“In art and dream may you proceed with abandon. In life, may you proceed with balance and stealth.” ~ Patti Smith
Despite any current or coming storms, there are surprisingly simple strategies toward remaining a patch of clarity, courage, compassion, and calm in the face of nationalism, racism, tyranny, and hate.
Unfortunately, within a sick society, these strategies seem to be controversial and counterintuitive. They are so controversial, in fact, that most people would rather just be consumed by the storm, getting lost in the rhetoric of divisiveness.
At least the storm makes sense and jives with the narrative of the status quo. But that’s only because our sick societies have divided us from each other and from the truth that everything is connected.
Simplifying things makes this crazy ride that is the human condition a little easier to digest, a little easier to navigate, and a little easier to enjoy. It’s not as complicated as we tend to make it. Neither is it as serious or as personal as we tend to take it.
With just a little psychosocial navigating through the briar patch of our own cognitive dissonance, and a little ninjaneering of our cultural programming, we can all take these simplifying strategies into deep consideration and begin to resonate with them to become better humans, despite any and all storms seeking to overwhelm us.
Make your birthplace Earth:
“The old appeals to racial, sexual, religious chauvinism and to rabid nationalist fervor are beginning not to work. A new consciousness is developing which sees the earth as a single organism and recognizes that an organism at war with itself is doomed. We are one planet.” ~ Carl Sagan
It’s so simple it’s ridiculous. We’re all earthlings. We’re all in this together.
We’re all flying on a little blue dot through the darkest darkness that any of us can possibly imagine, and yet here we are, fighting over imaginary lines in the sand, and preaching at each other, through blind fervor and ignorant zealotry, outdated and parochial platitudes reeking of dogma and divisiveness.
We’re all so caught up in the melodrama of control and ownership and “mine, mine, mine!” that we’ve forgotten what’s primary in order for us to evolve as a healthy, sustainable, and moral species on an ever-changing planet: flexibility, cooperation, and “ours, ours, ours!”
This is our planet. All of ours! Nobody owns it when everybody needs it. Borders are outdated, lizard-brain, knee-jerk reactions to our desperately short time on this planet, and our desperate, existential misunderstanding of impermanence.
Nationalism and patriotism are blinding cartoons in the brain running on autopilot from years of enculturated propaganda.
It turns out human psychology is a terribly easy thing to manipulate. Destroying our planets ecosystem to gain imaginary wealth is just plain stupid, and yet here we are, ignorant bystanders and accomplices to ecocide.
As Victor Hugo said, “Sacrificing the earth for paradise is giving up the substance for the shadow.” Make your birthplace earth, and then see how fast your codependent (and even your independent) tune changes to one of interdependence.
Make your race Human:
“I salute the light within your eyes where the whole universe dwells. For when you are at that center within you and I am at that place within me, we shall be one.” ~ Chief Crazy Horse
As I wrote in 7 Signs You May be a Rainbow Warrior, “Your skin may be white, black, brown, red, yellow, or whatever other stereotypical color you wish to marginalize your skin color with, but your heart is red. It bleeds red no matter your race, nationality, or creed. We are all united in red, and the red nation has the potential to rise again and it can be a blessing for a sick world.”
Indeed. When you focus on the heart, you realize that we’re all in this together. We’re all human beings fighting the hard fight of mortality. We’re all wrestling with this thing called life which not even one of us can explain with any amount of authentic certainty.
As the Carl Sagan said, “Every one of us is, in the cosmic perspective, precious. If a human disagrees with you, let him live. In a hundred billion galaxies, you will not find another.”
Again, it’s so simple it’s ridiculous –of course we’re all human, of course our lives are precious and short. At those times when we’re most at peace with ourselves, usually during solitude or meditation or both, that wise elder inside us does an ancestral facepalm, “How could I have forgotten!” And we do forget. All the time. How could we not?
Surrounded as we are by all the political ballyhoos, and religious hullabaloos, and racist cuffuffles. It’s all such a cacophonous commotion of existential discontent; the thrashing about of an adolescent species trying to figure out how to grow up. Hint: it takes a village, and that village is the entire human race living on a shared planet.
Make your politics Freedom:
This is a tough one, though it seems simple. Just be free. But it takes a lot of work to maintain freedom. That work is usually in the face of an entity seeking to take your freedom away. You just need to have the courage and the audacity not to allow it.
We’re all born free, and yet somehow we become… not so free. From debt slavery to soft slavery to direct slavery, humanity is exasperatingly unfree. This is typically due to people doing the opposite of the four basic strategies in this article while wallowing in the muck and mire of statism.
Making your politics freedom is difficult because of the ever-looming power of the state and its destructive and globalizing man-machine which hangs over your head like a Sword of Damocles, threatening to take your freedom away if you do not comply with its outdated, immoral, and tyrannical demands.
It’s all too easy to comply, giving into debt slavery as if we’re in debt to anything except an abstraction of an abstraction. It’s all too easy to obey, giving into soft slavery like a house slave who has everything they need as long as they obey the master of the house.
It’s all too easy to bury our heads in the sand while our masters and rulers draw lines in it, screaming from their baby-like, tyrannical mouths, reeking of Goliath-breath: “Mine!”
Make your spirituality Love (detachment):
“In the end, I want my heart to be covered in stretch marks.” ~ Andrea Gibson
Again, so simple it’s cliché. The oldest cliché, in fact. “All you need is love.”
But out beyond notions of ownership and control, beyond the illusion of permanence and perfection, there is a love so powerful that it crushes all other forms of love hitherto: detachment, also expressed as non-attachment.
Detachment is the key to authentic love. It’s so powerful that even detachment from it being the key to authentic love is the key to happiness.
And it goes further: It’s so meta-powerful that even detachment from the detachment from it being the key to authentic love is the key to happiness is the key to laughable joy and ecstatic jouissance, tantamount to existential masochism. And it goes even further, but you get the point.
When you make your spirituality loving non-attachment, you obliterate obstacles, both real and imaginary. Your soul is finally allowed to breath. You suffocate Rigidness and crucify Dogma, allowing for the shadows to reveal their light, and the light to reveal vital hidden shadow knowledge that we were once blind to.
Authentic compassion becomes manifest. Love becomes insurgent, Agape-perfect in its imperfect dance with an interdependent cosmos. When we make our spirituality love, the entire universe falls under the umbrella of our numinous reach into interconnectedness with all things.
And suddenly we’re not so small. Suddenly the world becomes more precious. Our humanness becomes more of a tragically beautiful brotherhood. Our political thrashing about inside obsolete boxes of statism seems petty and trite in the grand scheme of things.
Suddenly it becomes that much easier to be a better, more loving, human being. As the mystic Mooji surmised, “Step into the fire of self-discovery. This fire will not burn you. It will only burn what you are not.”