Posted by: Michael George Daniel | November 29, 2007

Crossroads

We are at a cross roads in many respects. The Great Turning has been offered as an allegory for this crossroads, a time of great upheaval and a corresponding opportunity for a leap in consciousness. There is another crossroads, one of philosophy with regard to how we respond to the situation. There are two paths, the more pragmatic and the more spiritual. Both are needed and necessary. Time is short. Pragmatically, the essence of our environmental and spiritual crisis relates directly to the human population and the carrying limits of the planet. This is a topic that is buried deep beneath layers of obfuscation and denial. The press seldom reports the relationship of population and environmental stress. The Catholic Church deems it a forbidden subject. Yet, as we have described, the human race is like a batch of yeast in a wine barrel. We are quickly irrupting into oblivion. The power and influence of our institutions is keeping most people in the dark about the cause of this grave situation, and therefore about effective solutions. Ultimately, we need to look to the corporate and governmental influences for the lack of clear reporting about this issue.

The more we understand about the issues of sustainability, the more difficult the problem appears, and the more disheartened we can become. Understanding the corporate influence worldwide offers a jumping off point for our creative energy. Moreover, given the clear energy consumption dominance of the United States, using some twenty-five percent of the world’s energy to serve five percent of its population, we are drawn to a fine point of the issue: focus on the America corporation to yield highly leveraged results.

We haven’t far to look for an opportunity. Corporations have over time accumulated enormous influence through the aggregation of rights that currently usurp the rights of individuals. If you think about the absurdity of this situation, in which the institutions have accumulated this influence and used it to ensure their continued dominance, it is clear that there is a dangerous imbalance. Given corporate influence on the democratic process in this country, we have entered into a period that is a mockery of true democracy. Working effectively within the system can be achieved by repealing the laws that support the excessive rights of corporations and restoring democracy. Given the evidence of a plethora of people and communities that are aligned with moving in the right environmental direction, a repeal of these laws would open the flood gates of active change. It was the Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad decision according to Ward Morehouse in his article Greening the Corporation that initiated this process of accumulated rights for corporations. More to the point, Morehouse has clear advice: “While the agenda for action in arenas we the people define is long, complicated and still unfolding, a good place to begin is to take away corporate personhood. That means working toward the reversal of Santa Clara…”

The fact that we can drill down through the competing issues and identify a specific target toward which we might focus our collective energy is uplifting indeed. It is important that we allow this inspiration to take hold in each of us, and move us to action. But it is not all there is to do.

Focusing on the problem and the underlying institutional inertia supporting this aspect of the problem brings energy to it. Given the incredible power of these institutions, a strategy of removing energy from them can also be considered as effective and appealing. We might think of Santa Clara as an Achilles heel of sorts. Shooting an arrow there would indeed do a lot to restore democracy to America. But the institution of our federal government is also tremendously entrenched in the conventional paradigm. Here we face additional power against which it may not be advisable to rail. We might, instead, focus on removing our energy from the systems that are so integral to the paradigm. Changing lifestyles, leaving jobs with automatic withholding, minimizing income and income tax can create some pressure. Building stronger local governments, getting involved in local self-governance will also help. Demonstrating for peace and making it clear that moral choices hold sway over pragmatic, militaristic, fear-based defense and aggression is also needed. Creatively, we might move into the intention of removing our energy from systems that promote the atrocities we currently endure. In doing so, solutions and methods will emerge. If its important, the time to begin is now.

Given the uncertain responses to our strategic inquiries, we are once again brought with certainty back to the heart of the matter, our spiritual response to a, perhaps, insurmountable problem. There is no rational response to our current situation. Our role in this time is to open to this experience. In A Course In Miracles, it is said that when we defend, we simply attack ourselves. When we plan for the future, we simply repeat the conditionings of the past. We fool ourselves into thinking our perceptions are the reality and our dreams the illusion. But in the final analysis, from a spiritual point of view, this is backwards. Our perceptions, our fears, our plans, our defenses are simply means of keeping us from moving into the reality of a common conscious among humans, among life forms, and among all aspects of the universe. From a spiritual point of view, there is only one approach to working miracles. And as A Course In Miracle tells us, there is no order of magnitude for miracles. It is a matter of knowing that the solution is there. That we already have it, that is already deployed and all we need to do is open to it. This is why we have spent some time in this discussion expressing a vision of the future. Why we have elucidated characteristics of this vision, and why we have stated them with confidence.

In this book, I have spent a great deal of time learning to speak from a position of authority about that which I have to offer. After all, all I have to offer is all that I have to offer. I have tried to leave some of these expressions of doubt in the text; not all have been purged during editing. It is important that we move through doubt into a place of knowing. I know that the expression of doubts and denials, shells and hubris, self depreciation and universal truths can eventually result in the interjection of truth into the world in the form of words on a page. I know that this injection of energy can change the world. It will affect people and it will move things along. All I have to offer is all I have to offer. That is what is here and it will go out into the world in the form of energy that is never lost. Regardless of what happens over the next five, ten, fifty or one hundred years, our collective consciousness holds the energy offered here.

I offer this to my eight year old daughter who only the other day told me she was mad at what was happening to the Earth. Unbeknownst to me, my fixation on this subject was apparent on many levels. Cassandra is her name. She has a message for the world. She attends Earth Charter meetings and, sadly, is exposed to the confusion, fear, sadness and anger that are part of a community coming to grips with our mutual destiny. As a child, all she wants is an intact world to grow up into. It is my role to know that she will have that. That all of the attributes delineated in this text are elements of the ultimate truth we will reach. And despite the inability of my rational mind to comprehend how this will happen, it will happen.

In 2008 there is a presidential election. I am confused about the role of this event in our broader lives. Does it matter who gets elected, what they say and what they do? Is there a role for a federal government other than to maintain the arsenal that will surely be deployed to obtain the energy and resources we need when the collapse comes? No, there is no role if it includes wars of aggression. What, collectively, is our vision of the awesome destructiveness that is deployed in the world today? How might the ultimate use of this force be detoured? When we defend we simply attack ourselves. I have stopped studying karate because intuitively it became clear that I could not evolve if I continued to entertain images of being attacked. I was in effect attacking myself. Collectively, as a nation, and as a world population, it is time to realize this very fact; that to defend ourselves simply keeps our collective consciousness from knowing itself.

It is time for that consciousness to know itself; from that mighty event, all things spring. This has been true forever, and will be so forever more. What does it look like for our collective consciousness to know itself? Sit quietly and listen for this answer. Do not rise for the phone. Move into being, and stay there. And when the creative urge of your life force springs forth, abide it. Do not allow the chatter of your mind to direct you away from this truth and back to the corporate/government conditionings of needs, wants and desires.

Understand that it is now your role to join this super consciousness. There are many ways to access it. The internet is only a proxy, but it is closer yet. Write. Blog. Talk with your neighbors. Be an example. Quit your job. Install renewable energy, grow food, invest in your community, in the necessities of life. Intend that you will do this, as the future unfolds and you will do it.

We are here to serve entropy. The vast accumulation of fossil fuels over hundreds of millions of years was an accumulation of potential energy waiting for a mechanism to be released. Such is the universal law of entropy. Humankind’s role is the agent of release. That is a clear truth. It also implies, clearly, our destiny, to simply burn out with the exhaustion of this accumulated energy. In the meantime, what will be the nature of the world? What will be our nature? We have yet to escape from the fears of our ancestors. Now, we have a chance to see how this escape serves our destiny inexplicably for the better. When there is no other choice but to become extinct, then perhaps moral laws will have meaning. When our rationality is proved misdirected and useless, perhaps then we will orient to all that is left, a moral code of human super-conscious in touch with all of the remaining life on Earth. We will be spoken to through the spirit of the universe.

And what then? If it were so, what might happen? Is there a miracle inside of this scenario? This is a scenario of crucifixion. We know the story well. The story of Christ is but one version. We each live out our own crucifixion during mid-life crises and at other times during our lives. As alcoholics and addicts, we actually are given a gift of resurrection in the face of impossibility. Just go to an AA meeting sometime and listen to the speakers tell their stories. You will hear people tell of the most extreme despair and hopelessness, from which the have returned. What can we learn from this experience? This is not learning with just our head. If you have ever had such a bottoming out experience in your life, you are lucky. You have a much deeper knowledge of resurrection. This is knowledge is valuable. Do not lose that sense. We will need it to guide us through a necessary period of hopelessness.

In this case, the hopelessness that will grip the global culture will be the stepping stone to a new consciousness. We can only hope and pray for the soul’s that will sacrifice their physical forms for this to happen. We can only honor this sacrifice but accepting it as the gift it is and transcending the false reality our senses tells us, and moving into the universal truth.

On my desk, at this moment, is a tiny toy snake. This creature has been with me the last few days. I decided it was an expression of muse. This has been the year of the snake. We had one in the shed. There have been numerous black snakes in the yard. One day, while tripping through the narrow path behind the office, we encountered a snake on the little path on our way over to town hall. At a Modern Mystic Workshop, in the garden behind the bookstore, we sat on wooden chairs near a fine white pine tree. In the branches, not more than three feet from my head, and some three feet above ground level, a large black racer sat and watched our tiny gather. We were talking about spirit, about sustainability, about aligning our energy with the universe. My intuition about all of these snakes did not fail me. They told me each time that it was okay, that I was on the path of wisdom that is handed down from the universe. It was okay, they told me, that there is not a lot of reference support in this work, that I am relying on my feeling for the truth. The message will still have impact, they tell me.

Now, on my desk, this toy snake has somehow positioned itself directly in front of the keyboard, looking right at my. I don’t know how this exactly happened. I am winding down the message here. What else needs to be said, I ask my snake friend.

“Tell them about love again”, it says. “Tell them that all of the things they are so afraid to lose, all the reasons why the message of this book is difficult to accept will wash away with love. Turn to love and those other problems will fall away. They will move into the solution that can’t be explained, the future that can’t be seen, the love that can’t be felt.” What else, I telepathically ask. “Remember the Zen master. ‘What is the Buddha nature of the sky’, he asks. Remember the answer. You clap. Whack. ‘That all?’, says the Zen master. And you say ‘the sky is blue’ and Zen master will smile. ‘Come back next time for new kong-an!’ He will say.”

Thank you snake muse.

I started this book seeking to write about abundance. I recognized the need to open to the problem, not for the purpose of focusing solely on the injustice and frustration of it. More simply, opening to the problem allows us to move through the interferences that would keep us from fully living now in the moment. Anger and grief have a role to play. They are but one side of a two side coin, a dual experience that we can not escape as physical manifestations of spirit. We are here to experience our selves through the limitations of this dual system; hot/cold, good/bad, life/death. I recognize elements of the psychology that blocks us from moving into a fuller acceptance of our dual experience. This ultimately blocks the fire that would come from anger and grief to fuel our creativity and purest joy.

I have seen countless examples and models in life around me from which we might draw wisdom and confidence as we delve into the most unsolvable of all problems. The question kept emerging, how will we solve the unsolvable? I still do not know the rational answer.

Instead, we have had to orient to process; to a willingness to look at the past and history to understand our present circumstances and psychology. From this we can project into the future. From this we can see the pattern of projecting the past, in the form of beliefs and conditionings, into the future such that we are trapped. We learned to become un-trapped we must cultivate clear minds, unattached to the illusion of Maya.

Even as a path of enlightenment unfolded before us, and we were encouraged, a deepening understanding of the problems brought us correspondingly to greater despair. I suppose this is as it should be. We recognized that it is possible to get to the root of the issue; the Earth’s carrying capacity and human population. Of course, these topics are off limits in the main stream. We could sense the fruitlessness of the endeavor, yet were spurred on anyway. By what, from whence did this energy to keep going come? That was a clue.

We played detective. We read, researched, but we also wrote. Even when we did not know what to write, we wrote. We asked for guidance, perhaps not in so many words, but still that was the effect. We used rising emotions as springboards to ask questions and listen for answers. All around were examples of the process: a small business struggling to define itself and get off the ground, learning about psychotherapy and alternate modalities, emotional work; researching the internet, discovering the anarchist viewpoint and dieoff.org’s amazing array of intelligent articles; drilling down to core issues, summarizing the details in easier to understand frames, recognizing the immenseness of the problem. This is a process and this book is a step. It contains truths that are pertinent for me, my family, my community, my country and my world. As did Buddha, so must I try to disengage from results; there is nothing to accomplish here. It has all been set in motion and I am only playing my part. Yet, in the realm of all possibilities, there is exactly that, all possibilities.

In the Winter 2008 issue of Yes! Magazine, Parke Burgess seemed to read my mind, taking an excerpt from his own forthcoming book with the working title, The Nonviolent Mind and Society, by writing about the juxtaposition of Zen and anarchy. “Most people think of anarchy as ‘all hell breaking loose’. But what anarchy really means is ‘a society without hierarchies of power.’…in fact, power hierarchies themselves have proven to be exceptionally violent over the long course of history. The state is simply the institutionalization of ‘all hell breaking loose’ around a particular arrangement of power.” He goes on to finish off the point, “the promise of anarchism is that we might rise to the challenge of being transparent about our uses of power, intentional about sharing power in a more just way, and thoughtful about the corresponding organization of systems and structures”. Zen is the practice of cultivating clearness, a “freedom and openness of mind” that is honest and compassionate. “Thus, what we normally call Zen may be described as an anarchism of the mind; and what we normally call anarchism maybe understood as a Zen of social relations.”

We are all lead to truth in its different forms, if only we allow ourselves to listen. For me, it is a matter of sitting at a keyboard and allowing that which might come through my fingertips. This is energy that comes from above, heaven’s energy in the words of Feng Shui speaker and writer William Spear. It is inspired energy that is able to synthesize all of my experience, my energy body, with creative thought – the spark of life energy that is able to reverse the law of entropy and organize energy into a more complex form through the mechanism of my living being. That energy body rises from Earth’s energy. It is the sum of all my experiences, my ancestor’s experiences, the experiences of all that have come before me, human and non-human. There is no order of magnitude of miracles. There is no order of magnitude of the energetic experience my mind and body is capable of receiving, understanding and acting upon. I have been truly fortunate in these last several weeks, and last few years, to have been blessed with an adventurous heart that has taken me to far places. It has lead me away from all that I was told was true, but could feel was not true for me. Lead me on dreams and projections through books, meetings with so many coaches, therapists, counselors, friends, relatives and associates. I have found inspiration at every turn: the Yes! Magazine that arrived today, a new age mailer in a pile of junk mail, video tapes of Frances Moore Lappe’ teaching that our economic assumption of return on investment to existing capital is not a universal law, but rather a law fashioned by men, men with the existing capital! Or Matthew Fox speaking so eloquently about moving through grief into fire in our belly – the fire of anger and joy that can see us through this terrible place of isolation to which we have been lead. Inspiration in the tension of my emotions – a diminishing bank account, the looks of confusion on people’s faces as I try to explain what I’m trying to do; the feelings that come up in response like being back in the fourth grade trying unsuccessfully to play the piano. Yet maybe, just maybe, that wasn’t such a failure after all.

 

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