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Blog item: The Awakening

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1 comment on May-23-2009   Add a comment   Author:  chefurka (May-11-2009)
Categories: Philosophical & Quality of Life, Sustainable Living, Wildlife and Nature

Awakening to realityAround the world during the eight catastrophic years of Bush league government in the United States, then even within the United States following the election of Barack Obama, there has been a swelling murmur of disbelief, dissent and determination. There is a ferment loose in the world.

It's not just about politics, and it's not just in America. People all over the world are waking up and wondering WTF has been going on while they've been dutifully dreaming their consumerist dreams. People are wondering what happened to the environment, to the economy, to social justice, to their freedoms, to their very souls.

This same awakening tried to happen forty years ago in the late 1960s, but the movement never took root for a combination of reasons: the sense of malaise that triggered it was too abstract, the participants were generally too young, the internet hadn't been invented yet and the societies in which it arose were too rich to sustain the anomie that has become our current "Blessed Unrest". Now, as our physical, social and economic situation begins to visibly unravel, the conditions are right for the mass awakening we're seeing.

Whoever controls your perception of reality controls you.

This understanding is at the core of our civilization's guardian institutions. These guardian institutions are the corporate, economic, political, legal, religious, educational and media interests that create, disseminate and enforce our culture's core worldview of hierarchy, coercion and growth. They have been able to make virtually everyone on the face of the planet buy into a life-destroying paradigm of perpetual material growth – the ideology of the cancer cell. Their influence is so pervasive and the messaging so seamless that the majority of us have, until now, accepted this state of affairs as being beyond question. It has seemed obvious that this was the only possible way human beings could live.

Fortunately, as a result of the physical, social and economic deterioration that is underway around the world, and abetted by the grass-roots sharing enabled by the internet, the guardian institutions have begun to lose their grip. This is now allowing other stories to be told.  Narratives of truth are springing up from the grass roots, and finding the occasional patch of open blue sky overhead as opposed to endless concrete, manipulation and lies. Now the cracks and seams are starting to appear in an enterprise that formerly seemed monolithic and seamless. It's up to those who are awakening to force them wider – to let the sunshine in.

Where will it all end? Who knows, but it sure is a fine time to be alive.

PS: Here is one specific heretical thought. Universal compulsory schooling and trade unions both came of age in the mid 1800's as a result of the factory owners' need for a docile workforce that would accept regimentation and discipline without complaint. Free schooling in most of the West stops with high school because by then its real job is done – the kids are conditioned to sitting indoors in straight lines without talking while concentrating on things they don't care about for the duration of a work day. For more background, I highly recommend John Zerzan's book, "Elements of Refusal".

Related reading:
  The Importance of Enlightenment (Jun-25-2009)
  Paul Hawken's Commencement Address, University o... (Jun-18-2009)
  The Global Movement that Barack Obama Isn't Lead... (May-9-2009)
  Meat Computers with Cultural Programs (Apr-28-2009)
  From Despair to Hope (Nov-15-2008)
  "You never change things by fighting the existing..." (Oct-29-2008)
  Changing the Dream (Oct-28-2008)

Click one tag to see readings related specifically to that tag; click "Tags" to see all related readings
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Comment by: StevenSALMONY (Steven Earl SALMONY) (May-23-2009)   Web site
President Barack Obama offers us a different kind of leadership and a new direction. I believe we can follow his leadership and, thereby, assure a good enough future for the children and coming generations.

On the other hand, if the venal, “business as usual” deniers of science who have provided leadership during the past eight years were to end up having their way, then I fear the worst for our children.

If my parents generation was “the greatest generation” in history, clearly their children {ie, my generation of leading elders} have shown ourselves to be “the worst generation” in history because we will be known to our children as the generation that refused to learn how to live sustainably and, just as astoundingly, was full of pride and confidence with regard to our unsustainable behavior, even if that behavior meant the destruction of life as we know it on this good Earth for our children. My generation will be remembered as a generation of conspicuous consumers and excessive hoarders whose denial of science and unbridled avarice resulted in spectacular abuses of the Earth; whose unmitigated and unconscionable arrogance lead to the irreversible degradation of the environment, the massive extirpation of biodiversity, the reckless dissipation of Earth’s body and the endangerment of the children.

Perhaps necessary change is in the offing.

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About author/contributor Member: chefurka (Bodhisantra (Paul) Chefurka) chefurka (Bodhisantra (Paul) Chefurka)
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Member: chefurka (Bodhisantra (Paul) Chefurka) I am a Canadian ecologist with a passionate interest in outside the box responses to the converging crisis of industrial civilization.

The crisis of civilization is not simply a convergence of technical, environmental and organizational problems.  These are symptoms that are themselves being driven by a philosophical and perceptual disconnection so deep that it is best understood as a spiritual breakdown.  The disconnection goes by the name of Separation.

Our sense of separation is what allows us to see ourselves as different from and superior to the rest of the apparently non-rational universe we live in.  In this worldview the complex mutual interdependence of all the elements of the universe is replaced by a simple dualistic categorization:  there are human beings, and everything else in the universe—without exception—is a resource for us to use.

The only way to keep this planet, our one and only home in the universe, from being ultimately ravaged and devastated is to change our worldview and heal our sense of separateness.  Unless we can manage that breathtaking feat all the careful application of technology, all the well-intentioned regulations, all the unbridled cleverness of which we are so proud will do little to delay the final outcome, and nothing whatever to prevent it.

My desire is to find ways to heal that sense of separation, with the goal of helping us prepare for ecological adulthood.

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