Healing Self, Healing Society - 2014 Festival of Faiths

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Event Name: Healing Self, Healing Society - 2014 Festival of Faiths
Transcription Date:Transcription Modified Date: 5/12/2019
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ta tsp water combined with

climate change may leave colonies the

most bio diverse habitats in the ocean

struggling to survive but that is

touching in person by the end of the

century and verification could even some

types of painters unable to form their

shell and plankton in the profound ation

of nearly all marine ecosystems it keeps

people at this tiny organ in my lab

everything else that the people who

preferred could also started to

interview go about their motion

threatened to change my entire ocean and

all recognition within the span of a

single human wire


environmental officials in California

say there's been another highly

troubling report about what's going on

in the Pacific the scientists call it

the sea star wasting syndrome that's the

technical name but something is killing

the starfish and they don't know why

they've been dying in record numbers on

the west coast including parts of

Washington State all along Coast down to

California our report tonight from NBC's

Miguel Almaguer in the waters off

Monterey Bay an urgent expedition is

underway this is the hunt for a killer

it happened so rapidly that some these

are judgmental marine biologist Pete

Ramon is searching for clues to an

epidemic named starfish wasting disease

infecting waters from Alaska to Southern

California causing millions of starfish

like this one to fall apart and melt

away our group is looking to try to map

the kindness of the onset of the disease

and locations of the disease up and down

the coast it will help us point to

causing the die-off has decimated a

starfish population in this Cove so

later he asked him you know is this the

canary in the coalmine he said it very

well could be

I want to we'll get back to the

jellyfish which are very interesting but

here's just some numbers people don't

know but a bluefish tuna when it's fully

formed is worth literally tens of

thousands of dollars on the sushi market

and so these fishermen go out looking

for they don't find them anymore these

giant ones because the overfishing is so

immense that they're not allowing the

fish to actually reach their full

maturity so what's happening what's

interesting is that it's creating an

ideal environment for jellyfish they're

the only ones that are thriving right

now in the ocean the fish the big fish

stocks fall ninety percent since 1950

according to the National

graphic so you know the jellyfish are

thriving which is really fascinating I

just I read this book stung and it was

just it was a really devastating book

written by she's the foremost expert on

jellyfish and jellyfish are fascinating

that they're toxic what I find

interesting is the ocean in traditional

cosmology is is consciousness which is

why we the Robert Frost has a wonderful

poem about why we look out at the ocean

the land varies more but we still want

to look out at the ocean and we can't we

can't look out far and we can't look

indeed but that doesn't prevent us from

looking at the ocean the ocean is in

cosmology it's consciousness and and the

fact that all these great fish are dying

off the whales and and the dolphins and

but the jellyfish this spineless

brainless predator all it does is

consume it's just a spineless brainless

consumer and and that to me is just such

an amazing statement about human

consciousness and are the jellyfish

taking over our minds our consciousness

are we becoming human jellyfish and and

believe it or not all over there having

jellyfish warnings because they're

really thriving and the woman who wrote

that book stung says it's way past this

was a wake-up call a longtime gun and

it's they look she have shut down

aircraft carriers because there's so

many jellyfish pods out there so now

what are the roots of this crises at the

heart of it is the modern doctrine of

the consumer now what's interesting to

me is that the consumer in Old English

meant the devil he was called the

consumer because he consumed the souls

of people and and and consumption was a

name for the wasting disease in the

nineteenth century it's what killed

people slowly and so this whole idea of


therefore I am shop until you drop the

one with the most toys at the end wins

this idea of just shopping this comes

this was actually done to us and I would

recommend people reading William leach

the land of desire because he takes a

period about from the 1890s till the

1930s and shows how our society was

turned into a consumer society it was

conscious it was done because they could

produce a large number of goods and they

wanted people to buy those goods so we

have to understand that this was

something that was done to us that

people were not always consumers that

I've lived in cultures where they

recycle everything because it's just

simply there that's what they do when I

lived with the Bedouin they use

everything literally they don't throw

away anything and now they're starting

to get the these these throwaway items

and so you're seeing garbage everywhere

now in the Sahara just plastics in fact

Mauritania and and I'm proud to say this

because I'm an honorary consul of

Mauritania but Mauritania outlawed

plastic bags it's a one-year prison


to use plastic bags and the reason that

they did that is because so many of the

goats the livestock that they depend on

we're dying and they didn't know why

until they found out they were eating

the plastic bags out in the desert and

they were they were getting these

intestinal diseases and dying from

intestinal obstruction and so that the

government outlawed the use of plastics

and and again this is this is where a

government makes a choice and does

something so you know in the 1530s

consumer was one who squanders or wastes

so it had a negative connotation the

Quran says that people boast I have

squandered great wealth and this is the

kick this is conspicuous consumption

I'll get back to this but another major

problem is the war economy and this is


especially the United States where we

have you know we talk about budgets and

making cuts and welfare mothers and

nobody wants to talk seriously about

this obscene armaments we were warned by

Eisenhower as he was departing after

spending his life serving the military

and working with the military industry

he warned us about this new phenomenon

the military-industrial complex and we

have to recognize that the type of

budgets that this country has for

military spending are are obscene they

are obscene and it's money that could be

going to much much better things this is

the result of the aerial bombing that

happened in Germany and this is why we

have to end war as a species we have to

recognize it is an obsolete way

Klaus Fitz the great war strategist from

Europe said that war was just the

extension of politics by other means so

war is is is is a political act because

in politics you try to get things done

when things aren't getting done through

the traditional means of politics then

you use violence to get them done it

doesn't work anymore if it ever worked

it's arguable but it does not work this

is a scene from Syria so it's going on

now it's still happening and these are

the budgets if you look at education

compared to military spending it's

insane I mean Pakistan spend so much on

the military some of the Gulf states

have budgets Saudi Arabia has a budget

that it's the seventh largest military

budget after India a country of 19

million people why because they're

subsidizing Western industry as simple

as that

they don't use it when the Gulf War came

they didn't they didn't they the

Americans came and and other people so

why are these these obscene budgets

being used

and then we also we don't want to deal

with this but this can't go on either

our profit actually predicted that the

time would come he said when the liver

of the earth would vomit forth and and

he said that it would be like pillars of

gold and silver and the one who kills on

the day of judgment he will come and say

this is the reason I killed four and

then the one being killed will say this

is the reason I was killed and the wars

if you read Daniel Yergin book the prize

the 20th century was wars over oil and

and oil is the blood of our

technological society it is the blood

and it's more precious than human blood

for a lot of people we cannot if we now

if the average earthling lives like the

average American we will need three

earths to supply the consumption it's

impossible it's untenable it can't go on

now just moving to the self what are

some of the signs autism in 1970 and

people can argue that this is from

Diagnostics and things like that but but

we know from 2012 to 2013 know if

something's happening here we had one in

10,000 diagnosed I mean the first

diagnosis of autism was in the 1950s but

now it's 1 in 50 in the United States I

mean we have to really think seriously

about what's happening now if you look

at the definition of autism a pervasive

developmental disorder characterized by

severe deficits in social interaction

and communication by an extremely

limited range of activities and interest

and often by the presence of repetitive

stereotyped behavior this about defines

everybody under 30

I mean we have to really think about

what's happening to our young people are

growing up with this technology

repetitive stereotypical practices

losing the ability to interact socially

another major problem that we have is

obesity the pull on and this is in all

our traditions because gluttony is one

of the deadly sins but it reminds people

eat and drink but not to excess god

loves not the extravagant wasters and

one of the signs of the latter days

according to our tradition is yellow

huddle FEMA simin that obesity would

become manifest these are the average

BMI is around the globe you can see

Africa and a lot of Asia the Asians

don't eat a lot of food wheat they're

still on traditional diets so China's is

behind other places even though they're

becoming rapidly a serious industrial

nation but they still eat cosmologically

if you look at Chinese food one things

about Chinese medicine which I studied

and and I and my sisters and

acupuncturist and one of the things I

always thought that they lacked diet

they never talk about diet if you go to

a Chinese doctor they don't focus on

diet at a certain point I realize it's

because they in their culture they

didn't need to people just simply ate

well by the very nature of the food they

consumed these are the world's fattest

countries we're number two so Americans

are proud of being number one but Kuwait

takes that so there's McDonald's in

Arabic the golden arches as you come

into Mecca the first thing you see is

the golden arches it was very troubling

sight for me but this is that this is

the civilization that we're living in

where on the one hand we've got this

incredible scarcity and on the other

hand we have this overconsumption it's

it's it's so it's just so imbalanced

and there's a there's a tradition that

we have from our prophet that a believer

will not go to bed satiated knowing his

neighbor is hungry and and that's any

neighbor of any faith diabetes is a

really important problem now that's

globally these these are this

extraordinary what's happening but I

want to point out in traditional

cosmology what happens inside of us

happens outside of us if you want to

know why the oceans are acidic it's

because we're becoming acidic literally

we are becoming acidic the world

manifests our States and that's why

knowing our States is so important

because how we are how we behave what we

do all of this is going to be reflected

in in the world the macrocosm can only

reflect the microcosm and so the

acidosis of the oceans is related to the

acidic levels that are happening people

are moving away from the natural state

which is an alkaline state and moving

towards an acidic State and this this is

what happens when by 2050 1/3 of

Americans will have diabetes at current

rates and and if you look there's a

relationship between carbohydrates and

hydrocarbons there's a relationship

chemically so you're dealing what we're

using oil is like sugar we're giving the

earth diabetes it's becoming acidic our

soil is becoming acidic and our oceans

are becoming acidic because we're using

cheap energy sugar is a very quick

energy for our bodies oil is a very

quick easily digested energy for our

machines and for heating our homes and

so this results in this acidic state and

this is what diabetic acidosis is

related as far right this is my belief

that it's related to the the acidic

state of the planet another major

problem we the UN estimates they're more

slaves today than any other time in

human history and most of it 80%

sexual slavery and this is another

really serious problem the problem of

lusts that we're really not dealing with

in our society I really think we're in a

deep denial about the serious problem of

lust in this culture and and one of the

most important thermometers for it is

pornography the size of the industry now

is fifty seven billion worldwide it's a

massive industry these are these are

sound numbers people these are not

exaggerated numbers these are there's

taken from at one of our top

universities twelve billion in the US

porn revenue is larger than all combined

revenues of all professional football

baseball and basketball franchises US

porn revenue exceeds the combined

revenues of ABC CBS and NBC if you look

at the the websites 4.2 million 12% of

total websites now daily internet

searches 68 million 25% of total

searches monthly porn down those 1.5

billion websites offering illegal child

pornography over a hundred thousand

websites and for those of you don't know

there's a deep web where there's just

the darkness that goes on on the Deep

Web and then 8 to 16 year olds who have

viewed porn online in our country ninety

percent gluttony over consumption those

who squander are like siblings of or the

Brethren of the demons one of the things

that we don't think about is the

relationship to what we do and and and

this darkness people that are watching

pornography are supporting human

trafficking because many of the women in

these films that are done here in the

United States and outside the United

States are women in sexual bondage

they're not you know you have these

girls that appear on CNN getting their

degree at Duke and saying how much they

love being a porn star those represent a

very very very tiny percentage of the

actual women engaged in the porn

industry which degrades both men and

women another thing is planned


I'm I I would recommend I'm not going to

go through this I it's a very

interesting thing but there's the story

of stuff with auntie Leonard many of you

price came to get us

jump on board this program so a

discovery worth watching well two of

their most effective strategies are

planned obsolescence and perceived

obsolescence planned obsolescence is

another word for designed for the dump

it means they actually make stuff to be

useless as quickly as possible to will

chuck it and by the way it's obviously

things like plastic bags and coffee cups

but now it's even big stuff mom

DVDs cameras barbecues even everything

even computers have you noticed that

when you buy a computer now that

technology is changing so fast that in

just a couple of years it's actually

impediment to communication I was

curious about this so I opened up a big

desktop computer to see what was inside

and I found that it's a piece that

changes each year it's just a tiny

little piece in the corner but you can't

just change that one piece because each

a new version is a different shape so

you could have chucked the whole thing

and by anyone so I was reading

industrial design journals from the

1950s when planned obsolescence was

really catching on so this is the point

but you know it would have done concept

would discuss how fast can they make a

steps break that still leaves the

consumer having enough space in the

product to go out and buy another one

it was so intentional but stuff cannot

break fast enough to keep this arrow of

flow so there's also perceived

obsolescence now perceived obsolescence

convinces us to throw away stuff that is

still perfectly useful how do they do

that well they change the way that stuff

looks so if you bought your stuff a

couple of years ago everyone can tell

that you haven't contributed to this

arrow recently and since the way we

demonstrate our value is contributing to

this arrow it can be embarrassing like

I've had the same fat white computer

monitor on my desk for five years my

coworker just got a new computer she has

a flat shiny sleek monitor it matches

her computer matches her phone even a

pen stand she looks like she's driving a

spaceship central and I I was like I got

a washing machine on my desk

fashion is another prime example of this

have you ever wondered why women's shoe

heels go from fat one year to skinny the

next to practice skinny it's not because

there's some debate about which heel

structure is the most healthy for

Lauren's feet it's because wearing fat

heels in a skinny heel year shows

everybody that you haven't contributed

to that arrow as recently so you're not

as valuable as that person in skinny

heels next few or more likely in some ad

it's to keep us buying new shoes

advertisements and media in general

plays a big role in this each of us in

the u.s. is targeted with over 3,000

advertisements a day we see more

advertisements in one year than people

50 years ago saw on a lifetime and if

you think about it what's the point of

an ad except to make us unhappy with

what we have

so 3,000 times a day we're told our hair

is wrong our skin is wrong our clothes

around our furniture is wrong your car's

wrong as we are wrong but it can all be

made right if we just go shopping media

also helps providing all of this and all

of this so the only part of the

materials economy we see is the shopping

the extraction production and disposal

all happens outside of our field of

vision it's important to bring

backgrounds into the foreground so

people understand because when we look

there's one of the things that painters

do so effectively van Gogh when when you

look at the shoes you know if you keep

painted several different but if you

look at the famous boots that he painted

with the straight you'll never look at a

pair of shoes the same way if you really

contemplate what he did because he was

taking something that's in the

background and bringing it to the

foreground and it's very important for

religious leaders for artists for others

to do that to let people know what's in

the background those things that were

not seeing the things that are hidden

one of the things that our prophet told

us is that there would be people towards

the end of time like locusts in their in

their consumption


every year we have martyrs to

consumption there are people that die on

these these buying sprees every year

this happens in this country people

literally died because they're you know

they're trampled to death in because of

these things but another aspect that we

don't think about is is just garbage

production and and the fact one of one

of the professor's that was at my


he taught environmental studies he had

zero garbage production in his home and

he used to take his students to his home

to show what he did in other words

people can actually live reducing their

garbage to a great extent but everything

is packaged totally unnecessary

packaging and this leads to these

landfills it's beyond belief what's

happening and again who suffers the

animals they're you know they eat this

stuff when you you know everything

that's off those helium balloons those

helium balloons go to the ocean they

eventually go down and turtles swallow

them they get the the obstruction so

these simple things that people are

doing without thinking and now we have

the Great Pacific Garbage Patch which is

bigger than the size of Texas it's a

huge massive swell of garbage in the

middle of the Pacific Ocean

that because of the kaiser tides and

currents it all tends to go to this one

area now there's a verse in the Piranha

Angel to ask God and obviously this is

shouldn't be taken like a literal type

conversation but the Angels asked God

when when God created man in our church

and the human being how can you put

someone there and who will cause damage

and bloodshed when we celebrate your

praise and proclaim your holiness so the

angels were asking this question the end

and there's a reason why the

commentaries given I'm not going to go

into that and and you can certainly see

that the incredible amount we over

almost two hundred million people were

killed at the hands of other people in

the last century the 20th century and we

came into the 21st century a lot of hope

but it begins with 9/11 and and then

these terrible wars that have affected

us but

the response that God made was in the

animal not animal I know what you don't

know about the human being and and this

is what we have to keep in mind I put

these pictures up because these are my

personal teachers these are people that

I studied with and there's there's a

verse in the Quran that says that we

elevate those who do not want to sow

corruption in the earth or to be

elevated and and and this is what we

have to remember as a species that we

have people in this world that remind us

of who we really are

we're not jellyfish we're not mindless

spineless consumers we have human hearts

we have the ability to know infinity we

can conceptualize it no other species

can do that we are something amazing and

we have to remind our young people of

that lost in this world of false idols

of images of women that are so degrading

they are so degrading and I don't need

to name names because you know them you

see them on the television you see them

on the covers of magazines this is not

who we want our young girls to grow up

emulating we don't want our young men to

grow up emulating the lowest forms of

life on this earth the cockroaches the

rats the jellyfish we want them to soar

with the Eagles and that's what we're

here to do and to remind people and

that's why as far as I'm concerned

religious people the religious

leadership we have failed so

dramatically we have failed our young

people we have the halo effect and then

we have the clay feet syndrome they they

don't see people walking their talk they

don't see people living it they don't

see the gift of sanctity in their beings

in their presence and that's what we

need to remind ourselves that we have to

become these people we have to be these

people that have graced this earth

reminding us this is not what it's about

we're here for a short temporal time and

we have work to do and our work is in

discovering ourselves and in serving

others this is the work we're not here

to consume we're not here to indulge

ourselves we're here for something much

greater and we constantly need to be

reminded because we're a forgetful

species when the elephants came to honor

the man who had looked after them and

some of you may have seen this but they

walked for over a day even before he

died and then held vigil in front of his

house these are signs for people that

reflect the animals pray for us

according to our tradition that the fish

in the ocean pray for the righteous our

prophet said that mr. Darwin was steady

at home in evil the one who has repose

and the one others have reposed from

them they said who are they or Messenger

of God and he said those who live

righteously when they die they have

repose and those who live corrupting

when they die people trees rivers and

animals have reposed from them that's

the choice and I I really want to drive

this point home because I think this is

one of the most important verses for me

in the New Testament I'm in a great

Christian city of Louisville

traditionally it's it's it's you see

churches everywhere

you know there was a love of

Christianity which is a great faith and

there's incredible amount of beauty and

truth despite the history we tend to

forget that the history of religions is

the history of their ego not of their

soul but for we wrestle not against

flesh and blood but against

principalities against powers against

the rulers of the darkness of this world

against spiritual wickedness in high

places people that that created planned

obsolescence this is from spiritual

wickedness in high places and and we

have to recognize that we cannot support

these people that there are people out

there that are actively engaged in

harming this world they're doing it

because they're complete slaves of their

own desires and you cannot be a steward

if you're filled with your own egoistic

desires you can't and that's why one of

the things that we have to remember the

the catholics divided the sins into the

hot sins and the cold sins and we tend

to forget you know the hot sins are easy

to recognize gluttony wrath and and lust

and and Dorothy Sayers reminded us that

when a when a society loses its

spiritual center sex is always the

spiritual outlet so this obsession with

sex which is also related to the rape of

the earth to the way we treat Mother

Earth because of our degradation of our

objectification of women and this is

much more male problem than a female

problem pornography is largely a male

problem and not entirely but we we have

to remember there are hot scenes and

Colton's but the cold sins are often

praised in our society the sins of

avarice right the sins of nd the sin of

pride the great sin which is a sin

against one's excellence and then the

sin of sloth which sloth is not laziness

acedia in the traditional understanding

sloth with spiritual laziness a CEO

could be out there working a 120 hour

workweek and he's still slothful because

he's forgotten his soul or she's

forgotten her

and this is what we have to remember

Robert Frost said some say the world

will end in fire some say in ice from

what I've tasted of desire I hold with

those who favor fire but if it had to

perish twice I think I know enough of

hate to say that for Destruction ice is

also great and would suffice it's the

hot sins of the cold sins that are going

to kill us and we have to really take

this seriously and it's our spiritual

traditions that address this root

problem it's not complicated the problem

is not complicated thank you very much


ah that was really remarkable thank you

you know it opened a lot of eyes both

educationally and particular your ending

in wrecked and our recognition it but

the spiritual desert lies beneath that

and just to remind everyone as we come

out of the sort of the Highness of that

encounter now the plan from here is that

we have about an hour to spend together

and I was asked to just a very brief

kind of response myself which is

basically really just lending some time

for you to be thinking about questions

that you'd like to ask because what we'd

like to do most of this time is just

have a an open dialogue Council on some

of the things that he's presented today

and maybe some questions that you had in

your hearts and things that you wanted

to or think that you wanted to share so

I'll to about three or four minutes here

my own kind of response to these

challenges from a specific review

perspective I have questions I could ask

that was quickly noticed but we really

rather listen to yours so I'll be

thinking about the questions you might

post okay all right there's an illusion

it's a grand illusion it's been

perpetrated upon us that we have

perpetrated upon ourselves

it's an illusion that we are somehow

separate from the earth that we are

somehow separate from ourselves we are

all a domme one human family and we are

all part of Adama we're all part of the

earth what makes us think that there's a

barrier somewhere between my feet and

the wooden floor upon which they sit

between the floor and the foundation

upon which it sits between the earth and

the stone which holds it all and us

firmly here in place where does a tree

end and the roots begin

where do the roots nearly become

tendrils and the tendrils become one

with the earth which nourishes and

sustains the tree which nourishes and

sustains us what makes us think that

there's a difference between the air we

breathe and the one who breathes it

breathing breathe out the air enters us

it fills our lungs it enriches our blood

and it gives us life we breathe it forth

and we return it to its source as trees

and plants breathe in our breath

enriched and sustained by our souls

which have been added to this breath of

life what makes us think that there's a

difference between Chicago Yusef and

myself and yourself a difference between

all the children of adam' all the

children of God

all those precious parts of this earth

adamah which we must all share we are

one you and I we are one all of us here

in this room we are all the children of

one creator who has placed us here to

help build a world that is one as

goddess one and there's an illusion that

stands side by side with the first that

in order to be one we must all be the

same that to be different from one

another makes us somehow other we've

been taught this truth as if it were

true for so long we've come to accept it

and to feel that those who are likely

our selves are like and we come to fear

those who upon the surface of their

likeness seem unlike us it's as if we

see in the mirror only a reflection of

ourselves in order to be comfortable and

that is an illusion but we must seek

instead is a thing that's not in

reflection but in the soul this is an

illusion which we have get we who we

love gathered here today can often fall

prey to our selves

we gather as a people of faith in common

cause and common action with common

hopes and dreams through which we seek

to find common elements and come and

pass this is a well-meaning illusion

that we are all the same beneath the

surface that we strip away the

differences of language and culture and

we find that we are all the same beneath

the skin and we worship the same God

essentially the same ways and since

there is much that we share in common

this is a particularly useful illusion

and one which we've become very adept at

maintaining in Hebrew were commanded to

seek Shalom in Arabic it's called Salam

in English we strive for peace as Jews

we seek to heal the brokenness of our

world through acts of sadaqa in Arabic

it's called Sokka in English we call it

charity from the Latin word Caritas

which we carry in our prayers as Jews we

seek our community in Arabic Rahim in

English and strive for compassion and

because we share many of these potential

traits which make us human it's easy for

us to imagine that we are all the same

and to dream of a world of peace and

charity and compassion when we will all

sing with one voice in a single chorus

instead of inspiring the harmony of our

many voices or a symphony of the many

instruments creating together a