[An email sent in the era of The Phoenix Coalition, after an old paradigm event where people were not very energized by it because of the broadcast top-down approach.]
Subject: Something Revolutionary… what about LIFE? Cooperation + Sharing
Hi there dear beloved siblings Saira, Van, Yaman, Jeff and Isaac ! 🙂
(I’m copying some citizens of the world that might be interested in this feedback/future planning).
Last night’s event, Rebirth of the UC, was very nice for hardcore activists. In particular, Hillary’s performance/poem was full of life. From my perspective, the problem of losing much of the audience as the time passed by, was the format we used. It is not suitable for life. At the end we didn’t have the new spark we are trying to cultivate. I hope we have some ideas on how we can do something really energetic to avoid the old-fashion-broadcasting-to-the-audience style.
As much as I enjoyed the participation of progressive students (we are not alone! 🙂 ), if I were new to this atmosphere, I agree with some siblings who told me that at some point it was boring (a 9 year old girl -a nice sensor for boredom- only resisted 20 minutes). We need something dynamic. We are about life and living systems need to be dynamic if they are to survive, able to adjust themselves to the fluctuations which their cooperative existence as part of the greater unity of the organism demands.
We need an alive community.
We need something exciting AND inspiring. If we keep focusing on the negative stuff, we’re going to end with a bunch of burned out activists. We need to have Yaman’s calendar full of creative/revolutionary/enthusiastic events, and yes, a _few_ protests, civil disobediences and almost none horrific stories of the Empire. We need to make our Dream real. We need more “Activism Right There”; more Peace Not Prejudice; more Dinna + Isaac and Hillary poems; more meditation/drum circles by the new tree-sit; more Cal OURrientations –aka DisOrientations; more (food) The Locals; and a holistic combination of concrete pragmatic ideas/actions.
I’d love to share with you my perspective of our community, our generation’s Dream seen through Pancho’s lenses (highly influenced by Emma Goldman + Sagan + David Korten + Michael Nagler + Easwaran + Gandhi… ). So, here we go:
Life exist only in relationship with other life, that is, COMMUNITY. And the organizing principle of life is partnership, it is its very essence. Life exists only in living communities of diverse and mutually interdependent species.
How do we free ourselves from the self-inflected alienation and oppression of the last Empire? We need to _create_ societies that support every person in connecting to life in ways that enhance the creative potential of both self and community so that all may enjoy the joys of the Earth Community.
Species that survive and prosper are ultimately those that find a niche in which they meet their own needs in ways that simultaneously serve others. Aggressive competition leads to the threat of extinction, which is then avoided by the formation of cooperative alliances.
Echoing brother Jeff’s idea on human contact+technology: It is entirely possible to create societies that are at once human, rooted in their place, and modern in their global connections, understanding, and use of technology. How do we apply the organizing principles of partnership to the restructuring of human institutions?
Two key factors:
- We need a turning from money to life as our defining value and
- We need a turning from relations of domination to relations of partnership based on organizing principles discerned from the study of healthy living systems.
Then with family life, work life, and community life more geographically proximate and people in more regular and natural contact, our lives would be less fragmented and more coherent, the bonds of community denser, stronger, and more trusting.
Breaking up global corporations into human-scale, locally owned enterprises would free still more resources by eliminating the massive burden of inflated executive compensation packages and by removing bureaucratic barriers to innovation (i.e. we proposed a student poll, one of the first steps for nuclear weapon abolition, many many _many_ months ago and still stuck in the “UCB student government”). We need to “impeach” Richard Blum and allies from the UC regents; we need to democratize the regents. We need true regents elected by the community.
We would be working less (on assignments/papers/midterms/finals) and living more. Our lives would be freer and richer. Our environment would be cleaner and healthier. A world no longer divided between the obscenely rich and the desperately poor would know more peace and less violence, more love and less fear, more hope and less hate. There would be little need for dominator structures to impose order. Earth could heal itself and provide a home for our children for generations to come.
An we can do it because our community is about COOPERATION and SHARING.
The revolutionary change is in our hands. It is about getting clear on our values, setting new priorities, redefining progress, and consuming less so that we become more human and in the process experience that abundance of authentic relationships (i.e. intellectual life and scientific inquiry are vibrant, open and dedicated to the development and sharing of knowledge and life-serving technologies that address society’s priority needs). As Lobo Corriendo [a Native American of the Black Foot Nation] said yesterday: “relationships, not money, are the true measure of the well-being.” What matters most is our connection to and participation in the life of community.
Our generation is tired of the imperial security that means securing the established hierarchy of privilege, whatever the cost. For us, security means securing the well-being of present and future generations against avoidable risks and sharing the costs of the risks that are unavoidable. Strong families and communities that build relationships of mutual trust and caring and that support all people in realizing the potentials of their humanity are the best guarantee of human security. One of our goals is to achieve restorative justice that promotes healing and respect for all persons. And what is true for persons is true for communities and nations (i.e. The United States and other nations can best support democracy by ending their support for dictatorial regimes and their dependance on the foreign resources to which these regimes provide access).
The story of our community is grounded in the wisdom of the highest orders of human consciousness and informed by the whole human knowledge and experience. We need to create new cultural spaces that give people the freedom to experiment with cooperative relationships and support all persons in the full realization of their humanity. The well-being of the individual and of the community are inseparable. The health of the whole depends on the health and integrity of the individual, and the health of the individual depends on the health and integrity of the whole. The species that survive and thrive are those that learn to sustain themselves in ways that simultaneously serve the needs of the whole. The defining challenge for each new species is to find its place of service, a challenge we humans have yet to meet. Humanity has to become a fractal of cooperation and sharing in order to survive.
Through out our history, we humans have demonstrated that hatred and love, greed and generosity, ruthless competition and self-less cooperation, are all within our nature. It is also in our nature to choose among the possibilities of our nature, and it is our responsibility to chose wisely. Because we live in complex and interdependent relationships with one another on a planetary spaceship with a fragile and now overstressed life support system, we humans share a common destiny. It is ours to choose whether that common destiny will be one of violence, tyranny and deprivation or peace, justice, and abundance. It is left to us to choose how we use this opportunity and to bear the consequences of our choice.
This is the Ahimsa Revolution, the fundamental pillar in the New Renaissance of humanity. I think brother Jeff brought to my attention one quote of Gandhi which became on of my favorites: “The fragrance always remains in the hand that gives the rose.”
Let’s train ourselves to identify and to eradicate negative thoughts and to cultivate the positive states of mind. Then, we could go even a step forward: how do we replicate a rose garden? 😉
What if we have a gathering of responsible earthlings who approach our generation stories in the spirit of ancient oral tradition as contributions to the living, evolving, creative expression of the shared learning of an emerging human era?
We can organize small discussion groups (in the form of starfish cells! ) to reflect on the stories of the Empire (which core is the consequence of our alienation to life) and the stories of the Earth Community (relearning how to live, which depends in turn on new life-affirming stories) in light of our own experience and understanding. Gather as a story tellers of a new era. As we found our own stories, let’s share them with others in our own words and in the manner true to our experience.
The life-denying stories of the Empire cannot compete with the life-affirming stories of the Earth Community which, in combination with practical demonstrations, give voice to the deep human yearning for healthy children, families, communities and natural environments.
It is time to distribute power and eliminate the hierarchy. Our seemingly small and fragmented individual efforts can add up to a powerful social force to change the course of history as we break the silence, end our isolation, and change the story.
“The time is now. The choice is ours. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.”–David Korten
Have a ONE-derful day! 🙂
If you want to be a rebel, be kind. Human-kind, be both.