The Descent

So, there it is. A total wipe out.

For now, let’s stop battling and shoring up strategies. Instead of floundering around for certainties, for pockets of hope, let’s accept the invitation into something else. That is, a profound stripping away. The world that was, that we knew, that perhaps we loved, is fast being mutilated. Right now I’m not sure the United States of America will survive. I am not sure the United Kingdom will survive. Neither am I sure Europe or South Africa will survive. Certainly Iraq, Syria, and many other places have not survived. Actually, I’m not sure anything will survive in this age of climate mass extinction and nuclear codes in the … well, you know… the full catastrophe of the small handed one.

So, as we enter into solstice week, the encroaching night at the heart of seasonal shifts, let’s not run from defeat, but welcome its bitter medicine. Let’s taste helplessness, futility, exhaustion, confusion, upset, devastation, pain, abandonment, and the fear of not knowing if we will survive. This, friends, is what many others have felt before, (Chile’s stolen C.I.A election). This, is what many are experiencing in far, far more deadly ways right now (Aleppo.) And this, is what some have gone through with horrific pain and at high speed, (Oakland housing crisis & Ghost Ship fire)

Yes, we can draw together and warm ourselves in like-minded company, but not to exclude the encroaching night, instead to encourage our entry into its deeper teaching. Like therapy, usually we have to feel our deepest wound, the pain of it, before we can begin to circle back into health.

The pain we feel is the removal or our illusory comfort zone where we thought everything was sort of OK. But as everything is not OK, we need the curtains pulled back. Behold, the psychopathic, heartless gaze of the deadly machinery of predator oligarchic colonial capitalism. Behold its decaying, soulless, craven, narcissistic, violent, and ugly face. It’s sheer lack of beauty, grace, sanctity, poetry, love, and wise counsel. This machinery is set to destroy everything for profit and power. Before we can take it on anew, we have to fully get the depth of its utter moral and spiritual bankruptcy. It’s total lack of humanity. We have to FEEL, not just intellectualize. This is so we can really get those already sacrificed to its relentless agenda.

So, we have a new curriculum. One that many marginalized, oppressed, and vilified people have already been schooled in. One that the Indigenous Peoples of Standing Rock know well, which is why so many were pulled to go there, like moths to a glowing light. We needed their courage, their guidance, their deep understanding of sacred resistance for these times.

We will also need everything learnt from our spiritual practice. Ajahn Chah said that practice is preparation for when real challenge arises. That preparation is over. Now is show time. We may not be in perfect shape, we certainly won’t be in perfect shape, but if we undergo the stripping down of this solstice devastation, if we can hold to each breath in order to track this unlit pathway; we will be taken into the sanctuary of our unshakeable, indivisible, brilliantly sane, undying, and loving heart. And it is this true heart that will save us. With this heart, tuned to the deeper intelligence of the Dharma, the spirit, we will be ready for whatever is ahead. Together, we will get through this.

 The Ending of Hope

 Crushing abrupt
tectonic shifting
power
washing away bridges
into chaotic descent.
Ice melt, ocean rise, land erodes,
and certainty makes no sense.

Blind election vortex
schemes twisted thoughts
conspire and distract
within intensifying solar fire.

Yet, between
this thought
and the next,
in that unguarded pause,
hope waits its constant song
where angels soothe
and breathe their shining
along uncertain pathways.

Their voices lilt high
over fields of desolation.
For all times, they say,
we are the holders of your dream.
The whispering seed planted,
the remainder of your journey
through the bleakest watch of night.

So, invoke angels appearing
within this shattering world,
dragging the light
into shadow kings
that march fear along
highways of predator folly
and perpetual toxic news.

But, when even hope vanishes,
and what can’t be won
disturbs our waking nights.
Then, in that ripe hour,
distant bells will summon
our hallowed dissension.
As jaws soften and hands open,
prayer turns to a new dimension.

The movement beyond city voices.
A gentle wind that blows so quiet.
A silent singing from this turning earth.
A calm knowing of life’s worth.

The dream of this fevered longing
will wake us up cold.
There is a knowing within each breath
that keeps this holy world gathered
within spheres of our communion

Here we always are,
moving in the ancient stillness
with fluid steps tracking
our one recurring song.
It echoes across the halls of destruction and creation,
this timeless breath with you, my love.
It’s a long, cold, lonely night.

— Thanissara, Dec 19th, ‘16

angel
The Wounded Angel  by Hugo Simberg, Finland.

 

Advertisements

Electoral College: Last Stand Against the Putin-Trump Disunited Oligarchic States of Oil. One final act, (for now!)

The aligning interests between Russian President Vladimir Putin, Russia’s choice for U.S. president (Donald Trump), and Big Oil represents the gravest threat to humanity (and democracy) since the rise of the Axis powers in the 1930s.  — Mark Summer

So here we are, on the cusp of handing over the power to destroy the world to someone we wouldn’t even trust to look after our cat for one night. This amounts to nothing short of a screaming red alert, a wailing siren across the lands, an unprecedented and terrifying threat to everything we hold dear. If you felt on election night, as I did, that American democracy suffered a coup d’état, you were right. While there are many causes that brought about this elections outcome, the core of Trump’s pyrrhic victory points to Putin’s hijack of American power.  So, while a very slim chance, we can take one last stand, which is to write the Electoral College the next few days. (Details of how to below.) This is the very last ditch attempt to overturn Trump’s tainted and increasingly illegitimate ascendency to the highest office in the land.

This action transcends partisan politics. Republicans, Democrats, and Independents all agree on the danger of a Trump presidency, particularly in the light of mounting evidence of Russia’s involvement. (During the campaign more than 50 Republican former national security officials and foreign policy experts co-signed a letter opposing him. In their words, ‘he would be a dangerous president who would put the ‘nation’s sercurity at risk.’) But we don’t really need anyone to tell us what we already know, that a Trump presidency threatens the very fabric of American society. It will rip apart the already threadbare rights of marginalized, struggling, and oppressed, and will undermine constitutional freedoms such as the right to protest, the right to free press, and the right to free speech. But perhaps we still have to understand that the extensive surveillance and powers of State afforded to Trump and his craven cabinet, could very well mercilessly erode each and every hard won rights for you, for me, for everyone.

A Trump presidency will also likely take the environment, the global community, and all species to the brink of collapse. It absolutely threatens a sustainable Earth for future generations, even to the point of endangering human civilization. We cannot allow the demonization of climate science and the ripping up for the Paris COP21 agreement. Neither can we afford a reckless acceleration of extreme oil extraction alongside the total decimation of environmental protections, and unrestrained state sanction of severe predatory capitalism that seeks to colonize indigenous lands, state parks, and wilderness sanctuaries. We cannot allow the further dismantling of worker and union rights in order to cement an archaic feudalism that inflicts degradation and poverty while shamelessly and vindictively misdirecting anger toward the vulnerable, further endangering and demonizing Muslims, people of color, immigrants, the LBGTQ community, and women.

So friends, please set aside half an hour, even less, the next few days to do this one act of contacting the Electoral College. I feel, even as a newish citizen, I have a duty to implore the Electoral College to protect this United States of America, your children, grandchildren, and future generations. If you’re up for it, below are details of how to do that. Also below is the constitutional justification for an Electoral mandate to stop Trump. Right now is exactly the historic circumstance that the Electoral College was made for.(Non USA citizens can also lodge concerns)

HOW:

Online: Go to Ask the Electors to voice your concerns. Once there, you can write your letter. Here is the template I used. (Thanks to Maia Duerr for this, founder Five Directors Consulting, Liberated Life Project, former ED of Buddhist Peace Fellowship.)

Snail Mail: This is a great site to write via snail mail to your State representatives at the Electoral College. (I just sent a letter to all 11 electoral representatives in Tennessee.)

Protest: Join in protests at State Capitals across the country on December 19th.

This is also an action (below) that keeps the pressure on to investigate voter fraud & suppression, and the hijacking of the election.

Call: The Department of Justice is tallying phone calls regarding those who want the Vote Audited. Call 202-514-2000 and choose option number 4. At the end of the message, state your full name and say, “I am a US citizen, I live in _____, __ and that I would like to add my voice to all those calling for an audit of the 2016 presidential election.”

WHY:

The Electoral College is tasked with stopping someone who is:

  1. A demagogue
  2. Cannot practice foreign policy and national defence of the country appropriately.
  3. Who is influenced by a foreign power.

In the Federalist No. 1, Hamilton warned leaders about demagogues and tyrants, as did Madison at the constitutional convention. With this in mind, a series of checks and balances – the senate as a “necessary fence” and the Electoral College with an independent, non-partisan vote – have the authority to stop such a person from becoming president.

Trump qualifies as an authoritarian demagogue on the following counts:

  • His use of the presidency and world stage to feed his megalomaniac narcissistic need for domination, affirmation, and sycophantic adoration.
  • His extreme vilification of those challenge him, even to the tiniest degree, using the full force of his new found power in attempts to destroy them.
  • His threat to undermine and remove democratic checks and balances by attacking the free press, right to protest, disrespecting government feedback loops, avoiding answerability, and refusing culpability.
  • His hypnotic and repetitive statements that only he alone can solve America’s problems while at the same time dismissing and undermining intelligence briefings, the diplomatic corps, the state department, the C.I.A., and other norms of government that ensure responsibility and accountability.
  • His extremely divisive oratory demonizes marginalized peoples and communities, while energizing a fascistic white supremacist agenda, the most crass forms of racism, repulsive misogynistic rhetoric, and the sadistic belittling of the disabled and vulnerable.
  • Boasting he is above the law, “When you are a celebratory, you can do anything and they’ll let you.” “I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot someone and not loose votes,” and his invitation to Russia to hack the DNC, Mrs Clinton’s emails, and to interfere with the election process.
  • His disregard (gaslighting) of facts while promoting wild and gross untruths at the same time responding to criticism and fact checkers by seeking to vengefully discredit critics, or their businesses. This has led to people receiving death threats, to companies losing $millions on the stock market overnight, and to legitimizing a violent culture of witch hunting.

Trump has numerous conflicts of interest and therefore cannot practice foreign policy or protect the national defence of the country appropriately:

We have already seen many conflicts of interest as Trump flagrantly uses his new position to further his personal assets. His private phone calls to heads of state, the ignoring of intelligence advice, diplomatic norms, and government checks and balances, has, for example, already triggered an alarming response from China. Provoked by his pandering to Taiwan and his dismissal the the “One China” policy, China just flew a nuclear bomber over the South China Sea as a direct message to Trump.

However, Trump’s most brazen conflict of interests is the Tillerson-Trump-Putin Oil alliance, which, due to policy being influenced by Russian interests, will definitely weaken America’s ability to negotiate as a world leader, while threatening historic alliances. In brief, Trump’s conflation of political power, the presidential office, and his and his families own business interests will usher in a full-blown American Kleptocracy.

A Trump presidency will be wholly influenced by a foreign power.

Analysis from the below seventeen agencies attest to Putin and Russia’s direct influence and manipulation of the election in favor of Trump. (Thanks to Genevieve Chase, founder & ED of American Women’s Veterans for this list.)

  1. Twenty-Fifth Air Force, United States Air Force
  2. Defense Intelligence and Security Command, United States Army
  3. Central Intelligence Agency
  4. Coast Guard Intelligence
  5. Defense Intelligence Agency
  6. Office of Intelligence and Counterintelligence
  7. Office of Intelligence and Analysis
  8. Bureau of Intelligence and Research
  9. Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, Treasury
  10. Office of National Security Intelligence, Drug Enforcement Administration
  11. Intelligence Branch, Federal Bureau of Investigation
  12. Marine Corps Intelligence Activity, United States Marine Corps Defense
  13. National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, Defense
  14. National Reconnaissance Office
  15. National Security Agency/Central Security Service
  16. Office of Naval Intelligence, United States Navy
  17. Director of National Intelligence who oversees all of the aforementioned.

This sets an extremely dangerous precedent, which opens the door to Russian blackmail of the president, his staff, and the GOP. Further, Trump’s proposed Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, Chairman of ExxonMobile, is someone who has deep ties with Putin and Russian oil interests. Besides ExxonMobile is a corporation under investigation for threatening global sustainability due to deliberate policies of misinformation about the devastating impact of climate change. As said by Bill McKibben,

Exxon helped organise the most consequential lie in human history.

Tillerson, Oil, and Russia:

Tillerson is close to Vladimir Putin. In 2013, Putin awarded Tillerson the Order of Friendship, one of the highest honors Russia gives to foreign citizens. Tillerson came up through the ranks at ExxonMobil by managing the company’s Russia account. After Tillerson became CEO, ExxonMobil bet billions on Russia’s vast oil resources through a partnership with Russian oil giant Rosneft, owned partly by the Kremlin. Putin himself attended the 2011 signing ceremony for the deal. Russia has already indicated it would welcome Tillerson being named America’s top diplomat. Further, Tillerson has advocated that the economic sanctions imposed by the U.S. on Russia over the crisis in Ukraine be dropped and economic ties between the two nations be restored. When sanctions were imposed, the Arctic drill deal between ExxonMobil and Russia tanked and ExxonMobil suffered as much as $1 billion in losses. Basically, Trump’s appointment of Tillerson is the equivalent of the proverbial fox guarding the hen house.

None of this is good news at all. To be honest, it’s hard to finish on an up note. Right now, there really isn’t one. Though, on a brighter day, I do believe that the up note is that human resilience is tremendous. When we pull together in non-violent acts of resistance, as demonstrated at Standing Rock, we begin to generate a different kind of power. The power of collaborative community. It is this power that will ultimately show the exit door to the reign of Moy’s. (A term used by the 12 Indigenous Grandmother’s, which means boy-men (not necessarily limited to gender), who want it all for themselves at the expense of everyone else.) This is the last ugly gasp and grasp of the Moy’s. It has to be. We have to organise to turn this around. But meanwhile, it seems clear that we are being asked to enter into the depth of the shadow, to see clearly the total catastrophe so we can wise up and be fully on board for the resistance movement. We do that while never giving up on midwifing the new world still struggling to be born.

end-empire