Saturday, February 04, 2017

Dispatches from the Ancient Future, A Compass for the Pathless Path, New Language for A New Reality

All Five Volumes of Richard Power's Primal Reality Series are Available
from Amazon and Barnes and Noble in Both Softcover and Kindle Editions

The five volumes of Richard Power's Primal Reality series constitute a significant contribution to the emerging global wisdom tradition of the 21st Century.

Several overarching themes frame this work:
  • The evolution of yoga and the yoga of evolution. 
  • A Tantric vision of birth, death and transformation, in which human incarnation is experienced as divine revelation. 
  • The ascendancy of the feminine in psyche (human and divine).
  •  The poetics of our intimate, creative relationship with the vast planetary intelligence within which we live, move and have our being.
  • A contemplation of the human condition in the early 21st century. 
  • A celebration of some simple truths that could help redeem us and heal our world, e.g. altruism and sustainability as spiritual (and existential) imperatives 
  • A call to the great shift required of us if our species is to evolve, i.e., the great shift to a green global civilization.
Interspersed between each movement of this sweeping exploration, Power has inserted batches of his "epiphanies." Existential. Somatic. Reality-based. Experiential. New language for perennial truths. Dispatches from the Ancient Future. An inventory of open secrets. A compass for the pathless path.

The Primal Reality series includes (in reverse chronological order
These five volumes can be read stand-alone or in any chosen sequence. They can also be read by simply opening to random pages or in designated order from start to finish. By design. The choice is yours. All five volumes are available in both softcover and Kindle versions via Amazon.com.
 
For more information on the work of Richard Power, author, speaker, yoga teacher, visit http://wordsofpower.net
 
#shadow #psyche #soma #pathofanevolutionary #passionofthepoet #lifeofayogi #pearlofgreatprice #pachamama #thegreatwheelturns #notruthoutsidethegatesofeden #tantrikaknows

Friday, February 03, 2017

Simone Weil: "The Needs of a Human Being are Sacred. Their Satisfaction Cannot be Subordinated Either to Reasons of State, or to Any Consideration of Money ..."


Simone Weil in 1921.

Notebooks of Simone Weil. Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1956
Simone Weil (February 3,1909 - August 24,1943). French philosopher, anarchist, feminist, christian mystic. When the Spanish Civil War broke out, Weil joined a French-speaking unit of an anarchist militia and fought the fascists. In 1942, she helped her family to safety in the U.S.A, and then returned to Europe and joined the French Resistance to fight against the Nazis. Physically frail and otherworldly, Weil contracted tuberculosis and tragically died at the age of thirty-four. Albert Camus called her "the only great spirit of our time." Writing in the New York Review of Books (February 1,1963), the brilliant Susan Sontag rightfully placed Weil in the company of Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Dostoyevsky, Kafka, Baudelaire, Rimbaud and Genet; "their unhealthiness," she sagely observed, "is their soundness." Sontag cited "the originality of her psychological insight, the passion and subtlety of her theological imagination, the fecundity of her exegetical talents ...", and referred to her as a "person who is rightly regarded as one of the most uncompromising and troubling witnesses to the modern travail of the spirit."

Here are some of Simone Weil's haunting insights:

Imaginary evil is romantic and varied; real evil is gloomy, monotonous, barren, boring. Imaginary good is boring; real good is always new, marvelous, intoxicating.
-- Simone Weil, Gravity and Grace (1948)

The needs of a human being are sacred. Their satisfaction cannot be subordinated either to reasons of state, or to any consideration of money, nationality, race, or colour, or to the moral or other value attributed to the human being in question, or to any consideration whatsoever.
-- Simone Weil, Statement of Human Obligations (1943)

Force is as pitiless to the man who possesses it, or thinks he does, as it is to its victims; the second it crushes, the first it intoxicates. The truth is, nobody really possesses it. -- Simone Weil, Gravity and Grace (1948)

In order to be exercised, the intelligence requires to be free to express itself without control by any authority. There must therefore be a domain of pure intellectual research, separate but accessible to all, where no authority intervenes. -- Simone Weil, Statement Of Obligations (1943)

Human beings are so made that the ones who do the crushing feel nothing; it is the person crushed who feels what is happening. Unless one has placed oneself on the side of the oppressed, to feel with them, one cannot understand.
-- Simone Weil, Gravity and Grace.

At the bottom of the heart of every human being, from earliest infancy until the tomb, there is something that goes on indomitably expecting, in the teeth of all experience of crimes committed, suffered, and witnessed, that good and not evil will be done to him. It is this above all that is sacred in every human being. The good is the only source of the sacred. There is nothing sacred except the good and what pertains to it.
-- Simone Weil, Human Personality (1943)

When a contradiction is impossible to resolve except by a lie, then we know that it is really a door.
-- Simone Weil, Gravity and Grace (1948)'


Related Words of Power Herstory Posts:
Simone de Beauvoir: "... And Truth Rewarded Me."
Ursula Le Guin: "To Light A Candle is to Cast A Shadow.
Susan Sontag: "In Place of A Hermeneutics, We Need An Erotics of Art."
Doris Lessing: "It is the Storyteller, the Dream-Maker, the Myth-Maker, that is our Phoenix ..."
Joan Didion: “I Know What 'Nothing' Means, and Keep On Playing.

Simone Weil
Richard Power is the author of eleven books, including most recently, "Cauldron Yoga, Gaian Poetics and the Way of the Ancient Future," along with the other four volumes of his "Primal Reality" series, all of which are available in both softcover and Kindle versions via Amazon.com.

For information, visit his Amazon author's page.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Leaning Into the Great Shift: "Freedom is What You Do with What has Been Done to You."


Woman's March, San Francisco, 1/21/17
Woman's March, San Francisco, 1/21/17
Woman's March, San Francisco, 1/21/17
The Force is with me, and I am one with the Force. -- Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)

"Freedom," John Paul Sartre (greatest Western philosopher of the 20th Century) declared, "is what you do with what has been done to you."

On 1/20/17, our nation's capitol city fell into the grasp of deeply disturbed men who want to drag us all into a dystopian Handmaid's Tale / Fahrenheit 451 future: anti-woman, anti-nature, anti-science, anti-democracy, anti-reason, anti-humanism.

On 1/21/17, the great cities of America (and the rest of the world) responded. In Washington, D.C. itself, at least half a million dissenters celebrated true freedom, probably many more, and certainly thrice as many as had gathered for the travesty of the previous day. Likewise, the protests in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco were bigger than the travesty of the previous day.

Marches and rallies were also held in Boston, Seattle, Denver, Miami, Houston and elsewhere across the U.S.A., as well as throughout the world, e.g., in London, Paris, Barcelona, Tel Aviv, Mexico City, Melbourne and Berlin. Millions and millions of human beings, really, at over 670 events.

Here in San Francisco, in the pouring rain, such a multitude, so many powerful women, so many brave children, so much love, so much peace, so much clarity of mind, so much rich diversity. 

This post includes some images from actions in San Francisco on both 1/20/17 and 1/21/17, and embedded videos of three powerful statements delivered at the Women's March on Washington, one from Madonna, one from Ashley Judd and one from Alicia Keys.

Remember, corporations are not people, money is not speech and 2 + 2 = 4. 

May the goddess of liberty prevail. May the patriarchy be overthrown in the collective psyche. 

May altruism and sustainability be exalted as spiritual and existential imperatives. 

May the great shift accelerate. 

May the vajra of the heart be realized in this lifetime. 

-- Richard Power
Woman's March, San Francisco, 1/21/17
Anti-Inauguration, San Francisco, 1/21/17
Woman's March, San Francisco, 1/21/17
Anti-Inauguration, San Francisco, 1/21/17
Woman's March, San Francisco, 1/21/17
Anti-Inauguration, San Francisco, 1/21/17
Woman's March, San Francisco, 1/21/17
Anti-Inauguration, San Francisco, 1/21/17

Anti-Inauguration, San Francisco, 1/21/17
Woman's March, San Francisco, 1/21/17
Anti-Inauguration, San Francisco, 1/21/17
Madonna: Welcome to the revolution of love, to the rebellion, to our refusal as women to accept this new age of tyranny, where not just women are in danger but all marginalized people, where being uniquely different right now might truly be considered a crime. It took this horrific moment of darkness to wake us the f--- up ... To our detractors that insist that this march will never add up to anything, f--- you ... It seems as though we had all slipped into a false sense of comfort, that justice would prevail, that good would win in the end. Well, good did not win this election, but good will win in the end. So what today means is that we are far from the end. Today marks the beginning, the beginning of our story. The revolution starts here, the fight for the right to be free, to be who we are, to be equal. Let’s march together through this darkness and with each step know that we are not afraid, that we are not alone, that we will not back down, that there is power in our unity and that no opposing force stands a chance in the face of true solidarity ... To our detractors that insist that this march will never add up to anything, fuck you. Fuck you ... We choose love! We choose love!

VIDEO: Madonna, Women's March on Washington, 1/21/17


Ashley Judd (reciting Nina Donovan's poem "I Am A Nasty Woman"): I am a nasty woman. I'm not as nasty as a man who looks like he bathes in Cheeto dust. A man whose words are a diss track to America. Electoral college-sanctioned, hate-speech contaminating this national anthem. I'm not as nasty as Confederate flags being tattooed across my city. Maybe the South actually is going to rise again. Maybe for some it never really fell. Blacks are still in shackles and graves, just for being black. Slavery has been reinterpreted as the prison system in front of people who see melanin as animal skin. I am not as nasty as a swastika painted on a pride flag, and I didn't know devils could be resurrected but I feel Hitler in these streets. A mustache traded for a toupee. Nazis renamed the Cabinet Electoral Conversion Therapy, the new gas chambers shaming the gay out of America, turning rainbows into suicide notes. I am not as nasty as racism, fraud, conflict of interest, homophobia, sexual assault, transphobia, white supremacy, misogyny, ignorance, white privilege ... I am not as nasty as using little girls like "Pokemon" before their bodies have even developed. I am not as nasty as your daughter being your favorite sex symbol, like your wet dreams infused with your own genes. Yeah, I'm a nasty woman — a loud, vulgar, proud woman ...

VIDEO: Ashley Judd, Women's March on Washington


VIDEO: Alicia Keys, Women's March on Washington, 1/21/17 

Alicia Keys (singing "Girl on Fire"): She's just a girl, and she's on fire/ Hotter than a fantasy, longer like a highway / She's living in a world, and it's on fire  ... 


Corporations are not people. Money is not speech. Healthcare is a human right. 2 + 2 = 4.

Richard Power is the author of eleven books, including most recently, "Cauldron Yoga, Gaian Poetics and the Way of the Ancient Future," along with the other four volumes of his "Primal Reality" series, all of which are available in both softcover and Kindle versions via Amazon.com.

For information, visit his Amazon author's page.

Woman's March, San Francisco, 1/21/17
Anti-Inauguration, San Francisco, 1/21/17
Woman's March, San Francisco, 1/21/17

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Do The Math; The Tao of Reckoning

Dorothea Lange - Mother and Child, Great Depression, California (1936)
Do the math.

The poor are getting poorer.
  • In a recent survey, 56 percent of Americans said they have less than $1,000 in their checking and savings accounts combined, Forbes reports. Nearly a quarter (24.8 percent) have less than $100 to their name. Meanwhile, 38 percent said they would pay less than their full credit card balance this month, and 11 percent said they would make the minimum payment—meaning they would likely be mired in debt for years and pay more in interest than they originally borrowed. It paints a daunting picture of the average American coming out of the spend-heavy holiday season: steeped in credit card debt, living paycheck-to-paycheck, at serious risk of financial ruin if the slightest thing goes wrong. -- Jack Holmes, More Than Half of Americans Reportedly Have Less Than $1,000 to Their Name, Esquire, 1/12/17

The rich are getting richer.
  • The private jets of the world's wealthiest men and women are swarming the Swiss Alps for the annual World Economic Forum (WEF), which begins Monday in Davos, Switzerland, in the midst of an ongoing global inequality crisis. And that crisis is accelerating, according to a new Oxfam report released Monday: today, only eight men own the same amount of wealth as the 3.6 billion people who comprise the poorest half of humanity. Those eight men are Bill Gates, Amancio Ortega, Warren Buffett, Carlos Slim Helu, Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg, Larry Ellison, and Michael Bloomberg. The report, An Economy for the 99%, observes that "[f]ar from trickling down, income and wealth are being sucked upwards at an alarming rate." It goes on to describe how super-rich individuals and the massive corporations they run are fueling the inequality crisis by offshoring taxes, driving down wages, and influencing government to their advantage, and argues that the "very design of our economies and the principles of our economics have taken us to this extreme, unsustainable, and unjust point." "It is obscene for so much wealth to be held in the hands of so few when one in 10 people survive on less than $2 a day," said Oxfam International director Winnie Byanyima in a statement. "Inequality is trapping hundreds of millions in poverty; it is fracturing our societies and undermining democracy." -- Nika Knight, Just Eight Men Own Same Wealth as Half of Humanity: Report, Common Dreams, 1/16/17

And some among us are eager to inflict a great wound and then pour a mountain of salt on it.

  • The Congressional Budget Office just issued a report on the likely effects of a Republican effort to repeal Obamacare immediately but keep some elements of the coverage expansion in place for two years. The numbers are staggering and suggest the GOP will find it difficult to keep its promise of an “orderly transition,” unless they deviate significantly from a prototype repeal bill they passed last year. Within the first year, the CBO predicts, 18 million people would lose insurance. In addition, premiums for people buying coverage on their own would increase, on average, by 20 to 25 percent relative to what they would be if the Affordable Care Act remained in place. And that’s just the short-term effects that a “repeal-and-delay” strategy would have. Once Obamacare’s tax credits and Medicaid expansion expired fully, the CBO says, millions more could lose insurance and premiums would rise yet again. Ultimately, the CBO concludes, 32 million more people would be uninsured and premiums would be twice as high ― again, relative to what they would be if Obamacare stayed on the books. -- Jonathan Cohn, CBO Predicts 18 Million Uninsured, Higher Premiums In First Year After Obamacare Repeal And Delay, Huffington Post, 1/17/17

There is a Tao of Reckoning.
  • We must recognize that we can’t solve our problem now until there is a radical redistribution of economic and political power… this means a revolution of values and other things. We must see now that the evils of racism, economic exploitation and militarism are all tied together… you can’t really get rid of one without getting rid of the others… the whole structure of American life must be changed. America is a hypocritical nation and [we] must put [our] own house in order. -- Martin Luther King, Jr. Report to SCLC Staff, May 1967.
Corporations are not people. Money is not speech. Healthcare is a human right. 2 + 2 = 4.

Richard Power is the author of eleven books, including most recently, "Cauldron Yoga, Gaian Poetics and the Way of the Ancient Future," along with the other four volumes of his "Primal Reality" series, all of which are  available in both softcover and Kindle versions via Amazon.com.

For information, visit his Amazon author's page.

Monday, December 05, 2016

Take This Memory With You Into the Winter. "It Took Tremendous Courage to Take A New Approach to Our Nation-to-Nation Relationship, and We will Be Forever Grateful."

 
Edward S. Curtis - Sioux Child (c1905)

"Wes Clark Jr., the son of retired U.S. Army general and former supreme commander at NATO Wesley Clark Sr., was part of a group of veterans at Standing Rock one day after the Army Corps announcement. The veterans joined Native American tribal elders in a ceremony celebrating the Dakota Access Pipeline easement denial. Lakota spiritual leader and medicine man Chief Leonard Crow Dog and Standing Rock Sioux spokeswoman Phyllis Young were among several Native elders who spoke, thanking the veterans for standing in solidarity during the protests. Clark got into formation by rank, with his veterans, and knelt before the elders asking for their forgiveness for the long brutal history between the United States and Native Americans: 'Many of us, me particularly, are from the units that have hurt you over the many years. We came. We fought you. We took your land. We signed treaties that we broke. We stole minerals from your sacred hills. We blasted the faced of our presidents onto your sacred mountain. When we took still more land and then we took your children and then we tried to make your language and we tried to eliminate your language that God gave you, and the Creator gave you. We didn’t respect you, we polluted your Earth, we’ve hurt you in so many ways but we’ve come to say that we are sorry. We are at your service and we beg for your forgiveness.'"  -- Charlie May, Salon, 12/5/16

Take this memory with you into the winter. Two powerful acts, one on Sunday, one on Monday, offer compelling evidence that the great shift is already underway, even as we seemingly fall into an abyss. On 12/4/16, Barack Obama (POTUS) and the U.S. Army Corps summoned what Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Chairman Dave Archambault II called "tremendous courage," they declared that there would no further madness-driven DAPL desecration on the sacred land of the Sioux. On 12/5/16, two thousand U.S. military veterans who had traveled to Standing Rock to serve as human shields, bowed before the Sioux tribal leaders and asked forgiveness for the crimes committed against the indigenous peoples throughout our history. The rainbow serpent has awakened. The age of Pachamama is dawning, even as the holocaust that is the age of Ayn Rand rages on all around us. An evolutionary leap is coming. Breathe into it, lean forward, love one another, serve Mother Earth. A time of magic and miracles is arriving -- within us and all around us. -- Richard Power
 
Excerpts from the Statement of Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Chairman Dave Archambault II:

“Today, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced that it will not be granting the easement to cross Lake Oahe for the proposed Dakota Access Pipeline. Instead, the Corps will be undertaking an environmental impact statement to look at possible alternative routes. We wholeheartedly support the decision of the administration and commend with the utmost gratitude the courage it took on the part of President Obama, the Army Corps, the Department of Justice and the Department of the Interior to take steps to correct the course of history and to do the right thing. The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and all of Indian Country will be forever grateful to the Obama Administration for this historic decision. We want to thank everyone who played a role in advocating for this cause. We thank the tribal youth who initiated this movement. We thank the millions of people around the globe who expressed support for our cause. We thank the thousands of people who came to the camps to support us, and the tens of thousands who donated time, talent, and money to our efforts to stand against this pipeline in the name of protecting our water. We especially thank all of the other tribal nations and jurisdictions who stood in solidarity with us, and we stand ready to stand with you if and when your people are in need. Throughout this effort I have stressed the importance of acting at all times in a peaceful and prayerful manner – and that is how we will respond to this decision. With this decision we look forward to being able to return home and spend the winter with our families and loved ones, many of whom have sacrificed as well. We look forward to celebrating in wopila, in thanks, in the coming days ... Again, we are deeply appreciative that the Obama Administration took the time and effort to genuinely consider the broad spectrum of tribal concerns. In a system that has continuously been stacked against us from every angle, it took tremendous courage to take a new approach to our nation-to-nation relationship, and we will be forever grateful. -- Statement by Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Chairman Dave Archambault II, 12/4/16

Richard Power is the author of eleven books, including most recently, "Cauldron Yoga, Gaian Poetics and the Way of the Ancient Future," along with the other four volumes of his "Primal Reality" series, all of which are  available in both softcover and Kindle versions via Amazon.com.

For information, visit his Amazon author's page.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Toni Morrison: "We speak, we write, we do language. That is how civilizations heal."

Pelican. Lake Merritt. Oakland, November 2016.

"There is no time for despair, no place for self-pity, no need for silence, no room for fear. We speak, we write, we do language. That is how civilizations heal. I know the world is bruised and bleeding, and though it is important not to ignore its pain, it is also critical to refuse to succumb to its malevolence. Like failure, chaos contains information that can lead to knowledge—even wisdom. Like art." -- Toni Morrison, No Place for Self-Pity, No Room for Fear: In times of dread, artists must never choose to remain silent. The Nation, 3-23-16. 


Pelican. Lake Merritt. Oakland, November 2016.

"Dictators and tyrants routinely begin their reigns and sustain their power with the deliberate and calculated destruction of art: the censorship and book-burning of unpoliced prose, the harassment and detention of painters, journalists, poets, playwrights, novelists, essayists. This is the first step of a despot whose instinctive acts of malevolence are not simply mindless or evil; they are also perceptive. Such despots know very well that their strategy of repression will allow the real tools of oppressive power to flourish. Their plan is simple: 1. Select a useful enemy -- an 'Other' -- to convert rage into conflict, even war. 2. Limit or erase the imagination that art provides, as well as the critical thinking of scholars and journalists. 3. Distract with toys, dreams of loot, and themes of superior religion or defiant national pride that enshrine past hurts and humiliations." -- Toni Morrison, No Place for Self-Pity, No Room for Fear: In times of dread, artists must never choose to remain silent. The Nation, 3-23-15

 

Richard Power is the author of eleven books, including most recently, "Cauldron Yoga, Gaian Poetics and the Way of the Ancient Future," along with the other four volumes of his "Primal Reality" series, all of which are  available in both softcover and Kindle versions via Amazon.com.

For information, visit his Amazon author's page.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Of Freedom and Service in a Time of Dire Consequences

U.N. Plaza and Market Street. San Francisco, November 2016.

“Freedom is what we do with what is done to us.” -- Jean-Paul Sartre


Altar. San Francisco, November 2016.

"Your own Self-realization is the greatest service you can render the world." -- Sri Ramana Maharshi


Richard Power is the author of eleven books, including most recently, "Cauldron Yoga, Gaian Poetics and the Way of the Ancient Future," along with the other four volumes of his "Primal Reality" series, all of which are  available in both softcover and Kindle versions via Amazon.com.

For information, visit his Amazon author's page.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Autumn Trees and The Partisan

Georgia O'Keeffe - Autumn Trees - The Maple (1924)
"I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn't say any other way,"  
said Georgia O'Keeffe, "things I had no words for."

"Leonard Cohen, who died this week, was one of our greatest songwriters—Bob Dylan told Cohen that he considered him his nearest rival—and is a figure of almost cult-like devotion among fans. He began as a poet in the vein of Allen Ginsberg and Frank O’Hara before releasing his first album, in 1967. Suffering from terrible anxiety, not much tamed by alcohol and drugs, he conquered his fear of performing onstage after decades of Zen practice. David Remnick sat down with Cohen this summer at his home in Los Angeles to discuss his career, spiritual influences, triumphant final tours, and preparing for his end. 'I am ready to die,' Cohen said. He was already suffering from a number of health problems. 'At a certain point, if you still have your marbles and are not faced with serious financial challenges, you have a chance to put your house in order. It’s a cliché, but it’s underestimated as an analgesic on all levels. Putting your house in order, if you can do it, is one of the most comforting activities, and the benefits of it are incalculable.' Remnick’s Profile of Cohen offers a look into the introspection of the musician’s final days ..." -- Leonard Cohen: A Final Interview, The New Yorker, 11/10/16 

"When they poured across the border / I was cautioned to surrender / This I could not do ..."
-- Leonard Cohen, The Partisan
  
You Tube Video: Leonard Cohen "The Partisan" Live on French TV, 1969 - Présenté par Joe Dassin

[NOTE: If you receive Words of Power via e-mail subscription, this video will not appear in the body of the message, you can either click on the You Tube link above to watch it there or view the embedded video in this post on Words of Power. Steal eight minutes from the madness of the world, and watch and listen to this for your soul's nourishment.]



Richard Power is the author of eleven books, including most recently, "Cauldron Yoga, Gaian Poetics and the Way of the Ancient Future," along with the other four volumes of his "Primal Reality" series, all of which are  available in both softcover and Kindle versions via Amazon.com.

For information, visit his Amazon author's page.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Super Moon Over America

Super Moon. November 2016.
"Let your soul stand cool and composed before a million universes." -- Walt Whitman.

Super Moon. November 2016.
"Sanity is a valuable possession; I hoard it the way people once hoarded money. I save it, so I will have enough, when the time comes." -- Margaret Atwood, A Handmaid's Tale. 

Super Moon. November 2016.
"Our feelings are our most genuine paths to knowledge." -- Audre Lorde 

 "Skygazers were heading to high-rise buildings, ancient forts and beaches Monday to witness the closest 'supermoon' to Earth in almost seven decades, hoping for dramatic photos and spectacular surf. The unusually big and bright Moon will appear at its most impressive just as night falls over Asia, but astronomy enthusiasts will be able to see Earth's satellite loom large anywhere in the world shortly after sunset, weather permitting.The phenomenon happens when the Moon is full at the same time as, or very near, perigee—its closest point to Earth on an elliptical, monthly orbit. It should appear at its most impressive at 1352 GMT. It will be the closest to Earth since 1948 at a distance of 356,509 kilometres (221,524 miles), creating what NASA described as 'an extra-supermoon'." -- Sam Reeves, Skygazers gear up for extra bright 'supermoon', Phys.Org, 11/14/15

Richard Power is the author of eleven books, including most recently, "Cauldron Yoga, Gaian Poetics and the Way of the Ancient Future," along with the other four volumes of his "Primal Reality" series, all of which are  available in both softcover and Kindle versions via Amazon.com.

For information, visit his Amazon author's page.

 

Friday, November 11, 2016

Something Bad Has Happened, and Life, the Earth, Our Future are All of One Voice, In Calling for ...

Eliza Byard (@EByard), 11/19/16. This is how the future voted.
This is what people 18-25 said in casting their votes. We must keep this flame alight and nurture this vision.

There were 25 debates during the presidential primaries and general election and not a single question about the attack on voting rights, even though this was the first presidential election in 50 years without the full protections of the Voting Rights Act. Fourteen states had new voting restrictions in place for the first time in 2016—including crucial swing states like Wisconsin and Virginia ... We’ll likely never know how many people were kept from the polls by restrictions like voter-ID laws, cuts to early voting, and barriers to voter registration. But at the very least this should have been a question that many more people were looking into. For example, 27,000 votes currently separate Trump and Clinton in Wisconsin, where 300,000 registered voters, according to a federal court, lacked strict forms of voter ID. Voter turnout in Wisconsin was at its lowest levels in 20 years and decreased 13 percent in Milwaukee, where 70 percent of the state’s African-American population lives, according to Daniel Nichanian of the University of Chicago. -- Ari Berman, GOP Attack on Voting Rights Was Most Under-Covered Story of 2016, The Nation, 11/9/16

There are no adequate words for what happened on election day 2016. It is an abomination born of a travesty. Unthinkable, unspeakable, insane. We are going to step beyond electoral politics in this post, but before we do, for the historical record: Hillary Clinton, the first woman major party candidate for President of the United States, running on what Sen. Bernie Sanders called the most progressive party platform in history, won the popular vote nationally, but because of the Electoral College, which, ironically, is a gimmick that the Founders concocted to appease the slave states, victory was handed to a man who credible news sources have documented as a self-professed debaser of women whose first wife accused him of rape in sworn testimony, a racist, a billionaire who paid no federal income tax for many years, someone who fact checkers have proved was saying something false 91% of the time during the campaign, someone who according to one Oxford research psychologist scored higher than Hitler on a psychopath test. (All of these statements are hyperlinked to credible sources, and as further documentation I have included citations below.)

Yes, something bad has happened. And something very strange is going on. So now, life is calling for more from you and I than ever before; life, the Earth, our future are all of one voice in calling for us to become new (again), to declare ourselves (again), to choose love and liberation (again), to make yet another stand. In alignment with life, the Earth, our future, we are invincible.

The Patient Has to Want to Get Better

After eight years of healing treatment from a kind and gracious doctor, the patient has decided not to pursue another four years of healing treatment from the next doctor on duty, the patient would rather die then get better. After four more years of these treatments, the patient would have been strong enough for more aggressive medicine, the patient would have begun to remember more about life before the onset of the illness, and remembering more the patient might have wanted to get back to health and have a future, but no, the patient has apparently chosen its disease over healing, the patient has effectively chosen to die. The patient has refused further treatment, and chosen a different physician, a charlatan, a con man. The patient would rather keep on smoking the crack of anti-science, anti-nature, anti-woman, anti-color, anti-life. On the path of recovery, whether from physical or psychological afflictions, the patient has to want to get better; and there is now irrefutable evidence that this patient wants to die. How tragic.

Fight or Flight?

"Fight or Flight. The instinctive physiological response to a threatening situation, which readies one either to resist forcibly or to run away." -- Oxford Dictionary

There is no good choice. Flight? There is nowhere to run from planetary climate collapse, or global great depression or the next world war. There is nowhere to hide. Fight? Well, there have been many deeply disturbing examples of what to expect. Too many.

Remember the incident in which a University of California (Davis) police officer walked up to a line of unarmed college students on their knees, peacefully protesting economic injustice, and shot pepper spray directly into their young faces? You probably saw the viral video (or maybe you didn't). Remember Eric Garner who was killed by police who slammed his head against a sidewalk and applied a choke hold? You probably saw the viral video. He had been stopped by police for selling untaxed cigarettes. A grand jury decided not to indict the police officer who killed Eric Garner. And the U.C. Davis police officer who pepper-sprayed kneeling, unarmed college students protesting economic injustice? In the immediate aftermath, he was suspended with full pay, later he would receive worker's compensation for the suffering that he experienced.

These are just two of many incidents that send a disturbing message. And there are related messages that are just as disturbing, for example, the acquittals of George Zimmerman and the Bundys. In America today, it is is dangerous to stand up and say two plus two equals four, but not so dangerous to abuse peaceful protesters, or murder unarmed African-Americans, or seize government buildings IF in the name of extreme right-wing causes.

What to Do, What to Be

So if you don't want to give up on the life of the patient, because after all your life and the patient's life are inextricably interconnected, what's your plan?

There is a Trumpster Fire plan for the first 100 days, it is horrific, and with the Zombie Cult and their Death Eater Overlords in control of House and the Senate, at least some of it will be executed.

Michael Moore has a plan. It's a good one. Maybe you adopt it, maybe you develop your own.

Whatever your own plan evolves into, as the shock begins to wear off, and the painful reality of what lies ahead of us comes into full measure, here are a few suggestions from my own new plan.

I urge you to keep it simple, both your plan and the message articulating your plan.

I urge you to consider two areas as paramount issues on which you will focus your time and energy: leaning forward on the Climate Crisis and the Sixth Great Extinction, and protecting and expanding the rights of women. The Standing Rock Sioux and Planned Parenthood deserve your support.

And as your first and foremost priority I urge you to tend to your own deep self-care, and sharing your self-care skills, for example yoga and meditation, with others.

Because the road ahead may be long and hard, it is certainly scary.

In the indeterminate time that stretches out before us from this crossroad, I will be quietly focusing on these three areas exclusively, in my writing, speaking and meditation, and for the foreseeable future, I will have nothing more to say about electoral politics or any other realm except as it relates directly to one of these three areas of focus.

If ... When ...

The election of 2016 was a portal, if we had been able to pass through it, this nation could have begun to self-correct its course, to get back on track, to truly gain traction to arrive at its appointment with the future, but we were taken down from behind, and that portal has closed on us

A great opportunity has been lost. Much trouble lies ahead. But another portal will open, perhaps sooner than later, and probably in some unexpected way. We must be ready to step through.

Meanwhile, our overriding imperative is to survive, and to abide. And in the process of surviving and abiding, we must continue to make our lives themselves into bold expressions of love and liberation.

Bearing Witness

Here are two excerpts from worthy attempts to articulate the unspeakable and make sense of the insane from the day after the election.  I have included links to the full text of each.

The election of Donald Trump to the Presidency is nothing less than a tragedy for the American republic, a tragedy for the Constitution, and a triumph for the forces, at home and abroad, of nativism, authoritarianism, misogyny, and racism. Trump’s shocking victory, his ascension to the Presidency, is a sickening event in the history of the United States and liberal democracy. On January 20, 2017, we will bid farewell to the first African-American President—a man of integrity, dignity, and generous spirit—and witness the inauguration of a con who did little to spurn endorsement by forces of xenophobia and white supremacy. It is impossible to react to this moment with anything less than revulsion and profound anxiety. There are, inevitably, miseries to come: an increasingly reactionary Supreme Court; an emboldened right-wing Congress; a President whose disdain for women and minorities, civil liberties and scientific fact, to say nothing of simple decency, has been repeatedly demonstrated. Trump is vulgarity unbounded, a knowledge-free national leader who will not only set markets tumbling but will strike fear into the hearts of the vulnerable, the weak, and, above all, the many varieties of Other whom he has so deeply insulted. The African-American Other. The Hispanic Other. The female Other. The Jewish and Muslim Other. The most hopeful way to look at this grievous event—and it’s a stretch—is that this election and the years to follow will be a test of the strength, or the fragility, of American institutions. It will be a test of our seriousness and resolve. -- David Remnick, An American Tragedy, New Yorker, 11/9/16

I see no way to stop this at first, but some of us will have to try. And what we must seek to preserve are the core institutions that he may threaten — the courts, first of all, even if he shifts the Supreme Court to an unprecedentedly authoritarian-friendly one. Then the laws governing the rules of war, so that war crimes do not define America as their disavowal once did. Then the free press, which he will do all he can to intimidate and, if possible, bankrupt. Then the institutions he will have to destroy to achieve what he wants — an independent Department of Justice as one critical bulwark, what’s left of the FBI that will not be an instrument of his reign of revenge, our scientific institutions, and what’s left of free thought in our colleges and universities. We will need to march peacefully on the streets to face down the massive intimidation he will at times present to a truly free and open society. We have to hold our heads up high as we defend the values of the old republic, even as it crumbles into authoritarian dust. We must be prepared for nonviolent civil disobedience. We must transcend racial and religious division in a movement of resistance that is as diverse and as open as the new president’s will be uniform and closed. And, impossible though it may be, we will have to resist partisanship. The only way back to a free society, to a country where no one need fear the president’s wrath or impulses, is to unwind the factionalism that has helped destroy this country. We have to forge a new coalition on right and left to resist fascism’s reach and cultic power. In a country which just elected and re-elected a black president — whose grace feels now almost painful to recall — it is surely possible. I will leave you with these words about what has now happened to America. Someone saw it coming a long time ago: The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism. The disorders and miseries, which result, gradually incline the minds of men to seek security and repose in the absolute power of an individual; and sooner or later the chief of some prevailing faction, more able or more fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation, on the ruins of Public Liberty. That was George Washington’s Farewell Address. -- Andrew Sullivan, The Republic Repeals Itself, New York Magazine, 11/9/16

-- Blessings, Richard Power 

Related Posts:

Fear and Loathing in the Year of the Yang Fire Monkey #4: Eve Ensler, Pussy Riot and Bill McKibben Offer Final Words of Power on the 2016 Election

Fear and Loathing in the Year of the Yang Fire Monkey #3: Cauldrons Lit in Rio and Philadelphia

Fear and Loathing in the Year of the Yang Fire Monkey #2: Lessons of 2000 and 2008

Fear and Loathing in the Year of the Yang Fire Monkey #1: Of Trump, Snowden and Sanders

Sources Cited In Lead Paragraph: 

Kevin Drum, Trump on Tape: “Grab 'em by the pussy. You can do anything," Mother Jones, 10/7/16

Jane Meyer, Documenting Trump’s Abuse of Women, New Yorker, 10/24/17

Lydia O'Connor, Here Are 13 Examples Of Donald Trump Being Racist, Huffington Post, 2/27/16
 
and Donald Trump Acknowledges Not Paying Federal Income Taxes for Years, New York Times, 10/10/16

Sarah Jones, Fact Checkers Prove That 91% of the Things Donald Trump Says Are False, Politicus USA, 3/31/16 

Shehab Khan, How much of a psychopath is Donald Trump? Worse than Hitler, apparently, Independent, 8/22/16
 
Richard Power is the author of eleven books, including most recently, "Cauldron Yoga, Gaian Poetics and the Way of the Ancient Future," along with the other four volumes of his "Primal Reality" series, all of which are  available in both softcover and Kindle versions via Amazon.com.

For information, visit his Amazon author's page.