29 Nov Life in Santiago
I am having some great sleeps. So my cold is slowly leaving me, yayyy. I can´t believe it went on for four weeks. Anyway, that is life when you push yourself there are consequences.
I had some good chats with my host on the environment. I had felt inspiration around the idea of being our true nature, rather than only pursuing academic knowledge to push for sustainability. It is extremely hard to get a hard nosed capitalist to decide he or she wants to change all his processes to a environmentally sustainable one, the problem is, there is a cost. The job of the CEO is to minimise costs and maximise profits. That is the dilemma, as Al Gore said The Gold bar or the Earth, we have a choice. I know what has been chosen and continues to be chosen and I do laugh. I have to, I am a clown. Anyway, the point I keep making is that you must change yourself, then your world changes. It is to become vigilent of yourself. For example you may go out with friends and find them boring, they are not talking about what you like. So you politely nod and find yourself zoning out. What I advocate is use the opportunity to be with someone diverse from you to be present and really listen to them. We talked about really listening. Cristobal has had experiences where people blah blah about themselves. I told him people need to be heard. We are all crying out to be heard. So we have no space to really hear others. That is another central issue. I told him of my experience with the Quakers. They cross paths with me constantly as they are into peace as I am. So I see them at meetings. I am also with Alternatives To Violence Project which is created by the Quakers, it is about social empowerment, well worth looking into. Check them in the US http://www.avpusa.org/. It was actually developed in prisons in the United States. It is not religious it is based on questions. So I told him I have been to some meetings where they witness. They just sit in silence and allow a person to truly communicate. It is really wonderful. I also told him of a book I read by a Psychologist who grew up with a father of the same profession, who used to just sit and listen in empathy. He would sit patiently until the person finished, then he would say, are you finished or do you have more to say. The person would nod or keep going. He would sit in silent reflection deeply considering what was said and then provide a coherent reply back. This was deep respect of the other. He learned that and practiced it in his work. I think his book was entitled émpathy´. I really loved reading that. This is what we don´t do, we all compete for air time and exclude people. We know best. But to be truly loving and in a space of openness is to allow for others to speak as you would want to. So we talked about that. He shared with me some experience he had where he noticed his friends had to have the radio on and talk, they couldn´t create the silence or walk alone. He found he really needed that.
I talked to him further about community forums, to create that space with diverse people, but train them first in conflict resolution, listening, clear communication and sharing space. Then we learn the process, which I feel is more important than the outcomes. We have to learn community. Many of us grow up in homes where we are not heard equally and with real love and respect, so we don´t know what it is.
I also had experience with my two former partners of 17 years, they taught me the power of silence. They were quiet so we got used to sitting and saying nothing, in truth being together. It doesn´t require a gap to fill. I found that in the silence we hear ourselves thinking. Most people are keeping busy, filling any moment of boredom, the challenge is to learn to be still. I am working on that as well. I am never bored as I am so creative, but stillnes is a good thing to practice as well.
Going back to the idea of being nature. This is coming to me more strongly, that if we want to understand diversity in the natural world, we have to understand diversity in the human world. The way I picture it is like a mirror, a reflection of ourselves. I said to my friend to be with people who are different in a space of peace and witnessing them by listening, is to embrace diversity. It is being the change that Gandhi spoke of. We have to look into our nature, are we flowing with life or are we bound by structures that control our behaviour and direct our thoughts. The flow as I experience it is to be spontaneous and have no fear. You allow life to be what it is and accept all diversity without the arrogance of I know better.
My friend Cristobell said an interesting thing. He said 12 months ago he would have discounted my words, but he read a book on the History of Everything. He said it made him realise we are Infinitesimal in the universe. We are very small and he saw in his own humility that we don´t know everything. This is siimilar to what I teach children, the most intelligent thing to say is I may be wrong. It opens the mind to possibilities. It expands our awareness as we start to allow for other possibilities that may sound outrageous but just might be the path to true knowledge. He said now he has an open mind. You need one with me. I am very expansive and I don´t discount things, how do I know it is not true. Byron Katie in The Work makes it clear we don´t know the truth. So when you stop limiting yourself, you find there are no limits to expanded knowledge. I am learning this as well.
After our conversation finished I had to run to the hairdressers. I love as I walk to see the lovers on the streets here. They are always kissing, they are so open about love. They are truly advanced in this way. You wouldn´t see it in Australia. Very rare. Anyway, I arrive and she doesn´t speak english, I don´t speak spanish. But somehow we manage to communicate. She had the most loving eyes and she said to me I am into amour, and she points up, to god. I said me to. We smiled at each other. She did my hair and talked to me for two hours. I concentrated hard to try and understand and sometimes I got what she was saying, other times I had to say ´no entende´, I don´t understand. She wanted to know about Australia, what I do in peace, she really tried to communicate, I could see her desire. A man came in who spoke english and she was able to get a feel for who I am. At the end she is telling me I am so beautiful. She quickly worked out I wasn´t married. I said haven´t found the right guy. Plus I don´t think relationship spells happiness, I am actually not looking for a man. Most of them are very undeveloped emotionally, I am seeking a mature person who knows hiimself and understands life, and works for peace. He doesn´t need a woman to fill the gap. That is ideal. I came out looking like Olivia Newton John, laughing to myself. I just wanted to cover the grey hair that is my wisdom. Perhaps one day I will die it pink. Who knows.
Anyway, folks I am off for a long walk, otherwise I will be chained to this computer forever.
In peace, a peace fool.