Toward a More Loving and Caring World
Authored by Don Ayre and Edited by Heather Emberley
BODY, MIND, HEART AND SPIRIT
Toward a More Loving and Caring World is a unique combination of research from biology, psychology, sociology and even theology. It had to be as we are four dimensional: body, mind, heart and spirit. It is also somewhat autobiographical in the sense that I have always used writing to organize my ideas and to grow my own thinking. For this reason, I want to tell you a little bit about my experience with self-publishing. I have self-published four times. What I have written each time has been limited to what I knew about life at the time and what I could glean from the knowledge of others. It may make sense to you, the reader. It may not. My hope is always that we can always learn from one another.
LIKE PUTTING IT IN A BOTTLE AND THROWING IT INTO THE OCEAN
To my way of thinking, self-publishing is a little like writing a note and putting it in a bottle that you throw into the ocean. I first tried it in the 60s when I was teaching at the University of Manitoba to share my previous experience as a child and family therapist with my students. The purpose of self-publishing – or at least, my purpose for it – is to reach out to people of like minds. When I first did it, there weren’t computers so it was a tough job. I had to get a University grant to pay a printer and I ended up with boxes of books to distribute.
I self-published again in 2005…a series of booklets about peace. By then, it was in the early days of self-publishing on the Internet and it was much easier. At the time, I was adjusting to my recent retirement but I was also reacting to the aftermath of 9/11. I am violently opposed to violence of all kinds and I thought that our reaction to 9/11 would only escalate the violence that seemed to me to be ongoing. Again, I ended up with boxes of books but a summary of my position was picked up by Peace Magazine and was republished internationally. I self-published again on the Internet in 2011. The book was called Meditation and the Evolution of Cosmic Consciousness. The book is still out there on the Internet.
A NEW SENSE OF INTEGRATION AND BALANCE
Several years later I was prompted to write again. My wife and I decided to sell our home of 46 years in Fort Gary and move to Portsmouth retirement community. I found myself having to rethink my life and find a new sense of integration and balance. McNally’s had just introduced what they called “a book machine” which could print computer generated manuscripts on demand. They also offered local distribution and promotion. In addition, I was fortunate enough to encounter an editor, Heather Emberley, who had read some of my earlier writings. She encouraged me to write not just to clarify my thinking for myself but to communicate with others – people of like minds, Kindred Spirits. Being edited meant a lot of rewriting - and rewriting - and getting rid of a lot of unnecessary words. In the process, I realized that I am not so much a writer as I am a messenger. My message in all of my writings has been the same…we can create a more loving and caring world. How?
Awareness of life as a four dimensional process
I discovered in private practice as a family and child therapist that when we have a more balanced awareness of life as a four dimensional process that integrates the material, intellectual, emotional and spiritual realms of our growth and development, we are happier as individuals…and we contribute more successfully to the lives of others. This means routinely asking ourselves four basic life questions: Who am I? What’s it all about? Where do I fit in? and Why are we here? In Toward a More Loving and Caring World, I invite readers to explore different methods of participating in this kind of questioning. There is an urgency today. We are going through a process of globalization that is putting enormous pressure on us to change. The more we are open in mind and heart to our common human destiny, the more likely we are to create a more loving and caring world. To do this, we need to generate a stronger sense of Universal Love – love of self, love of others, love of society, and love of humanity – all within the context of an awareness of our Cosmic Reality. That’s what continuously asking ourselves life’s four most basic questions is all about.
Table of Contents
INTRODUCTION: The Journey from Self-Awareness to Cosmic Consciousness
- A Need for New Insights
- Toward a More Subjective Method of Inquiry
- Toward a More Objective Method of Presentation
- An Invitation to Readers
PART I. Developing the SELF and Growing the SOUL
CHAPTER 1. Asking Life’s Four Most Basic Questions – Who Am I? What’s It All About? Where Do I Fit In? and Why Are We Here?
CHAPTER 2. Using Knowledge for Developing the SELF
CHAPTER 3. Using Wisdom for Growing the SOUL
CHAPTER 4. Exchanging Knowledge and Wisdom with Kindred Spirits
PART II. The Process of Meditation
CHAPTER 5: Meditation, prayer and the Power of Integrated Questioning
CHAPTER 6: Meditation and Communion with the World of Nature
CHAPTER 7: Meditation and the Personal/Social Development of Universal Love
CHAPTER 8: Meditation and the Ongoing Evolution of Cosmic Consciousness
PART III: The Four Dimensions of Meditation
CHAPTER 9. Witness Meditation and the Process of Self-Awareness
CHAPTER 10. Discursive Meditation as a Source of Individual Happiness
CHAPTER 11. Transformative Meditation and the Politics of Change
CHAPTER 12. Progress through Transcendental Meditation
PART IV: Dealing with Life’s Transitions
CHAPTER 13. Transition #1: From Family to Community
CHAPTER 14. Transition #2: From Education to Employment
CHAPTER 15. Transition #3: From Single to Partnership Living
CHAPTER 16. Transition #4: From Independence to Interdependence
CONCLUSION: Self, Soul and Technology
- A Need to Link Psychology With Theology
- A Need to Resolve Issues of Technology vs. Spirituality
- Hope for Our Humanity
- Hope for Us as Individuals