By Judith Gayle | Political Waves
WYSIWYG is the shorthand we used back in the day when my buds and co-workers were developing software long into the night; installed like lone space captains behind their glowing monitors in darkened rooms, navigating the internal challenges of whatever new program they were working through. Bit by bit they inched forward, the result of their last keystroke glaringly obvious: What You See Is What You Get. The cool part of that was that if they didn't like what they saw, they'd back up, eliminate the command and start over. That particular satisfaction eludes most of us.
I suppose it wouldn't if we each had the same mindset as my skilled and imaginative old friends, creating something from nothing, Big Idea firmly in mind; bugs and glitches considered only the wrinkles of a long process of refinement. They knew what they were shooting for, and kept it foremost in their minds. They couldn't make a mistake; if something didn't work, they simply corrected any error to refine their outcome. Why don't we think that way? Why must all personal errors end up "baggage" and "wounding?" Why must we embrace everything we've ever experienced and drag it along to define who we think we are?
As we create our individual life program, it would be helpful if we'd loosen the linear space/time aspects, the 3D particulars, of our experience on the planet and seek remembrance of our own personal Big Idea; but we get lost in the bills to pay, the responsibilities to attend and the anticipated escape from them at the end of the day as we relax with a glass of wine or diversion of choice. We end our day exhausted from busyness, done with business and crashed on the couch; we start the next one picking up the thread of yesterday, living with the results of every wrong choice or episode, and expecting more of the same. If it looks the same, it must be the same, right? WYSIWYG.
Well, not unless we allow it; that's the good news. Past programming can be identified and ditched; and we don't even have to look back, if we're willing to let go of the old. The bad news is that as long as we are looking at the screen, believing what we see but not fully in charge of the Big Idea that constitutes the center of our life-calling and desire, we are lost in the game but not experiencing the satisfaction of refining the product.
That's not exactly a waste of time, since all life is an act of creation; but it isn't moving us forward toward completing our design either. In fact, there's a lot of wallowing going on. At any moment we could back up the last keystroke, or even scrap the last iteration we've developed to get back into the flow of progress. Movement depends on our ability to notice what isn't working while keeping in mind, big picture, what does; success depends on our ability to let go of yesterday.
The analogy is contemporary, but the concept is ancient. Our life on planet Terra is designed as a vehicle for experience that can break the barriers to enlightenment; every moment of every day is full to bursting with the potential to lead us into a new way of seeing, feeling, experiencing and ultimately, influencing everything around us. Spiritual writer Dan Millman tells us that, "The student has hindsight; the teacher has foresight; the master has insight." We are all these things -- student, teacher, master -- to some degree. The farther along this path we travel, developing the multidimensional aspects of our experience, the less apt to identify with a specific role we become. You want authenticity? There it is, there. You aren't that definition you fancy of yourself; you're evolving, one decision at a time. If you want a smoother passage into the future, learn how to debug your software as you write it.
Yes, we use our creative impulse to program our future; those who don't pay attention get soap operas. Occasionally we break through to inspiring pageantry, as reflected during our last election season; and sometimes life becomes big enough, solid enough, surprising enough to catch us in its arms, break through our lethargy and cause us to rethink everything. For the last several days, life has been epic in Iran and the world is watching, fascinated; we've been shown soaring aspiration multilayered with anger and courage, rich with tragedy and disappointment, bright with hope and tears, peppered with anguish and determination. It's been remarkable, heart-gripping, spontaneous and paradigm busting.
Similar struggles in Tibet and Burma have occurred in the last months; oppression, killings, imprisonments and media blackouts have accompanied each. But Americans have not been socialized to see those governments as unyielding, ruthless players in the Axis of Evil; the very demonizing of the Iranians by our government, setting the geopolitical stage for further aggressions and military options in tandem with Israel, has made our curiosity about this Islamic nation both potent and pertinent. Now we've gotten a deep glimpse into the struggle within Iran and -- imagine that! We see ourselves.
The Iranian election was stolen;
we Americans have some experience with that. On the other hand, our contests were tied up in legal snafu and questionable voting machines that created speed bumps and hurdles and blindsided citizens. Iran's election had no such nuance; it was called within 2 hours despite the fact that each of 40 MILLION votes had yet to be counted by hand. Incumbent Ahmadinejad announced the percentage of his win even prior to the end of voting, calling protestors "dust" and losers, then flying off quickly on state business. It should be mentioned that on the chance that he might have won the election fairly, he certainly didn't by the percentages announced; it is simply improbable, squared. He is full of his usual belligerency now, decrying Western press -- which was quickly banned, of course, leaving coverage to the sound-bite ingenuity of Twitter and uploaded clips of video from citizens' cell phones -- as troublemakers, perpetuating unrest and trying to destabilize the nation.
Iran is not a democracy; we should not ascribe our own governmental expectations to the millions of Iranians protesting this internal coup. Their president does not call the shots as does ours; that is left to their Supreme Leader, an Islamic Ayatollah. While the presidential contender, Mousavi, has promised renewed civil liberties and some kind of normalized relations with the West, he could not have gotten on the ballot without the Mullah's permission. The inflexibility of Islam rules the political possibilities; yet they are owed, at least, that selection. Having led Iran since the Revolution, the Mullahs have considered themselves iron-clad and unshakable for generations. Now, the ruling powers of Iran find themselves in the crosshairs at this writing; shifting for position, backing up on their earlier decisions and scrambling to deal with an explosive, and evidently unexpected, situation.
If you have missed the bits and bites sent from Iran, I encourage you to visit Andrew Sullivan's Daily Dish
and read his brilliant coverage, starting from June 15th. Huffington Post
has also done an excellent job of posting tweets and updates. The situation is both inspiring in terms of peaceful protest and distressing in terms of violence, and I urge you not to ignore this moment; read this small bit
from a medical student and you will recognize the heart of our shared humanity:
I am the voice of the students of Iran. This is not right...it is murder
all we want is freedom
we do not want violence
She is my life...my daughter is the reason I am a medical student and the reason I fight for justice
My daughter has been bruised by batons I hear also my brother injured by baton and is more injured but I do not know much now
I think basiji have base near her
Thank you very much for support I am worried more now more than three days no sleep daughter injured...I am smoking like chimney
I hear news of rally but I am treating woman and finding my daughter
The pain of not knowing is worse than injury
Using American alcohol on wounds fight infection
Good day for revolution for people
bad day for family
Some boy has come in he said someone shoot at his he has small wound from baton on eye
I ask him what did you do child he said when someone shoot at you, you shoot them back.
This child is near 14 years...why must kids fight for the mistake of old mullahs?
I have aged 10 year in 3 days
I am not afraid to die for freedom I am afraid to die without getting it for my daughter
We are young/the kids fighting are very young but we our minds are captive to old men in silly dresses
Why should the youth obey the old when their ideas are not our ideas when their actions are violent...this is not Muslim
This is not fair...we are free in our minds let our bodies and our mouths be free to say what we want....to do what we want
I am afraid most of the world does not care if we are free or slaves
Obama is treading very carefully in this situation; while decrying violence and encouraging human rights, he has not accused anyone of anything. That is exactly the kind of rhetoric the Iranian Guard is waiting for in order to crack heads. John McCain came out with a forceful statement about Obama's failure to condemn Iran. He proposed a blast from the past in no-holds-barred censure: the old big stick philosophy of international relations. If ever we needed nuance and the end to bluff and posturing, it's now -- for the children's sake. That does not mean Obama approves what is happening in the Iranian nation; that means he refuses to add to the problem
for political gain.
Back in the 50s, America made a decision to destabilize this nation in order to gain access to oil; there's a nasty little deja vu
for ya. We installed the Shah of Iran
whose ruthless government was overthrown during the Revolution of 1979. Unsurprisingly, we have little credibility with the government of Iran or the theocracy that rules it; we do, however, have much in common with the young people of Iran, some 60 or so percent of the population that is educated, computer-savvy
and friendly to the West.
All of this comes at a powerful juncture in our calendar year. We are approaching Solstice in this nation; we have begun to see the sprouting fruits of our labor as we continue to cultivate the new thing that has been planted. What seeds did the nation, the planet, sew last Fall? In Spring? What crop can we expect to harvest in the future?
Our crop is change -- the deep wish of so many hearts, deadened and brutalized for so long, but now suddenly coming alive with new prospects. Our process is awakening -- and a growing embrace of our commonalty, our mutual hopes and dreams for peace and cooperation, despite our differing governance or traditions or religions. We have cultivated our future with hope -- and now government after government finds they must answer to the desires of their citizens or perish in the face of diminished power and influence.
This is the season of a real and remarkable turning, I believe -- this is the time when we shatter our old, ancient notions about separation. We have looked out on five breathtaking miles of Iranian faces, men and women wearing green in solidarity and demanding, peacefully, that their vote count and that they enter the international community in a new way. Day after day, they fill the streets. These are the same people that we've talked casually about bombing into glass; these are the people who were sold to us as a murderous Islamic menace to keep us awake at night, fearful for tomorrow. Yet now we know the truth: these are people just like us, and perhaps braver, to our shame. If we had done this extraordinary thing in contempt of the Supreme Courts interference in our own 2000 election, where might we be today?
Dan Millman finished his description of life's journey by saying, "In the school of daily life, you are here to become a student, a teacher, and a master -- one who learns from the past, foresees the consequences of your actions, and finally, looks within to discover the Universe." We can do that; we have everything we need now to program our own lives without dragging yesterday along behind. We have mirrors everywhere we look, we have an innate urging from the very Cosmos that asks us to see ourselves as mutual citizens of the planet, and if we turn to one another with open hands, we will find acceptance and encouragement. We are both cause and effect; microcosm and macrocosm. What is light is soaring up into our consciousness, while what is not is sinking down to be left behind.
We are not separate from our brothers and sisters, anywhere across the globe; their concerns reflect ours, their dreams compliment ours. What is new and light and fruitful is insistent; what is old is withering away by the sheer weight of its dense and disturbing vibration. It's time to honor life, not worship death. It's time to attend to the Big Idea we came to embody. We must now redefine the whole concept of "enemy;" and the only thing that can make sense, now, is William Blake's assertion that, " ... the Soldier who fights for truth calls his enemy his brother."
Truth is easy to spot, now; it vibrates in a specific way and you can feel it. A green and growing desire for peace and mutual respect is taking shape across the planet and there is reason to celebrate. Please accept my Solstice wishes, each of you. God/dess resides in you, and reminds you, from moment to moment, WYSIWYG -- if you don't like what you see, change it. Yesterday's gone, with all its not-love; today, love is all there is ... and, of course, that's the Big Idea we came for. Dance in the moonlight with that concept and you'll never look back to see what you left behind.