Tag Archives: Revolution

COP21: Trump Belches Death.

So, the DT cabal are aiming to pull out of the Paris Climate Agreement joining Syria (understandable, being now a pile of rubble) and Nicaragua (who challenged that it didn’t go far enough), on the very bottom rung and outside of the most hopeful global surge to save ourselves; to save animals, creatures, forests, wilderness, oceans, food sources, and available water from absolute, total, freaking wipe out.

This is the monstrous face of American power unveiled. Fuelled by an insane, nasty, stupid, boorish, violent, reckless, tantrum two-year old in chief. Marched along by white supremacists, fearful misogynists, Frankensteinian apocalyptic fetish fucks (take a bow Bannon), arms trading ghouls, and funded by billionaire oligarchs that have as much ethical empathy as a piece of shite.

And my dear home country Britain. Stop the Tories or be dragged along in America’s destructive, degrading, and despicable wake, which means loosing any remaining threads of caring social fabric because all your hard worked resources will sink into an endless financial bog of endless funding for the bombing of endless brown people. It will mean endless ratcheting up of militaristic policing and endless hyper-ventilating surveillance systems on the home front to ward off endless terrorist-lost-boys manipulated by sick soulless bastards who haunt dry desert hearts with the vomit from Saudi Arabia, funded of course by the UK/USA, (the UKSA, USKA, KUSA??)

This, our crashing colonial empire, shoring up its racist rule, it’s fear based legislation to stop demographic change, its enshrined denial of genocide and slavery, its repression of feminist power, its twisted grasping built on centuries of systemic plunder from our “Christian” 17th century European rationalizing “enlightenment” that divorced nature, that objectified and categorized every last wild, free, thing. Its nazi eugenics, its master race madness. Behold, here is our perverse, pickled, stunted child-man “saviour” arrived at its zenith.

Here’s what he offers – Death.
Well good.

We have to see the depth of depravity, of senseless destruction, the structural ground of our Eurocentric five hundred year gallop through Indigenous lands, our decimating stride through millions of brown and black people, our puritanical drive toward fetid, in-house patriarchal white bloodline notions ending in crematoriums, our inward depressed, addicted, collapse, and our craven sucking of the greenback dollar.

We are not only that. Of course we did good, great, and beautiful things too. But right now, we are that.

We have to feel into that groping man-child, what it is built on, the ingestion of it into our cellular structures handed down through breast milk, learnt guilt, compliance, collusions. We have to know it is also us. Enabled by our wafty movement to spiritual things while not seeing what we need to see because it’s all rather coarse. Here’s some news. Our high flying leaps will not save us. We have to enter the fray, the mess, to get it wrong, to fall onto our knees, to not know or have all the answers … again and again.

Anyhow we can’t avoid the fall.

Because, clearly we have to be more shaken down – to the core – to the bone – to the gut-wrenching realization that we are so on the line that there’s only one way out.

Find that way.
Listen.

Listen to your heart as she surges with the energy of the Earth’s immune charge to revolt. Follow her, speak out, say it. Throw off that “oh, it’s not nice”, “oh, I won’t be approved”, “oh, someone won’t like me.” Listen to oppressed peoples. Because they know. Read how they survived, how they sacrificed, how they won.

Join together in the resistance because everything we love depends on it. Do it now, with each breath, with each action moving the tide to reclaim our collective aching soul. Don’t do it for yourself.  Do it for the children, for the animals, for the Earth. For the precious sentiency of the web of life.

Do it because it needs to be done.

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Trump: America’s Ebola Virus

If equating Trump with Ebola caught your attention, then good, because we are in a red alert situation. Actually Trump is worse than Ebola. Ebola eats at the flesh, while Trump is not only tearing up the fabric of American society, he’s also eating its soul. This war for the soul of America is building to a terrifying possible outcome, the election of President Donald Trump. On Sept 21, 375 top scientists and 30 Noble Prize winners, including Stephen Hawking, warn, in a signed, open letter that a Trump presidency would have “severe and long-lasting” consequences, both for the planet and for the United States’ credibility.

When Trump first appeared on the scene in his Emperor’s red-power-tie gambit, this warning from Carl Jung keep floating in the back of my mind,

We know today that in the unconscious of every individual there are instinctive propensities or psychic systems charged with considerable tension. When they are helped in one way or another to break through into consciousness, and the latter has no opportunity to intercept them in higher forms, they sweep everything before them like a torrent and turn men into creatures for whom the word “beast” is still too good to name. They can then only be called “devils.” To evoke such phenomena in the masses, all that is needed is a few possessed persons, or only one. If this unconscious disposition should happen to be one which is common to the great majority of the nation, then a single one of these complex-ridden individuals, who at the same time sets himself up as a megaphone, is enough to precipitate a catastrophe.

Anne Baring, in her marvellous book The Dream of the Cosmos, which records Jung’s insight, explains further in her section Demonising the Enemy: the Manipulation of Shadow Projections.

Jung developed his ideas about the danger of the archetypal power of the shadow to overwhelm civilisation in his essays on events in Germany. There he analysed how negative projections onto others can develop and spread like a virus until they can contaminate a whole group or nation, causing it to fall into a psychosis, as in Nazi Germany or Maoist China. One of Jung’s most important realisations was that when we project evil onto others, particularly when we feel threatened, we may lose the possibility of insight and the ability to deal with evil, becoming very easily contaminated by it ourselves.

Many politicians display egotistical personality distortions, some more than others. Trump, however, is of an entirely different order. Do we want a president accessing nuclear codes, shaping the Supreme Court for generations, and leading the world in extreme climate denial, who, in the eyes of many psychologists is a narcissistic sociopath/ psychopath well accomplished in the art of gaslighting. (Gaslighting is when abusers undermine and distort the reality and truth of others’ perceptions and emotions in order to control or destroy them, i.e. Trump claiming victory for ending the birther myth he promoted for years by falsely shifting blame to Clinton.)

If you’ve ever been at the wrong end of such behavior, you will know it is devastating and hard to recover from. Psychopaths are masters of deflecting any responsibility for their destructive actions. They have no conscience and so lie, manipulate, and demonize with impunity. The people they use (and people are only there for their use), are fooled into thinking the charming, funny, guy actually cares. Instead they will be betrayed and left eviscerated as their guy moves onto the next “deal” without a backward glance. Psychopaths have an uncanny ability to read a person or group in order to pander to their fears and desires, but only for personal advantage. They seem empathetic but in actuality they are as cold as ice.

Add acute narcissism and you have ONLY self interest. To Trump, you, and everyone else, is a “loser.” Narcissists readily default to intimidation and violence when challenged, even to the smallest degree. Trump only wants a mirror to reflect his unchecked childish grandiosity, and if he doesn’t like the reflection, he will shatter the glass. He will shatter America.

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Clearly Hilary Clinton doesn’t have a halo. She’s not my first choice, Bernie is. However, Clinton won the Democratic nomination, which Bernie conceded. In Nate Silver’s commentary he furthers this opinion based on his highly rated statistical calculations,

My view is that the race wasn’t really all that close and that Sanders never really had that much of a chance at winning. From a purely horse-race standpoint, in fact, the media probably exaggerated the competitiveness of the race. But that’s not to diminish Sanders’s accomplishments in terms of what they mean for the Democratic Party after 2016.

The nature of Clinton’s relationship to Wall Street and the corporate world requires transparency, and her hawkish tendencies need to be curtailed. But to give credit, as Secretary of State she helped broker a deal with Iran in order to avert a nuclear crisis. Her comment reveals the kind of strategic diplomacy needed in our inflammatory times.

“Diplomacy is not the pursuit of perfection — it is the balancing of risk,” she said, arguing that the risks of walking away from a deal that she helped shape would turn the United States, not Iran, into the international outlier. The Economist Sept, 2015

Unlike Trump, with his catalogue of bankruptcies, dubious business deals and lack of transparency regards his fraudulent Foundation, which is under investigation for impropriety. And unlike his compromising debts, ties to Russia, dangerous fawning of Putin, and absent tax returns, Clinton’s tax returns and financial dealings are publicly available. Further, innuendo’s about the Clinton Foundation fall flat before its A rating by the independent Charity Watch  Again, unlike Trump, she has a decades long successful career in public service, which is acknowledged by being voted in the U.S.A. as most admired person in the world for the last 20 years.

It’s true, Clinton comes over as defensive, but who wouldn’t after decades and millions of dollars funneled into endless investigations perpetuated by a GOP witch hunt, which have produced exactly nothing except endless conspiracy theories. Unlike Trump, who seems only answerable to his gut and who is a wild card his party can’t control, Hilary Clinton is guided by the Democratic party and a strong left leaning contingent, largely inspired by Bernie, who already successfully lobbied an aggressive Democratic agenda for clean energy. The ubiquitous posts on Bernie social media sites that protest there’s not a dime of difference between the GOP and the DEMS is not true. There is a huge difference between the Obamas, Sanders, and Warren, a true Robin Hood for our times; for example, and the likes of Pence who, like most all the GOP opposes marriage equity, hate crime protections and anti-discrimination measures, and Bevin who calls for blood in the event of a Clinton election.

Clinton’s Basket of Deplorables, a controversial statement, captures the shock at the swamp racism that Trump has inflamed and condoned. Yet, it is a partial truth. The whole uncomfortable truth is that Trump is the ultimate product of our collective ego-driven. racist, capitalist agenda that has no regard for the “left behind ones,” the environment, and for the resources of future generations. Trump is America’s shadow come to light. Trump represents, in so many ways, the last outpost of the heaving, screaming head pushing up out of the shifting sands of demographic change. His efforts are an attempt to hold power for the white supremacist patriarchy that feels threatened by our fast changing world. Eventually, like the dinosaur, he and his kind will lose. The issue before us right now is not the evolutionary change in the wings, but how much damage will the old order deliver in its death throes. That damage, just as Jung predicted, could be catastrophic.

Bernie is right. We need to be strategic. Trump has to be stopped. The dream dust imaginings that a Trump term will herald a full-scale progressive revolution is an extremely high risk strategy with absolutely no guaranteed outcome. A lot can happen in four years — a lot of irreparable damage. In the year 2000, I sat in a cafe in Berkeley drinking tea with a lovely liberal couple a few weeks before the Gore-Bush election. They were voting their hearts and ethics they said, for Nader. I empathized, but my heart dropped, not for their ethics and heart, but for the truth of political realities. Sixteen years later, we’ve weathered a horrific display of wanton violence during an eye watering “War on Terror” that has left the Middle East in ruins; 1.5 – 2 million Iraqi’s and Afghans dead, millions displaced throughout the region, thousands of American, British, and ally service men and women dead, thousands more wounded or who’ve taken their own lives, and trillions of dollars stolen and lost. We can only wonder at what could have been if not for the hanging chad and the loss to America of Al Gore’s integrity, intelligence, steadiness, and vision.

Actually, it’s hard to imagine there will be any kind of revolution while we still live in our comfort zones. Revolutions tend to happen under extreme oppression or if the vast majority are down to crusts of bread like the Russians and Chinese before their uprisings. Instead the Corporate Squeeze drip-feeds enough comforts and distractions to keep the illusion of contentment. So, the game plan for pushing American society into the extremity of a Trump presidency in the hope of radical change will cost someone, but probably not whites, the comfortable, and the privileged. It will cost marginalised communities, Native Americans, African Americans, Muslims, the recent won freedoms of the LGBT community, women and their reproductive rights, and probably the rest of the world. A Trump presidency also has the potential to irreparably exacerbate America’s deep divisions in service of an extreme nationalistic agenda, particularly as Trump continues to normalize and legitimize the use of hatred and violence for political ends.

Without a realistic political revolution within the next few weeks, the reality is that we have to strategically influence current political forces. There is simply a much better chance to continue momentum for the changes Bernie is advocating alongside a Democratic, rather than GOP Presidency, House, and Senate. Bernie built an extraordinary movement; and, in spite of not being the presidential nominee, he continues to be a powerful force for truth. In fact, it is likely that Bernie is a far better advocate for the revolutionary changes needed outside the Office of the Presidency. He is freer to be a political activist, for example his support at the Rally in Washington for First Nation Tribes at Standing Rock who have come out in force against the Dakota Access Pipeline.

But his leadership cannot be effective if we don’t get behind him. Stopping Trump, and working to end the influence of corporate power and money in the political landscape is Bernie’s agenda. A vote for a third candidate will, at this point, help put Trump in power and will undoubtedly sink that agenda.

Essentially, the key difference between Trump-GOP and Clinton-DEM is this. Trump’s primary strategy is vilification of the “other.” That “other” starts with Mexicans, but very quickly becomes a noose around all dissenters. Right now Trump wants to have the power to curtail the freedom of the press and the internet. He does so for only one goal, to aggrandise and empower himself. Such a pathological mind harnessing the mega political and military force of the United States has the potential to catalyse a fascist state. Again, quoting from The Dream of the Cosmos,

Holocaust and genocide never, repeat never, happen without lies about an evil “other.” A single human being may hurt or kill another human being. But in order to kill a hundred, a thousand, and certainly hundred of thousands, the victims must be turned into something sub or non human. … The demagogue never simply leads group A without systematically demonising and often destroying group B. He justifies his fixation on “the enemy” with all sorts of sophisticated rationales, including self-defence. But what marks that demagogue is that his leadership actually depends on, and is energised by, the existence of a hated “other.” Mark Gerzon – Leading Through Conflict.

In contrast, the Democratic message “Stronger Together” understands that the bedrock and future of American society is in its diversity. It also means something that Clinton has spent her career advancing women’s rights. Her voting records show support for reproductive rights, equal pay, and paid family leave. She supports the disabled, veterans, civil rights, LGBT rights, and women’s health globally. She is smart, examines the details, and does not shirk complexity. Much of the vilification coming toward her in the endless hate Clinton posts on social media have the hallmark of misogyny. If she pauses before answering she is “manipulative and secretive.” If a man pauses, he is “thoughtful.” If she speaks passionately, she is “shrill.” If a man is passionate he is “strong and principled.” The media has scrutinized Hilary Clinton over and over; fair enough, that’s their job. But what about the same treatment for Trump? Where are his tax returns? You hardly need a second glance to see that Trump and Clinton are simply miles apart in terms of their qualifications for the role of presidency. Trump is a bombastic, lying, con man. Clinton has been honed her whole life for the job.

This election process has dragged pretty much everyone into fear, hate, and confusion. As one of my New York friends would say, “It’s a hot mess.” It has sucked the air out of civil society. We now live in a post-truth media landscape, (thanks to Karl Rove), with a wild abandon of conspiracy theories fuelled by shadowy Wall Street, Corporate, Political, and Military machinations. We have a daily howl of madness, and a shite storm spraying across the globe.

At the end of the day the current political structures, while necessary to engage, aren’t going to birth the deeper changes we need. But right now they are the task at hand. The revolution we need, (not the revolution of chaos and the breakdown of functioning society, heightening the likelihood of violence and war), has to emerge from a deeper consciousness. It has to be informed by the insight that enlightenment is the intimacy of all things (Zen master Dogen.) That this whole hot mess drama is happening within one awareness. Clinton and Trump do not stand independent from our own collaborative intentions and actions, or from our own shadow drives for power and greed, and our hatred and propensity for delusion. They are our responsibility as we are theirs.

We live in extreme times where forces of divisiveness are so seductive. But, if we can hold to the deeper reality of a shared field of consciousness and relationship, where the interface between so called “internal” and “external” is a mutual happening; then, rather than our collective shadow running amok, vilifying, murdering, and plundering, we can own and transform it. This challenging yet necessary work will lessen the extremes of separative egoistical consciousness, which inexorably veers toward hate, hardness of heart, and paranoia. As a result, the revolution we absolutely need, currently being demonstrated at Standing Rock, will be propelled by evolutionary consciousness rather than a descent into primitive tribalism.

Meanwhile, whatever goes down on election day, and from now until then, may we continue to hold the whole hot mess with a mind of practice – to see into the deeper empty nature of phenomena, to not give rise to hatred, and to continue to extend compassion, kindness, and authenticity.

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From Her Body…..Money, Enslavement, Debt, Extinction, Revolution

A scroll through authentic news outlets is an intense confrontation with a planet in crisis. Like: As Alaska Burns, Anchorage Sets New Records for Heat & Lack of Snow / Corporate Capitalism is the Foundation of Police Brutality and the Prison State / Greek Voters Deliver Stunning Rebuke to Austerity / Mass Extinction: It’s the End of the World as We Know It. Here is something else from the fringe news, fast moving to central awareness, for reality atune-ment (atonement.)

From Her Body….by artist Nona Faustine, who says, “New York has a reputation for being a melting pot, but it also from her bodyhas a strong history of slave trading.” Her photo series, “White Shoes,” calls attention to that history and its enduring legacy. Here is something else for our history lesson, The Atlantic Slave Trade in Two Minutes. You can click on one of the multitude of dots as they fly from Africa toward the Americas and West Indies, and it will show the ships name and flag, (always the flags), and numbers of African slaves on board. The post summarizes, “By the conclusion of the trans-Atlantic slave trade at the end of the 19th century, Europeans had enslaved and transported more than 12.5 million Africans. At least 2 million, historians estimate, didn’t survive the journey.”

Those grand old stately homes we use in Europe for Buddhist retreats; well, just know that we sit in the midst of slave supported comfort… think of that from time to time with each mindful breath of loving kindness. I think of it a lot in South Africa, for obvious reasons, as I move within a country built on the back of black servitude. It’s none too comfortable… I breathe with it and the layerings of deflecting thoughts and reactions, some of which I scribe here. I think of origins when in the USA; to be honest, more recently than when I first arrived in Tennessee in 1992. My fast learning curve, through the layerings, began in 2008 when invited to co-facilitate the consciously diverse CDL4 at Spirit Rock.

To un-peel the layers of what has gone before is part of our awakening curriculum. Because the truth is, what has gone before is woven deeply into what is here right now. I originally thought awakening is to let go of everything from before. But it seems we can’t let go, or really move to a more hopeful future, until we honour a woman, with ill fitting white shoes, standing naked in the middle of Wall Street, attracting our attention to all that such an extraordinary, human art, activism statement, represents.

earth on fireHer Body, the body of Africa, India, Asia, aboriginal Australia and New Zealand – and where people of color were colonized for profit – is now the Earth’s body, plundered to the point of, “you have 20 – 30 years to sort this out – dear human species – otherwise write your last testament, but don’t worry about the will, there’ll be no point.“**

So money… empire…..accumulated wealth from Her Body, and… warp speed on a planet burning to a crisp…into a Greek OXI… the Mother of Democracy says absolutely NO.

NO to… well, pretty much everything it seems, because underlying all human life is the ability to share in our collective resources by means of flighty pieces of paper and lumps of metal, stamped with faces and numbers. That’s fine if you have vaults of money, but a country tyrannized by un-payable debt, an extreme austerity program, and relinquishment of its sovereignty to a remote governing system, is bound to finally revolt. Is this the beginning of a debt unraveling? Because all nation states are now pegged to an unreal debt based economy, which consistently punishes the poor.

imagesIt’s all pretty complicated, but the sight of the Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis, after delivering some stunning statements, (I shall wear the creditors’ loathing with pride), driving off into the sunset on his motorbike, peeks the human spirit. It is just what we all feel; even as EU “suits” cry foul, we root for the guy who kicks ass. Because we know what is really foul; the hijacking of our democracies and rights to a sustainable world by unethical politicians, oligarchs, media barons, banking institutions, wall streeters on crack, and psychopathic corporate agendas.

So, in brief… revolution is the next part of our awakening curriculum, dear friends. This agenda has always been coded into our DNA, because underneath the layerings, which are many, is the reality of a seamless world, divided only by the human propensity for delusion, fear and greed. The veils can part, from such an afflicted history, when we allow ourselves to touch into the truth the Buddha spoke, vimutti sara sabbe dhamma,** “Freedom is the essence of every circumstance.” This is because we are not just the money we have (or more often, don’t have), the job we do, the country we live in, or the color of our skin. Our human spirits will ultimately revolt against injustice and inequity, whether for ourselves or for others, as the truth is we are profoundly inter-woven with each other, and with all life. We are all present in each others awareness.

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Thomas Piketty, since writing Capital in the Twenty-First Century, is considered one of the most influential economists in the world. In his enlightening interview with Die Zeit, he challenges the view that Germany and France have behaved better than Greece when it comes to paying off debts. “Germany is the country that has never repaid its debts. It has no standing to lecture other nations,” Piketty states.

Piketty calls for a “conference on all Europe’s debt.” But perhaps we need a conference on Global debt. We need to ask what debt is really owed, and to whom. If we consider the foundations of our current capitalist wealth, then, from Her Earth, Enslaved and Genocided Peoples, Killed in Colonial Wars, Body”… then the debt discussion moves from Euros and Dollars to the bodies of billions and the body of our magnificent and abundant Earth.

May we weep for the loss, the terror, the pain, the abuse…may we deeply feel what our lives are built on. May we take the word debt from its power play dynamic, and shift it into acts of recognition, atonement, sharing, redemption, and passionate, careful love.

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* “The window of opportunity is closing: we have at best only 20 or 30 years left to reduce carbon emissions by 80 percent; even better to arrive at 100 percent reduction by 2040.” Bhikkhu Bodhi, Simple and Practical Steps for Mitigating Climate Change.

** A line from the Mula Sutta – ANLV111

When the last tree is cut, when the last river has been poisoned, when the last fish has been caught, then we will find out that we can’t eat money. Cree Prophecy –