World Without Tears

( – promoted by buhdydharma )

I’ve been feeling mournful of late.  Can’t say why.  Well I could but you don’t have all day.  Let’s just say things are catching up with me:  torture, war, theft, lies, fraud, corruption, joblessness, homelessness and doing nothing in the face of ecological disaster.

What a shame that we remain at war without reason.  Shame on us.

And what a shame that we continue to blunder down the path to biospheric disaster defying all logic and denying all science.

What is wrong with us?

There are at least two wars ongoing that our government could stop, and would, if they had an ounce of moral fiber…or a lick of sense.

war-suffering-and-madness

It may well soon be time for jubilation should we succeed in electing Barack Obama, but let us also be mindful of non-electoral matters.  The way forward is not going to be easy.

People are dying, losing their homes, their jobs, their savings, their pensions, their retirement.  We see it every day here in the Netroots.  The American people are in trouble and it’s only going to get worse.

Adjust your minds now for we are about to enter a new era of hard times.  People are going to suffer and we are going to have ramp up our efforts to take proper care of each other.  The forces arrayed against us are going to cry that we can’t afford to take care of people…just when our people are most in need.  But it’s high time we took care of the poor and let the rich fend for themselves.

Lucinda Williams – World Without Tears

Sometimes you must lose everything to find your soul.  Let us move forward by coming together in compassion and loving kindness for all sentient beings.  Let us be done with war, hatred, torture, violence, selfishness and cruelty.

May all sentient beings have happiness and its causes,

May all sentient beings be free of suffering and its causes,

May all sentient beings never be separated from bliss without suffering,

May all sentient beings be in equanimity, free of bias, attachment and anger.

Buddhist Prayer

Dalai-Lama-compassion-is-radicalism

There are some three hundred million Americans, over a billion Chinese and over a billion Indians.  All told the population of the earth is approaching seven billion.  That’s a lot of people…or it is until you consider that those are all the people in the entire universe (as far as we know).

For all of our existence as a species we have struggled with what is the proper relationship between people: cooperation or competition, friend or foe, love or hate, kin or ‘other’.  Our behavior toward one another has ranged from genocide to self-sacrifice.  We are at turns, cruel and heartless, warm and gracious, generous and kind.  We are a puzzling and contradictory species given to extremes.

There are those in our time who prefer war to contraception as a means of population control.  They are the same one’s who feel justified in exploiting as many other people as they possibly can for their own exaggerated sense of self-interest.  They don’t mind killing and consider valuable only their own lives and perhaps those closest to them.  Everyone else is a threat or someone to exploit.  Yet they claim Jesus for a spiritual leader.  That would be deliciously ironic if it weren’t so pathetic.

Jesus could have told them a few things about relating to others…oh wait, he did.

“Love one another.”

JHC

Seems simple enough.  How sadly and strangely funny that so many of his most ardent followers don’t get it.  Go figure.

Lucinda Williams – What If

All of our wise men and women have said roughly the same thing.  The golden rule exists throughout all cultures.  Virtually every culture has a tradition of hospitality to strangers.  Even preliterate cultures evolved wisdom accrued from eons of life experience.  And the wise, across cultures, invariably counsel peace and love.  It takes wisdom to see beneath the surface of things, to develop a deep understanding of such a complex existence, to grok the counterintuitive fact that we are not separate, but that we are connected, that we are all one.    

Thich-Nhat-Hanh_MINE_2

Einstein, arguably the smartest man who ever lived, said it.  

Einstein-part-of-a-whole

The hippies said the same thing.  We should have listened to them.  Peace and love y’all, peace and love.

The hippies had it right all along…it’s about time the media, the politicians, the culture as a whole sent out a big, wet, hemp-covered apology.

Mark Morford with h/t to RiaD

Deoliver47 recently diaried about her frustration at being seen as African-American rather than being seen just as herself.   Racism, ageism, sexism, homophobia are all based in fear of the ‘other’.  May we all learn to overcome our fears and to always see the person inside.  May we come to embrace the other, to see ourselves in their faces and to recognize our connectedness.

John Prine – Hello in there

It’s hard for me to look now at free market capitalism as anything other than the train that brought us here, and by ‘here’ I mean to the brink of ruin.  It was always a ruthless and highly exploitive game.  It generated great wealth for the benefit of the few at the expense of the many…and trashed the planet in the process.  It was flawed, if for no other reason than because it was based on unlimited growth on a finite planet.  It was not sustainable.

Instead of patching up the old system, trying to keep those plates in the air, we need to be moving toward a whole new way of living.  The old system is played out, keeping it limping along by throwing money we don’t have at it amounts to putting Band-Aids on bullet wounds…borrowed Band-Aids.  We need to make serious and dramatic changes.  

Here are some thoughts about what we might do, that might actually be steps in the right direction.

We should immediately stop both wars and begin to lead the world toward peace and cooperation.

We should arrest everyone responsible for economic crimes against the American people, seize their assets and bank accounts and return the proceeds to the treasury.  

We should nationalize the armaments, energy, insurance, financial, healthcare and pharmaceutical industries for starters and force them to start doing the right thing for the American people.

But mister pissed off, socialism is such a scary word.

New rule: the only scary words are complacency and failure.

As I say, those are just some thoughts…and maybe not the right ones, but we need to be thinking big.

Check out the writings of my friend Cassiodorus for some serious thought on a post-capitalist eco-social system.  His diaries are challenging reading for non-academics but they are very important.  As he points out, our biggest challenges aren’t political, they’re ecological.

The Obama presidency is likely to be our last chance to get it right, not that I am under any delusion that he would support my solutions.  But whatever we do, we are going to have to be bold and we are going to have to change this country in a big way – and he is our best chance of making that happen.  But he can’t do it without a lot of help from us.

“…vote against McCain, vote for Obama. Even though Obama does not represent any fundamental change, he creates an opening for a possibility of change. Obama will not fulfill that potential for change, unless he is enveloped by a social movement, which is angry enough, powerful enough, insistent enough, that he fills his abstract phrases about change with some content. We need direct action, because only that kind of indignation is going to have some affect on the people in Washington.”

Howard Zinn

Electing Barack Obama is just the first step.  We will then have to work every bit as hard as we have up to this point to ensure that “he is enveloped by a social movement, which is angry enough, powerful enough, insistent enough…”.  

This is our next job and we have proven that we are up to it.

We need to choke the life out of the Military Industrial Complex and refocus our priorities on the well being of the planet and the creative invention of a new and sustainable way of life for us all.

In the mean time we need to take good care of each other.

Venceremos!  Yes we can!

Seal – A Change is Gonna Come

Obama-HOPE-PeaceOut-OPOL

38 comments

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    • OPOL on October 25, 2008 at 6:55 pm
      Author

    and for meeting the challenges that lie ahead.

    • RiaD on October 25, 2008 at 7:14 pm

    imnsfho you have it exactly correct!

    the only profit talked about is how ‘it’ should profit humanity &/or the planet

    ♥~

    btw~

    here is the link to the Morford

    and you may enjoy this link h/t Crashing Vor

    • Robyn on October 25, 2008 at 7:24 pm

    Hence the choice of Tears on my Pillow last night.

    I yearn for better days.

  1. I too have been in a mournful mode lately. For me its been about searching…

    Searching for the gear shift that moves my energies from what buhdy has talked about so often…how do we build again after all the destruction.

    In my mind I see a small window that will open up when/if Obama wins the election and is sworn into office. He’ll need to hear loud and clear from as many of us as possible that we want REAL change, like the kind you have described.  

    • dkmich on October 25, 2008 at 7:37 pm

    • Edger on October 25, 2008 at 8:11 pm

    Great essay, OPOL!

  2. …Again, I’m e-mailing this out to friends.  Your writing is healing, a balm which soothes the anguished soul.  I can’t thank you enough.

    Didn’t have a chance to read Parts VI and III of your story, but I’m going back to them now.

    Thanks for the inspiration.

  3. I’m on board.  Peace out.

  4. Barack Obama is not the revolution, but he’ll open the door that begins to let the revolution in.  And he won’t do it because he wants to, but because the force of circumstances–the avalanching disarray of the global corporate capitalist system and the planetary environment–will compel him to.

    • banger on October 25, 2008 at 11:10 pm

    are not basically political but cultural. Whether it’s capitalism, socialism or monarchy the governing structure reflects the culture. This oligarchy reflects, pretty much exactly the culture we live in. We have to face that fact–there are no evil cabals plotting against “hard working moral people”. There are cabals, there are conspiracies all over the place fighting for power, for easy women (or men), and money and all it can buy. They fight for the easy feeling you get when your posse can strut it’s stuff and the other guys have to get out of the way while you snicker. That’s a really fucking seductive feeling, it really is. The pleasures are very tangy. As is the the sense of “liberation” from common contraints and morality. In big and small ways that’s what our culture has been and is worshipping if you look honestly at popular culture.

    The difference between us and more traditional cultures is that we have not only rebelled against the notion of the commons but the accumulated moral wisdom that goes back millenia. Most people cannot understand someone like Thich Nan Hahn or what you might call the Perennial Philosophy. Most people just need to know what is right and wrong not from some authoritarian religion but from sources like folktales and fairy tales where all the wisdom you need lurks. Even the religions have it if you know where to look (yes, even Christianity has a wisdom tradition as solid as the Dalai Lama–only it got strangled along the way).

    Concepts like honor and courage are just bullshit statements made by politicians or virtues manufactured for awhile on a battlefield useful to fight wars but then when you come home they’ll kick you out of your house not because “they” are Republicans but because they don’t give a shit for anything other than their own sense of power because the commons is not honored so why should they? There’s barely a legal code for it.

    We got to support each other and the Lucinda Williams and all the other artists on this thread who point us to where we need to go. We can do it, we can change the culture and then the pols will follow for sure.

  5. There are those in our time who prefer war to contraception as a means of population control.

    And a great illustration of how bassakward they have just about everything.

    • Viet71 on October 26, 2008 at 1:19 am

    for giving energy to the peasants.

    The peasants need food.

    • Mu on October 27, 2008 at 2:37 am

    Anyway, thank you.  Very much.

    bg

    _________

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