To the International Gathering
May 7, 2012
Who rules, what rules, why rules? In my mind, I can hear “Harmony Rules,” as if harmony is really cool. At the same time I can picture “Harmony Rules” as a list of suggestions or requirements for me follow.
I’ve heard of God Rules, Nature Rules, Freedom Rules, Money Rules and Love Rules. Of course there is no shortage of lists either, from the Ten Commandments and the United States’ Constitution to our own Rules of Discipleship.
Looking back into my childhood, I now equate the love, care and support of my family with harmony. To this day, humming, “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah,” from Disney’s 1946 live action animated movie Song of the South, conjures up harmony in my mind. Despite the film’s politically incorrect and racist overtones “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah” won the Academy Award for Best Original Song. With music by Allie Wrubel and lyrics by Ray Gilbert, James Baskett, playing the role as Uncle Remus, really made the song come to life for me.
Zip-a-dee-doo-dah, zip-a-dee-ay ~ My, oh my, what a wonderful day
Plenty of sunshine headin’ my way ~ Zip-a-dee-doo-dah, zip-a-dee-ay
Mister Bluebird’s on my shoulder ~ It’s the truth, it’s actual ~ Ev’rything is satisfactual ~ Zip-a-dee-doo-dah, zip-a-dee-ay ~ Wonderful feeling, wonderful day!
This song may have captured my heart as a metaphor for harmony; nurturing my smile before I was even born. Back then I had no idea that Mister Bluebird represented the “bluebird of happiness.” To many ancient cultures around the world the bluebird has been an excepted symbol of cheerfulness, prosperity, hearth and home, good health, new births, the renewal of springtime and so on. For many of us, these positive sentiments coincide with our feelings about harmony.
In contrast, we seem to associate harmony with the fruits of our labor, more naturally, than with the actual act of our working. While we are striving to keep a roof over our heads and put food on our tables, how many of us are noticing the weight of Mr. Bluebird on our shoulders?
Throughout my professional life, whenever encountering the letters “HR,” the term “human resources” would first come to mind. There was a time when it was homerun, homeroom, hours, honor roll, human race and human rights. I could go on. Not until this gathering, have I thought about “HR” as Harmony Rules.
So let’s consider what comes up for us by the juxtaposition of the nature of HR, in this case, Human Resources, and what it means to have “Harmony Rules.”
By definition, “Human resources are a set of individuals who make up the workforce of an organization, business sector or an economy.” This corresponds with Wall Street’s perception of people as capital assets and our potential for increasing returns on investment.
Simultaneously, while working for a living, we are also human resources for a variety of noncommercial groups, like; our families, our neighborhoods, our schools, clubs, our communities, some hospitals, our religious affiliations, governments, armed forces and so on.
At any point in time each one of us may find ourselves connected to any number of groups and in a variety of combinations. Odds are that each group, big or small, is subject to its own, unique set of rules.
Conceiving the possibility of all these peopled complexities, simply getting along, let alone harmoniously, at times seems unimaginable to me. Were it not for Hope, Faith and Charity, I truly believe that “Human Harmony” would be known as an oxymoron till the end of time. Living sincere kindness and courtesy is easier said than done.
Yet, never less than once a month, we have the opportunity, during our Feast of Fulfillment, to reaffirm our belief in the harmonious evolution of all creative Force and Consciousness, and in a geometrical plan according to which each atom, molecule, man and star must attain development under fixed, inexorable Law, which Law is Love and we reaffirm our pledge to work in harmony with that Law as far as lies within our power.
From the Feast of Fulfillment we find that “Law is Love.” From our Rules of Discipleship we find that “God is Love and Love and fundamental source of Being.” From this we may infer that “Law is God.” Although for my Atheist friends; “Law is Love” makes more sense.
Depending on use, the interchangeability of words can be confusing or helpful, as the differences can be ever so subtle. In the case of rules vs. laws, one difference might be in the significance of the consequences for the disobeying of either.
The relevance here isn’t so much about whether or not we know a pronouncement to be a rule or a law, but by the Spirit we bring to the making, observing or enforcing of that rule or law.
It is my belief that the Laws of Centralization, Polarization and Cycles are accountable to the Law of Love. Manifesting through this Hierarchy of Laws, we may become acquainted with Fohatic Energy; Sound, Light, Flame, Magnetism (heat), Attraction, Repulsion and Cohesion. Contemplating this and the Triple Key may begin to seed our understanding and ability to correspond the natural harmonious order of things to our own behaviors. For example, at the molecular level, through attraction and cohesion, a combination of two hydrogen molecules and one oxygen molecule forms, what may be, the original ménage à trios, which all life has come to depend on.
I continue to find comprehending harmony’s relevance to my own evolution, let alone universal evolution, challenging. Especially when I perceive time marching on; whether or not I get along with anyone, including myself, or follow any rules. I find hope in believing that my animal instincts are incapable of remaining unchanged.
I can hear, see and feel how joy and beauty would lead to harmony. I struggle to understand and accept the role of pain and suffering in the process.
To some, evolution can also be an illusion. There are people in my life who claim to be open minded, including me, yet we struggle deeply to realize the essence of some ideas, new to us, the further time takes us away from our youth. Could this be a paradox?
The Triple Key, “the evolution of Matter, Force and Consciousness,” has become an eye opening thought tool, on my journey along the Path. I’ve also come to find it useful to think of other words in series of threes. As in: “Love, Will and Wisdom,” “Thought, Word and Deed,” “Hope, Faith and Charity,” “Producer, Consumer and Decomposer,” and “Past, Present and Future.” I can imagine the necessity of a harmonious interdependency flowing through and within each one of these Trinities and others.
I can also imagine the need for a harmonious interconnectedness between “Religion, Science and Economics,” the Foundation Stones of Temple of the People. Here we are coming to learn that a true religion needs a scientific basis, and a right economic system needs to be based on a science that is religious and on a religion that is scientific.
As an economic system has everything to do with how we go about exchanging the things we need and want; it is within this context that we explore the connection between human resources and Harmony Rules.
Depending on one’s position within an organization, the levels of Morale, Quality and Profit, may offer a window into the degree of harmony being experienced by the human resources of any going concern.
Morale being attitude, quality being utility and profit being benefit; all have an integrated and interdependent impact on the resonance of the entity’s internal and external harmony.
The strengths and weakness of anyone of these aspects may come and go over time. Offering a fine product or service does not guarantee a profit and making a profit and enjoying one’s work do not necessarily go hand in hand.
It is commonplace for an organization’s morale, quality and profit to be influenced by its Values, Mission and Vision, as it navigates its way through the market place. This may also apply to any group or individual, “As above so below.”
Simply put, values drive missions towards visions.
Values are beliefs that are shared among the human resources of an organization. Values drive an organization’s culture and priorities, providing context for decision making and can be thought of as the “essence” or “substance” of the entity.
Mission defines the fundamental purpose of an organization. Why it exists, what it does and can be thought of as the “means” or the “journey.”
Vision describes what the organization wants to accomplish, either internally or externally. Where it wants to be or how it wants its world to be. It looks to the future, can be a source of inspiration and can be thought of as the “ends” or the “destination.”
Values, Mission and Vision are alive within any entity, whether consciously or not. They are dynamic in their shifting, modifying and adapting by virtue of experience.
Values are the foundation to missions and visions. For instance how we value; trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and citizenship, has profound implications on our missions and visions.
Can we enjoy the journey or is it all about the destination? Do the means justify the ends or vice versa? Can we or our organizations be successful and balanced without a state of harmony? Can we experience harmony while struggling with adversity?
As human resources, whether individually or through our hierarchal position within an organization; are we living each day with joy in abundance (morale), being our best (quality), while benefiting ourselves and those around us (profit)? Are we doing this, though clouds and darkness seem to be about us?
Competition, supply and demand can alter the dynamics of morale, quality and profit and the organization’s propensity for sustainability or as a going concern. Motivation, knowledge and resiliency are keys to harmony. Influenced by the relationship between risk and reward, speculation plays a significant role in the level of time, energy and resources we are willing to invest in our values, missions and visions.
Hard work, without hope of striking it rich and performance quotas to the point of exhaustion are not necessarily in the best interest of values, mission and vision. We may conclude that morale, quality and profit would eventually suffer under such working conditions. In fact slavery comes to mind; were one not free or able to quit.
Yet, with the introduction of a little respect, gratitude and perhaps a share of the profits; miraculously the burden of hard work, fear and exhaustion can be lifted in the twinkling of an eye.
No matter which microcosm one belongs to, in the macrocosm of life, every entity has a responsibility for their share of the morale, quality and profit of life, no matter the values, missions and visions one finds themselves connected to.
No organization, group or individual having; high morale, a great product or service and making a profit, “is an island entire of itself.”
In many organizations, profit or benefit is altruistic. It is through their external service that inward harmony is manifested and a contribution to outward harmony is made.
No matter the group or organization it all boils down to you and me.
By way of correspondence, one of my favorite entities is the Honey Bee. You can find up to 50 to 60,000 bees in the average summer hive. Members of the hive need to tap some two million flowers to make one pound of honey. Members of the hive need to fly some 55,000 miles together to visit all of those flowers, with each bee contributing only 1/12 of a teaspoon to that one pound of honey during their entire lifetime. Many wings make Light work.
Personally, I find this amazing. But than again I have a honey issue, although I am not alone. Here in America we consume some 300,000 million pounds of honey a year, making it about a $1.5 billion industry.
Unbeknownst to the bee, their going about their daily business ends up being responsible for nearly a third of the food that nourishes our Country. Some $15 billion a year in direct value is the result of their travels through our crop fields, gardens, orchards and yes, our vineyards too; contributing to the common good while they gather their precious nectar to make their honey.
Until recently; their superb work ethic, the excellence of their honey and the benefits from their pollination have been taken for granted by many of us. They instinctively know where they belong within the scheme of things as it pertains to their values, mission and vision.
Regrettably this perfect reflection of Harmony in Action has been thrown off balance by what appears to be mankind’s contribution to a condition now known as Colony Collapse Disorder. Mister Bluebird is very sad about this.
Colony collapse disorder is a phenomenon in which worker bees abruptly disappear from their hives. While such disappearances have occurred throughout the history of apiculture, the term colony collapse disorder was first applied to a drastic rise in the number of disappearances of Western honey bee colonies in North America in late 2006. While the scientific explanation for this remains controversial, research is revealing that the unintended consequences of human behavior is weakening the worker bee’s immune system and ability to navigate its way back to the hive with its nectar.
Despite the Honey Bees minding their business and following the rules, if they are not able to shift, modify or adapt to the consequences of human behavior, their chair within the economic symphony of Nature may go vacant at some point in time.
Yet without the Divine Values, Mission and Vision of the Honey Bees we can only begin to imagine the dissonance that may arise in the absence of their harmonic expression.
Within the economic symphony of Nature, there is only one chair that worries about the scientific and religious aspect of Harmony. It is the one instrument whose presence, on the surface, does not appear necessary for the Ancient Magnus Opus to continue playing on.
It remains to be seen how many chairs in the orchestra of Life will go vacant at the behest of humanity’s religious piety and scientific arrogance. Paradoxically, out of all the life forms here on Earth, humankind may be the only one that appears to offer no ecological necessity, either instinctively or as matter of natural coexistence, to the physical well being of the macrocosm.
So, if the microcosm of billions of human beings and groups of human beings living their values, missions and visions in pursuit of morale, quality and profit, were to lose its chair in the economic symphony of Nature, in all likelihood the Honey Bees’ melody would continue to nourish the Song of Life.
Another favorite entity of mine is the Passenger Pigeon. Up until the 19th century, in North America, it had one of the largest groups or microcosms of any animal, second only to the Rocky Mountain locust. One alleged sighting in 1866 in southern Ontario was described as being 1 mile wide, 300 miles long, and taking 14 hours to pass a single point with number estimates in excess of 3.5 billion birds in the flock.
A few years before the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, giving women the right to vote was passed; the Passenger Pigeon had already gone extinct. It would seem that when pigeon meat became commercialized as a cheap food for slaves and the poor, the resulting hunting on a massive and mechanized scale vacated the Passenger Pigeon’s chair in the economic symphony of Nature.
By way of perspective, at their peak population, the Passenger Pigeon outnumbered human beings by three to one around the world. I would respectively suggest that the loss of the Passenger Pigeon vs. losing the Honey Bee, while both upsetting to Mister Bluebird, involve unique sets of consequences to the Harmonious Balance of Nature. Can humanity really thrive at the expense of every other living thing and creature?
So what do the birds and the bees have to do with Harmony Rules and human resources? Well, many cultures have used the birds and the bees to explain to their children the facts of life and that their behavior comes with responsibilities and life long consequences.
Yet, when it comes to religion, science and economics humanity struggles to find consensus about the facts of life. From a religious standpoint many of us hold human life sacred, yet we are willing to go to war. From a scientific standpoint many of us know what it takes to nurture wellbeing, yet we choose unhealthy behaviors. From an economic standpoint many of us hold integrity in high regard, yet we are willing to sellout the environment in the name of personal gain.
Sure, there are many examples of climate change, habitat destruction and species extinction taking place over the millenniums without the influence of humankind. Yet there is a reason we think of ourselves as evolving into the image of God. Although for my Christian friends; “Created in the image of God” makes more sense.
Nevertheless, when it comes to humans, as a resource to Mother Earth, our microcosm, our species, contributes what to the macrocosm, that is in the best interest of every living thing and creature? How many species add to the orchestra of life, but without, the economic symphony of Nature would not continue?
I believe that through the Grace of Reincarnation and Karma our generation has inherited, if not earned, the gift of being conscious of consciousness. As near as I can tell, we have been blessed, to this Cyclic Point, without any essential role, critical to the Balance of Nature. Most likely without us, the Honey Bees would continue doing their business and the Passenger Pigeon might still be around.
We tend to forget that within the Producer Consumer Decomposer relationship, as producers, we add nothing, if little, to the life cycle in the way of the Honey Bee’s pollination and the Passenger Pigeon’s position within the food chain.
Yet we are experts in consumption and decomposition, with not enough regard for the system as a whole. On the one hand it’s regrettable how we’ve developed a taste for the artificial. On the other hand, it may prove useful in the short run, if we don’t become more respectful of the natural and learn the art of unselfish stewardship…
So here we are, as human resources, individually and collectively, within our groups and organizations, feeling really good, or not, about our work, (morale) doing our part to be our best, or not, in the production and distribution of goods and services (quality) while benefiting, or not, ourselves and each other (profit).
To what end are our values, missions and visions utilizing the resources of this planet? Where are they taking us and by whose rules are we following?
Although many of us talk centralization many of us walk decentralization. Although many of us talk unification many of us walk polarization. This is not to demonize dissonance nor minimize the value that the decentralizing and polarizing forces have on developing our resiliency for connection with our Higher Selves.
It would appear to me, that we are finding it more and more difficult to get further out of balance and further out of order; personally, organizationally, locally and globally. I believe the turning point came in 1928 when the Feast of Expectation became the Feast of Fulfillment.
So how do we plug into the harmonious evolution of all creative Force and Consciousness? How do we work in harmony with the Law of Love? What are the rules?
By way of analogy; let’s take a minute or two to close our eyes… and imagine billions and billions of pebbles being tossed from within a spherical pond, as in a perfectly formed globe of H2O. By every thought, word and deed emerging through our values, missions and visions; do we toss out and encounter each others spherical ripples that are the results of our organizational, group and individual pebbles.
This is happening every minute of every day with each and every pebble generating its own unique set of consequences. These spherical ripples continue coming from and returning to their point of origin from anywhere within the Global Pond; with longevity being a factor of motive, force and interaction. Can you visualize what the surface of this Global Pond might look like today? Eyes still closed.
While functioning within a geometrical plan according to which each atom, molecule, man and star must attain development, if each toss were to value connection with the Golden Rule; our Global Pond may end up resembling the surface of a golf ball.
A golf ball, with a, geometrically encompassing multitude, of perfectly placed dimples. Gently calming whirlpools, generated by the colorful scintillating rhythmic connections from within, while being nurtured by the assimilation of Universal Forces from without. Eyes still closed.
Now, listening interiorly, a cornucopia of distinct vibrations, radiating from each “kaleidoscopic surface opening,” reminds you of the ocean sounds you listened for as a child with your ear to a conch shell…
I find this exercise in “Cosmic Art Thought,” (or CAT) connecting me to the idea of a Universal Ebb and Flow. How can my Manasic current find synchronization within the Global Pond of Harmony? How can I strengthen connection with my Higher Self?
The simple answer is one day at a time, with hourly gratitude, as my experiences ever so slowly evolve my Love, Will and Wisdom. Through my Joyful Mindfulness (morale), offering Service with a Smile (quality) while staying present with the Sacredness in my Sacrifice (profit), may I live the Golden Rule (values) while endeavoring to realize the presence of the Avatar as a living Power in my life (mission) by aspiring towards Universal Brotherhood Sisterhood (vision).
Generation to generation, from past tribes through present day organizations and groups towards individually advancing the common good, it all boils down to one rule. “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart and mind, and thy neighbor as thyself. This is the highest law.” This is the Spirit of the Golden Rule.
While there are billions and billions of paths to the Mountain Top, no one can get there without living the Golden Rule; for True Harmony rules by the Golden Rule.
Without Harmony, Balance is balancing. We may know balance without Harmony, but there is no True Harmony without being Balance. When Harmony Rules we are in Divine Balance. This is what happens when we “Walk the Talk.” This is what it means to be Living Theosophy. This is what it means to be in Harmony; to be “One” with the Law of Love.
Zip-a-dee-doo-dah, zip-a-dee-ay ~ My best wishes for wonderful days.