by Colin Denny Donoghue
[updated October 14th, 2017]
A very poignant fact about the history of Wall Street:
“The African slaves built the wall that gives Wall Street its name, forming the northern boundary of the colony and warded off resisting natives who wanted their land back.”
That really encapsulates the whole situation. What is now called the United States was founded on the genocide of Native Americans and the slavery of Africans, and in a much less harmful but similar dynamic, the 21st century urban Occupy Wall St. campers being evicted from city parks across the country are getting a first-hand experience of what it’s like to be violently forced off the land, out of their small dwellings, dissolving their communities, and forced (back) into a social-system of (monetary) slavery. Of course the Occupy camp evictions and the police-brutality that has come with it (and preceded it), though inexcusable, is still nothing compared to the indiscriminate killing and physical slavery that occurred on this continent not too long ago, yet it would be productive to consider where similarity between the two events does exist, and what that means as far as understanding what the root cause of social-injustice really is, and what the most effective strategy against it is.
Many activists today seek to “evolve” the same imperial powers that enslaved and committed wars of aggression and genocide against sovereign peoples around the world, and have since gone on to massacre millions of other innocent women, men and children in other acts of mass-violence. These activists believe the existence of governments can still actually advance liberty & justice, they believe it is just a matter of somehow making these so-called democracies actually live up to that promise, like through more protests, voting and petitioning. However, one may progress to the realization that the violence and slavery committed by those calling themselves government officials never actually ended with their nation-forming; the violence and slavery has continued on in forms old and new, and all social-systems depend on this continuous violence and slavery to varying degrees for their existence.
In America during the past two centuries, activists have tried to reform this institution of war and ecocide over and over, without understanding that this government, like all governments, not only still regularly commits atrocities and was founded on such violence and destruction, but also in fact continues to be violent and destructive on a daily basis just by its very existence alone. What do I mean by that? We are actually always experiencing the violence and destruction of an ongoing eviction by social-systems, an eviction from the Earth, an eviction from a natural way of life that harmonizes with Nature and each other. The Occupy camp evictions, perhaps inspired by the Native American occupation of Alcatraz island in 1969, made partly visible once again how the 99% have all been prevented from living in harmony with Nature and each other, through the existence of social-systems, and the taxes and land costs that come with those systems of human farming. The fundamental issue is lack of personal sovereignty and land sovereignty. We are sovereign women and men of the Earth, and a fair share of land and water for the purpose of self-sufficiency is our birthright; resistance to that fact by officialdom is the root of empire, it is the root injustice.
Sovereignty is what Indigenous peoples like those in Hawaii are trying to reclaim, and lack of sovereignty is also ultimately what’s behind the massive amount of home foreclosures & evictions occurring (over 4 million foreclosures in the U.S. in the past few years alone); people are being denied their individual sovereignty (forced to pay into a destructive social-system) and denied their birthright to their fair share of the land that would allow them to escape the degradation and exploitation of being a money-slave consumer-citizen. With that denial of individual and land sovereignty comes all kinds of other cruel injustices too, like Native/Aboriginal families having their children taken away from them; and those in “civilized” society are not safe from these violations either, as recent news stories like this illustrate: “Police State kidnaps couple’s baby for getting a second opinion on his medical treatment.”
Social-systems are simply vehicles of violence and enslavement; it basically consists of armed government agents acting on behalf of the ruling class (royalty, head bankers, heads of multinational corporations, the ultra-rich, complicit government officials, etc.) forcing people to abandon natural & sustainable living, so the rich can get richer and the poor made poorer through a paradigm of domination and exploitation (“for your own good” they say of course). The ideal of natural & sustainable self/community-sufficiency is opposed through multiple channels of tyranny, but it all comes down to the same root cause: not allowing people to live as free and natural women & men of the Earth, pushing them down into deeper monetary-slavery and dependence. This is most obviously true with what has happened with Indigenous peoples throughout the world, but it is also true for all that are forced into an artificial social-system where they have to struggle just to pay others to live on this planet:
“Entrapped in our concrete reservations, indentured to our corporate masters, impoverished of our land, separated from the earth, and at last placed at odds with nature herself, many no longer see the issue of freedom as relevant. For them the ring of the liberty bell has long ago been silenced. And, having lost our connection with our mother earth, we have lost our connection with ourselves. … [It’s] an unholy alliance between the living, who must love and respect the earth, and the dead corporate King, who is bent on destroying the earth for profit. People must work, but more and more their work compels the injury or destruction of their mother earth.”
– From Freedom to Slavery by Gerry Spence (St. Martin’s Press, 1995), p.142, 134
Two excellent documentaries that also visually show this root injustice repeating of denying people their birthright to land and sovereignty are “Broken Rainbow” (about the Navajo in the Southwest) & “The Garden” (about community gardeners in Southcentral Los Angeles); in both you see the state bulldozing the gardens of people trying to live more self-sufficiently and naturally. Other examples include the “Diggers” group in England (past and present) being evicted by the state when they try to establish a sustainable small eco-village on unused land; the state bulldozing of a community garden in Hempstead, New York; a Canadian family being told by the government they have to tear up their vegetable garden that’s on their property; and the US military bulldozing the orchards of Iraqi farmers as punishment for not being productive informers. The way back to the Garden of Eden (i.e. human and ecological balance) isn’t blocked by some sword-wielding angel, it’s blocked by government.
“The Hopis were entrusted with this land from the Great Spirit. To take care of this land so they could live a long time, by protecting this land so that we can have something for our future generation. This is what the Federal Government don’t see. They sell all the land and split us apart. They fence the land around. Our ancestors said that’s wrong. When the government takes over the land then we’re getting out of balance, because that’s not what the Great Spirit wants for all mankind.”
– Manuel Hoyungowa, a traditional leader of the Sovereign Hopi Nation, from the documentary “The Big Question: A Film About Forgiveness”
By forcing us into dependence on an unnatural way of living we are also simultaneously forced to fund the military-industrial-complex; we are forced to fund wars we don’t want (and the sickening extreme cruelty that comes with them, like that occurring now with drone attacks in the Middle East, and which occurred in Vietnam, Hiroshima & Nagasaki, etc.), and we are forced to live in a way that destroys the natural environment we need to survive; and yet all this comprises what is spuriously called an advanced society.
“We live in a very low state of the world, and pay unwilling tribute to governments founded on force.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson, from his essay Politics
Those deeply indoctrinated by irrational praise of modern civilization condescendingly put the label “primitive” on the way many Indigenous peoples throughout the world live now, and how all our ancestors used to live (much more in harmony with nature and each other, having little to no major impact on the ecosystem as a whole). Is that modern elitist perspective emblematic of an advanced intelligence? Advanced ignorance is more like it.
Is the never-ending toxic pollution filling the atmosphere and acidifying oceans, along with extreme over-fishing which has decimated not only the fish populations but with them the plankton and blue-green algae that produce the majority of oxygen on Earth (yes, more than rainforests!), a rational thing to do? Is massive natural gas drilling across America that is polluting the entire water supply so much that people’s tap water has become flammable a sign of an advanced society? Or how about conducting nuclear bomb tests and building extremely expensive and dangerous nuclear reactors (to just boil water for steam-generated electricity!) that spread radioactive material across the world which takes millions of years to decay and causes epidemics of disease? (1/3 of Americans live within 50 miles of a nuclear power plant, feel safe with that?) And off-shore petroleum-oil drilling, that led to the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster, creating another massive “dead-zone” in the Earth’s waters? Continuing the ecocide, is destroying bee colonies (with pesticides and EMF pollution) that pollinate about 70% of the world’s food supply, show any sanity? And destroying the last remaining large rainforests in order to make more top-soil depleting cattle ranches, anything but extreme stupidity? Or how about putting sodium fluoride, a neurotoxin, in our drinking water? And chlorine, another toxin put unnecessarily in our water (non-toxic sanitation methods are available, and the chlorine can at least be easily removed after being used at the treatment plant), which is harmful to ingest (it destroys beneficial bacteria in our digestive-system), soak in and inhale when we breathe in the chlorinated water vapor during a hot shower, how smart is that? Like fluoride and chlorine, another free “gift” of government is cancer causing radiation: a) Wi-Fi routers are put in schools (despite the countless cases of ill-effect and corresponding parent’s objections) covering them in cell-damaging radiation, b) food irradiation is done for our “safety,” and c) now they are requiring “smart” digital wi-fi meters be installed in homes that emit even more damaging radiation… And then there’s eating and drinking out of containers that contain toxic chemicals like BPA and DEHP, children and adults rolling around in bedding covered in toxic (and ineffective) fire-retardant, using cleaning and personal care products containing a multitude of other toxic chemicals (that can be deceptively labeled on the ingredient list as simply “fragrance“), etc…. (See my “Toxins & Tyranny” post for more on this.)
Additionally, do you think it’s well thought-out to be completely dependent on a centralized source of electricity for your survival, that can go out of service at any time, for many reasons? Or to only have a few days worth of food available at your supermarket for the surrounding urban population? What are you going to do if those shelves are empty on your next visit?
Examples like these of society actually going in the wrong direction just go on and on, and keep increasing in number… how is all this an improvement from what our ancestors did? Is all this really “moving forward” or is it wicked/backwards insanity? We are being poisoned, irradiated, suffocated and put on the constant brink of disaster by this crazy industrial machine which runs on profit and greed, all in the name of “progress.”
“We come upon a contention which is so astonishing that we must dwell upon it. This contention holds that what we call our civilization is largely responsible for our misery, and that we should be much happier if we gave it up and returned to primitive conditions. … During the last few generations mankind has made an extraordinary advance in the natural sciences and in their technical application and has established his control over nature in a way never before imagined. The single steps of this advance are common knowledge and it is unnecessary to enumerate them. Men are proud of those achievements, and have a right to be. But they seem to have observed that this newly-won power over space and time, this subjugation of the forces of nature, which is the fulfillment of a longing that goes back thousands of years, has not increased the amount of pleasurable satisfaction which they may expect from life and has not made them feel happier.”
– Sigmund Freud, Civilization and Its Discontents (1930)
In order to establish a sense of sacred relationship with the land and Nature, rather than an attitude of disconnection and exploitation, people need to be physically rooted in the land, otherwise it is much more likely to be ignorantly treated without respect, care or reverence. For example, if all the waste your household produces had to go into your backyard, you would probably reduce your waste output immediately. Likewise, if the plants around your home were your food and medicine, you probably wouldn’t spray toxic chemicals all over them, or otherwise contaminate the botanical and soil ecology.
Our disconnection from the land is not only a disconnection from plants and wildlife, but also from our neighbors, family and surrounding community.
“One major difficulty which non-Indians face… is the absence of any real or lasting communities. Non-Indian Americans, not the Indians, are the real nomads. White Americans are rarely buried in the places they were born… living in as many as a dozen places, and having roots in and accepting responsibility for none of these locations. … Land, for traditional peoples, includes the other forms of life that share places with us. … We thus move from simple appreciation of land to an apprehension of its sacredness and to the discovery that our analysis must include proper relationship with animals. … It is apparent that the Indian relationship with the land is one brought about by prolonged occupation of certain places. Non-Indians can work toward this condition, but it cannot be brought about by energetic action or sincerity alone.”
– from the essay Reflection and Revelation: Knowing Land, Places and Ourselves by Vine Deloria, Jr.
And what is the main obstacle to “prolonged occupation” of the land? The fact that we have to pay other people just to live somewhere on this planet! This is why so many of us move around so much, looking for a different job or because we can no longer afford to live where we are; we are money-slaves, not free, sovereign and natural humans inhabiting the Earth. So people’s lives are oftentimes reduced to a mind and body degrading daily grind, working at jobs they hate, going through fast-food drive-thrus, buying GMO and chemical-covered/filled foods from corporations that damage their health, treat animals hellishly, and further decimate the Earth.
And by the way, what would be a truly “proper relationship with animals,” referred to in the above quote? I, and many others (increasing in number), would say it is a relationship free of the violence and slavery that we wish to escape ourselves, i.e. a vegan ethic. (I will expand on this point later.)
Just as immense centralized power in the hands of the few is unnatural and causes those with it to become mentally disturbed, so it is with the immense artificiality of our society for the many; living so disconnected from the Earth and a natural lifestyle disturbs all those within it to varying degree. “Eco-therapy” is a growing field of healthcare as more and more urbanized people realize that spending time in natural settings and doing natural activities like gardening are very healing. One of the main factors leading to distress is modern man’s lack of free time that could be spent in healthier and more fulfilling activities (including non-actions like meditation). People actually have less free time in our consumerist/corporatized society than they could in a free and natural one. Without free time the likelihood you’ll ever attain peace of mind, happiness, or gain crucial knowledge of self, society and cosmos, is little to naught. Developing a philosophy of life used to be a main priority among people, now it is often just earning a lot of money and using the latest technology; it is a sickness of the soul, which some have given the name Affluenza.
Many in techno-industrial society don’t realize just how much of their stress and ill-health is really due to their unnatural environment and lifestyle, and so they suffer from stress and illness which they often accept noxious treatment for, e.g. artificial pharmaceutical drugs from misguided doctors who are quick to label them with various “genetic disorders”; the real disorder is this modern way of life, a drugged populace is not the solution, living in a natural way (and eating natural foods) is. It is no coincidence that the most mental illness and drug-addiction is found in city-centers, and that cities are also the most destructive to the ecosystem as well; what’s bad for our inner nature is also bad for outer nature.
“The trauma endured by technological people like ourselves is the systemic and systematic removal of our lives from the natural world… This is also the systemic and systematic removal of our lives from the kinds of social and cultural experiences our ancestors assumed when they lived in rhythm with the natural world.”
– Chellis Glendinning, from the anthology Ecopsychology: Restoring the Earth, Healing the Mind
We are currently in the period of fastest mass-extinction of species in the Earth’s history, faster then when the dinosaurs died, and about a thousand times faster than the natural rate of extinction. Knowing that the Earth’s ecosystem relies on biological diversity, this is obviously a threat to the human species as well, on top of other major threats like global-warming/climate-change and nuclear radiation. To think that humans have now reached a pinnacle in their evolution makes no sense; shouldn’t evolution be progressive rather than increasingly destructive? Shouldn’t we be happier and healthier rather than more miserable and diseased? Tens of millions of Americans are now taking dangerous artificial anti-depressants (giving record profits to the pharmaceutical industry), and cancer is being accepted as “just a part of life” (giving the harmful and mostly ineffective surgery, chemotherapy and radiation “treatment” industries immense profit as well), the masses believing the lies of industry that it’s your genetics that are the cause of both, when the truth is of course that the cause is mostly all the degradation, toxins and radiation we are exposed to in this artificial/unnatural/toxic society.
Some people praise modern technology as representative of advanced natural curiosity and holistic intelligence, yet they ignore all the environmental destruction and exploitative centralized power that goes with its production (and disposal), missing the cause-effect reality/truth that bad origins produce bad outcomes. This modern technology didn’t just come from human ingenuity, it came from injustice providing the basis for a classist society, an injustice that produced the division of labor that allowed a rich ruling class to form, dominate the rest of humanity, and use their idle hands to produce more advanced military technologies and social-systems of slavery. This root origin of technology and social-systems is lost on almost everybody, and why is that? It seems that as techno-industrial civilization continues to erode the natural environment, it also erodes people’s critical thinking, morality, and sense of true quality-of-life; it’s as if they are hypnotized by the money-game along with the screens of their TV’s, computers and cellphones, unable to articulate what really matters in life anymore, and unable to see the real natural world around them any longer. The complexity and unnaturalness of the modern world has led to increased derangement, as the healing and natural characteristics of a simpler and more sustainable life becoming less and less common.
“Continuing global “development” with the same world-view and institutions that have produced the deadly global situation we now face reminds me of one of the popular definitions of insanity: the act of trying the same thing over and over again while expecting to get a different result each time.”
– Red Alert! Saving the Planet with Indigenous Knowledge, by Daniel Wildcat, p. 79
Taking this obsession/addiction with modern technology to the extreme, more and more we are propagandized (in movies and TV shows especially) with the Transhumanism idea that the next step in human evolution is a merging of man and machine (i.e. becoming cyborgs), and even “uploading consciousness” into supercomputers for so-called “digital immortality.” Never-mind that only the powerful few will be able to design and build this artificial intelligence cyborg tech (and thereby be able to further control individuals via the limitations of the design and the possibility of your cyborg components being “hacked” into and controlled), or what their environmental/health effects will be, or what connection with Nature and Spirit is being lost. The same goes for nanotechnology, propagandized as a means to cure cancer (if you can afford such treatment!) and allow humans to possibly live forever, yet the similar negative effects/realities and terrible dystopian possibilities are ignored. This obsessive (and unwise) push for cyborg technology and nanotechnology is another destructive and unprincipled endeavor of man, like nuclear power and GMO’s, that we would be much better off with not existing at all, and, of crucial importance to understand, only exists because of the funneling of wealth to the few via social-systems. The key to keep in mind is that if the origins are unnatural and unprincipled, so will be the results; this is what makes this technology inevitably destructive, it’s a cause and effect dynamic.
Modern technology does not equate to superior experience, intelligence, creativity or curiosity. Let’s be real, most of us don’t know how to make a cell phone (or computer, or stereo, etc.) and understand how it works exactly; by speaking of electronic tech as a product of humanity as a whole, people are taking credit for knowledge and techniques that have been developed by a relatively few specialists (who are dependent on computers/robotics for their work), and generalizing it as the work of all mankind. The truth is most of us are completely ignorant and hapless consumers only concerning this technology; we can put our favorite ringtone and images on the device, but that’s about as far as consumer input goes in most cases. Most people do not have the very expensive resources necessary to create these devices (and many in the world can’t afford to even use them), and on top of that, how many of us would really want to bother with learning this robotic programming/manufacturing anyway? As John Zerzan says in this passage from his book Running On Emptiness:
“Sure, people are naturally curious. But about what? Did you or I aspire to create the neutron bomb? Of course not. That’s crazy. Why would people do that in the first place? … [T]he fact that I don’t want to create a neutron bomb doesn’t mean I’m not curious. Curiosity is not value free. Certain types of curiosity arise from certain types of mindsets…” (p. 82)
Mindsets that are motivated to create weapons of mass destruction and other destructive (to mind, body and environment) technology are disturbed mindsets, they are not more intelligent than the so-called primitive mindset.
Just as the modern mind-set is not necessarily more advanced than the more natural one, modern technology does not make for a truly advanced society in an ethical sense. Let’s not forget about Freedom, Equality and Justice in this distracting technological whirlwind! When right principles are lost, so is humanity.
Though there has been some post nation-forming progress in social-justice through reform, such as the end of the physical slavery of Africans, has not that slavery just been refined and expanded through greater monetary-slavery for everyone except the 1%?
Why do we need to earn money in order to survive? Why do most of us have to work at jobs we don’t want to, and often struggle to even find one of these jobs? Why are people forced to give their life away to working for others and be subject to various forms of exploitation, discrimination and abuse? Why do people have to unhappily work in toxic factories and for corporations that act against their values? We constantly hear talk of the job-market in the mass-media, but is it really a market of jobs or a market of wage-slaves? What is really for sale? Jobs or people? Don’t we go to perspective employers and try to sell ourselves with resumes, cover letters and interviews? This is of course normal in this society, but it is not natural or dignified, it is a reality of subservience and dependence, denying man the option to make an honest living by his or her own natural labor, to be his or her own master, subservient to no one, living off the land as a natural human being. The job market is in fact part of the human farm we are forced to live within, and us humans are put out on that market for sale every day. (The second listed definition for the word prostitute is: “Someone who debases themselves or their abilities for money.” Working in the corporate world is often prostituting oneself then isn’t it?) And even if you find a job you find tolerable, you must always live with the anxiety that it can be taken away from you at any time, just like how your investments and pensions that you may be dependent on can suddenly vanish, as has happened to countless people.
Being a commodity on a farm is not a secure or happy way to live, nor is being dependent on bank notes that may lose their value at any time (as they have many times in many countries). Our forced alienation from the natural world by the monetary-system is destructive to us and the environment, it is an artificial way for humans to live on this planet; as the Native American saying says, when the last tree has been cut down and the last river poisoned, only then will we realize that we can’t eat money. Our dependence on money and employers is due solely to the restriction from claiming our birthright to our fair share of land & water; we should have the option to not be wage-slaves and instead be self-employed via natural work, subservient to no one.
“When a family cannot support itself, and secure the food, clothing, and shelter it needs by getting employment in a factory, or an office, or a store, the only sensible thing for it to do is to support itself by producing these things for itself on its own homestead. … Insecurity and Industrialism are Siamese twins. You cannot have one without having to accept the other. Insecurity is the price we pay for our dependence upon industrialism for the essentials of life. … …[N]o man can afford to be dependent upon some other man for the bare necessities of life without running the risk of losing all that is most precious to him. Yet that is precisely and exactly what most of us are doing today.”
– Flight from the City: An Experiment in Creative Living on the Land, by Ralph Borsodi, p. 139-147
Obviously there is no such dependence in traditional indigenous societies, there is no monetary-slavery, because these people are living more naturally and freely, they are sustained by the Earth and each other, not by controlling and exploitative governments and corporations. This way of life points us in the right direction, away from this globalized money-machine. This machine has advanced some things, for sure, like: exploitation, destitution, illness and environmental destruction. This advancement of degeneration is now very acute among First Nations Peoples who have been subjected to the statist agenda, like the Lakota, who I will quote here at length:
“Today, real unemployment and corresponding poverty among Lakotas is over 90 percent. The level of self-sufficiency evidenced among even those who have somehow managed to cling to a few acres of land is nearly zero. This among a people who have always been productively occupied in the past, and who have never been truly impoverished.
Meanwhile, the wealth of our land, our water, our very habitat itself is being stripped away, inch by inch, pound by pound, all for the use and profit of others.
And the price we pay for this “progress”? It cannot be measured only in the depths of our destitution. Besides the obvious costs, there is the radioactive and chemical contamination of what little water remains to us, a matter which has led to spiraling rates of cancer, stillbirth and genetic mutations like cleft palate. Every new stripmine, uranium mill, power generating plant and production facility serves to up the ante of the consequences we endure.
The situation is already bad, and it promises to become much worse in coming years. Lakota territory is extraordinarily rich in minerals, and both the federal government and its corporate partners are once again offering “jobs, income and prosperity” to those foolish enough to grant them easy access.
What happens when the “resources” are gone? Look around you. The conditions currently prevailing at Pine Ridge are but a small taste of what is to come. The example of Laguna Pueblo, which placed its faith in uranium mining, is very much to the point. Only a few years ago [i.e. 1977], Laguna had the highest per capita income and lowest unemployment of any reservation in North America. Then the uranium played out, and with it went the jobs and royalties which had made Laguna “prosper”. Now the corporate sugar daddy is gone, the water is radioactively contaminated, and so are the foundations of homes and community buildings, the roadbeds and the farmland. The old economy of Laguna cannot be reconstructed, the new economy is bust, and the chances are that the people will not even be able to remain on their homeland because of the contamination. The people of Laguna are rapidly being reduced to absolute dependence upon unemployment compensation, welfare, ADC [Aid to Dependent Children], commodities distribution, the Indian Health Service and “Christian charity.” So are the Lakota people. The only difference between them and us [the Lakota people] is that their situation is likely permanent, and ours doesn’t have to be. But it could be. If we follow their lead, if we allow the trend of industrial “progress” to continue, our present situation will not be temporary. It will be permanent. There will be no way to regain self-sufficiency in terms acceptable to our own Lakota tradition.
Insofar as the United States and its corporate allies are presently seeking to leave us no alternative but to accept such a fate, they are guilty of denying Lakota self-determination in the most egregious manner imaginable.”
– quote taken from the 1982 Campaign Platform of Oglala Sioux/Lakota member Russell Means, the first National Director of the American Indian Movement
What Occupiers who are trying to reform social-systems need to recognize is that such systems are unnatural and unprincipled in any form. All forms are based on force (e.g. evictions) and theft (e.g. taxes) and so are therefore unprincipled. The domestication of humans through social-systems is not natural, it is a forced deviation from the wild order of Nature, a deviation which has had extremely negative consequences. These unnatural practices are the root cause of most of the despair, violence and environmental destruction in the world, and so doesn’t that reveal the source of what the Hopi call Koyaanisqatsi, life out of balance? Is not something continuously extremely destructive to our Mother Earth, not at all fitting into Her ecology, unnatural? “No, it’s corporations that exploit people and destroy the environment, they are the problem, not government,” you may object, but where do corporations come from? Governments! (They create corporations). And what caused us to become dependent on corporate goods in the first place? Governments! (They tax us and force us off the land which makes us $-slaves). “Well technically yes, but…” But nothing. When you ignore the root cause, irrationally believing it is somehow good, though the majority of destruction on Earth comes from that root, you are delusional if you just keep looking at the branches (like individual corporate acts) and think pruning those will save the day.
“[W]hen we suffer, or are exposed to the same miseries by a government which we might expect in a country without a government, our calamity is heightened by reflecting that we furnish the means by which we suffer. Government, like dress, is the badge of lost innocence: the palaces of kings are built on the ruins of the bowers [i.e. natural dwellings] of paradise.”
-Thomas Paine, Common Sense (1776)
As the Occupy activists are being removed from living freely on the land, like Native Americans were, we glimpse at the root injustice, the injustice which allows for empires to exist and grow in the first place: making it illegal to live as free and natural women & men on the Earth. In some places it has even been made illegal to collect rainwater! That injustice encapsulates the whole root problem we face as a society.
The government claims you are subject to their jurisdiction because you are living in “their” territory. Yet how did this territory become theirs? Officials say their jurisdiction was made valid by the absurd (and racist) “Discovery Doctrine,” that proclaims “lands lay with the government whose subjects explored and occupied a territory whose inhabitants were not subjects of a European Christian monarch.” Uh huh, insane religious conquest/imperialism… real solid so far. “The doctrine has been primarily used to support decisions invalidating or ignoring aboriginal possession of land in favor of colonial or post-colonial governments.” So a few Christian European officials sailed over to somewhere they had never been to before, and Bam! it’s all theirs, further than the eye can see! And everybody already living there (e.g. indigenous peoples) are now under their control! Yeah, sounds super legit!
On top of this bullshit doctrine there is the fact that this territory was established via the massacre of Native women, men and children; hardly legitimate means to property rights! The fact is that all nation-state territory was at some point established by conquest (followed by the conquerors arbitrarily and without valid authority drawing lines on maps, designating “their” territory); this is just force, violence, coercion and slavery in-action, none of these territories and jurisdictions are actually valid.
Saying you “agreed” to the rules of a nation-state by simply being on a piece of Earth state officials claim is their territory (i.e. “implicit consent”) is completely fraudulent, just as the so-called “social-contract” that none of us have actually signed and has been forced upon us, is invalid.
Social-contract theory relies on the “implicit agreement” of the public, that is, even though you don’t specifically agree to something, like taxation for protection, you supposedly implicitly agree by accepting some of the benefits of the state, like using roads or whatever (which are necessary for survival as a money-slave). Yet even if you explicitly object to this arrangement and say you want to live off the land and be left alone, this is ignored! Somehow your “implicit agreement” trumps your explicit objection! How absurd it is to call a contract valid that you never signed, can’t opt-out of, and are told that you gave implicit consent for, by simply being alive!
All of the major imbalance and destruction we observe in the world, from extreme disparities of wealth to ecocide, is a result of humans not living in proper relationship with Nature and each other. Since there aren’t enough resources for everyone to live like wealthy Americans or Europeans, obviously the answer isn’t for everyone to live that way, nor should the tragedy of people dying of starvation and malnutrition-related disease be tolerated either. The way we can end this great disparity of wealth and restore ecological balance is for there to be equal and free access to a fair share of the land and water for every sovereign human and family, so they can live more self-sufficiently via homesteading. This would end the monetary-slavery that creates the massive inequality and hunger that exists in the world. Once we no longer have to pay to live on the planet, we can much more easily and readily help one another achieve greater self-sufficiency; we can have much healthier and supportive communities that aren’t divided within by the stress of individuals trying to survive in unjust monetary social-systems.
In order for lasting justice to be achieved, focus needs to be on these evictions from the land, past and present, while not confusing these current occupations with imperial ones of the past; not all occupations are equal. What distinguishes imperial/colonial occupations from just occupations is the former is the taking of more than is needed to live naturally by the occupiers; the taking of more than your fair share, which is more than a homesteading scale; it is thereby the theft of land and water from other people and species.
Stealing is taking what belongs to others, e.g. forcing someone off land they are currently using or taking more than your fair share preventing other people from using it. Yes people may have been gathering & hunting occasionally through an area, but to say a new homesteader there is “stealing the land” just begs the question of which and how many people are allowed to use that land before it is called “stealing,” and what is a fair share of land & water for each human being? Can I rightly say that a thousand mile radius from my place of birth is my territory, and anyone who tries to grow a garden within that area is stealing my land? Of course not. Well, what about a hundred mile radius? 50? Still no. What actually makes the most sense for just property rights, something that is actually applicable world-wide (and therefore worth talking about), in keeping with the principles of equality, justice and compassion, along with the fact that everyone needs a place to live on this planet, is clearly a homesteading scale. Saying so doesn’t make me an insensitive racist who doesn’t respect anything of native cultures. Colonialism is military conquest by nation-states, it is slavery and genocide, it is forcibly denying people the ability to live their traditional/natural free way of life on Earth. Establishing a homestead peacefully on an unoccupied/uncultivated piece of land is a completely different thing, it’s not murdering/enslaving/stealing like Christopher Columbus. Migration of humans from one continent to another is a natural and blameless phenomenon, colonial conquest is not; making the two an inseparable whole is mistaken. Yes, many people, like my Irish ancestors escaping famine, moved after a militaristic conquest by English and other European governments, but they were not part & parcel to those governments (and to say so to an Irish woman or man would probably be responded to by laughter at your ignorance or worse for the insult). My great grandmother was sent on a months-long journey to Ellis Island on a “coffin ship” alone at the age of 17 because she was the healthiest and the only one the family could afford to send. To equate that Irish girl with the king of England is extremely stupid and completely false. There are of course countless other examples like this of migrating people just trying to survive with no ill-will toward native peoples, yet this fact is often amazingly absent from opining by radical activists, essentially spouting little more than “colonialism, colonialism, colonialism!”, a view which keeps implying the false/ignorant equivalency of “all white people = colonizers” and also seems to be ignorant of the fact that every “white” baby born on this continent is actually a human individual! The main mix-up here is assuming/implying that every “settler” living on this continent has the same mindset as fascist/racist imperialists, that they’re the same as the governments who have deemed them their “citizens,” and that these individuals don’t care about Native Americans, don’t want to live in harmony with them, and are all just mindlessly going on a “white/colonial privilege” ride through the countryside without any consideration for who may already be living in the area. And in staying stuck on that narrow/false thought, one can totally miss the ecological and rational basis for homesteading as a sustainable and fair-to-other-life way to live (especially veganic homesteading); they’re ironically actually caught up in a racist way of thinking (against “white people”) which is muddling their critical thinking; they’re exercising the psychological phenomenon known as projection, i.e. saying someone else is doing what they are in fact the one doing (e.g. being racist).
“White privilege” does exist (mainly because of social-systems, which is the real root problem that should be focused on and countered with anarchism), but how is the best way to deal with that being to deny the freedom and equality of the so-called white people? You can’t peacefully set up a garden anywhere on this continent because your skin color is similar to tyrants like George Washington? Send them all back on a boat to Ireland or wherever? That’s obviously totally impractical, irrational and wrong isn’t it? As is the less obviously foolish activism which seems to have as its sole goal trying to make others feel guilty about things like the color of their skin and where they were born. What’s the solution-oriented point to that? There isn’t any, which is sadly then just serving the status-quo. [side note: Rather than focusing on advocating the main solution of anarchism and being on equal grounds with each other (i.e. equal land and water access), radical activists on both sides often get sidetracked in a divide & conquer program they don’t even realize they are participating in; in academia/off-target fashion, “anarchists” sadly just become another tool of the State/status-quo.]
The answer is therefore that we need to take back the land as sovereign individuals, establishing voluntary communities of sovereign homesteads, in solidarity and cooperation with indigenous peoples of the areas in which we live. The imperialist agenda that led to the genocide of Native Americans and slavery of Africans is of course quite different from the agenda of the Occupy activists who peacefully occupied parks and other public spaces; in fact the motives of each are opposite to one another. When activists occupy a park peacefully for the purpose of greater social-justice, that obviously cannot be equated with the slave-trade or armies massacring women, men and children for the purpose of establishing new national territory or to secure “national interests” (like oil reserves in the Mid East); the former is nonviolent and non-hierarchical, while the latter is extremely violent and hierarchical.
Some object to any occupation at all based on the idea that “private property is theft,” but this perspective doesn’t make much sense as far as pointing to a harmonious way humans can live on the Earth together. That phrase is oversimplified, the truth is that property beyond your birthright of sovereign homesteading land is then the theft of that birthright from someone else. If there is no private property at all, then it is all communal property, and is that really a better idea? This theory, advocating the total elimination of private property, is defined as communism; and that theory has not played out well at all in the real world (a major understatement of course). If there is no private property, no personal sovereignty, then there is no protection from communal authoritarianism regulating the property (and your life); without private property, namely without sovereign homesteading land, concentration of power in one form or another is very likely, which inevitably leads to corruption, injustice and tyranny. If no one can claim and protect the land their family lives on, and must submit to so-called “community” authoritarianism, we are back to square one, a control paradigm, a social-system. Yes, “the Earth does not belong to man, man belongs to the Earth” but don’t we all deserve (and need for peace & harmony) our own places wherein we can commune with our families, Nature & Spirit without the interference of others? We shouldn’t get hung up on the term “ownership” concerning land. Yes the Earth belongs to everyone, but if we don’t designate portions to people to be their “own” during their lifetime, how can we insure personal freedom/sovereignty, peace/privacy, and independence? We can’t. That’s why we need to be a bit more rational and accept the fact that designating a couple acres of arable land per individual/small-family is necessary, it would be a principled occupation, not taking more than your fair share. It would also be unproblematic to trade one’s homestead land for someone else’s, not treating it as property in the sense that it equates to a monetary value, but rather as the birthright of all. These sovereign homesteads would make up voluntary communities; voluntary because any social-system or claiming of territory beyond your own fair share leads inevitably to conflict, corruption and calamity. Our “tribe,” or relations that we wish to be near for mutual support and friendship, would be in nearby sovereign spaces, but not subject to forcible membership in any collective or hierarchy.
We need to peacefully claim our birthright through such occupations and stop supporting unprincipled/violent social-systems, we need to stop submitting to false authority and hierarchy. The newer strategy within the Occupy Wall St. movement has been to occupy homes, to help families resist evictions and stay in their homes, creating eviction-free zones (very close to the more on-point declaration of private homes as autonomous zones) and this is a much wiser strategy than the park occupations were (good as those were), being that it is closer to the necessary self-sufficiency dynamic for social, ecological and economic balance, i.e. sovereign homesteads making up voluntary gift-economy communities. Eviction resistance can be a viable transition to a truly revolutionary movement, but thus far the home occupations have not been declaring free and sovereign homesteading land as a birthright, and so the dominating economic and legal apparatus of the state is not being adequately challenged and rejected in a way that can have permanency; the current tactic of settling for some renegotiated payment-plan with a bank is not a real victory, it’s just making the slavery more livable, for a time. There is no just compromise solution within an unjust system, the only logical and ethical way is via complete noncompliance to forced citizenship and having to pay to live on this planet, i.e. declaring individual sovereignty as women & men of the Earth, to whom a fair share of free land and water is a birthright. Then people will have the stability of having a place to live they don’t have to pay for, and community solidarity and organizing can take off to new levels impossible under current restraints.
“Gandhi envisaged for India an ideal that was the opposite of a modern centralized state, monopolizing decision-making and buttressing itself and its decision with varieties of coercion. He hoped… small-scale communities would regulate their own affairs without the use of force. He called this ideal “Enlightened Anarchy.” … From this it followed that individuals were obliged by their duty to pursue Truth, to withdraw cooperation from a state that became immoral, and to refuse to obey laws that were clearly wrong and immoral. “Satanic” was the worst, most profoundly critical adjective he used of the British raj [i.e. rule] and the reason he gave for noncooperation with it…”
– Gandhi, Freedom, and Self-Rule, edited by Anthony J. Parel, p. 92-93
Before the police evicted the Occupy Portland camp and fenced it off, I saw a sign left behind, staked in the ground, that read “I can’t afford to be here.” Yes, we have to pay the Rent don’t we? We have to pay off those Student Loans! We can’t afford the time to do things like share food and discourse with our community and be a part of some nonviolent social-justice movement; we can’t afford to be the change we wish to see in the world. We are ensnared by modern techno-industrial society and so have lost sight of what it means to be a natural woman or man on the Earth. Through land control/cost and taxation, governments force us to be money-slaves and assimilate to an unnatural consumerist lifestyle that destroys minds, bodies and spirits. The wisdom and understanding of Native Americans who are demanding real freedom and sovereignty is needed by many activists who are still just aiming for some reformation of the system, reforms that will not solve the root problem to the social and ecological imbalance we see growing throughout the world. Additionally, knowing how to grow your own food, build your own home, make your own clothes, etc. are not “primitive” skills, they are valuable natural human skills that take a lot of intelligence and skill to master (and are satisfying creative activities too); modern social-systems have actually de-skilled the populace, we are less capable of doing the many natural and sustainable things our ancestors could, having become dependent on electronic technology, corporations and governance. Occupy members can unite in solidarity with Native peoples to reclaim their own sovereignty and humanity, breaking the governmental chains that still bind them both.
The countless injustices against Native Americans has been an ongoing tragedy that needs to be rectified, rather than just continuing on with the countless examples of dishonor and insults added to injury, like these:
“During World War II, in 1942 the Department of War annexed 341,725 acres of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation for use by the United States Army Air Force as an aerial gunnery and bombing range. It condemned privately held land owned by tribal members and leased communally held tribal land.
Among the 125 families forced to give up their land was that of Pat Cuny. He was an Oglala soldier with the 83rd Infantry Division, who landed in Normandy at Omaha Beach two weeks after the Normandy invasion in 1944 after his transport was torpedoed in the English Channel, fought in the Battle of the Bulge, helped liberate the Langenstein concentration camp, and fought to the final conquest of Nazi Germany.
Another family forced to give up their land was that of Dewey Beard, a Miniconjou Sioux survivor of the Wounded Knee Massacre.”
[Quote taken 7/9/2012 from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pine_Ridge_Indian_Reservation#Taking_of_Badlands_Bombing_Range%5D
There has been successful resistance by First Nations Peoples however, like the 1970 occupation of Fort Lawton in Seattle. Actions like that, which make sovereignty and land their foundation, are what should continue, and non-First Nations Occupiers/activists are in a perfect position to help. As I pointed to years ago in my essay “Native Americans & Hemp: A Call for Reverse Colonization Through a New Sustainable Paradigm” there is the potential for “Americans” to side with Natives in reclaiming their sovereignty & land (along with claiming their own, cooperating together), and not have the land & water further decimated by government-backed corporate destruction like coal and uranium mining. There has been some collaboration already of course, like there was among radical American activists of the 1960’s who devoted an entire issue (#8) of their San Francisco newspaper, The Oracle, to the “American Indian”, which included the following:
“As the machine increasingly dominates our lives, replacing trust, love and sense of community, Uncle Sam finds it necessary to remove Indian heritage and plug its people into the system. Indians are not a resource to be developed! “America, the great melting pot” has turned into a coerced illusion, forcing the Indian into completely relinquishing his real heritage, as it has done to most minorities. Keep in mind, however, that American Indians are not minorities of the United States, but sovereign nations surrounded by Americans. … [They] now have to pay for the land which they previously occupied without charge. If they cannot pay, as most will be unable to do, they will lose their land…”
The solution for all who wish to live freely, naturally and sustainably on this planet is the same: claiming personal/land/food-sovereignty, so that we no longer have to live under domination and destruction.
What made the Native culture decline so rapidly was of course the genocide, forced colonial schooling and restrictions from speaking their languages and practicing their ceremonies; it has also been due to their forced dependence on the corporatist social-system, the monetization of the Earth’s resources. The reason why most Natives (and non-Natives) now can’t afford to live naturally is because of being forced to pay people, calling themselves “officials,” for “services” that were never signed for in contract; it’s an illegitimate social arrangement, it’s tyrannical. We all need a place to live, we all need food, clothing and shelter. The question is whether governance is the best means to obtain these necessities; the answer, based on an objective view of the present and past, is a definitive no.
“We must learn the homely laws of fire and water. We must feed, wash, plant, build. These are the ends of necessity, and first in the order of nature, the house of health and life.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson, from his essay “Poetry & Imagination”
“The essence of what I have said is that man should rest content with what are his real needs and become self-sufficient. If he does not have this control he cannot save himself.”
– Mohandas K. Gandhi, Gandhi, Freedom and Self-Rule, p. 107
Returning to the imperial conquest and colonization of the Americas, we must recognize what enabled this conquest in the first place: military forces. And where do military forces come from? Government. As most Americans know, the majority of their tax dollars go to the various armed forces; war and government go hand-in-hand, war as we know it would not exist if governments didn’t exist, and if it were not for social-systems of taxation and land control the 1% could not establish their hierarchical power (and military forces) in the first place. Sadly many have been propagandized into the short-sighted perspective that the government, and the military at their disposal, “protect our freedoms.” Isn’t the most fundamental freedom to live on the Earth as a sovereign human being, in relationship with loved ones, the Earth and Spirit, without being forced into subservience that you never agreed to? We are not made free by governance, we are made into unnatural slaves by it.
“We no longer see ourselves within the webs and cycles of nature. The loss of a direct relationship to the world terminates a once universal human understanding of our oneness with the natural world. The principle of relatedness is at the heart of indigenous wisdom: traditional intimacy with the world as the immanent basis of spirituality. This understanding is an essential and irreplaceable foundation of human health and meaningfulness.”
– John Zerzan, Twilight of the Machines, p. 124
Indigenous wisdom is desperately needed by those who think of themselves as citizens rather than humans, by those who are exploited and indoctrinated by social-systems, systems that are supposedly run by representatives who “serve” the masses. The truth is a rearranging of those letters, they don’t serve us, but sever us, from the Earth and from each other, through taxation, land control/cost, hierarchy and division of labor. Seeing through the deceitful promises of government, modern technology and industrialized society, we can reclaim our humanity and base our way of life on ecology, on nonviolence, equality and true freedom.
Tribes are sometimes associated with a hierarchical social structure, false authority and forced participation in customs, but this is not usually the case, for example tribal chiefs are usually not at all authoritarian, they are more a spokesperson and mediator who can be removed from their position at any time if they are found to be irresponsible in some way.
“Leadership in a tribe is an advisory role, not an authoritarian one. (There are exceptions to this, but the anthropological record shows they are rare.) … [E]arly European invaders of the Americas didn’t understand this: in fact, they considered it a sign of backwardness, and so sought out the “chief” or leader of a tribe, thinking that they could negotiate with that person and everybody else in the tribe would then have to comply. In fact, tribal leadership is usually held by a committee, and even that committee is more advisory than authoritarian. Power is shared among the members of the tribe, as are resources.”
– The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight by Thom Hartmann, p. 175
That said, the reason I emphasize individual sovereignty over tribal, regional or community sovereignty, is that without that as the foundation of social relations we are still accepting some level of tyranny. Although tribal territory is obviously making a much more legitimate claim based on thousands of years of occupation, how can the group territory be defined definitely and justly? Who has authority to draw those lines on the map? And what about people that don’t want to be part of the tribe, or because they don’t have a certain percentage of ancestry from a particular tribe are not accepted to be part of it? We are all indigenous to the earth, all of us have tribal ancestors at one point or another, so it really makes no sense that you must have a certain percentage of blood from a certain tribe in order to be entitled to sovereignty and land; that would be an injustice to every child that is born someplace that does not have that percentage, discriminating against them and subjecting them to greater oppression just because of their physical likeness, and that’s racism. The key is equality; all of us being on equal ground (which would be best achieved via equal land & water access), which is exactly what I’ve heard many Native peoples advocate. If you want to live in a tribal fashion with others that want to do the same that’s fine, you can all live right next to each other, but if you make that structure the starting point of society, rather than sovereign individuals that can choose to be a part of a tribe or not, you are still making Nature secondary to an artificial system of man, and that always has negative consequences and inherent problems, as I just brought up.
The fundamental problem is force/violence/enslavement, whether it’s on the genocidal colonial end of the spectrum or the automatic membership in a tribe, they are both types of forced membership and collectivism (though of course very different in degree) and that’s fundamentally wrong, denying the birthright of everyone as sovereign women and men of the Earth; this creates inevitable negative ecological & social consequences. You can’t build a principled, balanced and harmonious society on a premise that is fundamentally unjust, unprincipled and untrue.
So the answer, which respects everyone’s sovereignty, freedom and equality, is to only have the right to make the rules for your own valid territory/property (be the “master of your own domain”), and the only just and valid territory/domain that can be established (respecting the equality and liberty of all) is that of individual or family homes, on their own sovereign homesteading land, utilizing their own fair share of land & water, and no more. We should all be Queens & Kings of our own sovereign domains, this is what a true Kingdom (Kin’s/family domain) of Heaven (right principles) is. (Of course these homesteads can be near others (friends & family) we wish to form communities with; this is not an “isolationist” model for society, it is a model for society that has as its base a respect for the equality and sovereignty of every woman & man on Earth.)
Tribal authority has the problem of individual sovereignty being superseded by a collective, and land being collectivized rather than distributed on a one-by-one basis, which is the same problem of nation-state forced citizenship, disallowing voluntary community and voluntary membership. I believe this is why, to a large degree, taking the treaty/law route to freedom has been unsuccessful: it is appealing to an illegitimate authority (e.g. the Canadian or U.S. government) and speaking on behalf of many individuals (like a state constitution does) in a collectivized territory, which as I explained, is also ultimately illegitimate. Unanimous direct democracy (in which everyone voting agrees on the measure being passed) is a legitimate form of social-agreement, but only if a person can choose to not agree or participate. Not allowing that is assuming that those in positions of power in some organization (whether state or tribal) are automatically more virtuous than those that are not in those positions, and thereby deserve powers which the others don’t have; an assumption that is irrational and without historical basis. For example there are countless examples of tribal governance going against the will of members of the tribe (often in collusion with the U.S. government). Since this corruption can and does keep occurring, treaties can be a form of false representation. Additionally, people don’t always agree, an individual may find no group mandate which she or he is in complete agreement with, so there must be the option of not being part of any collective, of being an independent person.
And in order for that to be a possibility, one must have the option of having their own space, namely their own sovereign piece of land, so that they can live self-sufficiently. Tribes, majority rule and even direct democracy are really no better fundamentally than a dictatorship if there is no option to not participate and instead be a independent woman or man on this planet, not forced to agree with others, not forced to forfeit individual autonomy; to acquiesce and relinquish that unwillingly is really to be no more than a child, submitting to the commands of those playing the role of authoritarian parental overlords, and that’s not what society should be based on, it should be based on dignity and respect, for ourselves and others. Many tribal leaders do have the best interest of those in their community at heart, and they certainly should continue to be leaders in their community, the key is that it’s on a voluntary basis and that they have no “representative” power over those who did not agree to that arrangement.
Speaking of respecting the lives of others, many mistakenly think that hunting was historically the main means of tribal subsistence, and under-emphasize their skills as gatherers, and especially as horticulturists. Regardless, today with the almost complete decimation of wilderness and wildlife, we can’t all rely on hunting and gathering for survival, nor should we commit violence against other sentient species unnecessarily, that would be hypocritical for those advocating justice. It’s proven that animal-products aren’t needed for optimum health, so there’s really no ethically sound justification for enslaving and murdering sentient animals for food. Sometimes animal-based meals are associated with a cultural tradition, but violence and slavery are certainly never what makes any culture or tradition great; having vegan versions of varying cuisines is not a loss to that culture, but a gain. Claiming the murder of animals is essential to the beauty and distinctness of various cultures (which is found in their arts, languages, etc.) really doesn’t hold up to analysis, nor does claiming one’s culture is inseparable from the government alongside it. Governance (a.k.a. statism), like human carnism, is a tradition of violence and slavery that also doesn’t add to the beauty or uniqueness of various cultures (in fact governments support a corporate mono-culture that destroys cultural diversity).
“It has also been established that most traditional native economies were based in agriculture rather than hunting and gathering–a clear indication of a stationary, not nomadic, way of life–up until the European invasion dislocated the indigenous populations of North America.”
– Struggle for the Land: Native North American Resistance to Genocide, Ecocide, and Colonization by Ward Churchill, p. 16
Therefore the way we can be in most in harmony with Nature, other species and each other, finally end tyranny, and live in true justice & equality, is through sovereign veganic homesteads, making up voluntary gift-economy communities. The restrictions of social-systems (land control, costs and taxation) won’t allow for that ideal way of life, and so that’s why we must reject systems of human farming altogether.
So yes, Occupy, but not to temporarily petition false masters to treat their slaves better, Occupy homesteading land permanently as sovereign humans to break away the chains to the lie of so-called “representative” democracy. Then we can unite and harmonize with the Earth, our true nurturing parent, and reject the false parental overlords who continue to deceive the masses into believing that they are better off with their “care.”
Urbanized Occupy activists need to remember the Earth beneath these concrete jungles, and they need to remember the indigenous societies that existed on that land for a long time before these unsustainable corporatist cities were built there. With ecology, sustainability, ethics, land and sovereignty as our main guideposts, we can move towards a truly intelligent, harmonious and principled way of living together on this amazing & beautiful planet.
by Colin Denny Donoghue
(updated September 22nd, 2016)
Our culture is filled with stories, and some well-known stories are not as innocent and harmless as is commonly believed. If we take time to think about them more deeply, and how they may influence our lives, we can discover underlying meaning and messages that actually disempower us greatly and misdirect us away from crucial truth about our Reality. By becoming aware of this, we can free ourselves from mental ties that keep us from progress, both personally and socially. Here I will focus on one of the most well known stories in the world, that of Adam & Eve in the Garden of Eden, and I will also analyze the mainstream teachings and beliefs concerning the salvation offered by Jesus of Nazareth (Yeshua the Messiah), to show how both have been distorted, and are thereby doing much more harm than good for society, through subliminally pushing false, irrational and immoral ideas that are disempowering. I will give alternative positive ways (what I believe are the correct ways) to view the Garden of Eden story and the teachings of Jesus so that we can reclaim them in the interest of truth, peace, justice, and enlightenment.
The traditional story of Adam & Eve defies common sense, and is even blasphemous, in multiple ways. Firstly it says God put a special tree in Paradise with fruit that Adam & Eve were forbidden to eat, thereby making God a tempter of evil. Secondly, we’re told that God tells Adam that if he does eat it, “in the day that you eat from it you shall surely die” (Genesis 2:17), which doesn’t happen, Adam doesn’t die in the day he ate the fruit, making God out to be a liar. Thirdly, the story we know says God was supposedly forbidding woman and man from gaining the Knowledge of Good and Evil, a.k.a. morality, thus making God out to be immoral. So altogether this nonsense story portrays God as an immoral tempter of evil, and a liar; that’s an exact description of the Devil, not God. And yet most Christians accept this blasphemous absurdity, for no reason other than it’s what they were taught by religious “authority.” Indoctrination to always submit to “authority” is pervasive and invasive, making false religious dogma difficult to identify and then reject for many people. It is possible though, when truth, common sense and morality become the priorities, not dogma. There is a lot of wisdom to be found in the Bible, but the story of Adam & Eve as found in the book of Genesis, is definitely not an example of it. The only way the story could make sense is if Satan had corrupted all the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge with lies, i.e. with false morality, and God, knowing this, forbade Adam & Eve from eating of it, because that false morality would take them out of Paradise. Instead of intelligently acknowldeggin this, many Christians resort to rationalizations to try and make the story legitamate, like this: “Adam and Eve, by rebelliosly partaking of the tree of knowledge of good & evil, sought to assume the right to determine the two, but that right is only God’s.” Now again this makes no sense, if the fruit of this tree gave Adam & Eve this knowledge, how is that “assuming the right to determine” that knowledge? That’s the complete opposite of assuming the right! If they wanted to assume the right to determine good and evil on their own, then they wouldn’t eat that fruit, i.e. they wouldn’t be seeking that knowledge anywhere outside themselves.
But without that caveat of lies in the fruit, the story doesn’t make any sense at all, and as I said, is blasphemous. Why would knowing the difference between right and wrong be a bad thing? Wouldn’t God want you to know what was Good & Evil so you could always choose the Good? That’s obviously what the Ten Commandments were all about, as was what Jesus was all about too: “The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the Devil’s work” (1 John 3:8); “Then Jesus told him, ‘I entered this world to render judgment–to give sight to the spiritually blind and to show those who think they see that they are blind’ (John 9:39).
Also hasn’t your own personal experience shown that having this Knowledge is very important in order to make your life better, avoid harm and reject injustice? And isn’t good child-rearing mostly a matter of teaching your child the difference between right and wrong? Plus how can we look at the horrific (and also at times beautiful) history of human civilization and not see a clear contrast between Good & Evil? So much tragedy in people’s personal lives and on the social-scale could have been prevented if there was a clear understanding of what’s good and what’s evil, rather than confusion over it. Examples of the latter that instantly come to my mind include: the American South’s continued insistence on maintaining slavery in the 18th & 19th centuries, 1930’s Germany, early Vietnam War, China’s Invasion into Tibet, Iraq/Afghanistan invasions by the U.S. military, the 2000 U.S. Presidential election theft by Bush/Cheney, various new environmental pollutants and bodily toxins being approved and utilized by the public, etc. Another sociopolitical example would be the prohibition of industrial hemp farming, while hemp is the most beneficial plant available to humans (The Tree of Life in the Garden of Eden?), able to provide nutritious food, clothing, building materials, fuel and medicine.
Think about it: How can we have progress without a sense of what’s right and wrong? Isn’t that what progress always really is? A progression from the bad to the good in varying degree?
“Those who know right as right, and know the wrong to be wrong, ascend to happy states of being, for they hold right views.”
– The Buddha, The Dhammapada, Chapter 22
The story of the “forbidden fruit,” as it is commonly told, is a centuries-old piece of misinformation used to continue the status-quo paradigm; it does not encourage the questioning of authority or the progress of humanity. By telling us that having the Knowledge of Good and Evil is bad, this story reinforces mass disempowerment of humanity. Without understanding of what is harmful and what is not, how can we ever act compassionately? And so why would having this Knowledge be prohibited by a loving Creator? To say that seeking the Knowledge of Good and Evil is wrong is equivalent to saying love is wrong, that love is a sin! An idea couldn’t be more more backwards, and is certainly not fitting for Divinity. Intelligent Christians must recognize on some level that this doesn’t make any sense at all, but they often turn a blind eye, giving way to the official teaching that is supposedly “the Word of God.” And what could be more advantageous for the Devil than people believing his lies are the Word of God? This is exactly what probably really drove Adam & Eve out of Paradise, and keeps the world in a deplorable state today, the most destructive beliefs today (namely Carnism and Statism, more on these shortly) being based on false morality. So we shouldn’t be surprised that this was the real deception that led to the “fall of Man,” since we can see it is what has been behind all the violence and slavery ever since, through to today.
To ignore the falsehood, irrationality, and immorality, (the Toxic Trio, always found in Evil/Satan’s ideas) of a story that makes God out to be an immoral tempter promoting an amoral/unconscientious society, and simply, as many Christians do, rationalize these major problems away by saying the whole story was just about “disobedience to God being a sin,” is wrongly ignoring the immoral, irrational and blasphemous nature of the story, and in so doing, ironically does no obedience or service to God at all, it actually serves the Enemy. God & Jesus commanded us to love one another, and love is of course the highest Good, so we need that knowledge of Good constantly in our lives; we actually need to become experts in that Knowledge, knowing what the minute details of it are. And likewise we need to know what is the opposite of Love/Good, which is Evil, so that we can avoid it. The Knowledge of Good & Evil is absolutely necessary in order to be in obedience to God, yet this Devilishly corrupted story tells us the exact opposite. This is a hallmark of Satanic thought, not only is it untrue, it’s the exact opposite of the truth, thereby doing the most damage to those that believe in it, and those that the believer effects with their misguided actions.
“Depart from evil and do good; Seek peace and pursue it.” (Psalm 34:14)
“Turn away from evil! Do what is right! Then you will enjoy lasting security.” (Psalm 37:27)
It is certainly the Devil, not God, that doesn’t want us to have the true Knowledge of Good & Evil, because a crucial part of that Knowledge is knowing that he exists! The Devil is most effective when people don’t think such an evil force is real; as the old saying goes, “The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing people he doesn’t exist.” Adam & Eve surely lost Paradise not because they knew the difference between right and wrong, but rather because they didn’t know any longer; they listened to the lies of the Devil who stayed on the Tree of Knowledge to corrupt the truth of Good & Evil with false morality. (And the blame being put all on Eve/Women as it in the mainstream version of the story is another obvious distortion, this one aligned with sexism and patriarchy.) Supporters of this backwards ideology/paradigm are clearly the authors of the Old Testament story of Adam & Eve, not a Divine and loving omniscient intelligence. This backwards ideology has also resulted in a backwards culture; the true lifestyle of Adam & Eve matches the perspective of Anarcho-naturism (e.g. free of government and taboos against nakedness), which is basically the opposite of American society. The world is indeed “upside down.”
Another point to make this even more obvious: Why did Adam & Eve become ashamed of their nakedness after eating of the Knowledge of Good and Evil? If we are made in the “image of God” why would our naked bodies be something shameful?? That’s saying that God is shameful and so is His Creation! (Again that’s Satanism, not true Christianity!) Therefore it makes more sense that it was fruit poisoned with lies that they were eating from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, and that’s why they became ashamed; they no longer knew our nakedness was good and natural, their sense of right and wrong had been reversed, which is exactly what the Devil’s main goal is for humanity, and what he still tries to accomplish daily through constantly deceiving people with lies.
The popular nonsense story of Adam & Eve is an example of Orwellian propaganda, saying the good is evil and the evil is good. When we accept others claims of what’s right and wrong, especially from society’s official “authorities,” even when it defies common sense, we allow ourselves to be complicit with destructive policies, ideology and actions that cause massive harm to others and our environment. What comes to my mind right away as big examples of that are: a) Going along with the propaganda delivered by the mass media concerning 9/11/2001 (read David Ray Griffin’s books on 9/11 for starters on that topic), b) Election fraud (read Fooled Again by Mark Crispin Miller for starters on elections), c) “Justifications” for killing countless civilians in Iraq/Afghanistan/Pakistan, d) GMOs being deemed “safe” (they’re not!), e) Vaccines (also definitely not safe!), f) and Radiation Exposure from modern technology. When we allow rulers to tell us what’s right (e.g. the war) and what’s wrong (e.g. dissent), we voluntarily allow the disempowerment of our minds and bodies, we allow for lies to cloud our comprehension of the true reality, we become sheep led by wolves.
“Thieves, robbers, murderers and cheats, who commit crimes recognized by themselves and everyone else as evil, serve as an example of what ought not to be done, and deter others from similar crimes. But those who commit the same thefts, robberies, murders, and other crimes, disguising them under all kinds of religious or scientific or humanitarian justifications, as all landowners, merchants, manufacturers, and government officials do, provoke others to imitation, and so do harm not only to those who are directly the victims of their crimes, but to thousands and millions of men whom they corrupt by obliterating their sense of the distinction between right and wrong.”
– Leo Tolstoy, The Kingdom of God is Within You, p. 343
The Slavery of Animals & Humans; A Reality Denied, to Our Own Detriment, for Centuries
Speaking of wolves, another big example of confusion concerning Good & Evil that needs a lot more attention on the societal level is the issue of wild vs. domesticated animals; there is a huge difference between the two, and that difference isn’t most importantly concerning physical attributes, it’s concerning origins, ethics, and karmic consequence. As for that, firstly there are the major environmental and health consequences of domesticated animals used for food; the massive exploitation of farm animals, and the coinciding mass consumption and use of animal products, a.k.a. Carnism, is a major destructive force on this planet. Carnism brings hellish suffering and violence to billions of animals every year, along with contributing to severe environmental damage and major diseases including heart disease, diabetes and cancer. Secondly there is another related widespread example of this lost Knowledge of Good & Evil that concerns other domesticated animals, the ones people don’t eat or otherwise exploit, but keep as pets, e.g. dogs. The hundreds of millions of dogs people live with (or near) throughout the world create daily disturbance, distraction and dependency, but most people don’t seem to fully acknowledge that it is a negative disturbance and distraction, and don’t recognize the karmic reason for why it must be negative. They don’t understand that all the ways they cause disturbance are forms of negative feedback from Nature, i.e. it is the operation of Natural/Karmic Law stemming from the fact that domesticated animals are unnatural and originated from man’s selfish enslavement of wild animals, which is a clear Evil. Some may immediately object: “You think puppies are evil?! Give me a break. Dogs bring a lot of joy into people’s lives.” This sort of knee-jerk response distorts what I’m pointing out, and is tremendously short-sighted. Yes dogs do bring some comfort and laughter to people, but overall their effect is negative (and that’s because they don’t fit into Nature/Creation), and overall is what really matters. And even the apparent good they bring is not really good because it’s an inferior substitute for natural, principled and harmless sources of comfort (e.g. God, Family, Friends, Nature, Healthy Food, etc.), and so dogs (and other pets) actually get in the way of the real good from taking place; this getting in the way of the good is another bad aspect of their existence. Getting back to the crucial truth that coincides with that reasoning: origins matter, and if something originated from something evil, it will inevitably have harmful effects, because that’s an inherent and eternal characteristic of evil. You may think that the fact that dogs came from enslaved wild animals is no longer relevant, just as you may think the fact that government is founded on aggression is irrelevant (that is if you will even see/admit that), but in both cases the fact remains that the presence of evil is definitely not irrelevant concerning the status of society. For example the “good” that government does, like sometimes providing some food for the poor, is again, similarly to the “good” provided by pets, an inferior (and destructive) substitute that gets in the way of the superior natural and principled way from being dominant, in this case natural and free communities unburdened by monetary-slavery (due to the land control, cost and taxation imposed by government), voluntarily helping those in need. There is no “necessary evil” in order to do good in the world, and no evil is ever benign, evil always undermines good, that’s why it’s evil! If you want to make the world a better place then your mission should be to systematically eliminate all forms of evil, like aggression and slavery, which, by the way, government is based on and continually engages in. “The tyrant calls for sweet wine from sour grapes,” but it can never happen. What analysis like this of the slavery of animals and humans reveals is that there really is no grey area, things are ultimately either good or evil, and although good things (e.g. neighbors voluntarily sharing with one another) may occur alongside something evil (e.g. living within a social-system that is a form of slavery), that doesn’t mean that social-systems (or pets) are both Good & Evil, they are actually just evil, and some good exists despite of them, not because of them. The Devil is indeed in the details, and keeping that in mind lets return to the issue of domesticated/enslaved animals. Pets are in a position of dependency that brings along with it a lot of suffering generation after generation, and also brings endless disturbance and distraction to humanity (humanity, who by the way, should be focused on higher things than how cute a puppy or kitten is; wild animal babies are cute too, but they don’t bring all the problems domesticated animals do, because they are part of the original Nature/Creation/Ecology). The fault does not lie with the individual dogs themselves, they are not evil, their origin is evil; they are actually the victims of the enslavement and genetic manipulation of their ancestors. Because of this enslavement and manipulation, dogs are now dependent on humans, and this dependency brings with it a lot of suffering, like the daily myriad of abuses by humans, and the daily massive number of killings (a.k.a. euthanasia) at animal shelters/”control-centers” worldwide. The real solution is to end all breeding and establish many domesticated animal sanctuaries (serving vegan dog food), to contain and minimize their disturbance/destruction, and to also give them more enjoyable lives. Whenever we are in denial of the over-arching reality, and instead get fixated on the minor positives, we’ve lost sight of the bigger picture, we’ve fallen into thought that is untrue, irrational and unethical.
Can you clearly discern the difference in Quality (another aspect of the Knowledge of Good & Evil) between the lovely sounds of wild birds chirping and whale calls, vs. the contrasting disturbing sounds of dogs barking, roosters crowing and chickens squawking? It’s no coincidence that it’s the domesticated animals that have a totally downgraded presence physically and energetically compared with wild animals. The reason the domesticated animals are of a lesser Quality and bring much more disturbance than wild animals is because their origin is an evil; and their never-ending disturbance is a manifestation of that evil foundation via Natural/Karmic Law (namely the Law that slavery disallows peace & harmony). The crucial point that must be understood is that origins matter, and their origin is an evil one, because slavery is an evil, and slavery and evil always cause disturbances in the world. Lacking this Knowledge of Karmic Law (i.e. of Good & Evil), people perpetuate the problem, breeding more dogs (and cats), creating more disturbance, distraction and dependency. (They are dependent on us, but we also become enslaved in a way to them because of that dependency.) Every day walking an animal that is the product of the enslavement of wolves on a leash down a concrete city street where you pick up their shit in your hand with a plastic bag, is a good encapsulation of just how far mankind has traveled from the gate of the Garden of Eden. That is not what we are supposed to be doing on this Earth, it is not something we should be proud of or accept as normal; we are wasting our time entangled with the unprincipled enterprise of animal domestication, time that could be much better utilized seeking the full potential of ourselves and society. Distractions like pets are not good or even neutral; by becoming a dominant focus in your life they are distracting you from doing what’s really important, thereby undermining your progress in becoming your full potential, and that’s not good at all. Most people think the fact that dogs came from the enslavement of wild animals is no longer relevant, but this is completely false; the karmic disturbances we face continuously with domesticated animals is proof of this. On the metaphysical level this disturbance must be continuous because otherwise it would make God unjust; it would make it so that this Creation can accommodate slavery in a harmonious way, which would be an evil creation. There can’t be a time limit on how long slavery causes disturbance (e.g. only 10 years after the caging/enslaving of wolves), that would be arbitrary, irrational an lacking moral integrity. When I make this point most people don’t really get it… I don’t know what to do other than repeat that this is no minor point at all; most of the disturbances we experience in life are actually rooted in the slavery of animals and people, you just have to have the understanding of how certain animals, industries, etc. came into being in order to see it and get the karma of it. Most of the disturbances in life! Therefore if we abandoned everything connected to slavery we could have world peace! No big deal?! And what is a lifestyle free of the slavery of animals and humans? Sovereign veganic homesteads, making up voluntary natural communities. You can see this for yourself; living in a home in a beautiful countryside with a beautiful garden full of the best tasting food, the best colors and scents of flowers, full of tranquility, is a way of life in stark contrast to that of the city-dweller. And what disrupts the greater peace in the countryside? What prevents it from being a complete return to Eden/Paradise? Things like: a) barking dogs, b) cars/trucks/buses, c) machinery (e.g. chainsaws, weed-wackers, leaf-blowers), and ALL of these things only exist because of the enslavement of animals and humans! Yes, I know the connection of dogs to slavery is easier to understand, but also try to see that those machines would not exist if it were not for the concentration of wealth/power/resources to the few, made possible only by non-optional social-systems of enslavement. If you think this is far-fetched I don’t what else to tell you, it’s actually not that complicated once you understand what slavery is, and that everything that is a product of slavery must produce disturbances, forever; it’s the basic dynamic of karmic law in operation. We need to end our spiritual blindness and recognize a life full of constant disturbances is not “just the way it is,” it’s a result of the evil of slavery entrenched in this statist and carnist society.
Freeing ourselves from the negative karma that comes with entanglement with the slavery of animals (for food, clothing, entertainment, or pets), we can then more readily begin the crucial work of freeing ourselves from the entanglement of the continued slavery of humans; this is what Veganarchism is essentially about, although State propaganda and agent-provocateuring repeatedly seek to associate it with terrorism, so as to confuse the public as to what is really Good (freedom for animals and humans), and what is really Evil (Statism, which is a form of slavery); so, people end up condoning slavery and dismissing freedom, a big victory for the Devil. An often ignored fact: Carnism & Statism are the two largest means of violence that humans participate in. Carnism is the means for killing hundreds of billions of animals every year, and violence by government, called democide, has killed more people than anything else in human history and continues to be a source of massive suffering to this day. Yet indoctrinated people will quickly retort with something like “Eating animals is natural, and that was past government, today it’s not that bad,” rationalizing the massive harm that continues to take place as a result of Carnism and Statism. Therefore it’s no wonder that these two ideologies have been indoctrinated most heavily into society, because if people accept them, then human society will be kept down in karmic bondage no matter what other good works are performed; it operates on the spiritual level like usury adding money to the Devil’s bake account every minute.
Another wrong path humanity goes on regularly worth mentioning is getting caught up with the toxic corporate “news” and the “entertainment” industry; both are absolutely filled with toxic underlying messages/worldviews/beliefs that are very disempowering, along with disturbing images, etc. Pretty much all the content of major news outlets and every major movie and TV show nowadays is leading you away from peace, love, and truth in some way, but it takes Knowledge of Good & Evil in order to see that. Some of the most popular TV shows nowadays (e.g. “The Walking Dead” and “Game of Thrones”) are also the most sadistic, containing some of the most disturbing situations and imagery imaginable, yet people say “Oh it’s just a show,” as if that nullifies the sadism. Also movies more and more are presented as “kid-friendly” (e.g. “Pans Labyrinth,” “Guardians of the Galaxy,” and “Hot Tub Time Machine 2”) but also contain extremely disturbing violent imagery, and even throw in patriotic propaganda to boot. And of course there is the more blatantly sadistic horror movies for those that have really gone off the deep end… Why do people watch sadistic violence as “entertainment?” Only because their sense of Good & Evil has been so warped that they see nothing really wrong with it; only because they have become more thoroughly deceived by the Devil, and have been taken even further away from a pathway to peace and salvation. If you think there’s nothing really evil in mass-media/entertainment, and that it doesn’t have a majorly negative effect on your life when you take it in, you’re just plain wrong; a very good place to start looking more deeply is the work of Lenon Honor.
Additionally, if you spend much of your time also thinking of cultural pop icons, luxury consumer goods, etc., you are allowing yourself in those ways to also be distracted from where real meaning and satisfaction can be found in life (namely through harmony with inner & outer Nature). By watching this toxic media you are allowing yourself to be disempowered by those who seek greater control over humanity, those who are much happier if you are an unaware. disturbed, alcohol/pharmaceutical-taking consumer who never questions societal norms, or speaks out against unjust authority or the lies in mainstream religion.
Jesus & Salvation
“To worship the Lord is to hate evil. I hate pride, arrogance and every wicked way, and fraudulent speech.” (Proverbs 8:13)
“Behold, the Lord is coming with myriads of His holy ones to execute judgment on everyone, and to convict all the ungodly of every ungodly act of wickedness and every harsh word spoken against Him by ungodly sinners.” (Jude 1:14-15)
“Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying: ‘Speak to all the congregation of the sons of Israel and say to them, ‘You shall be holy, for I the LORD your God am holy.'” (Leviticus 19:1-2)
“Then Jesus said, ‘I tell you the truth, unless you turn from your sins and become like little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven.'” (Matthew 18:3)
This intentional misdirection of our understanding of Truth has also been accomplished through the distortion of the teachings of Jesus. Many Christians today spread the idea that by simply saying a magical prayer (The “Sinner’s Prayer“) of allegiance to Jesus, we will be “saved.” Not only is this teaching amoral, it’s ironically more Pagan/Wiccan, even more Satanic, than Christian. This misguided “Pauline Christianity” actually directly contradicts the teachings of Jesus. Jesus himself spoke against this exact practice when he said: “Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter” (Matthew 7:21). So why is it that the numerous aforementioned Christians overlook this? Could it be because it’s a lot easier to recite a prayer than do the will of God? Jesus made it clear multiple times that it is much more difficult than just reciting a prayer in order to be saved: “You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way” (Matthew 7:13). Complimenting this, he also said: “I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved… I have come that they may have life, and have it in all its fullness” (John 10:9-10). And how do we enter through that “narrow gate”? By saying a magical prayer that’s in a pamphlet that someone gave us on the street? No, sorry, it’s not that easy, hence the “narrow.” To pass through this narrow gate requires that we love Jesus and what he represented, and he said we love him when we follow his commandments (John 14:21), namely his “Greatest Commandments” to: Love God, Others and Ourselves equally. This is no easy task, it’s calling for our full spiritual maturation and perfection. We are here “for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works” (2 Timothy 3:16-17). Jesus said “Unless your righteousness is better than the righteousness of the teachers of religious law, you will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven!” (Matthew 5:20) and, in concluding his Sermon on the Mount, said “Be ye therefore perfect” (Matthew 5:48). “Be perfect” means following his Greatest Commandments perfectly, which means being in full alignment with comprehensive love. “No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him.” (1 John 3:6) [More on this practice of comprehensive love here]. This is a far cry from just reading a magical prayer or having a blood sacrifice be your ticket to Heaven, and it is what getting in real right relationship with Jesus is about, a.k.a. “being in Jesus” (2 Corinthians 5:17), and eating of the “living bread of life” (John 6:51), that is still with us. This is also experienced as a saving Kairos window of opportunity (a.k.a. a Kairos Moment, “God Moment,” or “Nexus Point“), that opens repeatedly in our lives as a form of Grace, that again actually requires something more from us than the ability to read (surprised?) in order to realize its “fullness” (i.e. its great potential for good in our lives and the lives of others), it again requires that we follow the Greatest Commandments perfectly. This is being in right relationship with Jesus, and God: “Loving God means keeping his commandments, and his commandments are not burdensome” (1 John 5:3). Another problem with this magical incantation “Christianity” is that it, like with the distorted Adam & Eve story, makes God out to be amoral, this Pauline doctrine also says love doesn’t matter to God! Again this is false, blasphemous and even satanic. In contrast, here’s some real truth, rationality and morality in the Bible:
“Therefore, listen to me, you men of understanding. Far be it from God to do wickedness, and from the Almighty to do wrong. For He pays a man according to his work, and makes him find it according to his way. Surely, God will not act wickedly, and the Almighty will not pervert justice.” (Job 34:10-12)
Just as the story of Adam & Eve was Devilishly distorted to actually prevent people from finding their way back to Paradise/Eden, so has Christianity been distorted to turn people in the opposite direction from the true path of spiritual salvation. Most Christians have been so heavily conditioned and indoctrinated that they just accept the nonsense of magical-incantation-salvation, and then try to rationalize it and make it legitimate, but always unsuccessfully, by reverting to dogmatic sayings detached from everyday reality. By making salvation all about a magical prayer to Jesus, and not at all about your actions on Earth, the real way to salvation has been covered up, resulting in many good-hearted people who are seeking to be good Christians being misled by Devilish doctrine. Magical-incantation/blood-sacrifice “Christianity,” along with bizarre and disturbing spiritual/demonic-possession “Christianity,” is unfortunately very pervasive and influential, yet most don’t recognize that it would actually be more fitting to call it a form of Satanism, based on lies, serving disempowerment/slavery more than empowerment/salvation.
Additionally, the popularity of comic-book characters like Superman show also how American Christian culture subconsciously accepts the idea that being saved (or combating injustice) doesn’t involve good works and serious maturation, so we might as well remain apathetic consumers. In the movie “Superman Returns” (2006), the references to Jesus are blatantly obvious, even the title brings to mind the Second Coming of Jesus, but these references serve to distort and steer people away from what Jesus’ teachings were actually about. Subliminally implanting the false association between Superman and Jesus, at one point in the movie Superman flies over the Earth in a clearly crucified position, and elsewhere in the movie he is also referred to as “My only son, sent to save humanity” by his other-worldly Father, and even refers to himself at one point as a savior when talking to Lois Lane: “You wrote that the world doesn’t need a savior, but every day I hear people crying for one.” And what is humanity’s role in the story of Superman? Mainly a bystander, which is the key subliminal take-away prepared for the propagandized viewer/consumer. Superman isn’t telling people that their salvation is dependent on their alignment with the Greatest Commandments as Jesus did, no, the theme of Superman comic-books, video-games and movies is more subliminally making humanity out to be a bunch of worthless sinners who’s actions are pretty much irrelevant, which is exactly what the distorted story of Adam & Eve also does with its nonsense about “original sin” that we can’t escape from and the Knowledge of Good of Evil being of such no consequence that it is even forbidden. Are you clearly seeing the hidden core content of these nonsense stories now? Anti-love. Lies. Guess who that’s a trademark of? The Devil. We absolutely need the Knowledge of Good & Evil in order to restore Paradise on Earth, and we absolutely need to be comprehensively loving in order to find spiritual salvation, and so the teachings have been Devilishly altered to subliminally say the exact opposite, both stories fundamentally/subliminally saying that love doesn’t matter. This irrational and unloving belief that has corrupted Christianity is a prime example of a “house divided upon itself,” and a house (or mind) that is conflicted with itself does not progress.
Also consider, does making the crucifix the main symbol of Christianity make sense? We have Christians today kneeling before giant life-sized crucifixes in Church, and wearing necklaces that have a miniature crucifix with Jesus nailed to it, dying a slow and painful death, and this is supposed to inspire you to walk in his footsteps? Modern Christians meditate upon this image of torture day in and day out, and guess what? They don’t feel too motivated to go out and try to change the world, instead they feel disempowered, and revert to saying a magical incantation prayer for salvation. They forget about restoring Eden, forget about bringing Heaven to Earth, even though it is part of the Lord’s Prayer, the main way Jesus said we should pray, seeking to embody God’s Will. The subliminal message being spread by making the crucifix the point of focus is: If you are compassionate and resist injustice, this is what will happen to you, you will be persecuted, suffer and die. And yet Christians today, as they’ve been taught, say that it symbolizes “How he died for our sins,” again giving a magical get-out-jail-free-card, this time through blood sacrifice, that doesn’t require your own perfection in love. Blood sacrifice; do you know what that practice is a main tenant of, as is magical incantation? Satanism. Mainstream Christianity revolves around the two main practices of Satanism! That shows how powerful indoctrination/propaganda is, supported by strong belief in “authority” being the holders of Truth, it can have Christians practicing Satanism and not even think twice about it! Making this backwardness even more clear, the day Jesus was tortured and died is bizarrely called “Good Friday,” which subliminally praises the cruelty of that day, just as making an idol of the crucifix does. The fact that he was tortured and killed was not good, it was revealing the evil of Statism, the evil of humans ruling over other humans. That exposing of evil, that condemning of evil, is good, but what happened to him was not good, to think so is to miss the whole point of his sacrifice! Exposing evil is good, but in doing so that doesn’t make the evil good; this common sense crucial point is unfortunately lost today on most Christians; the Devil is once again in the details. Not making this crucial distinction allows the Devil to misuse the whole event for his purposes, turning the death of Jesus into a blood sacrifice, which is a completely worthless and immoral practice. Many Christians are condoning the equivalent of the ignorant barbarism of animal sacrifice that has been done to “appease the gods and atone for sins,” and that’s the exact kind of bunk religion that Jesus, and Samuel (below), was pointing humanity away from!
Samuel replied, “What is more pleasing to the LORD: your burnt offerings and sacrifices or your obedience to his voice? Listen! Obedience is better than sacrifice, and submission is better than offering the fat of rams.” (1 Samuel 15:22)
And making this point even more clear:
“For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.” (Hebrews 10:4)
“’What to me is the multitude of your sacrifices?’ says the Lord; I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams and the fat of well-fed beasts; I do not delight in the blood of bulls, or of lambs, or of goats.” (Isaiah 1:11)
Again what has happened is actually Devilish distortion of Divine truth, distortion that, not coincidentally, once again is anti-Love, and pro-lies (in this case the lie that by killing an innocent person or animal you will please God and be forgiven of any sins you committed). This blood sacrifice perspective is not at all what Jesus was about, and it should not at all be promoted by Christina churches, it is evil doctrine that has undermined the good/true teachings, and there is no compatibility between the two; the evil needs to be full purged in order for Christianity to be realigned with its purely good origin. What was empowering was not the torture and death of Jesus, but his resurrection, showing us that although these evil principalities and powers may harm us, they can not harm our soul, there is life after death. And what did Jesus say and show concerning those powers, those official “authority” figures that slandered him constantly and then called for his crucifixion? He showed the evil of the ruling class who “hated him without reason” (John 15:25) to the point of torturing and murdering him, a death he went to willingly so that the needed clarifying and liberating crucial Truth for humanity could be made: “The prince of this world [i.e. Caesar and his subordinates then, States altogether today] now stands condemned” (John 16:11). How often those words are ignored! And why? Indoctrination by the State, its schooling and mass-media propaganda outlets.
The whole dialogue transcribed in John 18:28 – 19:16 between the Jewish High Priests and Pilate shows democracy in action, it shows that majority rule is no assurance of righteousness at all, that in fact it could choose to even murder the very embodiment of pure Love, of Divinity; perhaps the worst crime imaginable! This obvious and profound demonstration by Jesus (and God who directed him) of how governance is wickedness at its core has been lost on most Christians who have been heavily indoctrinated to believe Statism is necessary and good, when it is in fact an evil (a form of slavery) that has been corrupting human society for centuries, the leading cause of mass-murder and destruction throughout history. Jesus, through sacrificing his own bodily life, was actually pointing to the crucial truth that having no rulers, i.e. anarchism, would be the good that could prevent such an evil as his own crucifixion. Remember Moses led the Hebrews out of the bondage of the Egyptian State (Exodus 3:7, 10), and the freed people lived without a ruler/king for three centuries, i.e. they were an anarchist society, until later corruption set in. “In those days there was no king in Israel. As for everybody, what was right in his own eyes [i.e. what their conscience said] he was accustomed to do” (Judges 17:6, 21:25). Likewise, Jesus opposed the social-system of the world he lived in, a system that was, and evidently still is, ultimately controlled by Satan; that’s why Satan was able to offer it to Jesus as a temptation (Matthew 4:8-9). Jesus said he had come “to proclaim to the captives a release, and sight to the blind [i.e. awareness to the indoctrinated], to set at liberty the oppressed” (Luke 4:19). He was clearly against human rulership (Matthew 23:8-12), and as already mentioned he refused the Devil’s temptation to be made a ruler himself (Matthew 4:8-10), and also refused as well to be made a king by his followers (John 6:15). Additionally Christian scholars have identified State/political power as “the Beast” spoken of in the Book of Revelation. Christian Anarchism actually makes perfect sense, though the indoctrinated will immediately object; if you find yourself objecting to this idea now reconsider the crucial referenced points I’ve made above, and perhaps also read Christian Anarchist books like That Holy Anarchist by Mark Van Steenwyk and the many articles on the subject that can be found online to get a better understanding of why it’s not at all the “crazy talk” it is slandered to be. To think anarchism is an evil is a big example of how the true Knowledge of Good & Evil has been lost; once again what is truly good and of crucial importance (e.g. freedom and equality, a.k.a. egalitarian anarchism), is deemed terrible and is continually marginalized.
Yeshua of Nazareth showed the way that humanity could be saved within and without, but he did not save it for us, which is obvious, since there was not worldwide revolutionary positive change after his death. Liberation Theology has been exceptional in recognizing this, as has the perspectives expressed in books like Christian Faith and the Truth Behind 9/11: A Call to Reflection and Action by David Ray Griffin & Saving Christianity from Empire by Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer. Rather than Christians focusing on the bunk dogma of useless magical prayers and blood sacrifice, the world needs people furthering real positive change, resisting tyranny, hypocrisy, corruption, within and without, in numbers that would be great enough so that Earth would actually become Heavenly. The tyrants of the world cannot crucify every rebel, and the Devil can not fully posses every seeker; the only reason that evil/injustice/fascism/tyranny continues is because not enough people recognize it firstly, and become active in resisting it secondly. A Liberation Theology view of the world recognizes the slavery that continues to exist, a perspective mirrored in the book 7th Seal: Hidden Wisdom Unveiled:
“Are the Romans in actuality alive and well today, continuing to suppress the greater truths, effecting the prevention of the resurgence of a spiritually aware and soul aligned civilization?”
The Disempowerment Agenda
Basically, it has always been the few oppressing the many, therefore it can be seen as a problem of actualizing, or empowering, the masses (that means you, unless you support oppression/destruction), who have been tricked into believing false mythology and ideology that deliberately disempowers them, along with being subject to more direct physical tools of disempowerment like poverty/overworking/lack of free time, hunger, sickness and injustice. All of this serves the destructive status-quo paradigm, it gives it the power to continue on.
An ultra-clear example of this was with the Bush Administration telling us that they will protect us from the “evildoers,” and hoped we wouldn’t do any critical thinking, or care that they were violating the Bill of Rights, rigging the elections, etc. Bush, Inc. hoped we wouldn’t take the next step after seeing through their deceptions, actually resisting their assault on our freedoms, environment, health and society. They sent the message “Just trust Big Brother and everything will be okay…” In this way evil men make themselves as a savior figure, disempower and misleading anyone who believes in them; they are false gods doing the work of the Devil. In the book Jesus and Empire the author Richard Horsley writes: “In the Roman imperial world, the ‘gospel’ was the good news of Caesar having established peace and security for the world. Caesar was the ‘savior’ who had brought ‘salvation’ to the whole world.” The parallel between the Roman and American Empire is very poignant in this sense: Bush/Cheney claimed (and now Obama/Biden) to be saving us from the terrorists; we must recognize when history repeats in this destructive and deceptive way. Chris Hedges, author of American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War On America described the modern American Fundamentalist Christianity that is aligned with the Neo-conservative movement as “essentially about disempowerment” in an interview with Amy Goodman on her Democracy Now! radio program (democracynow.org 02/19/07). This is a key point, as I previously stated; both empire, and religion serving empire, function mostly to disempower the populace through various means so resistance is kept to minimal levels. Gloria Steinem writes in her book Revolution from Within that self-help/new age books often have “an important message about the worth of each human being, but with little mention of the external structures that undermine this worth in order to assure their own authority.” These external structures that disempower people in order to insure the continued dominance of the status-quo are too often overlooked as somehow separate from the issue of personal liberation, instead of being recognized and named as the barriers that they are.
In the book Great Mystics & Social Justice: Walking on the Two Feet of Love, Susan Rakoczy unsheathes the false dichotomy between personal and social transformation that many modern Christians, Buddhists, philosophers, spiritual people, etc. unfortunately accept:
“Two temptations are enticing. One is to plunge into activism without a spiritual grounding. The other, especially insidious, is to take a deep breath, close the doors of the churches on the problems of society, and focus on a private experience of religion. For some, a “Jesus and me” religiosity is very satisfying since it allows them to seek personal holiness without attention to those outside their religious circle. This, however, is a corruption of the gospel, whose basic principle is love of God and love of neighbor.”
Back to Eden
We are told heaven is the joyful and peaceful place in which woman and man live in harmony with Nature and are immersed in God’s presence; and this presence is that of the best of friends, and so doing the Divine Will is not oppressive at all, it is in fact continually supportive and liberating. Speaking of God’s Will, what would this Will be? Would it be for Adam & Eve to carry out trivial assignments and duties, like a king’s servant? Or would it make more sense that it would be to bring peace, love and justice to their life and surroundings? God’s Will would certainly consist of the latter if we are to remain consistent with belief in a loving God, who doesn’t tempt us to do evil as the Devil does, but guides and encourages us to do Good. We can discover even today that God’s Will, love, peace, and justice are all inseparable, and are inseparable from human happiness. And in order to align with this righteous Will we need to know the difference between Good & Evil, we need to eat the pure “apple.”
Martin Luther King Jr. ate the apple when he declared segregation to be an evil, Gandhi ate the pure “apple” when he declared the British occupation of India to be an evil, along with countless other examples of people declaring and facing real evil, and by their so doing, humanity progressed. So the pure “apple” is in reality our inner conscience given to us by the Creator, which we discover through bringing our attention inward and having empathy and compassion for what we see externally. This practice, which is best summed up by the Greatest Commandments of Jesus, is disrupted by countless distractions and disturbances like corporate news, advertising and “entertainment;” we are being constantly turned away from Divine principles and Flow, which serves the status-quo paradigm, which itself serves the malevolent force called the Devil, or Mara, in the Buddhist tradition.
The Buddha’s Noble Eightfold Path also perfectly compliments and expounds on this practice of aligning with the Good and rejecting the Evil, it describes further what is means to be eating the metaphorical apple. Yet, like Christianity, Buddhism has also been corrupted; modern Buddhism is full of post-modern nihilism with a completely unjustified emphasis on the doctrine of Emptiness/no-Self, that the Buddha himself warned would lead one astray if taken as ultimate truth. Modern “Buddhists” have done exactly what was warned against, and have strayed into a non-dualist, non-judgmental perspective on the world. I see this self-contradiction constantly in Zen teachings for example; there will be a saying about how there is no good or bad in the world, followed by a passage praising kindness and compassion as the most important things in the world. This is contradictory; if compassion is good, than hate is bad, and therefore there is Good and Bad in the world! This is so obvious I’m surprised I even have to explain/argue it to anybody! This is the same contradiction found in mainstream Christianity that tells us good works are meaningless, and only by saying a certain prayer and attending church regularly will one find salvation, and even then only in the afterlife (the current life being regarded as a “lost-cause”). Again the same distortions are at play, the same disempowering subliminal messages that are anti-Love, anti-Truth, and anti-Revolution. These wicked manipulations of the minds of women and men undermine the work that needs to be done, the actions necessary in the real world to ensure our freedom, peace and happiness.
Eating the (pure) Apple Prevents the Disease of Becoming a Toxic Personality
When someone’s consciousness is dominantly possessed by the malevolent force, they become a “toxic personalty”; their behavior is then consistently anti-Love, anti-Truth and anti-Progress/Revolution, and so they become diametrically opposed to the Divine Will/Flow, because the evil energy (the Devil) that has taken them over is diametrically opposed to that Will/Flow. Someone who is dominantly possessed by it may seem fine if you only interact with them briefly, but if you spend more time with them you’ll begin to notice, especially concerning things that actually matter (because that’s what can do the most harm), they will fall into a negative mindset that spouts lies, irrationality and unkindness (again, the Toxic Trio that is the trademark of Evil thought) in various forms, over and over, and will never really acknowledge having harmed anyone for doing so; they will do things that disempower, disturb and dishearten people, all while doing so “innocently,” because to acknowledge the evil done equates to the Devil outing himself, which he never wants to do, because that would undermine his work and goal of doing the most damage possible. In other words when you’re interacting with a toxic personality you are interacting with Evil (what M. Scott Peck calls “People of the Lie”), which is comprehensively bad-natured, the complete opposite of being comprehensively loving, which is what the Divine is, that thankfully we can also interact with and align with instead. But in order to align with the good we also have to be aware of the evil, so that we don’t engage with the latter. Remember it’s the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. If you won’t acknowledge that there is a malevolent force that can influence you (usually using mental/emotional stress/tension to support that influence), then you’re sure to become an unwitting tool of the Devil, which will undermine your life and be a negative influence on all those you interact with as well. We have to get into a healthy stress-free state of mind, and then eat the true/pure apple, i.e. make decisions based on the Healthy Trio of Truth, Rationality and Morality, and then we can become fully aligned with the supportive, loving and empowering Divine Will.
Truth & Propaganda
Most people naturally behave in decent ways in everyday life, despite the strong influences discouraging that; our inner nature is Good and is always with us, despite the negativity that usually covers and surrounds it. This is why propaganda and misinformation is the main tool of the supporters of any destructive system/paradigm; they have to mislead people into doing wrong, because wrong-doing isn’t what people would naturally tend to do on their own, if they weren’t being manipulated/misled. So in dealing with this “Age of Manipulation” that we live in, our focus in activism and personal life needs to be on what the full truth is, truth that includes the right or wrong of what’s being evaluated. In order to eat the pure “apple” in the real world, to act knowledgeably using our conscience, we need the most factual crucial information we can find, so we can know what’s Good, align with that, and also know what’s Evil, so we can reject that (the same process that we need to do internally concerning ideas that come to our mind, which can be either Good or Evil). The main purpose of propaganda is to mix fact with fiction in order to undermine people’s ability to act on their conscience rightly. Propaganda, of the external or internal variety, is designed to use our own conscience against us by instilling belief in lies concerning what’s good; examples include appealing to our compassionate nature through Orwellian slogans like “Support Our Troops,” “The War on Terror,” “No Child Left Behind,” etc. The crucial information we need to evaluate external phenomena with our conscience is not coming from government or the mass media, so where do we find it? How do we see through the lies and misinformation and find crucial truth? For the political/social truth, the short and practical answer is truthful independent media/books/documentaries/speakers, etc. and one’s personal investigation. For the spiritual truth, whatever your personal practice may be, your own personal investigation and experience should be the authority. Aligned with this, the Buddha said repeatedly to trust your own experience to see if his Noble Eightfold Path is effective (basically a path of Comprehensive Loving Attention, just like what the Greatest Commandments are about), and to not take his word for it, but to try it and see for yourself.
Inner & Outer Revolution
Truth has great power; when it is revealed it is a force in itself, because it activates our compassionate inner nature. Satyagraha, a term Gandhi coined for his overall activist strategy, is translated as “truth-force” and/or “insistence upon the truth.” Satya (the truth), + Agraha (to insist upon), = Satyagraha. We must each become a Satyagrahi (a practitioner of Satyagraha), in our personal lives as well in our sociopolitical reality, in order for there to be genuine and lasting progress.
I believe it is a 50/50 effort, internal and external revolution is needed; rejecting the destructive status-quo while practicing a path to enlightenment simultaneously. Because life is both personal and ecological, the inner and the outer, and we need to work for the progress of both to find satisfaction, and reduce our own suffering, while we help reduce the suffering of others simultaneously. Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., Jesus, and the Buddha all emphasized non-violence as the wisest and most practically beneficial behavior to adopt for the personal and the environmental. We need to center our personal lives and our society around non-violence/Ahimsa. Bush/Cheney, and all other statists throughout history, represent the exact opposite, the foundation of their power resting on aggression and slavery, producing never-ending harmful and destructive policies, furthering suffering, anguish and disharmony on Earth, as well as sabotaging our spiritual journey towards peace, wisdom and happiness.
This so-called “elite” sometimes use more direct methods than mythology and propaganda to disempower the masses, like sickness/disease being spread intentionally, or even assassination of social-justice leaders; this is a matter of historical fact. However we can abandon worry and fear over any of this through a firm belief, based on real experiences, that there is life after death, that the Creator is Good, and that saving Grace is real. That said, we should give attention and energy toward the things concerning our well-being that we do have a lot of control over usually, like our health. Ill-health is extremely disempowering of course, so physical fitness and health is a necessary component of the path to empowerment/peace/happiness; good health is also needed for active resistance to fascism, oppression, etc. Not taking care of your body is another type of behavior that supports the continuation of the status-quo; there will be no revolution if all the revolutionaries are sick and tired. Maybe that’s part of the reason why the powers-that-be have really done nothing to improve healthcare in America, and instead support backward medical treatments (like chemotherapy), and also support industries that put toxins/radiation in out air, water and food.
On top of this there is the criminal monetary system run by the corporate-run Federal Reserve that is allowed to stay in place, driving us further and further into stress-inducing debt (see the film Money Masters for more on that), and the official story on the events of 9/11/01 used as an excuse for illegal occupations which have killed hundreds of thousands of civilians, and for the torture, the illegal detentions, etc. That bullshit story has been used as “justification” to label dissenters of statist policy “terrorists” as well, once again flipping what’s truly Good and what’s truly Evil (and that’s why 9/11 Truth is so important!). This false labeling of individuals as terrorists has unsurprisingly been expanded to include environmental and animal rights activists, and this phenomenon has even been given a name by activists: “The Green Scare.” This title is of course referring to the “Red Scare” fear mongering police-state measures of the 1950’s which the current politicians/officials are repeating in the 21st century in a new form. What is of extra concern here is that environmentalism and animal rights happen to be the most important issues concerning the saving of our planet’s ecosystem, and hence, us, since the livestock and fishing industries are the top contributors to greenhouse gas emissions, deforestation, ocean ecology collapse and fresh-water pollution. So we are told those working for true good are evil people, again a reversed morality, designed again to turn us away from the true Knowledge of Good and Evil that can prevent us from departing Paradise and allowing the Earth to become a wasteland instead.
We need to stand against wickedness when we become aware of it, we need to “eat the apple,” or “the red pill” (to use Matrix terminology), and share it with others. We must hold some conviction in order to do this however and have factual knowledge to base our convictions on. Because of massive conditioning, especially through false “new-age” teachings (e.g. “There is no such thing as evil,” “You can’t have the good without the bad”) today it is very unpopular to speak of right and wrong, it is very uncool especially among young Americans. And in academic circles, non-dualism, or post-modern moral-relativism, is the fall-back position for many “intellectuals” who deconstruct every argument and then stand for nothing, certainly not social justice. I have found that if you hold any convictions (even very altruistic ones) oftentimes status-quo supporters will immediately (and absurdly) compare you to those who hold convictions that are clearly wrong, like serial-killers or nazis. This is really dumb; pointing out a crazy view doesn’t mean there isn’t any sane one.
“Learn to me guided by your conscience, the divine discriminative power within you.”
– Paramahansa Yogananda, Where There Is Light, p.53
So if ultimately it is our conscience that shows us the difference between right and wrong, some might say then, that morality is completely subjective and relative, different for each individual. If this were completely true however, how would we progress together as a society? Aren’t there actually some “core values” that most sane individuals would agree are right, like slavery and aggression are bad, and freedom and compassion are good? Concerning personal interaction, some actions are necessarily always bad, but it depends on the circumstance (e.g. Lying is usually bad, but lying to a nazi about the location of a Jew is of course not bad). That does not mean that morality is always relative however; the truth is one should hold a Relative Absolutism, that is, certain actions, in certain situations, are either 100% right or wrong, like the examples highlighted in this essay. We must consult our conscience and the truth of the situation on a continual basis (eat the pure “apple”), through mindful awareness, and decide what is the least harmful and most just action (or non-action) to make. The Buddha called such action that leads to Liberation “skillful” or “wholesome.” Some actions in certain situations are certainly more positive and skillful than others, and there is indeed a way for consistent discernment, that does not accept a completely “non-dualist” perspective on human behavior:
“Skillful actions are those that create the causes for happiness, such as actions motivated by loving-friendliness and compassion. Any action that comes from a mind not currently filled with greed, hatred, or delusion brings happiness to the doer and to the receiver. Such an action is therefore skillful or right.”
– Eight Mindful Steps to Happiness by Bhante H. Gunaratana, p. 28
Our conscience is most clearly perceived when we are fully in the present moment; being fully in the Now also removes us from the disempowering/negative/false thought (a.k.a. the influence of “Mara” & “the Pain Body”), allowing us to be “aware of our awareness” which allows our peaceful (even blissful) inner nature to be experienced and followed. There really is Power in the Now (as explained well by Ekhart Tolle in his books The Power of Now and Stillness Speaks), which can counter all the disempowerment I’ve been discussing, this is explained in more depth in my Liberation Practice page.
And if the pure apple/conscience reveals the differentiation between violence and nonviolence in all acts and behavior, then ceasing from harm is the first stage in becoming skilled in the ways of the opposite of harming: healing and giving pleasure. Practices such as massage therapy, nutrition/natural medicine/disease prevention, tantra, yoga, etc. then all become areas of utmost importance and significance. With more time to focus on healing and pleasure in a post-backwards society, we can learn more about our bodies and Nature, diagnose and treat health problems naturally and more effectively, and realize our full potential for health and happiness.
Another crucial component to becoming aware of your conscience is to slow down with your everyday activities. Rushing through life causes stress as well as greatly decreasing the chances you will notice or take care of any growing problems in your life. This could mean letting your home become filthy to the point where it is unhealthy, or not maintaining your car and then one day it breaks down and leaves you stranded, or never flossing and then your teeth fall out in old age, or you don’t stretch and exercise regularly and so suffer the consequences, etc. We often neglect that which needs attention just as we neglect our conscience, and so problems and irritations inevitably arise.
Consulting one’s conscience on everyday relations with family, friends, co-workers, etc. is certainly very important; our personal interaction with others has a direct effect on their lives, in varying degrees of positivity or negativity. Countless people have ignored/denied the crucial truth of harm and/or exploitation being committed (in a relationship, at the workplace, animal neglect/abuse, etc.) and by ignoring it, allowed the harm to continue and possibly get worse.
Of course the Practice is difficult and we will make mistakes often, but with discipline we can rise to a higher level of being. For example, personally I have not been living by all the ideals presented in this essay due to my negative habits, etc., but I continue to strive towards them because I believe in their benefits, for myself and others. First we must clarify and refine the direction, or the Way, before we can make progress. That is my intention with presenting these ideas here.
Yet shouldn’t consulting our conscience on the actions, policies, and messages given by our dominant “authority” figures and mass-media, that effect far more people than we do in our personal lives, also be given priority? Isn’t that in fact what we are told Jesus did, when he denounced the hypocrisy and violence of the dominant religion and political empire of his day? So today we must be aware of those same destructive forces that live on in the current destructive status-quo paradigm. If you can see the blatant truth of the evil of Statism, act on it. Reject social-systems based on aggression and slavery. Every person does make a difference. If the truth about the elections (and social-systems as a whole) and then the truth about 9/11 was also known by all, would we might not have had the “war” (i.e. invasion) in Iraq with its sickening use of depleted uranium weaponry and everything else that has continued to follow in the “war on terror.” If every good-intentioned person in the world had been “eating the apple” and was 100% clear on what is Good & what is Evil, then all the destruction, injustice, and massive suffering could have been met with incredible resistance that could bring it to an end.
Here is another quote that uses the terms “soul’ and “inner compass” in place of conscience or “apple,” but the message is really the same:
“The major threat to external control is our internal guidance system — our souls. To us, our souls are our best friends and most trusted guides. But to the control paradigm, they’re the enemy — what has to be removed in order for external control to work. Only when we’re sufficiently disconnected from our inner compass will we follow outer demands.”
– The Paradigm Conspiracy, by C. Largent and D. Brenton , p. 9
When we are connected to our conscience/soul/spirit/higher-self, in other words when we are aligned with God’s Will, we also become connected to an outside world that becomes much more interactive, through synchronicity/guidance and positive circumstances that follow an inner transformation. When we become happier, healthier, and more at peace through a “Joyful Rebellion” against the destructive status-quo, we also may discover our passion for Life that had been covered in negativity and inner/outer oppression. Kenneth MacLean, author of The Vibrational Universe, in an interview in Evolve! magazine said: “[P]assion is discouraged simply because it is such a high vibration/emotion relative to the society at large, and there is a genuine fear [by authority figures] that a passionate person is a dangerous person. There is a concern that our society would be turned upside down if people were allowed to find their own way without direction from the authorities.” Indeed, and a society that is Orwellian/backwards should be turned upside down! When our “leaders” are taking us in the opposite direction to where we should be headed, revolutionary change is needed.
Eating the pure apple (consulting our conscience), is only the first step of course, action is the second. Knowledge is only valuable if acted upon, our Salvation is not automatic after reciting some words, we actually need to align with Love & Truth, i.e. with the Good. We must every day eat the pure apple of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, so that we can then act on that Knowledge and always choose the right over the wrong; by doing so, we can find our way back to Paradise, back to the Kingdom of Heaven, gladly doing God’s Will. So again, Adam & Eve, in a rational, true and moral perspective, would have stayed in Paradise by always choosing the positive action over the negative; by acting in accordance with the Knowledge of what’s truly Good, experiencing that it was always to their own benefit, bringing them continued happiness. The same holds true in the real world, right here, right now.
The most destructive Myth of the early 21st century, the 9/11 Myth: