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Is The IPCR Initiative a credible and trustworthy effort?
Submitted by stefan on June 19, 2011 - 10:21pm.
About The IPCR Initiative
A central focus of The IPCR Initiative is its advocacy for a combination Community Visioning Initiatives, “Community Teaching and Learning Centers” with ongoing workshops, and “sister community” relationships as a way of generating an exponential increase in our collective capacity to overcome the challenges of our times.
The Interfaith Peacebuilding and Community Revitalization (IPCR) Initiative is currently carrying out an ongoing effort called “IPCR Outreach 2011”.
This outreach effort includes:
1) discussion postings at various platforms
Sample Cover Letter #2 (accessible at the bottom of The IPCR Initiative homepage, at www.ipcri.net ) begins in this way:
“I am contacting you because I believe we are at a critical moment regarding quality of life for the majority of people on the planet.
“There are many danger signs flashing now; there is much potential for disastrous consequences. There are also many opportunities; and much potential for positive outcomes.
“All of us have important responsibilities associated with resolving a significant number of very serious challenges in the months and years ahead….”
About This Writer’s Credibility
References are made in IPCR outreach discussion postings, post mail, and tweets to the document “Recalibrating Our Moral Compasses” (see pdf file attached to this post). This writer has thought that it would be possible for readers of that document to see why he says there are “many danger signs flashing now”—and why he agrees with others like Lester Brown (“World on the Edge”) that there is an urgent need for problem solving on a scale most of us have never known. Unfortunately, there is so much evidence of different degrees of reliability on the Internet, that sorting through the mass of information accessible to us is becoming a problem in itself. Furthermore, as the IPCR Initiative does not have finished projects to refer to, and this writer is without any of the commonly accepted credentials indicating peer acknowledged work in the past, there seems little evidence—besides whether or not the statistics, observations, ideas, and resources this writer offers “ring true” with other readers—to support this writer’s credibility, and convince readers to believe in the trustworthiness of the resources of The IPCR Initiative.
This writer is aware of the “lack of traditional criteria” for establishing his credibility. He is also aware that by being clear about the source of the inspiration for his work (the teachings of Sri Sathya Sai Baba), he probably has generated (with most readers) additional questions about his trustworthiness—as the teachings of Sri Sathya Sai Baba include a great quantity of references to Himself as an Incarnation of God… a human manifestation of all names and forms associated with God. For many people, it may be easy to just dismiss people who are inspired by such teachings, and (consequently) dismiss their work as misguided.
Some Comments by This Writer on the Value of Interfaith Peacebuilding
But before people make a definitive decision to routinely dismiss people such as myself (who find inspiration in the teachings of Sri Sathya Sai Baba), and routinely dismiss as irrelevant the many initiatives which may in the future result from such inspiration—this writer would like to offer some “second thoughts” to consider. Yes, it is true: there are many, many discussions which could be had about personal spiritual, religious, and moral beliefs and how they can be “grounded in reality”—and a great many of these kind of discussions have the potential to cause more confusion than they dispel. Yes… there are times to be silent, and detached from the outcome. After all, most people who have faith in “Divinity of the Universal Kind” believe that “all this” is part of the “Divine Story”, and that we can only attain to partial understandings about what the next chapter of the “Divine Story” might look like.
Even so (and especially at this particular time), there is something this writer feels is appropriate to say about what place appeals (in prayer, or by actions taken) for “Divine Intervention” might have, if our “human” efforts at resolving the challenges of our times are so misguided that we—collectively—find ourselves in a “very dangerous slide into negative consequences” with no clear ideas for how to “reverse the trend”.
If such circumstances do arise, there may be many people who—even though they have, for most of their lives, not been inclined to believe in a “Divinity of the Universal Kind”—change their minds, and are most willing to appeal for “Divine Intervention” (in any way, shape, or form). The point this writer wishes to make here is that the act of appealing for “Divine Intervention” can be a turning point. In the long history of human effort on this planet Earth, there has been different times when large segments of humankind felt that humans were charting their own destiny, and it was a destiny which had nothing to do with the “Divine Story” of any particular religious, spiritual, or moral tradition. It seems like we are in such a time right now. And such a view could be misguided. Instead, It could be that being a part of a “Divine Story” is something that is more true than not about the destiny of human life on planet Earth. If so, many people appealing for “Divine Intervention” could become a turning point in our capacity to overcome the challenges of our times. This writer believes that there is a spiritual destiny for human life on planet Earth, and he is contributing what he can to whatever that might mean by building The IPCR Initiative. If he is misguided, his work may never be accepted as credible and trustworthy, and may never be put to good use. However, if he is not misguided, the resources of The IPCR Initiative may be very helpful in the months and years ahead.
There is always the possibility that positive and constructive events will occur, and we—collectively—will not find ourselves in a “very dangerous slide into negative consequences” in the months and years ahead. Such positive and constructive events can occur at any time, according to this writer’s beliefs; and people will, naturally, interpret them according to their personal beliefs and ideas about the meaning of life, and the destiny of human life on planet Earth.
It is part of this writer’s personal beliefs that “all this” is part of a “Divine Story”—and that his efforts to build The IPCR Initiative are his way of cooperating with and contributing to (rather than detracting from and disparaging) a “Divine Story” which includes all religious, spiritual, and moral traditions, and all beings (whether there is belief or not, and whether the degree of belief is high or low).
Is the work of The IPCR Initiative a credible and trustworthy effort?
The only way to know for sure if The IPCR Initiative is a credible and trustworthy contribution to overcoming the challenges of our times is for people to apply the ideas and resources recommended by The IPCR Initiative, and discover for themselves whether the outcome has any special value to their life… whether applying such an approach is a way of cooperating with and contributing to (rather than detracting from and disparaging) their personal beliefs and ideas about the meaning of life, and the destiny of human life on Earth. This also is the only way to evaluate whether the work of any other institution or organization is a credible and trustworthy contribution.
And what would be the hoped for results, the potential which this writer believes will be realized? That can be summarized by the following quote from D.T. Suzuki (from “Essays in Zen Buddhism”):
“For the soundness of ideas must be tested finally by their practical application. When they fail in this—that is, when they cannot be carried out in everyday life producing lasting harmony and satisfaction and giving real benefit to all concerned— to oneself as well as to others—no ideas can be said to be sound and practical.”
With Kind Regards,
Stefan Pasti, Founder and Outreach Coordinator