What’s wrong with today’s world besides unemployment, global warming, peak oil, warfare, riots, genetically engineered food and pesticides, pollution, world-wide debt both sovereign and personal, and starvation? I left out the destruction of the rainforest, the death of the soil that grows our food, oppression, burgeoning landfills, and more, because I don’t want to sound overly negative.
What’s a world population to do? Maybe we need a major shift in perception. I for one am turning to the TV series Seinfeld.
Seinfeld is unique in that it has no theme, no discombobulated father figure, no awkward teens, no emotion-grabbing heart-felt moments, no predictability. It proudly proclaims to be about nothing. There is a lot of something in that nothing, sort of like meditation. That’s not as far-fetched as you might think. Jerry Seinfeld himself has meditated for most of his life.
One episode opens with George leaning on a railing pensively (meditatively?) gazing at the ocean. When he joins up with Elaine and Jerry at Monk’s restaurant he expresses the truth of a gloomy epiphany, the realization that nothing he’s done in his life has ever worked out.
Then, in a flash of enlightenment, George does not order the tuna salad, no, he orders chicken salad, on rye, untoasted, with a side of potato salad, and a cup of tea. What is the outcome of this bold gesture? He meets the pretty girl and, among other things, fulfills his childhood dream of working for the New York Yankees. When George discovered that following his instinct had never worked out for him, he did the exact Opposite.
A shift of perception changed George Costanza’s life, at least within the context of a fictional character in a 30-minute television show.
If we take George’s lead, which isn’t as outlandish as some of the schemes of more powerful, and more real, folks, we would change the world by doing the opposite.
Peace instead of war, a clean environment instead of a polluted one, savings instead of debt, sustainability instead of greedy destruction of the environment, abundant food for all instead of starvation. It is undoubtedly easy to say that we ought to do the opposite but implementing it might be another story.
Another of my favorite thinkers, Albert Einstein, said, “No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.”
We have to change our world-view, our lizard-brain mentality, our awareness, but how the heck are we going to do that? By getting to another level of consciousness, perhaps a level where killing other people isn’t an option, a level where we recognize the need for Love, a need for compassion and understanding rather than anger and hatred.
I doubt that we’ve got much chance of changing things in these important ways without abandoning our conventional, combative thinking. There’s only one way I know of to do that, and that’s through meditation and a positive attitude.
If George Costanza can change his fictional world, we ought to be able to change our real one.