Projects for the New Year

Life is full of surprises, and I can’t say with any certainty what I’ll be working on tomorrow, much less a year from now. But as I mentioned in my last entry, I’m filled with an incredible passion for life that exceeds anything I’ve ever felt before. I want to live, to dance, to sing, to play, to work, to reach all of my aspirations in life, and to dream of wondrous dreams that others would not dare to imagine! All of this inspiration is starting to come into clearer focus now, to the point where I can narrow it down to three major projects that I’ll likely be working on in this new year.

The first project is my career as an author and public speaker. I didn’t used to like talking about it as a career for a variety of reasons. I’m obviously not in it for the money, and I will continue to speak and write about topics near and dear to my heart as often as I can, even if doing so leaves me penniless. But really, since this is my life’s work, and since I do endeavour to earn a living by it on a good day, it’s my career, or profession, or whatever else you might like to call it.

I’ve put off finishing up Gaia’s Orphans for at least a few more months while I work on developing a clear and effective plan for building my effectiveness within and beyond Southern Illinois. In the past, most of my books and speaking events have been very minimally promoted, either through word of mouth or simple methods such as flyering. This was because I spent all of my time focusing on the creative work and none of it focusing on distribution. From this point forward, though, I’m going to put much more effort into grassroots communications, promotions, and distributions. I have a good deal of important information and inspiration to share with the world, and it would be a shame if that didn’t happen just because I didn’t take the time to engage in enough outreach and networking. That’s a part of the revolution too, right?

My second big project is my goal to live in an intentional community no later than 2010. I believe that I first announced this goal publicly back when I released my first book, Revolution of One. Now, as the date approaches, I’m feeling increasingly worried about the prospects of finding or creating such a community here in Southern Illinois. I’m a very stubborn person, though, so rather than accepting defeat and fleeing to the West Coast, I’ve decided to devote the next three or so years to the task of finding the community I’m looking for right here.

Really, there are two angles to this search. In the short term, I’ve been gathering together the bits and pieces of this would-be community that already exist here in Southern Illinois. I’ve been spending more social time with a few of my friends who I really feel share a lot of good values in commmon — values such as independent thinking, love of true freedom, openness to visionary perspectives and actions, kind-heartedness, the ability to have fun, dedication to the service of good causes, and a love of the Earth and all beings who live here. I’ve also been spending time in organizations and activities that embody at least some of these values, and serve as good practice for any future community living situations.

In the end, though, my mind keeps coming back to how these short-term efforts may fit into the long-term goal of creating community. I really can’t help it… I don’t know if I was born with it, or if my fellow revolutionaries drove it into me, but I can’t help thinking strategically about short term successes and how they may serve long term goals. Even when I’m out dancing to my heart’s content, fully lost in the joy of the moment, I’ll get flashes of insight into how the current experience may relate to the eventual creation of revolutionary communities and societies.

So, in addition to all of the daily efforts to explore community as it exists on the ground today, I’m also examining ways to work toward the creation of an intentional community.

How, then, do we create an intentional community? That’s a question that I can’t answer alone. To be honest, if I seriously intend to stay in a region like Southern Illinois that currently has nothing like what I want to live in, then I’m pretty much at the mercy of other people and their interest or non-interest in intentional communities.

What I can do, though, is help to build groundwork that others may eventually use as a foundation for the creation of our/their intentional community. Along those lines, I have two big strategies for exploring this one big goal of creating community.

First of all, I’ve decided that I’m going to adopt the personal and community practices that I would like to see adopted by individuals in my desired community. This includes a variety of aspects such as a personal fitness practice; daily meditation and spiritual practices; community service work; regular interaction with the non-human natural world, ecological study, practice, and teaching; and plenty of spontaneous, creative, downright ecstatic personal and social activities to balance out all of that discipline and routine. [If you live here in Carbondale, and you haven’t seen me out dancing yet, you probably will son!]

Really, when it comes to communities, I’m willing to settle for a lot less than the very clear and specific personal vision that I have in mind. I know that not everyone in Southern Illinois is interested in becoming an anarchist pagan monk, and if I can’t find enough of us to start our own ecstatic activist monastic community, then I’d be happy to live in a much more broadly defined community. But in the meantime, I may as well start with what I truly desire most and go from there, eh?

My second big strategy for preparing for community living is to seek out others who are interested in forming a housing collective. It basically entails forming a group, then having our group either rent our buy a house (or houses, or apartments) that we will live in together. It’s a much simpler and more mellow process than trying to form a community… in fact, it’s pretty much just like having roommates. The only difference is that you meet regularly (once a week, or once a month) to discuss house issues, and you share in house responsibilities such as cleaning and often some shared meal planning. It’s an excellent experience, whether you see it as a fleeting moment in your life or preparation for further adventures in cooperative or community living.

Anyway… yeah. My career… my search for community… those are two of my big projects for this new year. What, then, is the third?

The third one is…

…a top secret project. 🙂

Hah! Oh, wouldn’t you like to know… seriously though, it’s not a terribly secret project. I’ve spoken to about a dozen people about it, and it’s a group project involving at least two other people currently, so it’s not entirely secret. But I don’t want to mention any of the details until it’s ready for the grand unveiling sometime next year. In the meantime, let’s just say that it’s a very creative and pioneering project that will let people have lots of fun while also possibly learning about and supporting good causes.

For a while, there was also a fourth project — an idea to start a specific local business here in Carbondale to fill a niche that isn’t currently being filled. However, for a variety of reasons, I’ve put that one on the back burner. I’d love to see it come to pass, though, so if you know of any enterprising spirits who share values at least remotely similar to my own, then feel free to direct them my way.

ANYWAY… yeah. Career, community, and Project X. Hopefully, there will be a bit of romance in there somewhere too… but if not, then I’ll just vent all of that extra energy on the dance floor and in my creative projects. If you have any ideas or other input about any of these, you know where to find me. In the meantime, I’m going to head out into the world in search of good food, good fun, and more inspiration for the revolution…

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That Which I Seek

Cult of Ecstasy: This is the symbol of the Cult of Ecstasy, one of the Traditions from Mage: The Ascension.I’d like to start this entry with a quote from the Charge of the Goddess:

“If that which you seek, you find not within yourself, you will never find it without. For behold, I have been with you from the beginning, and I am that which is attained at the end of desire.”

In other words, if you’re not happy inside, then nothing on the outside can make you happy. Some people, I suppose, would take this as an excuse to abandon revolutionary pursuits and just sit around contemplating the inner peace of their navel. But for me, I see it as just the opposite — a powerful lesson in the most powerful source of all revolutionary action.

Earlier in life, I saw revolution as some sort of overwhelming impersonal duty. My emerging empathic abilities informed me very quickly that billions of people are experiencing great suffering right now, not to mention the ecological havoc that is annihilating whole species each and every day of our lives. Since I could see the problems… and since “my” government/corporations had contributed to the problems… and since I might have the power to stop the problems… then wasn’t it my responsibility to take action?

The short answer is yes. Yes… all of us who see these problems have a responsibility to act. All of us who contribute to the problems have a responsibility to act. All of us who could conceiveably stop these problems have a responsibility to act.

But… and there’s ALWAYS a but… the true question lies in HOW to act.

Is it productive to walk around feeling physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually crushed by an overwhelming sense of the horrors of the world? Is it productive to burn ourselves out in the span of a few precious years with forms of activism that only address the barest of symptoms? Is it productive to forbid ourselves the little joys of life, simply because other people are suffering and we don’t feel that we deserve joy until after the revolution?

The answer to these questions is no. No, no, and no. And no to a thousand other conscious and unconscious questions that haunt many of the activists and revolutionaries that I know.

I want to live in a better world. I can envision that world quite clearly now, and I believe it’s a vision that goes beyond my own personal preferences, into the realm of securing greater freedom and justice and peace for all people, and for the land itself. And for a long time, I feel like I’ve been holding back my own personal pleasure, as if waiting for the creation of a utopian society, or at least a small community that was prefigurative of such a society.

Maybe after the revolution, I’ll be happy, and joyful, and peaceful, and free, eh? Maybe I just need to hold all of that personal passion for life back until then so that it doesn’t get in the way, eh?

Well, as some of you may have noticed already, all of that holding back is over for me. I’m not waiting until “after the revolution” anymore… I’m living for that passion now, and I’m here to tell you that you should do the same.

What we really need right now is some passionate revolutionaries. We need people who feel that same sense of duty to fight oppression, but use that duty as an opportunity to let their passion and creativity shine.

Some people would say that it’s disrespectful, or perhaps even shameful, to live a life of passion, joy, and celebration while most if not all of the world is burning. But really… how are we going to create a better world if we can’t feel the beginnings of that world inside of ourselves? If we can’t feel that new world inside of ourselves, how are we going to create it on the outside, and who’s going to believe us that it’s really possible?

Passion is life… passion is love… passion is power. We are born to be passionate — to experience divine ecstasy in a way that most people alive today can scarcely even dream of. And yet, the systems of authority and oppression rob us of our birthright through a combination of physical, social, and psychological violence.

In order to change this system, we must start with some of the usual steps that activists and revolutionaries start with. We must come to a greater understanding of the problems, and we must work to formulate principles, strategies, and practicies that will lead to solutions. But once this rational organizing has formed the cold, firm flesh of our revolutionary movement, our passion must be the hot blood that animates every ounce of it.

When we’re in the midst of a campaign, we must pursue our goal with a single-minded passion, like wild berzerkers whose very survival depends upon success. And when we’re in the midst of our purely personal time, taking an hour or a day’s break from any organizing work, we must approach our own life with equal passion. We must sing and dance with our fellow travellers until the wee hours of morning. We must paint, draw, or write in a fit of focused fever, burning inside as though our very life depending on finishing that creative project. We must swear to ourselves and each other that we will no longer let our passions be tamed by any governments, corporations, groupthink, or any of the senseless inhibitions that they inspire.

I swore to myself long ago that I would live to see the destruction of this entire system of oppression. I swore that one day, I would be free, and all people would be free, and the Earth as a whole would be free and healthy. I swore that I would live to see this, or that I would haunt the Earth forever until it finally came to pass. And now, I’ve come to discover that the greatest force of all in this struggle will be our heart’s deepest passions, expressed in harmony with our visions for a better world.

Apathy is the engine of all systems of oppression. Why? Because your passion is at the core of your humanity. Once you learn to imprison your passion, you are essentially learning to imprison your own humanity. Therefore, with your humanity under lock and key, it becomes quite easy to teach you how to dominate others. This is the foundation of fascism — to suppress healthy human desires so that they may be replaced with an apathy for genuine humanity and a passion for service to the Machine.

Well, I say fuck the Machine. It may be struggling to control my body, but my mind has broken free, and it will never have my heart again. No walls can imprison me, and no chains can bind me. I’ve found freedom and passion in my heart… nothing can take that away from me, and it’s a gift that I intend to share with all the world.

It’s going to take a long time to make all of this renewed passion a reality, both in my personal life and in my political life. Let’s face it… I’ve spent the better part of the last ten or more years keeping a tight lid on my passions, either to fit in with the social reality or to deny myself pleasure in favor of supposedly revolutionary pursuits. But in the end, I learned that my passions are so strong that restraining them would literally be the death of me.

I have a deep, genuine desire to be free; to share the joys of that freedom with a community of people who think and live freely; and to serve in securing the freedom and well-being of others. If I resist this core passion of mine in any way, for even a moment, my very flesh starts to wither away. I don’t know if this is how it works for other people… but this is how it works for me, and I’m not going to deny my passions any longer. Merely living in the presence of the profound apathy that surrounds us is painful to me… if I embrace that apathy myself by repressing my emotions, then it literally makes me ill.

So what does all of this talk of passion really mean? In the short term, it means that I’ve been doing more singing, more dancing, more playing, more creating, and at times more mourning and anguishing over things that are beyond my control. [Wailing passionately is better than not crying at all…] But in the long term, I can tell already that it means that I’m becoming a more holistic person, capable of riding through the peaks and valleys of ecstasy and despair without losing my sense of inner peace and vision for a better life. On a personal level, this means my life is becoming more rich, more meaningful, more rewarding, and in an odd and unexpected way, more focused. On a political level, it means that my understanding of the personal aspects of revolution is deeping, and my ideas on revolutionary organizing are evolving.

How do the corporations sell people a bunch of worthless plastic crap that they don’t really need? They do it by appealing to their suppressed passions. “Hey, this product will make you have fun, look younger, feel more self-confident, and have sex with someone you desire.” Well, what would the corporations do if we found our own fun, our own youth, our own self-confidence, our own sexuality, without the help of their worthless products?

If that happened, we would truly be free. And if that were the end of it, it would only be a victory for us personally. But what if we felt that all people had the right to be free too? What if we took some of our newly liberate passion and directed it to the service of freedom for one and all? Why, we’d have a revolution on our hands!

THAT is what people want from revolution — something they can feel passionate about, and something that liberates their passions in return.

So that’s a theme I’ve been exploring in my life over the past few weeks… both philosophically and on the dance floor. If you’d like to explore it with me, you know where to find me. In the meantime, I’m off to express my passion further through some more writing elsewhere…

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Another Oak Falls

A few months ago, I wrote about a tree friend of mine that had been cut down on Oak Street. Alas, I found out recently that another of my favorite tree friends has fallen — this time, the one on Campus Lake that I call Leaning Oak.

Some people may think it’s silly for a human like me to call a tree their friend, or to mourn the death of a tree. To these people, I say that you should sit at the base of a tree for a while and see if you feel any differently.

When I sit at the base of a tree, or climb up in a tree’s branches, I find a peace inside of myself that I rarely find anywhere else. Whether you think it’s genetics, or ancestral memory, or some combination of the two, I believe it’s only natural for former tree-dwelling primates such as ourselves to form close and personal connections with the trees, and with all of the plants and animals of the living ecosystems that we call home.

Leaning Oak was almost certainly the tree that I’ve known the longest. At some point early on in my college years, I encountered this peculiar specimen during one of my many walks around Campus Lake here in Carbondale. From the looks of it, this tree had originally grown up much like any of its siblings on the same bank. However, unlike its siblings, this particular tree had laid its roots down very close to the shore.

Was the tree planted so close to the edge by some reckless human? Did it wander there as an acorn, driven by a sense of adventure to explore the boundaries of its earthy home? Or was its placement a random combination of wind, gravity, and other natural forces?

We may never know the answers to these questions. In any case, once the tree had laid down its roots, its fate may have been sealed. For at some unknown point in the life of this tree, a great cataclysm occured. I wasn’t there to witness it, but judging by the results, I can only imagine that a combination of erosion and the tree’s own growth lead to a partial collapse of the shore.

By the time I walked Campus Lake for the first time, this tree had fallen on its side. It leaned out over the lake, almost parallel to the water, with its roots still clinging to the eroded shore. At first glance, its position seemed quite precarious… but after years of occassional visits, I became convinced of just how strong and stable this tree really was.

Leaning Oak meant a lot of things to me at a lot of different times in my life. Sometimes, it was a refuge — a place to go when I felt alone, or afraid, or in need of a renewed connection with the Earth. Other times, it was a source of connection — a place to bring friends and loved ones who I felt would enjoy playing on a tree above the water, or at least enjoy watching me do the same. Other times still, it was food for thought — a place to contemplate the meaning of life, and death, and perseverance, and the connections among the elements.

Most of all, though, this tree was a friend. I see the trees as our elders, and this was a tree who listened and spoke to me on many occassions. And now, through some unknown final act, Leaning Oak is gone.

I first discovered the disappearance of Leaning Oak months ago, when I took a friend out there at night for a visit. For a moment, I thought that I must surely just be missing the tree in the dark. But the path was so familiar that I could have walked it blindfolded — and once I saw the large chunks of gravel lining the shore, I knew that someone had done work to prevent erosion in the spot where Leaning Oak had once stood.

That night was a curious night unto itself, so I didn’t have a chance then to honor the Leaning Oak’s passing. A few days ago, though, I took the time to walk out to Campus Lake specifically to pay my respects for one last time.

It was really good to make it out onto Campus Lake. On some level, that place feels more like an urban park to me than like a wooded lake, with its asphalt paths and abundant evidence of human habitation. However, Leaning Oak was one of the first places where I truly started to see beyond the false dichotomy between humanity and nature… and sure enough, as I sat on that shore, I felt a deeper connection to the Earth and the natural world than I had in months.

I felt sad… almost surprisingly so. I knew that this day would come eventually, even though Leaning Oak’s branches budded with new life every year… but somehow, I always thought that this fateful day would come much later, perhaps even after I had passed on. Something of the character of that side of the lake has been lost… another tree fallen to erosion, just as so many tres in the rest of the world have fallen to an erosion of a different sort.

But really, on another level, I felt almost happy. Surely, it must have been a struggle to stay on that shore… and now, however its final days had unfolded, this tree had found its peace. As I watched the many ripples on the face of the water, I felt a tremendous sense of peace… one tree was gone, but the water still flowed, and the wind still blew, and the wheel of life continued to turn. I felt myself shifting into my forest consciousness, even with so many buildings and roads and people criss-crossing this wounded landscape.

I don’t feel that my time with Leaning Oak can be distilled into any single lesson… but as I looked out on those waters, I knew in my heart that I had learned a great deal since the day, not so long ago, when a young man named Justin had anxiously stepped out onto that Leaning Oak to sit above the lake and look for a moment’s peace.

I have other things to talk about too… news in my life, and news that may go beyond my own little bubble. But I’ll leave that for another entry… perhaps even another day. In the meantime, let me close this entry by thanking Leaning Oak for our time together. And if you’ve never hung out with the trees before, now is as good of a time as any to start!

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I envision a world…

A lot of people complain about the problems in today’s world. Not a lot of people spend their time articulating their own comprehensive vision for how the world could and should be if we’d live up to the best of our human potential. Since my last entry pretty much raged about how we should do something positive and revolutionary, I’ve decided to re-articulate some of the general principles or practices I have in mind when I talk about revolution.

To be honest, I’ve been fending off depression and despair all day today. I’m broke, I’m tired, I’m alone, and none of those are going to change tonight. But tomorrow is another day, with a few clear glimmers of hope on the horizon. And now that I’m actually sitting down and writing this entry, I can feel my spirits lifting at the prospect of actually talking about a lot of what I truly value in life.

I could try to weave this all into some sort of complex theoretical structure, but that tends to get boring sometimes, even for ME… 🙂 So I’d rather just talk about it, point by point.

You may find some of these points offensive or objectionable. You may find some of them silly. You may find some of them pointless. But hopefully we can agree to disagree, because I’m sure that we have SOMETHING in common, and we can work together on whatever that something may be.

Therefore, let me say that I feel that the world would be a better place, and our deepest human potentials would be realized, if many or all of the following came to pass:

* Free Cooperation. This is an overarching theme of all of these points. I believe that as individuals, we have the right to be completely free – and as members of the human community, we have a responsibility to cooperate with others rather than inhibiting their freedom by exploiting or harming them. Basically, I have infinite personal freedom, and my infinite personal freedom ends where any harm to others begins.

* Permaculture. We need to stop destroying our planet’s living systems. The only way to do this in the long-term is by working in harmony with ecological principles rather than against them. On one level, it’s simply a no brainer requirement for our continued survival. Play by the rules of life, or the game is over. On another level, it’s an ethical question – do I respect other life, or do I exploit and destroy it?

* Gender, Sex, and Sexuality. This ties together feminism, queer theory, and other related perspectives on gender. Gender is our personal or cultural identity – our sense of who we are, whether it be purely internal or socially constructed, with terms such as “masculine” or “feminine” or “manly” or “girly.” Sex is our biology – male, female, intersex. Sexuality is our desired sexual activity – heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, and beyond. Most of the issues we face here fall under the “free” portion of free cooperation. People must be free to embrace whatever gender identity, biological sex, and sexuality they feel defines them. This includes many things such as gay marriage, cross dressing, nudism/naturism, polyamory, and beyond. These can be seen as separate issues, but I see them all as freedom issues. People should have limitless freedom to express themselves in these ways, as long as they’re not interfering with your freedom to express your own gender, sex, and sexuality. If any of the above is against your moral beliefs, then don’t practice it – but stay the fuck out of the way of people’s free right to do so for themselves. [And while you’re at it, ask your deity of choice why he’s so eager to control people’s sexuality.] If you want practical details about how this would translate into law and policy, ask me.

* Science and Consciousness. I won’t really get into this one right now, but I believe that human consciousness is the most powerful force for powerful transformation that currently exists on this planet. I believe that there is so much left unexplored that still needs to be explored. Instead of spending billions on developing weapons or smearing competing politicians, we should be funding programs such as research into energy healing [see below] and advanced human cognition.

* Health and Wellness. Sickness is probably inevitable – but I’ll be bold and say that 90+% of illness that exists today could be cured in a single generation if we simply chose to (A) live differently and (B) dismantle economic and political structures that keep people in poverty. Complimentary and alternative therapies have the power to treat and prevent so many human illnesses that it’s absurd for us to continue ignoring them. The best cure to diseases like cancer, heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and many emotional/mental health disorders is prevention – and that would be possible for the majority of people if we simply took the knowledge that we already have and applied it across the board. Preventable sickness is destructive of our freedom; therefore, any corporation or government that stands in the way of public health is an enemy of freedom and must be dealt with accordingly. This includes marketing corporations, media corporations, junk food distributors, fast food chains, governments that embrace anti-poor and anti-health-care policies, and others. In a better world, we would make it infinitely easier for people to be healthy than it is currently. They would still be free to choose otherwise, of course… but at least they would understand their options, and have access to the best health information and services available.

* Race. Let’s face it — racism is dumb, and racists need to stop their idiotic discrimination and race wars. I reject “white supremacy” and openly speak out against racism of all kinds. I also openly support movements such as the Black Power movement and Indigenous Rights movement where cultural groups that have traditionally been targeted by racists seek to establish and celebrate their own identity and power independent of white authority or other racist authority. I understand that people can be really fond of their own cultures, and that they may like embracing those cultures. Sometimes, this is a great way to celebrate diversity. But sometimes, cultural identity movements lead people to think that their Culture and/or Race is Superior to all others. Well, that’s frankly just baloney, and it’s usually just an excuse for people in power to get more power. We’re all individuals, and trying to put people down because of their “race” is both absurd and horrific. In a better world, we’ll see each person as an individual, and each culture will be celebrated and explored rather than being used as a tool for division and domination.

* Ability. People should be honored and respected for who they are and what they can do, not discriminated against because of what they supposedly can’t do. Granted, some jobs require some physical or mental abilities that an individual may not have. But if there’s any way for them to do the same tasks in their own way, then they should be treated equally and fairly. In a better world, everyone would be supported in doing what they choose to do, and not viewed through the lens of an ability that they may not possess.

* Economics and Class. This is where the “cooperation” aspect of free cooperation comes into play. I believe in a social economy, which means I believe that we should secure our survival and make major economic decisions through social cooperation rather than competition. I don’t believe that we can own the land any more than we can own the water or the air. And I don’t believe that having The State own everything is much better than having The Corporation own everything. We need to think of ownership itself differently than we do now… which can get pretty complex, but not nearly as convoluted as the global banking system that exists today. [Currency speculation? Futures markets? How much cocaine are those jokers on Wall Street snorting in order to believe that such things actually make real-world sense?]

* Worker’s Rights. This relates strongly to the above. Many of the people who make your clothes, make and serve your food, and so on were not paid a living wage for their work. Some of them may live in terrible conditions and suffer abuse in the workplace because their employer is trying to maximize profit. Take the time to learn about where your products come from, whether they be food or clothes or electronics or beyond. Choose to support Fair Trade and other programs that ensure that your products are made by people who are duly compensated for their work. In a better world, the workers themselves would run the workplace, thus ensuring that they were treated fairly.

* Non-Violence and Peace. I’m not a complete pacifist. If you walk into my home and attempt to harm me or my loved ones, I will stop you with whatever force is necessary. But there’s a big difference between personal self-defense and the political mass violence of war. War is an organized campaign of violence that has no place in a sane world. We won’t end it by blowing people up… we’ll only end it by swaying the hearts and minds of the world into acceptance of peace as a core value. And if anyone thinks that we can only sway hearts and minds through the use of violence, then I understand and honor their perspective, but insist that there are other ways which I would be willing to discuss at length.

* Animal Rights. Animals are living beings, many if not all of whom can feel and suffer much like we do. I’ve currently fallen back on eating dairy products because it’s the only way I’ve found at my disposal to maintain body mass while I tend to my adrenal health concerns. But I do still advocate veganism for people who are open to it, and more humane food and clothing options for the people who insist on animal products. Unless your dairy and meat foods specifically say that the animals were free-range and humanely treated, you can be sure that animals suffered greatly to bring you your meal. In a better world, animal product use would be greatly diminished, and animal suffering as it exists in factory farms and similar places would be eliminated. If you want to eat an animal, you can either hunt it yourself or get it from someone who treated it as humanely as possible. [And dairy equals meat, at least in today’s factory farm system. If you’re eating from most dairy sources, animals are dying for your food. Ask me for details if you don’t believe me.]

This has been an incredibly long message for a blog entry…but what’s ironic is that this is all only the tip of the iceberg. Each of these issues has greater depth, and there are more issues left untouched. BUT… to make a long story short, let me sum it up in a single sentence:

I envision a world of free cooperation; a world where permaculture guides our design of living systems; where people of all genders, sexes, and sexualities are free to discover and be who they truly are; where we explore human consciousness to the fullest of its potential; where we are healthier and happier through the benefits of holistic health practices; where we celebrate our ethnic diversity rather than seeing it as a division; where people of all abilities are honored for what they can do instead of limited by what they can’t; where cooperation rather than competition is the basis of our economy; where the workers of the world share fully in the fruits of their own labor; where peace and non-violence are our greatest goal in resolving conflicts; and where all other beings on this planet are seen as valuable and treated with respect and compassion.

Long sentence, eh? Leave it to a philosopher-poet to try to pack all of that into a single sentence… 😉 But seriously… that should give some small inkling of what I believe, and why I believe it’s important. Just talking about it all is more than enough to fill me with renewed energy even at 1:33 in the morning… I really want these good things and more to happen, and I’m willing to work toward these goals, even if I will never see the fruits of such labor in this lifetime. [Freedom of religion, too… I’ll put that one in the next list, eh?]

It’s a long road ahead. Sadly, I’d say that on most fronts described ahead, we have a ton of work ahead of us. But the good news is that we stand on the shoulders of giants who have struggled to further these revolutionary causes since time immemorial. All that remains for us is to finish the job, if we so choose…

If you’ve made it all the way to the end of this message, I’m truly impressed. 🙂 Let me know what you think about all of this… and don’t pull any punches here! Let me know how you REALLY feel…

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My name is Treesong. I'm a father, author, talk radio host, and Real Life Superhero. I live in Carbondale, Southern Illinois. I write novels, short stories, and poetry, mostly about the climate.

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