Eknath Easwaran died in 1999. Carol and Tim Flinders and Laurel Robertson (Carol and Laurel co-authored Laurel’s Kitchen), as well as Easwaran’s widow, Christine, continue to live at Ramagiri (2013). Carol and Tim teach and write and have a virtual institute, Two Rock. image originally from Laurel’s Kitchen.
The personal is political and the political is personal. This requires a two-prong approach:
I explore an inward prong where the personal is political. (God/dess grant me the courage to change the things I can change.) I’ll start with Carol Flinders, who said ‘ “I thought that if I could take care of the basics–ego, greed, anger–the rest would just fall into place.” But conversations with her female students, and her own lingering anger, slowly stirred her out of her quest for egolessness into a fierce inner meditation/mediation between two seemingly contradictory forces. “It was like being close friends with two people who couldn’t seem to be in the same room together,” Flinders says. “You can work around it for a while, go out with them separately. But at a certain point you get very impatient with that. If you love them both, they should be able to talk.” ‘ image from marinij.com.
‘Over the course of many years, Flinders did get her two sides to talk. At the Root of This Longing is essentially a record of that dialogue, revealing what she calls “the critical stress points along the interface between feminism and spirituality.” How, for example, can a woman quiet the mind through silence, as many spiritual disciplines demand, and yet find her own voice to speak out against injustice? Does eliminating ego mean staying a doormat, or can one find and retain an authentic identity? What about desire? Can a woman reclaim her body and its longings even while she restrains them for the sake of inner stillness? … It’s a daunting list of opposites that Flinders succeeds in reconciling into a potently beautiful conceptualization of feminist spirituality.’ Future posts will explore this mysticism. On a personal note, i have had a traumatic brain injury (tbi) for nearly five years, and i seek to improve my cognitive function. image from harper-collins.
I also explore an outward prong where the political is personal. I’ll start with Robert Gilman. (God/dess grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change.) Gilman asks, What time is it?, thinking not in hours but in millennia (see the arrow, below). This is such a different time now as we transition from an Empire Age to a Planetary Age that it’s a different place, too. ‘We are in a new world,’ he states. image from the context institute.
‘The core challenge of our times grows out of this fact: In the last few decades, we crossed a profound boundary and we are now in a new world, a new context, in which the strategies for how to succeed in life are very different, often diametrically opposed, to the strategies whose very success has brought us to this place. It is no wonder that many people feel confused and upset. Nevertheless, if we are to at least avoid catastrophe and at best learn to truly thrive, we need to deal with the reality of our world as it is today and as it is becoming, not as it has been. That begins by acknowledging that we are indeed in a new territory and then transforming our cultures, in ways that are appropriate to each place and society, to fit this new territory.’
‘Transforming our cultures to fit our new reality is the core challenge of our times.‘
Gilman sees ‘no technical obstacles to creating thriving sustainable planetary cultures in the coming decades, with a broadly-shared quality of life that will make today’s times seem like a dark age. The momentum of history is pointing in that direction, but whether we will get there, how long it will take and how graceful the transition will be is up to all of us…. What Time Is It? introduces us to the core challenges and opportunities we face in the 21st century, and invites us to make the journey from being part of the problem to being part of the solution, from the mindset of the Empire Era to the mindset of the Planetary Era.’ Living As A Whole Being ‘explores the deep, personal, inner aspects of our nature and being.’ The personal is political and the political is personal. (God/dess grant me the wisdom to know the difference between what I can change and what I cannot.) To that end I seek joy.
On the political side, are there too many people wanting too much stuff? Chefurka has analysed our energy trends and says a steep, bumpy decline over the next few centuries is probable. So much for Star Trek dreams. Maybe it’s what the planet needs, less people with less stuff, a rebalancing. Are we eventually headed, as Gilman proposes, towards a new, planetary golden age? Or are we headed towards a bureaucratic Trantor-like world, or a collective Borg-like world, or a machine-controlled Matrix-like world? Who can say? Does it matter? I think so, because even if there are too many wanting too much, only an individual can act and an individual’s actions today affect us tomorrow. Ask Jack Layton. Though tomorrow’s kinda unknown, that’s part of creativity. Like Steve Jobs said, only looking back can we connect the dots, make sense of it all. So going forward stay curious, love what you do and do what you love, love one another, and love yourself while your at it. If you believe in a god/dess, love him/her too. Besides, a part of staying curious is being humble and discovering others’ creativity, like Fred. image from wikipedia.
On a political act that must’ve been deeply personal, the Nishiyuu Walkers (‘Nishiyuu’ is Cree for ‘The Journey of the People’) arrived in Ottawa. Inside the House of Commons, Elizabeth May led a standing ovation for them. ‘May called the walkers’ journey “awe-inspiring…. It says a lot that Stephen Harper isn’t here, that he’s greeting the pandas,” she said. “It says a lot that we need to move heaven and earth to meet First Nations on a nation-to-nation basis with respect.” ‘ image from the cbc. the following words, with some tweaking, and images are from nishiyuujourney.ca.
- The original seven: Travis George 17; Stanley George (Jr) 16; carrier of a staff with the colours of the grandmothers; a true believer of the sacred teachings; Raymond “Bajo” Kawapit 18; Johnny Abraham Kawapit 18; Isaac Kawapit 46, “The White Wizard”; an experienced hunter and the guide, very humble, the Whispering Winds praise and applaud this great man; Geordie Rupert 21; and David Kawapit 17
- Where do they come from? Whapmagoostui in Quebec on Hudson’s Bay
- When did they leave? Jan 16, 2013
- Why? ‘The Quest of Wisjinichu-Nishiyuu, Quest For Unity–To prove to other First Nations across Canada that the Cree Nation of Quebec are not sellouts, but keepers of the language, culture, tradition, and more importantly, the sacred laws of our ancestors. This Quest-Journey will establish and unite our historical allies and restore our traditional trade routes with the Algonquin, Mohawk and other First Nations. The time for Unity is now. Through Unity and Harmony, the quest will revive the voices of our “Anskushiyouch”. Their voices will be heard once more. With their guidance and strength, the Truth to all the sacred teachings will be revived and we will become once more, a powerful, united nation across Turtle Island.The warriors have awoken and will rise: The Cree people have always been fierce warriors; they have always been the gatekeepers of the North. They have had many battles and disputes over the territory, and to this day we have never surrendered our land. Of this land, the earth, the rivers, the winds, the mountains, the clouds and all of the creation, we are the true keepers and will continue to do so until time on Earth is over. Of this Quest, it is time the Youth become the Warriors and the leaders for they are the “Anskushshiyouch” as foretold. We are the Earth Walkers, the beings put here on earth to protect all of Chisamanitou’s Creation. In unity, in harmony, in peace, in war, we will achieve.’
- Where did they go? Ottawa
- When did they get there? Mar 25, 2013
- How many days is that? Um, 58?
Suncor spilled crude oil into the Athabaska River.
That’s more than ‘ooopps!’
That kills fish, birds, bears, and people.
image from sumofus.org.
- this is a one-time, one-issue agreement; each party ‘would still present separate platforms…. During the general election the parties would focus on defeating Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government, while competing vigorously in all “non-cooperation” ridings.’
- the ‘different histories and ideologies’ of the parties do not prevent political cooperation for purpose of electoral reform
- research shows few would vote Conservative rather than Liberal or NDP or Green.
- on the other hand, some voters may stay home given the lack of options. ‘While this may be true for a few, it would be offset by people who have been frustrated that their vote didn’t matter in the first-past-the-post electoral system.’
- though NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair is reluctant to co-operate, ‘Mr. Mulcair is pragmatic, chosen by NDP members for his focus on winning, and one should not forget how often politicians can change course.’ (image by jonathan allard)
- the new Liberal leader will be politically inexperienced compared to Harper or Mulcair.
- regarding ‘demonizing the idea of inter-party co-operation,…[it] is unclear how this would be much different from the “coalition” bogeyman of previous campaigns.’
- ‘perhaps most intriguing in the cooperation debate is the lack of consideration given to the reality that the opposition parties must confront. One rarely hears non-co-operators acknowledging … that, halfway through his term, having implemented the majority of his agenda, Mr. Harper is still up in the polls, with a boatload of cash and lots of time before 2015 to put a positive spin on his term.’
- the Liberals have ‘not won a majority government against a united right in over 30 years.’ (When Chrétien was PM, we had federally and provincially [Ontario] both a PC party and a Reform, later Alliance, party. Remember?)
‘Belonging is the place where we grow to maturity and discover what it means to be human and to act in a human way. It is a place we need in order to live and to act in society in justice, in truth, without seeking power, privileges, and honours for our own self-glory. It is the place where we learn to be humble but also audacious and to take initiatives in working with others. It is the place where our deepest self rises up into our consciousness and so we become more fully ourselves, more fully human.’— Jean Vanier, Becoming Human, 59.
Been watching a crash course in past world history. Learning tons, laughing lots. Sometimes the best bits are at the end. One thing is clear: my history is Eurocentric, literary (ignoring oral), and mostly wrong (okay, that’s three). Some argue that the future of world history is different, now that we trade, fight, and communicate(?) globally, leaving nowhere to go or grow. Have we learned our lesson?
image by thoughtbubble.org.
Some of the best bits from the first episode:
- ‘Is this gonna be on the test?’–‘Yeah, about the test. The test will measure whether you are an informed, engaged, and productive citizen of the world. And it will take place in schools and bars and hospitals and dorm rooms and places of worship. You will be tested on first dates, in job interviews, while watching football, and while scrolling through your Twitter feed. The test will judge your ability to think about things other than celebrity marriages, whether you’ll be persuaded by empty political rhetoric, and whether you’ll be able to place your life and your community in a broader context. The test will last your entire life, and it will be comprised of the millions of decisions that when taken together make your life yours. And everything, everything, will be on it. Yeah, I know, right. So pay attention.’
- Agriculture brought about good things, but ‘many historians also argue that without agriculture we wouldn’t have the bad things … like patriarchy, inequality, war, and unfortunately famine. As far as the planet is concerned, agriculture has been a big loser…: building dams and clearing forests,… drilling for oil [for fertilizer].’
- ‘Many people made the choice for agriculture independently, but does that mean it’s the right choice? Maybe so and maybe not, but we can’t unmake that choice, and that’s one of the reasons I think it’s so important to study history. History reminds us that revolutions aren’t events so much as they are processes, that for tens of thousands of years people have been making decisions that irrevocably shape the world we live in today, just as today we make subtle decisions that people in the future will remember as revolutions.’
Again, the personal is political and the political is personal.