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The R word
Frequency

The man at the pulpit says that love is radical and I agree. He says love is a gift and again, internally, I nod my head. The man gets going now and talks about loving the poor, loving your fellow human being. He starts contemplating the contents, the very make up of a gift. What is the gift of gold? of chocolate? or of a hand made something? Is it the shape or the weight? Is it the time that it takes to get it earned or made? Is it the need that it fills on your shelf or in your closet? What is a gift? A gift is anything given with love. Love, he suggests, is the only, truest, greatest gift and it's measure as well. I'm with him. I hear him. At some point now, I'm really nodding my head. This guy, in the robes, he's onto something. He's got a clue of the universal light. I'm into it. I'm down. I'm sitting on a wooden bench in a well lit room while the dark streets glow in an almost silent hum of empty taxi cabs and landscape neon. Around the corner a handsome cab is taking some late turns for tourists in from somewhere. Welcome, Merry Christmas...

So as the ritual meets the sermon, as the incense wafts over the pavement I wonder why it's the bankers, the lawyers and the other fat cats that seem to sit so smugly inside their comfortable self-sacrifice. They give to the kids and they give to their spouses. They give to the doorman, the mailman and so many, countless others. There are museums and non-profits. There are libraries and small children in need of coats and recycled eyeglasses. There are so many to share with when spending the tax dollars of others. There is so much to share when austerity rears its head, so many needy just about showing up at the door. The man at the pulpit speaks of transformation, illumination and association. He speaks of the transformative capabilities of an enlightened being who associated with the poor, diseased and downtrodden. The bankers, the politicians and others, they nod their heads, just like me and pray to somehow live up to this model. I look around after a while, a little uneasy.

What does it take to change the world? Are we really naive enough to wait for a saviour? Are we self-righteous enough to point out the easy devils? How about, I think, as I shift again, at the start of a lovely and gracefully interminable hymn, I think...in a world that loves hyperbole more than reality, is there are place for a slowly shifting movement of music, much less people? I mean, how man Jesus-Buddha-Saviour-Prophets does it take to change the world? How can it be done peacefully without costing me my neck? If they taser grandmas couldn't I be next? Where, I look around now, could one imagine the next transformative, illuminating messenger of change? Nowhere from what I can see, just an old man's shiny bald spot and a young woman's flowing and impossibly blonde curls.

I wonder as the clock ticks on, what exactly would it take? A room full of Jesuses? A state, or a country? How many enlightened people would it take to liberate China and the prison-military-industrial complex of the United States-Russia and others? How would it go? How would we entangle it all and lay it out so we could make it better? I grab at a thread in the air, my metaphor lands on the flickering burn of a real, heat emitting candle. That's nice. This place must have flexible insurance because a lot of these spiritual meetings places have devolved into LEDs and I have to say, it just ain't the same. Representing my link to the universal-eternal with a press the button candle is just enough to make me feel like even the churches have conceded I am nothing much more than a cog. A post industrial prototype to a much more advanced bot. Which I wouldn't mind so much if I trusted those forces who would bot-omize me. They can't get the environment right. They can't get their own greed and power under control very well, either. I don't know if I need my i-trinket-phone to get any closer. Not yet. Not until this whole power structure gets a little less reductive-empirical extremist and gets a little more inclusive-compassionate-balanced. I remember the Dalai Lama, imperfect as he might be, saying that it's not the technology that is good or bad, but what we do with it that determines a certain tract.

So, with this in mind I imagine a universal love right here right now. I imagine an economy that is not based on scarcity. It's possible, so said E.F. Schumacher. I imagine a world of engaged human beings going off to work jobs big and small, building together the world that they would all inhabit, thusly, I remember Paulo Freire. I think of lost knowledge, so long oppressed and the work of Marija Gimbutas, pops into mind. I remember the purpose, the mission of higher education and I recall the short-lived, Black Mountain College. On and on it goes, as I sit here now. A string of lesser known names, that is those not often flashed on TV or pushed at the front table of my local big box bookseller, comes to mind. I realize it's not about a lack of open and visionary minds. Perhaps it's just the difference of them all occurring at one time. Maybe what we need is for a cloning of Martin Luther King, Dorothy Parker, Aung San Suu Kyi, Jody Williams and some hundreds, perhaps thousands of key others from throughout history. Of course, I remember, that's kind of a nascent technology, so perhaps not reliable, or practical. I guess, maybe then, that means, we, the non-visionary, non-legendary, might just need to take these things into our own hands. Of course, it's hard to imagine, and I'm a little scared.

The guy at the mic said tonight, among floating signs of safety, that above all else, and even today, that this guy, this once living child, we use to keep order in the front of our fears, this guy, he grew up to be visionary and because of this, even now his lifestyle, his politics, his laws and his recommendations, all boiled down to one thing: love as action. And the way he espoused this action made him the thing that polite people hate more than anything. So, yes, Jesus was a radical. Huh. Tell the kids. They need to know. Jesus was a radical who slept with the poor, the prostitutes and the diseased. You don't have to do that, but you could try it for a year; maybe for that one before college. And if you're going to be a Congressman or a Senator or if you ever decide to hold political power or teach children, then yes, you too, should be prepared to try it, for a month, a week or, gasp, yes... one full year. I mean, if you really want my vote, my allegiance and my security, then how much love can you show me? Really, your tax cuts, your wars and your healthcare, all for my benefit, feel empty when I consider your general and overall aversion to wandering, humbly, encountering those you would govern. Talk about hearts and minds, imagine the very shock and awe...of just this one small change. Make the rulers be monks, or at the very least make them walk the country, from end to end, just once and depending on the kindness of strangers. Just an idea, of course, but it makes me smile, to imagine the bankers, the lawyers and politicians and lovely radicals they might become. 

Happy Birthday, Jesus. You are one fine example of a radical. Merry, merry! (And to all those who read this, please forgive such a post. It's late, and the words are awkward, the spelling is off) And in every wish for peace tonight...from every religion, person and country, Amen. We need it very badly, very badly, right now. This was mine. Good morning to some, to myself and others, good night.

Comments
20 Comment count
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I'm with you...

All we are saying.....is imagine.

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all we are saying

...is imagine

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Bullseye

Merry Christmas. Great to hear someone express a point of view that needs to be mainstream, not random! How do we package and market this. Maybe we get Mr. Facebook to buy into it. He doesn't need the money. Dali Lama is in, Sr. Richard Branson will be all over it. Yep, this megalomaniac attitude we've created here in this experiment called Capitalism has spun out of control. We're now in the advanced stages called "Extreme Capitalism" Greed has replaced cognitive reason, life reduced to math, and the term "Nest-egg" a signal to eagerly plunder. Like Pavlov's dog, "Ding" time to feast! Ah, thats a better name for this stage "Plunderism" Yep- Communism------Socialism-------Capitalism-----------Plunderism. How neat is that... I'm afraid to see what comes next!!

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Going Mainstream

Ron, I wonder if it's a plausible campaign. If you think so, then just maybe it is..

I'm not so sure what this time should be called, but I do think the unchecked extremisms on various fronts are the death throes of an older type of consciousness and its attendant philosophies. We're all so worried about the death of our world. I say, assume it's dead already so that it can be rebirthed. Now the question remains, if we run a campaign do we reach out for support from Betty White? ;-)

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Dead?

Mariette, brilliant! Your right, that is the only answer to all the shenanigans going on these days, its already dead!. How does Fannie May and Freddie Mac lead the charge to one of the biggest debacles in financial worthiness this side of the great depression. A barrel of monkeys could have set more prudent parameters for homeowners to subscribe to than Mr, Bojangles,,,I mean Joe Rangel and his cast of political comedians. Yep, dead. Thats the only way to make any sense of the weird activity-frantic finger pointing and name calling by our most visible leaders in both sides of our two party system. LIKE THAT BEHAVIOR IS GOING TO NET A POSITIVE CHANGE? WHAT?

OK, so, Betty White would definitely lend an open ear.Rehab or resuscitate?

If its rehab then what is our methadone? The "millennial generation",thats it. We need an entire generation of socially conscious and expectant minds to rise up and demand lucid leadership. How do you get normal people to run for political office? I'll need help on that one. Thats the only way to cure the problem, start at the source, change the thought process. To stop taking drugs you don't just hide the drugs you have to change the need response or demand. So, likewise you need to change the mind set at the top. Not very easy, I know.

Resuscitate,wow,where to begin on this one...CPR or pillow over the face? not sure what may work better.The Phoenix rises from its burnt ashes. Is that it? Does the whole enchilada need to be cooked? How far can our destruction go and still be able to rise up again? How scary to think that we may not be able to rise up again. A clean slate is the only answer but getting there seems too drastic. If its already dead, what else is there to do?

OK, that must mean that we're going to rehab!! Right!!! Then Betty White can definitely help. How do we generate interest among your generation to force the parents into rehab? I'm guessing your from the Y Gen group. A twenty something spokesperson with well respected socially conscious old dudes.
That's where Dali Lama and Sir Richard Branson come in. Who could be the spokes person?

Oh, BTW, sorry for the late response, busy with holidays and all!

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Light bulb

OK, I got it! Initially I was thinking rewrite the constitution or write up a right versus wrong interpretation for current day use but just couldn't figure out how the public would accept it. Get this, a "Twelve Step Program" for the rehab of our social delinquency. Twelve well thought out steps that are actually doable and are directed at the leaders of the two parties. Fundamental beginnings. " stop pointing your finger" step one-be accountable for your actions! "Humility" -make amends for all the wrongs you've committed. Real simple stuff. I have never been to Rehab but I know an awful lot of people who have and this is not that difficult.

We would have to post it with notable sponsors and You Tube it with some one really good( a skit with whats her face-Silverstien-Matt Damon's X). Everyone wants this right now! Who isn't sickened by whats going on. The status quo needs to be called out, hard!

Let me know what you think and I'll start with the first redraft of the Twelve Steps!! OK, all good!

If we could get the news shows to compete for who's more in-line with the acknowledged necessary rehab of our country this would go off the hinges. I think it's possible, lot of work but possible...

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Light bulb

OK, I got it! Initially I was thinking rewrite the constitution or write up a right versus wrong interpretation for current day use but just couldn't figure out how the public would accept it. Get this, a "Twelve Step Program" for the rehab of our social delinquency. Twelve well thought out steps that are actually doable and are directed at the leaders of the two parties. Fundamental beginnings. " stop pointing your finger" step one-be accountable for your actions! "Humility" -make amends for all the wrongs you've committed. Real simple stuff. I have never been to Rehab but I know an awful lot of people who have and this is not that difficult.

We would have to post it with notable sponsors and You Tube it with some one really good( a skit with whats her face-Silverstien-Matt Damon's X). Everyone wants this right now! Who isn't sickened by whats going on. The status quo needs to be called out, hard!

Let me know what you think and I'll start with the first redraft of the Twelve Steps!! OK, all good!

If we could get the news shows to compete for who's more in-line with the acknowledged necessary rehab of our country this would go off the hinges. I think it's possible, lot of work but possible...

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Changes

I use the word 'change' with care ever since it became politicised.

Mariette, what does it take to bring about a revolution, and any significant alteration in behaviour and thought is revolutionary when you weigh it against the mega-success stories and the mammoth buildup that recreates stupid fantasies for us to believe and believe in.

Thank you for this heartfelt recollection of rarely voiced thoughts. It starts with a thought, even a prophecy, a small one maybe...and it has to be internalised, for all big talk and big fund-raisers will not make a difference to the mindsets.

We need to save ourselves from being taken in by the fake.

Hope you keep the flame of your thoughts alive and burning,
~F

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In absence...some synthesis

Ron, I love your enthusiasm and hope that the time it has taken me to consider all you said hasn't dampened your belief in my original idea or words. Farzana made a very good point and it works to yours. So if you'll allow a little flexible association of words I'll focus very quickly on this theme of sobriety.

As we all know right now a shooting took place the other day in Tucson. A judge, a child and others were killed. A Congresswoman is now facing an uncertain future. This tragic event is a symptom of a society that is sick with histrionics, hyperbole. The vitriol and the fury used in rhetoric is dangerous. The power of words is immense. They can not make a young man unstable and possibly schizophrenic but they can give a sick man direction and target where to aim his discontent. Of course I don't believe in censoring writers or journalists. I am deeply troubled by continuous moves in our society to do this, especially in regards to Wikileaks and Net Neutrality. However, I do believe that personal responsibility is in order. Without the individual there is no party, no country, no structure. So, I too, want to be responsible and I want to offer a sober understanding of my ideas.

The facebook campaign that I had mentioned, the one regarding Betty White to host an edition of Saturday Night Live, resulted in some type of real action on behalf of the NBC network. The fans asked and the network responded. Call and response was what interested me here and perhaps also the absurdity of it all. I was charmed by the event as much as I found it strange. But it highlighted the fact that as a culture we use technology much more as a toy to increase our entertainment factor. We avoid real action. Our phones and our gadgets are increasingly being obscured from their functions as tools. Again, to your point, I would start a campaign in a heartbeat if I thought it had real resonance, for it would be a great experiment.

So where exactly do I tie it all in, this idea of rehabilitation and sobriety and even technology? Americans must use this time wisely. There can be no fear going forward for the result of fear mongering is an increased negative intensity in the people. There can be no showmanship, either. Too much fanfare makes flames that burn out too quickly, joining the trends of the last fifteen minutes in a spectacular cultural pile of forgotten ideas. Using technology, I'm all for it. Using it like a drug or some type of panacea reminds me of all the drugs out there curing depression; ubiquitous and not really addressing the root problems.

Any attempt at real change requires action, and this action can not just come from the People. It must come from the leaders of the people. It must come from all sides. So, in my wish I wanted to establish a simple gesture that would be unsettling, yet ultimately harmless to our officials. The idea of walking among constituents was meant to dislodge them from their patterns, their prejudices and to expand their vision. It is one thing to imagine the poor homeless, it is certainly another to look for a nightly shelter and to feel, however slightly and fleetingly, the sense of insecurity that comes from that process.

Rehabilitation from drugs requires an acceptance of powerlessness and this is in fact, not the case in any of our lives. To varying degrees we all have the power to change ourselves and our lives. We can also change the government by doing some hard work, and I believe most Americans would happily do this. The problem though, is where is the love? Where is the compassion? Where is the willingness to dissolve one's ego from an attachment to all that a person has? Is the Congressperson somehow superior to the beggar? Are the triumphs of a single mother born into a cycle of poverty somehow less than a Harvard degree? Does a leader show contempt despite good intentions if he simply nudges an elbow against the status quo? Action is what I want and I still think that walking amongst people is useful. It is a very, very old way of approaching the world and breaking down the self. Who is a congressman? A president? A preacher? He is a person born to the earth. He is born to the earth above nation, above all else. So, my concept was that to serve us, the American people a bit better that our leaders would do something unprecedented, poetic and active. The walk would be the beginning of a process.

Using the phoenix, or using some other symbol the idea of ending and beginning as one, comes to mind. Death and rebirth are the keys to understanding life. Jarring leaders from their conceits and their comforts would take a good deal of campaigning and work. At the end, if successful it would be an amazing accomplishment and the birth of something new. Or so I assume. For all I know it could have media tracking each step, subverting the journey. Or it could result in an angry and sick person attacking with a gun. I'm not naive enough, after this last week, to not realize that a person in power might think I was offering them up to a death march. I still believe that most people are good and deeply in control of their faculties as to not kill representatives of the government. I could be very wrong. If I am wrong or I am right is of little consequence since at this point I doubt anyone would be willing to try. To rehabilitate one must be brave. To beat addiction one must be willing to die figuratively, if not literally. What my idea would engender now, despite my original intention, would be a very real challenge for leaders to face a literal death by walking amongst the people. The chances would be slim, but this is where everyone would focus after Tucson.

I'm open to ideas and to the real. I see our challenges must be met first with sobriety on our side so that it can be heard by others. I'm also very willing to plant a seed and nourish it now for it may take a very long time to grow before we find politicians who are also willing to figuratively die so that they can be heroes. The mantle of real death is currently just too real.

love and respect,

M.

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Limited response!

Papic, sorry your last name is just too good! I'm right in the middle of a project right now but wanted to drop a quick note. I think about what you have written a fair amount, even more so in light of the events of this past weekend. Tragedy causes one to struggle for answers but the cheap rhetoric being thrown back and forth is absolutely despicable. These bombs being lobbed back and forth here on RR as well as the quotes and band-standing in the media seem to be genuine heartfelt comments but are just so misguided. Hate-speech like a Israeli/Palestinian conflict does nothing but incite more destruction. The lobbers will come to their senses later but you wish they wouldn't succumb to the emotional urge to lash out for just momentary relief.

Anyhow, I'm looking forward to digging deeper into the whole subject matter when I've got some free time!!

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sound fair

Ron,

I look forward to hearing from you again when time allows.

A lot of my friends call me by my last name, so have at it. Papic is just fine.

;-)

M

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reread,reread

Papic, in my limited time I have been rereading and rereading your posts and each time I am grasping on meaning closer and closer to, I think what you're getting at. Faranza does have some good light, I think. I still have limited time to focus on this subject and though possessed with roiling thoughts to contribute I need a concerted amount of time and patience to formulate a meaningful response to what I consider a deep understanding of a weird social plague... Your writing is pure grace. This is the beginning of something crazy, in good time!! By weeks end I am committed to give this topic a dedicated attention....

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Where is the LOVE?

Papic,

Ok, I'm finally able to gear the brain down to a level conducive to writing. I get stuck in a work mode that sometimes needs to be bookended by a large alcohol intake. The all consuming focus necessary to turn water into wine can be maddening not to mention unhealthy. Yes, I subscribe to the hustle bustle of the "baby boomer" mentality because that's what I have been exposed to. I have learned to temper its extreme consumptive irresponsible trajectory in these later years but I must admit, I am a product of the overachievers generation. A quest to out do or seem more worthy has somehow crept into an entire generation so thoroughly that if your not a devourer your a devour-ee. Homes owned by the two's and threes or homeless. Food enough for the entire family to constantly flirt on the border of overweight and obese or only that which is begged for. Where is that middle ground? Is it really that weird of a concept to give to your fellow man that which is in excess of or in gross overabundance?

Great questions... Surely I disagree with laws or legislation that mandate hoarders dispose of their hard earned wealth by way of higher taxes or schemes or government enforced redistribution. Not because it's wrong but because it has never and will never work. Like disaster relief with its well intentioned goals ending up as booty in the warehouses then sold back on the grey market, it just doesn't work. Thats not to say that redistribution shouldn't be expected, it should be but in the form of voluntary self conscious obligation. Whats that you say? Exactly, what does that mean? It means individuals or groups disperse time, effort and (OMG) money to care for immediate local issues without the typical fanfare of a gala event. Please!

That is where the love has to come from. Everyday common folk treating people as their brothers and sisters instead of scoffing at their tattered close or broken speech. Voluntary, not forced is the key concept here. Why can't an entire generation be swept up with this ideology of voluntary social responsibility? An entire generation was swept up by intense greed and disconnect, it must be possible to swing the opposite direction with equal force. Once the groundswell of massive thought is pervasive throughout a large part of the combined psyche then the individual leaders will forge and be hoisted to political prominence. I am certain, as I have been certain about anything that I know, that this phenomenon will take place. It will take place in our life time and no matter if the world is warmer or threat of third world nuclear disaster.

So, then, Papic, how do someone like you and me spur this phenomenon( you do agree that this is an existing ball of thought don't you?) to take hold sooner and with more intensity than it's already impending path? How do we make sure that it is known and accepted to show and share concern for the less able (for whatever reason-selfinflicted or random circumstance) as a regular way of life instead of some super great thing that garners red ribbons and photos in the society section. Augh! give me a fricken break all you neat people! Sorry, a little anger there! Anyhow, I am wrestling with how to jump start this movement-yea, it actually sounds quite pompous to think it can be jumpstarted and certainly not by this nobody- but this is how it happens. Passionate minds figuring it out. If there is nothing more appealing about being American, that is one of them, the freedom to think and act accordingly!

Ok, I have made the walk and now I'm ready to share...

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Radical had no time limit

Ron,

Sorry for such a belated response. I, too, am a bit of an over-achiever. In fact, balance is probably hard for anyone these days. It's not enough just to work, but as you mention, one must succeed; otherwise poverty comes knocking pretty quickly.

You've said a lot, and I hear you. I think many of us are searching. Some people call what comes next an understanding of enlightened self-interest. Actions towards this end are as varied as people, each of us has a piece of this puzzle. Experts are useful but implementation can be simple and direct amongst the people. Now, without getting too deeply into it I'll tackle on aspect of the issue. Right now we're operating on a scarcity model. The model is subject to manipulation and high-stakes interests to oversimplify the complex workings of the US as well as the dominant global economy. There are alternatives and some are in your community. Others can be studied and implemented such as the Berkshares project, which is a living example of a short-reaching alternative currency currently in use in the Berkshires of Massachusetts. Bartering, and other types of "currency" are elements you can integrate into your own transactions. As I say, we need a little bit of currency to survive in the current paradigm and a little bit to survive in the next. So, self-interest is not drawn in the arena of throwing up one's hands and waiting for, or fearing an evolution, but in finding a way to already be the evolution. So, Caesar wants dollars or yuan, make enough (if you can) to pay him. Your neighbor is a little short but wants to buy a little corner of your property, well, drop the price and structure a time or some other trade agreement. It works. There are lots of books showing how it can work.

Another thing we need to do is wrestle ourselves from thinking that efficiencies and systems of our making are somehow a supreme authority over all else. Just because a person has a car doesn't mean he has to take it everywhere. Just because something is efficient or an investment is going to produce a good return, doesn't mean it's ethical to invest in it, ensuring his own security at the cost of others. Now, it can go on and on and I have definite opinions that are mine alone. Imposing them on you would be unfortunate on many levels. In fact, just by asking your questions, the way I ask my questions is the very beginning. Questioning, critical thinking, is the very beginning of a new type of consciousness, a new way forward. In a way, this is why I requested that leaders might go walking, stripped of laurels, stripped of context. In a way it would directly represent the experience of many people who have suffered due to the market-centrism of our culture and government, but also to impart them with a sense of personal journey. When we are born, after we graduate, or meet any milestone, there is a new cycle, a new self, a new journey that comes to meet us. The radical journey, the one embodied for ages in the image of the fool, the neophyte, is the one I want our leaders to connect to since only a sense of newness will shake them. Rome, meaning the entire old order, has fallen. Just because every brick isn't down, doesn't mean it didn't happen. History, takes a long, long time in the "happening." The time to prepare ourselves is now. Will it result in a direct change in our lives? It will. Will the direct impact be felt more greatly for our inheritors? It might. Enlightened self-interest, a new time is dawning.

You spoke about steps, about recovery and the ideas that could move us towards action. There is a book I recently came across from Knopf. It's by Karen Armstrong, the noted author of books on religion. She is also a TED prize winner, who used her wish to begin the Charter for Compassion. In the newest book, "Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life," Armstrong lays out steps that I think begin this type of handbook you wanted, so people could really learn how to act for change. Environmental change, legal reform, tax reform and so many other types of change need a solid philosophical basis. If compassion is the beginning that seems to be setting people afire then I am willing to go along. Maybe, it's the first handbook of many. It's very possible.

Thanks again for your energy on this!

Papic

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Radical had no time limit

Ron,

Sorry for such a belated response. I, too, am a bit of an over-achiever. In fact, balance is probably hard for anyone these days. It's not enough just to work, but as you mention, one must succeed; otherwise poverty comes knocking pretty quickly.

You've said a lot, and I hear you. I think many of us are searching. Some people call what comes next an understanding of enlightened self-interest. Actions towards this end are as varied as people, each of us has a piece of this puzzle. Experts are useful but implementation can be simple and direct amongst the people. Now, without getting too deeply into it I'll tackle on aspect of the issue. Right now we're operating on a scarcity model. The model is subject to manipulation and high-stakes interests to oversimplify the complex workings of the US as well as the dominant global economy. There are alternatives and some are in your community. Others can be studied and implemented such as the Berkshares project, which is a living example of a short-reaching alternative currency currently in use in the Berkshires of Massachusetts. Bartering, and other types of "currency" are elements you can integrate into your own transactions. As I say, we need a little bit of currency to survive in the current paradigm and a little bit to survive in the next. So, self-interest is not drawn in the arena of throwing up one's hands and waiting for, or fearing an evolution, but in finding a way to already be the evolution. So, Caesar wants dollars or yuan, make enough (if you can) to pay him. Your neighbor is a little short but wants to buy a little corner of your property, well, drop the price and structure a time or some other trade agreement. It works. There are lots of books showing how it can work.

Another thing we need to do is wrestle ourselves from thinking that efficiencies and systems of our making are somehow a supreme authority over all else. Just because a person has a car doesn't mean he has to take it everywhere. Just because something is efficient or an investment is going to produce a good return, doesn't mean it's ethical to invest in it, ensuring his own security at the cost of others. Now, it can go on and on and I have definite opinions that are mine alone. Imposing them on you would be unfortunate on many levels. In fact, just by asking your questions, the way I ask my questions is the very beginning. Questioning, critical thinking, is the very beginning of a new type of consciousness, a new way forward. In a way, this is why I requested that leaders might go walking, stripped of laurels, stripped of context. In a way it would directly represent the experience of many people who have suffered due to the market-centrism of our culture and government, but also to impart them with a sense of personal journey. When we are born, after we graduate, or meet any milestone, there is a new cycle, a new self, a new journey that comes to meet us. The radical journey, the one embodied for ages in the image of the fool, the neophyte, is the one I want our leaders to connect to since only a sense of newness will shake them. Rome, meaning the entire old order, has fallen. Just because every brick isn't down, doesn't mean it didn't happen. History, takes a long, long time in the "happening." The time to prepare ourselves is now. Will it result in a direct change in our lives? It will. Will the direct impact be felt more greatly for our inheritors? It might. Enlightened self-interest, a new time is dawning.

You spoke about steps, about recovery and the ideas that could move us towards action. There is a book I recently came across from Knopf. It's by Karen Armstrong, the noted author of books on religion. She is also a TED prize winner, who used her wish to begin the Charter for Compassion. In the newest book, "Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life," Armstrong lays out steps that I might be a good starter version of this type of handbook you mentioned, so people could really learn how to act for change. Environmental change, legal reform, tax reform and so many other types of change need a solid philosophical basis. All real change, as we know, begins from within and must start with simple principles. If compassion is the beginning that seems to be setting people afire, then I am willing to go along. Maybe, it's the first handbook of many. Maybe it the only one we need. It's very possible that these steps or simply the title is all we need. When someone comes to us, in business, in our family, in groups or communities, how do we respond? Compassion and creativity are often the same line in a thread. Renewed compassion renews creativity. Renewed creativity generates new thinking, new systems and new perspectives. I still think walking the earth a little helps, but when impractical, go for a good book from a hard working source. ;-)

Thanks again for your energy on this!

Papic

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Radical has no time limit

Ron,

Sorry for such a belated response. I, too, am a bit of an over-achiever. In fact, balance is probably hard for anyone these days. It's not enough just to work, but as you mention, one must succeed; otherwise poverty comes knocking pretty quickly.

You've said a lot, and I hear you. I think many of us are searching. Some people call what comes next an understanding of enlightened self-interest. Actions towards this end are as varied as people, each of us has a piece of this puzzle. Experts are useful but implementation can be simple and direct amongst the people. Now, without getting too deeply into it I'll tackle on aspect of the issue. Right now we're operating on a scarcity model. The model is subject to manipulation and high-stakes interests to oversimplify the complex workings of the US as well as the dominant global economy. There are alternatives and some are in your community. Others can be studied and implemented such as the Berkshares project, which is a living example of a short-reaching alternative currency currently in use in the Berkshires of Massachusetts. Bartering, and other types of "currency" are elements you can integrate into your own transactions. As I say, we need a little bit of currency to survive in the current paradigm and a little bit to survive in the next. So, self-interest is not drawn in the arena of throwing up one's hands and waiting for, or fearing an evolution, but in finding a way to already be the evolution. So, Caesar wants dollars or yuan, make enough (if you can) to pay him. Your neighbor is a little short but wants to buy a little corner of your property, well, drop the price and structure a time or some other trade agreement. It works. There are lots of books showing how it can work.

Another thing we need to do is wrestle ourselves from thinking that efficiencies and systems of our making are somehow a supreme authority over all else. Just because a person has a car doesn't mean he has to take it everywhere. Just because something is efficient or an investment is going to produce a good return, doesn't mean it's ethical to invest in it, ensuring his own security at the cost of others. Now, it can go on and on and I have definite opinions that are mine alone. Imposing them on you would be unfortunate on many levels. In fact, just by asking your questions, the way I ask my questions is the very beginning. Questioning, critical thinking, is the very beginning of a new type of consciousness, a new way forward. In a way, this is why I requested that leaders might go walking, stripped of laurels, stripped of context. In a way it would directly represent the experience of many people who have suffered due to the market-centrism of our culture and government, but also to impart them with a sense of personal journey. When we are born, after we graduate, or meet any milestone, there is a new cycle, a new self, a new journey that comes to meet us. The radical journey, the one embodied for ages in the image of the fool, the neophyte, is the one I want our leaders to connect to since only a sense of newness will shake them. Rome, meaning the entire old order, has fallen. Just because every brick isn't down, doesn't mean it didn't happen. History, takes a long, long time in the "happening." The time to prepare ourselves is now. Will it result in a direct change in our lives? It will. Will the direct impact be felt more greatly for our inheritors? It might. Enlightened self-interest, a new time is dawning.

You spoke about steps, about recovery and the ideas that could move us towards action. There is a book I recently came across from Knopf. It's by Karen Armstrong, the noted author of books on religion. She is also a TED prize winner, who used her wish to begin the Charter for Compassion. In the newest book, "Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life," Armstrong lays out steps that I might be a good starter version of this type of handbook you mentioned, so people could really learn how to act for change. Environmental change, legal reform, tax reform and so many other types of change need a solid philosophical basis. All real change, as we know, begins from within and must start with simple principles. If compassion is the beginning that seems to be setting people afire, then I am willing to go along. Maybe, it's the first handbook of many. Maybe it the only one we need. It's very possible that these steps or simply the title is all we need. When someone comes to us, in business, in our family, in groups or communities, how do we respond? Compassion and creativity are often the same line in a thread. Renewed compassion renews creativity. Renewed creativity generates new thinking, new systems and new perspectives. I still think walking the earth a little helps, but when impractical, go for a good book from a hard working source. ;-)

Thanks again for your energy on this!

Papic

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Honestly

Papic,

Each of your posts was read once, I enjoyed the third one the most. The Jesuses that you mention a while back could easily be joined by Karen Armstrong, she is a new hero of mine. Reading her Q & A on the "Twelve Steps" I couldn't help but feel compassion for the questioner. Her answers towered over the questions making them seem like useless taunts used simply to draw out a commanding mix of mind and word.My initial thoughts to use the same concept as a frame for compassion have been trumped. Just as well, I will own the book by weeks end.

Baffled on a daily basis in a business world that revolves around contempt I am graciously surprised by little morsels of hope. One employee's loyal concern over another's purposeful deceit. An old friends eagerness to assist with a mutually beneficial solution over anther friends self-centered suggestions. Good for me, not good for you! "try it you'll like it" Is it too much to ask for a business man to truly do business for the betterment of all involved? Is it a crime to think that everyone really can come out smelling like a rose? Is it really that much more fulfilling to reap more than the other guy or worse to his gross detriment? Ah! baffled is more like disappointed.Sure you get used to anticipating the next coercive move taking a different angle or posturing to pull out, winning the battle, but the war just wages on. Winners and losers constantly waging this mad game to out do each other as if they were in a game of sudden death like "Apocalypto" Settle down, make a deal, go home and enjoy your family. I for one truly believe that everyone can prosper without one having to lose and the other having to win. Its not the same as being threatened by genocide eliciting triumph of good over evil, like some would argue. Its daily interaction of you's and me's looking to lead a fruitful life, isn't it?

Enough complaining about my life and the weirdness that hugs onto my back like an angry orangutan. Pushing the envelope to the next level, now that we're outwardly discussing it, is quite perplexing. I mean, I haven't read Karen's book yet but I can tell already it is of epic insight. How is it possible to graduate this sparse population of like thinkers to coagulate? Maybe we're not so sparse but sheepishly fragmented having a different view. What could be the catalyst necessary for a hardening of wills to stand up and see all those who want the same? Who could be strong enough to call out, being the voice of reason causing all shy believers to speak up, truly? More questions that eventually will have to be answered. That could be it, banter about it for so long and so often that action begins to follow.

Ok, I'll wrap up with a short answer.Besides testing my ideology in my everyday life: protect my back without making a statement; promote frank discussion versus self-centered maneuvering; use reasoning instead of positioning, I will make a concerted effort to bring this topic up for discussion. Proof is in the pudding, right? Whether at dinner or over drinks or hanging out, I'll through it out on the table no less than six times by sunday and just see what kind of response I can conjure up. Yep, a careful selection of varied individuals will be targeted. The "Rome" analogy might be a good starer for one, maybe the concept of "Berkshares" for another.

Either way this was a hugely good post and a crazy good referral to a "so looking forward to author" Karen Armstrong...

Thank you, Papic!

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12 Steps to arrival

And once those are established, we use them for as a platform. Every plateau is just a longer step, on the way to evolution.

Thank you, too Ron for bringing us to a place I wouldn't have gone alone.

Love, Papic

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ALRIGHT!

Papic,

Here we go!

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Arg!

Man, finding time over here is like looking for a needle in a haystack! I'm through the first quarter of K.A's book and so far, a religious history lesson, pretty darn good. No twelve steps yet. I am also pondering, when time permits, what our first moves should be. A collaborative book, if so what that should look like. A written effort of some sort accompanied by large amounts of signatures from concerned others accumulated by you me and other concerned others. This could be introduced to the author herself, hopefully prompting at a minimum, endorsement of a game plan. Full subscription would pack some punch if she so accepted. This is pretty doable in the not so far future, as far as I'm concerned. My time constraints should ease up a bit towards may/june. Hoohoo! Getting excited just thinking or writing about it!!

OK, thats all i got for now. Lets be thinking about what an introduction writing should look like!!

Remember, I wouldn't expect to even approach an introduction without substantial support from big numbers and a good number of influential signatures...Doable, doable!