Saturday, November 19, 2016

Thanks -- and No Thanks
Some Personal Reflections on Thanksgiving Day
"Oh, Great Spirit whose voice I hear in the winds, and whose breath gives life to all the world, hear me, I am small and weak,  I need your strength and wisdom." -- from a prayer
by Lakota Chief Yellow Lark, 1887
(Entire Prayer)

"Treat the earth well: it was not given to you by your parents, it was loaned to you by your children. We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors, we borrow it from our Children." 
-- Ancient Native American Proverb

The three day feast that brought together 90 Wampanoags and the 50 surviving Pilgrims to a feast at Plymouth Plantation in 1621 has become part of the Mythology of American Democracy.  

Unfortunately, this idyllic tale doesn't portray the stark reality of the Holocaust that ensued as European colonists descended on this continent bringing with them a harshly judgmental Christianity and the European concepts  of Private Property and Capitalism.

Although the set of Democratic Ideals set forth in the Preamble to the US Constitution reflect humanity's universal quest for a just society, "our forefathers" also brought forth on this continent disease, death, domination, and the destruction of a Way of Life that seemingly understood and honored humanity's relationship to Mother Earth, to the Great Spirit and to the Circle of All Life.   Embedded in the worldview of the Indigenous People was an ethos of Connection and Reverence. Our forefathers brought with them, instead, the Unbridled Greed buried in the belly of Capitalism, and the myopic worldview of fundamentalist Christianity with a mindset that reinforces our separation from one another, from the natural world, and from our spiritual connection to all that is.  Through force of arms (including germ warfare and the power of "law"), the bad guys won.

Unfortunately for Mother Earth and her myriad beings, they still are.

Friday, November 11, 2016

It's Showtime

"In this world, hate never yet dispelled hate. Only love dispels hate. This is the law, ancient and inexhaustible. " -- Buddha 

"I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you." -- Jesus 

"Don't mourn.  Organize!" -- Joe Hill

Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr. moved mountains in their time. This is our time.  

Seems like Truth and Love was the Basic Plan, right?  

This election was the wake up call. Find some friends and figure out what to do -- and do it non-violently.  We need to get our act together -- and ACT.  

No one tactic is going to pull this off. Some of it looks like standing our ground with folks at Standing Rock.  Some of that looks like reaching out to connect with the "other side".  

Hell, I awoke yesterday thinking the best thing I could do is stop at the first house I see with a Trump sign, knock on the door, and engage in a respectful conversation to find out why they did -- and see where we can find some common ground. 

We gotta start building some bridges here or it's all gonna be water over the dam.  

It's showtime. 
Yours in Peace and Struggle,
Brother Lefty

My Humble Take on the Real Deal

I believe that the movement for peace, economic democracy and social justice is a Spiritual Quest. No mean feat, what is called for is a True Revolution of the Heart and Mind--and it starts with each of us.

This revolution has to be Peaceful. The Hippies (and Jesus and Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. King, et al) had it right. It really is all about Peace and Love. Besides being a total drag, violence just doesn't work. It keeps our wheels spinning in fear, anger and pain. Who needs that?

Besides some hard work, I think the Revolution also calls for dancing, plenty of laughter, and some sitting around just doing nothing. (Some folks call it meditation.)

As Stephen Gaskin, proclaimed years ago:

"We're out to raise Hell--in the Bodhisattvic* sense."

Doesn't that sound like some serious fun?

(*The Bodhisattva Vow is a set of commitments made in the Mahayana Buddhist tradition. It basically says I vow to get my act together and figure it out well enough to really help out--and I ain't gonna stop until everybody is covered.

I've found that doesn't necessarily have to happen in that order. It's best to try to help out even before you have it all together! Like right now.)

-----Brother Lefty Smith, Founding S.O.B*