Articles

by Magda Beatriz Berkowitz, M.A. and Alan Berkowitz, Ph.D.

You see a situation that bothers you and you wonder if you should do something. You are now having the experience of being a “bystander.” Where does this desire to act come from? To answer this question we must ask yet another question – a question that is often overlooked because we think that we know the answer. “Who am I?” In other words, to know where our deepest impulses come from – our desire to help others, to do the “right thing”, to not be a bystander, and in many cases to go against what we have been taught from parents, family and culture – we must look deep within ourselves to seek their origin.

We are more than our bodies, emotions and thoughts. When I see someone that needs help, and my body moves into action, I have feelings about what I am seeing, and thoughts about what I should do. But the impulse itself – to do something, to help, to care – where does it come from? Is it a learned behavior, or is it something innate? Wherever it comes from, it requires that we notice it and that we listen to it. Our emotional, mental and spiritual health requires that we come to terms with it.

Personally, we would answer the question by saying that we are comples beings with two aspects. One is what we could call “soul” or “higher self” and the other is our “everyday personality” or “lower self.” There is something in us that transcends all that we know that comes from the space-time world that we live in and there is an everyday personality that vacillates, worries what others will think, and that can’t always decide if it should act. Another way to answer the question is to say that we have “core values” or a “conscience” overlaid by a set of learned behaviors and habits. However we answer the question – and it is the question of a lifetime – we can agree that there is something inside us that goes deeper than the surface and that it demands or attention, recognition, and cooperation. If everyone lived by this inner imperative the world would truly be a different place. And if we live by this imperative, we can help to transform the world into the world that we would like it to be, a world that lives by and expresses the deeper values and “soulful” qualities that are our human birthright.

One can even say that when I do not listen to and act on my deeper values that I am being “a bystander to myself.”

We encourage all of you who read this to incorporate into your lifestyle practices of self-inquiry and self-knowledge, whatever they may be. It could be making a time for quiet reflection each day, journaling, a meditation practice, or being alone in nature. Whatever it is, it should be something that helps you to dig deeper into yourself, to get to know the unknown within, and to find the place where our desire to help comes from.

The theme of our conference is “To Be the Person.” Who is this person? For sure, it is a very “Socially Excellent” person, a person that is not afraid to step in and be an “Everyday Hero.” We encourage you to spend some time getting to know this deeper person, to disconnect from the outer, the everyday, from the distractions and from the myriad things that continually grab our attention and pull it outside, away from the inside. We are sure that if you got to know this person, you will like her or him.

Have a wonderful journey, and we look forward to seeing you in Chicago.

Alan and Magda Beatriz Berkowitz will be presenting a workshop at the upcoming “Be The Person” Conference. They are both psychologists with an interest in the spiritual dimension of human behavior and in their work teach others to apply values, ideals and spiritual ideas to daily life. Together they are writing a book on bystander behavior that will explore these themes. Madga Beatriz and Alan live in Mt Shasta, California. For more information on their work and activities go to www.thepathofphilosophy.org

A Deeper Look at Bystander Behavior

by Magda Beatriz Berkowitz, M.A. and Alan Berkowitz, Ph.D.

You see a situation that bothers you and you wonder if you should do something. You are now having the experience of being a “bystander.” Where does this desire to act come from? To answer this question we must ask yet another question – a question that is often overlooked because we think that we know the answer. “Who am I?” In other words, to know where our deepest impulses come from – our desire to help others, to do the “right thing”, to not be a bystander, and in many cases to go against what we have been taught from parents, family and culture – we must look deep within ourselves to seek their origin.

The Phenomenon of Crop Circles

by Alan Berkowitz (Micha-El)

The world’s sacred traditions speak of multiple levels of existence above our three-dimensional world, and to beings within each of these levels that populate them. This is a common feature of many systems, including Hinduism, Neo-Platonism, Tibetan Buddhism, and Christianity. These beings from higher levels are capable of intervening in the life of humans and of assisting the evolution of Planet Earth. For example, in the Western religion (Judaism, Christianity and Islam) scriptures and mystics speak of Angels and Archangels, with many recorded instances of their presence and influence among us.

Spiritual Service and the Inner Meaning of “Temple”

by Alan Berkowitz
Presented at the World Brotherhood Union Panel
November 1, 2007 – Istanbul, Turkey

 

Dear Brothers and Sisters:

It is a great honor to stand before you as fellow “Spiritual Searchers” here in this land that has been home to so many sacred traditions, temples, and lovers of wisdom – teachers and teachings who have inspired my search and shaped my thinking.  Today I want to talk with you about the inner meaning of “Temple” and what it means to be a world-server.  To serve the divine plan we must become temples where the divine lives.  By temple, I mean any place where the sacred dwells.  I will also introduce you to the work of my own spiritual community – Wisdom’s Goldenrod Center for Philosophic Studies, in the United States.  I offer you my sincere thanks for inviting me to be here with you now.

The Multi-Dimensionality of the Human Being

by Beatriz Berkowitz

“Healing is always linked to the expansion of consciousness” - Jose Trigueirinho Neto

The human being is a very complex being composed of many levels and dimensions.  We could even say that it is a mysterious being, as is the macrocosm that surrounds it.  The human being as a microcosm reflects in itself the macrocosm.  They are interconnected and in relationship to each other.   From this interaction life is created and the human being has the opportunity to discover itself as a cosmic being, resolving in this way the enigma of human existence.