After spending just a few weeks devoting myself to the pursuit of ecstasy, I’m starting to understand why certain people in our society go to such great lengths to control people’s passions.
Passion is POWER! Control the passions of the people, and you control the world. Set those passions free, and a free world will follow.
Politicians, corporations, and other so-called leaders control our sensual and sexual passions through a combination of aggressive advertising, media messages, and oppresive “moral” restrictions. They control our artistic and creative passions by creating a banal social and economic reality where we can only survive and prosper by denying the pursuit of our dreams. They control our spiritual passions by driving the sense of wonder out of our lives and forcing us to buy it back piecemeal, either through subservience to their hollow religious institutions or through expensive consumption of inspirational “products” such as movies and music.
They use these tools to control the ebb and flow of our passions. Our sensual, sexual, artistic, creative, and spiritual passions are all seen not as inborn qualities, but rather as distant prizes that we may one day claim if we obey their rigid rules and conform to their rigid order.
They tell us to consume more; question less; submit to authority; dominate the oppressed; abandon all sense of magic and wonder; ignore the fact that our empire is sending humanity and the Earth to hell in a handbasket; and if we don’t like it, we must pop a few more pills, and our discontent will be replaced with a bit of numbness and mild nausea.
Well, I will have none of it. Ecstasy is our birthright — and the passion that drives it is the fire that will fuel the revolution.
I’ve known about all of this intellectually for years now. In fact, I’ve spent the past ten years or so of my life developing an ever-richer understanding the many facets of the global crisis. But really, only in the past year or two of personal development has the answer to the crisis become more clear to me. And in my moment of clarity and passion, I feel driven to climb the highest mountain and shout the words of my visions for all the world to hear.
The details are amazingly complex, but the heart of it all is amazingly simple. And the heart of it is this:
We must reclaim our passions, and refocus them to the task of personal and planetary revolution. Not someday; not next year; not next month; and not even tomorrow. We must embrace our passion for a life of love and freedom, and we must do it NOW! Otherwise, within our lifetimes, the global climate will collapse, global society will dissolve, and life as we know it will end.
I really don’t like making such dire pronouncements, but that’s the truth of the matter. I’ve known it for a while now, and I can feel it burning in my bones and racing through my mind even as I write this. And really, I feel that our lives should be motivated by a passion for life rather than a fear of apocalypse. But since that doesn’t seem to be working for most of us — myself included, up until recently — I think it’s time to address the fact that we stand at a crossroads of tremendous significance.
Evidence is mounting at an accelerating rate in support of the existence of human-caused global climate change. And even without climate change, our social, economic, and political reality is creating an absurd amount of carnage that is simply intolerable. And even without the external threats, the forms of mass psychological control that have been developed in the Western world in the past 50-100 years have become such a dire threat to our individual psychological freedom that we must not tolerate them for a moment longer.
From the outermost reaches of the planet to the innermost confines of our minds, hearts, and spirits, our world is under siege from the forces of domination and destruction. This has been the case throughout history — but now, we are reaching a point of no return, where we must either choose to rise up in the name of freedom, or watch as all that we hold dear is destroyed before our very eyes.
Of course, this isn’t to say that everything in the world is bad! Far from it. If I believed that, then I wouldn’t even bother writing this entry. The good news is that we do indeed have the potential to create a better world — and in fact, even amidst the destruction described above, that world is emerging.
But that emerging world is so tender… so new… so delicate… like a single butterfly breaking through its cocoon in the midst of a thunderstorm. Unless we nurture, cherish, and protect it, it will die before it ever truly lives.
I just saw a movie called “Children of Men” recently, and I found it very moving. (Plot spoiler ahead!) Humanity had become infertile, and there were no children left in the world. Then, the first child born in 18 years — a newborn infant, now the only child in the world — was born in the midst of an uprising in a detention camp. There was this tremendous tension at the climax of the movie as bullets flew all around this child, threatening to end what may well be humanity’s last hope for new life. But then, there was this amazing moment that I’ll always remember.
It was a sudden moment of peace.
As the mother walked down a hallway and stairs with child in arms, the child was crying, and people immediately noticed the all-but-forgotten sound. One by one, they turned to mother and child, some reaching out to touch the child gently, as if to bless it and make sure that it was real. Soon, even the soldiers and militants stopped firing their guns, and the whole battlefield fell silent. Formerly stoic soldiers found their faces filled with looks of tenderness, and a few crossed themselves or humbled themselves to the child. As mother and child emerged from the building, there was this amazing sustained moment of peace as all people stood in awe of the miracle of life.
And then, of course, the moment passed, and the fighting resumed.
But still… I found the scene very inspiring, and it reminded me in a lot of ways of the present day situation that stands before us. A precious new life — a precious new incarnation of humanity — is being born at this very moment. Artists, poets, scientists, philosophers, students, teachers, spiritual seekers, and people in every walk of life are starting to see the world (and themselves) in new and exciting ways. With just a little more time, and a little more energy, and a little more focus, I just know in my heart that we will be able to create an entire world of tremendous freedom, tremendous abundance, and tremendous harmony among people and with the Earth.
We have the potential… and the potential is blooming… but at the very same time, the war is raging, and the threat of global suicide is looming. What we need right now more than anything is that moment of magic… that moment when everyone looks, and notices the birth of a newborn child, and pauses their fighting for just long enough to allow this new incarnation of humanity to be born safely into the world, and to pass safely through the carnage, if only for a moment.
At this point, further losses are inevitable… indeed, I fear that even with our best efforts, terrible tragedies lie ahead that we can scarcely even imagine at this point. But if we act now… if we follow our hearts, and act in whatever ways possible to foster the creation of that magic moment where a new humanity emerges… then all of this will not be in vain, and hope will be reborn in the ashes.
I don’t have all of the answers. I don’t even have all of the questions. But what I do have is a passionate love of life, love of humanity, and love of the Earth. And I truly believe, in my heart of hearts, that now is the time for that “magic pause.”
So let’s do it. Let’s pause, if only for a moment, and work the magic of peace. Pause from our jobs; pause from our studies; pause from our personal pursuits; pause even from our frantic efforts to save the planet. Let’s pause, take a deep breath, ground, center, and stand together in a circle to discuss the challenges that face us.
What are all of the challenges? How do we feel about them? How do we respond to them, as individuals and as groups? What can we do differently, in the service of our values, even if we currently have no clue of how to do it?
Really, I don’t know what anyone else is going to do in 2007. But I know what I’m going to do. I’m going to reclaim my passions, and I’m going to devote them to the service of creating this magic moment, this turning point of revolution, where another world is possible — and indeed, another world is born. I’m going to do this by pursuing my own healing, and building community among the people I love, and travelling as much as possible to speak with others who are doing the same.
This is what I’m going to do in 2007 — and I invite you to join me.
With that said, it’s time to return to the work ahead. We’ve got rocky roads ahead, to be sure — but I know in my heart that we can face it all together.