Debra A. Copeland


DECEMBER 2012 - 12/2012


Think Pieces (18)

Posted 12/11/2019 14:07:22
Category: Think Pieces

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I am like a bear in that in winter, I enjoy hibernating. Amid the fuss and flurry of the holidays, I like to spend as many evenings as possible at home, reading by the fire, and turning in early. There has been, sadly, much to think about this December besides good times shared with family and friends. I am pained, saddened and outraged after the great atrocity that occurred on December 14. I imagine you are too. 

Also in the news this month was a story about Julie Keith of Oregon, who, back in October, opened a forgotten package of Halloween decorations she’d bought last year at Kmart and found, wedged between two Styrofoam headstones, a letter from an inmate at a Chinese labor camp. It was a plea for help.

It is said that prisoners in Chinese labor camps work from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. seven days a week for less than $2 a month, receive insufficient care and nourishment, and are subjected to torture. Labor camps, gun violence—we are living in the 21st century! Denial of civil rights, violent acts of any kind are manifestations of obsolete power paradigms. We are meant to evolve. Humankind has acquired enough collective knowledge by now to know, and be, better than this. The price paid by others (including little children) for the products that we Americans, the most voracious consumers on the planet, acquire so cheaply is high. The number of children and other innocents lost to gun violence in this country is obscene. These are things good, decent Americans cannot, in good conscience, continue to turn a blind eye to.

On December 21-22, I watched live-stream coverage of The Shift Network’s Birth 2012 event anchored at Agape International Spiritual Center in Culver City, CA but which included live webcasts from all over the world.

The brainchild of Barbara Marx HubbardBirth 2012 is a movement to shift humanity into an era of new political, educational, economic and social systems which operate from an intention of collaboration rather than competition; from the power of love rather than the love of power; and from unification rather than polarization. There is also strong emphasis placed on Nature, and coming back into harmony with the Earth as well as the Universe’s tonalities, pulses, rhythms and cycles. These may sound like lofty, impossible, some will say crazy goals. But Barbara and her team of visionaries offer viable methods and solutions. She has been passionately devoted to this work for decades.

Using the metaphor of birth, Barbara compares the crises the world is presently experiencing to labor pains—and notes that birth is generally messy and painful. Rather than marking the end of the world, Barbara sees December 22, 2012, as Day One of the next era. She sees it as a time when a new consciousness leads to new ways of being; when old patterns and modalities disintegrate and transform into more holistically balanced systems, birthing a new culture of sustainability and peace. Barbara would tell you that so much of what we perceive as overwhelming odds in favor of the negative is really illusion. An example of this is world hunger. When you realize that every year in this country alone, Americans throw out $165 billion in food, you see that the problem is not lack, but imbalance.

On the winter solstice, as well as the day after, via amazing technology, the folks at The Shift Network connected thousands, if not millions, of people. Spiritual luminaries, including Michael Beckwith and Marianne Williamson, spoke. I was able, in a short span of time, to “travel” all over the world; to observe sacred ceremonies led by indigenous elders; to hear words of wisdom from spiritual leaders in Mexico, New Mexico, New York, Bosnia, Scotland, Ireland, Africa, India, Australia, Jerusalem, Mt. Fuji, Thailand and Maui, just to name a few! It was a wonderful!

As we contemplate the New Year, you might want to ask yourself: Do the rituals and ceremonies I practice work for me? Do I even practice ritual and ceremony? A ritual, by definition, is “any practice or pattern of behavior regularly performed on purpose.” Going to church every Sunday is a ritual. So is daily commuting a long distance to work. We’re moving into a new age, there’s no escaping it. The thing we must decide is whether we will choose, as Barbara Marx Hubbard puts it, “breakdown, or breakthrough.” For everyone’s sake this holiday season, I pray it’s the latter.

Happy hibernating. Blessings to you in the year to come.