REMARKABLE PEOPLE, serge king
reprinted from the May 1996 issue of Thresholds Quarterly
Making the Good the Most Important
Serge Kahili King is the founder and executive director of Aloha International, a non-profit worldwide network of peacemakers. He is the author of several books including Kahuna Healing, Imagineering For Health and Urban Shaman. Dr. King has dedicated his life to the study of shamanism, healing and mystical traditions. He was trained in the shaman traditions of Hawaii and West Africa and has a Ph.D. in psychology. Based in Kauai, Hawaii, Dr. King brings his wisdom to the world through seminars and lectures. His message is quite simple in that everything that exists is based on our system of beliefs. As belief changes, the reality of our world also changes.
Thresholds: Would you start off telling a little bit about your spiritual background?
King: Well, I got into the field I am in, if you call it that, through my father who was working with the British Diplomatic Corps and around 1912 got assigned to Hawaii. Because of an event that happened to him in the Gopi, he met and was adopted by an Hawaiian family with an ancient esoteric tradition. They call it Kali Ka Kulva. Some just call it Ka hula for short, which is the equivalent of shamanism.
Many, many years later my father started training me when I was fourteen, and then three years later he died. A short time after [this] the family contacted me, the Hawaiian family, and I was adopted as a grandson. I then did a traditional training with my Hawaiian aunt and Hawaiian uncle until I was kicked out of the nest and was on my own. Meanwhile, I did a lot of things. I spent seven years in West Africa doing social-economic development and also studying shamanism, healing and mystical traditions there. When I came back from Africa I then did some more academic work and finally got a Ph.D. in psychology. At the same time I was still continuing, I was training with my uncle at that time and finally decided that this knowledge, based on what I had learned from them, based on Africa, and based on what I knew of the world situation, this knowledge was too precious not to share. So I founded an organization whose purpose was to share this knowledge, these techniques, these ideas, to try and present it in a way that people of the modern world could understand and accept. And bring shamanism back into the community.
Thresholds: What is a shaman?
King: Most every shaman is going to have a different definition, but there are certain characteristics that they share. Basically it’s… first of all, it’s a person who is devoted to the good of the community. And this is one of the most important characteristics to note the difference between the shaman and the sorcerer. You’re familiar with Don Juan and those stories? That’s about the training about the life of a sorcerer, which is one of personal power. That’s not to condemn it, it’s just, that‘s all it’s about. You will find almost nothing about healing in those books because they’re not about healing. The shaman however is specifically a healer but a very special type. They will use what we ordinarily might call magic. Psychology, common sense. In some societies, herbalism. Basically, essentially, whenever it works to help bring about the cure, they will also particularly specialize in alternate realities and the belief systems of the people that they work with.
Thresholds: Why is it important to build something upon belief systems of what already exists?
King: Well, from a shamanic point of view, if I can generalize in this way, beliefs are where everything comes from. That this whole external world of ours, comes from an internal world and that the most direct way to change external circumstances, including the body, the mind, other kinds of circumstances, is to work and change the inside. Change the structure of beliefs, the expectations of people, the way they think and you change what happens. And if you can just get the right combination of beliefs to switch, then you can have instant healing. Otherwise, if a healing of whatever kind takes time, the time is not because it takes time to heal, but because it takes time to change beliefs.
Thresholds: So, someone could have miraculous healing, instantaneous?
King: Well, we know that happens. So, the only difference is, or the only question is, what’s the nature of that happening? What brings that about? The shamanic answer is, it’s because there was call it a change of mind or a change of heart.
Thresholds: I have a book called Urban Shaman. And in that , I saw some terms that are probably related to what you’re talking about. Po and Ao.
King: Po and Ao. Po in Hawaiian is a generic term for the inner world, the world of the spirit, if you like. The unseen world, the world of beliefs…it includes all of that. Ao, then, is the external, the world of manifestation.
Thresholds: So by changing the unseen, you change what exists?
King: That’s right.
Thresholds: How does…you’ve spoken in your works about intuition and the impact of intuition. How does one come to become more intuitive?
King: By practicing the use of it and learning how to… how can I put this… learning more and more how to reply on it as you would any other skill. If you are learning a skill, if you are learning how to drive a race car. Or ski. Skiing is a good one. If you’re learning how to ski there are certain basic things that you learn, but if you never begin to trust yourself, then you’re always going to be backward, you’re always going to be falling down a lot, and it’s only because you don’t have the inner trust. This doesn’t mean to put aside the conscious mind, because the conscious mind is needed to first act and get feedback and make new decisions. But basically, there has to be a trusting relationship. Well, it’s the same with intuition. As I will often tell the students, the only difference between a very good psychic and everybody else is that the psychic trusts what they get. Everyone gets stuff, but if you don’t trust it, it isn’t going to do you any good. And you’ll distort what you’ll get. If you receive it and fear it, then you won’t be able to make use of it and you won’t be able to correctly interpret it.
The Aloha Spirit
The Aloha Philosophy
Thresholds: It does seem like there are more and more people becoming intuitive, and there is a fear of it. Do you have suggestions for these people?
King: Well that depends on whether they want to pursue that skill. If they want to pursue that skill, then they need to build up trust and confidence in something. If not in the skill then in themselves, if not in themselves, then in a higher power they can believe in. Because without some basis for trust and confidence, they’re always going to be scared.
Thresholds: Let’s talk a little bit about dreams, your ideas of why dreams are significant. What are dreams?
King: Well from a shamanic point of view, dreams are just other experiences. This is a dream. And so, what we normally call dreams, which are the experiences we have that are different from this one, are just other experiences.
Thresholds: Do you encourage people to work with those experiences?
King: Yes. Well, yes, we do. Because all experiences are related, everything is connected. And if you change any one thing, it changes all related things. So if you’re working in this particular dream, this one we call outer reality and you’re finding it difficult to change, it’s sometimes easier to go to another reality, change the equivalent of that experience, which we might call symbolic aspect in that other reality. By changing , that, well, it changes things here. For instance, a couple of examples. A person who feels trapped in their life. Can’t find a way to change circumstances. Trapped in a relationship, trapped by their own lack of ability might think an opportunity, or might have a dream, let’s say, of being in a prison. Well, one thing that can be done then is, instead of pushing against all the ways you’ve tried out here, recall that dream and find the resources in your imagination to break out of that prison.
Thresholds: So this would be something you do consciously?
King: Consciously, yes. And so in doing that, with as much feeling as possible, you’ll find that opportunities will open up out here. Because the dream is a reflection of a state of belief, a state of mind, the state that you’re in. And if you can’t change it one place, you can change it in another place. And it will ripple to include the whole thing. That’s one beautiful thing. Other things… One instance, a person had a thyroid problem and so I had them go in and ask the thyroid itself… we have a habit of treating everything like it’s alive… so asking the thyroid what was going on, to give this person a dream. Give me an image, give me a dream, give me something, and just let the mind relax and allow whatever [to] come up. Well, what came up was the face of a person she knew that there was anger about. And so I had her make peace with the person, and once that peace was achieved on a feeling level, then the swelling went down. So these things are related. Now the explanations I give of how things work, of course is theory. The beauty of it is they do work.
Thresholds: You’ve seen it work?
King: Oh, yes, over and over again.
Thresholds: Well, I think it’s more than a theory, then, don’t you?
King: Well, remember now there’s a phenomenon and then there’s an explanation of how the phenomenon operates. We use very simple explanations because they’re easy to remember. Phenomena do work, there’s no doubt about that.
Thresholds: What do you think about the role of emotions in causing change?
King: Well, emotions are energy, one form of energy. And, again a very shamanic viewpoint is that everything is energy. So, much of the work of the shaman, or not so much the work as the life of the shaman, is learning how to work with energy. Emotions from this point of view, don’t cause… emotions don’t cause how can I put it…feeling. Let me put it this way. Emotions don’t cause us to behave in a particular waym, but the beliefs we have produce emotions that affect our behavior. The emotions come from thoughts. If you can change the thoughts, then the emotions change.
Thresholds: So the thought is the cause.
King: That’s right. Which is the equivalent to say the belief is.
Thresholds: The workshop you’re doing here in Chicago is on, “Companions to the Earth, Working With the Forces of Nature”? I’d like to hear what you have to say about the forces of nature. Are you talking about the elements?
King: Oh yes. In our tradition we have seven elements. Fire, water, wind, stone, plants, animals and humans.
Thresholds: Did you say humans?
King: Yes, we are part of nature. And all of these are alive. And so if you can learn how to establish a good relationship with them, you can get their help. Or you can help them. Depending on how far you want to go with it.
Thresholds: Is there an esoteric relationship to the forces of nature? In other words, is there a divinity to the forces of nature?
King: Well, here you come with the difficulty of translation. From the Western point of view, they usually translate in local terms indigenous to societies, in terms of gods and goddesses. Well, if you go to the origin of those words, sure that works because the original meaning of the word God is power. Because Western society is so much based on an idea of separation; of mind and matter, of spirit and matter. There’s a confusion that arises. In the traditional societies, these things are not separate. There’s not a God standing over here who tells the wind what to do. Okay? The God and the wind are identical. So, I usually prefer the word spirit because of their separatist kind of idea. You can speak to the wind, you can give the wind a name, you can give different aspects of the wind a name. But, the point is to establish a relationship, so that when you speak to the wind, or communicate with it in some way, you get a response. Now, what are you speaking to? Well, from a shamanic point of view, you are really speaking to the same thing that I’m speaking to right now, in you
Thresholds: The spirit?
King: The spirit! Yes, exactly! So, I speak to your spirit which has wrapped itself in this physical body. I speak to the spirit of the wind, which has a different form. It’s all coming from the same source. It’s just different aspects of that source that we speak to. So, this makes it a little bit of a difference between shamanism and religions that deify or make a deity of something, and create the sense of separation. There can be a close relationship between shamanism and religion, but they’re not identical. Religions and priesthoods tend to work with hierarchies. They enjoy that, they obviously like that, and it works for them, that’s fine. But, typically, in shamanism, they don’t use hierarchies. It’s just an infinite number of spirits. And even, what you might call the Great Spirit, or the source of all of it, again, is not something higher than any of it, because it’s in the middle of it. I don’t know whether this is making any sense or not. And the esoteric aspect of it, yes, everything is spirit, eveything is from spirit.
Thresholds: Do you believe there was a divine plan, in the beginning , whenever that was?
King: You see, in our tradition, we have this idea that now is the moment of power. Okay? So is there a divine plan going on right now? Well, yes, you could say that. But not in the Western sense. The divine plan is that everything that is happening is happening.
Thresholds: That’s true.
King: Now, divinity in this sense is infinite. So, all things are not only possible, all things in some way or another, somewhere or another, are happening. So it’s not a question of a limited plan that must be followed. It’s being followed. Hey, this is God, big “G”, we’re talking about! Of course it’s being followed! But, your experience of it is personal…and subject to your will. So, we sometimes say, “You have a life to live and there are certain broad things that you’re going to do in this life,” and so is there a sort of plan? Yes, the plan is to go from this side of the ocean to this side of the ocean. Let’s say this is the ocean of life. The plan is that you’re going to start on this side of the ocean which is birth and you’re going to go to the other side of the ocean which is death. That’s the plan. Now, it’s up to you what kind of voyage you make of it; how long you stay on the different islands with the different experiences that you have. You may have a plan as to who you encounter, but how you respond to who you encounter, that’s up to you, your ideas and your beliefs. So you’re going to go through life, you’re going to follow your purpose. Kicking and screaming or laughing and dancing — that part’s up to you.
Thresholds: I know in theWestern world, there are a number of people who don’t even believe they have free will. They believe they can’t..
King: Well, they have the free will to believe that.
Thresholds: In Urban Shamanism you spoke about pooling the minds and how important groups are. Why are groups important?
King: Oh, they are only important if you want to accomplish some particular things. Because, the larger the thing that you want to accomplish, the more influence it’s going to have and the more things it’s going to affect…why, the more energy you need. And so, if you want to build a hotel, it’s not impossible to do it yourself but it’s real hard! Okay? Well, this is only one kind of accomplishment. If you want to build a nation, if you want to have a different planetary society or a different relationship among all the beings on the planet, if you want to travel out to the stars — these are things that are done an awful lot easier with other people. If you want to heal…yourself or someone else…it’s a lot easier with other people involved. You can learn how to do certain things yourself very quickly and easily so you don’t have to bother about those anymore, but the more difficult it is — and when I say difficult I mean the greater the degree of change required — the more useful it is to have more people working with you.
Thresholds: Is there an ultimate Creation each one of us individually might be reaching for?
King: Oh, well I don’t know about you, but no I don’t see how you could do that if you accept an infinite universe. And so, since I accept an infinite universe, no there’s no point to reach, because by the time you reach it…
Thresholds: You can see beyond it!
King: You can see beyond it or there wouldn’t be a beyond to go for.
Thresholds: Where are you going in life as a spirit? What is your plan?
King: Oh, my plan. My plan is to share these very practical ideas with as many people as possible. To eventually make them available to everyone. I don’t care if everyone accepts them, I want people to have the freedom of choice. If you don’t know there is a different perhaps more effective way of doing something then you are stuck and you’re trapped and you’re limited. If you do know and decide you don’t want it, that’s different, that is an act of freedom. And personally I prize freedom highly. So, I want to make this stuff available. And have a lot of fun doing it. For me it’s like a work of art. When you’re going to create a work of art, you start thinking until you have a concept in your mind of how something could be and then you start trying to find a way to bring it about. And especially if it’s something that hasn’t been done before, then it challenges every part of you and brings together all of your skills and helps you to, induces you to, learn new ones and there’s a great creative process within as well as a great creative process in producing a different kind of dream. And so I see this kind of thing that I’m doing as a work of art and this is why I think we’re here, I think we’re all essentially artists.
Global Karma & the Coming Earth Changes
What we have in the physical world comes from the inner unseen world. It’s based on your individual beliefs. The collective belief…and you’re of course sharing and reinforcing the belief systems of others. So, it’s not the collective belief system that forms reality, that’s a separatist kind of thing. But you tune into a collective dream. Let’s assume for instance that this is a dream right now and all four of us are sitting in this room, in this dream. We are each having a different dream of this room. But because our dreams are so similar, we can talk about the same things and have a pretty good idea of where everybody is sitting and share some ideas about everything. But if we each went home tonight and wrote a report about our experience, we’d come up with four different reports. With a lot of similarities. But they’d be different. They’d have different perspective, different things that each person would have remembered as important. It would be a different experience for each person. Well, you can explain that in any way you like, we explain it by saying we’re each having a different dream, but these dreams that we’re having have a lot of connections. There are people walking around, apparent to us on the streets, that, they’re having a totally different experience than we are. That doesn’t invalidate their experience. They’re just seeing and feeling and sometimes communicating with different things than we are able to be aware of. Typically, such people are thought to be crazy by the other people who are sharing a different dream.
Thresholds: Do you believe that … well, I am kind of asking the same question that I did earlier about the divine plan…
King: Well, let’s bring free will a little bit in here… because of this. From this tradition that I’m coming from, from these ideas, the whole idea is to be practical. And to use and to do what works. And for us, the aim is harmony. So, to do what works in producing harmony. Free will, let’s say…this is not something that you can prove in any kind of analytical way. But, in a practical way, it makes a lot of sense. If there were not free will, what’s the point? And the whole thing then becomes a bad joke. And I just happen to think God’s capable of telling good jokes. So not having free will produces a limitation that makes nonsense out of everything. Whereas if you introduce the idea of free will, that we have the choice, it’s our choice how to respond, how to react, to direct our activities, to influence events. Well now! Now things make a lot more sense and it can be a lot more interesting as well as a lot more fun. And that seems to be a much more reasonable way to go, so because it looked like a much more practical idea, that’s why we use it. Who knows! There’s no way we can get outside of ourselves because there isn’t any outside. We can’t get outside of ourselves to find out. This is the one that seems to give us a greater sense of purpose, a greater sense of satisfaction, a greater sense of sensibleness in our activities and our… and gives us something to do when we want to change something. Extremely practical idea! So we use it. The other one doesn’t seem to be very useful.
Thresholds: What do you think happens after you physically die, after your body is no longer useful?
King: Oh, that’s two different things. In Hawaiian there’s a word for death and that means to live in another direction. So you just have another dream. We can go in and out of certain dreams and sometimes we can just drop certain dreams. And not have them anymore. And so you can say something like that. We just dream a different dream. And our body, which is made up of all kinds of other entities and spirits that have collected together for our benefit. They start to have their own dream and go their different ways. It’s like, we don’t, in one sense create this body, but it’s a joint creation. And we are kind of like the organizing spirit for that. And once we’ve decided we don’t need it anymore, or we’ve had enough or we’ve accomplished our particular purpose for this dream, why then the others say, “Okay, see you around,” and go dream something else.
Thresholds: In one of the books I glanced at… something about forecasting the future with stones? Tell me about that.
King: Well, the stones are one of many methods of casting. What you do when you cast stones, or the I Ching or tarot cards or any of these things, these are ways of communicating with the subconscious. So you set up a kind of alphabet and a vocabulary. You either accept someone else’s teaching or you create your own that these patterns mean certain things. Like we do when we learn reading. Reading and writing, these are just patterns that somebody has made up. You ask an internal question, or a question of your subconscious, or a question of the universe or anything, it doesn’t matter and you allow your subconscious through your body to present this pattern in a way that the conscious mind can interpret. And so that’s essentially what it becomes, what it is. The stones that we use come from a couple of systems that I learned and that I combined and simplified that work very well. And so there are many systems… it’s a very good thing that there are many systems, because each system is like a different language. And there are certain things that can be described in French that just don’t come across in English. There are certain things that the I Ching can do as far as giving you information that can’t be done by runes. On the other hand the runes can do something that the I Ching can’t do, give you a different perspective, and the stones can give you other forms of information.
Thresholds: I want to talk more about our relationship with the elements? In calling them the elements.
King: That’s fine.
Thresholds: When for example, there is a hurricane or tornado or something like that, can you discern what the elements are trying… is there an attempt to try to communicate something?
King: Oh, I don’t think necessarily. There can be, but they can also simply be doing their natural thing. You know, let’s take Hawaii, just for example. There’s a volcano there. And the volcano was there before the people came. So now the people come and they live on the side of this volcano. What’s the nature of a volcano? To erupt. And it does. So now there are people living on the side of the volcano and the volcano starts to tremble and erupt, you know. And the people say, “Oh, what does this mean? The volcano Goddess is angry with us.” No, she’s erupting.
Thresholds: She’s doing what she’s supposed to do.
King: She’s doing what she’s doing! You live in a place where they have winds coming down off the lakes. Now, people could say, “Oh the old wind God is after us, we’ve been bad…” No. It’s windy here. There are tornadoes in some places of the world, there are earthquakes in other places. Now people tend to go to places of high energy. Every major population center of the world is a place of high energy. Most of them are major earthquake centers. Other ones have a lot of volcanic activity. Sometimes both. There are other places where there are traditionally, I mean just in the nature of the environment, lots of tornadoes and things like this. Human beings can alter the environment. And nature will respond to that. If you remember the dust bowls of the thirties, that kind of stuff. So, human beings can influence their environment. And therefore nature, the elements will alter their behavior in response to that. That doesn’t necessarily mean they’re trying to say anything except, perhaps, you’re out of harmony.
Thresholds: Using the example of the dust bowl, where there were some choices made by human beings that weren’t productive. Do you believe in karma? Are you familiar with the term?
King: Oh, sure.
Thresholds: Do you believe humans experience repercussions?
King: Well, of course human beings always experience repercussions from what they do. Right here and now. This is your karma. Here. To be sitting with me doing this interview. Yes, of course. Everything in your life has led to this point. Every day of every moment we are experiencing our karma. Karma is a Sanskrit word; it means action in translation. And by extension, reaction. It has nothing to do with time. Now, some people interpret it as if you do something at one period of time, you’re going to get your comeuppance at another period of time. But if you accept the idea that all time is now, like in my tradition, well, then here’s your karma right now. Based on what you’re thinking right now, believing right now, this is what you’re going to experience right now. So if you do a particular act, let’s say the dust bowl, we’ll take an external act. The thing that people did that was later on going to produce all of these effects, there wasn’t a jump from, let’s say overgrazing, to the winds coming and blowing the soil away. There wasn’t a jump. It was every day, there were decisions made and there were actions taken. Every day and every day and every day and EVERY DAY changes occurred. It wasn’t like you had too many cattle grazing and woke up the next day and you had a dust bowl. Karma changed every day. Until finally, the change was significant enough that somebody paid attention. And then thought back on what had been done early on as if what had been done in the past caused this event to happen today. No, it was the whole series of things, every day, that brought that about. Karma is a now time kind of thing.
Thresholds: Would you relate the same concept to an internal thing? You said let’s use an external thing. Can you share an example of an internal…?
King: Well, okay, sure. For instance, the idea that a decision creates events. This is very popular. So, we can zero down on, why did this happen to me… Ah! It’s because my mother criticized me, or because I made the decision to be here. Okay, here’s a good one. People will go to a certain place, travel to a particular place let’s say or take a particular job, a career, and it doesn’t work out. And they say, “If only I hadn’t decided to take up this area. If only I hadn’t decided to move here. It’s when I made that decision that everything went wrong. If only I’d made a different decision, this would not have happened.” Well, from my tradition yes it would. It might have taken a slightly different form but if you had done the same pattern of things that you had done, day by day by day by day, this would have been the same result. Wouldn’t have mattered. There’s an old story — maybe you’re familiar with it — from New England, of a man driving along who stopped and asked a farmer what the people were like in the next town because he was thinking of moving. The farmer said, “Well, what were people like in the town you left?” He says, “Oh, they were nasty, backbiting, rumor-mongering, no-goods. And he says, “That’s what they’re gonna be like when you get to the other place, too!” Okay? We carry our karma with us. It’s in our beliefs, our expectations, our reactions, our decisions of every moment.
Thresholds: Well, that could be of something very good happening too.
King: Absolutely! Same thing. Exactly.
Thresholds: Do you have any comments on Earth changes?
King: Sure, she changes all the time. Anything specific?
Thresholds: Well, I…
King: I know… People are talking about all these great big things that are going to happen. Usually not to them and usually to cleanse the earth of all the bad stuff. Well, these people have problems, and what they’re doing is projecting their own inner turmoil out on the earth. I like to say that, I talked to the earth last night and she doesn’t have any plans like that at all. She’s going to keep doing her thing. So, yeah, we’ll have the stuff that we’ve had all along. But, that the earth is going to turn over in a human society? Wait a minute, you have to figure this is a living planet, okay? A living planet! What would be her benefit, because not only the earth as a whole has to be involved in such a decision, but all the plants, and all the animals and all the bacteria and all the insects and everything… All the wind and all the mountains… they’d all have to say, okay, let’s do this. Why? Human beings are so egocentric! You know. In the sense that there’s this tendency to forget that anything else exists. Especially that anything else might be alive and have a world of its own. If the earth wanted to get rid of human beings, it would be so easy. She wouldn’t have to get rid of everything else at the same time. I mean, you know, one little disease will do it. And it could be a disease that she could create that would just do us in. I don’t think that’s going to happen, because the way I look at the world right now, I see several things. First of all, I see us as playing a very important role for the earth as a living entity. We are developing her communication system.
Thresholds: In what way?
King: Well, with all the communication systems that we think that we are developing for ourselves, it’s got to be benefitting the earth as well. In the same way as your liver is doing its best to maintain itself in a healthy state, is affecting your body entirely. And yet, it’s not thinking of the whole body. It’s trying to feel good. But that affects the whole body. Okay, so here we have human beings doing some remarkable things as far as communicating over the whole Earth, in setting up this whole incredible network, using natural energies to do that, mind you. This is not artificial in the sense of created separate from nature. We’re using nature, nature therefore is cooperating in this process. And so, I think that we’re playing a very important role in the conscious evolution of the planet. As long as we are serving a good purpose for the Earth itself, why we’re going to be sustained.
On the other hand, and in the process also, this is one important thing to think of, we are learning from our errors. Which any good cell does and we’re learning what works, what doesn’t work. Right now, there are some terrible things happening to the planet, but they are no different than terrible things that have happened through our given history. On the other hand, we are having some experiences that have never before happened on this planet. Ever, EVER. Even in any metaphysical history that we know of. The concern for the environment is a radical departure for human beings, on a world-wide scale. This has never occurred before. The love that human beings are showing to each other in terms of helping each other. Nations helping other nations, the people of other nations helping other nations. You know, quite a number of years ago, there was a small country… I can’t quite remember the name of it, but it was near Russia and Turkey. And it had an earthquake. And the people of the United States sent a lot of stuff there to help them. When San Francisco had its last bad earthquake, that little country sent help to San Francisco. These are incredible things that are happening all around the world. We have teachers sharing knowledge, we have more books on how people can get along and succeed and heal themselves and help themselves than ever before. There are things happening that are just astounding in term of changes in human patterns that make it seem to me like we’re doing the best we’ve ever done. And if the Earth is smart, this is no time to get rid of us.
Thresholds: That’s a great way to put it. Is there anything you’d like to add to what we’ve talked about. Anything I haven’t asked about that you’d like to share?
King: Well, the only thing I’d like to share then in addition is the value of what we call the Aloha spirit. In Hawaii, Aloha doesn’t just mean hello. The word actually means love. And so the traditional greeting of these people is to greet someone with love, to say farewell with love. To act toward each other in a loving way as much as possible. Hawaiians are human beings, they are no more perfect than any other human being. But they do have this cultural ideal, and they do their best to work with it. And it’s something to always come back to. In its simplest terms, in its very simplest terms, it’s a process of encouraging the good rather than fighting the bad. So that means in personal relationships, [it is] far, far more effective to praise someone for the good they do, than to constantly point out what you don’t like. If we can, and this can affect our relationships not only with each other but with ourselves and with governments and with nature. And so this is something that we’re promoting quite strongly, not because it’s nice to love, but because if you use it there isn’t anything that works better for accomplishing what you want. For helping people to heal, for making this a better planet. And it can start with something just as simple as that. Notice what’s good, acknowledge it, praise it, strengthen it, encourage it. Deal with the rest of it as you have to deal with it, but don’t make that part the most important. Make the good the most important.•
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