Seeing life through two different perspectives
I was in Peace Corps training in Davis, CA 53 years ago with a group who are still in touch via emails and we've had some recent reunions. One of them, Bill Garmany, posted this email to the whole group today and it was totally unexpected.
Jim Bromley has long been one of our most active email correspondents. He always acknowledges our efforts — whatever they are—no matter how small, silly, or frequent they may be, sometimes so promptly it seems as if he anticipates our thoughts, and he is just as quick to forward any article about Nepal he comes across. Jim is a kind, sensitive, and peaceful man trying to understand hands-in-pockets brutality, home town police officers, well armed and safe, stone deaf to repeated pleas for mercy. And he invites us to join him. One humble, beseeching, local voice connects with others and builds into a demanding roar.
To an outsider looking in, Peter’s way may seem quirky, but taking the testimonials on his website as evidence, his means are ethical, his results genuine. What he does is offer those who seek his help tools to strip away their fears, prejudices, complacencies, and distractions, then he guides them to understanding and accepting what they already are: That each is a physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual being who at all times shares a common biology, the natural world and the air we breath, and the historical moment with other humans also yearning for community and wholeness. Knowing — or at least having some sense of — history, evolution, and the environment we share with others, is thus part of what Peter believes makes sentient, thinking humans whole.
Intuitive healer, life coach, health coach, relationship counselor, metaphysical counselor, and spiritual counselor are among the many handles of Peter’s way. Lost in these titles is the historical aspect of Peter’s inquiry. Awareness of the individual moment is joined with awareness of the historical moment and the place of those moments in longer trends. Peter sees direction in overall flow of events. For example, he incorporates long historical cycles from Mayan historiography into his teachings. What seems to pull the philosophical, spiritual, and historical melodies and nuances of Peter’s way together is the notion of our interconnectedness. At these connections are individuals and groups and the cultures through which they meet and interpret the world.
What does the future hold? I don’t think Peter claims clairvoyant powers. But he is sensitive to the present and a student of the past and has a sense of where we may be headed. Social and racial injustice; glaring disparities in income, health care and opportunity; and the yet to be addressed global warming, rising sea levels, habitat destruction. So much is going on, so many voices talking with each other and over each other, sometimes listening, posing arguments to those already convinced, seldom — if ever — reaching those who are not.
Nevertheless, Peter muses in email exchanges with Jim Bromley about a higher consciousness or understanding — perhaps even a new language for understanding and talking about freedom, equality, dignity, justice, and pursuit of the public good — that is struggling to emerge from the stew of anger and simultaneous debate. But if Peter seems tentative, this is because indifference, ignorance and willful ignorance, and powerful political, cultural, and business forces are arrayed against even a growing understanding of our connectedness, much less any heightened notions of the public good and its public policy implications. Who and what are to prevail hang in precarious balance.