Fighting the Frost

The weather lately has been a good metaphor for how I feel about life in general. It goes something like this:

“Here comes Spring! So much vitality rising up within to prepare for a new season of light and growth! It’s getting warmer, and warmer, and… oh, crap. Another frost? You CAN’T be serious!”

Yes, this is the story of my life lately — a slow, steady increase of inner warmth, inner light, inner fire, while the outside world remains just as cold and cruel as ever, if not more so.

It’s mostly a good thing, really. Feeling this fiery passion burning inside me reminds me of just how far I’ve come in reclaiming my emotions and releasing my pent-up vitality from the prisons of propriety and shame. The passion itself, and the associated appreciation of beauty and humanity and the Earth, is a blessing that I wouldn’t trade for anything. But the contrast between what I’m experiencing internally and externally leaves me feeling a very restless pressure to do something, ANYTHING, to change my outward circumstances for the better.

There are no words for what I feel… but all I have available to me at the moment is words, so let me try in vain to explain it all because I feel compelled to say something.

Loving non-attachment is so much more powerful than I would have ever believed possible! I’ve always had a great love in my heart… but for the longest time, my heart was ruled by fear. I wanted desperately to love, but I was afraid that love would lead to pain and suffering, so I held back, waiting for the right moment. Then I learned an important truth:

The right moment is now.

Now is the time to let go of all of your fears and surrender yourself to the power of your own love. Tomorrow never comes; now is always with you; and the price of a life without the full presence of your love is more terrible than any pain and suffering that love may supposedly bring. And whether you can feel it right now or not, your love is a tremendous force longing to spring forth from the core of your being. Embrace it now, if only for a moment, in whatever ways you can, and your real life with start today.

It’s taken me years, but I’m going deep and deeper into the bottomless depths of loving non-attachment. The more I let go of my fears, doubts, and inhibitions, the more beauty I see in the world, and the more love I feel. As time goes on, my experience of the world is evolving into a prolonged ecstatic experience.

Pretty cool, eh?

Dullness to my surroundings is transformed into a glimpse of the sky. The sky is transformed into a sunrise. The sunrise is transformed into a breathtaking palette of colors and textures. Colors and textures evolve into a mystical poetic synesthesia, as I look up at the heavens and experience a profound kinesthetic sense of the divine beauty of earth and sky. And even then, the experience evolves further, with my appreciation of divine beauty triggered through conversations with friends, or a particularly colorful wall, or even a ridiculously mundane banner ad on MySpace.

On an intellectual and spiritual level, I’ve been certain for a long time now that we human beings have the potential to do so much more with our lives than we are currently doing. But as I let go of my barriers to love, this becomes more than a matter of impersonal understanding. Instead, it deepens into a profoundly personal experience — an emotional and physical sense of what life could be like, and would be like, if only we chose differently.

In these moments, I feel such tremendous clarity of purpose that I ought to be able to move mountains with the sheer power of my ecstatic energy. But there’s still something getting in the way… either the sheer force of 6 billion other humans is holding me back, or the particulars of the revolutionary path from today’s reality to a better reality are still not clear or correct enough yet in my mind to enact change effectively.

Really, I think it’s a combination of the two.

Either way, I’ve been feeling lately like I’m about to burst. I’ve had some exceptional times with my friends lately, and that’s helped to keep me sane… I love my friends dearly, and my time with them has been part of the inspiration for this deepening ecstatic experience of the world. But since none of it has really served to shift the overall circumstances of my life and community, I find a core of frustration building that no amount of directionless good times can release.

What I crave is a way to take all of this passion and channel it into some constructive means of creating positive change in my life and my community. My passion is a tremendous energy source… an inner sun that only grows in power with time. What I’m looking for is a way to focus this energy like a laser, and possibly combine it with the energies of other like-minded individuals in pursuit of some cooperative, revolutionary, community goals.

As usual, I’ve got a few ideas along these lines… but it’s going to take some serious conversations with good friends before I can figure out which of these ideas may actually be practical and effective at creating change.

In the meantime, this entry has helped… but I’m still feeling restless. So, I’m off in search of revolution…

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Spring Into Action

I’m feeling such an intensity of revolutionary passion right now that I really don’t want to be sitting in front of a computer. I want to be out in the woods, or out in the streets, or out dancing with all of my best friends, or making love out in the moonlight. But since none of those other options seem possible right now, I’m going to pick up where I left off last time and throw in a bit of Spring exuberance for good measure.

I don’t know about you, but I didn’t come to this lovely planet of ours to sit idly by while the forces of destruction and domination tear everything to pieces. Life here is so beautiful! The earth and sky are a living sculpture of colors, and even the most conformist of the people who live here are such complex and fascinating souls that I could explore the depths of their lives forever. The more I let go of my lingering attachments, the more free I am to have an increasingly more profound, more personal, and more ecstatic experience of that beauty. Yet even as I feel this beauty in every cell of my body, I can also feel the steady march of a so-called progress that threatens to tear all of this to pieces.

Why, oh why, do so many of my fellow humans allow themselves to be swept up into systems of horrific destruction that threaten to extinguish life as we know it? Sure, we were born into it, and it’s hard to break out of it from within. There are so many paths to conformity, and so few paths to change. But if a few of us can see through the lies of consensus reality, then why can’t all of us break the spell? Why, instead, do so many fall in line behind our so-called leaders and the systems of domination that actively enact our own enslavement and mass destruction?

Forgive them, Earth Mother, they know not what they do…

Call me a radical if you like. Call me a fanatic, or a zealot, or an extremist. But whatever you do, don’t call me apathetic, because my passion is the bane of all apathy. I vow now, as I have vowed so many times, that I will not leave this lovely planet of ours until the Earth is whole again, and all people are free, and joy runs rampant through the four corners of every land.

Passion alone, however, is not enough. Only passion focused by discipline, channeled in the service of some collective strategy, will be enough to bring the Earth some measure of freedom, peace, and happiness.

So what do we do? How do we channel our passion for a better world into some sort of concrete course of action that will effectively create the change that we desire?

This brings us back to magic. Magic is all about raising energy and directing it toward the creation of change within us and around us. Whether you see this as a poetic metaphor or an explanation of some very real but oft-unseen forces of nature, it’s still a good framework for action.

Your mission, then, should you choose to accept it, is to turn your entire life into one great big ongoing spell that will create the changes you desire.

Do you want to live in a more peaceful world? Then you must learn to eat peace, drink peace, awaken to peace, and dream of peace. In this way, your understanding of peace will deepen, and every action you take will be infused with that knowledge of peace. You will become an architect of peace, or a sculptor of peace, or a musician of peace, or a dancer of peace, creating works of beauty that establish a physical home for peace. Once you have created space for peace in the world, you can expand that space and connect it with other similar spaces, building a network of peace that envelopes the Earth and transforms it into a place of peace.

I realize that all of that may still sound too abstract and mystical for some people. But it’s a start — an overarching vision that can serve as a foundation for the particular actions we take toward peace, and justice, and freedom, and joy, and harmony with the Earth.

Each of us is a living, breathing spell. As we cast our personal spell each day, we are shaping the world around us, whether we like it or not. If our spell doesn’t actively seek to bring greater joy, and freedom, and justice, and peace into the world, then the energy we are raising each day is going to be sucked away from us to fuel the existing system of domination and destruction. If, on the other hand, we make a conscious effort to reorganize our lives in the service of our most benevolent and joyful visions of the world, then we have already succeeded in challenging the system from within, even if our actions have no immediately visible outward effect.

Let us turn every moment, then, of every day, into a spell for a better world.

How do we do it? How do we break the harmful spell of the existing system and cast a healing spell of our own?

There are no easy or universal answers. But if you ask me, it all starts with our experience of joy. When we feel a deep sense of joy, we are usually experiencing a degree of harmony between our innermost hopes and dreams and the circumstances of our external reality. Our joy, then, is one of our greatest guides in the pursuit of our dreams.

What brings you joy in life? I’m not just talking about idle entertainment, but true joy that runs deeper than any fleeting amusement. If you can find such joy, even for a moment, then you’ve discovered a clue about your own personal path to revolution.

Revolution, however, goes beyond the personal experience of joy. Revolution seeks to take this experience of personal empowerment and make it available to as many people as possible. Once you’ve found a piece of your own joy, look into the joys and sorrows of others around you and search for new understandings and experiences. Your joy is an end unto itself, but the true magic starts when the energy raised by your joy also becomes a means to supporting the joy of others. How can your own pursuit of happiness also help others to become more free and joyful?

As you experience this joy, and feel the flow of joy and sorrow through the lives of others, you will become more sensitive to the ebb and flow of energy in general. This awareness will increase your ability to enact revolutionary change in cooperation with those around you. What physical, emotional, mental, social, economic, and ecological structures are in place around you to control the flow of energy? What are some of the “bottlenecks” in these systems that cause the most harm and suffering? How can you and your loved ones reshape this “energy infrastructure” to support a smoother and deeper flow of joy and freedom?

There are people in this world with a detailed understanding of such energy systems who actively use their knowledge to do harm. They seek to gain power by creating and maintaining social, economic, and political systems that actively harm and oppress others. In essence, they are casting a spell — a spell that allows them to suck the joy out of other people’s lives in pursuit of ever-greater levels of power for themselves. They are the tyrants, the fascists, and the profiteers of the world — and on the surface, their spell seems quite powerful and successful.

But we can use our own understanding of these energy systems to serve in our own liberation and the liberation of the entire world. On an individual level, we can do everything in our power to break free of their oppressive systems and bring more joy and freedom into our lives. On a community and society level, we can channel energy — in the form of money, and time, and land, and other forms of tangible wealth — toward the creation and maintenance of our own cooperative, humanitarian, ecological, and liberatory systems of energy. The spell that the oppressors are casting is powerful — but the spell that we cast, individually and collectively, will be even more powerful than anyone can currently imagine. Through our love of life, our endless creativity, and our dedication to our visions for creating a better world, we will cast a spell so powerful that nothing will ever be the same again.

I know that all of the above may be a bit long-winded and non-linear. But the basic message that I hope you will take with you is that each of us carries an incredibly beautiful and powerful spark of creative magic within us. Whatever you do, don’t let anyone convince you to ignore or dismiss or doubt the presence of this power within. Instead, use your own joy, passion, and intuition as a guide in finding that spark of magic. Know that when you and your loved ones share this spark with each other, you will discover the power to change your lives — and the world — for the better.

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Raising Energy

Today, I’m going to talk about magic, power, and revolution. I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again: if you don’t believe in magic, feel free to see all of this as a quaint poetic metaphor for the transformative power of our creativity, ingenuity, and so on. Either way, I have a lot to say, so I’m going to jump right into it.

Planet Earth is under siege. I know, I know… I’m not supposed to come out and say it so bluntly. I’m supposed to cite an infinite number of scientific studies, and then I’m supposed to talk about the possible long-term implications, and then I’m supposed to say that we can kinda-almost-sorta do something about the hypothetical problem by watching an award-winning documentary and maybe writing a few letters.

But I’m tired of all that. I’m tired of talking about matters of global survival in a polite, roundabout, diplomatic way. So I’m going to speak the truth as I see it, and you can feel free to disagree and debate with me.

Planet Earth is under siege. To some degree, this is nothing new. Throughout recorded history, our otherwise amazing human potential has been twisted by a particularly warped form of consciousness. The roots of this consciousness are fear, alienation, insecurity, and attachment. The fruits of this consciousness are war, poverty, famine, imperialism, classism, racism, sexism, heterosexism, ecocide, and beyond. In other words, we’ve let ourselves become scared by the challenges of mortal life, and we’ve let that fear putrify into terrible forms of destruction and oppresssion.

But if this is nothing new, then why even talk about it? Well… because for better or worse, it can’t keep going on this way forever. And for better or worse, I feel that we’re in the midst of one of the biggest changes in human history. And for better or worse, I feel that how we live our lives today may shape the course of these changes for the next hundred generations.

Basically, humanity is becoming more and more powerful. Our communications, transportation, industrial, weapons, and social engineering technology have all advanced a hundredfold in the past hundred or so years. On a good day, this technology has been wielded in the service of creative and humanitarian endeavors. But on a bad day, this technology has been taken in the other direction, tragically warping the fruits of our brilliance to create weapons of mass destruction and methods of mass deception.

It has to stop. The destruction and deception has to stop, and it has to stop in this generation. If it doesn’t… well, let’s just say that we’ll have to piece together the darkest portions of our most dystopian works of fiction just to imagine what the resulting world will look like.

And stopping it really is possible. As a whole, we’ve made a lot of progress as a species. Most of us have at least started to realize that all human beings are born as equals, and all human beings deserve to have their needs met while living lives of justice, dignity, and peace. In fact, I’ll bet that if you gave humanity a few hundred more years, it would just naturally start to figure out more and more of these problems on its own. People would continue to deepen their understanding of concepts like freedom, cooperation, and ecological harmony. As a result, they would continue to form increasingly more socially just and ecologically harmonious societies. In a few hundred years, with the help of global communication and transportation, we could find ourselves living in a world that would seem downright utopian relative to what exists today.

There’s just one problem: we don’t have a few hundred years.

No one knows exactly how long we have. On the central issue of climate change, for example, the estimates still vary wildly because we’ve never actually observed something of this magnitude before. But whether it’s a few decades, or a few years, or a few months, the situation is still the same. Our current systems of social-economic-political injustice and ecological destruction are laying waste to this planet, and the consequences are starting to catch up with us. We must act now, or we will suffer dire consequences for a hundred generations, and possibly longer.

To be honest, I believe that this is more than just a political issue. It can stand alone as a political issue, but I believe that we can understand it further by asking some deeper questions.

Where is this drive to destruction coming from? And what can we do to stop it?

I believe that there is a spiritual struggle underway for control of the entire planet. I believe that the outcome of this struggle is still undetermined. I believe that each of us, in every moment of every day, is contributing to the outcome of this struggle through our personal, social, economic, and political choices. And I believe that if we open our hearts to our love of the Earth, we will slowly but surely discover more ways of serving the cause of planetary healing.

When George Bush tells us that he hears a voice speaking to him when he prays, I actually believe him — but I disagree with him on the source of that voice. You can call it a metaphor if you like, but I believe that there are powerful spiritual forces at play in the world driving men like Bush to do what they do. They present themselves as muses, guides, and guardian angels, when in reality their sole purpose is to drown out the voices of any real guides by feeding on our fears and our suffering. We can try to blame all of our problems on these negative influences — but really, in the end, it’s our choice whether to listen to the voice of fear or the voice of love. And we are all responsible for our choices, even when someone may be deceiving us into making them. In the end, whether you believe in a spiritual reality or not, the physical reality is created by our own choices, and it is our responsibility to choose wisely.

Fear becomes violence, and violence becomes authority, and authority becomes power, and power becomes control — and in the end, the goal of fear-based consciousness is total control over the entire world. The only way to quench our fear is by handing our freedom and power over to some higher authority, until ultimately the people in power control everything, and the long march toward global fascism is complete.

This is the goal of men like Bush, and this is the goal of their puppet masters — whether that may be the likes of Karl Rove or some naughty little astral beastie that whispers to Georgie in the still of the night. And in truth, most of the people who are out there actively destroying the world probably don’t even mean to be as evil as they seem. They simply believe that the only path to peace, security, prosperity, and the like is through ever-increasing amounts of control.

But there is another path — and that other path is the only one that will leave us with any freedom to speak of, or a healthy living planet to be free on.

What is that path? I have a lot of ideas about that. It’s different for everyone… but there are some constants worth noting. I’ll have to write more on these constants soon, because it’s getting to be past my bedtime. But before I go, I do want to leave you with a bit of reflection on the path to a healthier and happier world.

I often find myself extremely frustrated with the seemingly endless amount of violence and oppression in the world today. After spending so much time observing the world, I can zoom in and out from the macro to the micro and back again at will. In one moment, I can consider the deeply personal experience of injustice, and connect empathically with the subjects of such experience. In another moment, I can consider the purely impersonal social, economic, political, and psycho-spiritual forces at play, working through external institutions and internalized oppression to control our lives in a variety of ways. I look at this web of oppression, and it seems almost unthinkable to imagine anyone trying to work against such a powerful and intricate system of control.

And yet, in these moments, I remind myself that each of us has far more power and potential than we’ve even begun to realize. Each of us is an artist waiting to discover our canvas; each of us is a genius waiting to discover our ground-breaking formula; each of us is a revolutionary waiting to find our unique role in the timeless global struggle toward ever-greater levels of freedom, cooperation, and ecological harmony. I can zoom in and out on this tapestry too — and the view is amazing! It’s all so beautiful that I can’t even express it in words. It’s like when I look at the sky, and the trees, and the soil, and I see an amazing dance of color and movement and form and life. It’s like that, but I see it in such intricate detail in the presence and lives of the people around me, especially the ones who are actively seeking to fulfill their potential.

Really, the movement toward revolutionary evolution of human consciousness is infinitely more powerful than the lingering desire to dominate and control others. In theory, we have plenty of power to just sweep away all of this suffering and domination like the petty rubbish that it really is. It’s just that we’ve been caught up in fear and confusion for so long that we haven’t fully realized the power that we already possess, both individually and collectively. We look into each others eyes, and we don’t see the deep transformative power that I described earlier. We don’t see it in ourselves, and we don’t see it in each other. So we convince ourselves that it doesn’t exist, or that we don’t have a place in bringing it to fruition.

But we need to break that cycle. We need to embrace our inner strength, our inner passion, our inner joy, our inner creativity. And we need to work and play together with others who embrace and foster the same in each other. We need to stop making concessions to the consciousness of fearful domination and start feeding all of our energy to the consciousness of liberation. We need to raise energy for the revolution — physical energy, emotional energy, mental energy, social energy, economic energy, political energy, ecological energy, and beyond. We need to experience life to the fullest and follow our deepest bliss in life so that we may discover the truest and noblest humanity within ourselves. And once we’ve found that, we need to make it manifest in the world by giving it our time, our energy, our money, our land, and the blessings of our personal joy and creativity.

I know that this is still all a bit vague, and I’ll get more into the details soon. But for now, I’m off to bed. Until we speak again, I think that my best advice must be to get out there and pursue your greatest joy in life, whether that may be found through a deeply personal art project or some grand political movement. Either way, make sure that you feel a deep sense of joy and freedom in whatever you’re doing, and make sure that your actions leave an enduring mark in the world that others can build on. The only way that we can avert global disaster is by building a better world… and that process of building starts one step at a time, with each of us doing the best to ensure that our particular corner of the world is filled with the finest manifestations of what our deepest human potential has to offer.

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Light My Fire

A few weeks ago, I sang ‘Light My Fire’ at a karaoke night at Mugsy McGuire’s here in Carbondale. I don’t know whether the song called in the magic, or the magic called in the song — but either way, my fire has been blazing ever since.

It’s hard to describe… so hard, in fact, that I almost didn’t write this entry. Every time I try to put it into words, I find myself drowning in an almost manic burst of inspiration. So much passion, mixed with such strong insight… it takes a minute or two of concentration just to focus it all down into bite-sized chunks that are comprehensible to an outside observer. But I feel that I have a lot to share, so it’s well worth the effort.

For over 10 years now, my life has been defined by my revolutionary passion. This inspiration has driven me to search my soul, change my name, reinvent myself from the ground up, and step out into the community on many occasions to speak out about what I believe.

Anyone who truly knows me has seen this passion at work in my life. It is the fire that animates me, serving as the inspiration behind who I am, what I do, what I think, what I feel, and who I embrace as my closest friends. Even my moments of rest, joy, and playfulness are understood as expressions of this ever-burning fire of revolutionary passion.

But on some level, this passion has always been… how do I put it? Not subdued, not suppressed, and not even controlled. But on some level, it’s always been HELD BACK. It’s been kept at a safe distance — an almost impersonal aloofness — and experienced through intuition and inspiration more so than the explosive outbursts of emotion that one would normally associate with such passion.

I think that this came about for two reasons.

First of all, I wasn’t ready for it at first. I’d say that this inspiration of mine started really coming through in my teens, at a time when I had no idea what it was, no one really to guide me, and suburban surroundings that were actively hostile to anything resembling independent thought or creativity. I began developing a strong empathy, and a strong sense of purpose, but didn’t know what that purpose was or how to hold healthy boundaries around my empathy. Therefore, I ended up willing away my emotions for a long time.

Second of all, my surroundings weren’t ready for what I had to offer. What would the suburbs of Chicago have done with a young ecstatic pagan anarchist revolutionary? They probably would have given me psychiatric meds against my will and crushed what little spirit I managed to pull through those times of suburban isolation.

So, I put my passions in a bottle and cast them out to sea.

At first, they were simply gone, leaving nothing but a profound anxiety that something was missing from my life. But then, they began to re-emerge, and I started to incorporate their insights into my life bit by bit, still holding the actual experience of this passion at a distance as much as possible. After all, surely it wasn’t safe, and polite, and diplomatic, and strategic, and proper to be so wild and fiery. Surely, it was enough for my inspiration to be an abstract spiritual calling rather than an intensely personal emotional experience.

That lasted for a few years. Then, I backed away from activism a bit for a few years in order to do some personal healing. Between my experiences at the healing school and my Wiccan clergy training, I learned a lot about myself and about the many paths to personal empowerment and healing. I started really feeling my most profound emotions, instead of just feeling a profound anxiety in place of my emotions.

Finally, a year and a half ago, I had a spiritual experience in which I let go of the final major barrier to embracing my heart’s passion. Ever since then, I’ve felt various shifts in my life as I’ve started bringing more and more of that passion back into my body, my personality, and my social and community life. But it’s only been within the past few months that it’s really started to come through more clearly. And now, several new circumstances in my life are helping to bring it out further.

First of all, after quite a long stretch of solitude, I’ve found someone wonderful to go out with. I’ve only been going out with her for a couple of weeks now, but so far, I think we’ve both been having a great time. We have a lot in common, and it seems like we can talk for hours without running out of things to say. I’m still not used to having someone who actually reciprocates my affections instead of rejecting me, so I still find myself being polite and “maintaining boundaries” in moments when I could just as easily be showing her my affection. But I’m starting to get used to it, especially since she really does seem to like me too.

My time with her has definitely been the biggest news in my life for a long time. She’s such a beautiful person, and I hope that we continue to spend time together and enjoy each other’s company. Really, our time together has been so special to me that I’m almost hesitant to even write about other things, for fear of detracting from it. But then again, I’m complex enough to have multiple things going on in my life, so I may as well share the other news that’s on the horizon.

I’m involved in a newly forming group called X. This group has its website at:

Basically, X combines personal inspiration and passion with community action and consciousness raising. We’ve put out a few Clues that offer insight into several of the inspirations for X, and we’ll be having our first event soon. The details are still forming, and we have no preconceived expectations about how it’s going to turn out. But whatever it becomes, it’s already shaping up to be something amazing.

Really, what gets my attention most often these days is the new woman in my life. But when I do take the time to think back to community projects, I’m very excited about what X has to offer. It’s fun and exciting, yet also offers a lot of potential for some very strategically important community work. Really, it’s how I feel revolution should be — a mix of spontaneous creativity and organized strategy. Together, our passion and our discipline can work hand in hand in pursuit of a better life for ourselves and our communities.

So, yeah… there’s a lot of passion in this little old heart of mine these days. It’s always been there, somewhere deep down, held back from the surface… but now, it’s experiencing a dimensional shift of sorts, and coming through in my life more clearly than ever. It’s not just a distant force any more that speaks to me through wild dreams and frantic intuitions. Now, it’s ME — my body, my emotions, my mind, my heart. I’m still plagued by the old habit of holding back my passions out of politeness and deference to others… and as always, there is still a place for propriety and discretion. But now that the flame at my core has been reignited, it’s only a matter of time before all of the old patterns are burned away, and my life is truly lived according to the flame burning within.

I’ve said this before, but with each passing day, I feel it more clearly. I feel it more clearly because the flame within is burning more brightly than ever, and it’s the flame that sets me free. No chains can bind me now; no walls can contain me now; no amount of corporate and government influence can convince me that the love in my heart should be extinguished. This love is who I am, and it’s what I have to offer to the world. It is wild and untameable, and it’s only a matter of time before I find myself once again reinvented by the burning of this flame within. Everything that is real about me will shine more brightly… and everything that I’ve held back — everything that is holding me back — will be consumed by the flames.

It’s an intense experience… beyond anything that words can describe. But words are all that I have before me at the moment, so they’ll have to do for now. Soon, I’ll be showing it more and more through actions… in the meantime, I’m off to bed. I look forward to any responses you may have, and I look forward to sharing more soon…

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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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