Sunday, July 17, 2011

Fitting In, In Our Quest for Truth

     In our quest for truth we meet with obstacles that disallow us from going into darker corners of reality and therefore we trip, we stumble and sometimes we fall hard.  If and when we get up we may pick up where we left off or go deeper into denial.  I have come to learn this from my own experience as well as talking to others who have tried.
     I was recently reminded of David Korten’s book, The Great Turning and how he walks the reader through different stages of consciousness maturity that I’ve summarized below.  He says most are part of the third stage called, Socialized Consciousness:

The majority, willing to fit in with the prevailing culture whose focus in on values and morals.

     I sometimes find myself torn between this and the next stage as I like to “fit in” and be accepted by others, but the core of who I am falls more into the fourth stage, which Korten calls, Cultural Consciousness.  This stage can emerge after age 30 though not always and is more about focusing on an inclusive worldview founded on liberal ideas.  I find myself wanting to reside in the latter, but because of struggling to be accepted by the majority, I find myself back in the Socialized Consciousness stage at times.
     I admire those who are secure enough with their own beliefs and find it more important to work towards creating rather than being concerned about acceptance.  They say the latter may come once people discover what they can create together, and in the meantime they would rather spend their energy on creating, as change in others will only come from within, if it happens at all.
     I still remember what it felt like having a foot in both worlds, one where most are struggling to survive and/or happily ignorant and the one I find myself in now, where I’m accepted by the few and shunned by the many who are still part of the first stage which Korten says is normal for children from ages two to six.  This is the Magical Consciousness stage:

 Focusing on powerful, magical beings
who may be
charitable or malicious in nature
spreading goodwill or creating harm.

     Over the past seven years while entertaining guests with some commonalities we’ve learned to hone our skills and to not be afraid to ask questions.  I still remember feeling reluctant to share our blog as I didn’t want them to think we were “doomers”.  Now it’s part of our first email response, kind of “read at your own risk” as your illusion of who we are may change after reading, though we don’t accept responsibility for the pain it may cause you.
     In our attempt to find our co-housing partners, we have had to change our ad many times with more specifics of what we’re looking for.  We agreed that next to being able to share expenses our other main objective was to find others who understand the predicament we’re in and ready to do the work to secure the necessary things needed to sustain us, mainly food, water, housing and clothing.
     We strive to be open and honest hoping we get the same in return, though we try not to have expectations.  I think this would make a good fifth agreement (see Don Miguel Ruiz’s book, The Four Agreements), “Don’t have expectations”, though some may disagree since the third agreement is: “Don’t make assumptions”, which can mean the same thing.
     It’s hard not to build on enthusiasm and hope for the best outcome though sometimes short-lived, then there are other times we learn quickly that the mechanism isn’t there to make the wheels go round to continue moving forward.  It’s been an interesting ride and the experience we’ve gained in improving our communication skills has proved to be invaluable.
     Often times I’m reminded of musical chairs and how I hated never having a seat to sit on like all the other players.  Sometimes for the social butterfly it means having to get their wings clipped now and then to experience the quest for truth.  I’m just thankful that the journey has been full of amazing color and beautiful scenery filled with lessons to be learned.  Maybe someday I’ll find myself on the same stage as everyone else dancing to a tune that we all know.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Thanks to a Great Guy!

     Thanks to Guy Mcpherson, for helping us connect with others trying to unplug from the system.  His interest in helping those who want to pull resources together and work towards a simple life preparing for a future with limited resources is genuine and sincere.  I encourage others to read his blog for valuable information.  He gave up a great deal to prepare himself and those longing for a different future.  He unplugged from a system that devours the nature that sustains us.  I even find the comments from his readers to be informative and beneficial, they are educated in many areas relating to the subjects he writes about. 
       After contacting him about the difficult time we’ve had in trying to connect with those who share some our same concerns, he wrote a post, and added a Classifieds section to his website where our ad appears.
       Recently he referred a couple to us in regards to our ad and what we’re trying to set up at our homestead.  With his help we found our perfect match and we hope going forward the day will come when we can finally remove our ad from all sites, including his, which I’m sure will put a bright feather in his cap not to mention a smile on his face.
       This couple like so many others want to unplug from the fake system that’s been established making most keep reaching for the unreachable at all costs.  Our emails back and forth led to a visit sharing the homestead and enjoying good conversation, good food and good people.
       We spent a couple of days together discussing, working and supporting each other.  We laughed and cried while sharing stories of our lives being part of the “establishment”.  Throughout our time together we developed a friendship that was based on mutual respect and understanding while discovering more about ourselves and what we’ve endured in trying to find just another couple of people to share what we have to offer.
       Though we live in different worlds now, we found commonalities to build on going forward.  We talked about possibilities and for once felt we were understood.  Sharing strengths as well as weaknesses make us vulnerable to understand the complexities as well as the easiness of building relationships.  From breaking bread together to star gazing in the dark country night, we shared a closeness that is seldom developed in such a short amount of time.
       Since we started trying to connect, we have yet to find such passion, openness and honesty and even if this doesn’t work, it has renewed our hope that there are others like us who need a hand in walking away from the brokenness of society. 
       Except for the couple of emails and one phone call, we were strangers, yet as strangers we were able to discuss things that are unspeakable with other friends or family members.  This felt refreshing though sad. 
       We never expected to have so many of the boxes checked off our list of character traits we wished for and hope that we can make it happen for the good of all.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

No Fireworks, Only Shooting Stars

     Out of the blue the other day in a small second hand store in Eugene, a lady approached me holding up a vest and said,

“I was wondering if I could get your opinion, do you think anyone would wear this?”

     She held up a hanger that displayed the front of a vest.  Half of it had red and white stripes on it and the other half was dark blue with white stars.  I never asked to see the back before I quickly answered,

“I wouldn’t wear it.”

     Soon after a clerk in the store cheerfully chimed in,

“It’s perfect for the Fourth.”

     I confidently went on my way knowing I answered truthfully without feeling ashamed.  I notice that this gets easier for me every day I live to embrace collapse.
     This dialog I had came back to me this morning while reading Dmitry Orlov’s blog and seeing the t-shirts that he’s offering for a donation.  Now that’s something I would sport, fashion at it’s finest, perfect for the Fourth.
     Some of the fireworks started last night; I could hear them at a distance as I tried to fall asleep.  I dreamed of the time sitting in our Ford galaxy in my pj’s watching the design of hand-selected fireworks that created scenes of a play in the sky.  Hand clapping could be heard in between the blasts and whistling noises as the fireworks illuminated the streets as well as silhouettes of the people watching. 
     Gathering of people in a nearby park appearing like a community smiling in harmony.  What a dream that was, then I woke up and not so cheerfully I was once again reminded of the country I live in. 
     Us doomers have heard it before, “love it, or leave it”, but my take is I’m loving how it’s changing, unraveling, coming apart.  Why would I want to leave now?  I’m enjoying myself as I respond to many more emails from people wanting to change the way they live. 
     So why did the lady in the store ask me about the vest?  What exactly was the question?  Like Carlin said in his performance, Life is Worth Losing,

“Life is filled with interesting things, that’s why I could never commit suicide, I’m having too much fun keeping an eye on you folks.”

     It is interesting to observe and listen to friends tell you what you told them three years ago.  I can see the predicaments that some are in and I see what they’re doing to get out of them, ways that are very different than what was used in the past.  Bankruptcy was unheard of until corporations led the way and we all know what the bankers have done.
     Many people today are walking away from mortgages that they’ll never pay off in their lifetimes, some buying big ticket items and enjoying what they have to offer, from huge televisions where they say their entertained by watching main stream media lie to them, or 4-wheelers they can use to escape to the high country and sailboats that allow them to leave the shore in search of bluer waters.  Yes, George it is interesting to watch and listen, and you were right, it’s a big club and we’re not in it.
     As I celebrate my deliverance from believing we have independence, I sit and watch the robin out front building her nest preparing for what’s to come and I wonder what the Fourth of July would look like with people sitting at tables graced with food from gardens of many colors besides red, white and blue. 
     No, I won’t be stuffing my mouth with a hot dog this Fourth of July, instead I’ll gracefully accept the bowl of strawberries just picked and the only ripened tomato that I’ll have to share.  And no, I won’t be dressed like a flag watching fireworks, but you may find me in my pj’s watching the shooting stars.