CAITLIN JOHNSTONE: “The Revolution Has No Hollywood Ending”

“People are hoping that Donald Trump gets arrested for conspiring with Russia and dragged off in chains and everything goes back to normal. People are hoping that President Trump drains the swamp, locks up Hillary Clinton, arrests most of Capitol Hill for child molestation, and destroys the Deep State. People are hoping there’s a violent revolution which restores individual sovereignty to the citizenry. People are hoping there’s a peaceful people’s revolution which ousts the ruling class and replaces the status quo with whatever their personal favored strain of leftism is. Everyone’s subconsciously looking for some big, momentous climax where the Good Guys are vindicated and the Bad Guys are brought to justice.

And it just isn’t going to go down like that.”

~Caitlin Johnstone

 

After struggling against our own self-destructive tendencies throughout the entirety of recorded history, humanity is now at a point where that struggle is probably going to be resolved, one way or another, within the lifetime of most people reading this.

The movie about this struggle has been written with one of two possible endings. In the first, we are unable to overcome our self-destructive tendencies, and the last of our species dies by radiation poisoning or choking on the dust of an uninhabitable planet. In the second, we evolve beyond our self-destructive tendencies and move into a healthy relationship with our minds, our ecosystem, and each other.

Neither of these two endings would work in a Hollywood blockbuster. In the first, humanity dies off not with a bang but with a whimper as a result of nuclear fallout or climate collapse. In the second, conflict and drama as we know it will cease to exist as we pull up and away from the self-destructive patterns which brought us to this point. We’ll either keep along this same destructive trajectory and meet its inevitable end very soon, or we’ll deviate from that trajectory into something wildly different. In either case, there is no kissing the girl while the credits roll, no coolly striding away from the explosion, and no spin-kicking the bad guy off a cliff into lava after uttering a short, memorable line.

I say this because it seems like a lot of people are kind of hoping for a Hollywood ending in some way. People are hoping that Donald Trump gets arrested for conspiring with Russia and dragged off in chains and everything goes back to normal. People are hoping that President Trump drains the swamp, locks up Hillary Clinton, arrests most of Capitol Hill for child molestation, and destroys the Deep State. People are hoping there’s a violent revolution which restores individual sovereignty to the citizenry. People are hoping there’s a peaceful people’s revolution which ousts the ruling class and replaces the status quo with whatever their personal favored strain of leftism is. Everyone’s subconsciously looking for some big, momentous climax where the Good Guys are vindicated and the Bad Guys are brought to justice.

And it just isn’t going to go down like that.

If you’ve paid much attention to human behavior throughout your life, you know that we reliably repeat the same patterns until there’s inner healing and personal growth. If you’ve experienced inner healing and personal growth, you know that the actual experience of it is generally anti-climactic. True healing is always a game of subtraction, and it moves in the exact opposite direction of the egoically satisfying mental narratives which Hollywood has grown so skilled at providing us. When true inner healing takes place, it doesn’t usually make for a good story, and its effects often go unnoticed for some time, because they are evidenced not in the addition of something new but in the subtraction of something old. You look at your memories of your old unwholesome behavior patterns and think “Hmm, how strange that I used to do that sort of thing!”

If humanity transcends its unwholesome patterns at the end of this movie, it’s going to happen in much the same way. Not in an egoically gratifying way where we see our most hated political figures punished and our own ideological preferences uplifted, but in the simple falling away of old patterns. If human consciousness evolves to the point where we can avert our own destruction, then it will necessarily have dropped the egoic patterns of fear, greed and negativity which kept us bound to our old destructive behaviors. Were that to happen, we’d probably struggle to even remember what we used to stress and rage about when looking at the state of our world.

Nothing else will do the trick. If we do come to some dramatic, egoically satisfying climax, like where all the oligarchs and warmongers are guillotined and their wealth distributed among the needy or whatever, then it isn’t the end of the movie. We have not arrived at a point where we’ve transcended our old patterns, we’ve just seen those old patterns manifest in a way which happens to be egoically pleasing to us in this particular instance. And we will soon see them manifest in ways which we find far from pleasing again.

We will not arrive at our happy ending unless we collectively heal away those old egoic addictions to drama and conflict. Even if we did somehow manage to create a utopia without healing away those old egoic addictions, it would be quickly destroyed and the countdown to doomsday restarted by the gnashing, looping patterns which brought us to the brink of extinction in the first place.

Because guess what? From the perspective of our current state of drama-addicted and conflict-addicted collective consciousness, a world without drama and conflict is dull and worthless. Those addictions will keep leading us toward our destruction until we shed them, if for no other reason than our psychological inability to live in a peaceful, harmonious world.

Are you able to live in a peaceful, harmonious world? A world that is boring to the ego and unsuitable for Hollywood scripts? When I look at the behavior of a lot of activists on social media, it seems like a lot of them fear an end to drama and conflict more than they fear the end of the world. It sounds funny to say, but I think this is legitimately the case for many people. Our addiction to drama and conflict is so strong and our ability to just be at peace in the here and now so weak that keeping things from becoming harmonious can feel like an existential life-and-death need. And we all know people who are strongly predisposed toward stirring up drama to feed that illusory need.

To be able to live in a peaceful world where we collaborate harmoniously with our ecosystem and our fellow humans, we’ll have to transcend our inability to simply be. To have a world where all human ingenuity is pointed at making the world a better place instead of inventing new ways to create landfill for mass consumption and new ways to kill and exploit each other, we’re going to have to have minds that are able to survive in an environment with a lot less conflict, and, once our ingenuity really gets going, a lot less work as well. Minds that can rest comfortably without frenetic busyness or drama. Such minds are currently rare among our species.

The reason there are so many Hollywood movies about dystopian futures and hardly any about utopian futures is because there is no drama and conflict in utopia. Hollywood movies bring in the big bucks by being egoically pleasing to watch; it’s ego candy to watch heroes kicking villains off cliffs, because we can place ourselves in the role of the protagonist and imagine ourselves emerging triumphantly from the drama and conflicts displayed on the screen.

This is why I refer to myself as a “utopia prepper”. In order to have a peaceful, harmonious world, we’re going to have to have minds that are receptive to such a thing. I consider cultivating such a mind to be the most important thing I do in paving the way for paradise on earth, abandoning all attachments to our old ways of operating and opening a path within myself for something new. This will necessarily happen among us all if we’re to see the happy ending of this movie, and if we do it won’t be spectacular. It won’t be egoically gratifying. We’ll simply cease engaging in unwholesome patterns in a very anti-climactic way, begin channeling our ingenuity into making the world a better place, and perhaps once in a while look back on history and think, “Hmm, how strange that we used to do that sort of thing!”

 

~via WakingTimes.com

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MATEO SOL: “Why Our Political Instability Will Continue, And Crisis Is OK”

“Genuinely wise, balanced, whole, and mature politicians are rare. Too many leadership choices are motivated by greed and fear and enabled by immaturity, paranoia, and lack of moral development. The politicians we have today are spiritually stunted and immature, yet despite this, they continue to get elected.”

~Mateo Sol

 

Recent events seem to show our world being turned upside down. With political, ecological, economical and religious stress everywhere, we’ve been experiencing one crisis after another, with no end in sight.

Can anything good come out of this?

Although there is currently a wave of change occurring at a global scale, the natural state of human beings is one of crisis.

We are the only living beings (that we know of) that are aware of our own existence, of the changes we go through internally and externally, and how we expect the world should be. We are constantly in the process of going from the known toward the unknown, the familiar towards the unexpected. It’s no surprise that we are constantly in crisis, the crisis of being alive. We feel this crisis in our perpetual states of existential anxiety, tension, and anguish.

Why is Crisis Necessary?

Our basic spiritual desire to answer the questions “Who am I?” and “Why am I here?” are born from the crisis of being alive and not knowing what on earth to do with ourselves.

At a fundamental level, we’re wired to dislike change because it is something we (the ego) can’t control. But our resistance to growth keeps us stranded in a state of stagnation. As a result of this inner stagnation, many of us try to fill this void with all kinds of distractions: work, material consumption, travel, food, socializing, movies, video games, and much more.

The truth is that this abyss within us is always here. But many of us refuse to face this void until we’re forced to, usually through a crisis of sorts.

Every great change in history has occurred in a period of crisis. From Martin Luther King’s revolution and Gandhi’s movement to the French Revolution, the most effective changes have come from the most intense periods of dissatisfaction.

And we’re in such a period right now.

With political and social instability on the rise, we’re starting to see the wide-reaching impacts of chaos and the way it breaks apart our old patterns and paradigms.

Have you ever noticed that when everything is static, we as a collective feel socially indifferent to any particular view? As a result, not much change is possible. But when chaos arises, change is not only inevitable, it is destined.

This is why crisis is actually a necessary force. Without it, we would be stuck rotting away in our ingrained habits, beliefs, and structures.

Rethinking our system and structures is expensive, and there are a whole bunch of people who are invested in preserving the status quo. This system is protected by wealthy elites armed with the power of law, privately owned media, large multinational companies, propaganda, the police force, and the army.

The only way that we, as the other “99%” can make a real, soulful change, is through the force of crisis. Crisis is the only thing that can motivate us enough to change the way we think, feel, and behave.

We have come to a point where a new vision is needed. It has never been needed as much as it is now. Not only is our Earth in an ecological crisis due to our abuse of it, we’re also experiencing a severe political crisis with untold future repercussions.

For these old foundations to dissolve, we must lay new foundations. But for the new to be born, there must be some birth pains. That’s what the crisis we currently face really is.

Why Our Political Leaders Are Immature

The history of politics in Western civilization is full of stories featuring power grabbing or, at best, well-intentioned but psycho-spiritually immature leaders.

Genuinely wise, balanced, whole, and mature politicians are rare. Too many leadership choices are motivated by greed and fear and enabled by immaturity, paranoia, and lack of moral development.

Perhaps our political system is a reflection of our society and education systems that teach us to contribute to the “common good” through self-interest. In our society there is little consideration or exploration of what the “good of the whole” might mean or exploring the primordial questions: “How should I live?” and “How should we all live together?”

Yet when we trace back to the origins of politics we realize how divorced it is from its original Socratic intention as the search for the ideal “good life.”

The good life for Socrates had two primary aspects: what he called “the improvement of one’s soul,” and on the other hand, there is the improvement of one’s society. This sort of Socratic knowledge was what he called wisdom.

This pursuit of wisdom cannot be simply legislated or bureaucratically enforced. The government is only an institution, human-made, and cannot provide the wise society that we seek.

Instead at the center of such a cultural and consciousness revolution must be a spiritual, intellectual and moral rebirth of ourselves as individuals; what Socrates disciple Plato referred to as “Periagoge,” or “a turning around of the soul” toward truth, beauty and good.

Why We Desperately Need Mature Action Right Now

The politicians we have today are spiritually stunted and immature, yet despite this, they continue to get elected. In the end, our leaders are a reflection of us as a society, and as a planet at large. Therefore, our social and ecological health are entirely dependent on our capacity as voters to do some intense soulwork, and go through a genuine process of human maturation.

Only once we have more matured Souls on this planet will we realize that “self-interest” actually includes the concern for other people because we are all interconnected.

The current state of our world brings great despair and anguish to all of us, this is especially true for the old souls with mature hearts among us who feel the rape of society and torture of the earth more intensely.

Mature action involves preserving and protecting all that is left while simultaneously exploring our inner selves and reconnecting to our Souls.

Whether it be political or charitable action, mature action must come from an inner place of humbleness, rather than from a place of “needing to do good” which can easily be tainted with all kinds of needs, such as self-gratification, power, and control — as is the case with so many politicians today.

 

~via WakeUp-World.com

THICH NHAT HANH: “We Need a Revolution — It Starts with Falling in Love with the Earth”

The Earth is our mother, nourishing and protecting us in every moment — giving us air to breathe, fresh water to drink, food to eat and healing herbs to cure us when we are sick.  Every breath we inhale contains our planet’s nitrogen, oxygen, water vapor and trace elements.  When we breathe with mindfulness, we can experience our interbeing with the Earth’s delicate atmosphere, with all the plants, and even with the sun, whose light makes possible the miracle of photosynthesis.  With every breath, we can experience communion.  With every breath, we can savor the wonders of life.

We need to change our way of thinking and seeing things.  We need to realise that the Earth is not just our environment.  The Earth is not something outside of us.  Breathing with mindfulness and contemplating your body, you realise that you are the Earth.  You realise that your consciousness is also the consciousness of the Earth.  Look around you — what you see is not your environment, it is you.

Great Mother Earth

Whatever nationality or culture we belong to, whatever religion we follow, whether we’re Buddhists, Christians, Muslims, Jews, or atheists, we can all see that the Earth is not inert matter.  She is a great being, who has herself given birth to many other great beings — including Buddhas and bodhisattvas, prophets and saints, sons and daughters of God and humankind.  The Earth is a loving mother, nurturing and protecting all peoples and all species without discrimination.

When you realise the Earth is so much more than simply your environment, you’ll be moved to protect her in the same way as you would yourself.  This is the kind of awareness, the kind of awakening that we need, and the future of the planet depends on whether we’re able to cultivate this insight or not.  The Earth and all species on Earth are in real danger.  Yet if we can develop a deep relationship with the Earth, we’ll have enough love, strength and awakening in order to change our way of life.

Falling in Love

We can all experience a feeling of deep admiration and love when we see the great harmony, elegance and beauty of the Earth.  A simple branch of a cherry blossom, the shell of a snail or the wing of a bat — all bear witness to the Earth’s masterful creativity.  Every advance in our scientific understanding deepens our admiration and love for this wondrous planet.  When we can truly see and understand the Earth, love is born in our hearts. We feel connected.  That is the meaning of love: To be at one.

Only when we’ve truly fallen back in love with the Earth will our actions spring from reverence, and the insight of our interconnectedness.  Yet many of us have become alienated from the Earth.  We are lost, isolated and lonely.  We work too hard, our lives are too busy, and we are restless and distracted, losing ourselves in consumption.  But the Earth is always there for us, offering us everything we need for our nourishment and healing: The miraculous grain of corn, the refreshing stream, the fragrant forest, the majestic snow-capped mountain peak, and the joyful birdsong at dawn.

True Happiness is Made of Love

Many of us think we need more money, more power or more status before we can be happy.  We’re so busy spending our lives chasing after money, power and status that we ignore all the conditions for happiness already available.  At the same time, we lose ourselves in buying and consuming things we don’t need, putting a heavy strain on both our bodies and the planet.  Yet much of what we drink, eat, watch, read or listen to, is toxic and is polluting our bodies and minds with violence, anger, fear and despair.

As well as the carbon dioxide pollution of our physical environment, we can speak of the spiritual pollution of our human environment: The toxic and destructive atmosphere we’re creating with our way of consuming.  We need to consume in such a way that truly sustains our peace and happiness.  Only when we’re sustainable as humans will our civilization become sustainable.  It is possible to be happy in the here and the now.

We don’t need to consume a lot to be happy; in fact, we can live very simply.  With mindfulness, any moment can become a happy moment.  Savoring one simple breath, taking a moment to stop and contemplate the bright blue sky, or to fully enjoy the presence of a loved one, can be more than enough to make us happy.  Each one of us needs to come back to reconnect with ourselves, with our loved ones and with the Earth.  It’s not money, power or consuming that can make us happy, but having love and understanding in our heart.

The Bread in Your Hand is the Body of the Cosmos

We need to consume in such a way that keeps our compassion alive.  And yet many of us consume in a way that is very violent. Forests are cut down to raise cattle for beef, or to grow grain for liquor, while millions in the world are dying of starvation.  Reducing the amount of meat we eat and alcohol we consume by 50% is a true act of love for ourselves, for the Earth and for one another.  Eating with compassion can already help transform the situation our planet is facing, and restore balance to ourselves and the Earth.

Nothing is More Important than Brotherhood and Sisterhood

There’s a revolution that needs to happen and it starts from inside each one of us. We need to wake up and fall in love with Earth.  We’ve been homo sapiens for a long time. Now it’s time to become homo conscious.  Our love and admiration for the Earth has the power to unite us and remove all boundaries, separation and discrimination.  Centuries of individualism and competition have brought about tremendous destruction and alienation.  We need to re-establish true communication — true communion — with ourselves, with the Earth, and with one another, as children of the same mother.  We need more than new technology to protect the planet.  We need real community and co-operation.

All civilisations are impermanent and must come to an end one day.  But if we continue on our current course, there’s no doubt that our civilisation will be destroyed sooner than we think.  The Earth may need millions of years to heal, to retrieve her balance and restore her beauty.  She will be able to recover, but we humans and many other species will disappear, until the Earth can generate conditions to bring us forth again in new forms.  Once we can accept the impermanence of our civilization with peace, we will be liberated from our fear.  Only then will we have the strength, awakening and love we need to bring us together.  Cherishing our precious Earth — falling in love with the Earth — is not an obligation.  It is a matter of personal and collective happiness and survival.

 

 

~via WakingTimes.com