community Tagged ‘community’

Burning Man Info 8/25-9/2

Saturday, August 24th, 2013

WHAT IS BURNING MAN?

Trying to explain what Burning Man is to someone who has never been to the event is a bit like trying to explain what a particular color looks like to someone who is blind. In this section you will find the peripheral definitions of what the event is as a whole, but to truly understand this event, one must participate. This site serves to try to paint a picture of the Burning Man experience to those who are new to the project, as well as to give those participants looking to keep the fire burning in their daily lives an environment in which to connect to their fellow community members. For a brief yet eloquent overview of the entire event from the time of arrival to the time of exodus, please read “What is Burning Man?“, an essay written by participant and one-time web team member, Molly Steenson. Please see archived sections for each year to read more about the art themes, art installations and theme camps for each year.

What is Burning Man?

By Molly Steenson

Hurtling down the road to the Black Rock Desert, the colors paint themselves like a spice cabinet — sage, dust, slate gray. Maybe you’re in your trusty car, the one that takes you to and from work every day. Perhaps you’ve got a spacious RV, your Motel 6 on wheels for the next days in the desert. Or you’re driving your glittering art car, complete with poker chips and mirroring to do a disco ball proud.

The two-lane highway turns off onto a new road. You drive slowly onto the playa, the 400 square mile expanse known as the Black Rock Desert. And there you’ve touched the terrain of what feels like another planet. You’re at the end — and the beginning — of your journey to Burning Man.

You belong here and you participate. You’re not the weirdest kid in the classroom — there’s always somebody there who’s thought up something you never even considered. You’re there to breathe art. Imagine an ice sculpture emitting glacial music — in the desert. Imagine the man, greeting you, neon and benevolence, watching over the community. You’re here to build a community that needs you and relies on you.

You’re here to survive. What happens to your brain and body when exposed to 107 degree heat, moisture wicking off your body and dehydrating you within minutes? You know and watch yourself. You drink water constantly and piss clear. You’ll want to reconsider drinking that alcohol (or taking those other substances) you brought with you — the mind-altering experience of Burning Man is its own drug. You slather yourself in sunblock before the sun’s rays turn up full blast. You bring enough food, water, and shelter because the elements of the new planet are harsh, and you will find no vending.

You’re here to create. Since nobody at Burning Man is a spectator, you’re here to build your own new world. You’ve built an egg for shelter, a suit made of light sticks, a car that looks like a shark’s fin. You’ve covered yourself in silver, you’re wearing a straw hat and a string of pearls, or maybe a skirt for the first time. You’re broadcasting Radio Free Burning Man — or another radio station.

You’re here to experience. Ride your bike in the expanse of nothingness with your eyes closed. Meet the theme camp — enjoy Irrational Geographic, relax at Bianca’s Smut Shack and eat a grilled cheese sandwich. Find your love and understand each other as you walk slowly under a parasol. Wander under the veils of dust at night on the playa.

You’re here to celebrate. On Saturday night, we’ll burn the Man. As the procession starts, the circle forms, and the man ignites, you experience something personal, something new to yourself, something you’ve never felt before. It’s an epiphany, it’s primal, it’s newborn. And it’s completely individual.

You’ll leave as you came. When you depart from Burning Man, you leave no trace. Everything you built, you dismantle. The waste you make and the objects you consume leave with you. Volunteers will stay for weeks to return the Black Rock Desert to its pristine condition.

But you’ll take the world you built with you. When you drive back down the dusty roads toward home, you slowly reintegrate to the world you came from. You feel in tune with the other dust-covered vehicles that shared the same community. Over time, vivid images still dance in your brain, floating back to you when the weather changes. The Burning Man community, whether your friends, your new acquaintances, or the Burning Man project, embraces you. At the end, though your journey to and from Burning Man are finished, you embark on a different journey — forever. 9

 

Here you will find links that will take you on a trip through the past – through the history of Burning Man – from its early days on a small beach in San Francisco through its evolution into the bustling city of some 48,000+ people that the Burning Man event has become today. These people make the journey to the Black Rock Desert for one week out of the year to be part of an experimental community, which challenges its members to express themselves and rely on themselves to a degree that is not normally encountered in one’s day-to-day life. The result of this experiment is Black Rock City, home to the Burning Man event.

There are no rules about how one must behave or express oneself at this event (save the rules that serve to protect the health, safety, and experience of the community at large); rather, it is up to each participant to decide how they will contribute and what they will give to this community. The event takes place on an ancient lakebed, known as the playa. By the time the event is completed and the volunteers leave, sometimes nearly a month after the event has ended, there will be no trace of the city that was, for a short time, the most populous town in the entire county. Art is an unavoidable part of this experience, and in fact, is such a part of the experience that Larry Harvey, founder of the Burning Man project, gives a theme to each year, to encourage a common bond to help tie each individual’s contribution together in a meaningful way. Participants are encouraged to find a way to help make the theme come alive, whether it is through a large-scale art installation, a theme camp, gifts brought to be given to other individuals, costumes, or any other medium that one comes up with.

The Burning Man project has grown from a small group of people gathering spontaneously to a community of over 48,000 people. It is impossible to truly understand the event as it is now without understanding how it has evolved. See the first years page and Burning Man 1986 – 1996 for the legendary story of Burning Man’s beginnings and to understand how the event has come to become what it is today. The timeline gives a short overview of what each year looked like. Please also check out the detailed archives for years, 1997 to last year. Within each of these years are descriptions each year’s art theme, theme camps, large art installations, as well as maps, journals of our city being built, the newsletters to the community for each year, issues of the Black Rock Gazette (a daily news publication produced and printed on the playa), and clean up reports for each year, including a list of those sites that failed to “leave no trace”. These pages help understand the larger scope of the entire experience, from the planning that happens year-round to make each event possible, to the clean-up efforts which take place for sometimes months after the city has disappeared.

The impact of the Burning Man experience has been so profound that a culture has formed around it. This culture pushes the limits of Burning Man and has led to people banding together nation-wide, and putting on their own events, in attempt to rekindle that magic feeling that only being part of this community can provide. The Black Rock Arts Foundation promotes interactive art by supporting public art that exists outside the event, and has a special interest in supporting art at regional events. Additionally, Burning Man has over two thousand volunteers who work before, during and after the event (many who work year-round) to make the event a reality. To give of your time and talents, please see the Participate section of the website.

If this is your first visit to this site, a good starting point is the FAQ page, the glossary, and the timeline. From here you can stroll through the carefully archived sections for each year. Community, participation, self-expression, self-reliance; these tenets of Burning Man are lifeblood of the Burning Man experience. Whether you are new to this site or are returning for your umpteenth visit, you are encouraged to delve into these pages to expand your viewpoint and definition of these ideals, and to connect with yourself to find your niche in our community. The giving of yourself is the greatest gift you can give to the Burning Man community, and is imperative to the survival of this unique experiment.

from:    http://www.burningman.com/

Good Guys Are Survivors

Monday, August 12th, 2013

Survival of the … Nicest? Check Out the Other Theory of Evolution

A new theory of human origins says cooperation—not competition—is instinctive.
by Eric Michael Johnson
posted May 03, 2013
Hugging Salt Shakers photo by Harlan Harris

Photo by Harlan Harris.

A century ago, industrialists like Andrew Carnegie believed that Darwin’s theories justified an economy of vicious competition and inequality. They left us with an ideological legacy that says the corporate economy, in which wealth concentrates in the hands of a few, produces the best for humanity. This was always a distortion of Darwin’s ideas. His 1871 book The Descent of Man argued that the human species had succeeded because of traits like sharing and compassion. “Those communities,” he wrote, “which included the greatest number of the most sympathetic members would flourish best, and rear the greatest number of offspring.” Darwin was no economist, but wealth-sharing and cooperation have always looked more consistent with his observations about human survival than the elitism and hierarchy that dominates contemporary corporate life

Nearly 150 years later, modern science has verified Darwin’s early insights with direct implications for how we do business in our society. New peer-reviewed research by Michael Tomasello, an American psychologist and co-director of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, has synthesized three decades of research to develop a comprehensive evolutionary theory of human cooperation. What can we learn about sharing as a result?

Tomasello holds that there were two key steps that led to humans’ unique form of interdependence. The first was all about who was coming to dinner. Approximately two million years ago, a fledgling species known as Homo habilis emerged on the great plains of Africa. At the same time that these four-foot-tall, bipedal apes appeared, a period of global cooling produced vast, open environments. This climate change event ultimately forced our hominid ancestors to adapt to a new way of life or perish entirely. Since they lacked the ability to take down large game, like the ferocious carnivores of the early Pleistocene, the solution they hit upon was scavenging the carcasses of recently killed large mammals. The analysis of fossil bones from this period has revealed evidence of stone-tool cut marks overlaid on top of carnivore teeth marks. The precursors of modern humans had a habit of arriving late to the feast.

However, this survival strategy brought an entirely new set of challenges: Individuals now had to coordinate their behaviors, work together, and learn how to share. For apes living in the dense rainforest, the search for ripe fruit and nuts was largely an individual activity. But on the plains, our ancestors needed to travel in groups to survive, and the act of scavenging from a single animal carcass forced proto-humans to learn to tolerate each other and allow each other a fair share. This resulted in a form of social selection that favored cooperation: “Individuals who attempted to hog all of the food at a scavenged carcass would be actively repelled by others,” writes Tomasello, “and perhaps shunned in other ways as well.”

This evolutionary legacy can be seen in our behavior today, particularly among children who are too young to have been taught such notions of fairness. For example, in a 2011 study published in the journal Nature, anthropologist Katharina Hamann and her colleagues found that 3-year-old children share food more equitably if they gain it through cooperative effort rather than via individual labor or no work at all. In contrast, chimpanzees showed no difference in how they shared food under these different scenarios; they wouldn’t necessarily hoard the food individually, but they placed no value on cooperative efforts either. The implication, according to Tomasello, is that human evolution has predisposed us to work collaboratively and given us an intuitive sense that cooperation deserves equal rewards.

The second step in Tomasello’s theory leads directly into what kinds of businesses and economies are more in line with human evolution. Humans have, of course, uniquely large population sizes—much larger than those of other primates. It was the human penchant for cooperation that allowed groups to grow in number and eventually become tribal societies.

Humans, more than any other primate, developed psychological adaptations that allowed them to quickly recognize members of their own group (through unique behaviors, traditions, or forms of language) and develop a shared cultural identity in the pursuit of a common goal.
“The result,” says Tomasello, “was a new kind of interdependence and group-mindedness that went well beyond the joint intentionality of small-scale cooperation to a kind of collective intentionality at the level of the entire society.”

What does this mean for the different forms of business today? Corporate workplaces probably aren’t in sync with our evolutionary roots and may not be good for our long-term success as humans. Corporate culture imposes uniformity, mandated from the top down, throughout the organization. But the cooperative—the financial model in which a group of members owns a business and makes the rules about how to run it—is a modern institution that has much in common with the collective tribal heritage of our species. Worker-owned cooperatives are regionally distinct and organized around their constituent members. As a result, worker co-ops develop unique cultures that, following Tomasello’s theory, would be expected to better promote a shared identity among all members of the group. This shared identity would give rise to greater trust and collaboration without the need for centralized control.

Moreover, the structure of corporations is a recipe for worker alienation and dissatisfaction. Humans have evolved the ability to quickly form collective intentionality that motivates group members to pursue a shared goal. “Once they have formed a joint goal,” Tomasello says, “humans are committed to it.” Corporations, by law, are required to maximize profits for their investors. The shared goal among corporate employees is not to benefit their own community but rather a distant population of financiers who have no personal connection to their lives or labor.

However, because worker-owned cooperatives focus on maximizing value for their members, the cooperative is operated by and for the local community—a goal much more consistent with our evolutionary heritage. As Darwin concluded in The Descent of Man, “The more enduring social instincts conquer the less persistent instincts.” As worker-owned cooperatives continue to gain prominence around the world, we may ultimately witness the downfall of Carnegie’s “law of competition” and a return to the collaborative environments that the human species has long called home.

from:    http://www.yesmagazine.org/issues/how-cooperatives-are-driving-the-new-economy/survival-of-the-nicest-the-other-theory-of-evolution

Bruce Lipton on Coming Together

Thursday, May 30th, 2013

Our Drive To Bond

Bruce H Lipton

love.jpgThe following is an excerpt from The Honeymoon Effect: The Guide to Creating Heaven on Earth by Bruce H. Lipton, Ph.D., recently published by Hay House. 

It is beyond our imagination to conceive of a single form of life that exists alone and independent, unattached to other forms.
—Lewis Thomas

 

If you’re a survivor of multiple failed relationships, you may wonder why you keep trying. I can assure you that you don’t persist just for the (sometimes short-lived) good times. And you don’t persist because of TV ads featuring loving couples on tropical islands. You persist, despite your track record and despite dismal divorce statistics, because you are designed to bond. Human beings are not meant to live alone.

There is a fundamental biological imperative that propels you and every organism on this planet to be in a community, to be in relationship with other organisms. Whether you’re thinking about it consciously or not, your biology is pushing you to bond. In fact, the coming together of individuals in community (starting with two) is a principle force that drives biological evolution, a phenomenon I call spontaneous evolution, which I cover in depth in the book of the same name.

There are, of course, additional biological imperatives designed to ensure individual and species survival: the drive for food, for sex, for growth, for protection, and the ferocious, inexplicable drive to fight for life. We don’t know where or how the will to live is programmed into cells, but it is a fact that no organism will readily give up its life. Try to kill the most primitive of organisms and that bacterium doesn’t say, “Okay, I’ll wait until you kill me.” Instead, it will make every evasive maneuver in its power to sustain its survival.

When our biological drives are not being fulfilled, when our survival is threatened, we get a feeling in the pit of our stomach that something is wrong even before our conscious minds comprehend the danger. That gut feeling is being felt globally right now—many of us are feeling that pit in our stomach as we ponder the survivability of our environmentally damaged planet and of the human beings who have damaged it. Most of this book focuses on how individuals can create or rekindle wonderful relationships, but in the last chapter I’ll explain how the energy created by “Heaven on Earth” relationships can heal the planet and save our species.

That’s a tall order, I know, but we have at hand an extremely successful model for creating healing relationships that will ultimately lead to the healing of our planet. As the ancient mystics have said, “The answers lie within.” The nature and power of harmonious relationships can be seen in the community of the trillions of cells that cooperate to form every human being. This might at first seem strange to you because when you look in the mirror, you might logically conclude that you are a single entity. But that is a major misperception! A human being is actually a community made up of 50 trillion sentient cells within a “skin-covered” Petri dish, a surprising insight I’ll explain further in Chapter 3.  As a cell biologist, I spent many hours happily studying the behavior and fate of stem cells in plastic culture dishes. The trillions of cells within each skin-covered human body live far more harmoniously than feuding couples and strife-ridden human communities. This is one excellent reason why we can learn valuable insights from them: 50 trillion sentient cells, 50 trillion citizens living together peacefully in a remarkably complex community. All the cells have jobs. All the cells have health care, protection, and a viable economy (based on an exchange of ATP molecules, units of energy biologists often refer to as the “coin of the realm”). In comparison, humanity’s job—figuring out the logistics of how a relatively measly seven billion humans can work together in harmony—looks easy. And compared to the 50-trillion-celled-cooperative human community, each couple’s job—figuring out how two human beings can communicate and work together in harmony—seems like a piece of cake (though I know that at times it seems like the hardest challenge we face on Earth).

I grant you that single-celled organisms, which were the first life forms on this planet, spent a lot of time—almost three billion years—figuring out how to bond with one another. Even I didn’t take that long! And when they did start coming together to create multicellular life forms, they initially organized as loose communities or “colonies” of single-celled organisms. But the evolutionary advantage of living in a community (more awareness of the environment and a shared work load) soon led to highly structured organisms composed of millions, billions, and then trillions of socially interactive single cells.

These multicellular communities range in size from the microscopic to those easily seen by the naked eye: a bacterium, an amoeba, an ant, a dog, a human being, and so on. Yes, even bacteria do not live alone; they form dispersed communities that keep in constant communication via chemical signals and viruses.

Once cells figured out a way to work together to create organisms of all sizes and shapes, the newly evolved multicellular organisms also started to assemble into communities themselves. For example, on the macro level, the aspen tree (Populus tremuloides) forms a super organism made up of large stands of genetically identical trees (technically, stems) connected by a single underground root system. The largest known, fully connected aspen is a 106-acre grove in Utah nicknamed Pando that some experts contend is the largest organism in the world.

The social nature of harmonious multiorganism societies can provide fundamental insights directly applicable to human civilization. One great example is an ant, which, like a human being, is a multicellular social organism; when you take an ant out of its community it will die. In fact, an individual ant is really a suborganism; the true organism is actually represented by the ant colony. Lewis Thomas described ants this way: “Ants are so much like human beings as to be an embarrassment. They farm fungi, raise aphids as livestock, launch armies into war, use chemical sprays to alarm and confuse enemies, capture slaves, engage in child labor, exchange information ceaselessly. They do everything but watch television.”

Nature’s drive to form community is also easy to observe in mammalian species, such as horses. Rambunctious colts run around and irritate their parents just as human children can. To get the colts in line, their parents nip their offspring as a form of negative reinforcement. If those little bites don’t work, the parents move on to the most effective punishment of all—they force the misbehaving colt out of the group and do not let it return to the community. That turns out to be the ultimate punishment for even the friskiest, least controllable colt, which will do anything in its behavioral capacity to rejoin the community.

As for human communities, we can fend for ourselves as individuals longer than a single ant can, but we’re likely to go crazy in the process. I’m reminded of the movie Cast Away in which Tom Hanks plays a man who is marooned on an island in the South Pacific. He uses his own bloody hand to imprint a face on a Wilson Sporting Goods volleyball he calls “Wilson” so he can have someone to talk to. Finally, after four years, he takes the risky step of venturing off the island in a makeshift raft because he’d rather die trying to find someone to communicate with than stay by himself on the island, even though he has figured out how to secure food and drink—that is, how to survive.

Most people think that the drive to propagate is the most fundamental biological imperative for humans, and there’s no doubt that reproduction of the individual is fundamental to species survival. That’s why for most of us sex is so pleasurable—Nature wanted to ensure that humans have the desire to procreate and sustain the species. But Hanks doesn’t venture off the island to propagate; he ventures off the island to communicate with someone other than a volleyball.

For humans, coming together in pairs (biologists call it “pair coupling”) is about more than sex for propagation. In a lecture entitled “The Uniqueness of Humans,” neurobiologist and primatologist Robert M. Sapolsky explains how unique humans are in this regard:

“Some of the time, though, the challenge is we’re dealing with something where we are simply unique—there is no precedent out there in the animal world. Let me give you an example of this. A shocking one. Okay. You have a couple. They come home at the end of the day. They talk. They eat dinner. They talk. They go to bed. They have sex. They talk some more. They go to sleep. The next day they do the same exact thing. They come home from work. They talk. They eat. They talk. They go to bed. They have sex. They talk. They fall asleep. They do this every day for 30 days running. A giraffe would be repulsed by this. Hardly anybody out there has non-reproductive sex day after day and nobody talks about it afterward.”

For humans, sex for propagation is crucial until a population stabilizes. When human populations reach a state of balance and security, sex for propagation decreases. In the United States, where most parents expect their children to survive and also expect that they themselves won’t be out on the streets with a cup when they’re old, the average number of offspring per family is less than two. However, any population that is threatened will initiate reproduction earlier and reproduce more—they’re unconsciously doing the calculation that some of their children are not going to survive and that they’ll need more than two children to share the load of helping to support them when they’re old. In India, for example, though the fertility rate dropped 19% in a decade to 2.2, in the poorest areas where families face tremendous challenges to survive, the rate can be three times higher.

But even in societies where the drive to reproduce is curtailed, there is still an incentive for coupling because the drive to bond trumps the drive to procreate. Couples who don’t have children can create wonderful relationships and many make a conscious decision not to have children. In Two Is Enough: A Couple’s Guide to Living Childless by Choice, author Laura S. Scott explores why some forgo the experience. Scott starts off the book with a conversation with a friend’s husband, who was at the time a new dad:

“So why did you get married if you didn’t want kids?” Huh? Love . . . companionship, I blurted. His question startled me, rendering me uncharacteristically short of words . . . He cocked his head and waited for more, his curiosity genuine. In that moment, I recognized just how strange I must have seemed to him. Here was a person who could not imagine life without kids trying to understand a person who could not imagine a life with kids.

Scott started researching the subject and found that according to a 2000 Current Population Survey, 30 million married couples in the United States do not have children and that the United States Census Bureau predicted that married couples with children would account for only 20 percent of households by 2010. Scott also did her own survey of couples who are childless by choice and found that one important motive for not having children was how much the couples valued their relationships. Said one of the surveyed husbands, “We have a happy, loving, fulfilling relationship as we are now. It’s reassuring to think that the dynamic of my relationship with my wife won’t change.”

Perhaps if more people realized that coupling in higher organisms is fundamentally about bonding, not only about the drive to reproduce, there would be less prejudice against homosexuality. In fact, homosexuality is natural and common in the animal kingdom. In a 2009 review of the scientific literature, University of California at Riverside biologists Nathan W. Bailey and Marlene Zuk, who advocate more study about the evolutionary impetus for homosexual behavior, state, “The variety and ubiquity of same-sex sexual behavior in animals is impressive; many thousands of instances of same-sex courtship, pair bonding and copulation have been observed in a wide range of species, including mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, insects, mollusks and nematodes.”7 One example is silver gulls; 21 percent of female silver gulls pair with another female at least once in their lifetimes and 10 percent are exclusively lesbian.

Since we’re driven to form bonds, whether they are homosexual or heterosexual, we need to understand how Nature intended us to bond, which is the topic of this book. Until we successfully learn how to couple, how can we follow the example of cells to create larger cooperative communities? Until we successfully learn how to couple better, the next stage of our evolution, wherein humans assemble to form the larger superorganism humanity, is stalled. If ants can do it, so can we humans!

The good news is that the story of evolution is not only a story of the survival of cooperative communities but also a story of repeating patterns that can be understood through geometry, the mathematics of putting structure into space. Humans didn’t create geometry—they derived it from studying the structure of the Universe because it provides a way of understanding the organization of Nature. As Plato wrote, “Geometry existed before creation.”

The repeating patterns of the new geometry, fractal geometry, reveal a surprising insight into the nature of the Universe’s structure. Even though we know in the pit of our stomach that we are at a crisis point, fractal geometry makes it clear, as I’ll explain later, that the planet has been in dire straits before. Each time, though there were casualties along the way (most notoriously dinosaurs), something better emerged out of the crisis.

The mathematical computations involved in fractal geometry are actually quite simple; equations use only multiplication, addition, and subtraction. When one of these equations is solved, the answer is reinserted into the original equation and solved again. This “recursive” pattern can be repeated infinitely. When fractal equations are repeatedly solved over a million times (computations made possible by the advent of powerful computers), visual geometric patterns emerge. It turns out that an inherent characteristic of fractal geometry is the creation of ever-repeating, “self-similar” patterns nested within one another. The traditional Russian matryoshka doll provides a great image for understanding fractal patterns. A symbol of motherhood and fertility, the doll is actually a set of wooden dolls of decreasing size that nest into each other. Each doll is a miniature though not necessarily exact replica of the larger ones.

Just like Russian nesting dolls, the repeating patterns in Nature make its fractal organization clear. For example, the pattern of twigs on a tree branch resembles the pattern of limbs branching off the trunk. The pattern of a major river is similar to the patterns of its smaller tributaries. In the human lung, the pattern of branching along the large bronchus airway is repeated in the smaller bronchioles. No matter how complicated organisms are, they display repetitive patterns.

These iterative patterns help make the natural world more comprehensible. Despite the evolution of increasing complexity in the structure of cooperative multicellular communities, the amazing fact is that in the physiology of humans—the organisms that are presumably at the top of the evolutionary ladder—there are no new functions that aren’t already present in simple cells at the bottom of the evolutionary ladder. Digestive, excretory, cardiovascular, nervous, and even immune systems are present in virtually all of the single cells that comprise our bodies. Show me a function in your human body and I’ll show you where it originally arose in the single cell. These repeating fractal patterns mean that everything we learn from Nature’s simple organisms applies to more complex organisms as well as to us humans. So if you want to understand the nature of the Universe, you don’t have to take on the whole thing—you can study its components as I did when I was a cell biologist. Fractal geometry’s repeating patterns provide a scientific framework for the principle that mystics call “as above, so below.” We are clearly part of the Universe, not an add-on afterthought whose job is to “conquer” Nature.

A biosphere built on the repetitive patterns of fractal geometry also offers an opportunity to predict the future of evolution by looking back on its history. In contrast, conventional Darwinian theory holds that evolution is initiated by random mutations, genetic “accidents,” which implies that we cannot predict the future. But following in the footsteps of cells, our future should be one of more and more cooperation and more and more harmony so that humans (starting with pair-bonded twos) can learn to cooperate to form the larger evolved communal organism defined as humanity.
Instead of cursing our bad luck in relationships, we need to recognize that our efforts at bonding are a fundamental drive of Nature and that these bonds can be cooperative and harmonious. We need to heed Rumi’s sage advice: “Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.” When we start living in harmony with Nature (and with ourselves), we can move on to creating The Honeymoon Effect in our lives, where relationships are based on love, cooperation, and communication. In the next chapter, we’ll explore the most fundamental form of communication among organisms: energy vibrations.

from:    http://www.realitysandwich.com/honeymoon_effect

The “Mutual Class”

Friday, March 29th, 2013

From the Middle Class to the Mutual Class

Paul Glover

felipe.jpg

 

Americans have the tools and money to create an America where all workers are employed, whose every square mile is beautiful; whose cities are safe playgrounds for children; whose food is fresh and affordable; whose waters are clean from sea to crystal sea.  An America run by Americans for Americans is fully capable of rebuilding all homes so they’re earthquake-proof, hurricane-proof, tornado-proof, flood-proof, drought-proof, fireproof, and bank-proof.  When Americans take control of money, we are wealthy enough to build an America where it’s easy to stay healthy and to get healed; where costs of living get smaller and our lives get bigger.

What blocks these goals?  Both Us and Them.

On the one hand, all of America’s institutions have become too big to change.  Like sumo wrestlers in a basketball game, they move too slow.  Big Government, Big Oil, Big Insurance, Big Finance, Big Agriculture, Big Highway, Big Education, Big Military, Big Prison, Big Police, Big Poverty — these feed on disaster and control.  They no longer exist primarily to fix problems, but to grow.

Then on the other hand, millions of us are employed by these institutions to enforce the past.  Millions of us depend on their stocks.  Many of us watch their commercials and obey their laws.  Many prefer dull safety to risky action, even to save America.  We drive straight, even when the road curves.

Therefore American politics wallows like a car stuck in mud with an elephant sitting on the roof, dragged by a lazy donkey, going nowhere but deeper.

As a result, the Middle Class dream has become a burden sinking millions through mortgage, insurance, utilities, tuition, credit card fees, cars and fashion.  Consumerism by liberals and conservatives alike has depleted America’s essential resources and our national sovereignty.

The next American generations will never achieve Middle Class excess.  That’s good for the planet and tough for them.  Fortunately, though, Millennials can become a prosperous Mutual Class by starting genuinely nonprofit mutual aid systems that enable them to live well by sharing resources.  Such programs were widespread and successful one hundred years ago.

Through them we create millions of jobs that revive our neighborhoods.  We give ourselves raises by lowering prices.  And all our current skills are employed while we enjoy new talents.

Young and old, we will become the government as we create these regional food systems and regional stock exchanges, establish green co-housing programs and green labor administrations, reduce dependence on fossil fuels toward zero, replace automobile space with train and bike space, convert vacant urban land into greenhouses and orchards, develop co-operative health plans and clinics, issue our own education credentials and our own community money.

Such local systems prepare us to take power by creating parallel authority.  By taking power together we regain time for creative individuality.  We move from dependence to ownership.

The Mutual Class will also pioneer Mutual Enterprise — local businesses committed to community, ecology, and social justice.

Let’s look at a sample Mutual Day.  We start with sex and music, then breakfast.  We walk or bike to work, four days per week.  After three hours work, we return home for a long lunch and sex, or we eat with co-workers: we discuss work plans, utility and durability of product, marketing, sales, prices and wages.  Then two more hours of work.  We have time and energy for an afternoon stroll or game, then prepare dinner, make music, make love (Why so much sex?  Because we’re relaxed).  We finish with an evening stroll in our beautiful neighborhood.

To achieve such better dreams, Americans must at the same time confront anti-American institutions.  Laws that forbid urgent change are a cage for us to die in.  Regulations must be broken when they block American liberation from debt, layoffs, foreclosure and bankruptcy, earthquakes, tornados, floods, heat waves, cold snaps, blackouts and traffic jams.

This is merely the revolutionary American tradition that ended slavery, gained votes for women, won the eight-hour workday, secured civil rights, and started this nation.  By contrast, conferences and elections are powerless displays.

Yet the most direct path to deflate bad authority is to withdraw personal dependence.  Time to leave the car in the mud and get back on track.  Use train, bike or feet rather than car.  Shop less and shop local.  Move your money into a local bank or credit union.  Insulate your housing.  Be a creator, not a consumer.  Eat less meat or none.  Have one or fewer children.

The next America will look entirely different than the one we know.  We’ll have fun building it and our grandchildren will thank us.  America went to the moon.  Now America will go to the future.

 

from:    http://www.realitysandwich.com/middle_class_mutual

On Co-ops

Thursday, February 28th, 2013

Just the Facts: What’s So Good About Co-ops?

Why support the co-ops in your community? The benefits might be further-reaching than you think.
posted Feb 20, 2013

Just the Facts 65

 

This infographic is excerpted from How Cooperatives Are Driving the New Economy, the Spring 2013 issue of YES! Magazine.

 

 

from:    http://www.yesmagazine.org/issues/how-cooperatives-are-driving-the-new-economy/just-the-facts-what-s-so-good-about-co-ops

Ervin Lazlo on Akasha Thinking

Thursday, August 2nd, 2012

Akasha Think

by Ervin Laszlo on July 31, 2012

“You can’t solve a problem with the same kind of thinking that gave rise to the problem”       — Albert Einstein

There is something new on the horizon — a new kind of thinking. One that could solve the problem — the entire complex conglomeration of challenges that makes our world unsustainable, intolerant, and prone to violence. This is not thinking out of the blue: It is thinking that has been around for thousands of years. What is new is that it’s rediscovered — of all things, at the cutting edge of the sciences. It is “Akasha think.”

In this column with my Akashic “A-team” I will review for you the principal dimensions of Akasha think — the rediscovered revolutionary concept of life and universe, and freedom, wholeness, and wellbeing. New answers to questions we have all been asking since the beginnings of time.

Adam and Eve, Socrates and Plato, Constantine and the Crusaders, Henry VIII and Pope Clement VII, Hitler and Churchill, Mother Teresa, Martin Luther King and Gandhi, yes even now Obama and Romney are giving us answers. Every answer has been given thinking that it is right. Yet with each delivery, the great divides are inexorably forged — in color, creed, genders and territories. How many answers were really right? Right now, as our precious world cries out because of the collateral damage of all our answers, how many of our answers, your answers, about the economy, education, energy, your health and life, can you be sure are right?

Try Akasha think. Here you get different answers. Find out what they can do for you — and through you, for the world.

Are you ready? Here is a question that can get you started:

What Is Akasha Consciousness — For You?

What is Akasha consciousness for you, a dream — or a nightmare? Or could it be your own deep consciousness — “re-cognized” for what it really is? Your answer could make a difference — a difference to you and to the world. See how you resonate with the 16 ideas that hallmark this consciousness.

1. I am part of the world. The world is not outside of me, and I am not outside of the world. The world is in me, and I am in the world.

2. I am part of nature, and nature is part of me. I am what I am in my communication and communion with all living things. I am an irreducible and coherent whole with the web of life on the planet.

3. I am part of society, and society is part of me. I am what I am in my communication and communion with my fellow humans. I am an irreducible and coherent whole with the community of humans on the planet.

4. I am more than a skin-and-bone material organism: my body, and its cells and organs are manifestations of what is truly me: a self-sustaining, self-evolving dynamic system arising, persisting and evolving in interaction with everything around me.

5. I am one of the highest, most evolved manifestations of the drive toward coherence and wholeness in the universe. All systems drive toward coherence and wholeness in interaction with all other systems, and my essence is this cosmic drive. It is the same essence, the same spirit that is inherent in all the things that arise and evolve in nature, whether on this planet or elsewhere in the infinite reaches of space and time.

6. There are no absolute boundaries and divisions in this world, only transition points where one set of relations yields prevalence to another. In me, in this self-maintaining and self-evolving coherence- and wholeness-oriented system, the relations that integrate the cells and organs of my body are prevalent. Beyond my body other relations gain prevalence: those that drive toward coherence and wholeness in society and in nature.

7. The separate identity I attach to other humans and other things is but a convenient convention that facilitates my interaction with them. My family and my community are just as much “me” as the organs of my body. My body and mind, my family and my community, are interacting and interpenetrating, variously prevalent elements in the network of relations that encompasses all things in nature and the human world.

8. The whole gamut of concepts and ideas that separates my identity, or the identity of any person or community, from the identity of other persons and communities are manifestations of this convenient but arbitrary convention. There are only gradients distinguishing individuals from each other and from their environment and no real divisions and boundaries. There are no “others” in the world: We are all living systems and we are all part of each other.

9. Attempting to maintain the system I know as “me” through ruthless competition with the system I know as “you” is a grave mistake: It could damage the integrity of the embracing whole that frames both your life and mine. I cannot preserve my own life and wholeness by damaging that whole, even if damaging a part of it seems to bring me short-term advantage. When I harm you, or anyone else around me, I harm myself.

10. Collaboration, not competition, is the royal road to the wholeness that hallmarks healthy systems in the world. Collaboration calls for empathy and solidarity, and ultimately for love. I do not and cannot love myself if I do not love you and others around me: We are part of the same whole and so are part of each other.

11. The idea of “self-defense,” even of “national defense,” needs to be rethought. Patriotism if it aims to eliminate adversaries by force, and heroism even in the well-meaning execution of that aim, are mistaken aspirations. A patriot and a hero who brandishes a sword or a gun is an enemy also to himself. Every weapon intended to hurt or kill is a danger to all. Comprehension, conciliation and forgiveness are not signs of weakness; they are signs of courage.

12. “The good” for me and for every person in the world is not the possession and accumulation of personal wealth. Wealth, in money or in any material resource, is but a means for maintaining myself in my environment. As exclusively mine, it commandeers part of the resources that all things need to share if they are to live and to thrive. Exclusive wealth is a threat to all people in the human community. And because I am a part of this community, in the final count it is a threat also to me, and to all who hold it.

13. Beyond the sacred whole we recognize as the world in its totality, only life and its development have what philosophers call intrinsic value; all other things have merely instrumental value: value insofar as they add to or enhance intrinsic value. Material things in the world, and the energies and substances they harbor or generate, have value only if and insofar they contribute to life and wellbeing in the web of life on this Earth.

14. The true measure of my accomplishment and excellence is my readiness to give. Not the amount of what I give is the measure of my accomplishment and excellence, but the relation between what I give, and what my family and I need to live and to thrive.

15. Every healthy person has pleasure in giving: It is a higher pleasure than having. I am healthy and whole when I value giving over having. A community that values giving over having is a community of healthy people, oriented toward thriving through empathy, solidarity, and love among its members. Sharing enhances the community of life, while possessing and accumulating creates demarcation, invites competition, and fuels envy. The share-society is the norm for all the communities of life on the planet; the have-society is typical only of modern-day humanity, and it is an aberration.

16. I recognize the aberration of modern-day humanity from the universal norm of coherence in the world, acknowledge my role in having perpetrated it, and pledge my commitment to restoring wholeness and coherence by becoming whole myself: whole in my thinking and acting — in my consciousness.

If you had an “aha experience” while reading even just one of these ideas, you have the foundations of Akashic consciousness. And if you had this experience all the way through, you already possess this crucial consciousness.

How did you resonate with what you have read? Tell us — and we shall do our best to respond.

Your A-team:

Charlie Stuart Gay, Györgyi Szabo, Kingsley Dennis, Alexander Laszlo, and Ibolya Kapta

Ervin Laszlo is the author of 89 books published in 24 languages, including his bestselling Science and the Akashic Field. His latest book is The Akasha Paradigm, just released on the Internet: http://www.akashaparadigm.com/

from:    http://ervinlaszlo.com/notebook/2012/07/31/akasha-think/#more-1442

Neighborhoods, Communities, & You

Monday, July 2nd, 2012

10 Ways To Love Where You Live

How to build community here and now—because neighborhoods are more than houses in proximity.
by Ross Chapin
posted Jun 14, 2012

 

Greenwood Avenue Cottages photo by Ross Chapin

Greenwood Avenue Cottages, Shoreline, Wash.

Photo by Ross Chapin.

Community is not just for extroverts.

For thousands of years, our ancestors lived in barrios, hamlets, neighborhoods, and villages. Yet in the time since our parents and grandparents were young, privacy has become so valued that many neighborhoods are not much more than houses in proximity.

Now, many activities take place behind locked doors and backyard privacy fences. The street out front is not always safe for pedestrians, and is often out of bounds for children. With families spread across the country and friends living across town, a person who doesn’t know their neighbors can feel isolated and insecure. And when the links among neighbors are weak, security relies on locks, gates, and guns, rather than a closely knit web of connections.

Building a community from scratch is daunting. But the good news is that vibrant communities can grow over time from existing neighborhoods.

Right here, right now: Ten ways to build community.

 

Layers of Privacy photo by Ross Chapin

Neighbors at N Street in Davis, Calif., joined their backyards.

Photo by Ross Chapin.


1.
Move your picnic table to the front yard.See what happens when you eat supper out front. It’s likely you’ll strike up a conversation with a neighbor, so invite them to bring a dish to share.

2. Plant a front yard vegetable garden. Don’t stop with the picnic table. Build a raised bed for veggies and plant edible landscaping and fruit trees. Break your boundaries by inviting your neighbors to share your garden.

3. Build a room-sized front porch. The magic of a good porch comes from both its private and public setting. It belongs to the household while also being open to passersby. Its placement, size, relation to the interior and the public space, and railing height are both an art and a science. Make it more than a tiny covering under which you fumble for your keys; make it big enough to be a veritable outdoor living room.

 

Front Yard Garden photo by Ross Chapin

Front yard garden at Danielson Grove, Kirkland, Wash.

Photo by Ross Chapin.

4. Add layers of privacy.Curiously, giving your personal space more definition will foster connections with neighbors. A secure space will be more comfortable and more often used, which will increase chances for seeing your neighbors—even if only in a passing nod.

But rather than achieving privacy with a tall fence, consider an approach with layers: a bed of perennial flowers in front of a low fence, with a shade tree to further filter the view. These layers help define personal boundaries, but are permeable at the same time.

5. Take down your backyard fence. Join with your neighbors to create a shared safe play space for children, a community garden, or a wood-fired pizza oven. In Davis, Calif., a group of neighbors on N Street did just that. Twenty years later, nearly all the neighbors around the block have joined in.

If that’s too radical, consider cutting your six-foot fence to four feet to make chatting across the fence easier, or building a gate between yards.

Backyard Fence photo by Ross Chapin

Layers of privacy at Greenwood Avenue Cottages in Shoreline, Wash.

Photo by Ross Chapin.

6. Organize summer potluck street parties. Claim the street, gather the lawn chairs, and fire up the hibachi! Take over the otherwise off-limits street as a space to draw neighbors together.

 

Book Lending Cupboard photo by Ross Chapin
7. Put up a book lending cupboard. Bring a book, take a book. Collect your old reads and share them with passersby in a cupboard mounted next to the sidewalk out front. Give it a roof, a door with glass panes, and paint it to match the flowers below.

8. Build resilience together. Create a neighborhood survey of assets, skills, and needs for times of crisis. Frame it around “emergency preparedness,” but watch how it cultivates community.

9. Create an online network for nearby neighbors. Expand the survey into an active online resource and communication tool. Find a new home for an outgrown bike. Ask for help keeping an eye out for a lost dog. Organize a yard sale.

Take advantage of free neighbor-to-neighbor networking tools such as Nextdoor to facilitate communications and build happier, safer neighborhoods.

10. Be a good neighbor. It’s easy to focus on your own needs and concerns, but a slight shift in outlook can make a big difference in the day-to-day lives in a neighborhood. Check in on your elderly neighbor if her curtains aren’t raised in the morning. On a hot summer day, put out a pitcher of ice lemonade for passersby, or a bowl of cool water for dogs on walks.

To be sure, grievances among neighbors are common. But when a neighborhood grows from a base of goodwill, little squabbles won’t escalate into turf fights, and neighborhoods can become what they are meant to be: places of support, security, and friendship.

Cul de Sac photo by Ross Chapin

Cul-de-sac street party.

Photo courtesy of Taunton Press.

from:   http://www.yesmagazine.org/happiness/step-up-step-out-10-ways-to-love-where-you-live

Tips for Moving Towards Self-Sufficiency

Tuesday, June 19th, 2012

10 Reasons to Become Self-Sufficient & 10 Ways to Get There

By Michael Edwards and Jeffrey Green

We are now three to five generations removed from the rural backbone that strengthened America.  The world at large has undergone a similar transformation as the promise of easier work has created a migration to big cities.  These mega-cities could be seen as an experiment gone awry, as general well-being has declined, with suicide rates increasing across the world.  Crowded conditions and economic strife have led to rampant crime, pollution, corporate malfeasance, and a dog-eat-dog type of competition that can be described as a temporary insanity.

The economic crisis we are living through has been the final straw for many people, as promises of a better, easier, and more creative life seem to have been sold to us by carnival-style tricksters who are laughing all the way to (their) bank.

 

Here are the top reasons for becoming self-sufficient; these are based on fundamental, systemic concerns for why undertaking this life change will not be a fly-by-night fad, but rather a long-lasting means for personal independence.

10 Reasons to Become Self-Sufficient

  1. Freedom from market manipulation – The traditional market-driven investment vehicles are more and more obviously controlled by traders and banking institutions.  The debacle of the private Federal Reserve Bank is just the icing on the cake to a previous decade full of Ponzi-type schemes.  Now, the institutionalized looting of retirement money is being planned.
  2. Hedging against inflation – Have you noticed the price of goods lately?  Even Wal-Mart is silently raising its prices.  People might have a choice whether or not to buy stocks or gold, but people have to eat — the current increases in basic goods portend hyperinflation, and will not ease anytime soon.  Food shortages could make the problem exponentially worse.
  3. 3. Increasing health and wellness – It has now been revealed that some “organic” items have been falsely labeled.  In addition, a host of “GMO-free” brands have been exposed as deceptive.  GMO food lacks the nutritional value of what can be grown in the average backyard.  GMO mega-corporation, Monsanto, has a sordid history and has continuously trampled on our trust.  It is time that we do the work ourselves.
  4. Building community strength – We constantly hear people say, “I don’t even see my neighbors, let alone know anything about them.”  Of course not:  80-hour workweeks and grabbing meals-to-go doesn’t exactly promote community interaction.  With such little time to interact with our immediate community, it is no wonder why many people report feeling disconnected.   In these trying times, it is a local community that can offer the best support.
  5. Working for yourself – Working hours are increasing, pay is often decreasing, and corporate executives are taking bigger bonuses than ever.  This is leading to a prevailing disgust, as people are being forced to admit that they are living lives of near-indentured servitude.  Even for those not working in corporations, working for someone else is rarely as satisfying as creating and working for something where every minute you spend is yours alone.
  6. Having more free time – We have been taught to believe that life on a farm is arduous sun-up to sun-down drudgery where you collapse at the end of the day.  This is not so much the case anymore.  Sure, the setup of any farm or self-sufficient endeavor is often time-consuming and laborious, but new technologies and new skills of manufacturing food via permaculture and aquaponics are offering low-cost start up and minimal maintenance, as these techniques serve to create symbiotic systems that are remarkably self-governing.
  7. Generating food and energy security – The planet is running out of food and traditional energy. Climate volatility, market forces, GM foods, and rising costs of harvesting and transporting food are all conspiring to create food shortages even in the First World.  This trend will not reverse.  And our oil-soaked way of life is being threatened by mounting evidence that the oil lifeline could be disconnecting rather soon.  We should be looking to the air, sun, geothermal, and wave power to wean us from the energy grid.
  8. Acquiring an appreciation for life – As one gets closer to life-giving forces, there is a natural appreciation for how things come into being.  When you have created your garden, toiled there, selected the best for harvest, and have prepared that food for your family and community, the significance of what you have taken part in can be transformative.
  9. Restoring balance – Nearly everything in our society is at a peak, or is drastically out of balance.  The systems and governments to which we have looked for balance restoration are missing in action.  We must take it upon ourselves to restore our own financial and environmental balance sheet.  The best way to do that is to reduce our overconsumption.
  10. Becoming a producer, not a consumer – This is the best way to reduce your cost of living and increase your self-sufficiency.  In the U.S. over 70% of the economy is based on people buying things. This is a clear sign of imbalance and, by extension, it is not sustainable.  Furthermore, we also have seen corporations race to the bottom to find low-cost production on the backs of desperate people.  The exploitation of the Third World to clothe, feed, and entertain the First World is something that most people do not want to think about, but it is abominable. Again, new technologies are making it easier than ever to produce your own food, and even your own clothes.

As the cliche goes: Freedom is never free.  But it sure beats the alternative.

 10 Ways to Get to Self-Sufficiency

The global economic collapse has become an eye-opening experience for many people. The ongoing crisis continues to create more joblessness at a time when the cost of essential items like food and energy continue to rise.

Inflation is only expected to continue due to excessive printing of money to compensate for the bursting economic bubbles, which were arguably created by printing too much money with artificially low interest rates in the first place.

The 2008 price shocks in oil followed by the financial collapse have led many people to begin taking measures to become more self-sufficient.  And recently the ominous signs of food shortages, the weakening dollar, and the rising price of oil all point to a similar atmosphere as 2008.  Some have taken steps to conserve electricity, reduce spending and consumption, while others are planting kitchen gardens and installing solar panels on their homes.  Even living off the grid is becoming a mainstream concept for those seeking independence.

Indeed, becoming more self-sufficient is proving to make common sense whether one anticipates more hardship to come or not. Sure, many of us would love to live completely off the grid without giving up everyday comforts, but this is not practical for most of us.  However, there are many steps that can be taken to move towards self-sufficiency which can be relatively painless and quite rewarding.

The following are 10 suggestions that can lead to independent living:

  1. Reduce your debt: Especially get your credit card debt under control, since it is entirely corrupt.  Call your credit card companies and ask for a work out plan similar to what they received from the taxpayer bailout.  If they don’t cooperate to your satisfaction, there are some reasons not to pay at all.
  2. Reduce your consumption: Evaluate your current budget and determine absolute necessity. Push your comfort level to find areas where you can scale back, and then identify comforts that you’re willing to sacrifice.
  3. Reduce energy use: Change light bulbs, have entertainment systems plugged into a splitter that can be shut off completely to reduce phantom charges, etc. Carefully plan shopping trips and other transportation needs.
  4. Store energy: Always have back-up propane storage and a large wood pile for a rainy day. Investing in a generator of some kind (even a solar generator) will be money well spent.
  5. Invest in food storage: With a falling dollar and rising food prices, why not create a food savings account?  Get some good books, dehydrators and vacuum sealers for storage methods. Best storable food items are grains (rice, beans, flour), canned goods, seeds, and some prepackaged items.
  6. Produce your own food: Replace your lawn with a garden, fruit trees, and keep chickens. Go on hunting and gathering adventures for nuts, fish, and wild game.  Store extra garden seeds!
  7. Learn new skills: Surf the Internet, read books, and take courses in practical skills like gardening, cooking with whole foods, composting, carpentry, alternative energy, natural health and wellness etc.
  8. Start a side business: Turn your passion or hobby into a small side business to make some supplemental income.  Who knows, it may become your path to full financial independence.
  9. Install alternative energy: Start with small installations like a solar hot water system, a solar freezer, a solar attic fan, or a wood stove etc. If you have limited funds, tip-toe your way to independence.
  10. Suggest solutions for your community: Start or join a local cooperative for food, products, and services.  Engage your local community in discussions to take steps for self-sufficiency. Share your story and build support.

These steps will save money as we move closer to the ultimate prize of independence.  Each action we take to live more simply frees us from the control systems put in place to make our lives more complicated, more toxic, and less independent.

from:    http://wakeup-world.com/2012/02/07/10-reasons-to-become-self-sufficient-10-ways-to-get-there/

Albuquerque Flash Mob

Friday, April 13th, 2012

If I Had the Chance, I’d Ask the World to Dance

by BURQUESTYLE on APRIL 11, 2012 ·

By Jdel. Photos by Jdel and Solve Maxwell.

Billy McCall watched a video on YouTube of a handful of middle-aged gentlemen jamming out in the woods to techno music blasting from the trunk of a car.  That was all it took for him to realize that a dance party can — and should — be started anywhere.

He created the Facebook group called the Duke City Dance Party and posted a couple of notices about a flash-mob style gathering at the Dunkin Donuts parking lot along Central and University. Word spread, the post was re posted, and thus sprung their first impromptu dance party.

 

Twist and Shout. Check out homie getting down with that crutch.

The poppers popped, and the breakers breaked.

Peeps from Critical Mass were jammin on their bikes.

Getting wild with the noise makers

 

Hair, the musical

McCall, in his finest dance wear.

Artis, from ABQ Nightvision, put down his camera for a minute and showed us his moves.

Even Burquestyle’s own Solve Maxwell got down with his bad self.

 

The party started promptly at 6:50 and ended roughly twenty minutes later. The idea behind the short spurts of dancing? “I know people have stuff to do,” McCall says. “If you want to dance for three hours straight, you go to a nightclub. If you want to dance for a few minutes, meet some cool people, you come here — to Dunkin Donuts,” he laughed.

Greg Beliveau, owner of said Dunkin Donuts, looked out the window and saw people dancing in his parking lot. “Of all the things I have seen on the streets of Albuquerque, this may be the strangest,” he said.

That doesn’t mean he is a naysayer. “No, I think it’s great. Had I known they were coming, I would have called Channel 4 and told them to come down and get some footage of the flash mob in my parking lot.”

McCall says he appreciates Beliveau’s support. He also knows there is a fine line between spreading the word and receiving too much media and being told to shut down.

“Hopefully there will be more impromptu parties in other spots in the future,” he said. “Anyone can plan them. If you feel like dancing, pick a place and let us know. Albuquerque needs to get weirder.”

from:    http://burquestyle.com/if-i-had-the-chance-id-ask-the-world-to-dance/

A Sense That Something is Coming

Friday, March 16th, 2012

It Feels Like Something Big is Going to Happen

5th March 2012

By Chris Bourne

A defining moment in the history of humanity? 

I’m hearing from lots of people around the world that you’re feeling something ‘big’ is going to happen. It seems we’re all tuning in to a time of pretty major upheaval at some point in the not-too-distant future. It’s no surprise, such times have been foretold frequently enough and there’s a great deal of uncertainty right now in world affairs. It feels like the energy is moving in a direction of radical change. I feel that a major ‘event’ is going to happen, to cause people to look up from the pavement, through the flashing neon-lighted concrete and steel, directly into the ‘heavens above’. It feels like something defining is needed to shake humanity to its very core. And if that’s true, which certainly feels the case to me, then by the Law of Attraction, we’re bound to draw that kind of event to us.

Problem/Reaction/Solution

There’s many ways in which such a big event could happen. Take for example war in the Middle East. If you’ve not realised it yet, the powers-that-be need such a major event to restructure the world’s failing economy. The West is indebted way over its head and there is no earthly way to pay back the foreign loans. Both the US and EU economies are teetering on the brink of financial collapse, which would likely cause major social unrest (it already is).

So they need to reduce the debt radically and quickly. What better way than to create another round of ‘problem/reaction/solution’? Generate a problem area – like the Middle East – then manufacture a ‘just cause’ to create a martial economic state, devalue the currencies and write off the foreign debt in the process. Am I dreaming, or is it already happening?

But I suspect Humanity’s attempts to control the unraveling matrix will be overtaken by other major events – shifts in universal consciousness which cannot be so easily constrained. There are major internal realignments taking place within the solar logos for example, resulting in the release of solar flares. Indeed we’re moving into a period of quite intense solar storm activity. Should the earth be hit by such a storm, as has happened in the past, it could immediately wipe out not only our power grids and communication systems, but also probably swathes of the earth’s arable land. Solar activity is certainly something that has registered strongly in my consciousness of late.

The crystal clear clarity of the main stream
But let me quickly add, that by talking openly about such things, I am not intending to spread fear – quite the opposite. For me the worst thing that could possibly happen is that society limps on in some kind of zombie-like status-quo. To me, a slow degradation of our humanity and our quality of beingness is in the interests of no one. The universe is yearning to unravel the blocked energy that our society has wrapped itself up in, and I for one, will not be sad to witness that blockage unwinding itself.

To me, this situation presents a major opportunity for mankind. If we can have trust in the inherent beingness flowing through our souls, then we’ll be presented with the opportunity to leave this dense, distorting eddy current and rejoin the crystal clear clarity of the main stream.

Many people are living in fear already, and they don’t even realise it. They’re living in a not-so-cosy state of isolation from the natural flow and our interconnectivity with all life. They’re so busy trying to protect what little they have, that they’ve forgotten our true heavenly nature: that which is beyond death and suffering; that which is magical, mystical and eternal…

Who would grovel around in the dirt and the muck for a few decades,
scratching around for an ever dwindling piece of illusionary security,
in exchange for just one day of divine, interconnected freedom?
Looking fearlessly into the jaws of fear
It seems many have forgotten the true magic of what it really feels like to look directly into the jaws of fear and not be cowed by it. Instead to say “yes my body may get broken, but my spirit never will”. Tell me what that is worth?

When you confront and loose your fear of death,
something truly magical happens:
you start to loose your fear of living too.
It means you start to become increasingly vulnerable to the moment. When we’re vulnerable and can be awesomely okay with that, it means we can keep opening. We don’t tighten down when things get tough. And if we don’t close down, then we’re open to the univeral stream flowing through us. In this place, literally ANYTHING becomes possible. Paradoxically, it’s by letting go of life that we truly get a chance to live!

Following the flow of the soul
So how might we best approach the challenging and changing times that are beginning to unravel all around us. Here are some tips and advice which spring into my consciousness…

  1. Learn to follow the soul: whatever it costs right now (and money has a limited shelf life so why hang onto it?), we must learn to honour and follow the soul. If it means ending that job, or you need to walk away from that cosy apartment, above all, take time to listen to the quiet voice within and follow it. Test it, take a chance that you really can hear. It’s an inherent language which is natural to us all, but it dwindles when we don’t listen (for essential advice on following the soul, check out…openhandweb.org/five_gateways_book).
  2. Become more as one with mother earth: we are each a part of this planet (even if many don’t behave that way). Humanity has mistreated Gaia, but she is a very forgiving soul and she wants as many as possible to join her in the new paradigm. If we consciously take time to go into nature and tune into Gaia, then in time, we will begin to understand her heavenly language. In my experience, she does not use words, but more feelings and metaphorical mirroring.
  3. Become more self sustaining: it’s no secret that the system in which we currently live, has written countless blank cheques that can no longer be cashed. Yes, make full (and appropriate) use of the resources whilst they last, but don’t mistakenly sleep-walk through life as if today was yesterday because tomorrow, you may find the gravy train has run out of juice. We need to become more self-sustaining in terms of growing our own food, finding alternative supplies of water and also alternative energy where possible.
  4. Gather in small communities: when these big shifts really shake the established society, it’s going to be vitally important to know who our real friends are. Who are those we can truly rely upon and work with? That might mean gathering in small, micro communities right now – extended self supporting families. Have you got a spare room to rent or could you put up a cabin in the garden? It’s a strong growing trend of people coming together to energy-exchange resources and services (here’s a useful transition towns video. openhandweb.org/060411_times_are_transition).
  5. Store emergency supplies: in the uncertain times ahead, it may well be that total collapse does not happen, but more a kind of progressive degradation where resource, energy and supply chains are frequently stretched and sometimes dry up. I’d say it’s vital to keep a couple of months supply of essential resources: dried and tinned food for example, bottled water, candles (useful for light and lighting fires), and even a couple of jerry-cans of fuel. You might need to make an essential trip.
  6. Learn to live off the land: bushcraft skills are likely to be of great value. You and your family (small community) may need to move to a more secure area – especially in times of social unrest. It’s actually not hard to live at one with the land if you’re committed and motivated, but it does take practice and some essential, inexpensive equipment (check out our survival tips thread. openhandweb.org/survival_tips)
  7. Invest in your future now: anyone still saving for that rainy day? Well guess what…it’s raining! The time has come to abandon fear. The time has come to live the future now, in this moment, the only real time we have. If you feel called to explore a new gift, a new way of being or to process baggage that you may be carrying, don’t delay, because you may need that gift tomorrow. There are a plethora of wonderful healing and enlightening practices springing up around the world. Many people are tuning into this wonderful shift in consciousness and we can all learn from one another. If you feel drawn, follow your heart, it may be the wisest penny you ever spent (and likewise, if you feel drawn to work with Openhand, you’d be most welcome. openhandweb.org/contents/courses)

Openness, commitment and love
No one can accurately prophecy because the future is shaped by the feelings, intentions and choices we all make in the moment. However, there comes a point when the moment is so committed to a particular flow of circumstance, that it becomes inevitable for a chain process to unfold. It’s just like taking a step, there comes a point when your foot is sure to land, it’s simply a question of when and exactly how.

I feel that’s the situation we’re all living in right now.
It feels very much to me as if certain ‘tipping points’ have been activated.
I’d say a convergence of consciousness is taking place with the divine purpose of unraveling a particularly persistent blockage – the very society in which we live.
We can either live in fear of that, deny it is happening, or do something much more courageous, much more divine, much more human. We can embrace the coming changes with openness, commitment and love. We can see it as an opportunity to truly let go of the limitation and constriction of the past. We can re-embrace the divine flow of life and allow it to sweep us up into our rightful place – an eternal fearlessness, openly embracing change and continual evolution.

Indeed, something big is about to happen!

from:    http://wakeup-world.com/2012/03/05/it-feels-like-something-big-is-going-to-happen/