As I observe the media responses to the "Occupy Wall Street" movement, what comes to mind is a wonderful quote by Gandhi: "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, and then you win."
It seems to me that those opposed to the message of this movement have recently shifted from phase one - ignoring the energy of the movement - to phase two, which involves ridicule of the individuals who have dedicated themselves to the cause. On Fox News yesterday I watched the so-called "news" commentators belittling the protesters for using their laptops, as if somehow this protest against financial corruption implied a concurrent moral aversion to the use of technology. They also laughed along with Donald Trump, who had called in to the program, when he asserted his belief that most of the young people were probably there to "find dates."
We're also observing a scaled implementation of phase three - fighting - which began with the mass arrests of protesters by police officers who aligned themselves with the power/dominator corporatists who fund and control our government officials. Ironically, those officials are paying police salaries using our taxpayer dollars, which means the people we've hired to protect us have now become bullies who oppress us in the name of "social order" to preserve their own jobs. But as we've seen too many times before in human history, the fear of losing their jobs can cause people to behave in ways that run counter to their own moral code of conduct. That explains why so many police officers purposefully corralled a large number of peaceful protesters on the Brooklyn Bridge, entrapping them into moving into the street. They then gave themselves permission to abuse their legal authority in an effort to intimidate the people and undermine the energy of the protest.
Strangely enough, while the rather miniscule Tea Party movement was breathlessly covered by the media as a powerful social movement for change, the growing and highly energetic "Occupy Wall Street" movement was ignored for nearly two weeks. Why the difference? Perhaps it's because the message of the Tea Party aligned perfectly with the agenda of the media moguls who control the dissemination of information in our modern society. That message - to destroy governmental power and elevate corporatism as the highest form of social organization - grants enormous powers to those who control the global flow of money. Not coincidentally, it also robs the general public of the means by which to resist the power elite. The thinking goes something like this: take away a man's food, shelter, health and means of survival, and his ability to fight injustice diminishes because his attention becomes redirected toward simple survival. What that thought process fails to take into account however, is that a person who finally feels he has nothing left to lose is the most dangerous person of all. Even so, it seems those who are attached to the power/dominator social model, which relies on intimidation and coercion to control the behavior of others, are constitutionally incapable of overreaching to the point of self-destruction. Since aggressive domination lies at the very heart of the model, the model doesn't seem to know when to cease dominating others out of the realization that excessive domination turns an energy of resistance back on itself.
"Occupy Wall Street," as opposed to the Tea Party movement, points its finger at the root of social injustice, and demands we solve the problem of aggressive domination instead of continue to mitigate the worst symptoms of continued social injustice. Welfare, food stamps, unemployment insurance, the renegotiation of criminally high mortgage loan balances and rates - all are attempts to mitigate symptoms instead of address the underlying social disease. So what IS the disease, and how do we cure it?
I would postulate that the social disease we presently face is the false belief that everything is separate, and that so-called "individuals" can therefore freely exploit nature, resources, ecosystems and even other human beings for personal gain. For centuries now we've been enamored of the belief that everything we observe in our material world is a discrete object, a passive noun, and that when the noun is energized (by a verb) it is activated. What we're just now coming to realize is that nouns and verbs are human conventions, and that life itself is not so neatly divisible. No noun exists that is not internally verbing to some extent; likewise, no verbish energy exists that is not flowing and manifesting through some noun. The whole of reality is therefore already alive and humming with order and purpose; it's only our limited sensory perspective that causes us to miss this powerful Truth. We look at a chair and see a passive object, but if we turn an electron microscope onto it we discover that every atom within the chair is teeming with ordered activity. Every molecular bond that has formed to build and hold the form that is the chair represents a miniature social contract that obeys the underlying laws of our universe. The chair is chair because the atoms have all agreed to make it so, and will continue to do so until their contract ends - at which point the chair as we know it will cease to be. The atoms, however, will carry on, forging new social contracts with other atoms to bring other temporary forms into this world. They are assisted at times by cosmic consciousness flowing through human minds, and at other times by cosmic consciousness flowing through nonhuman forms. Always though, it is cosmic consciousness that dictates the direction of life's evolutionary flow, whether it does so through human beings or through some other living means at its disposal. We are each therefore tools of the ONE Source, not separate objects acting in disconnection from that Source. The only question then, is whether we realize our true nature, or falsely believe we are acting on our own.
If everything is alive, and everything is interconnected and directed by a single Source, there is no such thing in our world as a "self-made man." We are each here by grace, and we reflect the evolutionary manifestations of all that has come before us. We exist because we are supported by the entire infrastructure of the cosmos, from our nurturing planet to our heat-giving sun, to the galaxy that controls and contains our sun, to the intergalactic cluster that contains and connects our galaxy to all others. If any one of those connections break, we are at risk of total species extinction. To understand that at the deepest level of our psyche is to realize our true place in the cosmos, and to humbly regard ourselves in our proper cosmic context.
That humanity has, for many centuries now, placed our desire for money and power above a reverent relationship with our own living planet - and with each other - is a reflection of our lack of awareness of the interconnectedness of everything. It isn't evil that drives us then; it's childish ignorance. Even modern science has failed us here, because most of our scientific theories cling to the belief that what's alive and subjective inside every object is less material than its objective properties. The assumption that we can come to know the totality of the whole through the simple dissection of its parts down to some mythical lowest common denominator misses the highest truth of life itself, which is that the whole is - always and ever - greater than the simple sum of its parts. Modern science fails to focus on these connections, and instead seeks to define reality by mathematically summing up all the supposedly observable and individuated objects in the universe, without concerning itself with the added benefit gained by such a conjoinment. Thus the ongoing search for a unified field to bring all of reality together is an impossible quest under the scientific method, because it seeks a summary answer "out there" instead of noticing that any unified field MUST first be found at the closest possible point to the observer - which by definition must be within the pure awareness of the observer. That awareness does not exist outside of the unified field, as modern science seems to assume it does. Pure awareness thus appears to be the magical "something more" that reality has gained by summing itself into a living, unified field.
With this new understanding, this new movement - which is comprised of young and old, rich and poor, people of color and people of Western European heritage - is not a movement designed to separate right from left or the wealthy from those who suffer. It is, at heart, a great leap forward in human consciousness, because at heart it's a celebration of life's rich and powerful interconnectivity. As such, violence will not serve its ends, because to do violence against what we're connected to is to do violence unto ourselves. What does serve this rising movement - and will continue to serve it well - is the courage of gnostic conviction of the truth. The conviction that life itself is far more precious than money, that human creativity deserves to be unleashed so we can collectively tackle our problems, and that to trust and love and nurture each other will get us farther than trying to direct and control each other for short-term gain is the deeper message underlying this movement. Thus this movement represents the genuine energy of freedom, but a freedom writ large on the psyche of human beings all over the world, as one by one we step into the realization that we are here to serve life, not just self; and that by serving life we ultimately are serving ourselves as enlightened members of the larger living whole. This movement therefore represents the desire of all spirits to be free to self-express and bring their unique capacities and talents into our world. We long to do so in gratitude for this precious gift that is life, which we're experiencing as a temporary form we have come to call the "self."
No amount of ignorance, ridicule or even force can long subvert the Truth of who we are. As Martin Luther King once said, "The arc of the universe is long, but it bends toward justice." When we know ourselves to be inextricably embedded in the infinite, eternal field that is life itself, we discover we have all the time in the world to stand for Truth. That awareness is the ultimate strength of the movement. It will not be suppressed by fear for the survival of our personal bodies, because we recognize these bodies to be but temporary manifestations of the larger living whole that will - always and ever - contain everything that is us. To serve that thus becomes the highest calling a human being can answer. And it is in that service that we find both grace and peace.
So to all those who would ignore, ridicule or attempt to coerce their brothers and sisters into falling silent and ignoring their deepest truth, I exhort you now...notice the truth of who you are and allow it to set you free. Feel your own inner energy vibrating in your own cells, and pay attention to the invisible umbilical cord that is your breath, and that connects you to this world through the gift of life. Accept that you cannot survive or thrive without a healthy, vibrant world to support your existence, and that you cannot feel joy without also feeling love for and toward your fellow man. Step into the truth of your own interbeing, and release the false belief that you are an island. Allow the grace of life to pulse through you and flow lovingly into this world that created and contains you, through you, as you. Bring love into this world by being loving. Bring peace by being peaceful. Bring generosity by being generous of mind and heart and spirit. See where that shift gets you instead of succumbing to the fear that possesses you now.
Fear cannot survive in the light of love, so set yourself on fire and banish the darkness within your own heart. Know there are millions of others who are ready and willing to midwife you into this new reality, and who desire - once enough of us are awakened to our interconnectedness - to design a new society that reflects this truth. A society that serves the whole by empowering all its parts to fully self-actualize will be a society blessed with love and fruitful abundance, and from that abundance all forms of life will be nourished. The whole is always and ever greater than the sum of its discrete parts. So allow the One Source to carry you to greater heights of beingness than you imagine you can achieve or attain on your own. That's grace in action, and it brings to each the peace that passeth all mental understanding.
Namaste, my brothers and sisters, one and all.