Revolution of Mind and Society
by Colin Denny Donoghue
The best solutions to the problems in our society are probably things you’ve already heard of. You’ve probably already heard of industrial hemp being used to make paper, fuel, plastics and clothing. You’ve heard of organic and vegan foods, natural non-toxic cleaning and body care products, natural medicines, fair trade goods, etc. All of these things are not new technologies, products or processes, but pre-existing, fully functional ones, that are being purposefully and actively suppressed by a few very wealthy individuals in positions of political/corporate power that benefit from the suppression.
In fact, those that maintain the destructive status-quo system probably only number in the hundreds, while those that want positive change number in the tens of millions (a conservative estimate). The keepers of the status-quo know they are vastly outnumbered, as they have always been throughout history, and that's why they depend on discouragement, disillusionment and false beliefs to back their fascist and violent paradigm.
Of the majority that are living reluctantly within an artificial society designed by these impious individuals, most fall into two categories. The first would surely like dramatic positive change, but they are not aware, capable or compassionate enough to work for the change, and instead they usually carry a jaded and apathetic personality concerning socio-political change. The second category of people are aware, capable and compassionate enough to fight against the massive unnecessary suffering occurring in the world, but they think the situation is hopeless, and fall into despair, dejection and trepidation. This second group (of which I have been a member) will be the focus from this point on, since the first category will likely be uninterested in a revolutionary path of living.
The reasons for despair are many, and they are justified. When one’s child is killed or maimed by weapons deployed by order of fascist war criminals, there is no silver lining. When compassionate human rights activists are tortured in the most cruel and painful ways, there is no positive counter-effect. When people suffer terribly from diseases caused by toxins and radiation that never needed to be spread, there is no good side to the situation. When a child starves to death or dies from a curable illness, there is no way in which it was the “will of the Divine.” These experiences are hellish, and there is no bright side to hell on Earth. These things should not be happening, they are not part of any “cosmic balance” that we just can’t perceive. This human world is far from perfect; socially, economically, politically and spiritually.
Therefore, despair is a natural and logical reaction to those that wish to live in peace, health and happiness, and wish the same for others. However, I believe this crippling despair can be greatly diminished by living in harmony with the positive, non-violent, justice-seeking Energy that infuses our Reality.
This is achieved through living a revolutionary lifestyle; becoming more self-aware, reliant and empowered in a society who’s rulers work daily to make the masses more dependent on the rich few, more ignorant of the truth and solutions, more unhealthy, more apathetic, more isolated from others in their community, more paranoid, more fearful. Slander and ridicule are the most pervasive tools of disempowerment, but they become less and less effective as you live more and more on target with a truly non-violent way of life. Alignment with a just cause brings a confidence that can counter these forces. Resisting this system of control and violence is paramount in achieving social and spiritual liberation. This is done most effectively by manifesting the two qualities that are the opposite of that promoted by the status-quo: compassion and freedom. It means openly rejecting war-supporting propaganda and lies. It means not supporting industries that harm their employees and the environment. It means not killing/torturing animals for food when we don’t have to. It means not spewing cancer and global warming causing exhaust into the air when we can run automobiles on hemp-ethanol fuel instead, and so on.
Once you’re aligned with the crucial work for justice your desire for the non-crucial, the superficial, the hollow, will fall away. You will be left with a sense of purpose and meaning that will give you energy and contentment as you move forward. You will want to associate with others and with work that is in harmony with this movement because it gives satisfaction, and the status-quo paradigm does not. It becomes not just an issue of morality but one of enjoyment. The system is turned upside down, pleasure is found in rejecting the hedonistic false materialistic system in favor of a lifestyle, work and action that harmonizes with inner & outer Nature and moral principles.
Seeing through the corporate/superficial gloss, the vanity in much desire and relationships, the lies of government, the distractions in entertainment, etc. that cover up the rampant violence, illusion and injustice, their hollow nature is known; known by the negative consequences produced for the participants who never understood why their life continued in a mediocre and dissatisfying fashion and at a lower level existence, despite their normality. In a society based on destruction and violence, normal is not the ideal. The ideal is it’s antithesis, the ideal is a revolutionary.
We must evaluate, unforgivingly, what the personal and social truths are, so that we can support the progress of both. Then we can get a very clear vision of fascism and the opposing force of personal sovereignty. We also find a very clear theme of time wasted on foolishness, negativity and meaningless experience. The solution to both of these problems are the same: concise productive action on the crucial changes that need to made, based on truths and rights, and the abandonment of the rest. This is how we gain traction, and begin to realize greater possibilities, e.g. a more fulfilled, satisfying and dynamic life. The destructive status-quo system fights this progress with many tools: terrorism, fascism, greed, materialism, superficiality and brutal competition.
It can often seem easier to go with the destructive establishment, to support tyrants rather than resist them, to live unconscious of your action’s consequences. This sloth and torpor leads only to an unfulfilled life though, no matter how easy-going the individual believes they have made it for themselves. The Buddha spoke often of the need for strenuous effort in order to attain a higher level of existence, for a revolution in being to occur: “Those putting forth strenuous effort attain to Nirvana, the highest freedom and happiness.” (Dhammapada 2,2) The opposing mindset I found encapsulated in a phrase on a key-chain I saw for sale at a gas station: “Eat healthy, get fit, die anyway.” Others that fit into this are “No good deed goes unpunished” or “Life sucks, then you die,” etc. The defeatist mindset is common and are often triggered by real events, thought the reactions are irrational and unethical, and thereby unproductive.
Having discrimination, seeking the truth and consequences of the actions of others also helps you see through your own illusions/wrongdoing. For example, I’ve been very depressed lately as I have become more aware of how my past and continuing behavior has been off-target, negative, foolish, unproductive, etc., wasting my time on low quality entertainment, intoxicants, etc. all of which serve the status-quo's destructive system as well.
I’ve had basically the same list of goals for everyday life for a long time: exercise & meditation, resistance/activism/education, 8foldpath living, eat only healthy foods, no intoxicants, etc. Consistency in living out these goals has been lacking, vigilance has regularly fallen off. This lack of motivation, this laziness, may indeed be the most common human characteristic, as stated in the film Waking Life. And this may be why there have been so many “zeros,” as the film also mentions, i.e. those that did not contribute anything significantly positive to the world. Why is this laziness so pervasive? What can get rid of it? Reviewing your life up until this point, the process of elimination reveals what is left to be done, what has not been consistently acted on, what has not been committed to.
Having support from others, having loving relationships are certainly part of the answer. Although many independent people think we don’t need anybody in order to progress, as I used to think, the reality is humans were not meant to live alone, we are not in a balanced life when we are isolated from positive interaction with others. The Buddhist term Sangha refers to a spiritual community to which one can take refuge, it is one of the 3 Jewels that are taught as proper places of support and protection. Corporate/Fascist States discourage community in any meaningful sense, just blind patriotism/nationalism/corporatism and sports/entertainment. Instead of the solutions, one should not be surprised, the destructive status-quo promotes isolation, distrust, etc. No community means no resistance. Without community there is little to no positive reinforcement for individuals. Living without loving friendships and relationships creates cynicism and lack of motivation, often coinciding with giving in to mindless entertainment, intoxicants and propaganda. Community not only benefits the members within in it, but society as a whole. Tyrants have always worked to undermine grassroots unity, to undermine community. An obvious example is the historical violent opposition to the formation of workers unions by the wealthy business owners and their government/military/police enforcers. American worker unions were established to confront the brutal exploitation and slave-like treatment of masses of Americans, and have now been greatly weakened by constant corporate undermining (read A People’s History of The United States by Howard Zinn to learn about this phenomenon in more detail).
Much of American society is structured in a way that forcibly promotes isolation. This serves the status-quo through lack of organization, lack of resistance, independent thought/evaluation/criticism/dissent/lifestyles, etc. When social-justice activism becomes a part of your identity, you are no longer dependent on authoritarian support groups; the individual alone, or collectively without attachment and dependency, challenges the lies and evil of the dominant power. In the film The Long Walk Home a submissive housewife becomes a civil-rights activist after discovering the satisfying and transformative nature of working for justice. Instead of transformations like this, the Corporate/Fascist State wants to control your life through the information, viewpoint and entertainment they disseminate. In America today even elections have been clearly rigged as well, totally removing the veil from the lie of representation.
So the question is are we going to allow more hell on earth? [If your confused as to what I mean by hell think of the hundreds of thousands of civilians killed (and still being killed every week) in the Middle East]. Are we going to allow the possibility of another nuclear bomb being dropped, with the sickening casualties and multi-generational horror that brings? Why are powerless to stop the use of depleted uranium weapons in Iraq right now, resulting in thousands of deformed babies being born and soldiers retuning home with terrible illnesses? Why are we powerless to stop more state-sponsored terrorism and rigged elections? Well, because we are all forced to be financial contributors to mass murder, imperialism and the destruction of our planet’s ecosystem without our consent (i.e. taxation is theft); social systems, including "democratic" ones, are really just institutions of slavery and mass destruction.
If we do not unite and resist, we allow the few that have always caused so much horror and destruction in our world to continue to do so, while they hide behind lies and propaganda. We allow the possibility of personal and social enlightenment to be destroyed along with all other things of value and beauty in this world.
Non-Violence is the foundation of a revolution against a violent system. Fascism is inherently violent since it must force people to support its agenda. This can be clearly seen in recent history with the stealing of the 2000 election, followed by 9/11, the illegal Iraq war, increased police brutality against peaceful protestors, etc. followed by the stealing of the 2004 election, etc.
Some non-physical violence is very subtle and harder to be aware of, behavior in personal relationships for example. Other violence, like physical violence, is much easier to determine as being wrong in most cases. Or the fact the Bush Administration is comprised of war criminals; having executed a war of aggression against a nation that posed no threat, is very clear and straight-forward. Or the fascist tactics that brought them into office in the first place, the 2000 Supreme Court installation, and the rigging of the electronic voting machines in the 2004 election, illegal torturing, detentions and domestic spying, etc. All of this is not really debatable, it is just the facts there to find if you look, and yet because the media presents these people to us as a legitimate government, many go along with it and don’t rise up and demand their removal from power; giving Bush, Inc. control of tax dollars and the most powerful military to use for their own selfish, destructive and misguided agenda is assured disaster.
So as Americans living in the year 2006 we have been presented with some very clear knowledge between good and evil, right and wrong. In all aspects of life, acting upon this knowledge is what brings personal, social and spiritual progress.
Many of those that believe the propaganda ridicule, or do worse, to those that speak the truth. If the typical republican knew that 9/11 was an inside job, would she/he still support Bush? Of course not. Most people don’t support mass murder for profit and power, that’s why they needed to “manufacture consent” through the 9/11 attacks. It's sad to me when I’m confronted by Bush supporters about my writing or even for wearing an Impeach Bush pin or for my car's bumper-stickers, and their entire viewpoint opposing me is based on lies and propaganda. The Corporate/Fascist State has furthered disunity and breaking up of community through disinformation, or “counter-intelligence,” which is an appropriate term since what these agencies are doing is ultimately/karmically highly unintelligent.
So in conclusion, if it increases freedom and compassion in our minds and/or society we should nurture and support it, if it does the opposite we should discourage and work against it. These principles can be the base of our decisions, ranging from diet, work, lifestyle, consumerism, relationships, etc. By always returning to them we can more often avoid the gray area that hinders progress, and instead eat of the apple of knowledge and begin our journey back to truth; living more conscious, mindful, aware, and happy lives in which we can more fully enjoy the fun and beautiful things in life: loving relationships, art, music, dance, nature… a return to the paradise that we have been kept from for far too long.