THINKING “OUTSIDE THE BOX”
Talking about Global Healing with Political Scientist Vipin Mehta – Part 1
Day by day I float my paper boats one by one down the running stream.
In big black letters I write my name on them and the name of the village where I live.I hope that someone in some strange land will find them and know who I am.
Paper Boats, Rabindrinath Tagore
Humanity is at a crossroad. At this point in our history we face two paths – two possibilities. It is a simple choice. Either we choose to commit Global Suicide by continuing to fight each other with ever more powerful and poisonous weapons, or we can turn toward a path of Global Healing.
So says Vipin Mehta, engineer, political scientist, and author of Global Healing: Thinking Outside the Box. To accomplish this, he adds, “We must first address the problem at its very root – our minds.”
Global Healing: Thinking Outside the Box is the first of three books in the Global Healing series published by Fulbright Publishing. In her introduction, Harriet Mayor Fulbright, President of the J. William and Harriet Fulbright Center, evokes the words of her late husband, Senator William J. Fulbright:
In our quest for world peace the alteration of attitudes is no less important, perhaps more important, than the resolution of issues. It is in the minds of men, after all, that wars are spawned; to act upon the human mind, regardless of the issue or occasion for doing so, is to act upon the source of conflict and the potential source of redemption and reconciliation.
Born in India in 1939, Mehta witnessed one of the most profound cultural changes of the twentieth century, Mahatma Gandhi’s non-violent independence movement.
“I was raised in Mumbai during the years Gandhi led India toward independence,” says Mehta. “And was completely taken by how one man could overturn a one hundred plus year occupation by the British Empire, which was, at the time, the largest empire with the largest military in the world. Gandhi did this by inspiring and empowering people to take control of their own destinies – without using violence.”
Gandhi’s teachings became Mehta’s first exposure to metaphysics, the knowledge and understanding of how we perceive the world physically and spiritually.
“I didn’t know it as metaphysics back then,” says Mehta. “I thought of metaphysics as teachings aimed toward a more benevolent humanity. Once I had a taste of this knowledge and saw first hand its potential, my appetite quickly grew and I continued to pursue teachings by other spiritual masters and mystics, starting with lectures by J. Krishnamurti and Rajneesh (also known as Osho), and reading literature written by Rabindranath Tagore (Nobel Prize winner in 1912).”
When Mehta, who has been a metaphysical and spiritual counselor to many business leaders and politicians – Democrat and Republican – set out to examine metaphysics and its potential for changing human consciousness, he found that what he had to say couldn’t be contained in one book. Global Healing: Thinking Outside the Box, is the first of 3 books in the Global Healing series (Global Healing: Awakening Spirituality and Global Healing: New Vistas of Hope will be published in late 2008 and mid 2009.)
In the first of a two-part interview, he explains the principles of metaphysics and how we can incorporate them into our lives.
In the first chapter of your book Global Healing, you describe many ways in which we are destroying our planet and one another. What is needed to change this?
Let me start by saying that the mind that truly appreciates the beauty of a rose and the splendor of love cannot hoard weapons that cause massive deaths or destroy our planet.
We have witnessed how science and technology have developed in leaps and bounds and we have thrown billions of dollars towards them; however we have not paid nearly as much attention or put nearly enough resources toward the development of human relations, human understanding, or human consciousness.
For example, there are statistics that show the budget for the entire sixty years of Fulbright International Exchange & Scholarship Program, which is recognized by many as our greatest and most effective diplomatic and human relations tool, is equal to only 3 days of just one year’s defense budget of the U.S.
Currently, the development of human progress has more or less taken place by trying to solve problems that we created through the rapid advancement of technology without conscious consideration such as global warming and nuclear proliferation. After all, it is ultimately the human mind that makes that final choice as to whether we should use nuclear energy to either make the desert bloom or create a weapon that will destroy a city.
What, exactly, is Metaphysics?
You must start first with physics, which typically deals with physical matter or anything that can be measured within the four dimensions of space-time (length, width, height and time).
The prefix ‘Meta’ means ‘beyond.” Therefore, Metaphysics means ‘beyond physics’ or anything that falls beyond the space-time dimensions.
For example, if someone asks you where is your brain, you can point to it, see it, touch it, measure it with a ruler, or even scan it. Therefore, the brain is part of physics.
However, if someone asks you where is your mind, you cannot point to it, see it, touch it or measure it with physical instruments. Therefore, the mind, along with imagination, emotions, belief systems, intuition, creativity, choice, consciousness, soul, spirit, and so on are all part of this body of knowledge I refer to as Metaphysics.
Why is this important?
Through gaining a better understanding of the inner workings and processes of the mind and its relationship to these various other metaphysical aspects of our consciousness, we can learn how to transform negative, constrictive mindsets to positive, constructive ones. Not only will we better ourselves individually, but collectively, we can overcome the mindset of Domination that has plagued humanity for thousands of years, and create a better humanity and sustainable peace through a mindset of Dominion.
The following are a few areas of Metaphysics I describe in my book:
The knowledge of the human mind in its total complexity.
The knowledge of how to change negative emotions into positive emotions.
The knowledge of the body, mind, soul, and spirit relationship.
The knowledge of how to consciously create your own reality.
The pathway to spirituality.
Spiritual Master, Jiddu Krishnamurthi, introduced you to Metaphysics. Can you talk about your relationship with him and what you learned? How much time were you able to spend in his presence?
In 1963, I first heard of J. Krishnamurthi’s teachings through my oldest brother. In 1964, I attended his first lecture at the J.J. School of Arts in Mumbai, where he was talking on honesty and formally used the word Metaphysics.
During his fourth lecture, when I was listening to him describe the emotion of love, I had my first transcendental experience, where I somehow found myself in an altered state of mind for a few minutes before I snapped back into the lecture. Essentially, for those few moments I felt weightless and thoughtless in a state of complete serenity and stillness. After this experience, I attended Krishnamurthi’s public lectures twice a week for six weeks a year and I would also meet him personally at lectures he held at private residences until I emigrated to the U.S. in 1969.
What brought you to the United States? And how did you get interested in Politics?
I was pursuing a professional career as an engineer and after I graduated from Poona University, I became a civil engineer for the City of Mumbai, the Indian equivalent of New York City. During the Vietnam War in the mid-late ‘60s, there was a great buzz in India about coming to America, the land of opportunity, and several of my friends emigrated to the U.S.
So, in 1969, I made a choice to leave my safe haven in pursuit of a new adventure and came to the U.S. We were not allowed to transfer much money out of the country so by the time I landed I literally had $100 to my name to start a new life.
I started as an assistant to the superintendent and eventually worked my way back up to the professional engineer again and in this time pursued a Masters degree in Political Science and Public Affairs at Northern Illinois University in Dekalb, Illinois. As a result, I became very intrigued with politics and the governmental systems here in the U.S., and coming from another country that had recently won its independence, I naturally had some interesting perspectives so I began writing papers on out-of-the-box solutions to the healthcare crisis and other national issues.
I was so passionate about creating change that I even sent my work directly to President Carter and Senator Ted Kennedy, and received great responses from them. But, as you would imagine, nothing happened. That’s when I realized that to make change, I had to be an active participant in the political and decision-making process, not just an observer or critic. This is when I started engaging politicians and governmental officials directly to share my knowledge and perspectives.
I also realized that it didn’t matter how ground-breaking my ideas were if I couldn’t put food on the table, so I focused on my professional career and after a string of layoffs, I finally started my own engineering and construction management company in 1977, and this year MEHTA Engineering celebrated 30 years in business.
The difference between Dominion and Domination is that Dominion is the supreme authority (not superior authority), ownership and power within yourself and all you create, where Domination is to rule, govern, control and have power over others through occupying a superior position.
Dominion and Domination cannot coexist at the same time. They are mutually exclusive. For example, to truly be a loving person – to love and to be loved – you cannot control others or put yourself in an elevated position superior to them. Love progresses toward creating oneness while Domination alienates and creates separation from others.
The only way to uproot Domination, which has now seeped down into our collective unconscious, is by consciously establishing Dominion. The first step in achieving this is for each of us to take responsibility for the world we have created or allowed to be created, including the perpetration and acceptance of violence.
The second step is for each of us individually to become the change we want to create and see in this world. As I mentioned earlier, for Mahatma Gandhi to inspire and empower the people of India to take control of their own destiny and, without the use of violence, he had to change his own mindset and lifestyle first to become the change he wanted to see take place, and as a result others overwhelmingly followed.
Another great example is Martin Luther King’s non-violent efforts to speak out against discrimination and segregation, which led to the passing of the Civil Rights Bill. These challenges were approached with the values of Dominion, not Domination.
The current War on Terrorism is a great example of the wheels of Domination in motion where hate breeds more hate and violence breeds more violence, growing the very cancer we’re trying to eliminate, ultimately leading us down the path of using Weapons of Mass Destruction or what I refer to as Global Suicide.
How do we, as a world culture, make these changes in the face of organizations like Al Qaeda and the Taliban?
The current mindset is that Domination – the use of force through military action, control through economic sanctions and occupation, and manipulation through negotiations – is the norm and accepted way of approaching differences between other organizations or nations.
When it comes to terrorism, the rules are completely different. Terrorists are not organized governments with territorial boundaries motivated by economic growth. Terrorists are motivated by a cause, which is fed into their belief system and gives them purpose. If they are killed in the act, it validates their cause and further reinforces the belief system of their peers because they believe that they will go directly to heaven where their life will be much grander there than it is here on earth. Therefore, traditional approaches of Domination cannot and will not work.
According to the law of causation, either we, the members of the Global Family, created Al Qaeda and the Taliban, or allowed them to be created. So, the first step is to identify what has taken place that drove the need for such organizations. The fundamental driver that allows Al Qaeda and the Taliban to continue to exist and grow is the expanding vertical gaps between the haves and the have-nots, those being helped and the helpless, the hopeful and hopeless, rational thinkers and fanatics.
We haven’t consciously looked out for, and taken care of, many members of our Global Family. Therefore, organizations like Al Qaeda stepped in and offered hope and purpose, earning the opportunity to impress their own fanatical beliefs and religious Domination tactics upon many young minds, recruiting mostly young people to their cause.
We have to break the conformity of thinking that “they” are separate from “us,” and that we are purely victims who had nothing to do with the creation of these terrorist organizations.
Only by taking responsibility through recognizing our role in the creation of these vertical gaps, can we actively participate and take steps in reducing them, and therefore remove the root power that gives terrorist organizations control over their communities and minds. This is truly a war of the mindsets.
In Part Two Mehta discusses the ego and practical ways in which we can transform our world.
In 2006, Joy E. Stocke founded Wild River Review with Kimberly Nagy, an outgrowth of the literary magazine, The Bucks County Writer, of which Stocke was Editor in Chief. In 2009, as their editorial practice grew, Stocke and Nagy founded Wild River Consulting & Publishing, LLC.
With more than twenty-five years experience as a writer and journalist, Stocke works with many of the writers who appear in the pages of Wild River Review, as well as clients from around the world.
In addition, Stocke has shepherded numerous writers into print. She has interviewed Nobel Prize winners Orhan Pamuk and Muhammud Yunus, Pulitzer Prizewinner Paul Muldoon, Paul Holdengraber, host of LIVE from the NYPL; Roshi Joan Halifax, founder of Upaya Zen Center; anthropologist and expert on end of life care, Mary Catherine Bateson; Ivonne Baki, President of the Andean Parliament; and Templeton Prizewinner Freeman Dyson among others.
In 2006, along with Nagy, Stocke interviewed scientists and artists including former Princeton University President Shirley Tilghman and Dean of Faculty, David P. Dobkin for the documentary Quark Park, chronicling the creation of an award-winning park built on a vacant lot in the heart of Princeton, New Jersey; a park that united art, science and community.
She is president of the Board of Directors at the Cabo Pulmo Learning Center, Cabo Pulmo, Baja Sur, Mexico; and is a member of the Turkish Women’s International Network.
In addition, Stocke has written extensively about her travels in Greece and Turkey. Her memoir, Anatolian Days and Nights: A Love Affair with Turkey, Land of Dervishes, Goddesses & Saints, based on more than ten years of travel through Turkey, co-written with Angie Brenner was published in March 2012. Her cookbook, Tree of Life: Turkish Home Cooking will be published in March, 2017 by Quarto Books under the Burgess Lea Press imprint . Stocke and Brenner are currently testing recipes for a companion book, which will feature Anatolian-inspired mezes from around the world.
Stocke’s essay “Turkish American Food” appears in the 2nd edition of the Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America (OUP, 2013). The volume won both International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) for Beverage/Reference/Technical category, 2014; and the Gourmand Award for the Best Food Book of the Year, 2014.
She is the author of a bi-lingual book of poems, Cave of the Bear, translated into Greek by Lili Bita based on her travels in Western Crete, and is currently researching a book about the only hard-finger coral reef in Mexico on the Baja Sur Peninsula. She has been writing about environmental issues there since 2011.
A graduate of the University of Wisconsin, Madison, with a Bachelor of Science in Broadcast Journalism from the Agriculture Journalism School where she also received a minor of Food Science, she participated in the Lindisfarne Symposium on The Evolution of Consciousness with cultural philosopher, poet and historian, William Irwin Thompson. In 2009, she became a Lindisfarne Fellow.
Works by Joy E. Stocke in this Edition
AIRMAIL – LETTERS FROM AROUND THE WORLD
AIRMAIL – VOICE FROM SYRIA
ARTS – ART
COLUMNS – THE MYSTIC PEN
FOOD & DRINK – ANATOLIAN KITCHEN
FREYMAN & PETERSON- Your Life is a Book: How to Craft and Publish Your Memoir
LITERATURE – BOOK REVIEWS
LITERATURE – ESSAYS
LITERATURE – MEMOIR
LITERATURE – POETRY
LIVE FROM THE NYPL
The Euphoria of Ignorance: Being Jewish, Becoming Jewish, The Paradox of Being Carlo Ginzburg
Fountain of Curiosity: Paul Holdengraber on Attention, Tension and Stretching the Limits of Conversation at the New York Public Library
Paul Holdengraber – The Afterlife of Conversation
2013 – Three Questions: Festival Director Jakab Orsos talks about Art, Bravery, and Sonia Sotomayor
Critical Minds, Social Revolution: Egyptian Activist Nawal El Saadawi
INTERVIEW – Laszlo Jakab Orsos: Written on Water
Tonight We Rest Here: An Interview with Poet Saadi Youssef
Georgian Writer David Dephy’s Second Skin
On the High Line: Diamonds on the Soles of Our Shoes
Car Bombs on the West Side, Journalists Uptown
New York City – Parade of Illuminations: Behind the Scenes with Festival Director Jakab Orsos
The Pen Cabaret 2008: Bowery Ballroom — Featuring..
Anatolian Days and Nights: A Love Affair with Turkey, Land of Dervishes, Goddesses and Saints
Daring Collaborations: Rolex and LIVE from the NYPL at the New York Public Library Composing a Further Life: with Mary Catherine Bateson
WRR@LARGE: From the Editors – UP THE CREEK
Up the Creek: Volume 1, Number 1
Up the Creek: Volume 1, Number 2.5
Up the Creek: Volume 1, Number 3.3
Up the Creek: Number 4.4
Up the Creek: Beautiful Solutions
Up the Creek: Blind Faith, July 2009
Up the Creek: Create Dangerously
Up the Creek: What Price Choice?
Up the Creek: Before and After: September 11, 2001
Up the Creek: Candle in a Long Street
Up the Creek: Crossing Cultures: Transcending History
Up the Creek: Man in the Mirror; A Map of the World
Up the Creek: Stories and the Shape of Time
Up the Creek: The Divine Road To Istanbul
Up the Creek: What It Means to Yearn
WRR@LARGE – WILD COVERAGE
UNESCO World Heritage Site Under Threat of Mega-Devlopment Sparks International Protests
The Other Side Of Abu Ghraib — Part One: The Detainees’ Quest For Justice
The Other Side of Abu Ghraib – Part Two: The Yoga Teacher Goes to Istanbul