Saturday, December 17, 2011

Are There Any Good Reasons For Blocking Ports?

I'm stepping out of my usual again, because this is very critical.  I'm bracing myself to disappoint or lose readers.  Okay... take a deep breath and click "publish"...


If your daughter is being raped, you're not going to talk spiritual platitudes or go away and pray, you're going to act.  And your previous spiritual development will give you power to act well.

There is a time to silently sit in lotus position in the womb, and there's a time to be born with a cry.

I'm going to present the arguments for and against blocking ports, and you can make up your own mind. 

Here's Why People Are Pissed Off at the Port Occupiers:

Lots and lots of people, inside and outside the Occupy movement, are intensely pissed off at those Occupiers who blocked the ports.  Both liberals and conservatives, leaders and populace, are pissed off at port Occupiers.  I got into a heated discussion with local intensely-pissed-off Moabites about this.

Block the ports, and dockworkers, distributors, and merchants lose income.  Dockworkers, distributors, and merchants have families to feed.  How could people not get pissed off?

Some port Occupiers claimed they had union support--at least the support of union members, not necessarily the official support of union leaders.  But many unionists stepped up to condemn the port Occupiers.

Yes, people say the Occupiers usurped the position of the unions, and that working-class people, including union workers, are the ones now suffering from the Occupiers' actions, not the elite 1%!

And people are saying the Occupiers are young, foolish, privileged, egotistical, not understanding what it means to make a living, support a family.  They're accused of getting support from mommy and daddy and government, and now biting the hand that feeds them.   

Here's Why People Blocked the Ports:

Step back and look at the big picture.

A country is doomed if it depends on imports, not locally sustainable--not to mention our earth's ecology is doomed. Corporations have outsourced jobs and goods. Such corporations must end if our country is to survive.

The point of a conventional union is to improve labor conditions and wages under corporate rule. The point of the Boston Tea Party and Gandhi’s movement was not to improve labor conditions and wages under multinational-corporate rule; it was to end multinational-corporate rule.  Both the USA and India could not be independent under corporate rule. 

But such corporations have us by the balls. Yes, the livelihood of our dockworkers, distributors, merchants, as well as sweatshop slaves overseas, depend on these corporations, and vise versa. And why have these corporations outsourced themselves, colonized overseas? Because they don’t want to pay just wages or abide by just laws brought about by unions!   I’m not necessarily saying this is the union’s fault, but the fault of deregulation allowing corporations to colonize overseas.  Corporations removed themselves from the unions’ power.  How?  They lobbied (bribed) our nation’s Republican and Democratic leaders.  Our nation's leaders let themselves be bribed, because their loyalty is to money, not to truth.

But our country is doomed unless multinational corporations end.  No conventional union leadership is going to support ending their employers!  This is the dilemma. Stop the corporation, and people lose their livelihood (our own dockworkers, distributors and merchants, as well as overseas sweatshop slaves).  The union’s goal is not to end people’s corporate livelihood but to improve it.  

The conventional union was a good thing when it had power over the corporation.  But now that corporations have moved overseas, the unions have lost their power.  Now the general people must act, as happened with the Boston Tea Party and Gandhi's movement.

Yeah, But Instead of Blocking Corporations We Should Create Sustainable Alternatives, Right?

Naturally, the answer to avoid this problem would be to first establish sustainable jobs here, starting with localized agriculture. But I know by experience the majority don’t have time for such hippy things, because they have corporate jobs to serve and families to feed!  A round robin!

So we’re backed into a corner. Now we don’t see a way we’re going to produce locally and sustainably except by cutting off all dependency to multinational corporations!  This will cause loss of jobs, sacrifice, suffering.  And whatever time we start cutting off dependency will never seem like the right time. 

In the same way, end opium and cocaine trade, and droves of families in Afghanistan and Columbia would lose their livelihood.

Understandably, those who advocate cutting off dependency to multinational corporations are going to be tarred and feathered, imprisoned, even killed, but something mysterious makes them still stand firm.

If my right arm has gangrene, cut it off.  I'm going to be way pissed off, screaming, calling the amputator names, even wanting to kill him, as the saw cuts through nerves and bones, unless I keep my mind on the health of my whole body, focused and centered.  Keeping my mind on the health of the whole body is the very nature of spirituality.  To be spiritual is to act.

"To know and not to do is, in fact, not to know"  --Confucius

"As the body without the spirit is dead,
so faith without action is dead."  --James 2:26

If somebody knows a simpler, easier way, speak it.


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

To Be Yourself Is To Be Perfect

I'm house-sitting for my friends Phil and Ann, with a couple dogs and fish in the outskirts of Moab. I don't get into town often on a dysfunctional bicycle, leaving me time to practice guitar and philosophize. I'm going to philosophize about religion a lot in this post. Religion contains the memes that drive whole cultures, including influencing those who are not religious. Religion is the most powerful tool for influencing culture there is, for good and for bad.  I know, it's usually bad.  But I'm taking a chance with it again.

Generosity is Artificial Institution,
Re-generosity is Life! 

I've been involved in some activist movements sprouting up in Moab.  And I just attended a weekend permaculture workshop taught for free to all by Joel Glanzberg from New Mexico, offered through Moab's local Community Rebuilds.  It was amazingly inspiring. 

I'm feeling in my bones that permaculture is a key to bring in gift economy, for whole populations to live moneyless.  I've never honestly cared for traditional agriculture, which I'm sure arose with money and barter, and was the beginning of our imbalance.  My ideal has been the hunter-gatherer model, which obviously wouldn't work today without a major die-off of people.  That leaves us permaculture, which is about creating a self-regenerating system, not only of agriculture, but of everything connected to it.  Machinery is generation.  Life is regeneration.  

This got me super excited, taking the principles of permaculture into social interaction:

Generation is generosity (which we see as a virtue). 
Regeneration is re-generosity - Gifts that keep giving. 
Generosity is a thing of artificial institutions. 
Re-generosity is a thing of living communities!
Generosity has a sense of self-righteousness, self-credit.  "I did my good deed for the day", stacking up credit points.  

Re-generosity is perpetual giving, such as breathing, having no thought of credits or debt.  You don't expect praise for every lungful of carbon dioxide you freely give to the world, you just egolessly do it.  And you don't feel guilty about every lungful of oxygen you take. Generosity comes from stores of excess, from possession.  In re-generosity, there is no possession, only perpetual flow. 

It makes no sense to "own" air in your lungs. 

When you own nothing, there is no effort in giving, no sense of self-righteousness. 

Life is not a charity, it is constant giving.
Permaculture is allowing everything to be its natural self, for greater efficiency and productivity with minimal effort, as all of nature works.

This  all connects with things I've been philosophizing on for a long time:

To Be or Not to Be, that is the Question  

There is one and only one reason we are imbalanced and our world is messed up:

we are not being ourselves!

Our true selves are perfect

To be yourself is to be perfect.

Be.  Perfect.  Even as I Am.  Perfect.

I'm talking about every single human as well as every single living thing in the world.

Is this unrealistically-optimistic thinking?  Before you judge it so, and even if you think your religion teaches that humans are inherently evil or flawed, from an ancient idea of "Original Sin," I ask you to hear me out.

The Virus of Wrong

Just the other day I had a debate with a friend.  He says not everybody knows what’s right and wrong. But we both know he knows everybody knows what’s right and wrong, but we pretend we don’t know.  Our pretense is so refined we convince ourselves we don’t know we're doing something wrong, and we pretend we don’t know that people don’t know that they’re doing something wrong!  This is how the virus of wrong excuses and perpetuates itself.

from Dungeons & Dragons

Whenever you find somebody doing something that both you and they know is disagreeable, you usually hear, “I’m just doing my job”, or, “That’s how business works.”  Everybody then goes silent, as if this were a valid argument for doing wrong. But just the fact we say "I'm just doing my job" or "that's business" shows positively we know it's wrong.  The idea of excuse comes from the sense of wrong. And this shows society has a common, unspoken agreement.  We’ve agreed that business trumps truth.  We believe Mammon is more powerful than Truth.  We say we believe in God, but our actions prove we believe Mammon is greater than God, meaning we believe Mammon to be the only God.

But maybe it's not so simple.  People have families to feed and rent to pay, after all.  Over and over I hear this:  “I don’t like doing this, but I have to make a living.”  Or,  “I don’t agree with this, but I have a family to feed.” 

In other words, we are not ourselves, because we think we have no choice. 

We believe ourselves so helpless that our actions are dependent upon our employers, leaders, corporations, the drugs of our addictions. 

Do you see it? 
We have given up all responsibility for ourselves.

It's strange how this would be considered radical:  What if we all decided to simply be ourselves?  I mean total sincerity. 

What if we decided we’d rather lose our jobs or starve or die or be ostracized than to not be ourselves? 

With full confidence I say we can never be happy and at peace until we're willing to give up all to be ourselves.  To be ourselves, we must give up all that we think is ourselves, all that we think we possess.  Our true selves possess absolutely nothing, and when we realize this, we are completely free (un-possessed by anything or anybody, un-possessed by the thought of possession). 

Lungs that possess air cannot breathe.  

What if we did everything, I mean every thing, not because we are getting paid, or for the credit of peers, or because we want to barter for something else, but simply because our hearts tell us to do?

We Think We Need Authority

And why do you not judge for yourselves what is right? (--Jesus)

Why are rabbits and ants and monkeys able to manage themselves and know what to eat or not eat, when to have sex, where to go, without bosses or governing authorities or contracts, without scriptures or instruction manuals or schools?  Consider the ant… who has no boss, no overseer or ruler.” 

If they can manage themselves and we think we cannot, why, then, do we consider ourselves more intelligent than other animals?

When I say this, many professed Christians often respond, “but we’re born in sin, have a fallen nature.  We're evil, flawed.”  They say it’s hopeless, and all we can do is wait for Jesus to come and rapture us away from this mess, completely ignoring the most basic of all basic Christian doctrines, that "Christ is in you, the hope of glory."  The usual religion gets us hoping for a future reward and day of recompense.  Stacking up credit.  This idea of original sin has had a grip on western civilization for eons. 

But, as one who was raised under evangelical Christian doctrine, having intensely studied the Bible since I could first read, I ask, is this really Christian doctrine?  Does it bear good fruit?  Is it Jewish doctrine?  Is it any religion's doctrine?  Since the Bible is the world’s most common book, a meme driving civilization, that doesn’t look like it’s going away anytime soon, let’s shine some light on its principle doctrines.   

“Original Sin”

The very first chapter of the Bible says everything God creates is good, and after Adam (male and female) is created, all creation is pronounced not just good, but very goodVery good is the Seventh Good, the Complete Good.  Adam (male and female) is created in the Image of God. Yes, the most fundamental message is that the Image of God is our true nature, and the Image of God is perfect goodness.  It’s that simple, the very foundation of all that follows!  The next chapter of Genesis proceeds to describe the fall from our True Nature.  It’s a simple description of how we decided to try to be something other than ourselves. 

Sin means debt.  And the "original sin" we've inherited is no more our nature than a debt we inherit from our parents' estate.  We've inherited a way of thinking, thought of credit and debt, which can be changed.  Our innate nature cannot be changed. 

When we do for the sake of doing, we return to our true nature.  The doing itself is the fruit, the reward in itself, enjoying right now.  Because it's always here, not future, it is fruit everlasting, the fruit of the Tree of Life.  It's the bread of life that perpetually satisfies.  When we act for the sake of getting something in the future, our fruit is forever future, never truly attainable, fickle, the fruit of the Tree of Thought of Credit and Debt, knowledge of Good and Evil.  If you doubt this is what the Garden of Eden story is about, you may want to read  The Seven-Headed Dragon: World Commerce ”  in the website,  showing how the Hebrew text confirms these things. 

The Core Principle of the World's Religions

Lao Tzu
Giving up thought of credit and debt, giving up working for the sake of future credit, is the core principle of the world’s religions.  If the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand, as Jesus constantly teaches in the Gospels, rather than some future far-away place, then we work for Present Reward, and our work is the reward.  Then we are content in whatever state we are.  Invariably, good ideas are hijacked by the marketing mentality and take on opposite meaning.  Marketing mentality turned the present Kingdom of Heaven into some future heaven that really will never ever come.  Notice how we are so programmed that when we find something beautiful, the first thought in our heads is, “we could make a lot of money from that.”  Always thinking about future heaven.      

What is the central theme of the Baghavad Gita?  Do not work for future fruit.  The Tao Te Ching?  Virtue gives expecting no credit.  The Quran?  The same.  If you doubt this is the fundamental of the world’s religions, check out  Here's the One Point We Know the World's Religions Agree Upon.

When our doing is its own reward, this is when we become real, Real, Royal.  And we can say, I Am What I Am, no more, no less. 

I Am What I Am
The Way, the Truth, and the Life

This is a doctrine you can prove for yourself by direct experience.  There is no way to Peace, no way to Perfection, no way to Harmony except being exactly who you are, when you can say in perfect truth and confidence, I Am What I Am!  When you are who you are, you are the Light of the World.  Jesus said both:   “I am the Light of the world,”  and  “You are the Light of the world.”  The slave of the system will ask you,   “So who sent you?”   “What religion?”  What authority?”  “What scripture?”  “What organization?”  “Who employs you?”  If you want to short out their brain circuits: simply say,  "I Am What I Am; no one else sent me."  The only way to say this is to simply Be, with or without talk. 
The Burning Bush
Byzantine Mosaic
(Exodus 3:14)
(Quran 20:11)

When we leave the System of Slavery and escape to the Wilderness where there is no money, no government, our eyes suddenly open to the Burning Bush, and we finally hear our Name, the Name by which all life is called, I Am What I Am.  And we will understand true human nature and love it so much we will want to return to our fellow humans whose true natures are oppressed under slavery.  And we will proclaim the Name, I am what I am, liberating us to say, “Let my people go.”

Only when I am who I am can I ever see you for who you are.  This is love.  If I can't see my neighbor as myself, I can't love my neighbor. It is utterly impossible for me to love you if I am not myself, if I’m trying to be something else or trying to be what I think you want.  When I am who I am, I am love.  Love is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.  There is no other way.  Love is the one and only Image of God.  Love is God incarnate, here and now, your True Nature, here in the flesh.  I am who I am, the Name above all names, the name by which every created thing is called.  All other names are just words, illusion.  "The name that can be uttered is not the Eternal Name" (Tao Te Ching 1).

If you believe what I'm saying is blasphemy, I challenge you to look at those who harp the loudest that Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.  Do they keep Jesus’ teachings?  If they truly believe Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, they will keep his teachings.  By their fruit you will know them, not by their talk.  If you actually practice Jesus’ teachings you cannot help but see Jesus is your own true nature.  Yes, what do you see in the mirror but the Image of God, universal, “Christ is all and in all”?  If you practice Jesus' teachings, you can't help but see that Jesus is Krishna, is Buddha, is the Tao.

With the heart concentrated by yoga,
viewing all things with equal regard,
he beholds himself in all beings
and all beings in himself.
He who sees me everywhere
and sees everything in me,
to him I am never lost,
nor is he ever lost to  me.
He who, having been established in oneness,
worships me dwelling in all beings,
that yogi, in whatever way he lives his life,
lives in me.
Him I hold to be the Supreme Yogi,
who looks on the pleasure and pain of all beings
as he looks on them in himself.
(Bhagavad Gita 6:29-32)

Muhammad, in the Hadith, says,

Allah made Adam in his own image (Sahih Muslim 40:6809) 

[and this Hadith passage mysteriously says Adam is 60 cubits long, refering to the length of the Jerusalem temple, dwelling place of God, in the same way Jesus refers to his body as the temple, in the same way the New Testament refers to the human as the temple]

Early Muslims had no problem saying Adam is in the image of God.  But later Muslims have tried to explain this away,  partly because they didn't want to be like Jews and Christians, partly because the Quran, like the Bible (the Torah and Isaiah) say there is nothing and nobody like God, seemingly contradicting the Hadith and Genesis. 

Hmm, yes, it is contradictory, that is, if you believe God and the Image of God are two different things!  Either the Image of God is God, which revolutionizes Islam, Christianity, and Judaism, or else the Bible contradicts itself and the Quran contradicts Muhammad and we continue with the same bullshit for another few millenia.  Either or.   

The Quran mysteriously repeats a story several times of how God made Adam from dust, then after breathing the Spirit into him, commanded the angels to bow down to Adam (Quran 2:34,7:11,  15:29, 20:116.  [Note how this is the Quran's commentary on the same idea in the Bible, Hebrews 1:6, even to the point of referring to the angels as fire]) .  Everybody bowed except Satan.  The Quran says over and over to worship, to bow, only to God (2:83, 3:64, 7:206, 16:49, 22:77, 25:60, etc).  Satan, appearing to be righteous, refused to bow, because he saw only dust, only flesh (15:33, 7:12). 

Again, the Quran says that God alone, referring to himself as We, will inherit the earth (Quran 19:403:180,15:23,19:40, 28:58).  Then it turns around and says people will inherit the earth! (Quran 39:7410:14, 21:105, 27:62).  This alludes to Jesus and the Psalms saying "the meek shall inherit the earth."  Then the Quran says that God alone rules the world.  Then it turns around and says Adam is his vice-regent to rule the world!  (Quran 2:30, 6:165, 38:26).

Now, compare these two mysterious Quran passages:

Once I perfect him, and blow into him from My Spirit, you shall fall prostrate before him
(Quran 15:29)

Lo! the likeness of Jesus with Allah is as the likeness of Adam. He created him of dust, then He said unto him: Be! and he is.
(Quran 3:59) 

In other words,
Just simply Be, and you will be the Image of God, and you will be One with All and rule the universe.

Become Master of the Universe without striving
(Tao Te Ching 57)

If there is a good store of Virtue, nothing is impossible.
If nothing is impossible, there are no limits.
If a person knows no limits, he is fit to be Ruler.
(Tao Te Ching 59)

Why is the sea King of a hundred streams?
Because it lies below them.
If the Sage would guide the people,
He must serve with humility.
If he would lead them,
He must follow behind.
In this way when the Sage is Ruler
The people will not feel oppressed;
When he stands before them,
They will not be harmed.
The whole world will support him
And will not tire of him.
(Tao Te Ching 66)

And he sat down, called the twelve, and said to them,
"If anyone desires to be first,
he shall be last of all and slave of all."
Then he took a little child and set him in the midst of them.
And when he had taken him in his arms, he said to them,
"Whoever receives one of these little children
in my name receives me;
and whoever receives me,
receives not me but him who sent me."
(Mark 9:35-37)

Do you believe in that cross hanging around your neck? 

He who takes upon himself the humiliation of the people
is fit to rule them
He who takes upon himself the country’s disasters
deserves to be King of the Universe.
(Tao Te Ching 78)

"But I would follow truth, I would be myself, if I could,” so you say,  “but I have to make a living.   I have a family to feed.  My family and my church will ostracize me if I follow my heart, if I do what I know to be true, if I simply Be Who I Am.”  We all have been trapped into not being ourselves and feel this way, and breaking out of this into truth is what makes life scary and exciting.

This is where faith and the Cross come in.  Do you really believe in that cross hanging around your neck? 

First, you must make the decision: 

I will be myself no matter what, even if it means I lose my job and starve, even if it means I get crucified by my peers. 

If you honestly believe that God is good, then you start knowing that if you follow good, against all odds, against the world’s logic, that everything will fall into place and everything will work out for you and your family.  If you grow a bit of a spine, have courage, then you’ll figure it out, I guarantee it.  You have no more excuses.  Take responsibility.  Good is your nature and good will carry you through.  Good is God.  Love is God.  If you think you can’t live by being true, your faith is false, a pretend show.  Then you are an actor.  The Greek word for actor is hypocrite.

Sect and Political Party:
Seeking Credit of Peers

As soon as we join a sect or political party, calling ourselves a club name, we cease being ourselves, cease using our minds.  We can no longer say, I Am Who I Am.  We start parroting our club, not our hearts.  This is ego.  Ego is our put-on self, and ego’s sole purpose is to gain the credit of others.  Credit is praise.  Credit is money.  Credit is barter. 

We cease cooperating and start identifying ourselves by what "they" are not.  For example, do we think bailing banks out is wrong because a democrat bailed out banks, or simply because our hearts tell us it’s wrong?  Do we agree with bailing out banks because republicans are against it, or are we going against our hearts simply because it means not being like republicans?
And look what
Popeye could do!!
This is starkly clear in religion.  The ethical teachings of Jesus, Buddha, Lao Tzu, Krishna, for example, are the same.  All teach giving up possessions, all teach loving enemies, all teach overcoming evil with good, all teach keeping the mind in the present.  But as soon as somebody says, “I am a Christian” or “I am Muslim”, etc., they become ego, false, actors, hypocrites.  They identify themselves by what the other is not.  A self-proclaimed Christian, for example, is willing to completely trample on his or her own Jesus’ teachings in order to not be like Buddhists or Hindus.  This is why Christ’s fundamental teachings are mysteriously absent from classic"Bible-believing" churches.  This is why even the self-proclaimed Christian’s own Bible forbids taking on labels, including the label "Christian."

I appeal to you… that all of you agree and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment. …there is quarreling among you, my brethren. What I mean is that each one of you says, "I am Paulian," or "I am Apollosian," or "I am Cephasian," or "I am Christian.”  Is Christ divided?

How much proof do we need? History shows us over and over that peace and rational thinking are impossible when we call ourselves anything.  You cannot be Christian if you call yourself Christian.  You cannot be Muslim if you call yourself Muslim.  You cannot be Hindu if you call yourself Hindu.  You cannot be Republican if you call yourself Republican.  You cannot be Democratic if you call yourself Democrat.  You cannot be Socialist if you call yourself Socialist.  You cannot be Libertarian if you call yourself Libertarian.  You cannot be Universalist if you call yourself Universalist.  How much more disaster must sectarian religion and politics wreak on the earth before we get it?

When will we get it that all we can be is ourselves?  I am what I am, nothing more, nothing less.  Only when we are each uniquely ourselves do we realize we are all One.  “My people who are called by My Name:  I Am What I Am

Our actions tell who we are, not our labels, not affiliations.  By doing nothing more than being myself, I declare the unspeakable Name, when I am who I am.  All energy, all liberation, all reality derives from simply Being.  How can we think we can be anything else than Who We Are?

Saturday, October 08, 2011

The Tea Party and Gandhi

 I've been in Moab the past couple weeks.  
Again, I'm departing from my usual blogging to talk about the world scene and what we can do or not do.

Operation Non-Cooperation-With-Deception

A few blogs ago I posted an "Operation Bank Bust", which turned off some people.  I should have instead renamed it "Operation Non-Cooperation-With-Deception":

On November 5th, 2011, people are encouraged to remove their funds from their bank, close any accounts and throw away credit cards (cut them up first) in order to promote personal independence from the banking system.

In the Spirit of Gandhi, I can say with full certainty that the problem of Wall Street will never, ever end until we stop doing business with Wall Street.  Stop cooperating with anything that we see as evil, both for individual conscience and the health of the whole world.

We must get out of victim mentality and realize the power is in our hands to be free, not in the hands of the banks and corporations.

It's not a fight against anything.  It's a simple refusal to cooperate with what we know to be deceptive and destructive.

Wall Street Occupation

You've likely heard about the Wall Street Occupation by now.  The mainstream media, for some "mysterious" reason, was not reporting it until recently, now that nobody can help not notice it.  

Some have criticized the Wall Street Occupation for not having a specific demand.  But the idea of it is not necessarily calling for reformation of Wall Street - but to draw attention to the total insanity of our banking and corporate system  (Here's Occupy Wall Street's One Demand: Sanity).

What I don't get is that somebody (the corporate media?) is always trying to paint the picture as a battle between Right and Left.  And the Right thinks the media is controlled by the Left, and the Left thinks it's controlled by the Right.  Funny, huh?  But, last I checked, thinkers on both the Right and the Left are coming to the same conclusion: the banking industry has hijacked the economy and to bail it out is criminal.  And, last I checked, non-thinkers on both the Right and the Left don't see that free trade agreements pushed strongly by both democratic and republican presidents have sent production of goods oversees, tanking our economy.  In addition, this has created unbridled multinational corporations outside our borders that don't have to abide by any labor laws or ethics.  Notice how both Republican and Democratic politicians go hush, hush in full agreement, when the Federal Reserve chairman speaks, or when somebody talks about the "need" for more international "free trade."

Can Somebody Tell Me What This "Tea Party" Is?

Maybe I'm an ignoramus, but I can't figure out what the "Tea Party" really is, and it appears people claiming to be Tea Partiers are just as clueless as I.

But let's look at its namesake, the Boston Tea Party, which sparked off the American Revolution, breaking the American colonies' yoke from Britain.

We read in school history books that, on December 16, 1773, American colonists didn't want to pay taxes to Britain, so they trespassed onto three ships and dumped British tea into the harbor. 

But do we ever think what this means?  We don't stop to ponder that this wasn't so much a breaking off from the nation of Britain but the breaking off from the control a multinational corporation, called the East India Company.  The multinational corporation and the nation of Britain had become so intertwined that Britain had become the multinational corporation and vise versa. 

Refusal to do business with the multinational corporation was the birth of the USA.

Now, let's bump ahead a few years to Gandhi (The Struggle For Indian Independence).  A replay of the same game!  India wanted independence from this same British multinational corporation.  Gandhi led the Indians to not use and/or to burn goods from this British multinational Corporation: namely, he led movements to burn British textiles and to have Indians weave their own cloth and produce their own salt. 

This same principle gained both the independence of America and of India.

The Boston Tea Party and Gandhi's Moral of the Story:  Stop Business With Multinational Corporations and Produce Locally 

We see by two examples that it works.  Non-cooperation with what you believe to be evil is the only way to be free from it.  Gandhi 101.  The power to do good is in our hands, not in the hands of banks and corporations.  They cannot be reformed.

All the protests in the world against banks and corporations aren't going to do an iota of good if we do any kind of business with banks and corporations.  All our talk of freedom is nonsense if we do business with them. 

Now we see the same pattern in the USA as happened to Britain way back when.  It has become so intertwined with multinational corporations that the USA has become a multinational corporation, doing to the rest of the world what Britain did to the American colonies and to India.

Will the real Tea Partiers please stand up?

Now what do you think?  Are the"Tea Partiers" true Tea Partiers?  Would they or would they not consider cutting off all business to banks and multinational corporations, including throwing corporate goods into a bonfire?  We know by example of both the Boston Tea Party and Gandhi's movement that this is the only way independence can come.  Would the "Tea Partiers" consider it an act of terrorism to destroy corporate goods?  Did or did not both the Boston Tea Partiers and Gandhi destroy corporate property? Go ahead, challenge the Sarah Palins, Glenn Becks, and Michelle Bachmanns on this.  To whom are their ultimate loyalties, corporations or people?  Will the real Tea Partiers please stand up?

Both thinkers on the Right and on the Left are coming to these same conclusions.  But somebody is letting labels divide. 

See also on the website: 
Is Banking Criminal? What the World's Ancient Philosophers & Religions Say

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Over Lava Fields & Through Salt Flats to Wakan Tanka's We Go

I hitched out of Oregon, intending to land in Moab, Utah, but bipassed it and landed here in western Colorado.  I thoroughly enjoyed the people on this trip.

Bye Bye Timo & Logan

Yeah, the summer whizzed by and it felt time to migrate south again and say goodbye to Timo and Logan.  Logan walked me to a hitching spot outside of Redmond, carrying the guitar for me.

It wasn't long before an 84-year-old man named Bill stopped to take me to Bend.  He lived there in Redmond, with his wife.  It turns out he'd been in the army of occupation with my dad in Japan at the end of World War II!  My dad says, after all these years, he's never once met anybody else who'd been in Japan at that time.  Bill offered me lunch, but I'd already eaten, so I settled for a rootbeer.

My next ride was from an easy-going 60-something country/blues pony-tailed musician named Dale who cussed like a sailor and had a strong belief in the providence of God.  He said he'd once played with Robert Cray.  He gave me food and let me off in Burns.

I found a variety of fruit at the grocery "specialty section" there, then bedded down for the night in a mint patch in a cow field by a canal and woke up covered in dew. I guitar-jammed as I waited for my bag to dry in the rising sun.

After hitching for a while, a young dude in a dented Suburu with a crazed look in his eyes pulled up and told me this was one of the most dangerous counties for hitch-hiking in the country, that it was the "city of Satan".  "Beware and God bless!" he said as he pounced the gas and sped off.  I simply couldn't keep from smiling, couldn't bring myself to even begin to be afraid. In fact, I oddly felt a stronger sense of peace than before.  I'd hitched several times before through this same area, no prob.

Fear is self-fulfilling prophecy, and our society is running on it, more and more.  Fear fuels the money economy.  Love erases fear.

Cowboy Enlightenment

Within minutes, an old, white stretch-limosine sporting a pair of longhorns mounted with welded horseshoes pulled up on the other side of the road.  A 27-year-old smiling dude dressed to the hilt as a cowboy, spurs and all, got out and asked where I was headed.  "Utah, via Winnemucca," I said.  "I'm heading through Winnemucca tomorrow," he said, "but first I'm going to a rodeo in Lakeview, if you want to join me!" he said.  Lakeview was in the opposite direction.  I totally loved the good-natured vibe of that cowboy and didn't hesitate to hop in his limo with his loveable border collie.  I had no idea where Lakeview was and remembered what that crazed guy before had said, thinking maybe I should beware.  But all my instincts said this cowboy was a primo human being.  And he was.  He was a real cowboy (no wanna-be) named Seth, from generations of real cowboys, and he kept me smiling non-stop the next couple days, with his intriguing stories and good conversation.  On our way to Lakeview, he had to stop at a ranch and shoe a horse, me as his assistant.  He put a smile on the face of everyone he encountered.  I regarded Seth an enlightened being, cowboy and all, to my surprise.

We stayed at the rodeo all night.  He roped a couple steers there. Afterward, he ended up drinking all night with his cowboy buddies, but old-man-me ended up crashing early in my sleeping bag on the grass.  Even hung over early next morn, Seth was as even-keel good-natured as usual.  He gave me breakfast and we headed east through Nevada, through Winnemucca, then he let me off in Wells.  He was heading to another rodeo in Twin Falls, Idaho, to ride broncos.  He invited me there, too.  Tempting, but I decided it'd be easier to hitch east from Wells.

After "shopping" behind the grocery store in Wells, I settled in for the night with my delicious loot under a bridge by the rails, on the chance a train might decide to stop there.  No such luck, but a good night sleep.

Across Deseret

Next morning a spunky 50-something woman named Ann with her young son, Philip, and 2 dogs, picked me up in a U-Haul.  They were moving back to Utah from California.  Unusually friendly and fun, they were.  She took me across the salt flats and, thankfully, bipassed Salt Lake City and let me off in Heber city.

A strikingly good-looking, way-friendly 20-something blond woman named Michaela, with piercing grey-blue eyes, stopped for me in her sporty new car.  She was a beautician and rock-climber was totally intrigued by the vagabond lifestyle, wanting to live that way herself.  She let me off in Provo.

The next day a 20-something musician named Jeff took me to highway 6 to a better hitch spot.  He said he'd struggled for years with depression and heroin and had a close friend who'd recently killed himself.  He gave me some guitar-playing tips.  I'm quite sure the guitar is helping me get rides, and with pleasant people at that.  At least most of the time.

A couple way clean-cut 20-something boys then took me a short ways down the highway.  They asked me about what I did.  When I told them I'd renounced money, they went totally silent and looked at me funny.

A 70-something guy took me to Soldier Summit (where he lived), and spoke of how he had always hitched that route as a boy, going to school and basketball practice.  He also went silent when I told him I'd renounced money.

Past Moab to Western Colorado

By this time I was thinking I might want to bipass Moab and visit my parents in Fruita, Colorado, since it was my mom's 84th birthday, and I hadn't seen them for months.  I decided if a ride came that was going as far as Colorado, I'd skip Moab and visit my parents.  A way friendly 30-year-old Mexican-American from LA, named Mike, driving a truck, with his pit bull, stopped and said he was going as far as Denver.  He asked me to play guitar.  I finally got to play the 4 Spanish songs I knew to a Mexican, and he knew one of them.  He said he used to sing Spanish songs in his church's praise band.  He also gave me food and took me all the way to Fruita. 

Now I'm at my parents'.  My sister and her hubbie and my brothers are coming next week for a little reunion, maybe with my sis-in-law and nephew, so I'll probably stay for that.

Book and Blog Stuff

Oh, yeah, Mark said the book is becoming pretty much "official" and has a Facebook page (The Man Who Quit Money).  It feels like a dream, sort of.  I'm a bit nervous, but my ego is also tripping, of course.

Funny, the popularity of this blog went way down after my "Operation Bank Bust" a couple posts ago.  Ah, threatening the world's Most Sacred Cow by doing nothing but neglecting the poor creature.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

North By Northwest

I'm now in Redmond, central Oregon, at my friend Timo’s house.


Over a month ago, after the Rainbow Gathering, I hung in Portland a bit, staying with my friend Tsarra at the “Ninja house”, and got to know her house-mates, Ben and Hollis. I was very pleased to see my close friend Satya (who I wandered and camped with over past years) and to participate in his meditation group again. And I delved into Food Not Bombs again, seeing old friends from forest activism days, and meeting new friends. I always feel a strong sense of committed community in Portland, and I often feel torn between Portland and Moab. But it’s a bit harder living outdoors in Portland in winter rains, so I always opt for flapping south to Moab.

Olympic Pantheon

My new friend, Corwin, from Atlanta, invited me on a pack trip to the Olympic Peninsula in Washington, and I didn’t hesitate to say yes.  My friend Denise knew Corwin, and she recommended we hook up. Corwin is about as pleasant, easy-going and thoughtful of a person as you’d want to travel with. He’s so stable you can’t get him excited (which is funny, because he got a bout of hiccups for 3 days, and I could in no way scare him to cure them).

I decided I didn’t want to carry a rocket stove or pot, so I toasted a bunch of rice, buckwheat and tapioca, threw 'em together with a bit of olive oil and salt, to munch as my main staple on the trip. We thought we’d start with a simple loop trail in the Quinault rain forest, then explore other areas later. The trail started way easy, but as we reached higher elevations, we ran into fields of deep snow and lost the trail – not at all what we’d expected. It made for a gnarly and difficult hike and us bantering back and forth on which direction to take. But that’s also what made it remarkably fun. And we got through, of course, feeling good about it.  Easy things aren't memorable. 

We then decided to go to the coast, near the Hoh reservation, and do a little hike there. That ended up more gnarly than we’d suspected, too, sludging through knee-deep mud in the coastal rain forest. We ate berries galore, lots of wild peas, and I cooked and ate quite a few slugs (they’re okay if you clean out the guts and toast them well). We also ate toasted seaweed of various sorts. Funny, the whole rain forest trip had nary a drop of rain, except a brief shower one morning.

Chief Seattle
Drive 'em from their lands...
that's okay cuz we name cities & stuff after 'em

Back in the Seattle Again...
Corwin then took me to Seattle to stay with his friend Oscar at Sherwood House, a large community house with lots of pleasant people. We hung there maybe a week, exploring Seattle and doing a lot of specialty :-) shopping in the backs of stores – finding amazing quantities of food, most of which the Sherwood House gladly accepted.  Corwin’s girlfriend, Beth, from Atlanta, later came to town and hung with us for a while.

...Or Again to Oregon
When Beth left, Corwin's friend Kathryn also came to town, and the three of us went back to Portland together, with gobs of goodies to share with Food Not Bombs.  I camped in the Ninja house garden again. I read through Alan Watts’ The Way of Zen while there, one of the most profound things I’ve ever read. Not wanting to wear out my welcome at Ninja, and wanting to come here to see Timo and his daughter, Logan, I felt it time to move on.

I got a ride again with Corwin and Beth, who happened to be coming this way last week. So here I am. It’s been 3 years, and Logan is already a young woman, going into high school this Fall.

A couple days ago Timo took me to a weekly Spanish-speaking group he attends, and later to a Lakota sweat lodge near Bend – a very deep and blessed experience for me.

Now I’m reading Harish Dhillon’s The First Sikh Spiritual Master, about Guru Nanak (who lived at the time of Columbus and Martin Luther).

I’m not sure how long before I start hitching back to Utah, inshallah.

…how will all these things make our journey more comfortable?
We cannot clutter up our lives, not now or ever.
We must travel light, live simply, and not worry about tomorrow,
secure in the knowledge that God will always provide—
perhaps through the generosity of people like the good Uppals.

--Guru Nanak (p. 70, The First Sikh Spiritual Master)

Sitting quietly, doing nothing,
Spring comes,
And the grass grows by itself. 

--Zen Sage Zenrin Kushu

Let the earth bring forth grass
--Elohim (Genesis 1:11)

Ye are Elohim
--Jesus (John 10:34)