A NEW CHAPTER
Vision of a New World
‘Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.’
− Albert Einstein
There are many theories as to who we really are and why we are here. Life is like a great mystery that we are unravelling one day at a time. It reminds me of the party game ‘Pass the Parcel’ where children sit in a circle passing around a multi-wrapped present with music playing in the background. Every time the music stops the one holding the present has to unwrap a layer of packaging. With each layer unwrapped there is another layer underneath, usually revealing a cool toy or sparkly piece of jewelry. It’s a fun and exciting journey, each moment moving us closer to the brilliant gift at the core that has been there the whole time, waiting for us to discover it.
We are all on a journey, slowly finding more parts of our true self, gradually getting to the core of who we really are. If we could only live life like we play Pass the Parcel, we would have just as much fun playing the game as reaching any goals we may be striving for. In reality, however, it doesn’t always feel like that.
We are human, and as humans we are curious. We want to know how many layers of ourselves we have to explore before we come across our true selves. We have our days of enthusiastic motivation when we surge onward full of energy, and we have our days when we feel tired, frustrated and really over it. Somewhere along the way we forgot it was meant to be fun.
Somewhere along the way we took on a bunch of other people’s layers and gave away some of our own. We started to see the layers as blocks and issues covering our true self, when maybe some of them are actually part of our true self unfolding, unravelling, awakening. Have we been staring at the prize (all one hundred layers of it) all along? What is this game of life really all about, and do we ever get to find out?
Just as most of us want to know who we really are, we also want to know why we are here. What is the purpose of our existence on this planet? Do we each have an individual purpose, or are we involved in some kind of team effort helping Earth become a better place in which to live? With endless information sources available to us are we any closer to finding out the meaning of life?
‘The meaning of life is to find your gift; the purpose of life is to give it away.’ − Joy J. Golliver
Ever since I can remember I have always had a vision of a world very different to the one I grew up living in. That world felt like home to me. People acted with greater kindness and compassion there. They seemed more awake and in tune with something that I hadn’t yet observed on this planet. Life had a harmonious and flowing feel; even colour was more vivid. The buildings were built almost as an extension of their environment. The schools were full of ancient and wise teachings. The work people engaged in was more meaningful. For a long time I didn’t know if this other world that I felt so strongly and sensed so vividly existed somewhere, or if I was seeing visions of our Earth’s future and potential.
Growing up I wondered if other people had that same vision too. Something just didn’t feel right about the way things were here. I wondered why we weren’t living that vision right now as it seemed a whole lot more harmonious and functional than the current reality we were choosing.
This awareness of a greater reality at times created more confusion than clarity, and usually made me feel like I didn’t fit in anywhere. I felt like I didn’t really belong on this planet and that I had ended up here by mistake. I used to look up at the skies and feel that my true home was out there somewhere. It felt as if I had been abandoned by my real family who had come to Earth with their spaceship and then gone back home, leaving me behind. As a little girl I often wondered when they were coming back to get me! Was this the product of a brilliant imagination, cellular memory of my soul’s purpose, a prophetic vision, or wishful thinking?
I’ve always believed that the majority of humans want world peace. I believe it is the true nature of people to extend compassion and loving kindness to one other. So I was intrigued to know why we are living in a world that is filled with such personal and planetary turmoil. Perhaps it is because we have given away our power to systems and beliefs that do not serve us? Perhaps it is because we have forgotten who we really are?
Very early in life I embarked on a deep personal and spiritual journey, asking: Who are we really? Why are we here? I soaked up ancient knowledge and new perspectives from leading writers and visionaries. I explored my inner self and travelled the world to experience things first hand. Along the way I gained wisdom, humility and profound insights. It all confirmed what I already felt to be true. I saw just how much we were being controlled, lied to and manipulated by corporations, mainstream media and layers of individuals, groups and governments. As far as I could see they were trying to create a world of mind-numbed, dumbed-down, apathetic robots. Sometimes I thought they were doing a good job of it too, but something else has been confirmed to me throughout my life: the human spirit is an amazing thing.
It has an inner spark and no matter what, it seems to have this innate desire urging it to strive upward. Like a plant it wants to grow, with a natural inclination to head towards the light. No matter how much you try to repress this inbuilt inner knowing, it will always find a way to growth, to light and to truth. There is only so long you can keep this from happening. I believe that this is what is going on right now among humanity.
We only have to look around and see how people are responding to the sudden realisation that climate change is real and the war in Iraq is a sham. There is intense pressure on governments to change and to act now. We no longer automatically believe everything we hear and read. We are awakening. We want to know the truth. We are tired of being lied to and fed by some power-driven machine that has hidden agendas. We are remembering who we really are.
This is a book about empowering ourselves to be who we really are, and to use our power for good. Our ability to do this, our inclination to want to do so, is so intrinsically linked with the role media plays in our lives that I feel it’s important to take a look at the current and changing media climate.
Philosopher Jurgen Habermas, highly regarded for his ideas about equality, democracy and social justice, talks about Communicative Action: people coming together in discussion, responding to a particular crisis when society is not meeting their needs, or when institutions are manipulating individuals. We can see this openly happening on the internet with sites, message boards, chat rooms and blogs serving as online activism dedicated to political, social and environmental issues. Whether written by real or ‘citizen’ journalists, we can’t ignore the message that is spreading throughout cyberspace: we have had enough, something has to change.
The internet allows for connection that is immediate, providing a tremendous potential for the empowerment of society, taking back control over our own voice and movement forward. Millions of people have marched on the world’s streets in protest about military action in Iraq, primarily as a result of the power of the internet to inspire action, with sites like MoveOn.org taking the lead. Humanity united like never before during Hurricane Katrina and the Indian Ocean Tsunami, donating more money faster than our own governments, forcing national leaders to keep up with the people. The internet, more than anything, has shown us that given the chance we want to be united with our fellow global citizens. We want to help where we can. We want exposure to as many viewpoints as possible so that we can make up our own minds about issues.
In a speech to the American Society of Newspaper Editors, Rupert Murdoch admitted that, despite widespread predictions that new technologies would kill off newspapers, the industry has been ‘remarkably, unaccountably complacent’ and ‘slow to react’ in response to the digital revolution. In 1997 when Editor of The Guardian (UK) Alan Rusbridger suggested that the ‘dead tree’ paper would be a thing of the past by 2010, the idea was thought of as either crazy or exaggerated. Today The Guardian via the web is able to reach 10 million readers a month all around the world, and was ‘the first British newspaper to install and use blogging software … as a way of presenting news and content.’
Rusbridger’s prediction is rapidly turning into reality. The report ‘Abandoning the News’ recently done by The Carnegie Corporation, found that the new generation of consumers are no longer satisfied with picking up their daily newspaper at the corner store, digesting whatever news the editor decides to publish that day. The report found that consumers between the ages of 18-34 are increasingly using the web as their medium of choice for news.
According to latest statistics (Nov 27 2006) 16.6% of the world’s population now have internet access, with an almost 200% world usage growth since 2000. Consumers are being increasingly exposed to a global network of online newspapers, articles, websites, blogs, message boards and chat rooms that provide all the information you could want on any topic you want, whenever you want it – and most of it is free. Murdoch acknowledges that ‘people want control over their media, instead of being controlled by it.’
Recently, I met a journalist who had 25 years experience working as a foreign correspondent for a major US paper. He told me he had worked for media reform much of his life and didn’t believe it would ever happen. I told him I believed it would happen, it had to happen, and it is happening right now. The Carnegie Report shows us that young people are leading the way when it comes to choosing alternative sources of media for our news. It is time for traditional media sources to change the way they present news and the kind of information they present. They have to change if they want to keep people tuned in, and many are doing so rapidly.
Today we have more media than ever before, with a medley of corporate, public, independent and internet sources to choose from. As the smorgasbord increases, so too does our awareness of different angles of truth, and our ability to make comparisons between one kind of truth and another. We can clearly see, where before it was not so obvious, that the media have often been used as active participants in political processes rather than reporting and questioning them.
Media mogul Rupert Murdoch has been widely ‘accused of running partisan media coverage for political parties that promote policies and decisions which favour his commercial interests.’ During the build-up to the 2003 Iraq War, all 175 Murdoch-owned newspapers editorialised in support of the war, and Murdoch’s Fox television network has been accused of political conservatism.
Events and stories are manipulated and repressed more regularly than we know, portrayed in a way to provide maximum television impact and encourage minimum social action and debate not in alignment with the agendas of the elite. Rather than serving the public interest of ‘right to know’, they instead serve the media’s need to make a profit, the corporate sponsor’s need to ensure information shown doesn’t conflict with their sales, profits and reputation, and the government’s need to retain control and influence.
The book Into the Buzzsaw: Leading journalists expose the myth of a free press is a plethora of mind-boggling accounts from respected well-known journalists, detailing how state and corporate interference has resulted in the muzzling of their stories. It is important to highlight, they are not talking about mere influence or preference being exerted on them, but what seems to be direct interference and pressure with uncomfortable consequences if not adhered to.
In one case, a journalist working for a US newsweekly magazine tells a story of when he was working independently along the Saudi border during the first Gulf war. He was getting support from his editor and received the first surrender of Iraqis when they came over a sand dune and he was the only American around. All of a sudden he got the message to go back into his hotel room and not come back out until he had joined one of the government pools. He later discovered that the congressional liaison from the Pentagon had contacted the conglomerate that owned the magazine he worked for. The liaison said ‘You know that bill, that communication bill that’s going through Congress? If you would like that bill to emerge in any form that you would find favourable, you tell your reporter to get in his hotel room and not to come out of that hotel room unless he’s in a pool.’
Critics of the corporate media argue that ‘crucial political issues are barely covered, or else are warped to fit the confines of elite debate, stripping ordinary citizens of the tools they need to be informed, active participants in a democracy.’ Habermas posits that the media only portray ‘an illusion of participation’.
Spiritual leaders say that in order to have world peace we all need to find inner peace. For it is the state of our inner being that determines how we perceive and treat the world around us. True. However, it is the outer world that provides triggers, opportunities and influences for our inner states, and it is here that I see a place for the media to take a higher role and greater responsibility.
So many people believe the world isn’t going to change. I believe it is going to change, it has to change and it is changing right now. One main reason people think the world isn’t going to change is because so much of the world we see is the one presented to us through the eyes of the mainstream news media. Those who view the world through a different lens, choosing alternative sources of news and tuning in to the small yet growing number of mainstream shows catching on to the evolution revolution, know we are in the middle of a tidal wave of change getting larger by the second.
A primary concern shared by all who have a passion for providing people with truth and inspiration, and there are many, is that all too often the decision-makers who make the final broadcasting decisions have strong ties to corporations and governments that have their own agendas. Mainstream media broadcasters often decide what we get to see and what we don’t, based on these ties. This gives us an inaccurate and warped version of reality. Instead, a mock reality is being constructed for us, one which serves the greater purpose of the reality-constructers. They are showing us a version of reality that is unbalanced, serving the power needs of a few versus empowering, inspiring and enlightening the many. We aren’t being shown the many great people and projects working around the world right now for positive change and transformation. Problems and band-aid solutions are covered a whole lot more than focusing on the causes of issues – and what we can do to help. We aren’t being shown all of the truth. We aren’t being empowered to the degree we could be.
Celebrity break-ups get front page news while emergency situations in developing countries get a few inches of space midway through the paper. The threat of terrorism is constantly featured in our nightly news, while the thousands of Iraqis killed, wounded or made homeless thanks to the ‘War on Terror’ are barely mentioned if at all. Khalid Hameed, chief of the Iraqi al-Raya human rights organisation, says that ‘The total figure of men who have been killed, disabled or detained for long periods of time adds up to more than one and a half million.’ As a result, women have had to ‘search for ways to survive and support their families at a time when not much help comes from the international community.’ Many Iraqi women have had to pull their children out of school to cut expenses. Who then has provided the bigger threat to life and freedom?
We are injected with fear any time a new flu virus comes along, but issues like our very major climate change problem have been given relatively little attention, aside from a rush of interest when Al Gore’s brilliant film An Inconvenient Truth came to town. We are told a cure for cancer hasn’t been found, but bestselling books by Brandon Bays and Louise Hay, two of the more well-known people who have cured themselves naturally, tell us otherwise. Why doesn’t the mainstream news cover these types of stories more often? Isn’t it of public interest that some people have cured themselves of major disease by going into their body memory?
Relatively minor issues are often exaggerated and blown out of all proportion, while major threats and issues are ignored, denied or made fun of. The irrelevant is highlighted and celebrated. The real is ignored and trivialised. Short-term band-aid solutions are prescribed for everything. Long-term permanent solutions are avoided or criticised. We live in a crazy, crazy place.
I believe that the media has incomparable power as a tool for positive change. Clearly, if they want us to know about something they have proven they can get the word out! It has tremendous potential to become an evolutionary leader in fostering the expansion of inner and outer peace among people and our planet. I believe it is not only possible but absolutely our next essential step to create and demand more media that is used to inspire, inform and empower while still being entertaining and interesting. There are thousands of journalists, producers and film-makers all around the world right now who have the exact same idea. Oprah Winfrey is a great inspirational example of what is possible when media is used with heart, integrity and positive intention.
I believe people do have that same vision I have always had, of a world that lives in peace and harmony. But we have been taught that this vision is an impossible vision, that it’s an unattainable dream, that we need to get back to reality and let go of the illusion of a better world. However, a world of peace and harmony is not fantasy. It is a world that is our destined reality. Illusion is the false facade that we are being presented with now. I believe we are going to create this new world. We are going to create it because we are going to demand it, and because the current one can no longer hold the strain of the abuse that is running through it.
The so-called global elite have kept their agendas hidden from humanity but the consequences of their actions have always been there to see for those who dare to question and seek the truth. The number of people who do that is increasing each day by the thousands, thanks to the internet as well as an influx of consciousness-raising films, books, television shows, articles, interviews and people who refuse to be quiet. Increasingly we are being exposed to sites like You Tube offering instant visual broadcasting, ensuring that a lie can only exist for a few seconds before the truth gets downloaded to thwart it.
We only need to look around at the incredible shifts in consciousness that have occurred in the last decade in so many areas of society and life to realise we have already started creating our new chapter.
United as one, we are stronger than any corporation or media mogul or puppeteering organisation. Gandhi knew that when he led the people’s marches against the British invaders saying, ‘They didn’t take India from us, we gave it to them.’ Likewise, we have given away our world and it is time to take it back. It is time to realise that we control those who have been controlling us and they are scared to death that we are going to realise that. But we are realising that. We are remembering our own inner power, and our collective power. We can use that power for good. We can use that power for positive personal and planetary change. As the workers’ motto says, ‘the people united can never be defeated.’
Whatever we do or don’t do right now will determine humanity’s future direction. If we desire to last as a society, if we wish for Earth to last as a planet we can live upon, we need to question the systems and beliefs we have created and determine which are serving us and which are causing the chaos. We all have a part to play in being responsible for where we are headed. It doesn’t matter if your part is large or small. It doesn’t matter if you are the next President or a person who extends kindness to every person you come across today. What matters is knowing that you count. Your part counts. It all contributes to the creation of our new chapter and reality. When one wins, we all win. When one loses, we all lose.
Do you know what we as a world contributed to military spending in 2005? $1.1 trillion. Do you know what we spent on foreign aid? $100 billion. Out of all the things we spend money on as nations, we spend the most on military expenditure and the arms trade. Apparently, this area is our greatest priority. That’s a pretty strange priority for a world that says it wants peace and the alleviation of poverty. We either need serious, immediate intervention from some highly evolved race out there in the universe, or every person responsible for this financial decision needs to get some therapy asap. I’m sensing some major unresolved inner child issues among our political leaders – and within ourselves. Imagine constantly saying you want a healthy body, spending 90% of your income on junk food and toxic substances, and then complaining about your unfit, unhealthy state? Crazy, yes? That’s what we are doing with our world right now. It’s time we started walking our talk, if peace and a more balanced world is what we truly want.
The question is, do we really want it? Part of us must not want it, otherwise we would have created it by now. Do we have a belief that to make someone else strong, it weakens our position? Do we have a belief that in raising another up, we increase the threat of their strength being used against us? Only when we release these fears, and realise that making another strong makes us all stronger as a whole, will we truly start creating major change in the world.
‘Why, of course the people don’t want war ... But after all it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship ... Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger.’ − Hermann Goering, Nazi leader, at the Nuremberg Trials after World War II
So we can find $1 trillion to, let’s face it, kill and wound each other, make people homeless, and generally make life unbearable for millions of innocent people. But we can only find 10% of that to assist sustainable development so that every person on this planet receives basic food, housing and education? What would the world look like if those figures were reversed, if we spent $1 trillion per year on humanitarian and environmental issues?
‘Globally, the annual military expenditure stands at 780 billion dollars. The total amount required to provide global health care, eliminate starvation and malnutrition, provide clean water and shelter for all, remove land mines, eliminate nuclear weapons, stop deforestation, prevent global warming, ozone depletion and acid rain, retire the paralyzing debt of developing nations, prevent soil erosion, produce safe, clean energy, stop overpopulation, and eliminate illiteracy is only one third that amount – 237.5 billion dollars.’  − Dr Helen Caldicott, The New Nuclear Danger (2001)
We don’t have a poverty problem. We have a values problem. We want to make poverty history? It looks to me like we need to make warped values history.
According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute ‘With expenditure of $455 billion (in 2004), the United States accounted for almost half the global figure (for military spending), more than the combined total of the 32 next most powerful nations.’
‘The pioneers of peace are the young people who refuse to take up arms.’ − Albert Einstein
Let’s compare this with the figures for foreign aid or ‘Official Development Assistance’ (ODE). Did you know that in 1970 the United Nations set as a target that ‘rich nations’ contribute 0.7% of their Gross National Income (GNI) to Official Development Assistance? The actual amount we manage to muster up each year falls way short of this. In 2005 the world’s contribution to ODE topped USD100 billion which was an all time high – however, still an average of only 0.33% of GNI.
In 2005 the US spent $27.5 billion on foreign aid, the largest amount among nations in dollars, but almost the lowest figure as a percentage of their GNI at only 0.22%. Yet they spent $420 billion on military spending that year. Nice. Australia didn’t do much better, contributing 0.25% of our GNI, with the UK slightly ahead at 0.48%. Visit www.globalissues.org to see how your country is doing, you might be in for a shock − or a nice surprise if you come from Norway, Sweden or Luxembourg who contributed 0.93%, 0.92% and 0.87% respectively.
On December 10, 1948, the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted and proclaimed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Have you ever read it? Go take a look. It’s a fabulous manifesto with 30 articles declaring a vision for humanity, ‘a common standard of achievement for all peoples and nations’ that we should keep ‘constantly in mind.’ Good to know. Your personal copy is online, just press print. Each article is only a sentence or two, it won’t take you long to read at all, and what sentences they are! Filled with ideals of freedom, peace and justice for all, a world without fear, a world where we are all ‘born free and equal in dignity and rights’ − it’s great stuff. Just as I suspected, other people do have the same vision I always had. Even large world organisations. Phew. So, what are we doing about it?
It’s all good on paper, but in reality how many of these articles are being enforced and ensured? The UN has created a wonderful ideal but until they genuinely own and use their power, and we all do our bit to support them and other like-minded organisations, it remains just that: a wonderful ideal. The time to be true to this declaration on behalf of all humanity is now.
It is time to create a world where all people receive basic human rights and equality of opportunity. It is time to create a world where all living beings, including the planet herself, are treated with respect and ethical behaviour. It is no longer sustainable, or appropriate, for us to keep running the world in the way we have been. It is time to move out of apathy and find real solutions that will create a more balanced, harmonious world.
It is time to call out for legitimate representatives of the people among our governments, media and organisations. Be that caller. Be that representative. It is time to support guardians of justice, those who look out for the good of all versus the good of some. Be that support. Be that guardian. It is time for a new guiding force to emerge, a force that will lead the world with compassion, wisdom, fairness, love and truth. Be that force. Be that leader. Be who you came here to be. Do what you came here to do. It is time now.
It is time for us to demand more of the truth, from ourselves, from our media, from our governments and from corporations. When we have access to more of the truth, both within ourselves and in the outer world, we have more choice. We give ourselves a clearer, firmer foundation from which we can make better decisions. We are empowered to take positive actions that are for the highest good of our souls, and of greater benefit to the whole − our community, global family and planet.
According to the ancient Mayan calendar, we are in the last years of a great evolutionary cycle which ends on December 21 2012. What happens beyond that date nobody knows. The doomsayers would have us believe that we are facing the end of the world, and if you look around you might well have cause to believe them. However, the Mayan elders alive today believe otherwise. The elders speak of a new world of peace, harmony, unity and oneness where all humanity works together for the good of each other and the good of the planet. We are coming to the end of the lies, control and manipulation. We are nearing the end of abuse and misuse of power. We are reaching the end of the illusions and delusions.
This could have been a book purely filled with practical step-by-step tips on how to create the new reality, and I was extremely tempted to do that. But the question arose, how to fit thousands of issues that need transforming and tasks that need doing in only a few hundred pages? Which areas should I focus on, and which shall I leave out, when all are so important?
‘If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people together to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.’
− Antoine de Saint-Exupery
There is a saying: ‘Give a man a fish and he’ll have fish for a day. Teach a man how to fish and he’ll have fish for a lifetime.’ There are over 6 billion of us, and therefore over 6 billion pieces of the puzzle each with a contribution to make so that we can manifest the new reality. We are 6 billion pages coming together to create our new chapter. I don’t know what your specific contribution is meant to be, but I do know how you can find out – your true self will show you the way.
So, this book isn’t a reference guide to all the external things you can do to create our new chapter, although it does give an idea of what our new chapter looks like. It is a reference guide to being your true self, because your true self already knows exactly what to do in each moment. More than that, it is a guide to seeing your true self in a new way, seeing it as an essential, active, part in creating a new reality for yourself and the planet. It is a guide to viewing these times as a great period of transition we are all blessed enough to be a part of. We are awakening, not just to be awake, but to be fully alive and to use our life for that which it was truly intended. Consciousness combined with action is the most powerful force in the world.
It’s time for us all to get moving toward this new chapter right now. Your instincts are your compass. Your intuition is your navigator. Your soul is your captain. When you listen to your inner wisdom, follow your heart and speak your truth, you will automatically be led to the information, people, opportunities, work and life that is most right and perfect for you. You will make your page the best it can be, and in doing so you will be doing your part in making our new chapter the best it can be. I wish you a safe and happy journey. See you on the other side!
(c) Dana Mrkich 2008
 History of the Frankfurt School, para 3
 Murdoch 2005: 7
 Bell 2005: 41
 Bell 2005: 42-44
 Brown 2005: 1
 Internet Usage Statistics, www.internetworldstats.com
 Murdoch 2005: 7
 Howell 2005: para 26
 Howell 2005: para 27
 Borjesson 2004
 Borjesson 2004: 18
 McChesney 1999: 281
 Jamail, Dahr and al-Fadhily, Ali, Dec 7 2006, Widows Become the Silent Tragedy, Inter Press Service, Baghdad, Iraq
 Global Issues that Affect Everyone – http://www.globalissues.org
 Quote taken from article Angelic Troublemakers by Robert Rabbin, Guest Editor, Insight Magazine Australia, Jan 2007
 Caldicott, Helen Dr, 2001, The New Nuclear Danger: George W Bush’s Military-Industrial Complex, The New Press, US, Canada, UK
 Stockholm International Peace Research Institute - http://www.sipri.org/
 Starck, Peter, June 7 2005, World Military Spending Topped $1 Trillion in 2004, Common Dreams News Center, http://www.commondreams.org/headlines05/0607-03.htm Reuters
 Global Issues that Affect Everyone – http://www.globalissues.org
Universal Declaration of Human Rights http://www.unhchr.ch/udhr/lang/eng.htm