[Sticky] Post Hall of Fame - Posts we want to remember
From @Coyote. Posted 4/20/2020
"Hello everyone. I'm stopping by to share some insights from Spirit that are urgently pressing against my conscience.
"Governments in the US and abroad are increasingly talking about easing pandemic restrictions and opening their economies. However, all of this chatter of returning things to normal says a lot more about globalized culture's addiction to economic growth than it does about our understanding of the novel coronavirus.
"As a global society, we're in the grips of wetiko. I've written before about how wetiko is an Iroquoian term for the mind virus of separation; plunder; and cannibalism that has its roots in the ancient empires of Eurasia but has gone global in the past 5 centuries and has only grown stronger the more it is acquiesced to. The neo-religion of endless economic growth (impossible on a finite planet), which has been imbibed by every modern nation state and infects political thinking on both the left and the right, is the most powerful meme right now for propagating wetiko. So make no mistake: whether it's coming from #45, Andrew Cuomo, Emmanuel Macron, Christine Lagarde, Narendra Modi, or Angela Merkel, any high octane rhetoric about "opening up the economy" is the symptom of a collective disease. It is ironic yet unsurprising that global society's conceited belief in its mastery over a biological virus is actually entrenching a spiritual virus that is leading humanity and other large chunks of Gaia to extinction.
"Last Thursday, the New York Times ran an article on its front page titled "Scant Testing Remains a Barrier for Reopening," which was about how mass rapid testing for the virus needed to be deployed if the US was to safely revive its economy. At the end of the article, the author quotes a laboratory chairman who is ramping up testing capacity as saying, "It's a huge factor, we believe, in terms of people regaining confidence and jump-starting the economy. To me, it's an absolute moral imperative."
"Bullshit. No one should kowtow to an imperative to jump-start an economic engine that is predicated on destroying life. People were rightly appalled when Boris Johnson touted unmitigated herd immunity as a way of responding to the virus in the UK, or when US Republicans suggested that Grandma and Grandpa should take a bullet for the greater economic good. But suggestions that we need to get back to work because we must keep up productivity also treat human life as expendable. We all know on some level that the current structures of society are killing us. We are packed off to school so that Mom and Dad can leave home and give themselves over to the collective steam engine. At school we are taught how to endure boredom and told in a million ways that things can never be different. Most of us, our spirits thus crushed, then haul ourselves off to jobs we despise in one way or another so that we can gain some semblance of social safety in the form of paychecks and health insurance (And the grass isn't greener over the border. Don't even get me started on the illusion of the Nordic-style welfare state, which in reality has been rusting away since the 1990s and is built upon historical colonialism plus the present-day energy enslavement of the Global South). We spend our days wishing for it to be a different day (Saturday, or a holiday), all the while denying ourselves the proper nutrition, physical activity, contact with nature, and intangible community succor we as humans crave. In the absence of those evolutionary requisites for health - physical and spiritual - we are killing ourselves by a thousand cuts.
"No one wants it to be this way. As much as we vilify billionaire CEOs or like to ascribe conspiratorial evil intentions to the global elite (go to hell David Icke, Alex Jones, Dylan Avery, et al.) even the supposed winners of the life destroying machine are losers. They too are suffering from a lack of human connection, from divorce from nature, from thwarted childhood dreams. They just aren't as consciously aware of these wounds as you and me; another hallmark symptom of wetiko is the inability of people to recognize that they are sick. We are all lambs being led to slaughter within the nightmare kingdom of the Age of Separation.
"Yet we are also emperors - lions, if you prefer faunal metaphors - and Covid-19 is a crack in the kingdom's foundation that has the potential to activate our latent agency and ingenuity. This is our true provenance as humans. With the systemic shock of global shutdowns and quarantines, the incoherent stories we've been telling ourselves have been exposed and caught in the act. So rather than looking at the Covid-19 pandemic as a battle between good and evil, as some weapon that can vanquish the enemies and finally secure utilitarian human ideals trumpeted by a select righteous few (universal healthcare, guaranteed basic income, less CO2 emissions, whatever), look toward the margins. What fallacies in our narratives are now being illuminated? What popular memes in the media that you used to buy into are now striking you as bullshit? Institutional inertia will continue to churn out the same tired tropes for quite some time, so you have to be willing to call out the emperor's nakedness while everyone else applauds. And how will YOU, rather than the next savior politician, change things? This narrative reframing is solitary at first. We have to figure out as individuals how to transform our values, behaviors, thoughts, and our relationships with the ancestors and unborn in order for the Great Turning towards a life-affirming age to flower into being. Eventually we will come together as communities of people who have performed the same soul work, thus creating nuclei for a new world. Out of these communities will come revolution and the enduring, concrete transformations we are desperate for.
"This isn't all armchair philosophizing on my end. In four months my service assignment with AmeriCorps comes to an end and I don't know what I'll be doing for work, while tens of millions of other Americans will be in the same boat. Next year I become too old to rely on my parents health insurance. There's lots of uncertainty for me. Yet I also feel calm. Paradoxically, admitting that I don't have control over everything gives me a sense that I'm standing on firm footing. Because when I throw my arms up, I'm learning to rely on the palimpsest of living things that compose the universe. Mother Earth and Father Sky tell me all is well in the end. The true nature of the universe is for things to work in cooperation, to constantly give back so that everything is nourished. We nourish the universe by our very existence, and the world just wants us to stop making things so complicated so that it can return the favor. In my opinion, the foremost lesson of Covid-19 is that we're never in complete control."
Posted by Jeanne on 05/10/2020 on The Great Unraveling and The Great Turning
@goldstone. I too have seen visions that this country will walk away from the feds and regroup in state and local government and then return to rebuild the federal government. But only in my lower weaker condition have I said it is all over and I would like right now to take back those comments. I pray to stay strong and help win this. The fact is that the majority of Americans dislike Donald Trump, and the majority of Americans are democrats.
People are waking up. Covid is waking them up. The worst unemployment since the Great Depression is waking them up. A mortality count zooming past the Vietnam War which saw 50,000 deaths is waking people up. The fact that his party continues to support a sick loser, the worst president in all of U.S. history, will bring him down along with that rogue party.
When we give up we are slapping a pie in the face of many true and courageous patriots like Ruth Bader Ginsberg who has kept herself vital and alive to protect this Constitution. We are giving up on journalists who bust themselves for low pay and at risk to their lives and security; on thousands of volunteers who are canvassing, writing postcards to get people back on the registration rolls that the GOP has thrown out. We are giving up on low paid lawyers who devote themselves to suing on behalf of the disenfranchised. And we are giving up on thousands who already died for the Constitution.
Please don't give up. Life has been tough for you, I know, and for many of us, but I pray you are can push the hope. Donald Trump is on the downward slide. People have had enough. He's flailing. We can win this.
posted by @herondreams 05/11/2020 On The Great Unraveling and the Great Turning
The question of how we talk to one another when we disagree has been on my mind. Since I teach writing, I spend a good deal of time thinking about HOW we say what we say, and how we can be more intentional and effective with our speech.
We desperately need to find a humane way to engage in discourse when we disagree with one another. Sometimes, that may mean walking away. Boundaries and respect are important and I'm not suggesting anyone allow themselves to remain on the receiving end of verbal abuse. Nor am I advocating for trying to persuade people who are too far gone and not open to different perspectives, which is many times the case with people who have been brainwashed by Fox, Brietbart, Limbaugh, and other right wing media. (Check out the documentary The Brainwashing of My Dad for an excellent look at the mechanisms of this toxic media.)
Yesterday a dear friend of mine shared a post written by someone else that demeaned people who read and believe pseudoscience and conspiracy theories on the internet. The tone belittled these people, rather like other memes and texts I've seen that say things along the lines of "I know you anti-vaxxers are too stupid to understand this, but let me try to explain to you why you're wrong anyway..." Shaming people NEVER works to open their minds or hearts. No one will listen when you talk to them that way.
We're not going to "win" by stooping to base behavior, and I'd argue that there's no "victory" to be found if we keep approaching this discourse like it is a battle. Arguing, even with all the best evidence, reason, science, etc. is going to be futile. We need to move beyond a winners/losers dynamic.
I don't have the answers and don't imagine there is one right way. I teach writing, but I stumble trying to get my words right all. the. time.
But I have learned a few things, and one that is most clear for me is to start with mindfulness. That can mean a pause--waiting, even an awkward amount of time--before you respond. Notice what you're feeling: in your body and your emotions. What thoughts circulate around those feelings? Are you feeling threatened? Afraid for your safety? Disgusted? Angry? Hostile? Wanting to protect yourself or what you believe? Just notice that. I am in no way saying what to feel or to not have these feelings. We're human. But I will say that when we speak out in the initial moment of anger or fear we don't always act from our better selves, nor do these words tend to promote constructive discourse. Often, they feed the fight itself.
The organization Showing Up for Racial Justice asks members to "call in" instead of "call out" when speaking to others to promote awareness of racism and social justice issues. Race is a topic that is highly provocative--people often get defensive, and when you're in defense mode, you're stuck in that "battle discourse" and unlikely to really hear what others are saying. "Calling in" is invitational--and really, that's the best we can do is to invite others to see things differently. We need to de-escalate and get to that invitational space first. NOT EASY. But not impossible, and I imagine this gets better with practice. (I'm no expert! Just someone who is trying.)
Here are a couple examples. (And neither have to do with T or his supporters. For many of them it will take the waning of his power for them to be open to our invitations for discourse.)
My mom works as an account clerk for her county's heath department. She and I usually disagree on political issues and generally avoid difficult conversations since we live far away and don't get to connect much. She was talking about her work trying to get COVID-19 testing supplies and stated that she didn't agree with the push to get data on race with testing. To her mind, what difference could it possibly make what race a person infected is? COVID-19 doesn't discriminate, so she suspected some political agenda. (We are both white.) Now my immediate response was to bristle and feel defensive. I've been following calls for this demographic data by Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris and others, and because I have read about issues related to racism, from environmental, historic, and personal perspectives, I'm aware that structural inequities and a history of trauma make racial minorities more likely to have chronic health issues which make them more vulnerable to complications from COVID-19. Also, because of economic inequality, there are more people of color in essential & high risk professions. My mother didn't have the same opportunity for higher education as I did; she also is not much of a reader and just isn't getting the same information--we were coming at this from very different places. But I felt it would be wrong to just ignore the comment, so I picked up the thread that was most likely to connect us: her words indicated that she believes race shouldn't matter because we are all the same. And that is true! Race is an artificial construct. So I said I agreed with her that it really shouldn't matter because we are all human beings. But I see the legacy of racism and how that is still very much at work in our lives today, as much as we'd like it not to be. Because I live in the south, I was able to draw on examples of some of the worst, most explicit examples of racism--this worked to keep her from feeling attacked and to remain open and invited in the conversation. (Honestly, I think her area is highly racist, but saying so then would not have served my purpose and would have shut her down. I didn't use the term "white supremacy" for the same reason--she's not in a place to understand what that means, especially having come from a blue collar background.) We had the most open, engaging talk on race, and while I don't know if she changed her mind or not, she was considering the points I made. And we left the conversation feeling connected and not oppositional.
Before we went into shut down this semester I had my first set of student conferences--I meet with each student individually to discuss their research topics and offer instructional support in the process. One student, "D," had a topic that was still pretty vague and I was trying to help him get a clearer sense of where he wanted to go. He was interested in understanding whether or not climate change was real. He explained that where he comes from (his words) not everyone believes in climate change, and he talked about global warming and climate change as though they were totally different things and one is real and the other isn't. Now, this wasn't easy because even though I don't hold science as the pinnacle of knowledge that many people do, there's just so much evidence that our climate is changing because of human activity and the only "arguments" against that position tend to come from conservative media at the behest of the fossil fuel industry. Anyway, I was this young man's teacher, and my whole purpose was not to tell him what to think but to offer models for ways to think and invite him into learning to engage with the world in a more complex way. For him to be open to that he needed to feel safe and encouraged and in no way belittled or ridiculed. Because his experience and understanding was so very different from mine, even down to what we meant by the words we used for what we were talking about--"Climate change" and "global warming" had totally different meanings for him. Because I was in a position of relative power, I has to be extra careful to not shut him down, so rather than saying "this is what you need to know..." I positioned my understanding as relative to his (which was humbling and not easy because these positions are not equal--the planet is warming!) and explained that it was hard for me to understand what he meant because in my own research I've not encountered the same definition of these terms he has--could he tell me more about that to help me understand...? Phew, it was not an easy conversation at all, and he got plenty frustrated with me, while inside myself I kept taking deep breaths and pausing and trying to be patient as well. I wish I had a happy ending to tell you, that he learned more from his research and developed his own perspective on the topic, but stupid COVID-19 happened and he never replied to any of my emails when we transitioned to online classes.
I'm not saying every conversation deserves this level of care and effort, but personally, I find benefit from practicing mindfulness and a willingness to be open and engage in difficult conversations when possible. Minds are not souls. If we ignore or demean others whose minds are clouded, we do nothing that might possibly bring light to darkness. We also close ourselves off from that potential for the growth that can come from forging connections and understanding. It is a humbling practice, because we have to open ourselves to vulnerability and accept that we may not be right about everything we think we know. I think of the visions of lightworkers, especially @Baba's recent one, and while there are many ways to share your light, I think it is always invitational. We open ourselves to share our light with others, but the light is within them as well, and unless we can connect with one another, we lose the potential for the light that ignites in our recognition and appreciation of our mutual humanity and divine interconnectedness.
Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing
and rightdoing there is a field.
I’ll meet you there.
When the soul lies down in that grass
the world is too full to talk about.
By @coyote in The Great Unraveling and the Great Turning on 05/11/2020
I wrote about this in a different thread, but it seems like more people need to hear this. We are in the territory of phase shifts, where change will follow exponential (nonlinear) curves. Which means that change for the better, after gathering steam for decades, will start bursting into view in front of our eyes. Meanwhile, the old dark energy will be losing equal force. This is what the insights of systems science and physics tell us; as one form of energy circles the drain, another energy will be ascending in the opposite direction (3-dimensional representations of the yin-yang dynamic illustrate this). And right now, the light is the ascending force. The change agents are working at the margins and moving closer to center stage at an ever-quickening pace. Soon, we'll be waking up in the morning and realizing that things really are different for the better.
It's hard to recognize the ascending light or its nonlinear nature because of the current overriding collective fear but also because global civilization is built on the assumption of linearity. Our meta-narratives, including the stories crafted by our news outlets, are linear. But the natural world doesn't work that way, and suddenly the exponential movements of Gaia are tearing to shreds our assumptions. (Who could have guessed that in the matter of a few weeks, global commerce would come grinding to a halt because of a virus?)
In phase shifts, because there's so much disequilibrium, one tiny alteration can change the entire outcome markedly. What this means is that each of us as individuals has it in our agency to further empower the light so that the future really will be so much better. Each of our small decisions makes a difference for the collective. So turn off the news if you must, stop paying so much attention to social media. Basically, stop letting the assholes and pessimists write the story. The Great Turning will not come into being on its own; success is not guaranteed. Yet the critical mass of awakened souls needed to effect systemic change isn't very large (maybe 1% of humanity), and my guides tell me we are rapidly approaching the longed for tipping point.
Thank you, @pikake, for re-posting and highlighting these amazing, powerful posts from Jeanne, HeronDreams, and Coyote.
I am genuinely awed by the collective wisdom found in this forum. These posts in particular give me a lot of hope!
And @herondreams, I feel you've completely hit upon the key that will help us all move forward in a time when many groups have such divergent viewpoints: " I picked up the thread that was most likely to connect us." Yes! This is the way forward, and the challenge we currently face, but a challenge we are definitely up to.
Thank you, all. Much love to everyone.
@pikake Hi I wanted to ask about this: "his is what the insights of systems science and physics tell us; as one form of energy circles the drain, another energy will be ascending in the opposite direction..."
Are you familiar with the Irish poet WB Yeats? He was a mystic. His wife used automatic writing and later channeling to convey to him a system partly about cycles of time. It's in a book he wrote called A Vision. One of his ideas is represented in an image of two gyres (spirals) that are interconnected kind of like your drain image. The spirals are within each other, as one winds down the other 'winds up,' (best I can do here).
Hi, there, I would love to lay claim on that brilliant post but all I did was to copy it and hang it on the Post Wall of Fame. It was @coyote who wrote it (and other memorable thought-provoking posts) and with whom you’ll have a scintillating exchange, that I can assure you. As an aside, yes, I am familiar with Yeats and am delighted you mentioned A Vision, a book I shall track down and read.
We as a nation have a real chance to finally, after 40 years of right wing nonsense, to put a dagger through the heart of an ideology that has wrecked the country more than once. -- @Lynn
Written by @lynn in the Unraveling thread after so much discussion about how we should respond to a rogue president and his party:
With great affection and respect for @vestralux, I'm going to offer a different take on why I think Orange keeps evading justice.
I'm not sure that prayers for someone or something that causes so much harm, despite the earnestness of those offering the prayers, are prayers the Universe answers. It would be like praying for someone's death (because Orange has caused deaths -- of immigrants, of people during this pandemic, etc.). I don't think those prayers are heard or answered.
I think he keeps getting away with things because, on a purely physical level, he has found people who are shockingly indecent, and coupled with his enablers already in power, he's managed to survive.
On a metaphysical level, having him resign or get kicked out of office last year after the Muller report came out (and was distorted by a very indecent person), or earlier this year after impeachment, would have given Pence a chance to govern and would have simply prolonged the craziness.
We as a nation have a real chance to finally, after 40 years of right wing nonsense, to put a dagger through the heart of an ideology that has wrecked the country more than once. It may take pain on a level not seen since the 1930s for that to happen, for people to finally see clearly, and for the opposite party to understand the stakes involved.
This little gem from @lynn:
A hallmark of autocracies is that they debase the people and the institutions. Once people feel debased they are more likely to act in ways they might not have otherwise, such as engaging in demonizing and name-calling of others. Once the institutions are debased they cease to function as they should and instead become vehicles of oppression.
Anger at what is happening is justified, but we can't allow ourselves to be debased. We can't allow this site, which has been a safe harbor for years, to be debased.
Happy Monday folks. Love to all. xoxo
From @Lovendures, with thanks for saying so much in one short post and capturing what we are about here in response to a new member who expressed despair at the state of the pandemic and the politics and guilt for feeling selfish:
Your feelings don't seem selfish to me at all. In fact, I believe many in this community feel as you do.
We want to come out the other end of this pandemic "ok". We want to survive, have good health, an income, food on the table, all those things. AND we want to live (not simply survive) while doing so. We are afraid and trying to deal with all of the "what ifs".
You also have a young daughter and so your thoughts are likely going to her, her health, her future and the impact this crisis will have down the line.
None of that is selfish.
By sharing your fears and your thoughts, you are doing a loving thing for your psyche. You are helping it be heard, to heal, to be understood. W
We understand. We care about you.
Don't lose hope.
Hope is a beautiful thing. It keeps us moving through darkness, it is creative, it is a balm to the soul, it allows us to see beyond. Hope is the light in the lighthouse on a stormy day, guiding you home, guiding you through the darkest of times.
If you can, join our Wednesday evening meditations. Everyone who comes seems to feel a gentle calming afterward. We help heal each other and try to help heal the greater world. It is filled with love and kindness. --@lovendures
@jeanne-mayell Hey Dear Friend,
This post from last month is one of the most important of the numerous, enlightened and visionary posts you have posted on your forum. It bares being repeated and reposted monthly for the times ahead as it contains a soothing balm of wisdom that nurtures the souls of all "Truth Seekers'" It truly stands out as one of your finest among the all too numerous to begin to choose from. You reached deep and travelled high for these precious words and the insights therein contained. For that, I and many others are grateful. Namaste'
P.S. For those that my be interested Joyann Reid just posted that on her MSNBC show starting now at 7:00 p.m. EST she has Attorney Crump who represents the late Ahmoud Arberry's family and has some breaking news to share. I think we all share the belief that Justice Anywhere is Justice For All. Namaste'
OOOOOh, Booooooo Boooooo!!! That wonderful and most extraordinary post that I just referred to was actually made by our treasured spirit here on the Forum, COYOTE, not Jeanne, but Blessed Jeanne put it in The Hall of Fame posts. So very sorry Coyote......Namaste'...It truly is a beautiful and enlightened post. Namaste'
@dhyanaji Thanks for attributing it to me, if only for a brief moment. Coyote reigns supreme.
You are most welcome and again, apologies to Coyote!! You are truly the very, very Best Miss Jeanne!!!! Coyote does reign Supreme. That was one helluva post! Hats Off!