Posted by urbansuburbanecoliteracy | Posted in Ecological Sustainability, Economic Sustainabliity, Intragenerational & Intergenerational Social Justice, Social Sustainability | Posted on 12-11-2011
The question posed to the Occupy movement is, “What are your demands?” Terrorists make demands and since Occupy is not a movement of terrorists, why dignify the inane question by a response that would allow the media and the cynical to pigeonhole the movement? By now, it should be self-evident that people are hungry to experience life unconstrained by, dependent upon, and unmediated by power structures that deify greed while gorging on our lives, not just upon the blood of an underclass that ekes by but on the elites themselves who are just as surely drained soullessly dry by exploiting others.
The Occupy movement doesn’t have the numbers to singlehandedly create a new, uncorrupted system ex nihilo on its own steam. However, if the movement leverages the support of the American public that supports it, turning their attention towards the question, “What do we create next?”, Occupy could create an experiential manifestation of a grounded, integrated vision that is practical, elegant and life-affirming. (More on that subject in a subsequent post.)
Populist and progressive movements have had a self-defeating proclivity to oppose institutional and structural injustice on principle without presenting a substantive alternative that is functional in the real world. It’s not that I can’t sympathize with the seething frustration, resentment, disillusionment, and outrage. After a point though, one has to stop standing against everything and to find something one is willing to proudly stand for without selling out the vision. Then it’s time to walk the talk. Manifestation of a vision that large is a long haul effort, so expectations of instant gratification will weed out the flaky and the uncommitted until these folks are willing to stop complaining and to grow backbones.
Many of the folks within the Occupy movement have deep resentment towards the institutions that represent corruption but the double bind is that the Occupy movement hasn’t yet created alternative structures that people sympathetic to the movement trust will also be free of graft and corruption. There are standing offers to make donations to Occupy, yet no way to receive those donations. While it could be successfully argued that there hasn’t been a nonprofit that wasn’t corrupted eventually, if the Occupy movement wants to get something done as a matter of practicality, it has no choice but work creatively with the tools of extant institutional structures before it can fundamentally redefine and retool how alternative structures could work. It’s the principle of being the change one wants to see in the world (while not losing your sense of humor).
Like it or not, we all carry the unconscious seeds of the abusive system we’re the products of and without conscious, deep excavation of those tendencies, system replication is almost guaranteed if for no other reason than the unavoidable polarities of being incarnate in a realm of dualities. The embedded cosmic joke is the tendency to become what we oppose. We have a great deal of painful, soul-searching introspection to engage in about the paradigms we bring with us. I will risk drawing progressive activists’ anger, negativity, and criticism because if nothing else, the presence of controversy will hopefully distill into clarity the need to examine the roots of any anger provoked. If I provoke discomfort and anger, it’s because there’s a collective psychic or emotional wound that I have touched.
For instance, as a microcosmic fractal of the truth that what is in one is in the whole and that what is in the whole is in the one, Occupy has its share of overbloated egos. In L.A., the “leaders” are easy to identify since their fishbowl niche is monopolizing space in front of cameras and microphones speaking on behalf of the whole. The humorous irony lies in the presence of self-appointed leaders in what is supposed to be a leaderless movement. Meanwhile, the self-serving media would love nothing better than a feeding frenzy on the chum of negative stories about Occupy L.A.. The hunger is palpable since most within the camp don’t like those within the media tents. KPFK barely arrived and started broadcasting from the site when was voted off by the general assembly. It was a puzzling decision tactically since KPFK is a sympathetic ally with which Occupy could have cultivated a positive relationship. Goodness knows that Occupy won’t find mainstream media allies. Could you see Fox portraying Occupy in a positive light? Neither can I.
Economic and ecological sustainability integrated seamlessly with inter/intra generational social justice can’t be pasted over our dysfunctional global society like a veneer. We can’t expect that superficial approach to work because the fundamental dysfunctional power dynamics are still in place. Intensive shadow excavation and healing work through brutal self-honesty needs to take place in both the internal and external realms. The absence of any substantive internal work to change consciousness in tandem with attempting to change the external world is one of the major weaknesses of the permaculture, Peak Oil, Occupy, and Transition Town* movements and it’s a reason why many progressive organizations and movements have flailed and are flailing in their efforts to bring about systemic change. Are my standards high? Yes, but so are the stakes, which are unprecedented in global history.
*Note: The Transition Town model includes the formation of Heart and Soul committees but I don’t know if many of these subgroups have facilitators that are skilled enough to navigate the deep, sometimes rough, waters of the psyche and collective unconscious, let alone the prowess to help people own motivations that they don’t discuss proudly. Until we own our shadows, our shadows own us. That work is process, not product oriented, so there is no definable terminus.
Among all of the world’s major spiritual traditions, there are precepts for the personal management of Divine power, our lifeforce, that also enhance physical health and emotional well-bein. Violations of those precepts end up costing us spiritually as well as biologically. These precepts are: 1) Live in the present moment, 2) Seek only the truth, 3) Surrender personal will to Divine will, 4) Love is Divine Power, 5) Honor oneself, 6) Honor the whole of life, and 7) All is one. These precepts correspond to the seven chakras of the Vedic scriptures, the seven Christian sacraments, and the Tree of Life of the Kabbalistic tradition. (reference: Caroline Myss)
All is one is apparently one of the truths that sounds fabulous in theory but is hard to live by in practice. Anything that divides unity or violates the sanctity of the whole, such as racism, homophobia, classism, or sexism, is a violation the precept and hence, Divine law. Social, economic and ecological justice are inextricably linked. Abuse and concatenated energetic/spiritual violations are not permissible behaviors that we should turn a blind eye to and deny because what is in the one is in the whole and what is in the whole is in the one. The enemy isn’t “out there”. It never was. The human heart is the portal for both good and evil in the world; intention and choice mediate what we manifest through our creativity.
We live in a global culture that is highly tolerant of abuse in all its myriad forms. Although physical abuse is horrifying in its senselessness, it is a malignant outgrowth of the more prevalent, but hidden, verbal, energetic, emotional, and psychological forms of abuse, which are often more damaging because the process of non-physical abuse destroys the abused person (or animal, social class, nation, ecosystem, etc.) from the inside out. Contrary to popular myth, most abusers do not inflict harm because of mental illness or because they too were victims of abuse. Abusers abuse because they can and because no one holds them accountable for their predatory behavior; the motivations, rooted in self-serving values and attitudes of entitlement, lie in needs for power, domination, and control through their impositions on others rather than the cultivation of authentic power from within. Abuse breaches the surface of public consciousness when it surfaces in a salacious story about incest, pornography, sexual slavery or culmination in murder. This kind of violence will not subside unless and until abuse is no longer tolerated socially or interpersonally. Most abusers feel utterly entitled to behaving as they do and merely cracking down with more punitive laws or extensive punishments on the tiny fraction who are caught in the legal system will not stem the tide abuse victims. The vast majority of abusers are never caught, let alone prosecuted; they simply move on to new victims.Did you like this? If so, please bookmark it (http://www NULL.addthis NULL.com/bookmark NULL.php),