AWAKENING THE GLOBAL HEART

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I’d like to offer you an invitation, an invocation, a wake up call.   I’m inviting you – me, we – to celebrate the astounding goodness of our essential beings, the goodness of this gorgeous miraculous unsurpassable earth glittering like a green emerald in the vastness of an incredibly mysterious universe.   I’m inviting us to return to our true journey, to align our hearts and our minds  and even our bellies with the unfolding evolutionary adventure, to break free from these dark dark ages and help to bring in a new era, an era of empathy, of harmony, of co-operation, of shared power, of meaning, of purpose.

It will be messy, we will stumble in our awakening,  hit the snooze button, fall back asleep, wake up again. And again. And again. Make no mistake about it.  There will be more suffering on the journey- perhaps a great deal more.  But the time has come.   It’s time to let go the petty profane existence the greed machine is  relentlessly selling us, to break free of the shackles of illusion they have built, out of thin air.

 

Wake up!  (Zen hand clap)

It’s time to come to our senses, and wake up!

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Listen – can you hear the alarm bells ringing? Can you hear the cries of Mother Earth?  Can you hear the cries of Her children? Can you smell the stench of an industrial growth addicted civilization rotting from the inside out?  Look – have you noticed the species going extinct minute by minute, the disappearing bees, the melting glaciers, the rising seas, the expanding deserts, the suffering skyrocketing out of control, the politicians that act like childish lunatics, the greed crazed gamblers of Wall Street throwing dice while the whole world careens on their roller coaster of illusion,  bubbles of hungry ghost money ballooning, ballooning, soon to burst yet again, banks expecting bail outs while millions  lose their homes amidst the deafening roar of collapsing economies drowned by the noise of the dream factories of mainstream media encouraging us all to be selfish children seduced into a cycle of endless consumption by heartless corporations  hellbent on using up everything this sacred earth can offer as fast as possible, backed up by a militarized police force who do not protect us but oppress us when we dare to dream out loud of a better world, a beautiful world, a world that puts love before profit?

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Wake up!  (Zen hand clap)

It’s not too late, it’s never too late to seize the day.

Wake up!  (Zen hand clap)

 It’s time we realized that this planet is having a near death experience.

And therein lies the hope.

I’m not calling in an apocalypse – oh no, quite the opposite. Hollywood is busy visioning that for us.  We can do better.  For in this chaos lies the possibility of transformation – and transformation is what we need. There’s nowhere else I’d rather be than right here, right now, in this incredible time of transition.  The situation is so complex, the world is changing so rapidly, that no one can guess with any degree of certainty what will happen next.   If you like surprises, stay tuned!   Anything could happen.

 

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Listen – can you hear the sounds of revolution in the streets? The spark has spread from the Arab Spring to the European Summer, from Occupy Wall Street to Occupy Together, from the Maple Spring to the climate justice movement, from ‎#IdleNoMore to ‎#FearlessSummer to the WorldWide #WaveOfAction.

The fire of change is blazing anywhere anyone is working to create a world that works for everyone and all life. From Transition Towns to community gardens, from the gift economy to restorative justice, from permaculture to maker culture, from renewable energy to mutual aid, from Open Source to Direct Democracy, we know what is needed, we know the time is now.

There is a global awakening blooming all around this trembling earth. A thirst for justice, for equality, for harmony, for sustainability, for creativity, for compassion – for love. And it cannot be stopped. It’s a Tsunami of transformation, and the time is now.

A naturally arising movement of movements, a global super movement, is emerging, rooted in compassion, rooted in interdependence, in participatory democracy. We have no interest in the tired old ideologies of days gone by – don’t come to this movement with answers alone. Come with the questions, come with an open heart. This revolution is a process, not a product. We are Occupying with Love.

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I’m not asking you to crawl on your knees in acts of service and supplication.  I am inviting you to be of service, but in a way that is joyous for you.   I’m inviting you to discover your bliss – not your ego’s bliss, but the bliss of your true Self.  You know the difference, if you dare to check in.  I double dare you to become a blessing, to allow the universe to offer you the true riches of a life of love, a life of meaning, a life of possibility.

Ask yourself this – are you a gift to the planet?  Are you a gift to your community?  Are you a gift to your family, your friends, your lover, your true Self? Are you a gift to the whole damn universe?

If you aren’t,  then you’re missing out. Because when you become a gift to this universe – to your world, community, family, lover, friend and Self –  when you become a true Giver and not just a taker,  you will discover the incredible power of reciprocity.  The real Secret is that the more you give, the more you receive.  As you go deeper into true Giving,  the particles become waves.   The oscillations between giving and receiving speed up, until they become instantaneous, until there is no giver, there is no receiver, there is just flow.   Try it out.  Let me know how it goes.

 

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It’s time to take hold of your birthright. To discover your true calling.   It’s uniquely yours – not anyone else’s. You are a perfect singular snowflake of a being  inextricably interwoven with all the other stunningly unique snowflakes dancing through this participatory interconnected living, ever evolving  universe. We are all miracles.    Wake up to your true Self.

As the Zen prayer goes – don’t squander your life. Wake up! (Zen hand clap)

I promise you this:  you cannot lose when you lead a life of love. It’s  as simple as opening your heart. It’s as natural as breathing.  All that other stuff – the addiction, the suffering, the separation from Source – that’s unnatural.  That’s just a big bag of hot air, an illusion of smoke and mirrors.  We’ve been tricked!  Are you gonna  let them keep fooling you?  Stealing your happiness?

 

Wake up! (Zen hand clap) 

Cut the cords and claim what’s rightfully yours.

 

It’s not too late to turn the tide.  Start small, start big, but start somewhere – can you spare a smile?  Can you spare some compassion?  Some creativity?  Some action? Some Love? Some love in action?  In the end, it all comes down to love.  Love is the bedrock of the universe, of the planet.   We are part of an incredibly complex system of systems, systems within systems within systems,  all relying on each other in a web of checks and balances, of co-operation, of community.  Even our bodies are made up of organisms that rely on each other to keep our system going.   This is a form of love.   Gravity itself is a loving force – without it, we would float off into space, and nothing would hold together.  We need that force of attraction.  Love – it’s all about love.

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I invite you all to join in the awakening – to use whatever creativity and skills and tools you can find to make this world a better place.  There are so many ways to do this – in fact, there are as many paths as there are people.  Each one of us has a unique role to play – what’s yours?   Take the time to go deep within, and listen to your heart.  Follow that heart, wherever it may lead you.  With every opportunity that comes your way, ask yourself – is this a path with heart?   If it’s not, move on.   There’s no time to waste in false pursuits.  You can be a sacred warrior, you can be both fierce and compassionate, you have the stuff!  Occupy the emptiness of corporate culture, with love.

It’s time to wake up.  Wake up!  (zen hand clap) 

This is the moment – right now, not tomorrow, not next week, not next year.    There’s no better place to be than right here, in this moment, right now.   Welcome to life in the fire of change.  Heart by heart, we can transform this world, from the bottom up.   We aren’t waiting around, we aren’t asking for permission. We are doing this.  Now. With love. Let your fierce love shine.

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Most of the images in this piece are from viral photos circulating on Facebook.  

A Healing Walk through Canada’s Tar Sands Dystopia

Cree organizer Clayton Thomas-Muller provides a deeply personal account of a ceremonial healing walk through the broken landscape of Canada’s tar sands. This year’s walk begins July 4.

A COUPLE YEARS AGO I was asked by the Keepers of the Athabasca to be Master of Ceremonies for a unique event: the first annual walk to heal the Canadian tar sands.

It took place in the region of the most controversial energy project on earth. The idea was not to have a protest, but instead to engage in a meaningful ceremonial action to pray for the healing of Mother Earth, which has been so damaged by the tar sands industry. Members of the five First Nations of the Athabasca region and residents of the nearby town of Fort McMurray, Alberta, tired of the never-ending fight with big oil and its supporters in the Canadian government, had made a conscious choice to protect their way of life. This was done by turning to ceremony and asking through prayer and the physical act of walking on the earth for the hearts of those harming Mother Earth through extreme energy extraction to be healed.

By extreme energy extraction, I’m talking about practices like tars sands mining and fracking, which the oil and gas industry has had to resort to now that most of the easy-to-find liquid crude is gone. By scraping the earth for fossil fuels that are mixed with sand and rock, these techniques do tremendous damage to the places where they occur.

My journey started in Fort McMurray, also know as tar sands boom town. Many have described this place as the land of milk and honey, a place were you can trade five years of your life (and soul) and be financially “set up.” I met with a motley crew of activists, elders, and youth from Fort Chipewyan, Fort McKay, Anzac, and the metro areas of Calgary and Edmonton, as well as some allies who had traveled from as far as British Columbia and beyond.

The plan was to take vehicles to the beginning of the infamous stretch of road that branches off of Highway 63 to form a ring through the tar sands. This road has gained a notorious reputation due to the many people killed in accidents there—including 46 between 2007 and 2012. Its traffic rivals that of downtown New York City, and gets especially heavy during two daily shift changes.

Our plan was to pray, make offerings to the four directions, and walk through the heart of tar sands development as concerned elders, parents, and youth.

Read the full article on YES MAGAZINE

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#GrowOccupy – Why Occupy Will Never Be Co-opted

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There has been a great deal of talk in the Occupy movement around the fear of co-optation. The latest round of debate has been around the 99% Spring movement. Adbusters has sounded the alarm with the cry “#DefendOccupy.” The basic premise of the current debate is whether MoveOn.org is a bogeyman that is stealing the ideas of Occupy for its own ends, which some claim are as a “front group” for the democratic party.

In reality, the 99% Spring movement is a coalition of 60 different grass roots groups, one of which was Move On, none of whom are claiming leadership. The impetus, which aims at training 100,000 people in direct action techniques, certainly draws inspiration from Occupy, and explicitly uses the 99% terminology that Occupy popularized.

For me fear mongering on the part of Adbusters and others is simply that – fear. Division. Separation. And harkens back to very old fashioned elitist energy that I have encountered in movements throughout my experience as an activist.

It makes me a little sad. We need to grow the spirit of Occupy, not divide it into ideological factions. It’s a meme, and to try to “protect it” is hypocritical – one of the ideas behind Occupy is the spirit of open source.

No one owns Occupy. So everyone owns it. You can’t have it both ways – either it is an organization, which needs to copyright itself, or it is true to it’s principle. Open, shared, available to all. Or at least, the 99%. Which we at Occupy Love expand to the 100%.

Continue reading “#GrowOccupy – Why Occupy Will Never Be Co-opted” »

Debt and the Tar Sands

Fort McMurray, Alberta / Photo: Kris Krug

by Charles Eisenstein

The Occupy Movement has been characterized by, and criticized for, its lack of focused objectives. Originally gathering around issues of economic inequality and debt, it soon ballooned to include every progressive issue under the sun, and then some. Yet amid the cacophony of proposals and messages, we could always detect a hint of a unifying theme. We sensed that all of these issues are somehow connected; we sensed that we were protesting something. What was that thing? What is it now? What is it about current actions to, say, stop the excavation of Alberta’s tar sands that makes them Occupy actions? What does ecosystem destruction and climate change have to do with financial inequality?

Just as we suspect, both arise from the same source. Inequality and environmental degradation are written into the rules of our financial system on a level so deep they are nearly invisible. To see how, let us start by asking, Why is it that there is money to be made by excavating the tar sands, but not by protecting the wilderness and the indigenous way of life there? After all, money is a mere social agreement, created by human beings. It is a story – a system of interpretations of symbols that defines value. How have we come to assign value to those activities that are destroying Earth?

The answer has to do with how money is created: as interest-bearing debt. At any moment, because of interest, the amount of money in existence is always less than the amount of debt. The only way to avoid defaults, unemployment and concentration of wealth is for new money to be constantly created through further lending. Lending can only happen and loans can only be repaid when there are profitable investment opportunities: the creation of new goods and services. That is, it can only happen in the presence of economic growth. When the economy stops growing, debt rises faster than income, defaults rise, employment falls, and the concentration of wealth intensifies.

Continue reading “Debt and the Tar Sands” »

How To Respond With Love

Francisco "Pancho" Ramos Stierle meditates as police arrest him Monday. He had declined orders to leave. Photo: Noah Berger

THE MISTAKE WE MAKE is thinking the corporations are separate from us. The mistake we make is thinking that corruption is only a political issue. The mistake we make is thinking that by eliminating the system we eliminate the problem. It’s true we live in a world dominated and exploited by the few, and it’s true that the systems we live by no longer support us; but it’s also true that there is a deeper cause at play…

The very consciousness which objectifies life as a means to an end – as an exploitable commodity – is the very same mindset which seeks to hate, condemn, and fight these structures of power. But we cannot fight violence with violence or create peace through war. Even those we oppose are our brothers and sisters, and only a consciousness which sees this can create another way.

Without a deep realization of our unity with all of life, including those behind the systems which exploit us, then we will simply create more of the same. For it is fear and separateness which create systems that dominate and destroy.

So in our willingness to stand up for what we believe in, there must be a deeper understanding of our role. Our path is one of great responsibility and reverence for all of life. We must hold our outrage and self righteousness within the truth that knows the way. We must surrender our confusion to love and our minds to our hearts. We must be clear that the role we play through occupation is a tool and never an identity.

If we fail to do this we may lose ourselves in conflict. We may burnout from anger and deplete ourselves through hate. We may fight with those that can help us and repel those we seek to inspire. So let us realize that real change occurs within the hearts of each of us. Can we face the darkness within our own minds, or will we project it onto those we oppose?

I have watched people react with judgment and divisiveness, and I have watched people respond with love and unity. I have watched people defend a system which destroys for profit, and I have watched people envision a way of living that works in harmony with all of life. I have watched people react with anger and outrage, and I have watched people respond with compassion and understanding. I have watched people react with violence and oppression, and I have watched people respond with peace and empowerment.

We need to live our dream now and create our future now. It’s not enough to say we want peace, whilst responding to injustice with violence; and it’s not enough to fight against something without creating what we’re for. Every movement, cause, and occupation is a living example of what’s possible globally. Every community which faces its problems with love and awareness demonstrates this potential. And every individual who chooses to embrace their pain, rather than deny it, provides hope and possibility for the collective.

Peaceful action arises from peace itself, justice from justice, and love from love. Do not become that which you protest against. Discover that change is now and within you, and not as some future promise. Be that which you desire, that which you’re for, and that which we need. Discover it’s here already and not withheld or lost. Discover you are that and share it – there’s no need to demand it with tears. Let your movements express this change, not fight against its lack. Let your actions arise from this change, not lead you further from it.

So let us approach those who write the rules of oppression with astounding compassion and enlightened respect. Let us set aside our beliefs for open and honest communication. And let us occupy the spaces that bind us with light in our eyes and love in our hearts. We don’t have to agree with someone to hear them, and we don’t have to like them to respect them. But we must always be the change we wish to see. Let us begin here and now – with the seeds of war we perpetuate. Let us begin with ourselves – the only thing we control. Are you in peace when you shout for peace? Do you embody what you demand?

If we respond with judgment they will oppress us. If we respond with opposition they will fight us. If we respond with violence they will destroy us. But if we respond with love, compassion, and understanding; there will be no power for them to infiltrate, no hate for them to corrupt, no violence for them to imprison.

In the face of love they will be powerless, in the face of compassion they will be confused, in the face of understanding they will be dumbstruck. In the power of love their love of power will seem obsolete and futile. This is the only thing they don’t know how to fight, and this is the only thing that can create a future worth fighting for.

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Georgia Simone Servant of love, artist of words, sacred activist. Hopelessly devoted to sharing movements of love, and supporting you on your journey into the heart: www.lovemovements.com

All You Need (to Protest) Is Love

Occupy V-Day wants you to challenge corporate conceptions of romance.

BY SADY DOYLE

Occupy V-Day encourages the public to use Valentine’s Day to challenge our cultural (and pop-cultural) conceptions of love and romance and to provide their own definitions.

Love–according to one line of thinking, anyway–is our first and most important education in social justice. To love someone, religions and therapists and poets and various sitcom episodes tell us, is to care about their well-being as profoundly, and as constantly, as you care about your own.

If love works this way, there can be no oppression within it. There can be no exploitation, no stereotyping, no tyrant to hand down laws to the populace, no populace to revolt. There can only be the fact of mutual care; all rules, in this small republic, are consensus-based, and all rights are equal rights. Love does not erase the facts of our social reality, but it illuminates them; through complete absorption in the particular, it reveals the shakiness and incompleteness of our relation to the whole. Everyone you meet could become as important to you as yourself, should you love them. You won’t love them all. But at least you can recognize the particular and human in them, and commit to fight against the structures that degrade or erase it; at least you can work to create a culture that grants each person the humanity that you have learned to see in others by loving.

According to one line of thinking, anyway. According to another line, love is the reason you really, really need to finish shopping–or at least get a decent restaurant reservation–by February 13.

Samhita Mukhopadhyay, executive editor of Feministing and author of Outdated: Why Dating is Ruining Your Love Life, is launching a fight against, as she put it in a phone call, the “corporate or even political systems [that] shape how we think about love and romance.” And she is picking the stickiest, sappiest, most cardboard-heart-prone day of the year to do it.

Her project, Occupy V-Day, encourages the public to use Valentine’s Day to challenge our cultural (and pop-cultural) conceptions of love and romance, and to provide their own definitions: The Occupy V-Day blog suggests that you “shout about the lack of queer visibility in sexual rights politics,” “blog about how traditional ideas of romance perpetuate gender inequalities,” or “have a sexy conversation by candlelight with your partner about structural inequity.”

In practice, the Occupy V-Day Tumblr is wildly diverse: There are signs protesting the idea that “every kiss begins with Kay,” odes to single bliss (“I get the whole bed to myself”), updates on Prop. 8 and same-sex marriage, and vows of love and support for sisters, friends, and pet dogs. And, of course, someone who posts (more than once!) about “sheep-like seekers of romance” and informs the world that people in love are “basically high on drugs” and that “true love is forgiving them” for having a relationship. That last bit may be unseemly, but anyone who has broken up with someone in early February can probably relate.

Mukhopadhyay cautions against a shallow critique of the holiday on one hand–“you can say you don’t like Valentine’s Day, but you can still support heteronormativity”–and the dangers of self-obsession as activism on the other. She sees the project as a way to interrogate intimacy, and illuminate how it’s shaped by the greater social context.

She made the choice to tie this project to the language of the Occupy movement, Mukhopadhyay says, because both movements speak to “the desire to have different power relations in your life, but [while] talking about how larger forces produce these social structures.” When it comes to intimate relationships, she says, this conversation is often neglected.

“We literally do not have the tools,” she says. “And I think recognizing that it’s this larger structural problem where we do have very limited roles… Our power within that is very limited. I sound like such a Marxist! But I feel like recognizing it and connecting it to this larger context helps people feel less alone.”

Where Mukhopadyay is looking to Occupy love and romance, and to open them up for a wider narrative, filmmaker Velcrow Ripper is finding love within the Occupy movement himself. He is making a documentary, “Occupy Love”, about the human connection and passion at the heart of Occupy and other movements.

“I have travelled around the world tracing this phenomenal year of change, of global transformation,” Ripper told me in an e-mail, “and I have found that the underlying thread that connects the dots is really love. It is a love of justice, it is a love of humanity, and it is a deep sense of interdependence.”

Ripper says we live in “a nightmare paradigm of a commodified world, a lifeless world of objects, separation and scarcity. We are awakening to a new possibility, where the true abundance of this Earth is no longer hoarded. Where relationships are not transactions. Where your well being is my well being is the planet’s well being.”

Some of this may seem like an impressively fuzzy way to think about, say, campaign finance reform. But then, it also speaks to the fact that one thing radicals have always done best is to re-envision the relational status quo.

Similarly, it may seem silly at first to focus on Valentine’s Day as a force for radical change–“I’m a media producer,” Mukhopadhyay told me when I asked her why she chose the holiday. “It’s a great hook”–but in fact, Occupy V-Day is part of a long lineage of feminist projects that challenge the conventions of romance by starting with what we take for granted. This line stretches through bell hooks’s popular bookseries on love, through the V-Day campaign against sexual and relationship violence, and even to Emma Goldman’s writings against marriage.

Love, according to one line of thinking, is our first and most important education in social justice. According to another line of thinking, it’s a reason to buy your partner some romance on a certain day of the year. But according to a third, perhaps more truly radical line of thinking, we don’t know what love is yet. We don’t live in a world that has allowed us to experience it freely. It’s only when we all start talking about love, together–pushing the limits of our own imaginations, and challenging each other to take nothing for granted–that we can find it.

Reposted from “In These Times”

ABOUT THIS AUTHOR

Sady Doyle is an In These Times Staff Writer. She’s also an award-winning social media activist and the founder of the anti-sexist blog Tiger Beatdown (tigerbeatdown.com).

More information about Sady Doyle

We Are Not Protestors, We Are Participants

Photo: InOttawa

I AM CURRENTLY Time magazine’s Person of the Year. I am a Protestor (aka an Occupier) I helped organize the NY event and spent the previous years prior to September 17th involved in many activities with similar sensibilities.

Only a few people know this and most that do could care less. Not many of my friends have asked me about my experience, which is fine and pretty much the way things roll here in Larchmont, NY. There are a lot of big celebrities and very accomplished people here. Plus, this is a land of finance people. Tim Geithner, to name but one.

But some have asked what Occupy is all about. Usually not in a nice way. The most common questions I get are: Why no demands? What do they want? This thing you call a movement is a leaderless mess that’s never going to matter. What’s the point? Why Wall Street, why not Washington?

I’ve answered in various ways but never concisely or in a cogent manner. But this past week I stumbled across a talk that I think can answer the questions in a way that folks around the here might understand a little better. It’s given by the wonderful philosopher and economist Charles Eisenstein speaking to a group in Vancouver. A mutual friend posted it on Facebook. Listen to the entire talk “Money, Gift, and Society in the Age of Transition” if you like.

Charles is talking about a financial model that is not based on debt and hoarding, but a new model based (in part) on gift. A model that does not reward collecting assets, but rather giving away assets. He outlines a sustainable system based on balance, rather than the existing unsustainable system based on growth. In the last three minutes of this talk there is a wonderful and enlightening story. I’ll paraphrase…

Let’s say there is a company and they own an island covered in old growth forest. The company has a decision to make, they could log the island sustainably and make $1mm per year, or clear cut it, destroy the forest and make $100mm this year. Well, for a competent company that’s not much of a decision at all. Any rational CEO would clear cut the forest, invest the $100mm, even at 3% interest that is $3mm per year, rather than just the $1mm per year. Easy decision.

Ok. Say there is an awakened CEO and she decides to be sustainable and take the $1mm per year. Fine. But now a corporate raider comes. He marshals investors by showing the company is completely mismanaged and undervalued–the stock price does not represent the real value the company is sitting on. They buy out the company, cut down the forest and get rich. The only way the CEO can stop the take-over is to raise the stock price, and the only way to raise the stock price is to cut down the forest. That’s market discipline for you. It’s harsh.

Now let’s suppose you are CEO and absolute dictator of Earth. One day some ETs show up from another planet and say they’d like to buy Earth. “We’re going to make it worth your while. We have run the numbers and gross world profit this year is about $60 trillion dollars. How would you like $10 quadrillion dollars right now? It’s a good deal. The interest on that alone is way more than $60 trillion, you’re gonna be rich! We’re going to buy the planet from you, we’re going to pollute the atmosphere, were going to poison the oceans and level mountains. We are going to completely destroy the planet because we need the materials to build an amusement park on the other side of the galaxy.”

Would anyone say yes to this deal? No. That would be crazy.

Yet we are saying yes to this deal every day. With our current financial and corporate system we are slowly, and with intention and resolve, destroying the planet. This system of debt-based money will forever commodify and destroy the life systems we depend upon. We are watching it play out in real time. Almost imperceptibly, but ceaselessly and with quiet force and determination. …one oil leak, one felled tree, one chemical filled well, one new Big Pharm drug, one car, one cellphone at a time.

My wife and I were talking about this story the other night. And she said that when this unsustainable system comes to an end, some finance guy will just say, “Yes. You know what? You were right. It was a bad idea. I thought it would work, but I guess it didn’t.” Because that’s the way things go in the corporate world. Ride an idea to the end while it’s working and leave harmful consequences for some other, hopefully external, entity to handle down the line. Privatize the gain and socialize the loss. The most obvious and glaring example of this to me is Alan Greenspan saying he was wrong about all that low interest and deregulation. Years of economic policy that led so many to suffer (and a very few to prosper) and all he has to say is something akin to, “My bad. That’s on me.” No repercussion for Alan, hardly anyone even reported on it.

That’s what Occupy Wall Street is about. It’s about recognizing that our most powerful leaders are in the finance industry and most act in unskilled ways. They are disconnected to the heart and to ageless human wisdoms. There’s an absence of understanding and compassion that is endemic, and even celebrated in this culture. It’s a world that desires all of the bounty and frivolity of great privilege, without any of the weight and responsibility of great leadership. It’s sociopathic.

Many are waking up though–they no longer buy into this financial model with its complex jargon and math designed to obfuscate simple greed. They have looked deeply and understand a debt-based system–that will forever take assets from the periphery and bring them to the center–will fail and nobody will outmaneuver the karma. They see the human species needs to change this system of money or perish. So how can one change a system that is so entrenched?

Here’s how: Start asking those around you, “How can we do this?” Ask questions and listen deeply to answers. Organize around truths that are universal and benefit balance and harmony. Give credibility to change. And most importantly, within the halls of your company or on the sidewalks of our neighborhood, be courageous. Be willing to take real risks and change your relationship to your world. People are finding like-minded people and occupying the commons. We are supporting each other. It’s fun!

To occupy we just make the decision to begin walking a new path and work on building sustainable models to replace the out-dated infinite growth models. We just begin, that’s all. One breath. One little decision. And then give yourself a good pat on the back.

People say that I’m a dreamer. These changes can’t happen. But I say advocates of the current economic system are the true dreamers. I’m practical. I’m a realist. I’m not dreaming, I’m wide awake!

This transformation is happening whether we like it or not. We can be ahead of it and in control of it, or it can control us. And while I appreciate Time magazine’s recognition, they don’t quite get that we are not protesters, we are participants.

– Gregg Hill, Co-Producer, Occupy Love

We Come From The Future

Illustration: GAUCHE

“One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.” – Carl Jung

APOCALYPTICISM is an actual word. According to Wikipedia, it is “the religious belief that there will be an apocalypse, a term which originally referred to a revelation of God’s will, but now usually refers to belief that the world will come to an end time very soon, even within one’s own lifetime.”

The idea that “the world will end” is not limited to fire and brimstone. Various New Agers believe that 2012 will result in an alignment of the galactic something or other, fulfilling the Hopi prophecy of the Blue Kachina and the reversal of the Earth’s magnetic poles…and stuff…then we will enter a golden age. Sound familiar?

Darin Drda, author of The Four Global Truths, writes:

Although they speak different languages, both tell the same story: the fate of life on Earth will be determined by forces beyond humanity’s control. This idea strikes me as a very dangerous one, certain to accelerate our collective journey down the road to ruin. What’s more, it doesn’t jive with the powerful and paradigm-shifting insight of 20th century physics that reality is participatory.

In 2011, TIME magazine dubbed “The Protestor” Person of the Year, their cover emblazoned with a shrouded figure peering out from behind a kerchief. I believe the more accurate label would have been “The Participant” – to reflect the global awakening that is gaining steam around the globe. From the streets of Cairo, to the towers of Wall St, as Charles Eisenstein intoned “We the people are awakening and we will not go back to sleep.”

The true definition of ‘apocalypse’ is more akin to ‘the lifting of the veil.’ What has long been hidden shall be revealed. Is it possible to understand this potential, and how to apply it, without falling victim to the aforementioned ‘isms of divine destruction, collapse, or extraterrestrial saviours?

Daniel Pinchbeck points the way in his book 2012: The Return of Queztalcoatl. He suggests we are being called to participate in a shift in human consciousness, catalyzed by the crises that appear to be culminating in this age.

“Right now, we are being forced to witness the shadow of the psyche projected into material form through systemic misuse of technology, biospheric destruction, and corrupt geopolitics based on entrenched egotism and greed. […]

Like the coiled arms of the galaxy, the development of consciousness appears to follow a spiral, sidereal motion, represented by the archetypal symbol of the mandala, which is universal in sacred art.

Whether found in dreams or wheat fields, mandalas symbolize stages in a psychic process – the helical approach of the psyche toward integration of the ego and the self or higher self, through the difficult work of illuminating the dark matter within the unconscious.”

The dark matter of our unconscious has created the human world we inhabit, including the crises that we appear unable to solve. Our old story of the Self, that we are “isolated beings in an indifferent universe” (and all it’s variations), is breaking down, because in fact, it was never objectively real in the first place. It was constructed by our level of consciousness.

The new consciousness struggles to be born.

The Occupy Movement seemingly embodied this desire to participate one again, erupting onto the collective stage late last year. And yet, even as creative direct-actions continue, many camps are struggling with the old patterns of Separation – the idea that to change the world we must apply Force. If only we could exert enough pressure on the “bad” elements of our society, we can keep humanity’s innate greed and destruction at bay.

But that’s not enough.

Spiritual teacher Thomas Hübl, in a fascinating interview from early on in the Occupations, said “Most of the people want to change fully, but they don’t want to engage fully, because it confronts your life and the depths of who you are,” says . “When people are confronted to make a shift in their consciousness, they stay with the [old patterns].”

This is why the current Occupations are embroiled in conflict. The repressed trauma and old wounds of Separation have now found an outlet, and any attempts to stifle them, even in the name of achieving organizational unity, will meet more resistance.

Thomas continues:

It cannot be a movement that is against something. Most movements that are against something are stuck being against. And they are not for something better. And you need to have more people that are for something better. For the light, not against the structure.

Around awake people, more awakening will happen. Awakening is spiral. If you spend time with someone who is more awake than you, then chances are your consciousness will be elevated. And if through your practice, you manage to stabilize your consciousness at this level it will become your reality as well.

What is needed at this time is those who can hold a global awareness. People who are grounded, that are literally coming from the future. They look the same, but they are motivated from a different place. If you are coming from the future, and you embody this, then the future will manifest around you.

This future ‘global awareness’ unfolds from the consciousness of the Connected Self.

Darin Drda explains:

We are not, as the old guard preaches, feeble and passive observers of a fixed, objective order or cogs in a giant, lifeless machine. Nor are we, as the new guard intones, the all-powerful masters of our own destiny, capable of instantly conjuring anything we want out of pixie dust and wishful thinking. We are co-creative participants in a great cosmic adventure, the outcome of which must always remain unknown.

In summary: consciousness creates our world. Our current story is now breaking down, an inevitable conclusion to the unconscious shadows we have collectively repressed. The Apocalypse is about uncovering/reintegrating our projections, essentially forcing us: not to evolve, but to make a CHOICE to evolve.

This choice is crucial. Without choice, we are merely pawns of fate, adrift in an indifferent cosmos.

Instead, we are called to embody this new consciousness, not as an opinion, but as a lived relationship with ourselves and the Other. While we can only do this on an individual level, we need other “awakened beings” to hold us at this higher note until we can stabilize – and then help others do the same.

This is the true meaning of the apt quoted maxim “Be the change you want to see in the world.” We must literally BE from the future – retrieving a higher order of self that does not recreate the past. We must resist the death throes of our old institutions, even while we flow towards our new ones. We must bow humbly to our ancestors and their echoes of pain, include the injustice of the present, and embrace the uncertainty of our Great Transition.

If this sounds ambitious, consider the words of Arundhati Roy:

“Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing.”

– Ian MacKenzie, Co-Producer, Occupy Love

Occupy The Dream – MLK and the Power of Love

“Power without love is reckless and abusive, and love without power is sentimental and anemic. Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice, and justice at its best is power correcting everything that stands against love.” ― Martin Luther King Jr.

Today the Occupy Movement will be engaging in global actions centered around the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The heart of Dr. King’s vision offers wonderful inspiration for the movement – one that is deeply rooted in love.  King’s approach to activism was all about “love in action.”

The activists of the civil rights era faced incredible repression and brutality, yet remained firm in their conviction to love, their conviction to non-violence.  This gave them tremendous “moral capital.”   Violence, as an activist tactic, very rarely is successful.  It is speaking the language of the opressor, and they respond with even greater violence.  But the images of loving activists in contrast to brutality, is poignant, moving and transformative. It opens the hearts of the undecided, and calls them to join in the quest for justice.   Those who seek to undermine the Occupy Movement, or any activist movement, invariably point to acts of violence.

King taught that while legislative changes were important, such as desegregation (a focal point for the movement at that time),  unless we also change our hearts and minds, we would end up with,  “a society where men are physically desegregated and spiritually segregated, where elbows are together and hearts apart. It gives us social togetherness and spiritual apartness. It leaves us with a stagnant equality of sameness rather than a constructive equality of oneness.”    He beautifully said that, “we are tied together in the single garment of destiny, caught in an inescapable network of mutuality.”

Dr. King’s greatest vision was that the world would come together in a “Beloved Community.”  The civil rights movement represented an attempt to created that Beloved Community in microcosm. Today, within the Occupy Movement, we can also create this kind of community, founded on compassion, non-violence and mutuality.  This is turn can help lead to the tipping point, towards that day when we are able to live in a world that works for everyone.  King’s profound dream was to enlarge “the concept of brotherhood to a vision of total interrelatedness.”

 If he were alive today, I believe Dr. King would have recognized the incredible potential of this remarkable time in history.

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” ~ Martin Luther King Jr.

By remaining firmly grounded in love, we are practicing “prefigurative politics.”  Instead of waiting for some far off dream of a peaceful, loving world, we are living it, right now, in real time.  The principles of participatory democracy, central to the Occupy Movement, allow us to practice a world where everyone is important.  Having a leaderless movement is also a radical step – we all are leaders today.

Buddhist teacher Thich Nhat Hanh has said that in this era, “the Buddha is the Sangha.”  This means, the community is the new Buddha.  It’s time for us all to wake up, and tap into our collective wisdom.  We are moving beyond the top down hierarchal structures that have dominated all areas of life in the past – from politics to spirituality, from culture to economics. It’s time for a new era, an era of shared power, of horizontality. This is the way ecosystems work – complex webs of systems within systems, supporting, nurturing each other in webs of checks and balances.  It’s time that we integrate fully into the planetary body, recognize our profound inter-connection, striving always towards mutually enhancing relationships.

The field of possibility expands exponentially each time any one of us truly steps up to the plate, and opens our hearts. How joyous, to live the realization that the greater the  brilliance of any one of us, the greater is the radiance of the whole.  We can go beyond that outdated dog eat dog eat dog isolating, disconnecting model of the corporatocracy, into a new world, where we care for each other in networks of compassion. Let us truly, deeply, authentically occupy the dream, the dream of a world that works for all life, where each and everyone of us is a shining star in a constellation of love.

“Everybody can be great…because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”
― Martin Luther King Jr.

____________

MLK Occupy Events

OCCUPY THE DREAM TELECOUNCIL WITH VELCROW RIPPER

This is an exciting time in history! Let’s make the most of it. Please join me on Martin Luther King Day, January 16 2o12 at 4 pm PST for a a special tele council in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. and the Occupy Movement. I’ll be discussing King’s legacy of the “Beloved Community” emerging all over the world today, sharing my journey from Occupy Wall St, to Occupy Oakland, Occupy London, the M15 movement of Spain, the revolution in Tahrir Square, the meaning of “Occupy Love” and more. Learn more and sign up here – it’s free! 

WORLD WIDE CANDLELIGHT VIGIL FOR UNITY

This January 15th all over the world, Occupy is holding a  #J15 Worldwide Candlelight Vigil For Unity on the  birthday, and in the spirit of Dr. King’s vision for racial and economic equality, peace, and non-violence.  Candlelight vigils will take place at 7pm in each time zone to unite our world in a global movement for systemic change.

Wherever you are, let’s join together and light our flames for  this beautiful vision.  Be creative – you can create your own vigil if you can’t find one near you.   Learn more at http://www.j15global.com/

 

OCCUPY THE DREAM

National Day of Action on January 16.
16+ Cities. Occupy the Federal Reserve!

When: January 16, 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM (unless otherwise noted)
Where: The Federal Reserve Bank closest to you

Washington, D.C. • Atlanta • Boston • Chicago • Cleveland • Dallas • Kansas City •Los Angeles • Minneapolis • New York • New Orleans • Philadelphia • Richmond •San Francisco • St. Louis • Wilmington, DE

Members of the African-American faith community have joined forces with Occupy Wall Street to launch a new campaign for economic justice inspired by the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Faithful to its philosophical origin, the “Occupy the Dream” coalition has called for a National Day of Action on Martin Luther King Day – Monday, January 16, 2012 – to focus attention on the gross injustice visited upon the 99% by the financial elite.  More info at : www.occupythedream.org

STUDIO OCCUPY

Studio Occupy has a wonderful project related to this: “To honor Rev. Martin Luther King’s birthday, Occupy Wall Street is privileged to welcome African-American clergy as they join the movement to address economic inequality and social injustice. Dr. King’s dream made history. Now OWS needs yours! What’s your dream for your community? For the future? Grab your phone or webcam, make a video of your dream, and upload it by January 16th – Dr. King’s birthday. We can create history together. Let’s Occupy the Dream!”  Learn more at:  Studio Occupy

REBUILD THE DREAM

Van Jones, one of my all time visionary activist heroes, who is featured in Fierce Light: When Spirit Meets Action  , has launched an initiative called “Rebuild the Dream.”  This weekend, for MLK day, they are calling for meet-ups acrsos the country to celebrate Dr. King and link the Civil Rights Movement with today’s struggle for an economy that works for all. Neighbors and friends will gather to watch the great video they have created, plus engage in a special discussion about how we strengthen our movements in 2012. Find an MLK Meet-up near you, or host one of your own.

 

PS. We need your love! Please give to the Occupy Love crowd funding campaign so we can complete Occupy Love, our feature doc that captures the global (r)evolution of compassion inaction.  Sharing the link and telling your friends helps a lot too. We believe this movie is going to be of tremendous service to the planet. In Theatres 2012 – with your help!

 

2012: Love’s Evolution Is My Resolution

There are no manuals to read, no rules to follow, other than the open book, of the heart.

Love’s evolution is my resolution, my revolution, my solution. The time is now.   2012 is upon us. The beginning is here!

I’d like to offer you an invitation, an invocation, a wake up call.   Wake up!  (Zen hand clap) It’s time to come to our senses, and wake up!  Listen – can you hear the alarm bells ringing? Can you hear the cries of Mother Earth?  Can you hear the cries of Her children? Can you smell the stench of an industrial growth addicted civilization rotting from the inside out?

Look – have you noticed the species going extinct minute by minute, the disappearing bees, the melting glaciers, the rising seas, the expanding deserts, the suffering skyrocketing out of control, the politicians that act like childish lunatics, the greed crazed gamblers of Wall Street throwing dice while the whole world careens on their roller coaster of illusion,  bubbles of hungry ghost money ballooning, ballooning, soon to burst yet again, banks expecting bail outs while millions  lose their homes amidst the deafening roar of collapsing economies drowned by the noise of the dream factories of mainstream media encouraging us all to be selfish children seduced into a cycle of endless consumption by heartless corporations  hellbent on using up everything this sacred earth can offer as fast as possible?

We’re filling our hearts and minds and bellies with  junk food,  junk television, junk video games, junk movies, junk music,  junk toys,  junk fears, junk violence, junk dreams,   junk junk, junk and more junk for a society of junkies.

Wake up!  (Zen hand clap) It’s not too late, it’s never too late to seize the day.  Wake up!  (Zen hand clap) It’s time we realized that this planet is having a near death experience.   And therein lies the hope.

Continue reading “2012: Love’s Evolution Is My Resolution” »

All I want for Christmas is a Global Evolution

Occupy Christmas! With what? How about by giving that which never costs, that which can never have a price tag: Love. The more we give love, the more we receive love. Love is the economic growth we need, not the planet destroying growth of Gross Domestic Product.  Love grows best when given freely. Love is at the heart of global evolution. Love is the expression of our profound interdependence.

For the love of the planet, and each other, we need to awaken from the trance of corporate culture, from the dog-eat-dog-eat-dog world of separation, fear, and mindless consumption, and learn how to create a world of mutually enhancing relationships, of collaboration, creativity, and possibility. A world of love.

I’ve been asking Santa, the earth, the sky, you and me, for a global r~evolution for years now. Guess what? We’re starting to deliver.

There have been some deep tastes of it along the way –  my personal highlights include the Zapatista revolution in Chiapas; the profound creativity and resistance of the anti-globalization movement that began with the WTO protests in 1999; the enormous global day of anti-war marches, organized on the internet, when millions of us marched around the world in the name of peace, simultaneously.  350.org‘s global days of action for climate justice are always spectacular.

South America has seen an explosion of transformation – almost every country is trying some inspirational social experiment. Paul Hawken has tracked what he calls “humanity’s immune response to a planet in crisis”, a kind of Blessed Unrest that is the largest mass movement in history, working for change, that doesn’t even know it exists. We have been part of many beautiful expressions of evolution and compassion in action. (Watch interview)

And then came 2011.   From the Arab Spring, to the European Summer, to the Occupy Movement, to the great strides taken by the Climate Justice movement, and all the other arisings bursting forth, the electric charge of transformation is in the air.  As we gestate through this winter into 2012, my prayers are that as the frost melts, we will burst forth with  creativity, enthusiasm, and love into a global spring that keeps right on blooming into a global summer of transformation.

We need it now, more than ever.   We certainly need it more than another tree full of stuff.

The Eruption of Occupy

Sept 17,  2011 began as a quiet Saturday morning in Brooklyn with my love. Adbusters, media activists from my home terrain of  Vancouver, Canada, had put a call out a few months back: “Occupy Wall Street. Bring Tent.” Someone had posted on Facebook at the time, “are you going?”  I said, “I’ll be there, camera’s blazing.”

But that morning, a part of me wanted to sleep in. I asked Nova,  “Do you think I should go?” She didn’t hesitate: “Go!  Just check it out.  It could be something great.” I packed my camera gear, got on my bicycle and peddled over the Brooklyn Bridge, into the financial district of Manhattan, towards a little park within sight  of Ground Zero,  a park that would soon be re-named “Liberty Square.”

And so began one of the most extraordinary seasons of transformation I have witnessed in my life. It’s as if we’ve taken the famed “red pill” of the Matrix – nothing has been the same ever since.  A pandora’s box of possibilities has been flung wide open, and it can never be shut in quite the same way.  We are awake.

We have been sold a hollow story, of endless consumption, an economic fairy tale that we can have limitless growth on a finite planet, that the extreme wealth of the few would in some way benefit the many, a world where there are no relationships, only transactions.  A world where love itself is a commodity.  We are awake, and we aren’t buying it any more.

On October 15th the Occupy Movement went global.  I was in Times Square at that moment.  5,000 of us took the square, that electric altar to the gods of consumption. The energy was joyous, hopeful, inspired. And then something happened that sent chills down my spine: on the electronic ticker tape that gives the news bites of the day, came the words “Occupy Wall Street Movement Goes WorldWide.” Each time it appeared we let out a cheer. We were occupying the world.

Occupy Goes Global

In the course of making Occupy Love, our feature documentary that charts the global revolution of compassion in action, we have gone deep into the movement here in NYC at Occupy Wall Street, to the epic General Strike in Occupy Oakland, to Occupy DC, Occupy Canada, and Occupy London.

We have filmed with the sister movement, and precursor to Occupy, the Indignado’s of Spain, part of the famed “European Summer,” and with the courageous revolutionaries of Tahrir Square, in Egypt, who helped launch the Arab Spring.

When we first descended on Liberty Square we had the lofty goal of creating our own “Tahrir Square,” a claim that at first seemed outlandish, even presumptous,  but today we have taken – and lost – and taken squares all over the planet, creating a global network of occupiers, and we are only just beginning. What this movement of movements is attempting to do is nothing short of re-inventing the world.

It is both a return to our shared roots – we are all indigenous to somewhere – and a new global cross pollination, which has been helped with the interconnectivity of the internet.  We are falling in love, again, and again, with each other, and the planet. It is the profoundly public love that is justice.  It is the power of empathy and interdependence, of knowing in one’s heart that if your belly is empty, or your home has been foreclosed, then I too am hungry, I too have no  shelter.

It is the compassionate desire, that everyone on this planet, and all life, be offered the opportunity to “live well” as they say in Bolivia. The Aymara indigenous concept of “Living Well” contrasts with the western paradigm of “living better.” We have been taught to want more and more – to consume, to amass material goods at the expense of the environment, rather than to live well, in a world in which everyone’s needs are met while staying in deep harmony with the natural world.

We in the west are living in a deep cultural pathology, addicted to consumption, distraction and destruction. As a result, we are not a happy people. Buckminister Fuller has done the math – we can feed, clothe, educate, and keep well everyone on this planet. No problem – scarcity is a construction of a dysfunctional system.

The crisis we are facing is propelling us into a great love story, the greatest love story on earth. The time is now. 2012 promises to be extraordinary. I can’t wait to be surprised! We are waking up, and love is in the air. Thank-you for all you have given. Keep on giving, keep on unwrapping your gifts and sharing them with the world. My winter wish is for a global evolution of the heart, so that humanity may become a blessing to each other and this earth. Occupy Love!

~ Velcrow Ripper, Dec 24th 2011
Vancouver, BC

PS. We need your love! Please give to our crowd funding campaign so we can continue to make Occupy Love.  Sharing the link and telling your friends helps a lot too. We believe this movie is going to be of tremendous service to the planet. In Theatres 2012 – with your help!

Why Occupy Love?

Photo: Painting at Burning Man 2011

Occupy Love. There are so many ways to look at these words, a command, an invitation, a declaration, a new-age proclamation, a powerless platitude, a volition or a guiding mission statement….on and on…

In one obvious interpretation, and one I’ve heard mentioned more than once, it’s dualistic. If one occupies love then one must have a relationship to love identifying it as separate from them. By definition, one can’t occupy something unless it is another. Unless it’s a distinct and individual object. In an occupation of love one must objectify love in order to possess it.

But this global arising is broad, and a deeper meaning calls…

A gentle invitation is heard in the words Occupy Love. It is an invitation to come home to something that already exists within and without. Something that becomes available and knowable through skillful means; through deep looking and quiet contemplation we touch the universal love which is in and of all things. Indeed the very essence of all that can be known and unknown in the phenomenological and noumenal universe. In stopping, calming, accepting, in “being” more that “doing”, the heart begins to open. One touches the ultimate. One may find the love they set out to occupy was already right where they were. Always and eternally present occupying them. There was never two, just one.

Occupy love implies a journey. Not so much a traditional love story of seeking and finding, but a different kind of journey. One of coming into balance. Awakening to the truth that all one needs is available in the present. This awakening is happening all over the world, separately to individual people, and yet together. Individually and collectively.

Occupy Love is not a story of conquest and victory, but a story of attaining wisdom–of our collective humanity transforming from childhood to wise elder. When I touch this great love I see there is nowhere to go. There’s nothing to win. To live in equanimity one does not go out and achieve or win it. One breathes in awareness.

I used to think that enlightenment was something that happened to someone. The ancient mythology of the troubled man going up the mountain and coming back down with deep wisdom, grey hair, big grey eyebrows and wild eyes. A bright beam of light had parted the heavens, shone upon him and now he was God-like and lived in truth, kindness and wisdom. Something external became internal, and now he was enlightened. But now I see this word enlightenment not speaking so much to rays of light, but weight. Not darkness to light, but heaviness to light.

For example, I carry the weight of misunderstanding, ignorance, resentment, fear, anger, injustice and so on. These psychological states are a burden and I suffer under the tremendous weight of them. But when I become enlightened, there is a letting go. I put down these things. They still exist, there are still real energies that exist, I just come to understand they are not me and I no longer own them or occupy them. When this happens there is great space. It takes tremendous courage to live with this space. It’s scary.

However, in being okay with the apprehension, excitement and anxiety that initially come with this space, the heart of love becomes known – there within all along. One finds that love was always occupying them.

In occupying and being occupied by love, or becoming awakened to loving power, one can see all the material and spiritual world are infused with loving kindness, goodness and joy. One can deeply know the universality and harmony of all that is.

With this understanding one feels safe, confident, solid, fresh and reflects all that is wonderful and good in our nature.

Love is an occupation.

– Gregg Hill, Co-Producer, Occupy Love

If We Get Occupy Right, We Get Everything Right

WHEN I FIRST heard the call to Occupy Wall St for a few months, I knew this was big. I knew it would be more than just a “protest.” This felt different than the usual march to voice specific grievances. It was a call for something more profound, and much deeper, than even the original participants realized as they gathered their signs and tents.

I knew because I’d be following the various manifestations of this movement for over a year, working with Velcrow Ripper as he traversed the globe working on his new film: Evolve Love. The premise is complex to capture, but simple to state: humanity is waking up.

On Sept 17, 2011, 2000 people showed up at Zucotti Park. On Nov 26, 2011, they are still there.

The mainstream media, if they aren’t busy denigrating the movement and highlighting its flaws, are still grappling with how to cover it. Who are the leaders? What are your demands? No answer has been given. Instead, they Occupy.

Early on, journalist Naomi Klein recognized the significance as well. She called it “The Most Important Thing In The World Now“:

Yesterday, one of the speakers at the labor rally said: “We found each other.” That sentiment captures the beauty of what is being created here. A wide-open space (as well as an idea so big it can’t be contained by any space) for all the people who want a better world to find each other. We are so grateful.

“Why are they protesting?” ask the baffled pundits on TV. Meanwhile, the rest of the world asks: “What took you so long?” “We’ve been wondering when you were going to show up.” And most of all: “Welcome.”

At its heart, Occupy is not a protest. It’s about creating space. It’s about modeling a new way of being, that requires a fair amount of “unlearning” the way society and human nature has been taught. It’s asking the question: why? Why are things they way they are? Is it, in fact, human nature to be greedy, violent, and cruel? Or is it possible that these are symptoms of a systemic order?

Continue reading “If We Get Occupy Right, We Get Everything Right” »