Bigger issues

big issue

I am torn over the Big Issue. Our local seller, George, is a wonderful human being. He has even taken part in a short video I was involved with. Love the man.

The cashless society we are hurtling towards often makes it difficult for me to buy his magazine. I cannot blame anyone for this other than myself, cash still exists and having enough to buy his magazine is marginally more difficult than effortless. But of course, how long will it be before Big Issue sellers go contactless?

The stance of the Big Issue on a number of important subjects, not least global warming, concerns me. Am I fuelling the flames of this scam by giving George £3? John Bird, the founder of the Big Issue movement is to be hugely admired for what he has achieved. Lord Bird cannot let go of his creation and I have read some of his articles with a heavy heart. My solution? To give George £2 and not take a magazine. Again this is potentially problematic because of everyone did this George would lose heart. So every so often I buy the Big Issue. Surely my knighthood beckons?

In fairness, it needs to be said I have read some brilliant articles written by people I admire. Few things in this upside-down world are write-offs.

I cannot remember reading the magazine without sad stories about the premature deaths of Big Issue sellers. God forbid anything should happen to George. The average life expectancy in the UK is 77. For homeless people it is 47. This is a national and global scandal. Statistics from two years ago reveal:

  • More than 4,000 people are sleeping rough on the Nation’s Streets
  • Over the last 7 years the number of people sleeping on the streets has risen by over 130% with 1,768 known to have been sleeping rough in 2010 and 4,134 in 2016
  • Across the UK 3 million working families are just one pay cheque away from losing their home, with one in three working families in England not able to afford to pay their rent or mortgage for more than a month if they lost their job
  • Every year more than 150,000 young people across the UK ask for help with homelessness
  • Rough sleeping is predicted to increase by over 75% in the next 10 years, according to research carried out by the charity Crisis
  • 8,900 people are estimated to be sleeping in tents, cars and public transport in the UK
  • Three-fifths (60%) of prisoners believed that having a place to live was important in stopping them from re-offending in the future
  • 1,856 rough sleepers have experience of serving time in prison

Apart from the connection to crime, and if you are really interested in this check out correlations between survivors of sex abuse, illiteracy and offending, homelessness is probably gender, race, sexual orientation and most other fault lines of division neutral.

I am a great believer in the power of the mind. Regular readers of this site will know how much store I place in our collective ability to transform the planet. Yes what goes on inside us is out pictured in the matrix. However no amount of positive thinking, mindfulness or indeed being present without thought can gloss over such a catastrophic and relatively easily solved problem as rough sleeping and homelessness. As a white male I am not guilty of creating the homelessness situation. In truth if it affects “minorities” more than white males where does that lead us? My gut feeling is that it does affect white males in the UK more than any other group. Probably because there are more white males, excepting white women, than any other group,

We all know, especially in the USA, instead of being defined by genetic determinism, we are now defined by identity politics. So if black people suffer disproportionately from any negative social condition, we begin by acknowledging the fact. The scourge of (institutional) racism has to be addressed. Big time. But if we jump on the Democratic bandwagon, which believe me unless unchecked will take hold over here, all the fault lines that divide us, race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, country of origin, income bracket, the logos on our shirts, the cost of our sh**phone and a host of others which grows longer by the day hope will indeed be lost.

We are all one, we are spiritual beings having a human experience, and our bodies are a space suit. So how in F’s name can we treat other people according to criteria those running the planet have imposed upon us?

The era in which we live in the West is in danger of being defined as the time in history when the artificial fault lines that divide us became almost unlimited. Hysterical, unhinged attacks on those who do not subscribe to a particular point of view are beyond condemnation.

In the 1980’s, sorry for repeating myself to those who know this, I was a proud social justice warrior helping those who had been ignored, marginalised and abused by Manchester City Council to become empowered. I worked for the council at a senior level. What pleased me most of all is that so many people amongst the black, Asian, gay and disabled communities refused to be victims. Enough of us in the housing department worked together to create policies and procedures, but most of all a mind-set which enabled this empowerment to be done without rescue, being patronising and glorifying victimhood.

I am not right; therefore I cannot accuse you of being wrong. I’m not better than you, nor are you better than me. Our beliefs, values and behaviour may be different. Underlying that, at our core we are all sparks of the Divine. Yes even those whose spark has all but gone out or has been imprisoned by a psychopathic personality.

My last two decades have been spent, on and off, helping those who wish to be helped to let go of subconscious programming. Who would come along to a psychotherapist, and pay them if they knew what the problem was but couldn’t be bothered doing anything about it? I have come across so many people (the majority) who have been carrying burdens from this life (buried), or their ancestral line (cellular memory) or from past lives which have caused just about every illness, mental and physical, known to humanity. Or so many people consider serious life stressors as irrelevant or having no impact. I have lost count of the number of people who have tried every which way to “cure” themselves of unwanted conditions.

It is obvious, despite the fact I will never meet them, after seemingly endless attempts of “cures” that have worked for others, millions of people will just give up. And we all know if the symptoms of a particular condition are extreme it is very, very difficult to accept this. At the uniquely personal level, historical programming can be a killer. At an interpersonal and social level historical programming can manifest itself in the ways I have been describing.

The extreme “hate” warriors who blame indigenous populations for all the worlds ills are full of blind prejudice. The cure for blind prejudice is an open mind, recognition that we are all work in progress and an acceptance that we are not defined by the biological spacesuit we chose to inhabit during this particular visit to the earth plane. Forgive me but I’m not so naive as to suggest the “cure” for life-threatening mental or physical illness is the same. I do not have a cure. But I have a suggestion.

We are programmed. If we encounter traumatic events, especially in childhood, unless they are processed fully, at the time of the trauma we carry them through the rest of our lives until we release them. I’ve yet to meet anyone who successfully processed trauma at the time it happened. My having an open mind, it is obvious such rare people exist.

Most of my adult life has been a journey of self-exploration. Some may call it indulgent, others might assume I had an horrific childhood. I didn’t. But I’m a bit in the dark about my past lives and no matter how much training I have received (thousands of hours), there are still a few skeletons and extremely limiting beliefs rattling around in my psychological cupboard.

As I approach the last decade [s] of my last incarnation on earth, despite the pain and frustration it occasionally causes, I’m still up for letting go of conscious and subconscious programmes that limit me and/or make me less of a person I aspire to be. And despite what you have just read and will no doubt read in future if you can stand it, there is fun, joy and no shortage of humour in my life.

We are always work in progress. Isn’t that one (rather good) way of describing the human condition? And through service aren’t we constantly reminded that the faults and shortcomings in others are merely mirror images of our own personality?

To close. And you will hear this again and again. Guilt and shame are probably the two most destructive and toxic emotions we all experience. Buying into original sin and attracting the self-identifying social justice warriors into our lives is a recipe for disaster. Anyone or any group of people or organisation that sets out to make you feel guilty for being human, for the nature of your physical “spacesuit”, for historical injustice or for a difficult place you have arrived at in your life should at best be acknowledged and allowed to go on their way. Worst of all however is when our subconscious mind tells us we aren’t good enough, we’ll never make it and we create our own nightmares through our own actions.

Yes what we think we become. Our biology is our beliefs. Change our thoughts, change our beliefs and we are set free. And if we cannot get to the bottom of a hidden vow, curse, trauma or belief ignoring it will not make it go away. And if we can’t understand or can’t be bothered to let go of our limiting programming it doesn’t mean we haven’t got any. Everyone has it. No exceptions. I trust this is not hypocrisy…Are there some truths to live by in this life?

The simplest solution to these dilemmas can be found in the writings and videos of Eckhart Tolle. Be present, stop being a slave to your own thinking and become aware. You are consciousness. It won’t happen overnight (is that a limiting belief?), but for some it does, and yet it holds the promise of liberation whilst still in the spacesuit. And if that doesn’t work for you try this one:

“Fear knocked on the door, faith answered and there was no one there.”

Let go and let God.

There is always hope until there is no hope. There is never the absence of hope unless we believe this life is all there is. And even then there is hope. Without hope there is no tomorrow, no future and no point. If we cannot dream or visualise a future without suffering and homelessness and despair, why bother. Hope lifts us above the veil of duality; it keeps us going when darkness calls. That suffering is part of the human condition, to paraphrase Stuart Wilde, doesn’t mean it’s a life sentence.

Did I mention love is all you need?

Blessings and love to you all.

Jack Stewart, August 3, 2019

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