I have been watching many documentaries on Netflix, once I realized that I can view movies on my computer immediately. When you begin to rate the movies that you view and make subsequent selections, the process of subjectivity becomes much more refined. What an effective marketing plan. In the last twenty-four hours I watched a Holocaust survivor forgive all of the Nazis including Dr. Mengele who experimented on her and her identical twin in Auschwitz. I watched a boy with down’s syndrome prepare for and perform his bar mitzvah with much support from his family and community. I also watched the documentary of a Palestinian girl who flirted with becoming a terrorist prior to sublimating those impulses. What an interesting venue for trying out different roles in life and experimenting with different evolutionary paths. Marshall Rosenberg, Ph.D., was brought to Israel to work with Israelis and Palestinians in order to create a bridge for communication and resolution of conflict. Dr. Rosenberg’s work is called nonviolent communication or compassionate communication, a tool I believe is desperately needed in our present circumstances–one which has the potential to spread world peace one person at a time, one group at a time.

My latest selection on Netflix was the life and legacy of Werner Erhard. While watching this biography I realized how much influence he had on my life and on others who had subsequently influenced me. It is interesting how many of my former teachers have been demonized by the general public. The common denominator was that the teachings were esoteric, less mainstream, and they were way ahead of their time. The context of controversy leads to distortion by those who don’t understand the teachings or aren’t ready for change. When someone like Werner Erhard, who touched so many lives and  lived as an example of bald-faced courage and integrity gets taken down, it is deeply troubling to me. I suspect that he would be the first one to take responsibility for contributing to his fall, so I won’t see him as a victim. Now that I think about it, I believe he could have been one of many significant influences for me not feeling like a victim of this illness.

I think that there are many tools available to people in order to keep us honest and working toward expansion rather than contraction along the greater trajectory of our human experience. Of course there are contractions along the way; healing is not linear, although at times part of me would like to believe that it is. At this point in our human development, I believe everyone has a responsibility to move humanity forward. The way to do this is to work with our limitations consciously bringing more awareness to the human system. In my opinion, the way the planetary changes are happening are an external manifestation of the consciousness that has to be raised. (Of course, this is my blog so it’s going to be my opinion.) If we look at our political system and are alarmed by what we see (the political system is the densest form and the slowest to change in our culture), I believe it reveals the entrenchment and the intransigence of the human psyche. We all need to do our share in moving humanity forward, whether it is watching documentaries or dramas that move us on Netflix or attending meetings that enlighten or enliven us, or whatever form one is drawn to in order to go beyond our limitations. If I am not challenged by whatever tool I choose, I will not change.

I have been in a group for three years with four other people who come to my house to practice nonviolent communication bimonthly. Paradoxically, these are the most psychologically violent interactions I come in contact with. If most people including myself do not want to walk out at least once during the meeting we have likely not pushed our self-imposed limitations far enough. The meetings can be raw at times, but the metaphoric container is what allows for the ultimate safety. The intention of the group is to work through psychological violence in order to transform this primal energy into Love. The level of violence that we as a society live with, yet are virtually unaware of, is astounding to me. The way the transformation occurs is to recognize that the deepest need we humans have is for connection. It is with this understanding and a very clear technology developed by Dr. Rosenberg that we move from violence to reconciliation. Each success in our group increases the level of trust and therefore expands the human container. As our group continually practices this technology successfully, and more groups are created in the community, I feel a growing sense of hope for humanity.