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PACE UNIVERSITY “BIOETHICS FORUM X111 “The Dynamics of Non-Violence” OCTOBER 7, 2008 – PLEASANTVILLE, NY “How Your Thought and Speech Contributes To a Culture of Violence” 1 By Leonard Burg October 2008

The following remarks were presented at an annual Bioethics Forum at Pace University. Negative thoughts and words directed at others awaken or abet the capacity of violence in others, and boomerangs back to the sender, as the fruits of the “violent” seeds one has sown. This is why my work as a member of A Centre for the World Religions at the United Nations, and as a Holistic Educator, promotes the idea that peace begins within, one person at a time. At the UN we Conduct peace forums and meditations, and present disarmament proposals. The idea is that world disarmament requires personal disarmament in thought, word and deed. The objective in the practice of what I call “Soul Therapy” is to ferret out the thought patterns at the root of clients’ psycho-physical conditions. By now I’m sure that many of you realize that a culture of violence not only impacts on the biology, chemistry and ethics of human beings, but the thoughts and emotions vibrated by human beings impacts their own biochemistry and the biosphere around us. Therefore, no matter how bad the violent actions of the enemies of mankind, negative thinking directed back at those who perpetuate physical violence only magnifies and reinforces the havoc that their aggression wreaks. If the “Secret” Law of Attraction2 is true – that you attract what you think - then you and I can either help or hinder a culture of violence by the personal and collective thoughts we harbor. It is well known in the science of Psychoneuroimmunology3 that emotions are related to the biochemistry of hormones and other substances that have both a causative and affective role in the 1

Over the last 37 years "Len" Burg has worked professionally as an international spiritual activist, educator, and community program director. Currently he is working actively as a co-founder of the USA branch of an international interfaith organization working with the United Nations, and Student Success Administrator of the Office of Student Success at Pace University, NYC campus. 2 The Secret, by Rhonda Byrne, Hardcover: Publisher: Atria Books/Beyond Words (November 28, 2006)

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physical, emotional and mental health and behavior of a person. There are biochemical reactions connected to anger, fear, resentment, etc. that are linked to illnesses that people experience. Studies have been done on how "good" thoughts, music and words turn the crystalline structure of water into beautiful and delicate shapes but "bad" [thoughts] deteriorate crystal structures.4 Furthermore because nearly two thirds of our body and of the planet itself consists of water, it follows that our thought vibrations affect the personal, collective and planetary body and environment. In addition to the influence of water as a medium, there’s a beautiful book, “The Secret Life of Plants” that discusses how plants [too] may be sentient, despite their lack of a nervous system and a brain. This sentience is observed primarily through changes in the plant's conductivity, as through a polygraph.5 Many of us have experienced how the health of plants can be affected by the thought, music, etc. that vibrates around them. Again, since both man and his environment are made up of constituents of the plant kingdom, it follows that our thoughts affect the body and planet. So how a human being thinks and emotes affects his own body and his environment. In some esoteric teachings based on universal concepts in the scriptures of the world there’s a saying that one should pray believing that that which you pray for you already have. The book “Resurrection” by Neville6 claims that the ability to visualize or more important feel or imagine in the moment how you would feel were your wish to be already fulfilled, acts as a powerful force to attract that reality to you. Similarly he warns to beware of the boomerang effect: meaning that which you think and feel about others not only can awaken within them the manifestation of that energy, for good or evil, if they are capable of it, but it can boomerang back to you, the sender, tenfold. Thus, it is not cowardliness or unrealistic to, as the scriptures say, “love thy enemy”. Because if you bother to expend any energy thinking about them, let it be thoughts that would affect their behavior positively rather than feed their negative energy. On another level this relates to the law of cause and effect, or Karma as it’s called in the East. The seed thoughts you sow are the fruits you reap, in an unyielding law of “an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth”. This doesn’t direct man to seek revenge. On the contrary, it warns man that the fate that befalls us is related to the thoughts, words and deeds that we harbor or express. Thus the emphasis on the power of forgiveness.

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Science Watch, “Psychoneuroimmunology The Interface Between Behavior, Brain, and Immunity Steven F. Maier, Linda R. Watkins, and Monika Fleshner”: http://74.125.45.104/search?q=cache:wV3cKxWe4xkJ:meagherlab.tamu.edu/MMeagher/%2520Health%2520Psyc%2520630/Readings%2520630/Stress%2520readings/Maier%252094.pdf+%2Bh ormones,+%2Bbehavior,+%2Bbiochemistry,+%2Bpsyhcosomatic&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=1&gl=us 4 Author and researcher Dr. Masaru Emoto, in his "Project of Love and Thanks to Water". Dr. Emoto claims that our consciousness has power to change the quality of water. He investigates the Hado - "The intrinsic vibrational pattern at the atomic level in all matter. The smallest unit of energy. Its basis is the energy of human consciousness. 5 Published in 1973, The Secret Life of Plants was written by Peter Tompkins and Christopher Bird. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Secret_Life_of_Plants 6 Resurrection, by Neville / Paperback / DeVorss & Company / June 1996;

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This was the power used by Dr. Martin Luther King in promulgating his philosophy of non-violence, based on the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi, who practiced what he called “Ahimsa”7. “Ahimsa or noninjury, of course, implies non-killing. But, non-injury is not merely non-killing. In its comprehensive meaning, Ahimsa or non-injury means entire abstinence from causing any pain or harm whatsoever to any living creature, either by thought, word, or deed. Non-injury requires a harmless mind, mouth, and hand.” To understand how this works, it helps to examine what is called “The formula of fortune”, which is said to represent the esoteric Tetragramaton of the Holy Kabala, a Jewish mystery system. The Tetragramaton referred to the “I am” or the unspeakable name of God transliterated as Jehovah or Yahweh, which really represents the 4 Hebrew letters YHVH or Yod He Vau He. These are said to represent the four stages of creation – out of no-thing or chaos emerges creation from idea to physical manifestation. Practically speaking it means that everything that manifests physically begins with an idea that becomes a thought pattern that becomes an emotion charged vision, which ultimately manifests physically. For example, the idea of sitting, the concept of a chair, the design and blueprint of a particular chair, and the production of the chair itself. Unfortunately the average human being, even well meaning people like you and I, have very little control over our thoughts. Any attempt to sit down and meditate proves this immediately as the monkey mind gets lost amidst a sea of thought drifts. On the other hand, it is well known that being able to meditate effectively has many benefits to the body/mind. “There is a great deal of evidence, both anecdotal and from empirical studies that Meditation has a wide number of benefits that are relevant to people at work today”:8 They include stress reduction, lowered blood pressure, etc. More important, it allows us to avoid harboring negative thoughts that can only add to the culture of violence that we are all trying to alleviate. The more powerful your thoughts and/or the higher your position of authority in life, the greater the impact of your thoughts, for good or for evil. While we may not be able to immediately stop all the violence in the world, we can curb our own negative thinking and personally and collectively raise the vibration of the planet towards the goal of peace, love and harmony. Otherwise, we risk being more a part of the problem than the solution. ‘####### Mr. Burg is available for lecture/demonstrations in meditation, or Soul Therapy. To contact Mr. Burg call 212-283-7569; email Lburg@CentreWorldReligions.org or Lburg.SoulTherapist@gmail.com; or write to 626, Riverside Dr., # 4-O, New York, NY 10031.

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MEANING OF AHIMSA http://www.dlshq.org/teachings/ahimsa.htm; this article is a chapter from the book "Bliss Divine". Ahimsa, By Sri Swami Sivananda 8 “Meditation at Work, Benefits of meditating”; http://www.Meditation-at-work.org/id14.htm

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Human Thoughts and a Culture of Violence