The excerpt below is taken from the introduction given by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at a joint press conference with President Donald Trump held at the White House on April 12, 2017.
SECRETARY GENERAL STOLTENBERG: Thank you so much, sir, Mr. President. We just had an excellent and very productive meeting, and it’s really an honor to meet you for the first time here in the White House.
We agree that NATO is a bedrock of security, both for Europe and for the United States. Two world wars and a Cold War have taught us all that peace in Europe is not only important for Europeans but is also important for the prosperity and the security of North America. So a strong NATO is good for Europe, but a strong NATO is also good for the United States.
Michael Richardson-Borne: What do you mean when you say “peace in Europe?” Do you mean the antithesis of political instability and all-out war? Do you mean a relative calmness in the streets, the uninterrupted flow of business as usual in European society, the heartbeat of the status quo pounding without a stutter while unaware of the unity of its true heart?
The kind of peace you have in mind is a narrowed focus on external environment and circumstance. Being overtaken by this auto-pilot belief in the status quo metrics of peace abandons the inner lives of our people and leaves them to suffer an internal war all alone. Virtually every person in Europe and the United States has a war going on inside of them at this very moment. Even if they are considered mentally stable, the pain of separation is severely gnawing some, torturing others.
Why do we ignore internality and force people to fight a war with a separate self, bereft of the proper resources? Why do we leave our people in this war without cultural guidance and pretend that if the economy is functioning relatively well and the streets are safe then everything is mediocre enough to be considered peaceful? As long as there is a somewhat minimal amount of societal pseudo-harmony, people are on their own to suffer the fate of identifying with a separate self – they’re at the mercy of the assumption of separation. How do you consider this humane? Do you see how you are worshipping surfaces while misunderstanding the nature of these surfaces? Do you see how you are translating your blindness into definitions that sell the North Atlantic short when it comes to identifying the more holistic origin of peace?
What you call a strong NATO will only be strong if it has a dual commitment that couples the current treaty for hard power protection with support that aides the collective transcendence of the separate self into non-separation. Right now, NATO has no awareness of the internal war that is the cause of the need for NATO in the first place. This internal war is brought about due to the assumption of a separate self. By healing humanity’s assumption of separation, NATO would make itself obsolete. This should, in fact, be the organization’s goal.
But what I’m suggesting will not be brought about through diplomacy. Diplomacy is always with an other – it is about negotiation and alliance between separate individuals or separate regimes that, in reality, do not exist. Peace can never grow in separation or unreality. So remember this to calibrate what you’re up against:
External peace without the corresponding internals is still war. Internal peace without the corresponding externals is still peace.
STOLTENBERG CONT’D: And, therefore, I welcome the very strong commitment of the United States to the security of Europe. We see this commitment not only in words but also in deeds. Over the past months, thousands of U.S. troops have been deploying to Europe, a clear demonstration that America stands with allies to protect peace and defend our freedom. And yesterday, you announced the completion of the ratification of Montenegro’s membership in NATO, another expression of your strong commitment to Europe and to the transatlantic bond. And we thank you for that.
Michael Richardson-Borne: When you applaud a commitment to words and deeds, at this juncture, looking at the internal state of development of the world, what should this tell you? It tells me that you are either ignorant of, or comfortable with, taking action before you truly know how to be. It tells me you are either consciously or unconsciously aligned with the global culture of separation – able to encourage the religion of autonomous activity while your being is still hooked to the illusion of a separate self. This attachment to being separate is obscuring your vision and judgment to the point where you think you are a proponent of peace when, in reality, you are an activist for the continuation of humanity’s division from itself.
For instance, take your statement about deployed U.S. troops. These troops are not protecting peace and defending freedom as you claim. They are pawns participating in, and protecting, a system built on the assumption of a separate self. They are uniform and uniformed symbols of a legacy that was dead before it started. Trained to other an enemy, to root into a separate self that accepts the label “American,” and to defend a separative idea with their very lives, they represent the needs of a population who has sadly forgotten who they are. True peace and freedom do not need to be defended, held together by force, or fought for to achieve. Authentic peace and freedom have always been the case. If NATO can remember this and anchor into the deepest of these waters, the incite gleaned will straighten out any confusion about the world as filtered through the separate self. War never results in peace. Only knowing the self results in peace and from this knowing arises the potential for the peace and freedom that will, one day, transform NATO into a mature version of itself.
To protect peace and defend freedom, you must first be able to see peace and freedom. You must be able to understand the premise that a world that is not killing one another can still be dead and dying on the inside. Non-separation must become the fabric of society where it makes a priority of teaching people how to take the life of the separate self rather than a perceived other.
Initially, non-separation may not eradicate the need for soldiers – but it will eradicate ignorance. This new-found ability will cultivate a garden where troops can flower into the instinctive non-violence that comes with the realization of non-separation. Only then will they be prepared to protect peace and freedom – because they will be peace and freedom.
STOLTENBERG CONT’D: In a more dangerous and more unpredictable world, it is important to have friends and allies. And in NATO, America has the best friends and the best allies in the world. Together, we represent half of the world’s economic and military power. No other superpower has ever had such a strategic advantage. This makes the United States stronger and safer.
Michael Richardson-Borne: Ask yourself about the difference between strategic unity and inherent unity. Can you make the distinction?
Strategic unity has separation as its foundation. It is based on the assumption of a separate self and includes the familiar motivations of fear, jockeying, competition, power, and greed. As with anything firmly planted in the throes of separation, its nature is one of impermanence – which means it is a mere reflection of something deeper that is living it. Seeing through the reflective presence of strategic unity, and the separate self that is imagining its solidity, will open you to the underlying movement of the inherent. Inherent unity knows its source. Strategic unity is downstream from this source but unaware that it has a dreamed up location.
Inherent unity, on the other hand, is grounded in non-separation – which is an impersonal experience of being that includes the presence of a separate self that understands its relative role as an expression of the totality. Inherent unity is lived from the understanding of a pre-existing oneness that animates all people and nations as a single essence. Having allies is no longer important, or even possible because all relationships are too distant to make sense inside of a world closer to you than your own skin. In a new global culture conditioned by inherent unity, separation is remembered as an archaic concept conjured from the point of view of our infant past.
Strategic unity does not make the United States stronger and safer. Strategy is divorced from its source and always perpetuates separation because it’s under the spell of the separate self. If anything, it is merely delaying the inevitable conclusion of all things that believe themselves separate. However, the inherent unity of non-separation would also not make the United States stronger and safer. Why? Because strength and safety would no longer have anything to do with a concept called the United States of America.
STOLTENBERG CONT’D: We saw that after the 9/11 attacks on the United States. That was the first time NATO invoked our Article 5, the collective defense clause. Allies sent AWACS surveillance planes to help patrol American skies, and we launched NATO’s biggest military operation ever in Afghanistan. Hundreds of thousands of Europeans and Canadian soldiers have served shoulder-to-shoulder with American troops. More than a thousand have paid the ultimate price.
Michael Richardson-Borne: Standing shoulder-to-shoulder with an other is still separation. Can you recognize this? Self-authorship invents the type of worldviews where standing shoulder-to-shoulder is perceived as real so that the separate self can spend a lifetime living in the shadows to confirm its illusion. The impact of this level of delusion being the standard by which humanity measures itself is heart-wrenching for both the initiated and uninitiated. For the uninitiated, it’s being lost in a world of suffering. For the initiated, it’s offering an invitation out of suffering that is rarely accepted. The initiated know that being an individual on a team with an opponent is different from being what lives the entire team and the opponent.
In the world of separation, death is considered the ultimate price. In a world of non-separation, not knowing the self is considered the ultimate price. The former identifies with a body and attaches specific thoughts and emotions to what is experienced as a self-authoring individual. The latter identifies with what is living the field of vision and considers the self a grand impersonal occurrence to which death does not apply.
STOLTENBERG CONT’D: Earlier today, I laid a wreath at Arlington National Cemetery in tribute to the fallen. It was a deeply moving experience. We owe it to our servicemen and women to preserve the hard-earned gains we have made together in Afghanistan. We were reminded of their sacrifice just this week when a U.S. soldier was killed there fighting ISIL. Our mission in Afghanistan is a major contribution to the fight against international terrorism.
Michael Richardson-Borne: Gains feel hard-earned when they are perceived as self-authored – a false sense of self leads to sustained feelings of taking on an uphill battle. Self-authoring manifests a life that resembles a pressure-packed timeline aching to be fulfilled, a constant set of gains to first achieve and then preserve. Stressful achieving and preserving is the typical lifestyle of the separate self. But, ask yourself who there is to achieve and preserve these gains. When it comes to war, can the puppets of consciousness, who happen to wear camouflage, ever achieve permanence? Can the confused collective effort of the impermanent preserve anything other than more impermanence? If you can see what I’m pointing to, has it really taken anyone’s personal effort to see things through in Afghanistan? If so, whose?
You see, problems arise when we associate doing with autonomous individuals. Let me ask you something. Has a single step in your life been taken due to a direct decision that you can call your own? Answer this question with clarity and find the solution to what you call the fight against international terrorism – which is just a fight against the idealization of the separate self. This problem cannot be seen unless you step outside of a separative point of view to understand there is nothing to fight against, that we are all being lived by the pre-existing unity that is our true nature.
The harder you push back against these non-state actors, the more you validate their belief in separation. How do we begin spreading the message of non-separation in a multitude of contexts that will be instantly recognized as heart-true by the billions of self-identified people around the world? How do we place cultural artifacts of non-separation in soft-power media channels to impact hot-house locations where terrorists are more likely to be spawned? How do we till the global soil with stories that show the seeds of non-separation taking root? Imaginative seeds that nourish a transcendent ethos where detainment camps teach non-separation rather than torture and all institutions aspire to rehabilitate the self in order to transcend it.
STOLTENBERG CONT’D: NATO plays a key role in many other ways also. All NATO allies are part of the global coalition to counter ISIL, and NATO provides support to the coalition with training for Iraqi forces in their fight against terrorists and more intelligence-sharing. And you are right, we have established a new division for intelligence, which enhances our ability to fight terrorism, and working together in the Alliance to fight terrorism in an even more effective way.
Michael Richardson-Borne: The practice of “intelligence-sharing” needs to be expanded and transitioned to prioritize the means to cultivate a culture of non-separation. As it stands today, all “intelligence” is about monitoring the activities of the separate self in a context that assumes autonomous individuals are responsible for their actions independent of the whole. Working with and as the totality in alignment with the realization of non-separation must become the new point of view for the intelligence community if enhancing the ability to understand international terrorism is the goal. This will require a movement away from solely tracking what is believed to be autonomous action. Securing information on the unreal, in a razor-thin context, will only reveal findings that mirror the internal separation of the people finding it.
The point to remember is that the illusion of separation is not on the radars of today’s intelligence officials. Without this realization, terrorism is set to be part of our world for as long as the assumption of a separate self persists as the agreed upon crux of the global identity.
STOLTENBERG CONT’D: But we agreed today, you and I, that NATO can, and must, do more in the global fight against terrorism. In the fight against terrorism, training local forces is one of the best weapons we have. NATO has the experience, the expertise, and the staying power to make a real difference, and fighting terrorism will be an important topic when NATO leaders meet in Brussels in May.
Michael Richardson-Borne: When you say NATO has experience, experience in what? Whatever it is, it’s still rooted in the assumption of a separate self.
When you say NATO has expertise, expertise in what? Whatever it is, it’s still rooted in the assumption of a separate self.
When you say NATO has staying power, staying power in what? Whatever it is, it’s still rooted in the assumption of a separate self. Do you see what I’m getting at here?
I agree that training local forces is one of the best weapons we have available. But if this training is not helping them see who they really are so that they, in turn, become citizens of a world being lived by non-separation, it’s a waste of NATO’s time and resources. Training local forces on an ever-evolving strategy of separation will only perpetuate the problem of terrorism. Even though terrorism is an internal problem of identity, the solution will not be lasting if NATO concentrates on shifting the surface features of identity like the separate self stalwarts of religion and nationality. NATO must support local forces to get under these surface features and recognize who they are at the very core of their being. Seeing this core is the only cure to the sickness that is terrorism. Non-separation is always the ultimate medicine.
STOLTENBERG CONT’D: The other major topic will be fair burden-sharing in our Alliance. And we had a total discussion on this issue today. And, Mr. President, I thank you for your attention to this issue. We are already seeing the effect of your strong focus on the importance of burden-sharing in the Alliance. We agree that allies need to redouble their efforts to meet the pledge we all made in 2014 to invest more in our Alliance.
Michael Richardson-Borne: When President Trump mentions “fair burden sharing,” he is talking about money, cash. Period.
But fair burden-sharing is not just about money. It’s also about the internal development of our world. Fair burden-sharing is each country’s commitment to disseminating the message of our pre-existing unity with their respective populations. It’s an exploration of best practices in regards to utilizing art and culture, education, and other forms of communication to invite a sudden moment of reckoning for all of humanity as it pertains to the shift to non-separation.
The only burden of a human life is returning to the self – which means the only shared burden is the supporting of one another in this process.
STOLTENBERG CONT’D: Fair burden-sharing has been my top priority since taking office. We have now turned a corner. In 2016, for the first time in many years, we saw an increase in defense spending across European allies and Canada — a real increase of 3.8 percent or $10 billion more for our defense. We are now working to keep up the momentum, including by developing national plans outlining how to make good on what we agreed in 2014. We know that we all need to contribute our fair share because we need to keep our nations safe in a more dangerous world.
Michael Richardson-Borne: You may have turned a corner since taking office. But, based on your words, it was just turning a corner into more separation.
STOLTENBERG CONT’D: We discussed many different topics during our meeting today, including the horrendous use of chemical weapons in Syria. Any use of chemical weapons is unacceptable, cannot go unanswered, and those responsible must be held accountable.
Michael Richardson-Borne: The separative context in which accountability exists holds people responsible for a self-authoring that is not theirs to shoulder. All outcomes are manifestations of the total movement, and couldn’t have transpired any other way. Understanding how this is the case is the peacefulness that comes along with non-separation.
The implications of this kind of realization turn the world of separation on its head. It turns everything you’ve learned is true about human behavior on its head.
In a world whose primary assumption is non-separation, holding someone accountable will be approached from the perspective of the totality where individuals do not exist. Responsibility for chemical attacks will then be a collective response of self-care that may or may not include what the United States recently did – unilateral missile strikes with a mission of taking away Syria’s military capabilities. All decisions will be empowered to arise from the perspective of the whole as held by a governing body whose job is to be of service to a life and world guided by the movement of non-separation.
STOLTENBERG CONT’D: So, Mr. President, thank you once again. I look forward to working with you to keeping the Alliance strong, and I look forward to welcoming you to Brussels in May when heads of state and government in the Alliance meet there to address the challenges and the need to continue to adapt the Alliance to a more challenging security environment, and to respond both to the need for fair burden-sharing, and stepping up our efforts to fight international terrorism. So thank you, once again.
Michael Richardson-Borne: Lost in a world of separation, the meetings in May sound like more of the same – an exaltation of the separate self and the global catastrophe this assumption of separation unknowingly creates.
In Brussels, not a single word will be uttered about consciousness, internal development, or the plague of the separate self. It will be chatter about the distribution of money, how to remain separate from the majority of the world, and how to “get the bad guys.”
When will NATO see through to the heart that is living it and join the rest of the world in a collective realization of non-separation?