Parallel Light Resolves Conflicts

image of Japanese light trees

Photo: Japanese Light Trees by J. Wilder Bill

The most meaningful time of the day for me is at sunrise. As the first rays radiate out from below the horizon each morning, my dogs ask to go outside. Sometimes, we sit together and watch as the sun seems to move in fast speed, lifting out from the seamless ocean and warming the clouds. 

My husband prefers sunsets. He plans his entire day around the opportunity to sit with his feet propped up on the boardwalk rail. His face takes in the intense sunlight as he studies the shifting hues, watching closely for a green spark at the instant the sun dips out of sight. 

We all have a parallel connection with light. We thrive when the sun puts on a dramatic performance for us to remember. On a subconscious level, we are aware of our being an extension of the Light. Each of us shines in a unique expression of light. Each core soul exists as a techni-colored show broadcasting the sacred source. 

While each of us shares the ability to recognize who we are inside, it is easy to slip into forgetfulness when we interact with others. We might overlook another’s glorious light. 

What if, when you walk down a busy street, instead of viewing those nameless people as bodies, you see them as colorful lights? If you find it difficult to imagine, you can begin by intentionally assigning colors based on your feelings and experiences. The man who always makes a point to hold the door open for you can be a vibrant blue light. The woman who takes her time talking to the cashier at the newsstand, making you late for your appointment, can shine in red. The guy with the headphones who never looks up as you pass by each week lives the life of a strong green.

Although existing as light sounds like a new age concept, the idea has been around since the beginning of man’s quest to understand why we are here and how we are supposed to relate to others. Not to sound preachy, but I want to remind you of what how early on we were told we are light bodies. It is right for us to relate to one another as extensions of the Light.

According to the biblical scriptures, you are the light of the world. To summarize Matthew 5: 14 & 16, you have the ability to let your light so shine. Your light spreads to others and creates a bridge for someone who feels disconnected to realign his relationship with God and connect his own light to Heaven. In the Old Testament, Isaiah 60:1, asks you to “Arise, shine; for your light has come.” 

Buddhist teachings refer to the presence of one who is in touch with the source as emitting light rays. The knowledge gained from enlightenment intensifies your light, making it purer and clearer. According to Buddhist scriptures, “The light of Buddha touches all with its glow. His knowledge is said to shine, emanating inconceivable nets of lights, everywhere purifying all conscious beings.” 

By recognizing others as light forms, you can more easily identify with their soul nature. There are so many of us here on Earth at this time, each with an individual motive and agenda. Our lives overlap. Not everyone wants the same outcome at the same time. It might seem one person is working against your goals. He could be perceived as the selfish enemy who you must defeat. But in reality, his spirit is a light and it is connected to the same light you embody. You can overcome any tendency to think of another as competition or as an outsider with a personal agenda in conflict of yours. 

See everyone as light. You and every other person on the planet have the same makeup. All of us are in essence lights. In John 8:12, Jesus acknowledged himself as being the Light of the world, and since we are in His same form, you are too. That is, unless you choose to hide your light.

Light burns away the darkness. In this way, you have the power to remove the masks smothering the brilliance of those around you. If ever you feel alone or misunderstood, switching your perception of others, allows their light to shine in your life and lift you out of your vapors. People who you never were able to connect with might intend to share their light, but unless you accept their offer, you won’t see it. Seeing the light in another allows you to bask in the glow, and the more light rays you have shining on you, the brighter your light becomes.

Relationships are formed through the process of give and take. This isn’t to say one person is always on the downside of an interaction. It means that the energy that forms a relationship moves in a circular motion. It is comparable to a magnet. Without the polar opposites, the spark of a union cannot be strong enough to shield away an outside force capable of breaking the bond.

You enjoy the gift of deciding whether you want to live with your light accessible to others. Your light can radiate and spread the original source, pursuant to Ephesians 5:7-14. The good in any combative neighbors is visible once their light is revealed. Whatever qualities they express originates from the source. To ignore another’s light is to withhold from yourself an ample supply of love and harmony. The more you see the light in others, the greater the amount of light you have shining on you.

Awaken your inner light to brighten the lives of those around you, and the original source of God will reflect back onto you. As you move about in the world, imagine each individual around you as a form of light.

Join the World Peace Diet

image of sign in Tennessee mountains

Photo: Lookout Mountain, Tennessee by J. Wilder Bill

When we heal the earth, We heal ourselves. David Orr

The World Peace Diet is painless to practice. Devised by Will Tuttle, Ph.D., the visionary speaker, educator, author, and musician shares the impact the foods we consume has on not only our physical bodies, but also on our spiritual well-being. Dr. Will Tuttle emphasizes the significance our dietary choices make in influencing worldwide harmony. He provides innovative insights of the philosophical masters and the patterns mankind has followed throughout history and he shares the meaning behind his words in this interview.

J. Wilder:

You provide a full description of Plato’s theories regarding the benefits of people adopting an animal free diet. Why did some of Plato’s knowledge regarding science remain public while his information about adopting a vegan lifestyle vanished from available books? 

Dr. Tuttle:

Actually, in The World Peace Diet, I discuss several ancient Greek & Roman philosophers who all advocated a vegan diet and lifestyle – Pythagoras, Plato, Plotinus, and Plutarch. Pythagoras is considered the father of vegetarianism and vegan living in our Western world, and until the mid 1800s vegetarians were referred to as Pythagoreans. Pythagoras emphasized the spiritual, social, and health benefits of a plant-based diet, and warned people who if they killed animals for food, they would also kill each other in wars. These important ideas are more vital now than ever, and form the foundation of The World Peace Diet. Plato (like his teacher Socrates) was in many ways a Pythagorean and taught that herding livestock led to conflicts over land and to warfare. Plotinus was a neo-Platonist and strong advocate of compassion to animals, as was Plutarch, a Roman historian.

Their ideas have been covered over simply because they make people in our culture uncomfortable with what is their most basic behavior: eating food. This is unfortunate, of course, because if these teachings were heeded by us today, we would be able to reduce the many diseases caused by eating animal foods, as well as the environmental devastation that is unavoidable in growing vast amounts of grain and legumes and feeding them to animals who are hyper-confined, mutilated, and killed at the rate of 75 million per day in the U.S. alone. People are starving and malnourished, and it’s completely unnecessary, and all this slaughter is similarly unnecessary, and the war and inequity that flows from it as well.

J. Wilder:

In The World Peace Diet, you posit a hidden and powerful core mentality in our culture – what is that?

Dr. Tuttle:

All of us are born into a culture that injects into us from infancy a program that forces us to look with eyes that see certain beings as things – as commodities that exist merely to be killed and eaten. This mentality of reducing beings to things—commoditization of life—is devastating to our inherent intelligence, sensitivity, and compassion. It leads to a mentality of exclusion, elitism, might-makes-right, privilege, and disconnectedness. It is this mentality that is injected into us through our three daily meals, where we are all forced to participate in rituals in which sentient beings are reduced to mere flesh and secretions. We are forced to eat them, thus internalizing this mentality that is totally contrary to our well-being and the well-being of the Earth and of other animals. By far the most intelligent, creative, caring, and aware action that any human being in our culture can engage in is to extricate themselves from this toxic and destructive program, and switch to a plant-based way of eating and living, out of compassion to the whole web of life in which we are all embedded. This is the foundation of joy, peace, abundance, wisdom, health, and happiness for all.

J. Wilder:

According to your studies, people initially consumed fruit, nuts and leaves. What prompted humans to deviate from his healthful diet?

Dr. Tuttle:

No one knows the answer to this question. We don’t even know what happened in history, much less in pre-history! What happened on 9//11? Who killed JFK? What happened just a few days or years ago? We don’t know! What we have are “official stories” that are created for our consumption in order to keep everyone enslaved to a system of domination and ignorance, where we are willing to work in jobs that rob us of our precious time and resources, and imprison us in the ignorance of separateness, willing to fight wars and eat animals and destroy the Earth without comprehending our true purpose on this Earth.

Today, we can see that we are designed for plant-based foods, and whatever reasons people have had in the past for eating animal foods (which I discuss at length in The World Peace Diet), we can easily see that it is terrible for our physical, psychological, cultural, ecological, and spiritual health. Any one of us can prove this in our own lives as well!

So rather than look too much to the past, I think it’s a great idea to be pulled by the future. Let’s envision an abundant, peaceful, creative, and joyful future, and base our behavior on reaching that, rather than trying to figure out how we should be driven by a past that we will never completely know or understand (at least until we go vegan and awaken our latent wisdom)!

J. Wilder: 

Your information regarding how humans transitioned from being peaceful gatherers and gardeners to being aggressive figures who dominate and own living creatures as property provides a clear image of how our diet and its required mentality impacts our emotional stability. In what ways would humankind improve if we resisted eating animal products?

Dr. Tuttle:

By ceasing to eat animal foods, we begin the process of extricating ourselves out of the pervasive program of violence and reductionism that ensnares our culture in ignorance and war. The mentality required to reduced beings to mere objects of property is the essence of the problem, and by rejecting that, we open the door of the prison that we are in. Anyone of us can do this at any time! Going vegan is actually just the first step out of the prison. We are called by our inherent wisdom to shed all the layers of violence, fear, and delusion that cover the light of pure consciousness that we truly are. Going vegan is the first essential step, and it means adopting an attitude of radical inclusion whereby we cultivate respect and kindness for all beings, both human and animal. This is the essence of the inner work that is the foundation of transforming our lives and our world. As I say in The World Peace Diet, we cannot build a tower of love with bricks of cruelty. As we eat and act and relate with kindness and love, we build a body, emotions, and life of harmony and freedom.

J. Wilder:

The quote by Benjamin Franklin captured the experiences of many vegans with regard to attending social gatherings with the commitment to avoid consuming animal foods. Do vegans benefit spiritually by standing firm on their beliefs even when it causes strife within their communities? 

Dr. Tuttle:

It is quite humorous to say that vegans are causing strife within their communities by not going along with the meals and attitudes of exclusion, oppression, and mindless violence that are required by animal foods. As vegans, we are bystanders to the horrific violence perpetrated by people who take out their wallets and pay for animal-sourced foods. We are witnessing and questioning the unnecessary cruelty toward animals, and any “strife” we cause is the precious energy of liberation that will help both the perpetrators and the animals become free from this devastating situation. If we are doing our jobs well, we are causing significant cognitive dissonance by providing examples of people who are not afraid to be kind and to lovingly speak the truth about the interconnectedness of all life. Through this we can transform our world!

J. Wilder:

The observation that consuming dead animals kills the person who swallowed the flesh provides a vegan solution to many medical ailments. In what ways would world economy benefit from the decrease in physical disease and deterioration?

Dr. Tuttle:

If people stopped eating animal foods, our economy would be enormously blessed. The way it’s set up now, there is a small, wealthy elite that is enriching itself at the expense of people, animals, and the Earth. All are abused and becoming more diseased. Switching to a plant-based diet is an action of liberation. We stand up, open our hearts, and proclaim to the world that we love and that we are willing to act on that love. Our physical and psychological health immediately improve, as does our spiritual health. We begin to create healthier communities wherever we are, and we significantly reduce our ecological footprint on the Earth. We begin to create new economies based on spiritual growth and caring, rather than being slaves to a system of oppression and death. As vegan living continues to grow and percolate through our culture, we will see enormous healing energies released that will counteract the insane inequities that are perpetrated by the transnational financial and corporate powers. It all begins on our plates, and extends outward from there.

J. Wilder:

Some people express a lack of care about cows, chickens, fish, pigs, and other animals, and starving people. Should those who are concerned respond?

Dr. Tuttle:

We have to remember that anger, whether it’s expressed or repressed, tends to be toxic not only to ourselves but to others and to our relationships. Anger causes acidification and contraction, physiologically, and can lead to a variety of physical and psychological complications. It is exclusionary, (though not as exclusionary as indifference) and veganism is the path of expansion and inclusion.

For me, a wonderful way to understand and deal with the anger that tends to arise in these types of situations is to contemplate and remember the Taoist teaching of Chuang-tzu, who offered a metaphorical teaching about a boat. If you’re laying down in a boat on a lake, quietly resting, and suddenly another boat just whams into you without any warning, you’d probably get immediately irritated and angry and leap up, ready to yell at the thoughtless pilot of this other boat. Yet, if upon doing so, you suddenly see that the other boat is actually empty, and it just drifted into your boat, propelled by the winds of karma, you immediately see how foolish it is to be angry in this situation, and all anger dissipates. You even burst out laughing.

This is the same with us. The people we get angry with are empty boats. There is a karmic wind propelling them, and their words and actions, and it is essentially the programming of our culture. Why yell at or be angry with someone who is propelled by the cultural program? Is it wise to yell at and be angry with a program? With the wind? They are asleep – sleep walking and sleep talking. In many ways, it’s pretend sleep walking and sleep talking. We get frustrated and angry because they are causing harm to others and we want them to wake up. Our task is to discover what works best to do this.

Creating communities that encourage awakening is an important part of this – the essential ingredient in cultural and personal transformation is relationship and communication and interaction with others. Building vegan community, both where we are and in cyberspace, is essential to the awakening of our world. Everything we do to channel our energy of caring from anger to constructive community building is a healing gift that blesses us and everyone in our world.

 

Dr. Tuttle, thank you for sharing your insights, and for your tireless advocacy to bring about world peace. For additional information about The World Peace Diet, visit www.worldpeacediet.com.

Love Life

image of polar bear mother with cub in water in San Diego

Photo: San Diego Zoo by J. Wilder Bill

Our planet responds to love. We have the power to improve the circumstances.

With a click of a button, you have the opportunity to witness global acts of uncertainty. Exposure to startling behavior and witnessing deteriorating conditions on Earth tend to produce waves of confusion. Images and news adverse with instilling a sense of safety ripples across the globe in a continuous chain, convincing many to accept the concept of a bleak future as being fact.

Any time my siblings and I disagreed with each other, my father would give the same lecture, his finger pointing, and his tone stern, repeating his notorious one sentence until enough hours passed for us to be too tired to argue with each other.

“Two wrongs do not make a right.” It was that simple for my father.

An intensified version of my father’s philosophy of life applies to global disharmony. As Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. stated, “In spite of temporary victories, violence never brings permanent peace.”

It seems world-wide violence is increasing, however, many of the same issues existing today began long ago, before mass media. On an optimistic note, humankind has survived terrorists, pollution, and riots for many generations.

A cure for global hostilities exists: Love.

Yes, by itself the word sounds ineffective. Certainly, anyone who is concerned about the seemingly wave of violent behavior is a person who cares but the same person might act adversely toward another out of love for family or his home.

By realizing the aggressions on the planet cannot destroy our inner peace, we can overpower the aggressions. With each moment we are given an opportunity to respond to violence with compassion for the other’s point of view, we create a chain of events that spreads more rapidly than the media can broadcast their versions of the events.

The effects of your act of love with one encounter will inspire the recipient to commit an act of kindness in a situation where he might typically have responded unpleasantly. Doing for others involves intellectual reasoning and a willingness to release your ego. Depending on the level of aggression, you are also placed in a position to exchange habitual fear for trust in the strength of love.

As the numbers of people reacting with love increases, hostilities are deluded. The aggressors lose power. Kindness multiples tenfold and eventually spreads so wide, it circles back to those who generated the loving energy. This isn’t sidewalk preaching. It’s been proven by political scientists, James Fowler of the University of California, San Diego, and Nicholas Christakis of Harvard University that in a situation where acting out of love required a sacrifice by those who gave, their kindness “tripled over the course of the experiment by other subjects who [were] directly or indirectly influenced to contribute more.”

As Desmond Tutu explained, “Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.”

In the greatest turmoil, acts of kindness create the highest ripple. You have the power to change the conditions of the planet. Now is a time for love.