Earth Conscious Revolution

On one level, it�s really complex. There�s all of this debate about what exactly the problem is, and how it started, and how it can be resolved, and whether or not there�s even a problem at all. But on another level, it�s really simple. You see, believe it or not, each of us has a brilliant light shining within us. In fact, each of us IS a great light of divine humanity, just waiting to brighten the world with the brilliance of our reason, our emotion, and our will. The greatest potentials of humanity are already alive and shining within us, urging us as individuals, as communities, as societies, to rise and realize who we are and why we�re on this planet. In order to create a greater life for ourselves and each other, all that we have to do is let our light shine. Let it shine� let it shine� let it shine�

Over the past several years, one of the big roles that I�ve played in the community on many occasions is the role of informal community diplomat or ambassador. Anyone who knows me (or knows OF me) is quick to realize that most of my beliefs and some of my practices are very different from the �status quo,� or the �dominant paradigm,� or whatever else you�d like to call the existing system of inner and outer consciousness. And yet, on a good day, I behave in a very civil manner toward advocates of this system, seeking at every turn to listen to people with opposing viewpoints and communicate my perspective to them in a respectful and mutually agreeable way.

Why am I so civil to people, even when I see some of them as engaging in forms of serious harm to others? First of all, I feel a deep respect for the sanctity of all living beings, regardless of what actions they may currently be engaging in. Second, I feel that engaging people through respectful humanizing dialog rather than bitter dehumanizing attacks is a much more effective method of communicating my points. Finally, I realize that I�ve been wrong in the past, and that I don�t have all of the answers. This allows me to advocate in favor of my position while keeping my personal arrogance and aggression to a minimum. It�s not about me� it�s about the vision, and whether or not the vision really does have the power to improve our lives.

So, I tend to be very civil in my dialog with people of differing viewpoints. And when it comes to my conversations with so-called �opponents,� I still intend to maintain most of the gentleness and civility that people who know me have come to know and love.

But I�ve also come to realize that if people like me spend all of our time engaging in this style of gentle dialog toward opposing viewpoints, without anything more passionate and critical shared among people of a like mind, then this revolution will never happen. I�ve gone to great lengths to honor and serve the light that I see within others � but if I don�t let my own light shine, then all of this work may have been for nothing.

Let me be clear here: I am a revolutionary. I am a revolutionary, and I am seeking to encourage and participate in the rise of a revolutionary movement that will ultimately transform the entire world for the better. Since I�m a man of peace, and a man who focuses on my own quirky brand of community involvement, I think that people often forget just how �radical� my perspectives really are. But at the end of the day, all of this talk of gradual, incremental, non-violent change adds up to the creation of a personal, social, economic, political, and ecological reality that is radically different than what exists today. I�ve devoted my life to the development and pursuit of this vision � and now, I�m calling on you to do the same.

Yes, I�m calling on YOU to become a revolutionary. Some of you already ARE revolutionaries, and are probably doing more for the revolution than I ever will. But in order for any sort of positive revolutionary change to happen, we need as many people as possible to do as much as possible to empower themselves, each other, and the planet as a whole. And YOU are one of the people who can make that happen.

I know what you may be thinking. Maybe you�ve got a full-time job; maybe you�ve got a family to support; maybe you feel tired, or sick, or old, or weak, or scared. Maybe you think that you don�t have the time, or the energy, or the money, or the knowledge, or the power to make a difference in the world.

But you DO! There�s some unique and vital contribution that you can make to the overall effort to create a better world. You don�t necessarily have to quit your job, sell all of your material possessions, and head out into the woods to become some sort of socio-eco-superhero who has transcended the dominant paradigm. If that�s your passion, then go for it. But maybe your passion involves raising children with good social and ecological values, or using communications technology to foster free thinking, or supporting cooperative businesses and housing, or even just singing and dancing so that other people who share your values will remember the world of joy and love that they�re working together to create. Either way, you already have the power to be a revolutionary. All that remains is for you to listen to your inner calling and answer it with an emphatic �YES!�

With that said, I have some good news about my own revolutionary passion. My next book, Earth Conscious Revolution, will be released on August 1 of this year. This book is at the heart of my renewed effort to support, unify, and radicalize the emerging movement of new revolutionary consciousness that�s already rising all around us. As part of this ongoing campaign, I�m calling for the people of Southern Illinois to gather at the Town Square Pavillion on June 21 for a day of music, speakers, and interactive community dialog. At this event, I will share a sneak preview of the strategies and tactics outlined in my upcoming book. I will also call on other speakers from groups in our region to talk about what they�re doing and how they see it as fitting into the overall goal of fostering a society of social justice, ecological integrity, economic prosperity, and political freedom here in Southern Illinois.

For a long time now, people who share similar social and ecological visions have been on the defensive, focusing all of our time into a scattered array of single-issue campaigns designed to defend against the rise of what I consider to be a militant fascist movement right here in the U.S. of A. Many of these defensive campaigns have slowed, stopped, or even reversed the relentless march of the machinery of destruction and domination. Without these campaigns in defense of peace, justice, freedom, cooperation, and the health of the planet, many of us wouldn�t even be here. But now, the time has come for us to stop reacting and start acting. The time has come for us to turn the tides on the slow but steady march into fascism. The time has come for us to take all of the frustrations that we�re experiencing on a personal, socio-economic, and political level and channel them into an intense, focused, brilliant flame that fuels our drive toward revolution in all spheres of life.

In other words, the time has come for us to commit ourselves fully � body, mind, heart, and spirit � to the creation of a society that embodies our social and ecological principles. The challenges ahead are great, but the only way that we�ll get through them is by rising to meet them. Right here, right now, we must step forward with our deepest visions for a better life so that we will meet the challenges on our own terms, in our own way, on the path to a world of our own co-creation. Otherwise, if we continue to simply stand our ground while the forces of fascism slowly but surely nudge us further and further back from our destination, we will soon find ourselves without any ground to stand on, surrounded by the hopeless ruins of our dreams.

A lot of people probably still don�t think that it�s time to take such an unabashedly proactive approach to revolution. But I can feel it in my bones� I can see it in the eyes of kindred spirits� I can hear it in the cries of death and despair issuing from the mouths of those who live outside of my relatively privileged bubble. Problems such as war, poverty, patriarchy, ecocide, and domination in all of its forms have existed for as long as we can remember. But throughout history, there has always come a time when the tides turn, and the people take dramatic action to transform their circumstances for the better.

That time is now.

So, what do we do? When June 21 comes around, I�ll be sharing all sorts of more specific details of the approach to revolution that I�m advocating. In the meantime, let me just say that one of the most revolutionary things that you can do right now is to just LIVE.

The most revolutionary potentials of humanity are already alive and well inside of you. But a lifetime of social conditioning, economic coercion, ecological devastation, and other methods of control have distracted you from your own natural tendency to live in harmony with yourself, your community, and the planet. In order to wipe away all of that conditioning, take the time right now to figure out how you can get more in touch with who you truly are, deep down inside, and how you can bring that inner light of yours out into the world more freely.

Sit under a tree. Read a good book. Listen to some good music. Watch a good movie. Spend time with your closest friends and family. Do something that�s fun, social, quirky, and doesn�t cost a dime. Write down your dreams and see if you can figure out what they mean. Tell your best friends stories about what life will be like after the revolution, and urge them to return the favor. Go to the meeting of at least one community group whose goals you support but never seem to get involved in. If you can�t think of any group like that, start a new one! Once every hour, stop for one minute (or even 15 seconds) to pause, close your eyes, take a few deep breaths, and listen to your deepest desires and dreams. Then, when the opportunity arises, act on these, your heart�s greatest passions, without hesitation or regret.

These are just a few completely random suggestions for how to get in touch with your own power of transformation in your life and your community. I have plenty of plans for how each of us can organize these sorts of activities into a deep, powerful, strategic campaign for revolution that goes beyond anything I�ve presented in my past work. For the first public glimpse of those strategies, I encourage you to attend the Earth Conscious Revolution event coming up on June 21. In the meantime, though, I have every confidence that there�s some deep truth about yourself and your revolutionary potential that�s hidden just beneath the surface of your everyday life. So close your eyes, take a deep breath, and listen to the wisdom of your body, your mind, your heart, your spirit, and your planet. You may be surprised to discover just how powerful the children of the Earth really are.

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Reconciliation

The uncertainty of having no communication with someone whatsover was really disconcerting… but now that I’ve had the opportunity to talk to her, it has hopefully helped both of our comfort levels. For a moment there, the tension really rose again between us when I discussed my viewpoint that a warning and redefining of boundaries should have been enough to avoid termination of half of my shifts (the half that were in her department). But then, I made it clear that out of respect for her discomfort, I was going to set aside any effort to file a further complaint about their decision. I still feel that I had a legitimate complaint… but there will be other shifts opening up for me in other departments to ensure that I’m still a full time employee, and I didn’t want to cause her any more grief than I already had.

Basically, I overestimated the depth of our friendship and the level of trust we had built between us. I thought that we could share anything with each other and still be "okay"… I’ve had cases before where someone had unreturned feelings for me, or I had unreturned feelings for them, and even though it created tension, we ultimately were able to resolve it. Sometimes, this was just pure luck… but other times, it was because we had built a complete level of trust, where nothing said or done can violate the sense of unconditional love even if it creates discomfort of whatever nature.

In this case, that building of trust apparently hadn’t happened for both of us. That complete level of trust was there on my end, but not on her end. We had talked before about many deeply personal topics… but when my poem raised for her the realization that I had feelings that went beyond the scope of friendship (friendship as defined by social convention, that is), I crossed a boundary that I had not known still existed between us. And since I know she’s had a hard life, my guess is that this triggered some of her defenses in a very profound and very uncomfortable way.

I feel very sorry about that. I’m usually very good at understanding people’s comfort levels, but this time I made a tremendous blunder. Since she had talked to me about personal issues, demonstrated the physical comfort of a friend toward me, discussed her and my respective libidos in the presence of a coworker, etc., I figured that we had reached at least a certain baseline of mutual comfort and trust. I knew that she wasn’t looking for that kind of relationship from me… but I thought that it was at least something that she would feel marginally comfortable talking about, and that she deserved to hear about it in the interest of full disclosure as a friend. If I had known that we hadn’t reached that level of friendship yet where anything and everything is open to discussion, then I would have just not shared this poem with her and probably not even shared my feelings until/unless she seemed more ready. My heart is filled with a great deal of love in many forms and flavors, and sometimes I hide it from the world simply because I know that it will make people uncomfortable. In this woman’s case, I thought that I didn’t have to hide anything from her… so, once the depth of these feelings became clear to me, I shared them. But clearly, we hadn’t reached that level of trust yet… and unfortunately, some people never reach that level of trust, so it was incorrect of me to assume that we had reached such a trust without explicitly discussing trust itself with her. (Note to self: I suppose I should discuss trust with all current close friends.) As much as I try to be the eternal optimist, I doubt that she will ever reach that level of trust with anyone in this lifetime, given what has happened to her in the past (and now the present, I suppose) and how she is responding to it in the present. So, even though my trust of her good intentions is restored, I doubt that I’ll ever trust her enough to share my personal confidences with her again, unless we communicate specifically about the trust issue and she shows signs of understanding and reciprocating my desired level of trust.

Anyway… there was still tension between us after the meeting, especially since I made a point out of the fact that I believe I’ve been treated in an unprofessional manner. But there was also at least a glimmer of reconciliation — enough to leave me believing that my work life will be more comfortable from this point forward. Hopefully hers will be too…

Now that I’ve got the biggest knot of this whole tangle behind me, it’s time to move on to other aspects of my life and trust that time will heal all wounds. For me, the healing will start with rest! My adrenal glands have been pumping furiously ever since all of this started to go down last Thursday, leading to irregular sleep patterns, irregular eating patterns, irritable bowel, and a host of other symptoms. The only things that were able to quiet these for the past week or so were spiritual songs, time spent with friends, and quite a few Buffy the Vampire Slayer DVDs.

So, with lessons learned and wounds mending, it’s time for me to draw this entry to a close… feel free to let me know what you think, either in the comments section or in private.

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Summer Projects

Once I carry out more updates, I may focus some of the following information into specialized sections of this site. However, since this is all some really big stuff, I felt that it was worthy of a whole blog entry unto itself.

PROJECT: TREESONG

This project is about… well, me. 🙂 This project has a high priority for me since so many of the other ones will suffer or perish if I’m not alive and kickin’.

Basically, it involves healing — healing on a physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual level. It involves resting more, having more fun, spending more social time with friends, and acting on creative projects such as my writing that are uniquely my own.

It also will probably involve updating my website more than I have been lately. So… yay me! 🙂

PROJECT: COMMUNITY CIRCLE

This is a series of community meetings aimed at bringing together people from a wide variety of different community organizations. Initially, I had hoped to see us meet once a week, every week. For the time being though, we’re working on a potluck for early June and taking it from there. For more info, visit http://community-circle.org/

PROJECT: EARTH CONSCIOUS REVOLUTION

This book, due to be released on August 1, 2006, is the sequel to Revolution of One and a classic in its own right. Just as Revolution of One offered an introduction to revolutionary principles and practices, Earth Conscious Revolution takes these a step further by centering our attention on the power of the Earth and releasing any personal and community blocks that stand between us and this great earth power. For more information, visit http://earthconsciousrevolution.org

PROJECT: EARTH ACTIVIST TRAINING

In the fall, I’ll be attending something called the Earth Activist Training. This two-week intensive training session strikes a balance between the strategic advocacy of activism and the earth-centered community-building of permaculture. I’m hoping to get about half of the tuition from work trade, but the other half will have to come from fundraising and any savings I can set aside between now and then. I first learned about it through Starhawk’s email list because she’s a teacher there, but many other cool people will be there too. For more information, visit http://earthactivisttraining.org

PROJECT: GAIA’S ORPHANS

On October 31, 2006, I will be releasing a full-length novel called Gaia’s Orphans. This groundbreaking work of post-apocalyptic fiction is set in the Chicago area with a cast of undead critters that includes Zombies, Vampires, Trolls, Demons, and Stones.

For the fantasy fan, Gaia’s Orphans has plenty of ghoulish monsters to haunt your dreams. For the politically and ecologically minded reader, it has plenty of anti-authoritarian and earth-centric themes. For the psychological and spiritual reader, it does some soul-searching that will rock your world. No matter how you slice it, Gaia’s Orphans is a well-rounded and captivating drama about one man’s journey through the heart of the underworld.

In a world filled with the living dead… is there any hope for new life? Grab Gaia’s Orphans on October 31, 2006 to find out for yourself! In the meantime, visit http://gaiasorphans.org for the latest news and updates.

PROJECT: R

This project is currently flying slightly under the radar but will potentially be quite important by this fall. I’ll be co-creating this with at least one other person, possibly a team of several people. It’s fun, it’s creative, it’s innovative, and it’s revolutionary. And that’s all I’m gonna say for now, because anything more would spoil the surprise. 🙂

PROJECT: MANIFEST

This project is definitely flying under the radar at the moment — not because of any need for secrecy, but because of the time, effort, and focus that will be involved. What’s it about? Well… suffice it to say that there will be powerful positive changes in my life and much of our community by this time next year. These changes are already starting to unfold, and they will continue to blossom throughout the coming year.

Okay… that’s certainly enough projects for one summer. 🙂 My friends at the Big Muddy Independent Media Center and at the Interfaith Center have several other projects going on related to those respective organizations and beyond. I’ll be active off and on in some of those — but since they already have their own websites, and they’re the ones who will be coordinating that action as a group, I’ll leave it to them to describe those happenings… 🙂 In the meantime, I’m off to enjoy Dinner Part II, so I must bid thee farewell…

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Betrayal?

I don’t want to go into too many details here because this involves another person and my whole work situation… but since she was the one who violated my trust and turned this all into a "problem," I don’t feel too terribly bad about writing generalities about it here. Many of my guests on this site are my friends too, and so I’m always eager to share what’s going on in my life in some form or another

First, a bit of the context. My friend and I met as coworkers, but we’ve been personal friends for a couple of years now, sharing a wide variety of personal conversations and spiritual experiences both in and out of work. We mostly only have personal time together at work during breaks or moments of downtime, but we also occassionally talk over email or hang out together. With everything going on in both of our lives, I was inspired to share with her what an inspiration our friendship has been, and just how much she means to me. I thought that we had built enough trust between us that I could share this poem without leaving her feeling uncomfortable about our time together both in and out of work. Apparently, though, I was sorely mistaken.

There are simply no words to describe the sense of betrayal that I felt seeing my letter to her laid out on the table between us in the presence of a third person. I poured my heart into that poem, just as I poured my heart into our friendship — and what I received in response to my unconditional love was a stab in the heart in the form of her choice to turn a personal misunderstanding into a professional vendetta.

Having her betray me like that left me feeling cold, hollow, violated, and dirty. It was as though she had reached into the core of me, taken something beautiful, and caused it to wilt with her cold, callous touch. I lost 4 pounds in less than 24 hours, and even several days later, I still can’t fully believe that this is happening. I had an online friend betray me in a major way once long ago… but that was different — a veritable stranger engaging in weirdness that ultimately had nothing to do with me. In this case, I had a good friend — one of my best friends — who I thought would be with me through thick and thin, just as I had been there for her during moments of personal strain and even acts of unkindness or boundary-crossing that she had directed my way. But somehow, even though we had talked about really personal stuff before, sharing something this personal just triggered a defense mechanism for her that was so powerful that instead of coming to me to resolve the situation, she felt she had to go to an outside party to resolve it. Now, I have to deal with both personal and professional wreckage simultaneously, while she pretty much gets to move on rather quickly because I’m out of sight, out of mind.

I feel very sorry about all of this. Initially, I was very upset with her… but really, the sort of unconditional love that I feel for her doesn’t allow me to sustain a negative attitude about her for very long. Sure, the trust is shattered… and I won’t be sharing anything personal with her anytime soon, and probably not ever again. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t care anymore, or that I hold it against her. I still care about her just as much as I always have… and I’m very sorry that my communication left her feeling uncomfortable. I just wish that I knew how to restore her comfort level and bring peace to the situation — but since she won’t even speak to me, there’s no way for me to know how to do that. And that also leaves me in a bind professionally, because I’m trying to resolve this misunderstanding with a minimum of conflict and a maximum of peace of mind for everyone involved.

I really don’t understand it… I mean, it’s one thing to feel discomfort when romantic topics come up. I’ve had that happen in both directions. You spend some time with someone, you say or do something that potentially shifts perceptions or feelings in a different direction, and then if something goes sour, you deal with the consequences like adults. If it goes sour, you can deal with it through communication and clear establishment of boundaries. In this case, she jumped directly from a boundary in which friendly personal communication was expected and commonplace to a boundary in which it was used as the basis for a professional complaint.

This is all still in process, so I don’t know how it’s all going to turn out, and don’t know how much to say about it. All I know is that ever since this all started going down on Thursday, I’ve spent most of my time feeling very tired… tired in the body and tired in the heart… I may end up taking action against her to counteract the action she’s taken against me, but if at all possible, I want to avoid that, because I feel loyalty and care for her even now. Deep down, I really just want to close my eyes and wake up in the morning to find that she’s just ready to talk now and everything will eventually be worked out. That would be best for her, best for me, best for everyone… but if she doesn’t feel that level of comfort, then I don’t know what I’m going to do.

I still feel very loyal to her as a friend, so I’m very reluctant to take any action to counteract the consequences of her betrayal. But then again, I’m also reluctant to just let all of this pass without talking it out with her and making some effort to come to a place of peace and restoration.

So, basically, I’m faced with a choice — and I’m reluctant to follow through with either side of the coin. So, I don’ tknow what I’m going to do… in the meantime, I’d better get some rest. My heart aches, both for myself and for her… but deep down, I know that there’s a resolution somewhere, and I pray for the best for all of us…

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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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