Posts Tagged ‘Active Hope’

Shambhala Warrior Prophecy

I’ve posted Joanna Macy before as she shares this twelve centuries old prophecy, but yesterday’s information about Whole Foods and Monsanto (and by extension all those large, embedded corporations and our sick financial system) reminded me again of this story. Joanna’s portion begins right around the 1 minute mark. The part that jumped out at me this time was the idea of effective weapons or tools that we can use to dismantle the horrific technology and life-killing weapons of this out of balance world:

“This is a time when all beings are in danger. In this time the kingdom of Shambhala will emerge. The Shambhala Warrior has two weapons: compassion, and insight into the deep interconnectedness of all things. The smallest act with clear intention has repercussions throughout the whole web, beyond your capacity to see. … Do not be afraid of the pain of the world.” We need to show up — with the heat of compassion and the coolness of a wisdom that recognizes how things connect. As Joanna explains, without that wisdom, the compassion burns us out, but without the compassion, the wisdom remains cold.

Last night I had a conversation with someone whose heart keeps breaking at the cruelty she observes in our world. I explained to her that tears, sorrow and outrage at cruelty and oppression are not a sign of weakness. They reflect an awakening heart. The more our hearts awaken, the greater we feel the pain of the world. But we also need the wisdom that recognizes how even tiny acts with great intention can move mountains. Getting stuck in tears, sorrow and outrage will burn us out before we have a chance to change our world. When we see the cruelty and create alternatives, when we alleviate some of the suffering, when we model other ways of living and being … then the interconnectedness of all things begins to shift reality. The two go together.

This prophecy and Joanna’s great spirit always bring me great comfort in this world.

Julian Rose ~ You May Wake Up, … But Will You Get Out of Bed?

Another right on message from Julian Rose … a call to reveal Love through Truth and action, along with finding your Divine life purpose:

You May Wake Up, … But Will You Get Out of Bed?

by Julian Rose

Each one of us came here with a purpose.

Either we decided, or a higher being decided on our behalf, that our spirit would attach to a particular physical body which would manifest itself through the act of conjugation between a particular man and a particular woman.

Well yes, you might say..that may be..but does this necessarily imply having ‘a purpose’? Or are we simply the result of a chance vibratory attraction that has no particular calling or reason to be?

Those of an atheistic, non believing persuasion, may opt for the chance vibratory connection; believing the Universe to be an arbitrary collection of orbs, energies and vortexes that have fallen into certain patters by chance – with no innate order suggesting the hand of a ‘cosmic conductor’ in the background.

To such individuals, everything happens either by chance or by an act of purely human will. For those of this persuasion ‘coincidence’ is just that – even if it occurs with surprising regularity and produces some startling results – the view remains “that’s just luck”.

Those who live their lives this way can’t fully wake-up. That is to say, they cannot – or will not – become conscious of the power of a higher source that works with them and through them, if so encouraged.

They cannot experience or imagine themselves as a part of that higher consciousness, if they do not believe it exists.

Thus life has a built in loneliness for such individuals, demanding various forms of compensation to make daily living a worthwhile experience. One finds many scientists falling into this category. Some at least are curious about a state of higher consciousness – but nevertheless have to ‘prove’ the existence of this ‘God Particle‘ via elaborate and hugely costly experiments. Once having ‘found it’ however, they do not themselves experience any transformatory inner change, metamorphosis of being, or greatly expanded consciousness. They just carry the knowledge as though it were separate from themselves – needing a vast super conductor experiment to reveal some outward sign of its existence.

Then next come ‘the believers’. Those who have had some reason to believe in a higher source of existence beyond our purely earthly cares and needs. Many will have come to this belief through some form of religious persuasion. Maybe a near death experience; maybe something that is simply inherited from elders; something latched onto out of a need to feel protected – or just the need to give some meaning to life.

Many who fill this description operate according to certain moral principles originally derived from biblical sources. They also carry within ‘the fear of God’, worrying that if they step out of line they may be punished. They need priests, gurus and various hierarchical figures to give them direction throughout this life.

They too cannot become fully awake; held back from following their deeper intuition by fear of transgressing the boundaries of socially acceptable behaviour, or through harbouring a simple fear of the unknown.

So that leaves the ‘waking-up’ to a rather small number of individuals who have rejected, or transcended, the first two states described above – and have moved onto the broader and deeper ‘path of discovery’. A path which leads through a number of initiatory levels of experience quite unfamiliar to the majority.

Experiences that involve piercing the veil of illusion and confronting the truth. Of allowing the inner voice to overrule intellectual deductions – or confirm them. These souls are guided by a higher consciousness. A higher consciousness which they recognise themselves as being innately connected to.

It is only amongst this group of individuals that one will find those who can be said to be ‘awake’ in the fuller sense of the word. Individuals able to discern right from wrong; not because of some extended studies in human psychology, but out of a deep intuition whose source is Divine.

A source that prompts recognition that this is indeed ‘The Age of Truth’. That those who are awake are in awe of its powers and in harmony with its intent. Yes, it has intent. The big question is: what is it?

What is the intent behind Truth? And how is it to express itself? How is it to be expressed?

The intent behind Truth is the catalysed desire for the full expression of Essence. The ‘I am that I am’ rising with each dawn of each day and spreading its rays in glorious affirmation. A vast outpouring of all that ‘Is’; so that all that Truth touches is permeated with the realisation of its Divine and ever fecund potentiality. We can be that touchstone.

When we experience this wave of Truth, we rightly call it Love. For that is what it is. Love is Truth and Truth is Love – they are an interchangeable feast. And like all good feasts, they attract indulgence – and it would be foolish indeed to resist such – for it is necessary to satiate this thirst which is common to us all and knows no limits or boundaries in its scope; just as the Universe cannot know of any limitations to its infinitely expansive potential.

Energy expressed through Love-Truth is the summation of the all by the one – and one by the all.

It is the manifestation of the glory of life.

So, bringing us back to Earth, ‘coming awake’ is the act of joining-in this feast; whose first course is an introductory glimpse of Love-Truth, and whose main course promises a fuller comprehension of its manifested expression within ourselves – and without. And it is precisely here where we face the biggest challenge to our authenticity.

The main course, in all its glory, is unattainable while our centre of gravity remains essentially inward looking; while we remain only intent upon attaining the inner flowering and its attendant awakening of an initial state of ‘awareness’. The main course is only attainable when we reach out and take action, beyond the confines of the self.

Therefore I say, you may wake-up – but will you get out of bed?

Things can seem very cosy under the early morning warmth of our sheets and blankets. There is that enduring sense of protection which cossets us, oh so pleasantly, and a lingering sleepiness that has its own pacifying affect over our minds and bodies – so maybe we don’t really need to get out of bed after all .. Can’t we just stop at the first course and savour its delights for as long as they last .. and not trouble ourselves with the main course at all? That way we can live our lives in scented spaces of wakeful awareness, free from the subversive frictions emanating forth from a world gone drastically off-course – while we dreamed. A world still waiting for the equally drastic reorientation which can save it from apocalyptic implosion. Can’t we reach our promised land without having to grapple with that chaotic state of planetary distress?

The answer to that question brings us to the fourth level. A level that represents the final initiation for those who are ‘aware’ but have yet to cross the threshold into fuller consciousness of their divine purpose here on Earth. Those who have not yet got out of bed.

For, as I said at the start, each of us has such a purpose – and it’s just a question of how early or late we come to recognise this and put it into practice as the main driving force of our lives.

The sooner we do, the sooner the transformation of our planetary chaos can take place. The sooner the conviction becomes expressed as outer action, the sooner the vampiric forces that have lived off our dead matter – are fired.

So the sooner you transfer the resonance of these words into a determination to put them into practice – the sooner the forces of love will come flying to your side and guide you in the path of Truth. It is not ‘Truth’ when confined to dialogue, however erudite. That is the sign-post to truth, but not truth itself. It is not Truth until it willingly comes face to face with all that captures, oppresses, diverts and subdues the genius of human creativity and love – and determines to overcome it – in service to humanity and to this planet which is our garden.

This is the year when we leave behind our story telling and move right into the story itself – forging its destiny through millions of real, pragmatic, on-the-ground purposeful actions. Actions that refuse to be thwarted, even by the most heinous plans, laid in stealth by the sterile operatives of a moribund status quo.

This is the year when ‘we the people’ take back our destinies and join together in mending the broken limbs of this planetary home – of which we are the true trustees and guardians.

……………………………………………………..

Julian is an early pioneer of UK organic farming, an international activist, actor and author of ‘In Defence of Life – A Radical Reworking of Green Wisdom’ see http://www.julianrose.info
– See more at: http://www.zengardner.com/may-wake-will-get-bed/#sthash.PASIyoDr.dpuf

The American Collapse: A More Optimistic Response

I tried to leave the following as a comment on Zen Gardner’s recent post, “The American Collapse ~ One Giant False Flag.” For some reason, the computer kept eating my comment, telling me to “Please fill form,” and yet (miraculously) not deleting that comment when I hit “back.” After three tries, it occurred to me that maybe this was a nudge just to post the comment here in a slightly expanded form. Perhaps it will inspire some readers to action, and with any good fortune, a pingback will enable my comment where I meant it to post. 🙂

Three words: permaculture, permaculture, permaculture. Seriously, have any of you heard of Transition Towns and permaculture? Yes, we face challenges, and certainly, many will not survive, but there ARE many of us actively working together at the local community level to have systems in place for when the SHTF. Are those systems/options already fully functioning? To varying degrees, but relationships among like-minded, problem-solving, spiritually grounded, caring, local people ARE already happening, at least in some areas. If they’re not already happening in your areas, wherever you live, it would be a really good idea to cultivate those relationships now. It can start with even just being friendly with your neighbor.

I have clients who went through 9/11 and various other disasters. They have, almost uniformly, shared with me the deep bonds they developed with friends, neighbors and family during those times. Natural instinct is for people to join together. Yes, there will be looters, but if people see the writing on the walls, they can still work now to set up some local safety nets.

Some good books to read: “Navigating the Coming Chaos” by Carolyn Baker; “Active Hope” by Joanna Macy and Chris Johnstone; as well as any good gardening books you can get your hands on such as “Four-Season Harvest,” “Gaia’s Garden” and “Mini Farming: Self-Sufficiency on a 1/4 Acre.” I personally also like to have hard copies of whatever books I find give me spiritual and poetic inspiration in the event that the internet shuts off.

I would also include learning some form of self-defense, whatever that means for you. For me, personally, that involves more energetic and magickal self-defense, but that only works if you’re really committed to and knowledgeable about how to move those energies. Joining in community is an excellent insurance policy. So is learning personal energy management — shift your vibration, remind yourself “I am always in the right place at the right time, doing the right thing.” For those who want other methods of defense, I would say, decide on something fast, acquire it now, and start learning how to use it ASAP.

Yes, we face huge, life-altering challenges, but some of us HAVE chosen (deliberately) to stick around in the US in order to help the shift. For a taste of this process, check out what’s happening at the hyper-local level with organic farmers in Detroit. It’s a whole ‘nother world beyond the disaster. Most preppers think of protecting their own, and that’s one way to go about it. Another way is to look around and assess what’s needed in your community, find others willing to help bring those things into being, and git ‘er done. Time’s a’ticking, illusory old codger that it is…

Peace!

Robert Jensen: Apocalyptic thinking generates hope by embracing both grief and joy

Thanks to Ann at Exopermaculture for finding this gem! It also reminds me of one of my favorite books by Joanna Macy and Chris Johnstone, “Active Hope: How to Face the Mess We’re in without Going Crazy.” This attitude of fearlessly facing the various crises we’re in without having an attachment to the results of our actions requires both discipline and compassion. I also love all the beautiful poetry and the focus on grounding.

Initial comments by Ann Kreilkamp:

Rarely do I read something I wish I had been the one to write, not only because it meets so exactly with how I feel, but the way the author lives his life in response to his understanding of our human predicament so precisely parallels my own.

This essay reminds me of the time when I, as what I now label a “violent peace activist,” back in the early ’80s, heard this remark from a grizzled old rancher who lived close to a nuclear test range in Utah: “If we are to blow ourselves up, then at least I will die knowing I have done what I could to prevent it.” I was stunned by his paradoxical attitude: not depressingly cynical, and not foolishly idealistic, but realistic and, above all, ethical. In other words, live as if I don’t know what will happen next, and it doesn’t matter. My actions do not guarantee results. No expectations!

Cecil’s one remark recalibrated the focus for my own life.

Much the same sentiment is offered here, in Robert Jensen’s realistic analysis of our current situation on this planet, and how this overwhelming crisis/opportunity defines who we are and who we can be, once we surrender to its entirety.

We Have to Embrace Apocalypse If We’re Going to Get Serious About Sticking Around on This Planet

To think apocalyptically is not to give up on ourselves, but only to give up on the arrogant stories we modern humans have been telling about ourselves.

July 9, 2013

by Robert Jensen

alternet.org|

Robert Jensen

The following is an excerpt from We Are All Apocalyptic Now: On the Responsibilities of Teaching, Preaching, Reporting, Writing, and Speaking Out , in print at Amazon.com and on Kindle (CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2013):

Here’s my experience in speaking apocalyptically about the serious challenges humans face: No matter how carefully I craft a statement of concern about the future of humans, no matter how often I deny a claim to special gifts of prognostication, no matter now clearly I reject supernatural explanations or solutions, I can be certain that a significant component of any audience will refuse to take me seriously. Some of those people will make a joke about “Mr. Doom and Gloom.” Others will suggest that such talk is no different than conspiracy theorists’ ramblings about how international bankers, secret cells of communists, or crypto-fascists are using the United Nations to create a one-world government. Even the most measured and careful talk of the coming dramatic change in the place of humans on Earth leads to accusations that one is unnecessarily alarmist, probably paranoid, certainly irrelevant to serious discussion about social and ecological issues. In the United States, talk of the future is expected to be upbeat, predicting expansion and progress, or at least maintenance of our “way of life.”

Apocalyptic thinking allows us to let go of those fanciful visions of the future. As singer/songwriter John Gorka puts it: “The old future’s gone/We can’t get to there from here.” The comfortable futures that we are comfortable imagining are no longer available to us because of the reckless way we’ve been rolling the dice; there is nothing to save us from ourselves. Our task is to deal with our future without delusions of deliverance, either divine or technological. This planet is not a way station in a journey to some better place; it is our home, the only home we will know. We will make our peace with ourselves, each other, and the larger living world here.

The first step in thinking sensibly about the future, of course, is reviewing the past. The uncertainty of our future will be easier to accept and the strength to persevere will be easier to summon if we recognize:

— We are animals. For all our considerable rational capacities, we are driven by non-rational forces that cannot be fully understood or completely controlled. Even the most careful scientist is largely an emotional creature, just like everyone else.

— We are band/tribal animals. Whatever kind of political unit we live in today, our evolutionary history is in small groups; that’s how we are designed to live.

— We are band/tribal animals living in a global world. The consequences of the past 10,000 years of human history have left us dealing with human problems on a global scale, and with 7 billion people on the planet, there’s no point in fantasizing about a retreat to Eden.

With that history in mind, we should go easy on ourselves. As Wes Jackson said, we are a species out of context, facing the unique task of being the first animals who will have to self-consciously impose limits on ourselves if we are to survive, reckoning not just with what we do in our specific place on the planet but with what other people are doing around the world. This is no small task, and we are bound to fail often. We may never stop failing, and that is possibly the most daunting challenge we must face: Can we persevere in the quest for justice and sustainability even if we had good reasons to believe that both projects ultimately will fail? Can we live with that possibility? Can we ponder that and yet still commit ourselves to loving action toward others and the non-human world?

Said differently: What if our species is an evolutionary dead end? What if those adaptations that produced our incredible evolutionary success — our ability to understand certain aspects of how the world works and manipulate that world to our short-term advantage — are the very qualities that guarantee our human systems will degrade the life-sustaining systems of the world? What if that which has allowed us to dominate will be that which destroys us? What if humanity’s story is a dramatic tragedy in the classical sense, a tale in which the seeds of the hero’s destruction are to be found within, and history is the unfolding of the inevitable fall?

We love stories of individual heroes, and collectively we tend to think of ourselves as the heroic species. The question we might ask, uncomfortably, about those tales of heroism: Is Homo sapiens an epic hero or a tragic one? Literature scholars argue over the specific definitions of the terms “epic” and “tragedy,” but in common usage an epic celebrates the deeds of a hero who is favored by, and perhaps descended from, the gods. These heroes overcome adversity to do great things in the service of great causes. Epic heroes win.

A tragic hero loses, but typically not because of an external force. The essence of tragedy is what Aristotle called “hamartia,” an error in judgment made because of some character flaw, such as hubris. That excessive pride of protagonists becomes their downfall. Although some traditions talk about the sin of pride, most of us understand that taking some pride in ourselves is psychologically healthy. The problem is excessive pride, when we elevate ourselves and lose a sense of the equal value of others. When we fall into hubris individually, the consequences can be disastrous for us and those around us. When we fall into that hubris as a species — when we ignore the consequences of the exploitation on which our “lifestyle” is based — the consequences are more dramatic.

What if our task is to give up the dream of the human species as special? And what if the global forces set in motion during the high-energy/high-technology era are beyond the point of no return? Surrounded by the big majestic buildings and tiny sophisticated electronic gadgets created through human cleverness, it’s easy for us to believe we are smart enough to run a complex world. But cleverness is not wisdom, and the ability to create does not guarantee we can control the destruction we have unleashed. It may be that there is no way to rewrite this larger epic, that too much of the tragedy has already been played out.

But here’s the good news: While tragic heroes meet an unhappy fate, a community can learn from the protagonist’s fall. Even tragic heroes can, at the end, celebrate the dignity of the human spirit in their failure. That may be our task, to recognize that we can’t reverse course in time to prevent our ultimate failure, but that in the time remaining we can recognize our hamartia, name our hubris, and do what we can to undo the damage.

That may be the one chance for us to be truly heroic, by learning to leave center stage gracefully, to stop trying to run the world and to accept a place in the world. We have to take our lives seriously but take Life more seriously.

We certainly live in a dangerous time, if we take seriously the data that our vast intellectual enterprises have produced. Ironically, the majority of intellectuals who are part of those enterprises prefer to ignore the implications of that data. The reasons for that will of course vary, and there is no reason to pretend these issues are simple or that we can line up intellectuals in simple categories of good/bad, brave/cowardly, honest/dishonest. Reasonable people can agree on the data and disagree on interpretation and analysis. Again, my argument is not that anyone who does not share my interpretation and analysis is obviously wrong or corrupt; many of the assertions I have made require more lengthy argument than available in this space.

But I hold to one point without equivocation: When the privileged intellectuals subsidized by the institutions of the dominant culture look away from the difficult issues that we face today, they are failing to meet their moral obligations. The more privileged the intellectual, the greater the responsibility to use our resources, status, and autonomy to face these issues. There is a lot riding on whether we have the courage and the strength to accept that danger, joyfully. This harsh assessment, and the grief that must accompany it, is not a rejection of joy. The two, grief and joy, are not mutually exclusive but, in fact, rely on each other, and define the human condition. As Wendell Berry puts it, we live on “the human estate of grief and joy.”

This inevitably leads to the question: where can we find hope? My short answer: Don’t ask someone else where to find it. Create it through your actions. Hope is not something we find, but is something we earn. No one has the right to be hopeful until they expend energy to make hope possible. Gorka’s song expresses this: “The old future’s dead and gone/Never to return/There’s a new way through the hills ahead/This one we’ll have to earn/This one we’ll have to earn.”

Berry speaks repeatedly of the importance of daily practice, of building a better world in a practical ways that nurture real bonds in real communities that know their place in the world. He applies this same idea to a discussion of hope:

[Y]ou’re not under any obligation to construct a hope for the whole human race. What you are required to do is to be intelligent. And that means you’ve got to have an array of examples you want more or less to understand. Some are not perfect, and others are awful, and to be intelligent you’ve got to know why some are better than the others.

If people demand that intellectuals provide hope — or, worse, if intellectuals believe it is their job to give people hope — then offering platitudes about hope is just another way of avoiding the difficult questions. Clamoring for hope can be a dangerous diversion. But if the discussion of hope leads to action, even in the face of situations that may be hopeless, then we can hold onto what Albert Camus called a “stubborn hope”:

Tomorrow the world may burst into fragments. In that threat hanging over our heads there is a lesson of truth. As we face such a future, hierarchies, titles, honors are reduced to what they are in reality: a passing puff of smoke. And the only certainty left to us is that of naked suffering, common to all, intermingling its roots with those of a stubborn hope.

I would call this a hope beyond hope, the willingness not only to embrace that danger but to find joy in it. The systems that structure our world have done more damage than we can understand, but no matter how dark the world grows, there is a light within. That is the message of the best of our theological and secular philosophical traditions, a recurring theme of the best of our art. Wendell Berry has been returning to this theme for decades in essays, fiction, and poetry, and it is the subject of one of his Sabbath poems:

It is hard to have hope. It is harder as you grow old,
for hope must not depend on feeling good
and there is the dream of loneliness at absolute midnight.
You also have withdrawn belief in the present reality
of the future, which surely will surprise us,
and hope is harder when it cannot come by prediction
any more than by wishing. But stop dithering.
The young ask the old to hope. What will you tell them?
Tell them at least what you say to yourself.

This is what I say to myself: Whatever our chances of surviving, we define ourselves in the present moment by what we do. There are two basic tasks in front of us. First, we should commit some of our energy to movements that focus on the question of justice in this world, especially those of us with the privilege that is rooted in that injustice. As a middle-class American white man, I can see plenty of places to continue working, in movements dedicated to ending white supremacy, patriarchy, capitalism, and U.S. wars of domination.

I also think there is important work to be done in experiments to prepare for what will come in this new future that we can’t yet describe in detail. Whatever the limits of our predictive capacity, we can be pretty sure we will need ways of organizing ourselves to help us live in a world with less energy and fewer material goods. We all have to develop the skills needed for that world (such as farming and gardening with fewer inputs, food preparation and storage, and basic tinkering), and we will need to recover a deep sense of community that has disappeared from many of our lives. This means abandoning a sense of ourselves as consumption machines, which the contemporary culture promotes, and deepening our notions of what it means to be humans in search of meaning. We have to learn to tell different stories about our sense of self, our connection to others, and our place in nature. The stories we tell will matter, as will the skills we learn.

Berry’s basis for hope begins with a recognition of where we are and who we are, at our best:

Found your hope, then, on the ground under your feet.
Your hope of Heaven, let it rest on the ground
underfoot. Be lighted by the light that falls
freely upon it after the darkness of the nights
and the darkness of our ignorance and madness.
Let it be lighted also by the light that is within you,
which is the light of imagination. By it you see
the likeness of people in other places to yourself
in your place. It lights invariably the need for care
toward other people, other creatures, in other places
as you would ask them for care toward your place and you.

In my own life, I continue to work on those questions of justice in existing movements, but I have shifted a considerable amount of time to helping build local networks that can create a place for those experiments. Different people will move toward different efforts depending on talents and temperaments; we should all follow our hearts and minds to apply ourselves where it makes sense, given who we are and where we live. After offering several warnings about arrogance, I’m not about to suggest I know best what work other people should do. If there is any reason for hope, it will be in direct proportion to our capacity for humility and seeing ourselves as part of, not on top of, the larger living world. Berry ends that Sabbath poem not with false optimism but a blunt reminder of how easy it is for us to fall out of right relation with ourselves, others, and the larger living world:

No place at last is better than the world. The world
is no better than its places. Its places at last
are no better than their people while their people
continue in them. When the people make
dark the light within them, the world darkens.

The argument I have made rests on an unsentimental assessment of the physical world and the life-threatening consequences of human activity over the past 10,000 years. We would be wise not to plan on supernatural forces or human inventions to save us from ourselves. It is unlikely that we will be delivered to a promised land by divine or technological intervention. Wishing the world were less harsh will not magically make it less harsh. We should not give into the temptation to believe in magic. As James Howard Kunstler puts it, we should stop “clamoring desperately for rescue remedies that would allow them to continue living exactly the way they were used to living, with all the accustomed comforts.”

But we should keep telling stories. Our stories do not change the physical world, but they have the potential to change us. In that sense, the poet Muriel Rukeyser was right when she said, “The universe is made of stories, not of atoms.”

Whatever particular work intellectuals do, they are also storytellers. Artists tell stories, but so do scientists and engineers, teachers and preachers. Our work is always both embedded in a story and advancing a story. Intellectual work matters not just for what it discovers about how the world works, but for what story it tells about those discoveries.

To think apocalyptically is not to give up on ourselves, but only to give up on the arrogant stories we modern humans have been telling about ourselves. Our hope for a decent future — indeed, any hope for even the idea of a future — depends on our ability to tell stories not of how humans have ruled the world but how we can live in the world. The royal must give way to the prophetic and the apocalyptic. The central story of power — that the domination/subordination dynamic is natural and inevitable — must give way to stories of dignity, solidarity, equality. We must resist not only the cruelty of repression but the seduction of comfort.

The songs we sing matter at least as much as the machines we build. Power always assumes it can control. Our task is to resist that control. Gorka offers that reminder, of the latent power of our stories, in the fancifully titled song “Flying Red Horse”:

They think they can tame you, name you and frame you,
Aim you where you don’t belong.
They know where you’ve been but not where you’re going,
And that is the source of the songs.

Robert Jensen is a journalism professor at the University of Texas at Austin and board member of the Third Coast Activist Resource Center. His latest book is ‘All My Bones Shake: Radical Politics in the Prophetic Voice’ (Soft Skull Press). He is also the author of ‘Getting Off: Pornography and the End of Masculinity’ (South End Press).

The Illusion of Time with Dr. Bruce H. Lipton

Thanks, G!

This video below is so “timely” for what I’ve been discussing with people since last night. At the Farmers Market today, my 82-year friend’s daughter joined us, and we started sharing about Dreamtime and working things out there instead of in waking life because you get faster results that way.

Last night, I tried to explain to David a sort of backwards method I’ve been using to prepare my “future Self” to be able to send healing energy and unconditional love back to my “present Self.” We discussed how this seems like a roundabout way — why not just heal and have unconditional love for my present Self right “now”? Of course, that’s a valid question, but the healing work feels very deep. It involves learning, imbibing and embodying very ancient wisdom now, so that by the time I’m in, say my 60’s or 80’s, I will have the skills I need to be able to go back in time to change the current trajectory of our planet. (** Just to clarify, I am fully aware that I’m not “the One” who will change things all by myself, but since my best range of influence is over myself, that’s what I’m focusing on for this particular process. The ripple is in effect!)

Looking at the oppression, surveillance and control mechanisms in the pipeline, it occurred to me that one day all the wisdom currently available in books or online could be banned. Sound crazy? It’s really not. I learned yesterday that giving Tarot readings or “fortune telling” was illegal in the US until 1984 — a victory that came only after a nine year court battle and literal witch trial of Z Budapest. Earlier this year, I got the sense that one of my favorite Rune websites might disappear overnight. I didn’t know which one, but fortunately, I had printed out the material I wanted from my favorite sites, because just the other day, I found that one website no longer exists. Thousands of pages of knowledge, history and self-empowerment: gone! Like it never existed.

People assume that the CISPA, PIPA and SOPA internet bills address online pirating or political censorship; however, history shows that in many newly Communist countries, for example, the spiritual and religious people and books get persecuted, censored and eventually destroyed. Anything or anyone supporting the soul, the spirit and the human element gets eliminated in a totalitarian regime, because tyranny cannot tolerate sparks of the Divine in humans. So long as those sparks remain, certain key elements cannot be controlled.

People who assume that the NSA spying is just to silence political critics or to predict behavior have not studied history or the transhuman (artificial intelligence-machine-human hybrid) agenda. I, for one, believe the soul, the spirit and humanity are worth preserving, but I’ve also begun to realize why ancient cultures memorized and embodied mythology and rituals. What happens if the internet goes down (whether via an internet kill switch or due to a grid-destroying solar flare)? What happens if certain books filled with useful esoteric knowledge or liberating ideals get burned?

History books already reflect the victors’ propaganda, and I am personally appalled at the watered down curricula of public schools and colleges. It would be embarrassing if it weren’t so obviously part of a larger agenda to dumb down the populace and short circuit critical thinking and dissent. (If you don’t believe me, please watch “Who Controls the Children –Schools Deliberately Dumb Down Children,” a videotaped meeting from 1992.)

Last night I received a strong message of not being adequately prepared right now for the challenges humanity and our entire planet face. The surveillance state has become too pervasive; the artificial intelligence too smart; and the perversion of Nature via GMO’s, fracking, mining, pollution, “spills,” “accidents” and weather modification too far gone — right now. I sensed that for all my esoteric knowledge and intuitive awareness, I do not currently possess all the skills I need in order to buttress this planet at this moment into a successful timeline and dimensional shift. However, I also sensed that if I devote myself right now even more deeply to learning, acquiring and integrating such skills, then there will come a time when I do know exactly what to do. Part of that wisdom will include knowing precisely how to return to this moment in “time” in order to trigger all the changes necessary for the desired planetary outcome.

Joanna Macy talks about a variation of this process in her book, “Active Hope: How to Face the Mess We’re in without Going Crazy.” She invites groups to address seemingly impossible problems in today’s world by imagining themselves as people in the “future” sharing how they had overcome this challenge at an earlier point in history. They congratulate themselves for their courage in creating the Great Turning, and they explain to each other all the intricacies of strategy as memories rather than as a brainstorming session for something yet to happen. Leaving the perceptions of linear reality seems to shake loose the creative process, easing burnout and discouragement. I’m not sure I’m even explaining it well enough here, but perhaps Dr. Bruce Lipton’s video below will elaborate or contextualize these thoughts.

Active Hope

Last evening, David and I attended a lecture by author, translator and activist Joanna Macy regarding her most recent book called “Active Hope: How to Face the Mess We’re in without Going Crazy.” Co-authored with Chris Johnstone, this book takes an unflinching look at what Joanna describes as three streams: 1) the increasing fascism and control/destruction of individual rights and our environment; 2) “The Great Unraveling,” as these structures begin to suffocate under their own weight and insider exposures; and 3) “The Great Turning,” also called the Awakening, the new environmentalism, the Golden Age, and many other things.

Joanna’s talk discussed three aspects of activism, corresponding to these streams: 1) political/structural attempts to ” “slow down” the devastation, using the system to improve the system; 2) development of creative new ways to solve problems, such as the many eco-friendly and community-based start-up endeavors; and 3) a return to Old Wisdom and complete reconnection with Mother Earth — a recognition of our own hands as full of stardust and full of Earth.

Here’s the description we received from the Madison Area Permaculture Guild:

“Joanna Macy, world renowned deep ecologist and eco-spirituality elder, will be in Madison and present a public talk at First Unitarian Society. For decades, the octogenarian Macy has been spreading the word of the needed Great Turning from an Industrial Growth Society to a Life Sustaining Society. She teaches practices to help bring this about, starting with spiritual awakening.This is her first time speaking in Madison and an amazing opportunity.

http://www.activehope.info/index.html

“Active Hope is about finding, and offering, our best response to the crisis of sustainability unfolding in our world. It offers tools that help us face the mess we’re in, as well as find and play our role in the collective transition, or Great Turning, to a life-sustaining society.

“’Books about social and ecological change 
too often leave out a vital component: 
how do we change ourselves 
so that we are strong enough 
to fully contribute to this great shift? 
Active Hope fills this gap beautifully, 
guiding readers on a journey of gratitude, grief, 
interconnection and, ultimately, transformation.’ 
~Naomi Klein, author of The Shock Doctrine.


“At the heart of this book is the idea that Active Hope is something we do rather than have. It involves being clear what we hope for and then playing our role in the process of bringing that about. The journey of finding, and offering, our unique contribution to the Great Turning helps us to discover new strengths, open to a wider network of allies and experience a deepening of our aliveness. When our responses are guided by the intention to act for healing of our world, the mess we’re in not only becomes easier to face, our lives also become more meaningful and satisfying.”

Amazon’s description of Active Hope follows:

“The challenges we face can be difficult even to think about. Climate change, the depletion of oil, economic upheaval, and mass extinction together create a planetary emergency of overwhelming proportions. Active Hope shows us how to strengthen our capacity to face this crisis so that we can respond with unexpected resilience and creative power. Drawing on decades of teaching an empowerment approach known as the Work That Reconnects, the authors guide us through a transformational process informed by mythic journeys, modern psychology, spirituality, and holistic science. This process equips us with tools to face the mess we’re in and play our role in the collective transition, or Great Turning, to a life-sustaining society.”

We found ourselves recognizing a kindred spirit in Joanna, as she expressed so many of the ideas that David and I regularly discuss. In particular, she assessed that political and community activism and new projects cannot by themselves overcome the challenges presented to humanity right now. They can slow things down and sprout new ideas, but those new ideas will wither without good soil and an internal shift that changes the way we view our world. As within, so without. As a Buddhist, Joanna discussed how her faith has helped her to engage challenges, and she giggled at the irony of a Buddhist writing a book about “hope.” The concept of Active Hope as something one does, rather than just a passive wishing or attachment to results, brought a sense of groundedness, mindfulness and empowerment to her activism. She shared the idea that Active Hope occurs moment by moment as we choose which kind of world we wish to engage and nurture into being.

She also reminded us that we can never know our own ripple effect in the Universe. We can never truly know how those moment by moment decisions affect another person, animal, being or the entire, integrated collective. But we can know what feels better moment by moment, and we can continue to choose the world we envision and love. Joanna gave a call to Visionaries to hold the vision and to transform ourselves from within so that we’re ready to manifest that vision. We loved her talk, as did the packed sanctuary at the First Unitarian Society, also known as Frank Lloyd Wright’s home congregation.

We also loved the fact that she’s in her 80’s and continuing to travel around the world and inspire local projects. She acknowledged how Madison has sparked imaginations and hearts around the world, modeling peaceful, high vibe activism. She reminded us not to give up. Just because people experience a setback or a discouraging moment, doesn’t mean to throw in the towel. She exhorted those in attendance to keep going, keep shining, and keep bringing in the world we wish to create: “the world is watching Madison.”

Another highlight of the evening was Joanna’s reciting of some Rainer Maria Rilke poetry she had translated from the original German:

I live my life in widening circles
that reach out across the world.
I may not complete this last one
but I give myself to it.

I circle around God, around the primordial tower.
I’ve been circling for thousands of years
and I still don’t know: am I a falcon,
a storm, or a great song?

~ Ranier Maria Rilke ~

(Rilke’s Book of Hours:Love Poems to God, translated by Anita Barrows and Joanna Macy)

She finds poetry speaks to our times much more than prose and also recited a poem by Milwaukee resident Susa Silvermarie:

A Thousand Years of Healing

From whence my hope, I cannot say,
except it grows in the cells of my skin,
in my envelope of mysteries it hums.
In this sheath so akin to the surface of the earth
it whispers. Beneath
the wail and dissonance in the world,
hope’s song grows. Until I know
that with this turning
we put a broken age to rest.
We who are alive at such a cusp
now usher in
one thousand years of healing!

Winged ones and four-leggeds,
grasses and mountains and each tree,
all the swimming creatures,
even we, wary two-leggeds
hum, and call, and create
the Changing Song. We remake
all our relations. We convert
our minds to the earth. In this turning time
we finally learn to chime and blend,
attune our voices; sing the vision
of the Great Magic we move within.
We begin
the new habit, getting up glad
for a thousand years of healing.

– Susa Silvermarie

I will leave you with a video: Active Hope Show 1 – The Shambhala Warrior Prophecy

Joanna Macy tells the Shambhala Warrior Prophecy, twelve centuries old and from the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. Introduced by Chris Johnstone, this is the first episode of The Active Hope Show, which explores insights and practices that help bring out our best responses to the planetary emergency we face.

Aho!