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to the abyss
beneath the polarized & poisonous air
lies the breath of life
the state of being
the realm of beauty, joy & creativity
Seems like my meandering thoughts tend to channel toward composing blogposts or Facebook replies these days. I had been in one of those discussions where I stupidly think I’m going to turn around an extremist point of view. I had expressed the opinion that voter suppression swung the election to Trump. A supporter of that sociopath, excuse me, candidate, replied with outrage, demanding, “What voter suppression?!”
I couldn’t at first remember Greg Palast’s name but went to Democracy Now’s website and found the interview with him on that subject. I posted the link to Facebook and immediately got a reply, “Really, using a left wing conspiracy nutjob to make your case? Pretty weak.” This reply reminded me, once again, how we get our information from sources we trust, he from his, me from mine.
There’s a certain amount of guess work going on but of course I think his sources are right wing propaganda and he thinks mine are left wing “nutjobs.” I do trust my sources. Certain writers, thinkers seem to me to have a solid analysis of what’s going on (Naomi Klein, Michael Parenti and others). I’ve fact-checked them and they come through fine.
Others are obvious mouth pieces for the Koch brothers and their billionaire friends and if that’s all you’re exposed to you’re likely to buy into it. When you then hear another point of view, like Noam Chomsky say, it’s tempting to dismiss it, as the lavishly-funded and so wide-spread Koch POV has been careful to caricature and slander any deviance from their party line. Now you’re invested, identifying, as with religion, with the first POV that got to you – taking criticism of it personally. This is why the Right takes so seriously the task of monopolizing the sources of information, the mainstream media, the universities, public schools etc; They want to rule, to enjoy their power, privilege and property, unhindered by an awakened citizenry.
So my little poem, if you can call it that, expressed the discouragement I felt at the hostile, locked-in-place opinions I often encounter. An escape to another landscape is very appealing. That is available, by stepping back and seeing the political goings on from a cosmic perspective, as the poem does. Another source of solace is the recent, post-inaugural Woman’s March which so lifted my spirits. To be among thousands of cheerful citizens expressing, in good-humored signs and costume, resistance to the hateful agenda of the new regime, that can change your mood in a hurry. To see youthful and not-so youthful demonstrators walking by rows of cops, shaking their hands, even hugging the smiling officers… that can raise your hope threshold a bit.
Enough to entertain a completely ridiculous and modest proposal:
Why not put our great brains to work figuring out how we can divert the energy presently going into chasing money into creating a system that provides food, clothing, shelter, education and healthcare for all the inhabitants of the planet, in a way that doesn’t despoil the life system on which we all depend?
Outlandish as this proposal may seem, if we don’t make it our main priority, along with a commitment to non-violent resolution of conflict, then we will have war and with the kind of weapons available and developing, the planet and its people will perish in nuclear holocaust, if not directly then in the aftermath when the life-system breaks down, from radiation, nuclear winter… or from the pollutants that our life choices are more slowly but definitely disbursing.
The text in bold is taken from one of the Facebook debates mentioned… but back to the cosmic. Macro and Micro infinity, makes ya feel small but when you shift attention away from predations emanating out of the White House and vicinity and simply observe the thoughts and emotions coursing through you, and below that, when you let them go, the felt experience of being brings such peace and joy that none of that other stuff matters much.
Ironically though, out of this state, that Tolle calls enlightenment, will come, or could come, or might come, the world of peace and justice and environmental sustainability we crave, because with ego diminished by presence is gone the fear at the root of war, selfishness, greed, in a word, the dysfunction carrying us at speed to the abyss.
- Image: “Alternate Realm” is a painting by the author, Tom Ferguson.