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Myers writes: "Much of the propaganda that inundates the world's population is designed to justify animosities and conflicts, whether religious, racial or political. But there is a larger truth that also must be understood - that we are all in this together."

The Earth rise from the Moon. (photo: Bill Anders/Apollo 8)
The Earth rise from the Moon. (photo: Bill Anders/Apollo 8)

All for One

By Winslow Myers, Consortium News

22 June 12


he single most powerful idea that needs to be seeded into world culture as rapidly as possible is that we are one interdependent whole on this planet. Difficult as the implications may be for us to grasp, it will have only a salutary effect upon world politics, economics, cultural diversity, and religious practice.

Going further, it could be asserted that the internalization in the human mind and heart of this idea is the way evolution itself will manifest itself at this unfolding moment of history.

For relief from such headache-inducing abstractions, I often walk a path that takes me along a tidal river to a midden, a cliff-high mound of oyster shells left from the summer gatherings of indigenous Americans over millennia. The midden slopes to a beach where horseshoe crabs forage along the sandy shallows—a species so resilient that it has sustained itself unchanged for 445 million years.

The process that has allowed horseshoe crabs to flourish for so long has operated instinctually, on “automatic,” in a roller coaster ride up into breathtaking diversity and down into five vertiginous moments of mass extinction, as life-forms jostled for their place in the ecosystem.

Those forms that adapted survived. Those that did not disappeared, leaving only their fossil remains. Scientists tell us we are into a sixth dizzying plunge as thousands of species go extinct around us. Natural selection continues to operate at full throttle.

Meanwhile, an “unnatural” factor, human consciousness, entered the scene. In what has been only an instant of evolutionary time, it became dominant—rather, it has assumed dominance over the system while in reality remaining totally subject to the system’s every law and principle.

The “other” in the twoness of self and other is not only the perceived enemy or opposing viewpoint. The other is also the natural world that until now we have perceived as an infinite resource subject to our command and exploitation, rather than as the ground of our own sustained vitality. We can be no healthier than it.

If the Chinese continue to operate their coal-fired power plants, the largest single source of carbon emissions in the world, the military-economic competition between China and the United States will become at best irrelevant and at worst a potential disaster. If the United States continues to use up a third of all global resources, it will matter little whether Iran produces a nuclear weapon or not.

These ecological realities behind our conflicts rarely surface in political campaigns because we are entranced by obsolete competitive metaphors: our politics are not the civil contribution of workable ideas based in interdependency. Instead they are a Super Bowl contest.

Super Bowl twoness is the obsolete thought-paradigm that informs everything we do. We compete from birth to death. We compare ourselves endlessly with others. We envy those who are wealthier or better looking or apparently happier, and look down upon those less fortunate than ourselves with a distancing pity or contempt. In a thousand daily ways, we take sides.

Especially in the United States our politics, our legislatures and courts, executive leaders, and mass-media discourse are dominated by polarized allegiance to conservative or progressive opinion.

A Republican president and vice-president administer a torture program of global reach, a program that would subject them to potential criminal trial by Nuremburg standards, but they have enough support among both Republicans and Democrats—given our fear of the terrorist “other”—to receive a pass.

A Democratic president supervises a drone program that violates the sovereignty of other nations and kills innocents at his personal command, also a program that could arguably subject him to potential criminal trial by Nuremburg standards. But he too enjoys enough support to receive a pass.

We citizens whose collective will our leaders are sworn to enact continue in our moral ambivalence—our troubled twoness. Instead of the practical imperative of the Golden Rule, that bow toward the truth of interdependence found in all the major world religions, we live by the half-truth of “you’re either with us or against us.”

At the fateful moment in October 1962 when superpower competition, in the form of the Cuban Missile Crisis, brought the planet as close as it has been to thermonuclear annihilation, who was the enemy? Who was the “other”? Was it not war itself? Was it not ignorance itself? Why is this not equally true in every competitive confrontation from the international to the intimately personal?

We humans emerged from a uni-verse. This is the single context out of which came all our religions, all our cultural and ethnic diversity, our constantly calibrated sense of twoness.

The great next step of the evolutionary process is from twoness to oneness, not as a New Age bromide but as an evolutionary necessity. This step can only take place in the way individual humans feel and think, as we, we upon whose decisions rests the fate of all life-forms on the planet, mature into willingness to look into how we can contribute to the health of the whole system.

Poet Robert Frost wrote:

Nature within her inmost self divides

To trouble men with having to take sides.

Frost’s couplet distills the depth to which competition is structured into evolution. But we are awakening to the fundamental unity behind our twoness. As a Peace Corps volunteer once said, “The earth is a sphere, and a sphere has only one side. We are all on the same side.”

Muslims, Christians, Alawites, Sunnis, Iranians, Jews, fans of Limbaugh, fans of Maddow, horseshoe crabs—we’re all in this together.

Winslow Myers, author of Living Beyond War: A Citizen’s Guide, serves on the Board of Beyond War (, a non-profit educational foundation whose mission is to explore, model and promote the means for humanity to live without war. your social media marketing partner


A note of caution regarding our comment sections:

For months a stream of media reports have warned of coordinated propaganda efforts targeting political websites based in the U.S., particularly in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election.

We too were alarmed at the patterns we were, and still are, seeing. It is clear that the provocateurs are far more savvy, disciplined, and purposeful than anything we have ever experienced before.

It is also clear that we still have elements of the same activity in our article discussion forums at this time.

We have hosted and encouraged reader expression since the turn of the century. The comments of our readers are the most vibrant, best-used interactive feature at Reader Supported News. Accordingly, we are strongly resistant to interrupting those services.

It is, however, important to note that in all likelihood hardened operatives are attempting to shape the dialog our community seeks to engage in.

Adapt and overcome.

Marc Ash
Founder, Reader Supported News

+4 # barbaratodish 2012-06-22 17:28
We need to become strong enough emotionally to transcend the fear and the anxiety of ambiguity. We all are indoctrinated with fear starting from when we are spanked into existence at birth. This is when we start having our "oneness omnipotence" disciplined out of us and negativity and otherness illusions begin to take over. Perhaps there is still time to regain oneness omnipotence. Consider reading a free Kindle book or Kindle for PC book:
0 # spiritcallsus 2012-06-23 09:04
The "spanking" at birth does set the stage for our future whether we ever realize it or not.

I have also mentioned that in my own book, also free via pdf @
-1 # barbaratodish 2012-06-23 22:38
I intend to read your book. Hope you want to read mine!
0 # Bigfella 2012-06-24 22:53
Hmm You must of been born pre 1970 or in the 3rd world spanking babies at birth has not happened in the west for decades. Just ask a nurse!
-1 # Bigfella 2012-06-24 22:56
Yes over 50 I take it Babies are no longer spanked my dear woman an hence the line of thought out dated.
+4 # ronnewmexico 2012-06-22 17:33
In concept all this is absolutely true, we are one with singular human concern which is ultimately....w e all want just happiness.
In a other context.... one world can have untoward results. The Euro may perhaps serve as partial example.
Is not a country like Tibet having human rights violated by the inhabitants becoming a minority within their own country? And is not another country Bhutan not also committing a type of human rights violation when they employ police force to deport recent immigrants whose numbers are approximating a majority differing in culture to the initial inhabitants(as happened in the 1990's)?

Environmentally it is clear we are one. One all..not just human. Otherwise considered, one world consideration, may mean our bigger nation with its culture, may supplant your smaller place and culture, as our larger majority of peoples says we should, in a democratic decision. AS happened to a autonomous region of India whose native population becoming a minority displaced by Indian majority and did cease as a autonomous region and then became a province of india(during the 1980"s).

This is a complex issue, with many aspect for consideration of its complexity. Environmentally I 100% agree. Otherwise depends.
+1 # Granny Weatherwax 2012-06-23 16:07
The thing is if we are not environmentally , we are not at all.
Then let's deal witht he environment issue first, and then we can resume petty competition (if we did not learn our lesson yet).
0 # Bigfella 2012-06-24 22:58
I agree fully Granny or we are all doomed to a dead planet.
0 # Bigfella 2012-06-24 22:51
Bhutan is stable and ecologically sound NApal is not nor India were hence the deported folks came.
We are put spackes of star dust. We live on a planet that can provided all our wants if we are in harmony.
But as the "CAPITIALST GROWTH ECONOMIC MODEL" continues into the 21st century the planet is doomed. Unlike the sharman model max work for wants 2-4 hours per day and sustanable. Growth destroys and enslaves us and our planet.
+4 # cordleycoit 2012-06-23 05:40
We ought to be strong enough to be able to correct the natural errors in our decision making process. No political process is correct more than fifty percent of the time. Our current masters seem to be oblivious of that fact.They feel they own the people and by some sort of divine right of government. They and only they are qualified to rule us. This feudalization has lead to the total surveillance state and total control by corrupt banker-technocr ats whose absolutist nature leads to one way extinction.
+3 # animas 2012-06-23 05:57
The environmental issues are gonna bring us to our knees like nothing else. We will finally get it that we are ALL IN THIS TOGETHER. But will it be too late? Will we have gone to far? Are we, as Joanna Macy asks, midwives for hospice workers for each other and the other species on the planet? Perhaps it depends on how fast we respond in the next few years to our collective predicament?
+3 # ruttaro 2012-06-23 07:27
"The other is also the natural world that until now we have perceived as an infinite resource subject to our command and exploitation, rather than as the ground of our own sustained vitality. We can be no healthier than it."

Here lies the great challenge before us. We divided the world into political realms - those lines drawn on a globe - that will be difficult to erase. But do we need to? Someday, maybe but for now we have to continue the argument made by Meyers: this is all we have to sustain us so let's stop destroying Eden just because we were "cast out" as the myth goes.
Asking ourselves if one species went completely extinct tomorrow- vanished- and in that moment the Earth would be better off, although some might say mosquitoes, the only answer is homo sapiens. That fact profoundly shows how detached we are from nature. And in conflict. It does not have to be this way and it can't remain so. We are Plato's person in the cave seeing only shadows and believe they are reality. If we could free ourselves from the marketed/create d false consciousness of humans as exceptional creature given dominion over the world rather than an equal partner in terms of right to exist, we could with our liberated consciousness, devise sustainable economic systems that could reduce conflict and enhance our understanding of beings occupying a shared planet with all creation. We may be banned form Eden but it does not follow that we should thus destroy it.
+1 # spiritcallsus 2012-06-23 09:25
The concept of OUR ONENESS is extremely important to our health and survival ... as we live now, for most of us, it is with an unhealthy EGOIC mis-understandi ng that amounts to DUALISM indoctrinated into us early on based upon the teaching that (+=+) and (-=-) ... which reduces down to (+/-) ... the Black/White, Right/Wrong, Winner/Loser, God/Satan DICHOTOMIES of CONFLICT.

UNIversal Truth is really a seeming PARADOX that INcludes The Spirit of GOD (not God nor gods) denoted as the (=) sign in the Basic Equation of Truth, the BET (+=-) ... a TRINITY ... INterconnected POTENTIALS INcluding the INfinite EXtremities of Positives as well as Negatives ... a UNITED WHOLE ... THE ONENESS THAT WE ARE IN UNI-VERSAL TRUTH !

What so few realize though, is that from Duality (+/-), getting to UNIty, a RELATIVE POSITIVE (+), we must FIRST REALize the TRINITY (+=-) where the SPIRIT (=) IS THE UNIFIER THAT CONNECTS ALL !

FREE pdf which explains it all in great detail:

The Truth that will set you free !
+1 # paulrevere 2012-06-23 10:46
Getting things philosophically understood IS a first step...the real fulcrum to acting on that understanding is the '='which evades our ego bound mindspan.

What are the 'tools' we need to take action upon our philosophical awareness?

What is the sequence of steps required to establish that foundation of understanding in action?

Big question with far too many 'experts' coming from far too many perspectives.

It seems that in our spherically symbolized three dimensional whirled, the ideas abound from an infinite number of paths conjoined to this sphere of awareness at an infinite number of places...what to unify, how to unify and when to proceed?

Is it only a matter of immediate volition or is there an invisible (at the moment) process we must cognize?

Just askin'...
0 # ronnewmexico 2012-06-23 09:45
Unfortunately the time honed religious ideologies of the past very suited to a globe of human expansion and dominance of nature in a time of little real human influence on things seems little suited to a time when human......caus e by their actions the future of all things living.

Will the ideologies change to suit this relatively new environmental global circumstance... .I personally doubt it.
Like on Easter island several centuries ago...the religions will seemingly be abandoned when most of the environment is completely destroyed due to finiteness of resources and overpopulation, and death and destruction lie before us.

All is but to serve man and man is paramount to all, we being the center of the universe....our present environmental circumstance, the cliff or precipice we now hang over.....that ideology enables this present circumstance.
Most all global religions infer the superiority of man to any other form of thing.....we see now the result of that thinking......
0 # Bigfella 2012-06-24 23:06
We are one part of the whole and some of us are like cancers that destroy the host.
The oldest religions are to Mother eath the provider of our life.
Other came later contorting away from this concept mores the pity but one doesnt need religion to see truth and self presivation mind the moster in the room is US! and we are breeding and breeding! 7 Billion up 1 billion in just one year! Even with all the culling!
+1 # ABen 2012-06-23 11:11
In theological terms, this boils down to the old conflict between Deism and Puritan Covenant theology. If one believes that some divine being gave Man this earth to use as he/she sees fit, then civilization is a contest that will have a "winner." If one sees the earth as a fragile echo system of which Man is caretaker, a healthy future involves collective effort and respect for all things earthly.

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