evolution, to move toward an "Awakened World," regarding the attacks as a painful wake-up call which will ultimately have a positive effect.
The pain of the attack was, at some level, needed to activate the immune system of the social body of humanity, bringing about a healing and evolving of the planet.
Although presenters included such notables as Rev. Matthew Fox, Dr. Jean Houston, Barbara Marx Hubbard and Elisabet Sahtouris, the overall message was that each of us holds the key to human evolution, and, as the elders of the Hopi Nation remind us:
Presentations of art, music and dance from many cultures were featured including American Indian, Korean, West African and Tibetan. One artist, Potenza Marie Monet, produced a series of banners called "Hearts of the World" which were hung around the conference halls and were based on the flags of many of the world's countries.
Much of the music came from the Agape International Center of Truth coordinated by Music Director, Dr. Rickie Byars-Beckwith. The choir performed with powerful heart-opening songs on Saturday night and during the Sunday morning service.
Dr. Michael Beckwith was one of the primary organizers and speakers. Other organizers were:
Rev. Howard Ceaser (Unity Church of Christianity, Houston, TX), Rev. Carol Carnes (First Church of Religious Science, Santa Cruz, CA), Rev. Argentina Glasgow (Detroit Unity Temple, Detroit, MI), Barbara Marx Hubbard ( Foundation for Conscious Evolution, Santa Barbara, CA), Rev. Mary Manin Morissey (Living Enrichment Center, Wilsonville, OR), Rev. Mary Omwake (Unity of Maui, Wailuku, HI), Rev. Wendy Craig Purcell (Church of Today, San Diego), Rev. Richard Rogers (Univ. of Phoenix, Phoenix, AZ), Dr. Roger Teel , (MileHi Church of Religious Science, Lakewood, CO), and Barbara Fields Bernstein (Executive Director, AGNT, Chicago, IL).
The initial invocaton was by Achok Rinpoche who, along with other Tibetan leaders, had a profound presence throughout the conference.
The following highlights from some of the speakers give more of the flavor of the conference, which was designed prior to the September 11th attacks, yet which have renewed meaning in the context of the attacks.
Rev. Smith praised the work of leaders such as Martin Luther King, Jr, Mahatma Gandhi, the Dalai Lama and Nelson Mandela. He also contrasted a "traditional" (e.g. indigenous) world with a scientific worldview, recommending the former as a world in which spirit is fundamental, everything is meaningful, humans belong to the society, and there is a happy ending.
Barbara Marx Hubbard
Ms Hubbard called for a "whole system response to a whole system shift" and presented her view of the process of evolution as moving through a series of stages:
A Declaration of Our Awakened World 2001, the living source document presented at the conference, ends with:
Clearly, our human family is still highly dysfunctional, and in danger of committing the most disastrous tribal warfare ever experienced by humankind with biological, chemical and nuclear weapons of mass destruction on an unprecedented scale. The best way to combat "evil" is to make energetic progress in the "good" by highlighting and distributing through the nervous system of the planet's media, all those steps that are positive and growthful. Perhaps with renewed vigor, as a function of the recent attacks, progress is made.
Again, from A Declaration of Our Awakened World 2001: