Friday, October 8, 2010

What If We Created A World Where The Peace Prize Was Not Needed

Liu Xiaobo was named the 2010 recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize

There's a lot of discussion all over the inter net about which direction this country should go and why it's not a good idea for  anonymous rich donors to use religious and charitable PACs as fronts to mask their influence.  The case in Minnesota where Archbishop Neinstedt allowed his office to be used by both an anonymous donor and the very right wing KofC is a particularly egregious example.

I find this situation repulsive for slightly different reasons, although my reasons do include the fact this trend appears to make it look as if the teaching authority of the Roman Catholic Church is for sale.  At least it is in some dioceses.  My core reason for my objections is that I truly believe we create our own reality.  Our best quantum physicists and our best mystics say this is indeed the case.  This is why free choice is so important in all spiritual systems.  Free choice doesn't just apply on the individual level, it applies on the collective level.  'We' create our collective reality and it seems to me the really rich are trying to buy that collective definition of reality.  Their money accomplishes their objective because it convinces the vast majority of the silent center to stay silent, and it disempowers collective dissent by convincing the rest of us we can't effectively compete.

This morning the Nobel Committee announced that the imprisoned Chinese democracy proponent Liu Xiaobo had won the Nobel Peace Prize.  The Communist Chinese government immediately shut down all media coverage, going so far as to censor the Internet, cell phone text messaging, and tweeting which used the Chinese characters for Xiaobo's name.  If I needed a better example of how entrenched powers understand the dynamics of collective consciousness creating reality, I couldn't have asked for a better one.  The Chinese government knows all it takes to create a completely different cultural and political reality is to allow a dedicated focused group to think and operate unchecked.  Their own rise to power was the result of such a conscious creation.  As they created, so they can be uncreated.  It may happen that in a very short period of time the collective focus of the world, which will be generated by this announcement, will start reweaving the reality of China's future.  We've seen this happen in our very recent past when European communism was woven out of the collective fabric of Europe.

For this reason I have taken great hope in the recent massive coverage given to the problem of gay youth suicide.  When a group like Exodus International decides it's time they disengaged from the overt promotion of a high school program specifically designed to attack gays, I take hope we are creating a different reality for our country, at least on this one issue.  When more and more writers are beginning to question the massive influence of unacknowledged money is this coming election, I take hope that we are beginning to call into question the influence of money on our democracy.  There isn't much difference between a concentrated group of Chinese communists controlling Chinese society, or a concentrated group of global corporations and wealthy individuals controlling Western democracies.  All either group really need do is convince the majority they have no real power and we don't.  All a bully need do is convince a target they have no power, and the target has no power---that is until they reach the conclusion the only power they have left is just enough to take their own life.

Warning:  Here comes a jump shift.

One of the problems I have with the kind of Christology that Benedict favors is that it is very disempowering.  In that vein it's not surprising that the idea of 'victim soul' is being resurrected as the latest paradigm in which Catholicism is to view the gay person.  Essentially this idea states that real power is found in being a powerless self abnegating victim and that God created gays as a special class of humanity whose mission is to be exactly that kind of disempowered person for the collective good of the Church. It's an old idea in Catholicism.  It's a bad old idea.  It's a special gay upgrading of the notion that free choice is bad because we are all intrinsically disordered through original sin.  Humanity is predisposed to choose evil and sin and there for individual humans should relegate their use of free choice to self identified religious leaders.  The best use of free will is to choose to not use it.  It doesn't get much more disempowering especially if it's voluntary.  This is precisely why Catholic cults of personality emphasise obedience to leadership.  The Legionaries are a great example of the ability of one sick man to create a very sick culture because it's creation and maintenance were built into the charter.  The entire group freely chose to cooperate in creating Maciel's reality. It would have been really really difficult for an individual to work against this collective reality without incurring a great deal of psychic and psychological damage.

Catholicism itself has a sick collective reality.  The abuse crisis demonstrates the level of sickness and not just in the clerical system, but in the complete disempowering of a laity who seem unable to wake up to their own Catholic reality--not even when it comes to their own children.  My hope and prayer is that the Minneapolis situation is waking up laity to this whole idea of creating and sustaining our Catholic reality and to an awareness of just how sick the current reality actually is. Laity have to understand that although we didn't create this sick culture, we have been successfully conditioned to sustain it.

We need to believe in the power inherent in the People of God to freely and consciously choose to create a different Catholic reality and from there a different world reality.  This is what Vatican II was essentially trying to teach, if not in quite so direct a way.  My prayer is that this reality is based in love, compassion, and healing.  This is after all, the very reality Jesus taught and freely let His disciples choose to confirm for themselves.  Imagine a billion empowered Catholics who believed it was God's will that they create a new reality focused on peace and love.  It would be creating the Kingdom Jesus talked about.  It would be all about 'Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven".  And it wouldn't take money and it wouldn't take armies and it wouldn't take leaders intent on dominating anything.  All it would take is enough people who truly believed it was possible to change this reality, to connect it to the love of Jesus and the will of God.


  1. AMEN!!!


    Excellent reflection to begin the Canadian Thanksgiving weekend.

  2. Of all the victim souls held up as an example to the rest of us, the case of Little Audrey has to be one of the most sick/crazy.
    Three-year-old Audrey lived in Massachusetts. She snuck off one day to the swimming pool and was found nearly drowned. In fact, all of her brain except for the lowest "reptile" part was destroyed. Little Audrey lived another 20 years in a deep coma. During this time it was claimed that miraculous events were taking place around her. Little Audrey's family dressed her up like Mrs. Astor's pet poodle and placed her on display for eager crowds. (It has been said that Little Audrey's father was driven to drink. I cannot say that I blame him.) Little Audrey was worshipped as a living saint and was claimed to be doing penance. For instance, if her feeding tube did not work, she was "fasting".
    There is something very wrong with an institution that would exploit and display such an unfortunate child. And it shows in so many ways.

  3. Happy Thanksgiving p2p. Another AMEN here from me.

    "We need to believe in the power inherent in the People of God to freely and consciously choose to create a different Catholic reality and from there a different world reality."

    Jesus in the Gospels would so often talk about "faith" and "belief" and ask the question over and over again & I'll paraphrase "do you believe in me" "If you believed in Moses, you would also believe in me" "Your faith has saved you" and on and on in the NT there are so many quotes from Jesus that tie in with empowering ourselves by our own free choice, and being united to God & allowing His kingdom into this world.

    Colleen, I know in my own personal life how and when we allow others to define us into narrow roles can make us a prisoner or captive to such "beliefs" as our true role or true self. We cannot truly be who God intended us to be when we disable God's definition of us and capitulate to external definitions by mere men in worldly "powerful" positions of "authority." When we awaken to the true power of God, knowing & accepting his love and compassion for us, and accept God's role as the true authority, our role then changes to be a force for good, abundant fruitful growth, love for our true self and our neighbor.

    The prize for individuals and humanity in enabling and empowering God's definition of us, not as sinners or victim souls or boxed into absolutist roles, but as God's people, instruments of His Peace, is to actually BE people of Peace.

    I don't know if I am being clear enough. Colleen, great post and I will reflect more. I agree "we create our own reality." We have all been conditioned and to break out of such conditioning one needs to recognize the power of God's Love to break through and tear down the walls that deceptive forces have built up. We must believe in the power of God over and above everything else in order for His Kingdom to reign in our hearts and in our world.

    word verif is depathn

  4. Your side (the party of death) is about to take a good beating in the November elections. The Democrap party is now the party of the rich elitists (see George Soros).

    Your reality (socialist/marxist) would be a world of death and destruction.


  5. And yours isn't Jasper?--(assuming this is the original Jasper and not another troll under his name.)

    The problem is both parties contribute mightily to the same culture of death. The major difference between you and I is you're still deluded about this, and I'm not. It hasn't escaped me that the so called party of life has done exactly squat about abortion since the Hyde ammendment, and that was passed with a great deal of Democratic support.

    But you keep deluding yourself if it makes you feel more self righteous.

  6. Lynx I was going to write about Little Audrey a couple of years ago, but I just couldnt' bring myself to give this situation any more coverage than it already had. The whole situation made me queasy.

  7. @Colleen,

    The comment above this is vexatious, insulting, taunting and completely off-topic.

    Why would anyone want to disrupt a discussion about "Peace"?

    It is your blog. I guess I'm asking you to do note this and if appropriate to take action.



    word verification: inethurr

    in ether? Hmmm.

  8. I am wondering how Jasper would bring about the Peace of Jesus Christ into the world, seeing how Jasper has no Peace within to bring forth into this discussion, let alone to the world?

    Jasper wants to war. Jasper does not desire to love.

    The problem with the world view of Jasper is that Jasper has it in his head a certain idea about politics that is sticking like glue and these presumptions of truth have attached to his very heart and the substance of his Being. Jasper thinks his view is the truth, but it is a mirage, an illusion, a delusion. Clearly, his view is just the stuff of sticky glue and that keeps people stagnant and arrogant towards their neighbor and warring rather than making Peace.

    I tell you sincerely, Jasper, until you find the Peace of Jesus Christ you will continue to be misled and to take on the role of Saul instead of Paul.

  9. Jasper, from now on I will delete every comment you make which is off topic, especially those you throw in about abortion. These serve no purpose except trolling.

  10. Reading the title of your post made me think of Veterans' Day, Nov. 11.
    There are too many veterans, don't you think? I mean, of course, that there is too much warfare.
    But say that to someone this Veterans' Day and likely they'll be puzzled if not offended.

    We ought to work towards creating a world free of veterans.

  11. Loquat is for cough and lung in Chinese medicine. Sometimes i would take the Ninjiom Pei Pa Koa which is an extract of loquat when got scratchy throat.

    You can access info online @

  12. "Imagine, no greed or hunger, a brotherhood of man! You may day I am a dreamer but I am not the only one. I hope some day you will join us, and the world will live as one!” John Lennon would have been 70 today. Imagine some day that there would be no need for the Peace Prize!

    Here is a quote from Granny D, "You know, there are two kinds of politics in the world: the politics of love and the politics of fear. Love is about cooperation, sharing and inclusion. It is about the elevation of each individual to a life neither suppressed nor exploited, but instead nourished to rise to its full potential -- a life for its own sake and so that we may all benefit by the gift of that life. Fear, and the politics of fear, is about narrow ideologies that separate us, militarize us, imprison us, exploit us, control us, overcharge us, demean us, bury us alive in debt and anxiety and then bury us dead in cancers and wars. The politics of love and the politics of fear are now pitted against each other in a naked struggle that will define not only the 21st Century but centuries to come. We are the Sons and Daughters of Liberty (and the Children of God) in that struggle, indeed we are. Let us not shirk from the mission that fate has bestowed upon us, for it has done so as a blessing." Parenthesis my comment.

    Katherine, I had no idea that the many tasty Loquat I grow had such a medicinal value. Thank you!, dennis

  13. @Dennis

    I blog between working, cooking, running to the arena, walking the dog and all those other little interruptions that really are life. I didn't get a chance to say how much I admired and respected your long post in three parts.

    I am fortunate enough to know a few people in the medical field who are as principled and nuanced as you. Unfortunately you attracted a bit of unfair criticism.

    Thanks for mentioning John Lennon. Some of the bed in for peace took place in Montreal. I don't think Lennon was appreciated at the time for his forward thinking. Lately even the Vatican's eyes have been opened a bit. In April L’Osservatore Romano said the Beatles don't need absolution.

    "Imagine" was not well received by the Church. It has become a kind of secular hymn.

    Here's an uplifting example of a person I believe represents the vibrant, progressive youth of the Church. The future is with Craig Keilburger and those who live the beatitudes, not those other people.

    "Free The Children was founded by 12-year-old Craig Kielburger in 1995 when he gathered 11 school friends to begin fighting child labour. Today, Free The Children is the world's largest network of children helping children through education, with more than one million young people involved in our programs in 45 countries...


    This word verification is right on: bleader

    Not bleeder. B Leader!

  14. @ Butterfly,

    Thank you for the good wishes.

    I agree. Most of us don't have any idea of what we are capable of until we are tested. Generally we don't test ourselves. We, the people of the Church, have an incredible, almost infinite (due to our Creator) capacity to do good. Often we fall down, but I think the voice that we hear saying, "Get up, Keep going" is divine.


  15. p2p, i enjoyed your reference to Free the Children. I have actually contributed to this group.

    I guess that why I get some criticism sent my way is that I put some facts forward that are hard for so many to accept. When I blog on NCR (Search Dr. Edwards) you will see that I don't hold back very much and know that I will be criticized. Once I even had a man tell me on that blog that he would turn over my name to the Attorney General of California because he thought I should be prosecuted-- for what he failed to say. There was another man that questioned if I could really be a licensed physician. It goes on and on, but I am happy to see that many of my ideas are more and more shared by fellow blogers there.

    I am semiretired an on my disability policies and took up bloging because my physician 7 years ago told me I had little time left to live. I was on a medical trial drug that made me very sick last spring, but I seem to have come through that stronger and with less symptoms. I still practice some as I have patience who refused to go elsewhere unless I quit altogether or die. I enjoy my own son still in secondary school and 6 grandchildren.

    Yes, the song Imagine was not very well received by any church, because of the agnostic tone, but never the less it is a very spiritual song and is probably the center piece of all that Lennon ever wrote. As I type I am playing on my computer the Joan Baez version. She also was not very well received by the Church. But she really can sing!! Ever hear her rendition of Amazing Grace! Both these people were questioning what was going on in the world around them, questioning enough to make the fearful politicians (also the Bishops or politicians of the Church) take note. These people did have big hearts and no matter what they believed, they seemed to be influenced by the Sermon on the Mount. They certainly were not fear mongers, and they certainly did help to push this country's awareness of the atrocities of war and greed. dennis

  16. This comment has been removed by the author.

  17. @Dennis,

    Recent Canadian spirituals:

    Here's Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" performed by K. D. Lang.

    Sarah McLaughlin's "Angel"

    Spend all your time waiting
    For that second chance
    For a break that would make it okay
    There’s always one reason
    To feel not good enough
    And it’s hard at the end of the day
    I need some distraction
    Oh beautiful release
    Memory seeps from my veins
    Let me be empty
    And weightless and maybe
    I’ll find some peace tonight..."



  18. p2p I am listening to Leonard Cohen as I type, thanks!

    I spent some time with Henry Nouwen and Thomas Merton when they were alive and I learned to attempt to center my life. It has of course always been a struggle to be empty and weightless and find peace and rest! I spent one month at a Buddhist monastery and two months with the Trappists trying to learn how to accomplish centering.

    The Hallelujah was sensational thank you. Tennessee Williams Ford had a rendition of “Glory, Glory Hallelujah” that I will always enjoy and have it in my I Tunes. I think it is his deep voice. I also like his "Sixteen tons."

    Having had over 20 years of Jesuit education, I still believe that what we do with what the Holy Spirit seems to tell us in contemplation is the important and that seems to make prayerful action an even higher form of prayer than is centering! However, centering contemplation seems to be most useful when it informs our actions! I may be wrong about that one, butI would be interested in what others think. May we all learn peace through what we understand and how we act. dennis

  19. p2p I am listening to Leonard Cohen as I type, thanks!

    I spent some time with Henry Nouwen and Thomas Merton when they were alive and I learned to attempt to center my life. It has of course always been a struggle to be empty and weightless and find peace and rest! I spent one month at a Buddhist monastery and two months with the Trappists trying to learn how to accomplish centering.

    The Hallelujah was sensational thank you. Tennessee Williams Ford had a rendition of “Glory, Glory Hallelujah” that I will always enjoy and have it in my I Tunes. I think it is his deep voice. I also like his "Sixteen tons."

    Having had over 20 years of Jesuit education, I still believe that what we do with what the Holy Spirit seems to tell us in contemplation is the important and that seems to make prayerful action an even higher form of prayer than is centering! However, centering contemplation seems to be most useful when it informs our actions! I may be wrong about that one, butI would be interested in what others think. May we all learn peace through what we understand and how we act. dennis

  20. I want to apoligize for any hurtful things I have said. You are good people.


  21. p2p,

    Thank you for reintroducing me to Sarah, Like Joan Baez she has a magical voice! I have spent the last hour listening to her as I have been caching up on my Email. dennis

  22. Re rdp46 on prayer: To my mind, setting contemplation against prayerful action is a little lie setting inhaling against exhaling.

    Colkoch, many thanks for your work here!


  23. In previous post, please read "like" for "lie".

    Perfectionism foiled again!


  24. Athough Nouwen was in Toronto for a significant part of his life I did not meet him. Several of my friends were quite close to him through their mutual involvement in L'Arche.

    I like the imagery of prayerful contemplation and action as inhaling and exhaling. I like word play, in case you hadn't noticed. To "inspire" is, literally, breathing in the spirit. I love that word and often think of how humans have attempted to bring the divine into their very being. Shouldn't it be as easy as breathing? (But then the inhale/exhale is better than inspire/expire at least in the common understanding of "to expire".)

    Oh I always make mistakes and I regret this one I misspelled Sarah McLachlan's name! Sorry.

    If anyone doesn't know the power of "Angel" listen to this brief exchange between Sarah McLachlan and Darryl McDaniels of Run DMC. He tells a bit about how the song saved his life.

    They went on to collaborate:!

    DMC on "Destiny and Purpose"

    DMC on the void he felt that he couldn’t explain and the losses he experienced in a short period of time.
    A short time after Jam Master Jay was murdered, his adoptive father passed away. He listened to Sarah McLachlan, “Angel” every day for 3 years. DMC shares the following: “I just thought, ‘God, What are you trying to tell me?’ My story is a story of purpose and destiny. I was questioning my existence. Am I just here to be DMC, to do this rap thing and nothing else? I was suicidal. Angel kept me alive for 3 more years to discover the meaning of the void. Now I know that I am to bring hope, motivation, and inspiration to adopted kids and those in foster care.”


  25. p2p I too want to thank you for the links. There's something about Joan's voice that makes her a 'voice'.

    Dee, I liked your idea about inhaling and exhaling since I too believe contemplation should lead to action. Without action it's like one is holding their breath--and sometimes turning red.

    Your apology is accepted Jasper.

  26. The imagery of inspiration and expiration, Dee, is terrific. Perhaps the idea of a higher form of prayer is a false idea all together. While learning the exercises of St. Ignatius, one of my first assignments was to sit and observe a small creek in an area with a beaver dam. I recall just watching that ecosystem without judgement as to what was happening. I guess the idea of just being is someone who inspires, expires at the same time their heart beats, and their nervous and digestive systems function. The idea that anyone function is higher or lower is kind of preposterous.

    I think that the Jesuits in my early life were people of great action that was always informed at least with study. However, there are some Jesuits, not many that have chosen reactionary conservatism and I believe a fearful agenda. A fellow at the University of San Francisco comes to mind all though his name does not. So study in of its self is not enough to promote love without fear. It takes something else! Is centering contemplation where we find the love in our life, Maybe, but I know many loving people that seem to have it without knowing of this exercise and say mostly their “Our Fathers and Hail Mary’s!” The idea of a higher form of prayer was I think mistaken. Maybe there is something to just a humble being that makes the difference.

  27. "Maybe there is something to just a humble being that makes the difference."

    BINGO Dennis!

  28. p2p - I want to also thank you for the links. Truly inspirational!!

  29. @ Butterfly

    Thank you

    @ Dennis

    Humility is an underrated virtue. And anyone who is truly humble doesn't have to tell you they are that.

    I once met Brother Roger of Taize. He put humility at the top of spiritual life. (Incidentally I notice he was murdered 5 years ago. Jean Vanier, founder of L'Arche, is similarly a humble man who sees most clearly the presence of God in the most vulnerable among us.


    word: rentis

  30. This guy is really good. I really like his first song Set Us Free.

  31. Butterfly, thank you for introducing me to Fox Elipsus! I think we have not been exposed to many of the really creative artists for the past 30 years because of corporate control of the music industry. Now people can get their creativity out on the internet and the companies are running toward some of these really good artists. I grew up with the Ed Sullivan show viewed on my grandparents TV. Often he would bring young and unheard of performers here and he and others helped launch many a carrier. There has been nothing similar to this until just recently on TV. The more we can get exposed to art, the more the cream has a chance to raise in public recognition. dennis

  32. Dennis, you would be right about the corporate control. If the Beatles were just starting out today, we would probably never ever hear about them or their music. That is the sad truth.

    The industry has been given to young inexperienced A&R people who represent large labels who are choosing artist who cater to the teenage market. They are choosing a certain look of the performers, young, and a certain sound, pop and that is basically it. Some of the stuff is ok but after a while it all starts sounding alike and there is no message, it is mostly about puppy love relationships and such with not much depth or substance. When only youth are choosing what all age groups are hearing we wind up with what we have which is essentially the same sounding music over and over again.

    The industry is so focused on making mega-money and not willing to take any chances on artist who sound different than mainstream or on what has sold in the past. That's why we keep hearing about the same artist and not many new artist. The same goes for the type of screenplays and movies that are being generated. Notice the instrumental musical scores are starting to all sound alike with the same bells and whistles and drum sounds.

    Websites such as Myspace and Stereofame started out with a lot of independent artist being at the top in rank and that used to give them the opportunity to be heard. But now these websites are full of Label artist at the top and they are being promoted or the website owner's personal favorites are given prominence on their main page.

    To be noticed, more and more artist are resorting to gimmicks such as Lady Gaga to grab the media's attention or dressing outrageously.

    There's a show on, The World's Dirtiest Jobs, or something like that and the "star" of the program was an opera singer. Very sad that such talent is being wasted and discarded like so much garbage.

    It's a nightmare for true artist to try and make a living now. Nobody wants to buy music or support artist. They want it for free. People must think talent grows on trees or something and that artist don't have to eat or have a roof over their head.

    Independent Artist are being subjected to contests at different websites like Makeastar in which the "winner" is the one who can manage everyday for a month to bring people to that website to vote for them. Every single day for a month people would have to go onto the website to vote for them in order for them to win. That then gives them the opportunity to be heard by industry professionals who can make or brake you for whatever reason.

    Fox Elipsus is so poor that on his tour he will be sleeping in his car! It is not a paid gig tour. Very sad that things have come to this deplorable situation.

  33. p2p and Dennis, the other night I heard David Garrett for the first time playing his violin with a full orchestra and with drums, electric guitars and electronic keyboards. This new "genre" is called "Crossover." It is what I have had in mind with my music, for the use of electronic instruments with the old instruments. I really enjoyed listening to David Garrett. He is very much the future of music, if you ask me, as far as integrating the old classics and the classics of rock and folk of recent history and elevating it into the classical.

    I love that his name is David. Our Jesus is from the House of David and David was a singer and songwriter and played the lute and wrote lyrics and songs. We have been very blessed over the years, even through wars and various forms of oppression with great artist. Music truly can help bring peace and healing into the world.