To whom does the right to the pursuit of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness belong? Citizens, non-citizens, certain classes of citizens or non-citizens, certain countries, only the chosen by whatever definition is prevalent at the time? What about the rights, if any, of the unconscious, unaware, and even inorganic, such as the planet itself?
Lately I have been immersed in reading reviewer comments for my forthcoming book on business intuition. The editing process converged with television programming related to the 50th anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington: what the march meant for African-Americans, for the country as a whole, and for the world. In the foreground of my awareness a book reviewer was asking me to explain my use of the term “unified field” as it relates to intuition. In the background participants in the original march and journalists asked and answered questions about what really went on during the Civil Rights Movement, a field that was both unified and dis-unified. What did those actions mean at the time?
Following the official ceremonies, blogs praised or slammed who was asked to speak in commemoration of this historic event, or who was excluded from speaking for a variety of reasons. Why was the only “boo” I heard during the ceremony directed at a woman representing the gay community? Why were there any boos at all? What about people and ideas that were “in and acceptable” in one historical moment, but “out and unacceptable” in another? Towards the end of his life Malcolm X inched towards a more inclusive and non-violent stance; towards the end of his life following unsettling episodes in the north, King inched towards considering the need for armed self-defense. Both were gunned down.
Similar questions could be posed about countries and ideologies, components of a very different type of potentially unified field. Who is not worthy of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness? Who “deserves” suffering and poverty because of their relative place on somebody’s list of acceptable categories? What, if anything, can truly exist outside the cosmic unified field, the foundation of an ultimately collaborative and aware All That Is?
I realized that any effort to cover everybody and every thing in any single list would inevitably forget or exclude some important element of our universal ecosystem. During my labor relations training I learned this early on: the trouble with making lists is that there will always be someone or something inadvertently left off the list, or on the wrong side of somebody’s “red line.” It is better to avoid making lists of desirable “wins” or “losses” altogether if possible, and to focus instead on the sentiment and fundamental intention of the parties involved in the negotiation process: a good and reasonable retirement plan, or appropriate faculty workload, or basic food, shelter, and clothing, or financial soundness, or national security. And then it hit me in a flash of insight: “All” means ALL.
So as of today, I am starting my own movement: “All means all.” Period. Whether it is the universal capacity for intuition, the capacity for violence and suffering, the capacity to feed all life, the possibility of meaningful and creative work, or the capacity for lasting peace – all means all. There are no ifs, ands, or buts in those three words – all means all. Furthermore, there are no conditions: current or earlier political and social views, current or past off-the-wall behavior, religion, race, gender, sexual orientation, geographical location, financial resources, education, color of skin, clothing, texture of hair, weight, food eaten or avoided, shape of eyes, body type, place in the phylogenetic system, or place in the food chain. Oops, there I went again, making lists. Even a quick read-through showed me immediately several categories I had overlooked in my effort to include everybody and everything. All means all. No more and no less will do.
I’m not much for political posturing, but I think it is finally time for me to start a new T-shirt slogan at the very least, if not a full-blown political campaign: All Means ALL!!