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A hopeful approach for the future of international relations.

Redirect teen rebellion towards idealism and self improvement.

Read excerpts from unpublished book: Science, Religion and the Search for God —Bridging the Gap.

Poems of society, the human condition, and spiritual discovery.

Our student activities and curriculum materials instill an environmental, cultural, and global perspective, and integrate various academic disciplines.

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Archives 2002:
Vol. 1, Numbers 1-12

Read past articles including:
Hope for the Future
Six Part Series on Science and Religion
First Three Parts of the Series on Leadership
Archives 2003:
Vol. 2, Numbers 1-12

Read past articles including:
Series on Leadership continued
Avoiding Dictatorship in a Free Society

Art and Politics
Living the Good Life
Teaching Teens
World Peace in Less Than a Month?
Archives 2004:
Vol. 3, Numbers 1-12

Read past articles including:
Seven Part Series on Global Consciousness
Is "Liberal" a Dirty Word?
Can Idealism Solve Problems?
Peace on Earth, Goodwill to All

Archives 2005:
Vol. 4, Numbers 1-12

Read past articles including:
Standing up for Humanity
Unity in Diversity

Thought and Imagination
Imagination and Healing
Lessons of Katrina
Intelligent Design or Evolution

Archives 2006:
Vol. 5, Numbers 1-12

Read past articles including:
Human Programming and Conflict
Non-Violent Political Change
Sustainable Development
Legalizing Torture
Living Without an Enemy
"Fast Food" is really "Slow Food"


Related Articles about Responsibility, the Future and Consciousness:

Hope for the Future
Series on Leadership
Series on Global Consciousness
World Peace in Less Than a Month?
Can Idealism Solve Problems?
Conflict, Harmony and Integrity
Human Programming and Conflict
Non-violent Political Change
Living Without an Enemy
Protecting Children: Words and Deeds

Related Poems:

Making Friends
March Madness
Take Heart
Kabul Update
Wake of Distaster






January, 2007
Vol. 6, Number 1

This Month's Article

State of Fear

“I am leading to the notion of social control, Peter. To the requirement of every sovereign state to exert control over the behavior of its citizens, to keep them orderly and reasonably docile....we know that social control is best managed through fear.”

"... modern people live in abject fear.... amazingly, they are convinced that the environment of the entire planet is being destroyed around them. Remarkable! Like the belief in witchcraft, its an extraordinary delusion—a global fantasy worthy of the Middle Ages."

character Professor Norman Hoffman (p. 454-455)
State of Fear by Michael Crichton

Crichton’s book, State of Fear was reviled by environmentalists as belittling the threat of global warming, and praised by corporate polluters and their political nannies for its critique of the science warning of “the greenhouse effect.” This book and the arguments pro and con miss the main point that humanity must consider: Are human beings treating each other and the planet with respect?

Instead of arguing about the science, we should be discussing how people live in all of their relationships. We are living in a state of fear. It is unfortunate that Crichton made his most truthful and important point of the book, the inspiration for the title itself, in the voice of a character that he ridiculed, “crazy” professor Hoffman.

Fear is not just a product of government control, it is a psychology that taints our everyday life, and conditions our behavior and relationships. Governments can neither impose fear nor give freedom to their citizens if the citizens themselves are not fearful or free. One day it will be shown that human life, society, governments, environmental conditions and even health are the reflections of human consciousness. Collectively, human beings have created the life we are living. Pollution, war, hatred, fanaticism and all their consequences are the mirrors in which we must see ourselves. We try to cover our reality with the make-up of rationalization, self-righteous religious doctrines, or self-inflating national or ethnic pride.

The state of fear is an inner state that opportunistic politicians and advertisers use to control us. But WE are responsible for putting the remote control into their hands! We can also be responsible for eliminating a life and destiny shaped by fear. Social control only works where people give up self-control and responsibility. Humans can solve all the problems they themselves have created.

It is useless to argue about the science to either prove or disprove whether people are treating each other and the planet in a beneficial or harmful way. Mental arguments are not needed to demonstrate truth if people open their eyes to what is happening. Reason is often as great a cover-up of reality as blind faith and fear. People need only drop all their filters and see things as they are. If we don’t see that we are behaving against the laws of nature, we have to rely on pain to wake us up. How much pain does humanity need? All the threats to survival are currently trying to awaken us.

Crichton mixes cynicism with hopeless resignation in his book as seen by the following exchange between his characters, Peter Evans and professor Hoffman (pp. 454-455):

Evans frowned. “You’re saying that environmental crises took the place of the Cold War?”

“That is what the evidence shows. Of course, now we have radical fundamentalism and post— 9/11 terrorism to make us afraid, and those are certainly real reasons for fear, but that is not my point. My point is there is always cause for fear. The cause may change over time, but the fear is always with us…. Fear pervades society in all its aspects. Perpetually.

Consequently, we infer that our only way to live is to either ignore or stoically bear the symptoms of this chronic human illness. If fear is a symptom why are we not the physicians to eliminate the causes? Crichton’s human society is cemented in its animal consciousness and virtually powerless. Crichton’s people are either perpetrators or victims driven by animal instincts. The only virtues he extols are in characters that seem in control through their reason, through their physical strength, and through financial power. These “virtues,” however, are barely a notch above animal consciousness when controlled by the same instincts. That may well be our past, but it does not have to be our future.

The solution to fear obsession is to act for the benefit of others and the planet. Who cares about statistics, graphs, and debates? We know, if we have eyes that are open and a heart that feels the pain of our planetary organism that humans have to change their behavior in order to heal the planet and human society.  Human enlightenment must use the tools created by reason to solve our most pressing problems. Environmental health and world peace are possible and within the power of people to create. We need not be resigned to a pessimistic outlook based on the state of fear in which we currently live. Survival instincts have now surpassed one’s self, one’s tribe, or one’s nation and now encompass the global Self. What makes this different from the animal instinct to survive, is that it evokes the higher instincts of responsibility for others, forgiveness of others, and altruistic actions to help others. Ultimately it will be the cause of unity, cooperation and mutual trust, the uniquely human qualities so much needed to solve current problems.

© 2006 Richard Sidy


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Archives 2005
Volumn 4
January: "Standing up for Humanity"
February: "The Wake of Disaster" – a poem
March: "Unity in Diversity
April: "Life is Calling"
May: "Entertainment" – a poem
June: "Thought and Imagination" part 1
July: "Thought and Imagination" part 2
August: "Imagination and Healing"
September: "Malice or Neglect? – Lessons of Katrina"
October: "Protecting Children"
November: "Intelligent Design or Evolution?"
December: "Building with one hand, destroying with the other"
Archives 2006
Volumn 5

January: "Conflict, Harmony, and Integrity"
February: "Satyagraha or Soul-force and Political Change"
March: "I Know I'm Not Alone - Wisdom of Michael Franti"
April: "Human Programming and Conflict Part I"
May: "Human Programming and Conflict Part II"
June: "Soccer Diplomacy"
July: "Sustainable Development is Nature's Way
August: "Parallel Universes"
September: "The News is not New"
October: "Legalizing Torture"
November: "Living Without an Enemy"
December: "Fast Food is really Slow Food"

Archives 2007
Volumn 6

January: "State of Fear"
February: Criminal Justice - "The Powerful Over the Weak"
March: "Culture Shock: The Good Life and Survival"
April: "March Madness"
May: "No Child Left Behind" Leaves Many Teachers Behind
June: "Personal Ecology"
July: Criminal Justice - "The Ethic of Custodianship"
August: "Exploring the Mind - part 1"
September: "Exploring the Mind - part 2: The Poetic Mind
October: "How Much Pain Can We Stand?"
November: "When Languages Disappear"
December: "Is it Enough to be Tolerant?"

Archives 2008
Volumn 7

January: "Beyond Ideology: Politics of the Future "
February: "Beyond the Bush Years"
March: "The Imaginary Economy - Part I
April: "The Imaginary Economy - Part II
May: Questions from Prison
June: "iGods and Connectivity"
July: "Energy Independence"
August: "Tribalism and the 2008 Elections
September: "Guilt, Shame and U.S. Justice"
October: "Have We Been Willing Slaves?"
November: "Are We Ready for the Future?"
December: "Are we done learning from pain?"

Archives 2009
Volumn 8

January: "Awakening"
February: "When Sacrifice is no Sacrifice"
March: "The Good New Days"
April: "The Power of Metaphor"
May: "The Conflict of Mythologies"
June: "The Time is Right"
July: "The New Anarchy"
August: "The Art of Living"
September: "Outrage"
October: "Are Women Becoming More Unhappy?

November: "Effect of the manufacturing culture on the American Psyche"
December: Who are the Real Game Changers?

Archives 2010
Volumn 9

January: The Music of Place
February: Earthquakes and Other Awakenings
March: Sense of Place, Sense of Self, Sense of Humanity
April: Why Do People Serve?
May: Decentralizing Food and Energy
June: Beyond Reading and Writing — Ecological literacy
July: Organization or Organism?
August: Fear and Cynicism = “Inter-fear-ance”
September: Are we afraid of our "Better Angels?"
October: Choosing Our Battles
November: Meeting the Need
December: A Living Canvas

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