I did a little bit of research today in between efforts to "earn a living" and discovered an interesting factoid: The word "crisis" is a Latinized form of the 15th century Greek word "krisis"-- a word that originally meant the "turning point in a disease".
Clearly, the modern day equivalent of "krisis" is upon us, big time, as we are daily reminded of just how diseased our world has become. Pick your favorite crisis, folks, to focus on: the Environmental Crisis... the Nuclear Crisis... the Terrorism Crisis... the Natural Disaster Crisis... the Refugee Crisis... the False Flags Crisis... the Toxic Government Crisis... the Cyber Attack Crisis... the Energy Crisis... the Monetary Crisis... the Water Crisis. The list goes on and on and on.
Very sobering stuff. Very spooky. And sometimes downright terrifying. When I think about the root cause of all these "crises", I keep coming back to one fundamental crisis -- THE IDENTITY CRISIS -- as in too few of us knowing WHO we really are and, because we don't, we don't know who OTHER people are and how to authentically and compassionately relate to them. False identities rule the day. We think we are Americans. We think we are Russians or Brits or Koreans or French or Italians, but those identities just refer to the places where we were born. They are not who we ARE. I might eat an avocado, but that does not make me an avocado.
We think we are Christians or Jews or Muslims or Buddhists or Hindus, but that is not who we are, either. Those identities are just beliefs we have adopted from our parents or, if we rejected our parents, beliefs we adopted in the spiritual marketplace. Is a baby Buddhist? Is a baby Christian? Is a baby Jewish? Does a baby have enemies? No way. Those are learned behaviors.
Human beings love to categorize. We love to differentiate ourselves from each other by claiming an allegiance to a quality we have or prefer: I'm a Virgo. I'm a Capricorn. I'm a Gemini. I'm a Scorpio. Blah blah blah blah blah. Pick your favorite sub-group to belong to and feel better about yourself. That's the game we play. Libertarian. Feminist. Macho. Gay. Northern. Southern. Eastern. Western. Gun-toting. Old School. Home-Schooled. Stamp Collector. Cheese Lover. Vegan. Deadhead. Airhead. Revolutionary. On and on and on it goes — our seemingly primal need to identify with something that gives shape, meaning, and affiliation to our lives.
Listen. These identities are merely the things we DO... or thoughts we HAVE...or preferences we LIKE. They are not who we are. But when we overly identify with them in a way that separates us from OTHER people who have OTHER thoughts or OTHER preferences, then all we do is create cliques and clubs and cults and the godless act of cutting other peoples’ heads off to make us feel taller.
When are we going to get the simple fact that WHO WE ARE has nothing to do with what we do or what we believe or what we have -- that there is something inside ALL OF US that is universally distributed equally in every man, woman, and child on planet Earth and always has been -- that the promised land is beneath our feet, NOW, not in some faraway fictitious kingdom of the mind.
Addicted to separation and differences, we’ve created 197 countries and God knows how many religions. We huddle together with people who look like us and act like us and have the same preferences, thinking those OTHER people just don't get it. We demonize them. We judge them. We are threatened by them. We steal their land. We overcharge and under-deliver. We call them names, cheat, and kill them. Really? For THIS we were born? To trash our neighbors as ourselves? East and West are totally made up. The lines between countries are totally made up. All of the differences that separate us are totally made up. They are minor, not major. But there is something, in our lives, that has NOT been made up. AND THAT IS THE SOMETHING THAT MADE US! All of us. White, black, brown, tan, yellow, pink, and green. Not just here on planet earth. Everywhere. When we stop looking down at each other and start looking within ourselves, things will begin to change, but only then.
Only when we discover the common denominator inside of us -- the sacred life force that flows through all human beings -- will we begin to experience peace on Earth.
And by the way, our endless addiction to categorization, to dividing and conquering, goes far beyond this earth. Our environmentally challenged planet is the tiniest of specks in an ever expanding universe. There is an untold number of other civilizations out there, millions or billions of years more advanced than us. They look different than us. They communicate differently than us. They think differently than us. And they have totally different preferences. But in the end, they are ALSO animated by the same life force that we are animated by.
This is the same life force that all of the Masters since the beginning of time have been talking about. Of course, addicted, as we are to thinking that OURS is the only true path, we call this animating force by different names and invent different spiritual practices, thinking that OUR rituals and OUR ceremonies are THE WAY and the only way. Ever wonder why so many wars, since the beginning of time, have had some kind of religious component to them?
It all comes down to this, ladies and gentleman. It’s really quite simple: LOVE THY NEIGHBOR AS THYSELF! SEE GOD IN EVERYONE! Let go of judgment. Let go of blame. Let go of believing that everyone who does not look like you is a threat. Be kind to all life forms. Stop thinking that you are better (or worse) than anyone else. You're not. You are simply a temporary life form infused with the cosmic spirit -- a human being with the potential to amplify the power of this spirit with every cell in your body, every breath you take, every word you utter, and every right or left turn you make.
Everything else is a symptom of our whacked out identify crisis -- the one that is now plaguing the world. If you want it to stop, then please do everything you can to know yourself. That's what Socrates spoke so passionately about centuries ago. "Know Thyself" he said, not “Know Thy Gender”... or “Know Thy Nationality”... or “Know Thy Astrological Sign”. KNOW THYSELF! Two words. Easy to remember.
When we truly know that self and identify with it deeply, then and only then will we find our way out of this madness. Only then will peace on earth begin to manifest.
The good news? Each and everyone of us can start right now...
Mitch Ditkoff is the President of Idea Champions, a forward-thinking innovation consulting and training company based in Woodstock, NY and San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. He is also the author of two award-winning books written to open minds and hearts to the power of possibility: Storytelling at Work and Awake at the Wheel. This brief article was his attempt, today, to spark more peace in the world. What can you do today?