The House

The House

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Occupy the Mind

I don't know why anyone worries about what is written on the internet for all the world to see, when no one actually sees this stuff. Unless of course I were to try to "hawk" it perhaps, sell it, post it on every site I go to? WTF for? My Mom would say; "you wouldn't worry about what people think of you if you realized how seldom they do."
I have never been good at selling myself it seems, which is to say make myself valuable. I am a poor consumer and a worse seller. I am to post one more about Occupy and its ability to empower others, and perhaps for that matter all protest movements, grass roots and activism does. It is pain staking, time consuming and gives little remuneration unless you are rich with a foundation or something you can head. This last weekend Michael Brune, the Pres. of the Sierra Club tied himself to the fence of the White House along with 47 others to protest the keystone pipeline, and help bring climate into the forefront. The first time anyone officially with the Sierra Club has been part of a protest in its 150 years. Now, tell me Occupy had nothing to do with that? Sierra Club is now something I get join, not the kaffee Klatch it was for so long. We know that many of the civil rights, environmental and gay liberation movements acquired their inspiration from people before them. Most of my inspiration is from literature, movies and books. Usually not real flesh and blood people. Even the "real" live folks on television who do amazing things aren't quite real. Pictures and voices on the screen I have become more familiar with than the people in this town. Amy Goodman, Keith Olberman, Gabby Giffords and Chris Hayes. Some who spoke truth to power, some who survived the violent results of the misguided and confused by the powers that be, some who carry a legacy of activism. Pictures of bodies of now faceless people dying for freedom from tyranny still to this day long after I had dreamed such things would not be necessary.
Occupy is alive and out there, working doing being. Every once in a while someone on the television will refer to it as something that made them think, act and question. They compare actions being taken to Occupy and then I find from twitter they were in the thick of it. I get invites to actions every month from Occupy Denver. Occupy the SEC is on UP with Chris Hayes at least once a month. I know it has empowered many to finally come out of their left leaning closets. To speak out for peace, fairness and dignity. I wear my occupy button around and have found a few feel free to say something quietly in support of the ideals even though they can't with their co-workers or families. It reminds me of the folks who would come into my little pagan celtic store and admit to being naturalists, wicca or simply free thinkers and always say how they couldn't share it with virtually anyone else. Perhaps I was able to do a little good by being someone they felt safe with and not an outcast for just two minutes. I watched The Soloist last night and toward the end a doctor tells the newsman that being someone's friend changes their brain chemistry. That reached me. I have tried to be a friend to others, but I don't feel anyone has been my friend, cared enough to know me well, encourage me, be present for me, realy learn something together. For the most part no one has had my best interest at heart.
In this culture it seems one is only friends if they can get something out of you with as little effort as possible. This culture of me, myself and I that not only runs business which runs govt. but churches as well, crept into the New Age movement as well to its detriment.
It seems to me Occupy carries forward the notions of the transcendentalists of the 19th century which became the roots of the movments that followed by labor, women, freedman, American Indian cultures.
"Apathy, complacency, passitivity, moral cowardice..these were the social results of the expedient materialism against which the Transcendentalists unfurled the banner of moral law"   Civil Disobedience edited by Sherman Paul.
I saw Le Miserable the musical, and although I had read it and watched the previous versions the concepts of compassionate morals vs. duty as morality struck home more today than at any time in  my life.
"But what remedy did an individual have when government was not coordiate with justice, when it made on the unwilling partner in its evils?" I would re-write Thoreau's Civil Disobedience and replace corporations with the word government.  We benignly buy our toilet paper, plastic chairs and phones from the behemoth Wal Mart trying to survive on cheap while people lose decent livelihoods here and abroad are virtual slaves. We become complicit.
"In the WEEK Thoreau acknowledged that where evil was concerned he could not follow the passivity advocated in the Hindu scriptures; ....Thoreau preferred to courageously assault evil rather than to starve it out. Not the Brahmin who "never thought to be a brother of mankind", but Christ, he said, was "the prince of Reformers and Radicals." Christ who said "resist not evil; but overcome  evil with good."
Conservative Christians do not understand the liberalness of Christs teachings. At lease twice I have heard of severe fundamentalist preachers having epiphany's of love and come to this understanding and then lose their very large and powerful followings for not preaching fear and shame.
It isn't so much government or corporations as it is the hungry people who run them. Hungry for power, attention and to feed their starving immature egos. They too, the "evil" ones spoken of by the Thoreau (being a PK he used the language he grew up with) are only trying to survive and do some sort of good and get gratification. They feed a hole in their souls that will never be filled. (What level of Dante's Inferno was that?)
Revolution and change  never happen the way we think they will, from the people we thought they would, and always takes longer than it should. We are not living in times of good vs. evil. we are living in the culmination of the struggle between two utopian visions. One of a monied, powered, educated (in their minds) elite that run the world better over the "great unwashed masses" who never quite understand how things really are or could be. The other where there are only communities that share everything, husband the resources, no one gets to much or too little. No rich, no heirarchy, community with committment and trust. Even the most malevolent rulers think they are doing good for the "people", even the most benign utopian societys fall apart in power trips. Both visions fall prey to eat or be eaten, control of the vision whether it applies or not to the people or circumstances at hand.
Everyone always has grand ideas about how things should be carried out yet very few recognize that key moment when they can actually step up and do whatever is presented them in the moment. Those rare moments when we can be willing, overcome fear and say or actually do something to find a third way, the middle path. I sometimes feel humanity is tearing the proverbial baby to pieces in our fight over what is best for all. All our fighting over ideology will be moot if we don't pull our collective heads out of our asses and recognize the calamity of environment that is occuring. Whether it is natural cycles or human driven, climate change is here and we are not prepared at all. I believe that we will not in time, as history shows disasters, bloodshed, and chaos come first before change and then the change for good must be fought over and over and protected from without and from within. Dreams of a utopia where women have all the babies they want, men can conquer nature and make lots of riches, where all of us live in harmony in community, with birth control and organic everything will not happen. Not now. We will be too busy trying to survive and that includes the filthy rich. Money and power won't help. Impart skills upon your children to read the weather, grow and make things that are usefull, teach them to get along with others. The young people know this instinctively. I see them working in community, trying to help eachother, seeing the mistakes of their elders. Occupy gave me such hope for the future if we have one, they are creating the re-evolution. I did what I could. Truth and being willing to find out all the facts, question motives, don't blame yourself for believing lies, and assume someone lies mostly out of shame and guilt. Alex de touqueville said; "History is a race between chaos and education" I can only control what I know by being willing to be wrong and learn better. The only thing I can say for myself is I am vindicated in my views by the fact of so many are waking up to the greed that is killing us and our planet. People thought I was crazy and now I am not alone in that divine madness.
My sense of drive, the nagging in the back of my soul that says: "Do Something!" must be my sensing the change that is coming. My need to be relevant, purposefull, helpfull, a gatekeeper, change agent, or usefull, of value is very much human nature.  My nature. I can only do a small part, so tiny to be insignificant alone, but Occupy has allowed me to speak my truth without fear of being ostricized, that would happen anyway. Occupy lifts my spirit and love for my fellow human being when it was all but gone. The pain I feel for humanity tells me my love of people still lives as well in spite of my isolation and fatigue.
My friends and I would dissect the issues of the day and I would call it "saving the world over coffee". Our little kaffee klatch would spend hours trying to figure things out, ferrett out the truth (without the internet) and hope we could put our words into action. Make a difference. I wrote a poem that sort of speaks to this:

                        Are you the voice in someone elses head?
                        Ramblings thoughts grand pronouncements
                        diatribes of negative cheering
                        fading in and out in bits and pieces

                        We believe no one can hear our thoughts
                         they are being heard
                         driving us all mad
                         our own thoughts lost to us
                         because of the shouting in yours

1 comment:

  1. Some powerful words/ideas here, which I plan to pass along to my mother and daughter. I'll reserve my comments here to a single issue: Occupy has defined this era, this generation. Consider what happened. What began as an extraordinary people's movement with the potential to change the course we've been on was quickly redefined (largely by media marketed to liberals) exclusively as a movement of middle class workers, the better off. The rest of us walked away, and Occupy fizzled out. The middle class remains oblivious to the way that our policies against the poor -- policies largely supported by the middle class -- have been serving so powerfully to phase out the middle class. That's tragic. In similar eras in the past, the poor and middle classes united to push back, to the benefit of both. Not this time. (Incidentally, I'm a woman and white, but still young at age 58.)