Bringing Many Solutions to Light at the Local Community Level

Greetings

I have created another “introduction” to the “1000Communities2” proposal (which was mentioned in the “Bringing Solutions to Light at the Local Community Level” post you gave a link to on your homepage). The title of this new “introduction“ is “Community Visioning Initiatives ‘For the Duration of the Emergency’”, and I have attached a pdf file of that title to this e-mail. I will also include here a link to the pdf on the homepage of The IPCR Initiative website :
http://ipcri.net/images/Community-Visioning-Initiatives-for-the-Duration-of-the-Emergency.pdf

You will notice that I do not mention Baba directly in the text of “Community Visioning…” message. I would like to encourage you to consider this point carefully. One of the key passages in “Sathya Sai Speaks”, which has been very helpful to me, is as follows: “... I have no geographical ‘far’ and ‘near’; My ‘far’ and ‘near’ are not calculated in miles or yards. Nearness to Me is not acquired by physical nearness. You may be by My side-- yet, far; you may be far, far away-- yet, very near and dear. However far you are, if you but stick to Sathya, Dharma, Santhi and Prema, you are close to Me and I am close to you.” (from “Sathya Sai Speaks” Vol. 7, Chapter 14, p. 71-72) There are also many other similar passages in “Sathya Sai Speaks”, as I’m sure you know.

It must somehow be possible, in accordance with what Baba decrees, to demonstrate the universality of Baba’s teachings, and thus encourage thoughts, words, and deeds in the everyday circumstances of community life which transcend Name and Form… and thus which demonstrate adherence to Sathya, Dharma, Santhi, and Prema without the necessity of participants adhering to any particular sect or creed. This is what I understand as “Sanathana Dharma”… (and the only way I have any understanding at all of “Sanathana Dharma” is because “kings have constructed bridges by which even ants like myself may cross”).

I am doing my best to make The IPCR Initiative into a tribute to Baba’s teachings, especially in the following manner: “The IPCR Initiative is an effort to apply the accumulated wisdom now accessible to us towards the general goal of integrating spiritual wisdom into the everyday circumstances of community life—and towards the specific goal of generating practical responses to the challenges of our times”. The first part of the above sentence relates to “Sanathana Dharma” without reference to any particular tradition; the second part is best represented by the “Community Visioning… “ message. There are practical responses to the challenges of our times which need to be undertaken.

I hope you will excuse what is only brief discussion on what are really very difficult dilemmas, but there are many challenges ahead, and much suffering which can be alleviated by appropriate action.

With Faith in Love,
Stefan


Om Sri Sai Ram

posted on 22.02.2009


A Most Important Influence

This writer is the founder and outreach coordinator for The Interfaith Peacebuilding and Community Revitalization (IPCR) Initiative.

This writer affirms that the most important influence in his life has been, and continues to be, Sri Sathya Sai Baba (age 82, with a main residence in Puttaparthi, India).  In 1997, this writer completed a 301page arrangement of selected quotations from “Sathya Sai Speaks” (Vol.1-11, first U.S. editions) (discourses by Sri Sathya Sai Baba from the years 1953-1982).  In July of 2004, this writer received permission to publish this manuscript. In 2006, this writer completed updating the source references of the quotations in the collection so that they referenced the large print editions of “Sathya Sai Speaks” which began to come into print in 1997.  In December, 2007, this writer’s assessment of the nature of the challenges of our times convinced him that it was appropriate to offer access to this updated “arrangement of quotations” on the website of The IPCR Initiative.  (The approved title is “An Arrangement of Quotations from ‘Sathya Sai Speaks’, Vol. 1-15”.

The link is as follows:

Quotations from Sathya Sai Speaks

The IPCR Initiative is an effort to apply the accumulated wisdom now accessible to us towards the general goal of integrating spiritual wisdom into the everyday circumstances of community life—and towards the specific goal of generating practical responses to the challenges of our times This writer hereby attributes the inspiration for the approach and substance of The IPCR Initiative, his personal capacity to see good in the efforts of people from many different faith communities and cultural traditions, and his personal faith in a positive outcome regarding the challenges of our times to close contact, over many years, with the wisdom and compassion in the teachings of Sri Sathya Sai Baba.

“Tools Boxes” Associated with Utilizing that “Current” to Do Good

This writer does not hesitate to affirm that he has a ways to go towards the goal of realizing his spiritual potential.  And yet the teachings of Sri Sathya Sai Baba are such that he can understand the existence of a “current”, which is active in all circumstances of everyday life, in communities around the world. Consider the following quotation:

“The Divine principle that is in every one is like the electric current that illuminates the bulbs… of different colours and different candle powers.  The same God shines in and through every one, whatever be the creed, colour, tribe, or territory.”  (“Sathya Sai Speaks”  Vol. 8, Chpt.22, p. 115)

Viewed in this light, The IPCR Initiative—and all related fields of activity—can be understood as contributions to religious, spiritual, and moral “tool boxes” (many of which have been created from centuries of cultural experience) which have been confirmed by saints, sages, spiritual leaders, and sincere practitioners of all faiths and moral “world views” as storehouses of accumulated wisdom associated with utilizing that “current” to do good.  [Note:  This particular point will be more clearly understood if considered as a part of an essay titled “Peacebuilding in its Most Compassionate Form”, written by this writer, and accessible at The IPCR Initiative website (www.ipcri.net)  (specifically, see p.11-12)].

Complex and Challenging Times

We now live in very complex and challenging times.  More and more people, in more and more parts of the world, are coming to the conclusion that all of us have important responsibilities associated with resolving a significant number of very serious challenges, which include (but are not limited to):

1) global warming and reducing carbon emissions

2) peak oil and reducing dependence on petroleum based products

3) global inequities and the tragic cycles of malnutrition, disease, and death

4) an increasing world population requiring more resources when many resources are becoming more scarce (with a special emphasis on the increasing number of people who are consuming resources and ecological services indiscriminately)

5) cultures of greed, corruption, and overindulgence have caused a crises of cknfidence in financial markets, and are in many ways slowing the restructuring of investment priorities needed to respond to the challenges listed here (and other challenges)

6) there still seems to be a majority of people on the planet who do not have a clear understanding, well-grounded in personal experience, of which basic elements of community life and cultural traditions lead to mutually beneficial understandings, which lead to cycles of violence—and why it is so important for people to achieve clarity on this subject.

The “1000Communities2” Proposal

One suggestion which could assist in bringing many solutions to light at the local community level is a 161 page proposal by this writer titled “1000Communities2”. “1000Communities2” (“1000CommunitiesSquared”) advocates for Community Visioning Initiatives, “Community Teaching and Learning Centers” with ongoing workshops, and “sister community” relationships, as a way of generating an exponential increase in our collective capacity to overcome the challenges of our times.

Everyone is involved when it comes to determining the markets which supply the “ways of earning a living”.  All of us have important responsibilities associated with resolving a significant number of very serious challenges in the months and years ahead.  Communities of people can deliberately create countless “ways of earning a living” which contribute to the peacebuilding, community revitalization,and ecological sustainability efforts necessary to overcome the challenges of our times.

Even now, as you are reading this, truly inspiring contributions of genuine goodwill are being generated in a variety of ways—and in a variety of circumstances—by countless numbers of people in communities around the world.  A combination of Community Visioning Initiatives, “Community Teaching and Learning Centers” and “sister community” relationships can bring to light the many truly inspiring contributions of genuine goodwill in your community and region, and contribute much to the building of “close-knit” communities of people… communities with a healthy appreciation for each others strengths, communities with a well-developed capacity to resolve even the most difficult challenges— and communities which demonstrate a high level of compassion for their fellow human beings.

[Note:  In light of the urgent need to increase collaboration between diverse communities of people, anyone may access all IPCR documents (including the above mentioned 161 page “1000Communities2” proposal) for free, at the website of The Interfaith Peacebuilding and Community Revitalization (IPCR) Initiative (www.ipcri.net).]

This is the end of the message I am submitting to “Devotee’s Corner”.

With Kindness and Faith,

Stefan Pasti, Founder and Outreach Coordinator
The IPCR Initiative

Om Sri Sai Ram