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.