PREVIEW | Kosmos Journal, Fall/Winter 2015
October 20, 2015 Kosmos Community News

Excerpt | Citizens Peace Movement of Iraq, an interview with Kai Brand-Jacobsen

“KOSMOS: Thank you. Let’s turn to a very specific area on the planet where you have actually been working as a peacebuilder most recently: Iraq. Given the complex history and the present dire situation in Iraq and in the surrounding region, you have stated that people are basically realizing that if they want peace, they have to do it themselves. And that has given rise to the Citizens Peace Movement of Iraq.

KBJ: Moments before our call, I was looking at a picture from an event that took place in Iraq today. It was of a young man in his early 20s in a room very close to one of the IDP camps, the camps for people who have been displaced from their homes away from the fighting. These camps hold on average thousands to many tens of thousands of people living in tents—people who were doctors, engineers, pharmacists, journalists, people of every background one can imagine, who had been living in their villages, towns, and communities until one day they were told “An armed movement is coming. They will kill. You have to flee.” And now they’re living in tents.”

Excerpt | Integral Spirituality

By Ken Wilber

“…That brings us to the second major type of spirituality generally available in today’s world, namely the spirituality of waking up. This is not a series of belief systems. Rather, it is a psycho-technology of consciousness transformation, a series of actual practices. These lead from the small, narrow, finite, skin-encapsulated ego to what is said to be a oneness with the ground of all being, what the Sufis call a supreme identity, a union of the individual with this all-pervading ground, a state known variously as enlightenment, awakening, metamorphosis, moksha, satori, emancipation, salvation, the great liberation.

I won’t go into this overall path in detail except to note that this was the province of the world’s great meditative or contemplative traditions, the paths of the great liberation, the paths of waking up. Just as there is a great deal of similarity around the world in the major stages of growing up, research demonstrates a strong general agreement as to the four to five major stages of waking up.”

Excerpt | Engaged Ecology: Seven Practices to Restore Our Harmony with Nature

by Rhonda Fabian

“Courage is one of the values we need so that conditions for joy and abundance can return. Our good intentions alone are not enough. Confronted with the terrible suffering in his homeland during the Vietnam War, Thích Nhất Hạnh, then a young monk, realized it was not enough to pray for peace or sit in meditation. In Saigon, he and his sangha responded quickly to render direct aid to the injured and refugee as part of their practice of mindfulness, not separate from it. Thay called this path ‘Engaged Buddhism” and outlined fourteen principles to describe it.

A follower of these principles would quickly see how the values they contain have much in common with Deep Ecology. How we live our lives now has everything to do with how we will save ourselves and write a new story for our children and the world. We need an ‘Engaged Ecology’ that moves beyond concepts and energy-saving tips to actual deep practice—a way of being, thinking, and acting, that restores our relationship with our communities and the Earth. We need shared values, something we are often reluctant to propose. What values; whose values? Where can we possibly turn to find values so universal that anyone might embrace them?

We can look to Nature…”

Excerpt | Mystical Anarchism: A Journey to the Borderlands of Freedom

By Alnoor Ladha

“We cannot deny that there is a metaphysical and moral code deeply embedded within all political philosophy, but one that can never be expressed without the admonition of rationalist judgment. The highest values in anarchism are the simultaneous upholding of freedom and equality. The traditional Right values freedom over all else (e.g., they champion property rights and fight against redistributive taxes), or at least they value the rhetoric of freedom.1 And the traditional Left values equality over freedom (e.g., they are willing to bear the costs of societal levelers and safety nets such as healthcare, welfare, etc. at the expense of some personal freedom). But for anarchists, both of these conditions must apply. True freedom is equality of choice and equality of opportunity for everyone to thrive in his or her own way. It has nothing to do with private property or ownership per se.”

Excerpt | They Sang with a Thousand Tongues: The Poetry of Diversity

By Bayo Akomolafe

“I grew up learning that to speak like an American was to be privileged and superior. So I worked hard at disciplining the natural unwieldiness of my lips by using the ‘schwa’ sound—to pronounce a word like ‘father’ with the grace and poise becoming of a New Yorker, not with the ‘thickness’ of my own tongue.

I sat in the front of every class, desperate to please my teachers, raising my hand at the slightest suggestion of a question. You see, I was convinced in ways that needed little or no articulation that if I got myself educated, I could rise above the debris of my own bells-and-whistles culture and take my place in the constellation of the worthy… and that if I understood the irrefutable nature of things, I could find unmovable ground upon which I could build a real future for myself.”