Today I have a guest author John Perkins. John Perkins is a New York Times bestselling author of Hoodwinked, Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, The Secret History of the American Empire, Shapeshifting, The World Is As You Dream It, Psychonavigation, The Stress-Free Habit, and Spirit of the Shuar.
The World is As You Shapeshift It
By John Perkins
I’ve been thinking lately in terms of how shapeshifting into compassion can be a choice for all of us on a daily basis. Many of the greatest events in history started with one person’s commitment to shapeshift toward a more compassionate and just world for all. Martin Luther King, Jr., Mother Teresa, Thomas Jefferson, Jane Goodall, the Dalai Lama, Jesus Christ, and all the great spiritual leaders chose to focus on creating just such a world.
Recently we saw the passing of the first African woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize for combining environmentalism with social and political activism. Wangari Maathai, was the founder of the Green Belt Movement; over three decades she inspired economically disadvantaged women to plant more than 30 million trees in Kenya. Maathai was also the inspiration behind the UN Environmental Programme’s Billion Tree Campaign, which has planted more than 11 billion trees to date. What wondrous trees will be passed on for centuries to her descendants and my grandson’s descendants – all because of one woman planting one seed that then multiplied into millions!
From a shamanic perspective, shapeshifting begins with a dream, an intent. You then give it energy if you want it to truly occur in this world. Action follows. Intent, energy and action: Only when these three human forces are in place can you have true shapeshifting. The shamans believe we are one with everything, including the mountains, the plants, and the animals. Therefore if we are to support the idea of true peace, we must look at a much bigger concept than human existence. We must look for peace and compassion in all things.
Several years ago I was blessed to sit beside the Dalai Lama on a flight over the Himalayas. He and I talked about compassion and shapeshifting. I asked him, “What will it take, your Holiness, for us to have peace?” “Well,” he responded, “you know, we cannot have peace until we have taken action that reflects our compassion, and our willingness to take responsibility.” He then added, “Peace can only come from taking responsibility for all forms of life…all sentient beings, including the insets.”
One of the most compassionate and important things we can do is create societies that deeply honor the earth and all sentient beings everywhere – cultures that by their nature will create a peaceful place for the trees, the rabbits, the spiders, the whales, and the tadpoles.
In order to have peace we must consistently shapeshift away from war and fear, away from greed and exploitation. We must shapeshift into a commitment to end all poverty and instead embrace compassion.
You and I can take one step today and plant a tree in our own backyard, in our community, or at a neighborhood school in honor of Wangari Maathai. Then you and I can plant the seeds of compassion every single day. We can spread these seeds among everyone we meet and everywhere we go in this incredibly beautiful world.
How will you shapeshift?