The Hero’s Journey – Joseph Campbell

“The achievement of the hero is one that he is ready for, and it’s really a manifestation of his character. The way in which the landscape and the conditions of the environment match the readiness of the hero. The adventure that he’s ready for is the one that he gets.” ~Joseph Campbell, The Power of Myth (1988)

The first stage in the hero adventure, when he starts off on adventure, is leaving the realm of light, which he controls and knows about, and moving toward the threshold. And it’s at the threshold that the monster of the abyss comes to meet him.
And then there are two or three results: one, the hero is cut to pieces and descends into the abyss in fragments, to be resurrected; or he may kill the dragon power.. But then he tastes the dragon blood, that is to say, he has to assimilate that power..

He hears the song of nature; he has transcended his humanity, you know, and reassociated himself with the powers of nature, which are the powers of our life, from which our mind removes us.

You see, this thing up here, this consciousness [points to brain], thinks it’s running the shop. It’s a secondary organ; it’s a secondary organ of a total human being, and it must not put itself in control. It must submit and serve the humanity of the body.

When it does put itself in control, you get this Vader, [Darthvader] the man who’s gone over to the intellectual [and mechanistic] side. He isn’t thinking, or living in terms of humanity, he’s living in terms of a system.

And this is the threat to our lives; we all face it, we all operate in our society in relation to a system. Now, is the system going to eat you up and relieve you of your humanity, or are you going to be able to use the system to human purposes?
I don’t think it would help you to change the system, but it would help you to live in the system as a human being. Lke Luke Skywalker, not going over, but resisting its impersonal claims.
If the person doesn’t listen to the demands of his own spiritual and heart life, and insists on a certain program, you’re going to have a schizophrenic crack-up. The person has put himself off-center; he has aligned himself with a programmatic life, and it’s not the one the body [and the heart] is interested in at all.
And the world’s full of people who have stopped listening to themselves. In my own life, I’ve had many opportunities to commit myself to a system and to go with it, and to obey its requirements. My life has been that of a maverick; I would not submit.
Our life evokes our character, and you find out more about yourself as you go on. And it’s very nice to be able to put yourself in situations that will evoke your higher nature, rather than your lower.
What you have done has been to elevate yourself out of the local field and put yourself in the field of higher power, higher danger. And are you going to be able to handle it?
If you are not eligible for this place into which you’ve put yourself, it’s going to be a demon marriage, it’s going to be a real mess. If you are eligible, it can be a glory that will give you a life that is yours, in your own way.
It’s the edge, the interface between what can be known and what is never to be discovered, because it is a mystery transcendent of all human research. The source of life: what is it? No one knows.
I think it’s important to live life with a knowledge of its mystery and of your own mystery, and it gives life a new zest, a new balance, a new harmony to do this.
I mean, in therapy, in psychological therapy, when people find out what it is that’s ticking in them, they get straightened out. And what is it that life is. I find thinking in mythological terms has helped people, visibly you can see it happen.
It erases anxieties, it puts them in accord with the inevitables of their life, and they can see the positive values of what are the negative aspects.. It’s whether you’re going to say no to the serpent or yes to the serpent, as easy as that…
The real dragon is in you. That’s your ego, holding you in. What I want, what I believe, what I can do, what I think I love, and all that. What I regard as the aim of my life and so forth.
It might be too small. It might be that which pins you down. And if it’s simply that of doing what the environment tells you to do, it certainly is pinning you down. And so the environment is your dragon, as it reflects within yourself.
How do you [slay the dragon within yourself]? My general formula for my students is, follow your bliss, I mean, find where it is, and don’t be afraid to follow it.
If the work that you’re doing is the work that you chose to do because you are enjoying it, that’s it. But if you think, “Oh, gee, I couldn’t do that,” you know, that’s your dragon blocking you in. “Oh, no, I couldn’t be a writer, oh, no, I couldn’t do what so-and-so is doing.”
And in doing that, you save the world. I mean, you do. The influence of a vital person vitalizes, there’s no doubt about it. The world is a wasteland.
People have the notion of saving the world by shifting it around and changing the rules and so forth. No, any world is a living world if it’s alive, and the thing is to bring it to life.
And the way to bring it to life is to find in your own case where your life is, and be alive yourself, it seems to me. If you have someone who can help you, that’s fine, too. But ultimately the last trick has to be done by you.
[There’s] a place in yourself of rest. Now this I know a little bit about from athletics. The athlete who is in championship form has a quiet place in himself. And it’s out of that that his action comes. If he’s all in the action field, he’s not performing properly. There’s a center out of which you act.
And Jean, my wife, a dancer, tells me that in dance this is true, too, there’s the center that has to be known and held. There it’s quite physically recognized by the person. But unless this center has been found, you’re torn apart, tension comes.
Now, the Buddha’s word is nirvana; nirvana is a psychological slate of mind. It’s not a place, like heaven, it’s not something that’s not here; it is here, in the middle of the turmoil, what’s called samsara, the whirlpool of life conditions.
That nirvana is what, is the condition that comes when you are not compelled by desire or by fear, or by social commitments, when you hold your center and act out of there.
The way… how should I get rid of fear? The Buddha can’t tell me how I’m going to do it. There are exercises that different teachers will give you, but they may not work for you. And all a teacher can do is give you a clue of the direction. He’s like a lighthouse that says there are rocks over here, and steer clear.
[Nature is consciousness.] There is a plant consciousness, there is an animal consciousness. We share all of these things. You eat certain foods, and the bile knows whether there’s something there for it to go to work on.
The whole thing is consciousness. I begin to feel more and more that the whole world is conscious; certainly the vegetable world is conscious, and when you live in the woods, as I did as a kid, you can see all these different consciousnesses relating to themselves. The whole planet [Mother Earth] as an organism.
If [we] think of ourselves as coming out of the earth, rather than as being thrown in here from somewhere else, you know, thrown out of the earth, we are the earth, we are the consciousness of the earth. These are the eyes of the earth, and this is the voice of the earth. What else?
All of life is a meditation, most of it unintentional. A lot of people spend most of it in meditating on where their money’s coming from and where it’s going to go, but that’s a level of meditation. Or, if you have a family to bring up, you’re concerned for the family.
These are all perfectly, very important concerns, but they have to do with physical conditions, mostly, and spiritual conditions of the children, of course.
But how are you going to communicate spiritual consciousness to the children if you don’t have it yourself? So how do you get that? Then you think about the myths. What the myths are for is to bring us into a level of consciousness that is spiritual.
Myths and dreams come from the same place; they come from realizations of some kind that have then to find expression in symbolic form.
And the myth, the only myth that’s going to be worth thinking about in the immediate future is one that’s talking about the planet not this city, not these people, but the planet and everybody on it.
That’s my main thought for what the future myth is going to be. And what it will have to deal with will be exactly what all myths have dealt with: the maturation of the individual, [the way] to follow, from dependency through adulthood to maturity, and then to the exit and how to do it.
And then how to relate to this society, and how to relate this society to the world of nature and the cosmos. That’s what the myths have all talked about; that’s what this one’s got to talk about. But the society that it’s going to talk about is the society of the planet, and until that gets going, you don’t have anything.
[Looking at the Earth] you don’t see any divisions there of nations or states or anything of the kind. This might be the symbol, really, for the new mythology to come. That is the country that we are going to be celebrating, and those are the people that we are one with..”



The above text excerpts are from Joseph Campbell and the Power of Myth, Episode 1: The Hero’s Adventure, the first episode from Bill Moyer’s interview with Joseph Campbell. Released in 1988, The Power of Myth was one of the most popular TV series in the history of public television. Segments of this interview can be heard here:

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The Evolution of Human Consciousness

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See how you resonate with the 16 characteristics of this evolved level of human consciousness, as described by Ervin Laszlo…

1. I am part of the world. The world is not outside of me, and I am not outside of the world. The world is in me, and I am in the world.

2. I am part of nature, and nature is part of me. I am what I am in my communication and communion with all living things. I am an irreducible and coherent whole with the web of life on the planet.

3. I am part of society, and society is part of me. I am what I am in my communication and communion with my fellow humans. I am an irreducible and coherent whole with the community of humans on the planet.

4. I am more than a skin-and-bone material organism: my body, and its cells and organs are manifestations of what is truly me: a self-sustaining, self-evolving dynamic system arising, persisting and evolving in interaction with everything around me.

5. I am [an] evolved manifestation of the drive toward coherence and wholeness in the universe. It is the same essence, the same spirit that is inherent in all the things that arise and evolve in nature, whether on this planet or elsewhere in the infinite reaches of space and time.

6. There are no absolute boundaries and divisions in this world, only transition points where one set of relations yields prevalence to another. In me, in this self-maintaining and self-evolving coherence- and wholeness-oriented system, the relations that integrate the cells and organs of my body are prevalent.

7. The separate identity I attach to other humans and other things is but a convenient convention that facilitates my interaction with them. My family and my community are just as much “me” as the organs of my body. My body and mind, my family and my community, are interacting and interpenetrating, variously prevalent elements in the network of relations that encompasses all things in nature and the human world.

8. The whole gamut of concepts and ideas that separates my identity, or the identity of any person or community, from the identity of other persons and communities are manifestations of this convenient but arbitrary convention. There are no “others” in the world: We are all living systems and we are all part of each other.

9. Attempting to maintain the system I know as “me” through ruthless competition with the system I know as “you” is a grave mistake: It could damage the integrity of the embracing whole that frames both your life and mine. I cannot preserve my own life and wholeness by damaging that whole, even if damaging a part of it seems to bring me short-term advantage. When I harm you, or anyone else around me, I harm myself.

10. Collaboration, not competition, is the royal road to the wholeness that hallmarks healthy systems in the world. Collaboration calls for empathy and solidarity, and ultimately for love. We are part of the same whole and so are part of each other.

11. The idea of “self-defense,” even of “national defense,” needs to be rethought. Patriotism if it aims to eliminate adversaries by force, and heroism even in the well-meaning execution of that aim, are mistaken aspirations. Comprehension, conciliation and forgiveness are not signs of weakness; they are signs of courage.

12. “The good” for me and for every person in the world is not the possession and accumulation of personal wealth. Wealth, in money or in any material resource, is but a means for maintaining myself in my environment. Exclusive wealth is a threat to all people in the human community.

13. Beyond the sacred whole we recognize as the world in its totality, only life and its development have what philosophers call intrinsic value; all other things have merely instrumental value: value insofar as they add to or enhance intrinsic value. Material things in the world, and the energies and substances they harbor or generate, have value only if and insofar they contribute to life and well-being in the web of life on this Earth.

14. The true measure of my accomplishment and excellence is my readiness to give. Not the amount of what I give is the measure of my accomplishment and excellence, but the relation between what I give, and what my family and I need to live and to thrive.

15. Every healthy person has pleasure in giving: It is a higher pleasure than having. I am healthy and whole when I value giving over having. Sharing enhances the community of life, while possessing and accumulating creates demarcation, invites competition, and fuels envy. The share-society is the norm for all the communities of life on the planet; the have-society is typical only of modern-day humanity, and it is an aberration.

16. I recognize the aberration of modern-day humanity from the universal norm of coherence in the world, acknowledge my role in having perpetrated it, and pledge my commitment to restoring wholeness and coherence by becoming whole myself: whole in my thinking and acting — in my consciousness.

If you had an “aha experience” while reading even just one of these ideas, you have the foundations of Akashic [Unity] consciousness. And if you had this experience all the way through, you already possess this crucial consciousness.

~by Ervin Laszlo~

Original source: Akasha Think (aka, Unity Consciousness)


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“Billionaires Have the Money, We Have the People.”

“Politics is not a baseball game with winners or losers. What politics is about is whether we protect the needs of millions of people who are hurting.
The struggle to create a nation and world of economic and social justice and environmental sanity is not an easy one. The struggle to try and create a more peaceful world will be extremely difficult.
But this I know: despair is not an option if we care about our kids and grandchildren. Giving up is not an option if we want to prevent irreparable harm to our planet.
We are living in a world which worships not love of brothers and sisters, not love of the poor and the sick, but worships the acquisition of money and great wealth.
I know the media is not necessarily focused on these things. But what this campaign is about is not Hillary Clinton, it’s not Donald Trump. It is the people of this country, people who are working longer hours for lower wages, people who do not have health care or are underinsured.
Income and wealth inequality have reached obscene levels, the threat of climate change is more frightening than ever, and the billionaire class is now allowed to spend unlimited amounts of money to buy the candidate they want. And it is up to us to stand up and fight back. If we stand together, there is no limit to what we can accomplish.
There is too much shouting at each other. There is too much making fun of each other.
When you have kids that have no jobs and are not in school, too often they get themselves into trouble. So what we have got to do is invest in education and in jobs, something which I have fought for, rather than more jails and incarceration.
Trickle down economics is a fraud. Giving tax breaks to the rich and large corporations does not create jobs. It simply makes the rich richer, enlarges the deficit and increases income and wealth inequality. We need economic policies which benefit working families, not the billionaire class.
I am going to do my best to try to create a country in which children are not living in poverty, in which kids can go to college, in which old people have health care. Will I succeed? I can’t guarantee you that, but I can tell you that from a human point of view it is better to show up than to give up.
It’s time to make our government work for all of us… and not just the 1%. The greed of the billionaire class has got to end and we are going to end it for them.
No president, not the smartest, best human being in the world can do it alone. You cannot take on this, the power that is in Washington, to billionaires and lobbyist, the military industrial complex, all of this money and power, you can`t do it. You need a mass movement of Americans…
The point is change can come about, but it only comes about when millions of people are actively involved in political struggle. The billionaires may have the money, but we have the people.
I am extraordinarily proud of the campaign that we ran. The issues that we raised, the fact that we got 13 million Americans to vote for a political revolution…”
~Bernie Sanders~
2015 & 2016 quotes source
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The Art of Political Deception – Chris Hedges

“Washington has become our Versailles. We are ruled, entertained, and informed by courtiers — and the media has evolved into a class of courtiers. The Democrats, like the Republicans, are mostly courtiers. Our pundits and experts, at least those with prominent public platforms, are courtiers. We are captivated by the hollow stagecraft of political theater as we are ruthlessly stripped of power. It is smoke and mirrors, tricks and con games, and the purpose behind it is deception.” ~Chris Hedges

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“The words consent of the governed have become an empty phrase. Our textbooks on political science and economics are obsolete. Our nation has been hijacked by oligarchs, corporations, and a narrow, selfish, political, and economic elite, a small and privileged group that governs, and often steals, on behalf of moneyed interests.

This elite, in the name of patriotism and democracy, in the name of all the values that were once part of the American system and defined the Protestant work ethic, has systematically destroyed our manufacturing sector, looted the treasury, corrupted our democracy, and trashed the financial system.

During this plundering we remained passive, mesmerized by the enticing shadows on the wall, assured our tickets to success, prosperity, and happiness were waiting around the corner.

Sadism dominates the culture. It runs like an electric current through reality television and trash-talk programs, is at the core of pornography, and fuels the compliant, corporate collective. Corporatism is about crushing the capacity for moral choice and diminishing the individual to force him or her into an ostensibly harmonious collective.

This hypermasculinity has its logical fruition in Abu Ghraib, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and our lack of compassion for our homeless, our poor, the mentally ill, the unemployed, and the sick… We accept the system handed to us and seek to find a comfortable place within it. We retreat into the narrow, confined ghettos created for us and shut our eyes..

Washington has become our Versailles. We are ruled, entertained, and informed by courtiers — and the media has evolved into a class of courtiers. The Democrats, like the Republicans, are mostly courtiers. Our pundits and experts, at least those with prominent public platforms, are courtiers.

We are captivated by the hollow stagecraft of political theater as we are ruthlessly stripped of power. It is smoke and mirrors, tricks and con games, and the purpose behind it is deception.

Fear stops us from objecting to government spending on a bloated military. The corporations that profit from permanent war need us to be afraid. Fear means we will not ask unpleasant questions of those in power. Fear permits the government to operate in secret.

Fear means we are willing to give up our rights and liberties for promises of security. The imposition of fear ensures that the corporations that wrecked the country cannot be challenged. Fear keeps us penned in like livestock.

Inverted totalitarianism, unlike classical totalitarianism, does not revolve around a demagogue or charismatic leader. It finds expression in the anonymity of the Corporate State. It purports to cherish democracy, patriotism, and the Constitution while manipulating internal levers.

A culture that does not grasp the vital interplay between morality and power, which mistakes management techniques for wisdom, which fails to understand that the measure of a civilization is its compassion, not its speed or ability to consume, condemns itself to death.

We have to grasp, as Marx and Adam Smith did, that corporations are not concerned with the common good. They exploit, pollute, impoverish, repress, kill, and lie to make money.

They throw poor people out of homes, let the uninsured die, wage useless wars for profit, poison and pollute the ecosystem, slash social assistance programs, gut public education, trash the global economy, plunder the U.S. Treasury and crush all popular movements that seek justice for working men and women. They worship money and power.”

~by Chris Hedges~

Source of Quotes

“Unfettered, or unregulated capitalism, is about societies that cannibalize themselves. When capitalism is the dominant ideology… it turns everything into a commodity, including human beings…” ~Chris Hedges

“As a species, we are on the cusp of an evolutionary choice. Standing at the dawn of this perfect storm, we find ourselves at the beginning of a process of civilizational transition. As the old paradigm dies, a new paradigm is born. And many people around the world are already making the evolutionary choice to step away from the old, and embrace the new.” ~Nafeez Ahmed

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The Global Butterfly Effect

“What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls a butterfly.” ―Richard Bach, Illusions
We are living now during one of the most important time periods in human history. Our global species is at a turning point, the actions and decisions we take collectively over the next few decades will determine the path humanity (and all life on our planet) takes far into the future― towards either greater harmony or chaos, stability or destruction.
If one turns on the television, the news does not sound good. The mass media feeds our fears, warning of global warming, terrorism, racism, wealth inequality, economic instability and ecological collapse.
While most of these problems are real, what the media (and our leaders) do not understand is how these issues are ALL symptoms of the destructive ways so-called “advanced” civilizations see the world and behave. That the way to solve these problems requires that we grow up (as a species), cultivating a deeper level of wisdom, compassion and creativity.
“A new type of thinking is essential if mankind is to survive and move toward higher levels…” ~Albert Einstein
Our children and grandchildren’s future depends upon our species become less materialistic, fearful and violent, more generous, peaceful and caring. It requires that billions of people “wake up” to a deeper sense of unity and love for our human family and the Natural world that supports us.
Mother Earth needs us to mature, to transform ourselves from a selfish caterpillar-like species (that consumes resources mindlessly), to more spiritual butterfly-like beings, who behave wisely, dance among the flowers and take joy from living lightly.
The time has come for our species to evolve our consciousness, to open our hearts, to question the predatory behaviors and mechanistic thinking of our more technologically advanced warrior civilizations.
For thousands of years people in Western cultures have been wrestling with the illusions we’ve spun from our dualistic “us vs. them” mindsets and belief systems. It’s like we’ve been dreaming a shared nightmare together, grounded in the predatory and feudalistic ways our societies have been organized, rooted in how we live and think.
Across the centuries, the very foundation of Western civilization has been based on ideas of separation and superiority- men above, women below; kings above, peasants below; humans above, Nature below; etc.

We’ve built walls of separation in our hearts and minds, a sense of sin and abandonment, believing that our entire species was “thrown out of Eden” by a sky God that lives far far away.

With dualistic thinking came an emphasis on linear time, our consciousnesses locked into mental projections of a feared or desired future, an imagined and idealized history.
When lost in these linear projections we became less aware of the magical nature of each moment, blind to the beauty, value and mystery of the HERE and NOW. This is how schools teach our children to think and feel, how our ancestors were dazed and hypnotized.
From this mindset grew civilized humanity’s mad circus of history, the hostile cultures of race and nationalism as identity, religion as truth, militarism as method, acquisition of wealth and power (by a ruling elite) as the organizing goals of our economic and political systems, the unquestioned materialistic paradigm guiding our way of life.
It manifested with the rise of wealth obsessed empires seeking power and dominance in the Middle East and Europe. Dualistic thinking led to the Witch Hunts during the Renaissance, to Europeans coming to conquer the “New World” – thinking themselves superior to the Natives, stealing their land. Then going to Africa where they kidnaped and enslaved the people, robbing their resources and dragging them across the oceans.
Over the centuries reductionistic and compartmentalized thinking has given rise to all our most difficult problems- to racism, sexism, nationalism, slavery, human trafficking, organized crime, alcoholism, drug abuse, obesity, prostitution, genocide and all our wars.
For thousands of years now, individual artists, poets, prophets and sages have been trying to help “civilized” humans to wake up from our delusions, to let love and wisdom guide us, instead of materialism and fear.

From Jesus to Buddha, from Shakespeare’s “Romeo & Juliet” to Thoreau’s “Civil Disobedience,” Whitman & Blake’s poems, Victor Hugo’s “Les Miserables,” Van Gogh’s paintings and forward thru time to the “Wizard of Oz,” Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon,” Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven,” and James Cameron’s “Avatar”… the message of love has been clear.
“Yes,there are two paths you can go by, but in the long run, there’s still time to change the road you’re on.” ―Led Zeppelin
There was a great creative burst of realization and vision in the 1960s, but still the spirit crushing institutions, materialistic lifestyles and unquestioned mechanistic assumptions of the past continued to exert a powerful hypnotic force.
With the rise of new technologies and global industrialization our consumer lifestyles have overpowered the rivers, mountains and forests that surround us. Over the last five decades we have been destroying Nature’s ecosystems at an astounding rate.
Why has it been so difficult for humans to change?
In part, I think, it is because the “Civilized” Matrix will do whatever it can to avoid a shutdown. Our dominant institutions are designed to acquire wealth for those with power, to maintain control, to defend, expand and perpetuate their existence. Like the immune system of a body, attacking these systems directly only strengthens them, leads to hostility and violence.
Mostly however, I believe that we have not changed as a species because too many of us are still hypnotized. Primarily identifying our sense of self with names, career, race, religion, gender, political perspective or nationality.
Seeking pleasurable experiences, wealth, status and material possessions; mistakenly believing that these will bring us happiness and that the only way to solve complex problems is to “defeat the opposition.”
What most of us have failed to see is that we are not these social and cultural roles we imagine ourselves to be. And that the historical systems that have constrained us- the darkness and creative suppression- may have been exactly what we needed, to transform our minds, let go of our fears and transcend our limited cultural ideas of identity.

“You are not IN the universe, you ARE the universe, an intrinsic part of it. Ultimately you are not a person, but a focal point where the universe is becoming conscious of itself. What an amazing miracle.” ~Eckhart Tolle

We are Life, in human form. Descendants of the stars and galaxies, children of the oceans and forests, creative expressions of Nature. As much a part of this planet as the rivers, trees, mountains and butterflies.
As more and more of us wake up to that deeper sense of identity we will be more easily able to transcend old thought patterns and beliefs. Observing Nature’s Systems closely, studying her ways, we can re-write and delete old programming.
To truly bring an end to the destructiveness of humanity- to really transform the world- a deeper wisdom has to first arise from within. As individuals, we must each “be the change” as Gandhi put it. We have to free ourselves first, transform our ways of thinking, feeling and behaving.
Then join with others who have awakened, taking the wisdom of our wholeness and applying it creatively to everything we say and do, to all fields of human activity. Economics, entertainment, technology, education, art, music, poetry, law, medicine, farming, politics, transportation, energy- they all can (and must) be transformed.
What is dawning now is the realization that we are not the solitary individuals we had believed ourselves to be. We are expressions of Universal life, Children of the Earth. We are the “leaves of grass” Walt Whitman spoke of – the Awakening voices of Eden, instruments of the great turning.
Nature’s Agents of Transformation- The Global Butterfly Effect.
~Christopher Chase~
“See simplicity in the complicated, Seek greatness in small things. In the Universe, the difficult things are done as if they were easy.” ~Lao Tsu, Tao Te Ching
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We Must Take Care of the Earth ~ John Trudell

“The people who have created this system, and who perpetuate this system, they are out of balance. They have made us out of balance. They have come into our minds and they have come into our hearts and they’ve programmed us. Because we live in this society, and it has put us out of balance. And because we are out of balance we no longer have the power to deal with them…

We are a natural part of the creation, we were put here on the sacred mother Earth to serve a purpose. And somewhere in the history of people we’re forgetting what the purpose is. The purpose is to honor the earth, to protect the earth, to live in balance with the Earth. And we will never free ourselves  until we address the issue of how we live in balance with the Earth. Because I don’t care who it is, any child who turns on their mother is living in a terrible, terrible confusion. The Earth is our mother, we must take care of the Earth. ~John Trudell, 1980

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The following are excerpts from John Trudell’s Thanksgiving Day Address, made in 1980. This is one of the most powerful and visionary speeches in recent American history, in my opinion. Trudell’s “view” of the human family’s imbalance, confusion and true relationship to the Earth is especially relevant now, as tens of millions of people in the United States (and around the world), are awakening to the same understanding. You can listen to his full speech here. ~Christopher
“I’d like to thank all of you for coming here tonight and sharing this evening with us. And tonight I’d like to talk in honor of the water and the earth and our brother Leonard Peltier.
We’re faced with a very serious situation in this generation. There are insane people who wish to rule the world. They wish to continue to rule the world on violence and repression, and we are all the victims of that violence and repression.
We as the indigenous people of the western hemisphere have been resisting this oppression for 500 years. We know that the black people have been resisting it for at least that long. And we know that the white people have had to endure it thousands of years. And now it’s come full swing to this generation that we live in..
You see, this cannot be. We cannot allow this to go on. We cannot do it. We cannot expect that the pro-nuclear oppressor, that other side, we cannot expect that they’re going to change for us.
They are going to become more brutal. They are going to become more repressive because it’s a matter of dollars and their illusionary concepts of power.
We have to re-establish our identity. We have to understand who we are and where we fit in the natural order of the world, because our oppressor deals in illusions.
They tell us that it is power, but it is not power. They may have all the guns, and they may have all the racist laws and judges, and they may control all the money, but that is not power.
These are only imitations of power, and they are only power because in our minds we allow it to be power. But it’s all an imitation.
Racism and violence, racism and guns, economics- the brutality of the American Corporate State way of life is nothing more than violence and oppression and it doesn’t have anything to do with power.
It is brutality. It’s a lack of a sane balance. The people who have created this system, and who perpetuate this system, they are out of balance.
They have made us out of balance. They have come into our minds and they have come into our hearts and they’ve programmed us.
Because we live in this society, and it has put us out of balance. And because we are out of balance we no longer have the power to deal with them. They have conquered us as a natural power.
See, we are power. They deal in violence and repression, we are power. We are a part of the natural world.
All of the things in the natural world are a natural part of the creation and feed off the energy of our sacred mother, Earth.
We are power. But they have separated us from our spiritual connection to the Earth, so people feel powerless.
We look at the oppressor and we look at the enemy because they have the most guns and the most lies and the most money. People start to feel powerless.
We are power, we are a natural part of the creation, we were put here on the sacred mother Earth to serve a purpose. And somewhere in the history of people we’re forgetting what the purpose is.
The purpose is to honor the earth, the purpose is to protect the earth, the purpose is to live in balance with the earth. The earth is our mother.
And we will never free ourselves as human people, we will never free ourselves as sexual people, we will never free ourselves until we address the issue of how we live in balance with the earth.
Because all our resistance and all of our struggle is hollow, it’s false, it’s another one of the oppressor’s hypocrisies. If we do not look out for the welfare of the Earth first, because I don’t care who it is, any child who turns on their mother is living in a terrible, terrible confusion.
The Earth is our mother, we must take care of the Earth.
They pollute- this oppressor, this machine that has gone mad and run amok, it is beserk. They keep telling us, “progress.” They keep telling us “face reality.”
Well, let’s deal with reality. Reality is the Earth can no longer take this attack. We can no longer allow this thing to continue when it’s polluting the air, it’s polluting the water, polluting our food.
They pollute the air, they pollute the water, they pollute our food, they pollute our minds. They put us out of balance.
They have made us be insecure with ourselves. They have put us into a situation where we have to play many roles.
You know, we gotta be chauvinist, or we’ve got to be on some kind of a class trip, or some kind of illusionary power trip.
We’ve gotta play a role, see? We’ve gotta play a role to communicate with other people. We’ve got to go through this charade because they have attacked our self confidence.
They have attacked our self confidence and they have made us to listen to *them.* They have made us to believe that they are power. But they are not- they are violent and they are brutal, but they are not power.
We are a natural part of the earth. As a natural part of the Earth, we have the energy and the power that IS the Earth. The Earth will take care of us if we will remember the Earth- in more than just our words.
If we will remember the Earth in our way of life; we are all here to play a role. And all of the animals, and all of the life on the earth is playing it’s proper role except the human people.
Somehow we are betraying, we are betraying our purpose here and that is why we live in the confusion that we live in. They tell us, they want us to believe, that we are powerless.
We are a natural part of the earth, we are an extension of that natural energy. The natural energy which is Spirit, and which is power.
A blizzard is power. An earthquake is power. A tornado is power. These are all things of power that no oppressor, no machine age, can put these things of power in a prison.
No machine age can make these things of power submit… That is natural power.
And just as it takes millions and billions of elements to make a blizzard to happen, or to make the earthquake, to make the earth to move, then it’s going to take millions and billions of us.
We are power. We have that power. We have the potential for that power.
I remember in the 60s and 70s I heard all these things about “power to the people” and I never really understood because everyone was saying “power to the people” when they were talking about demonstrating, they were talking about votes, they were talking about dealing on the terms of the oppressor.
Our power will come back to us, our sense of balance will come back to us, when we go back to the natural way of protecting and honoring the earth.
If we have forgotten how to do it, or we think that it looks overwhelming, or think that we can never accomplish it, all we have to do, each one of us, an individual, is to go and find one spot on the Earth that we can relate to.
Feel that energy, feel that power. That’s where our safety will come.
The Earth will take care of us. We have to understand that the American Corporate State will not take care of us.
They do not care about us. Maximize their profit, that is where their whole life’s balance is placed upon- maximizing the profit. They will turn us against each other to maximize the profit, because they have done it in the past…
Our obligations and our loyalty have to be to the Earth, and they have to be to our sense of community and to our people and our relations.
Our obligations and loyalty should not be to a government that will not take care of our needs.
Our obligations and loyalty should not be to a government that has proven time and time again that it is the enemy of the people unless the people are rich in dollars.
That has been the consistent history of Western civilization and the American Corporate State Government- that’s reality. They are not our friends, they do not care about us. We have to face the reality that we have an enemy…
We have to come to a time in our lifetime- and it will come in our lifetime- where we are going to have to deal with the fact that the enemy has taken over your government.
The government is not your ally. The government will use you, chew you up and spit you out.
You think that we are wrong? You think that we are talking unrealistically? Then go look at your elders and see what has happened to your elders in your machine age society.
See what kind of respect that they get. See what kind of a voice they are allowed into your society, what kind of input they have.
See what their final reward of happiness is after working for this slave state for 30 or 40 years and allowing someone to exploit their labors.
What is racism? Racism is an act of war. What is sexism? Sexism is an act of war. It’s a war against our human dignity and our rights to self respect.
This is the war that they wage there. War! They are war-like. And we have to understand that the American Corporate State got to where it’s at through the act of war..
For 500 years my people have resisted. For 500 years we will resist again if it becomes necessary.
We want to be able to relate and communicate with all of the people who are living on this land, but we want to be able to relate and communicate from a position of truth.
You all gotta face the truth. We have had to face it through 500 years of genocide, we have had to face the truth, we have had to live the truth. We have had to die the truth.
Before we’re gonna ever see our evolutionary liberation, the people that call themselves Americans are gonna have to face the truth also.
They tell us to “be realistic,” that “progress” means that all these things have to happen. They tell us that we can’t go back to the old way.
They tell us “be realistic.” But there is no old way, no new way, there is a way of life. We must live in balance with the earth. We MUST do it. We have no choice.
If we allow ourselves to be apathetic, or we allow ourselves to be lied to, or tolerate their lies about what they’re doing to the earth, then we are betraying our intention.
We are betraying our purpose here. We cannot protect that 7th generation if we do not protect the earth. We cannot protect ourselves if we do not protect the earth.
The Earth gives us life, not the American government. The earth gives us life, not the multi-national corporate government.
The Earth gives us life, we need to have the Earth. We must have it, otherwise our life will be no more. So we must resist what they do.
They want to break our spirit. They will do everything and anything to break our spirit, our will to live. We must learn to resist, we must learn to see, we must learn to look.
We must learn to step out of this reactionary-ism. All of our lives they’ve had control of us through their schools, their TV, their electronic media.
They’ve had control of us all of our lives. They have programmed us, they have made us become reactionary. We don’t think, we react to what they do.
To everything that they do- we react to it. They’re setting us up in the 80’s because they know consistently throughout the past the people have always reacted to their manipulations of circumstance.
They know that the people always react. They’re counting on it..
See, and they outnumber us with guns, They outnumber us with money. They outnumber us with votes.
They control all the machines that count the votes. They’ve got it all stacked in their favor. Except there’s a key. The key is we must start thinking, and stop reacting.
The oppressor has no thinkers, they have no philosophers, it’s all scientific, it’s all economic, it’s all manipulative. They have no thinkers.
You go look and you deal with the enemy and what the enemy does is: the enemy will send somebody out on the street to hit you in the head and the guy says “I’m only taking my orders.”
And if you can come from a position of strength to this guy whose hitting you in the head and say “Hey, you’ve got to stop hitting me in the head, we want to talk.”
Then he says “Well I have to go to my superior to see.” They have no thinkers, either.
If we will start to think we will learn to see, to see what reality really is, and we will outnumber them through the thinking process.
We will take our minds away from them. Because through their manipulation of our minds they control our spirit, and they know this is true.
They tell us, see, they want us to believe that we are powerless. They want us to believe that we are becoming overwhelmed, that they can overwhelm us.
You see, but they are paranoid. They are more paranoid than any of us are, no matter what happens to us. You see, because they have to put people in here to come and listen to what we’re saying, so they can go back and tell.
See, so they’re afraid! They’re afraid because they know we’re talking about reality! Now why are they afraid?
They are afraid because they know they are dealing with the illusions of power which are based on the realities of violence and brutality.
They’re afraid! See, they don’t want people to think, they don’t want people to be talking, and they don’t want people to think about what they talk about.
Because they know. They’ve known it all along, that they built their whole THING on illusions.
And because they have drawn us in to giving this illusionary world all this power, they have taken our power away from us. Because we believe in the illusions.
“John Trudell (February 15, 1946 – December 8, 2015) was a Native American author, poet, actor, musician, and political activist. He was the spokesperson for the United Indians of All Tribes’ takeover of Alcatraz beginning in 1969. During most of the 1970s, he served as the chairman of the American Indian Movement, based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. After his pregnant wife, three children and mother-in-law were killed in 1979 in a suspicious fire at the home of his parents-in-law on the Shoshone-Paiute Tribes Duck Valley Indian Reservation in Nevada, Trudell turned to writing, music and film as a second career.” Source: Wikipedia

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The Joy of Learning

“Educating the mind without educating the heart, is no education at all.” ~Aristotle

Fifteen years ago, George Bush introduced No Child Left Behind, which increased pressure on children and teachers, with nationwide standardized testing. President Obama promised to change that, but instead gave us Common Core and Race to the Top.
Stress, anxiety and boredom increased, many children began to dislike school even more. And nothing was done to address wealth inequality, that children from poor communities had less money and resources for their schools.
f99eb05b2688aa8e2e75ef017ea54f7aMeanwhile, across the Atlantic (in Finland) children were excelling. Why? Because teachers were encouraged to be innovative, money was provided for public education and students were allowed to enjoy themselves, to learn things together and independently. They have been given the freedom to learn, without excessive homework and standardized testing.

Children are natural born learners- curious, sociable, skillful, joyful, compassionate and creative by nature. Their minds are open and flexible, their hearts trusting and generous. They come into the world with brains designed to learn from their local environment, to interact skillfully with the people and objects that surround them.

They enjoy experimenting with new things and investigating whatever interests them. They learn languages and gain new skills easily, as long as they are respected, assisted (when needed) and encouraged to enjoy the learning process.

Maria Montessori understood this, and taught that the role of educators is to organize learning environments so that they facilitate self-discovery, creativity, concentration and collaborative exploration.

sungha-jung-sungha-jung-17204895-640-426Put another way, children learn best when learning is playful, social, interesting and self-directed. There is no need for constant control, monitoring, external rewards and punishments. In fact, such authoritarian efforts tend to deter children’s learning, deaden their natural motivation and curiosity.

Young people enjoy learning when it is meaningful and collaborative. They will put time and effort into mastering skills and helping one another. They have a natural desire to communicate, to be creative, competent, sociable and successful.

They will put time into learning when it is enjoyable, which is why helping every child to cultivate a love of learning should be the guiding principle of any system of education.

collaborative learningAdults have an important role to play with this, but attempts to over-control the natural learning process will immediately begin to snuff it out. Rigid expectations, testing and comparisons are also harmful, as no two children will learn in the exact same way or at the same rate.

Adults need to be good role models and provide extra help for those who are struggling, but this should be done with love, respect and good intentions. Bottom line, children lose interest when adults are too rigid, demanding and controlling. Such learning experiences become miseducative, as John Dewey put it.

The bottom line, children need to be free to learn.

~Christopher Chase

Posted in Creative Systems Thinking, education reform, Learner-centered education | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments