- Written by: Kamran Mofid, PhD
- Hits: 2899
Happy New Year to you all - dear friends of the Globalisation for the Common Good Initiative (GCGI) January 1st 2011
“and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God.”- Micah 6:8
“Blessed is the season that engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love”- Hamilton Wright Mabie
GCGI wishes a joyful and healthy New Year to all of our members, supporters, sponsors and friends around the globe.
As the New Year unfolds I am happy to share the following with you. As it has been noted, again and again, by all the sages, prophets and philosophers of love:
“There is magnificent beauty all around us when we choose to observe life through love. There is also amazing wisdom right within us when we are patient and listen to our heart. These sublime qualities become a spontaneous part of our experience as we expand our awareness and go beyond our immediate reactions, preconceived expectations and limited notions. Some may call such a life of innate joy an unattainable heaven, where others realize it to be a natural way of living.
What we presently perceive as our reality, individually and collectively, is in fact a very limited perspective of a much grander adventure. The intricacy and magnitude of our combined thoughts, feelings, hopes, dreams and desires, is astounding. Our ability to imagine potentials, coupled with our capacity to manifest these ideas and make them tangible experiences, is nothing short of miraculous. The evidence is obvious in the intense diversity we find ourselves experiencing right now on our planet.
With this diversity comes incredible opportunity. Never before have we realized our creative capacity and simultaneously, the enormous responsibility held within each of our creations. We are rapidly becoming aware of our active participation in a shared reality that reaches far beyond us individually, our immediate family, friends or local community. The ideas we presently entertain in our own consciousness are the seeds of a future yet to be made, that literally affects the whole. What we are currently conceiving and imagining will eventually interact with others, either enhance or destroy our expressions, and ultimately influence our collective lives.
Whether we experience life as a form of heaven or something less than that is simply a matter of where we place our attention. If we continue to focus on things that are limited, destructive, based in lack or held in the past, we are destined to create more of the same. Yet, if we are bold and steadfast, we are able to recognize the splendor held within each moment. We understand the nature of our personal creative abilities through our thoughts and feelings, and we willingly intend and experience outcomes that benefit all.
These are not idle speculations, an ignoring of present circumstances, or intentions of false hopes. Quite the contrary, this is acknowledging and knowing that we are powerful beyond our wildest imagination and that we do in fact, have an effect on what happens next. Love is the key that unlocks our greatest possibilities. It is the presence of love that becomes increasingly obvious as we take time to notice it and integrate it into every experience. This is heaven and this is the potential that awaits you in 2011”.
Finally, I wish to share the following two poems with you, always a source of comfort to me consoling all those with bleeding hearts hoping for fairness, respect for human rights, justice and peace and the common good, to heal our troubled world.
"The Peace of Wild Things" - Wendell Berry
When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children's lives may be
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For the time I rest in the grace of the world and am
"Don’t Despair Walk On" - Hafez
Joseph to his father in Canaan shall return, don’t despair walk on;
and Jacob’s hut will brighten with flowers, don’t despair walk on.
Aching hearts heal in time, vanished hopes reappear,
the disparate mind will be pacified, don’t despair walk on.
As the spring of life grows the newly green meadow,
roses will crown the sweet nightingale’s song, don’t despair walk on
If the world does not turn to your whims these few days,
cosmic cycles are preparing to change, don’t despair walk on.
If desperation whispers you’ll never know God,
it’s the talk of hidden games in the veil, don’t despair walk on.
O heart, when the vast flood slashes life to its roots,
Captain Noah waits to steer you ashore, don’t despair walk on.
If you trek as a pilgrim through sands to Kaabeh
with thorns lodged deep in your soul shouting why, don’t despair walk on
Though oases hide dangers and your destiny’s far,
there’s no pathway that goes on forever, don’t despair walk on.
My trials and enemies face me on their own,
but mystery always backs up my stand, don’t despair walk on.
Hafez, weakened by poverty, alone in the dark,
this night is your pathway into the light, don’t despair walk on.
From: "The Spiritual Wisdom of Hafez" - Translated by Haleh Pourafzal and Roger Montgomery
In the meantime I wish you love and peace as always, and would like to
conclude my New Year Message by quoting this poem by Lao Tzu that I have
often recited in my teaching and dialogue with my students:
Some say that my teaching is nonsense.
Others call it lofty but impractical.
But to those who have looked inside themselves,
this nonsense makes perfect sense.
And to those who put it into practice,
this loftiness has roots that go deep.
I have just three things to teach:
simplicity, patience, compassion.
These three are your greatest treasures.
Simple in actions and in thoughts,
you return to the source of being.
Patient with both friends and enemies,
you accord with the way things are.
Compassionate toward yourself,/You reconcile all beings in the world.
- Written by: Kamran Mofid
- Hits: 4056
Dear friends of Globalisation for the Common Good Initiative (GCGI)
A very warm greeting to you all during this season of Light and Celebration. May you and yours enjoy Companionship, Joy and Wonder, and may the Peace spoken of in all faiths fill your hearts with Hope and Love.
As we celebrate in our various special ways
the gift of Life, Love and Light,
May Joy and Blessings be with you and your families
and may all people in the New Year
join together in serving the common good
and creating a world of peace and justice
where they learn war no more
and everyone sits under their own vine and fig tree
and no one makes them afraid.
In this season of hope, I am much hopeful about the future of this remarkable Initiative that we, that is, all of us, together have built for the common good. For the past nearly ten years, our Initiative has been at the forefront of promoting thoughtful interpretation of it means to be good in all we do, personally and professionally. We have insisted that the abundance that comes from God and earth, and from human effort, must be shared. Concentrated in the hands of the few, it becomes a lethal clot in the circulatory system of our world.
We insisted that as long as economics, politics, business, education and more are based on just a partial understanding of humanity and human reality, they will not produce the results we need. They should all be about human well-being in society and this cannot be separated from moral and spiritual considerations.
With the support of our contributors and supporters we have achieved this through:
- Outreach – GCGI has brought together scholars, researchers, religious and spiritual leaders, academicians, universities, think tanks, the business community, the youths and civic leaders and others in a global network of cooperation in many countries and continents.
- Research – We have created important new knowledge through major research initiatives bridging economics, business, education, humanities, social sciences, globalisation, religions, cultures and civilisations.
- Publishing – GCGI publishes a major multi and inter-disciplinary online journal with many subscribers. Whilst many publications are for- profit, our journal is for-truth and for-real with no advertisements or commercialism. It is free-access, no credit cards, no passwords, no login, all there for the use by the public.
- Education – GCGI enriches public understanding and encourages public engagement through lectures, conferences, and other educational events.
GCGI has operated in ways big and small, but our goal has always been the same—to advance rigorous multi and interdisciplinary, intercultural, and interreligious debate and reflection about what "it" all means and what is to become of our global civilization, our species, and our planet. To some, ours may seem a lofty endeavour, but we have accomplished it through practical objectives. We have achieved it, because all of us together have worked for and in promoting the common good.
At GCGI we seek the “Whole Story of the Whole Cosmos for the Whole Person." We seek it because we do not have it, but we believe that the quest itself is at the centre of solving some of the great challenges of the twenty-first century - ecological dangers and economic threats; food and water shortages; war and terrorism; sustainability, business ethics and corporate social responsibility, health and wellbeing. There is plenty of brainpower being applied today, but humanity has lost sight of the big picture, of how it all hangs together.
This is why we have been at the forefront of seeking answers to the deeper questions that rarely find their way into political debate and public discourse. Questions that are deeply ethical and spiritual: What is the source of true happiness and well-being? What is the good life? What is the purpose of economic life? What does it mean to be a human being living on a spaceship with finite resources?
Seeking the big picture is a tall order for any single organization, which is why we strongly believe that the best solutions are the outcome of cooperation, dialogue and engagement for the common good. This is why from the very beginning in 2002 we have always worked in tandem with others, benefiting from their wisdom, experience, love, support and friendship.
In our work and research, since the early days of 2002, together with all those who have supported us, we have offered a vision that positions the quest for economic and social justice, peace and ecological sustainability, ethical and corporate social responsibility within the framework of a spiritual consciousness grounded in the practice of open-heartedness, generosity, and caring for others.
The GCGI concept is inclusive, mindful of environment and the human connection to nature. Our vision encourages us to believe that real, viable, sustainable, ethical, and profitable capitalism is possible. What is needed to realize our vision is a more inclusive holistic view of “the bottom line.” Success needs to be redefined in a manner that leads to dramatic transformation of people and societies spiritually, economically, socially, and environmentally, if we desire to pass on a better world to our children and grand-children.
This year California Lutheran University showcased our Ninth Annual international Conference (http://www.gcgi.info/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=94&Itemid=84 ). In June 2011, our Tenth Annual international Conference will be hosted at Bibliotheca Alexandria with the main theme of “Globalisation for the Common Good and the Dialogue of Civilisations: Building Peace, Justice, and Prosperity Together” (http://www.gcgalexandria2011.info/).
How well we succeed in changing our world for the better, so that we can build a world that is just, free and prosperous for all, will depend on our collective capacities to mobilise interest and master enthusiasm around our common vision and our collective action. This call to action should be heard loud and clear. So please share our message with all of your colleagues and friends: Alexandria, Egypt, 2011 will be the place where we will come together with a positive global focus, inviting all to march with us along the path of wisdom, dialogue, justice, peace and the common good for all.
And now as the year winds to a close, I want, once again, to thank you for your ongoing commitment to the common good. We have shown the world that the best will become possible when we work and cooperate together.
My wife, Annie, joins me and we together wish all our friends at the GCGI our warmest regards and best wishes for a Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year.
Kamran and Annie
- Written by: Kamran Mofid
- Hits: 4349
Will we ever learn just to be content? Asks John Lanchester in a very interesting article in today’s(10 December 2010) Independent
No. Says Kamran Mofid: As long as the foundations of our socio-economic and political systems and philosophy is built upon greed, envy, fear, competition and inequality, and as long as the measurement of “happiness” and “success” is based mainly on how much money one makes, how much one consumes and owns. And what a false philosophy this is: all is shattered when one discovers that their friends, neighbours, fellow-workers...are earning more, spending more, having more,...
Perhaps the answer is to debate this issue at our universities, the business schools and departments of economics and more. Maybe we should have courses on “What is Happiness?”: What is it that gives us a more lasting happiness, rather than the transient ones, which we mostly teach our students: money, power, position and possession? As it stands we are obsessed with unbridled growth, “more and more is better” philosophy. Can we not engage with our students and start thinking “about when we have sufficient – sufficient money, sufficient stuff – and whether we really need the things we think we do, beyond what we already have?”. Can we not tell them “that we should look less at what our next-door neighbours have, and more at what the rest of the planet dreams of having. Then, we should try to learn to be content where we are. In a world running out of resources, the most important ethical and political and ecological idea can be summed up in one simple word: "enough".
...”Living happily is “the desire of us all, but our minds is blinded to a clear vision of just what it is that makes life happy”. The root of happiness is ethical behaviour, and thus the ancient idea of moral education and cultivation, is essential to ideal of joyfulness”...