Brexit and beyond; perspectives from a foreigner
by Wilja Witcombe
I was asked to write about Brexit taking a viewpoint from outside the UK. In my capacity as a foreigner who considers herself a global citizen, Brexit is a phenomenon. When more and more people are looking at the world as a global opportunity of collaboration and integration, it seems difficult to understand why any nation wants to pull out of this fraternity.
A quote by Thomas Merton comes to mind who said so wisely, “We are already one. But we imagine that we are not. And what we have to recover is our original unity. What we have to be is what we are.”
Looking back at the poll that led to Brexit a year ago, the world was taken by surprise about the result. Especially considering that the majority of young voters had voted to remain in the EU – a decision that would shape and influence their lives which was overrun by the decision of much older voters who -so it was reported in the press- had voted for Brexit but interestingly enough, would not experience the impact of their decision for as many decades as their young countrymen and women would.
Many people were wondering what had happened in the UK. The information that had been published before the vote about the pros and cons of Brexit were questioned. Which reminded me very much of my first few months of living in the UK in 1989/90 when EU countries started to implement the “Social Chapter” and to my surprise, my new colleagues in the UK had no idea what that chapter was all about. I could hardly find anything reported in the UK mass media about this chapter either. Which again made me realize the benefits of being multi-lingual. From my new home in the UK, I could watch and listen to European news channels to get a broader view of the daily events around the globe.
“Splendid isolation” – a term coined in the 19th century – seems to have a renaissance now as we are closer to the last but one century (or generation) than to the one that immediately precedes us. Wikipedia says, “The policy of 'splendid isolation' was characterised by a reluctance to enter into permanent European alliances or commitments with the other great powers” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Splendid_isolation ). So here we go again – history seems to repeat itself.
Peace and unification of this planet on all levels including cohabitation, collaboration and communication should be of utmost importance to all of us if we as a human race want to survive as a whole. We need to look at our commonalities first, use them as our true north and embrace and respect our differences. We need each other and we should look at today AND the future – NOT the past.
Sustainable peace is grounded in relationships
Peace is an important ingredient for our human family to survive. It indicates that we need to develop and sustain it in conjunction with loyalty, integrity, mutual respect and support. I was contemplating about this topic already years ago in preparation for a presentation I had been asked to give in Kolkata, West Bengal / India. The topic has gained even more importance to me now than it had then. While preparing my speech on peace for that particular conference, it soon became evident that the concept of ‘peace’ extends from the soil of the earth to the realm of the soul. Not everyone starts in the same place when considering where peace actually starts, but for me and my work, peace starts with a grounded relationship to self.
When you are whole, complete and centered in that grounded relationship to self, you have a healthy body, a healthy mind and a healthy connection to your soul. You have the ability to access both worlds – the material i.e. physical and the spiritual; you have a body, a vessel with the ability to contact spirit and maintain healthy energy.
The effective relationship with self is two-fold:
1. To body and from body to the environment as a whole: air, water, food, agriculture, soil
2. To spirit: psychological environment, the vision of a world where all can flourish, the abundance and peace for the future; meditation; prayer; spiritual awareness and education as well as consciousness in general.
None of us can experience expanded consciousness and individual changes without impacting our relationships. And it is harmonious relationships that enable us to sustain peace.
· Right relationship with self;
· Right relationship with others – both individuals and organizations;
· Right relationship to the environment we have created.
All we have to do is listen to the daily news to realize that these relationships are in urgent need to stabilize and evolve spiritually. The need for change and healing is clear. But where do we begin?
While we can begin at any point because one leads inevitably to the others, most people automatically start with themselves. We take a meaningful step toward peace when we understand and heal ourselves – when we begin to understand who we really are and who others really are.
Building on the Foundation
Our concept of peace extends from the soil of the earth to the realm of the soul. That's a pretty broad scope and vision. Yet that entire scope is built upon something we can all understand: Right Relationships – with self, with others and with the environment we have created.
When healed and healthy, these relationships will enable humanity to
· Mitigate religious hatred
· Close the gap between rich and poor nations
· Promote global environmental stewardship
· Expand the collective consciousness continuously
· Sustain peace globally
By now we should have all realized that we are quickly entering into a new global reality. A country’s strength will no longer be measured solely by its military might, economic power or its currency but rather by its consciousness – a consciousness developed over eons and hopefully used for the benefits of all beings – today and tomorrow.
Looking at Self from the Perspective of the Soul
I am also on the board of the Institute for the Integration of Science, Intuition and Spirit (www.iisis.net and www.reincarnationresearch.com ), an organisation that proves objective evidence of reincarnation with scientific validity.
One approach to build right relationship with self, others and the created environment is to research one’s soul trajectory, asking the famous questions, who am I, where am I coming from, where will I go from here? Once we tap into our past lives, a new world is unfolding, guiding us to a new understanding of reality. When we begin to live our lives as souls having a human experience we open ourselves to the possibility of spiritual growth as well as improved relationships with ourselves and others.
Working with the Institute for the Integration of Science, Intuition and Spirit, it became very quickly clear to me that
What we hate most or what we love most we will experience first-hand in a future lifetime.
Souls incarnate again and again in an effort to achieve balance, in an effort to understand, to make better choices, to balance past decisions and experiences. I realized how important it is to build the kind of civilization where souls actually have the opportunity they need to understand past choices so they can make better choices this time i.e. in their current incarnation.
What we hate most or what we love most – what we are most attached to – we may well experience differently by actually becoming what we now hate most, or what we most desire. This is the most stunning finding of reincarnation research in my eyes – the mechanics of reincarnation. Our soul's dharma – its primary work or trajectory – may not change. Yet as we progress, we balance karma.
Applying this principle to the current political situation – to Brexit or the opinions and decisions about crisis arrears such as refugees, terrorism, wars, world economy, etc. – I suggest being extremely careful what you declare to be your final perception … it might well lead you to experience it first-hand in your next incarnation! This realization is not only mind-boggling but will also transform your life if you allow it. And allowing this will lead you not only to enjoy a better more peaceful and enjoyable relationship with yourself but also with others and the world around you as you become more and more conscious that we are all connected over eons, accountable for everything that has happened, is happening and will happen.
The only hope for humankind is in the transformation of the individual. – Krishnamurti
The Rays of a Nation
Looking at the world and the chaos we are currently all in, another thought crossed my mind. Following Theosophy, each country is guided by its soul ray. B. Crème describes this as follows:
Each nation, like each individual, is governed by two rays: a soul ray which is expressed by the initiates of the nation; and a personality ray which is the dominant mass expression. At present, most nations act in their own separative interests rather than in the interest of the world community as a whole and are, therefore, expressing their personality ray. From time to time, however, through the activity of the initiates of the country, the soul ray may be given expression and the true quality of the nation can be seen.
A nation has cycles of change in its personality ray. The soul ray in each case remains the same. (http://www.esoteric-philosophy.net/rays-nation.html)
Great Britain, Canada and the USA for example are all second ray soul nations. They have, however, different personality rays: Great Britain and Canada 1, the USA 6. It would take too long to elaborate on this here, however, it provides food for thought to those who are acquainted with the topic of the 7 rays and the influence those rays have on each individual and nation.
To quote the mystic poet Rumi
The lamps are different
But the light is the same.
One matter, one energy, one Light, one light-mind,
Endlessly emanating all things.
Every individual shift in consciousness brightens that one light and supports humanity in the development of sustainable peace. I wish and hope that more people are getting interested in analysing, understanding and healing their relationship with self, others and the created environment to create the foundation for peace which is the foundation for a healthy civil societywhere all can flourish.