Essence and Liminality

In order to find our way, we must get lost.
By Josh Liveright / filmsforaction.org
Oct 7, 2021
0
Essence and Liminality

“The primal lie of war is the same as that of mob violence, the pogram and the witch hunt: that certain people are not fully human.” ~Charles Eisenstein

Mob psychology is the main ally to censorship, disinformation and propaganda. It’s the social habit of dehumanization, of othering. It works best when we believe what we’re being told we should believe and therefore don’t bother to listen to our actual instincts.

Many people wonder why I’m not vaccinated. In recent months, I’ve been labeled in ways I never thought possible: irresponsible, lacking integrity, selfish, stupid, Q-Anon and even called a murderer. I suppose some of the accusations may be camouflaged with concern but pretty much embody the polar opposite of how I was once perceived by many of the same people judging me. Then again, I’ve also been laughed off as provocative and inflammatory by family and friends who generally perceive me that way anyway. True, I’ve embraced the part of me who decidedly went rogue decades ago, and sometimes I freely enjoy being perceived as rebellious, but certainly not at the expense or safety of others. I tend to openly discuss fear of death and fear of change. Fear is a subject that can be triggering for some which is likely why it appeals to my provocative nature. Recently I stumbled across a post on Instagram warning people to stop raising questions about whether or not we live in a fear-based culture, specifically as it relates to Covid 19. It was written by Angela E. Morris, who calls herself a “grief tender” and re-posted by someone I follow and respect named Rowan White, a seed keeper and member of the Mohawk Nation.

“The notion that those of us taking this virus seriously are living in fear is a deflection tactic by those who say it. We can have a healthy sense of what this virus is doing and has done to our communities and loved ones. We can also do that without collapsing our nervous systems. It’s laughable when people try to tell you you are living in fear by believing public health measures. There are many of us doing our best to tend to our nervous systems and our people in a way that aligns with our collective responsibility. We all deserve support in this and it’s not helpful to go around accusing people that they are living in a fear mindset because they are taking precautions for a relentless airborne respiratory disease. That’s pretty ridiculous but we keep hearing it.”

I’m excerpting the post but I think this portion captures the writer’s main point which is defending a position that seems honest and valid, especially if we consider how the culture effectively uses fear as a way to keep us in more or less a trance state in the first place. I felt called to respond on my own feed with an A.H. Almaas quote I heard recently in a training series led by Dr. Gabor Mate called The Wisdom of Trauma.

“Your conflicts, all the difficult things, the problematic situations in your life are not chance or haphazard. They are actually yours. They are specifically yours, designed specifically for you by a part of you that loves you more than anything else. The part of you that loves you more than anything else has created roadblocks to lead you to yourself. You are not going in the right direction unless there is something pricking you in the side, telling you, “Look here! This way!” That part of you loves you so much that it doesn’t want you to lose the chance. It will go to extreme measures to wake you up, it will make you suffer greatly if you don’t listen. What else can it do? That is its purpose.”

In my last article, Both And, I argue there’s much to look at off menu, often harder to see than what is being presented to us through the media and politically dominated culture. I believe, in this case, the Almaas quote may be an interesting continuation of the first as it challenges us to look deeper into our own humility, and perhaps complicity, therefore taking us somewhat off-menu into the realm of discomfort. In my essay, I talk about fear as a threshold we can push through. Although in fairness to the first quote, I am sensitive to the frustration, confusion and stress associated with how we are all coping. However, this is what concerns me as well. I don’t think we are consciously using the resources of the stress and fear to fully examine the system as a whole, and then begin the discussion about how to replace it with something else, something possibly uncharted and beyond our imagination.

So, what about people like me? You might feel the urge to classify me as “unvaccinated” or even “anti-vax” because that’s the clear dividing line these days. But I assure you, I don’t identify with either label, and let me go out on a limb and say, if you’re involved in this particular brand of othering, which is what it certainly is, you’re doing it from a place of fear. There are many of us who simply refuse to participate in taking sides and we’re not stupid, insensitive, selfish monsters. My resistance to vaccination is much larger than simply a concern for the airborne respiratory disease which I do take seriously, and can argue take more seriously than most people on the blue team. No, I am not anti-vax or anti-mask and I’m not involved in the othering taking place on the red team either, which is also coming from a place of fear. I am respectful, take precautions and practice safety measures. In the larger sense, what I’m resisting is a relationship to the overarching paradigm of fear and othering itself, and the systems set up to maintain it, what I call the story of separation. In this Anthropocentric egoic age where we believe we are separate from nature, other humans, and, even to a large degree, from ourselves, we have become used to looking through the glass darkly, and cannot even accept death as part of the cycle of life. As I age and mature, I find it more and more challenging to accept this story, or rather, the way things are, especially when every day, I see more clearly how destructive and divisive things have become.

Compassion is the deep awareness of the suffering of another being accompanied by the desire to relieve that suffering. In Buddhism, it’s the motivating force behind alleviating suffering in all beings by first, understanding the nature of one’s own suffering, then understanding that we all suffer, and ultimately to realize the end of all suffering is possible. How? Through basic loving kindness of self and other and using the basic tools of awareness, noticing and listening. Yet, the cynical side of me sometimes can’t help to think how this must be a cosmic joke as we allow divisiveness to grow, othering rise to new heights and irrational illogical thinking reach the highest peak ever, at least in my lifetime. However, my intention with this essay is to attempt to illuminate some of what I think many people are missing as we continue on the path of unconsciously focusing more on the fear and stress rather than the broader dis-ease.

I’ve gone down so many rabbit holes since March of 2020, looking at things from all sides, and logic tells me the main thing vaccinated people should be concerned about when it comes to illness and death is to make sure they don’t infect unvaccinated people. Not the other way around. Simply ask yourself, in light of the barrage of data coming at us from the CDC, White House, MSM (main stream media), who’s the more vulnerable demographic? If you believe that blaming and shaming unvaccinated people is useful and the way out of the pandemic, then you’ve checked your head and heart at the gate. Try this: go yell at a friend, your child or your co-worker and take a good look at their reaction. Accuse them of something, belittle them and watch how you will almost instantaneously alienate them, perhaps for good. In the macro sense, the amount of finger pointing, accusations, judgment and irrational fear-based behavior is off the charts with literally no listening and very little compassion involved as human beings increasingly work themselves up into a hyper-vigilant state. Of course, this coupled with the growing epidemic of anxiety, stress, emerging trauma, and a barrage of tech developments and information coming at us day and night, our cortisol level is likely playing bumper cars with the spike proteins! Perhaps our limited brains simply don’t have the band-width to hold it all. So, we’re cracking, dividing, fully embracing the us vs. them mindset, because it’s easier, more comfortable, and probably necessary to help us cope with the onslaught created in large part by the corporate capitalist, all-consuming behemoth, AKA culture – or the system currently in place that a high percentage of us blindly accept as the only option.

Charles Eisenstein’s, “Beyond Industrial Medicine” speaks, in part, to what I’ve been intuiting and will help illuminate some of my points. Throughout the pandemic, Eisenstein and I have run parallel in our thinking and I even wrote a reflection of one of his on-line courses, called Ten Days of Charles Eisenstein. In his latest essay, he goes to the root cause, as he often does, using crafty analogies to expose our dysfunctional relationship to the systems keeping us stuck. He suggests there’s merely the appearance of a lack of options when it comes to pain management (opioids), crop management (glyphosates), anxiety and depression management (SSRIs) and viral management (vaccinations). He suggests there is a wholesale acceptance of our seemingly only go to solutions and there’s actually much more to consider.

“The examples of glyphosate and SSRIs illustrate how perfectly decent people can participate in harm simply through their acceptance of the systems and realities that immerse them. I found the aforementioned systems and realities to be products of ideologies so deeply woven into the fabric of civilization as to be nearly inseparable from it. Did some evil genius concoct the concept of the discrete, separate self marooned in an arbitrary universe of force, mass, atoms, and void? No, that mythology evolved organically, reaching its culmination in our time. It is in fact over-ripe, yet the fruit—the systems we inhabit and that inhabit us—has yet to fall from the tree. When it does it will split open and the seed of a new kind of civilization will grow.”

The overall intention of his essay is to, “broaden the conversation to the system of industrial medicine, which bears close resemblance in many dimensions to the system of industrial agriculture.” Essentially what Eisenstein is proposing is that if we accept the current reigning paradigm of modern medicine, then vaccinations make perfect sense. Similarly, if we accept the current system of monocrop agriculture as what it is, then Monsanto is right, there’s no better approach. And since there are very few other timesaving options for alleviating our mental and physical suffering, pharmaceuticals offer us an easy way to temper the storm.

“What lies outside the debate about vaccine safety? Effective natural and alternative treatments for Covid. Superiority of natural immunity to vaccine-induced immunity. The “terrain” of infection: why some people experience serious illness and death, and others do not. The positive role viruses, even pathogenic ones, play in health and evolution. The decline of virulence over time. The sociological implications of handing body sovereignty over to government authorities. Basically, vaccines are a way to keep society-as-we-know it functioning as usual.”

In other words, he’s speaking of getting back to normal and keeping the current systems in place. Since we only use the resources the system itself created to keep us rooted in it, that gives us the false impression there are no clear alternatives. The pharmaceuticals currently available may keep us alive but do they help us thrive? They may simply keep us functioning, tolerant of a system that created many of the problems we face daily. We may get vocal about one or another of these problems especially in the realm of politics, social justice, race, class and gender, depending on the wave of attention, usually created, in part, by media sources, but this kind of activism generally waxes and wanes. Sometimes things shift a bit, a little to the right, a little to the left, and sometimes not at all. Incrementalism isn’t sufficient because it’s too tempting to go back to the comfort zone of “normal” while we wait for Rome to burn. So, why aren’t we using the basic resources of anxiety, fear, depression and emerging trauma to replace the system that created all our societal issues in the first place? Well because there’s a built-in response where we’re taken immediately back to GO and offered the temporary salves the system created in order to ward off any real systemic shifts. So, as we fall into this trap, very little actually changes and we’re back to “normal” again.

Normal is glyphosates. Normal is fossil fuels. Normal is pharmaceuticals: opioids, SSRIs, anti-anxiety medications, ACE inhibitors, Statins. Normal is obesity, diabetes, asthma, auto-immune diseases, heart disease and cancer. Normal is the epidemic of inflammation. Normal is also patriarchy, racism, climate change, wealth disparity, colonialism, capitalism, etc., etc. Isn’t the bigger question, doesn’t it make perfect sense these “normal” aspects of our current system result in needing the jab in the first place? We’re already getting sick, is there no wonder one of the twenty or so known viruses, in this case coronavirus, which has been around for centuries, maybe millennia, gets triggered as a result of our weakened immune systems?

“No authority during Covid has said, “People are sick, they need more time outdoors. People are sick, they need more touch. People are sick, they need healthy gut flora. People are sick, they need pure water. People are sick, they need less electromagnetic pollution. People are sick, they need less chemicals in food. People are sick, let’s put diabetes warnings on soda. People are sick, let’s encourage them to meditate and pray. People are sick, let’s get them in the garden. People are sick, let’s clean the air. People are sick, let’s provide free mold remediation on all dwellings. People are sick, let’s promote education about local herbs. People are sick, let’s make the best supplements and practices of the biohackers and health gurus available to all. People are sick, let’s heal our agricultural soils.”

Nope.

“Vaccines, their dangers, their shortcomings, and the measures needed to coerce the unwilling are the visible tip of an iceberg, showing us starkly the system they represent. They are a window into a future of technological dependency where we put into our bodies whatever the authorities tell us to, and wonder why the promise of health, freedom, and a return to “normal” is always on the horizon but never here. Another future beckons. It won’t be handed to us by the same authorities and systems that rule today; we have to claim it.”

My father, a physician, described the current attempt to get the pandemic under control as “sticking our fingers in the dyke”, which essentially sounds like a desperate attempt at saving us from a raging flood of death and destruction. Clearly the dyke, or dam, is crumbling in his metaphor and likely won’t hold out for long, inferring the structure, or system in place, is not sound. He also makes a case that mandates are necessary, using the analogy of life-saving seatbelt laws. With our mindset fully engaged with culture, how could that not make good sense? Also, band-aids come in very handy when you’re bleeding. So, let me take this opportunity to say, I have no issue with vaccinations per se. Although my son mostly shares my views about the world, he decided to get the single jab in order to make his life less complicated so he can attend college classes, go to concerts and play music with others indoors, all mandated activities here in New York City. My daughter and wife are both double jabbed. And yes, I sometimes find myself pondering getting vaccinated because of the mandates. I like live music, eating in restaurants, and seeing certain family members who maintain I pose a threat to them, which feels like a sort of mandate as well, even though highly illogical on their part. Again, I’m the vulnerable one, not them. However, despite all this, I am holding firm in my choice to remain injection free. I enjoy having the choice, for the moment, anyway. And so should you, whether you’re vaxxed or not.

In other words, this whole discussion has a great deal more nuance than we often realize. The same way we have no easy answers for the complete disregard for life on this planet as we forge ahead toward two degrees Celsius, sit back and watch in horror as bombs continue to fall in various spots around the globe, as oil keeps pumping through often bursting pipelines contaminating our water supplies, and as micro particles of plastic finds a new home in our veins. On and on and on, with new discoveries of devastation reported daily.

I wrote play called “The Jab” back in March of 2021. My friend Matt and I performed it for about thirty people on Zoom. I played a character who was resistant to getting jabbed, admittedly not much of a stretch. Matt’s character had just gotten his first shot, also true to life. The play was framed as a friendly Zoom check in. Many of the audience members couldn’t tell we were acting. My character makes some claims about vaccine passports and mandates that were then considered conspiracy theories by the left. In fact, most of the "outlandish" claims I made in the play have come to fruition in six short months. Yet, despite a valiant attempt to start a conversation about vaccination among family and friends, what I discovered is what we now know to be true, there is no discussion beyond vaccination. The post play discussion illuminated that point despite efforts by Matt’s brother Steve to make the case for listening to what the other side has to say. I appreciated his compassionate inquiry approach. His gentleness was a reprieve from the juggernaut of dogma. Yes, for him vaccination is the right thing to do yet he takes the matter of convincing the unconvinced without judgment very seriously. If you’re curious about his work check out his site: Independence.  

The journalist Matt Taibbi, a staunch supporter of vaccines, points out in his latest article, “The News is America’s New Religion, and We’re in a Religious War”, that MSM has turned into a faith-based platform with opposing red and blue factions.

“We have two denominations, both as fact-averse as real churches, as is shown in polls about, say, pandemic attitudes, where Americans across the board consistently show they know less than they think. Surveys found a third of Republicans think the asymptomatic don’t transmit Covid-19, or that the disease kills fewer people than the flu or car crashes. But Democrats also test out atrociously, with 41% thinking Covid-19 patients end up hospitalized over half the time — the real number is 1%-5% — while also wildly overestimating dangers to children, the percentage of Covid deaths under the age of 65, the efficacy of masks, and other issues. This is the result of narrative-driven coverage that focuses huge amounts of resources on the wrongness of the rival faith. Tales of each other’s stupidity are the new national religion, and especially among erstwhile liberals, we take them more seriously than any religion has been taken in the smart set in a long, long time.”

Misleading information is part of the new normal. Competing narratives fuel the finger pointing and witch hunts. During this time of upheaval and potential transformation, it’s certainly not surprising, and yet one might expect at least a temporary cease-fire for what Taibbi calls all the “partisan bullshit” in order to get through this health crisis with a more collective effort. One day, likely soon, Covid will be over and we’ll be stuck with yet another mess to clean up. A mess of divisiveness, raging opposing dogma, and ultimately a whole lot of denial about a pandemic of poor behavior. Because culture, our current system, is against life. I could argue that almost everything you read, see and consume is at odds with life. Our mind and body health will not be served - pre-pandemic, mid-pandemic, and certainly not post-pandemic unless there’s a major shift in consciousness. We will need to spend a great deal of time and resources mitigating anxiety, stress, trauma, grief and the understory of all that, a firm belief that the problems lie within us, not the systems in place thus creating all the dis-ease in the first place. 

Vaccination is a temporary fix at best, a cosmic band-aid. It’s yet another attempt to clean up one of our messes, like cleaning up an oil spill, so the damage will live on. It’s becoming a multi-trillion dollar industry, protected by IP rights and patents, with a built in litigation firewall, and the gestalt behind it is currently being woven into the fabric of an already destructive system of oppression, a slave-wage cosmology. It’s decidedly warped billions of minds as it rages on.

These days Mother Nature is sending us so many messages, wild fires, drought, hurricanes, earthquakes, causing a lot of suffering, a lot of devastation, a lot of death. Here’s a radical thought, perhaps death is necessary. So many stories, mythologies, point to death as a cycle, circling directly back to birth and renewal. Another problem, as I see it, is that we’re on a self-survival kick. When we experience the world through the lens of threat, it’s all about survival and protecting ourselves. And in many ways, it’s not even our true selves, it’s the egoic part of ourselves that requires the story of threat to keep us safe from the unknown. We literally made up the story of good and evil, of right and wrong, of protagonist and antagonist, to mitigate our relationship to the unknown. So, viruses, pathogens aren’t evil, they aren’t even threats, they are updates. You can’t have life without viral elements, they’ve been around exponentially longer than we have. Could we someday realize that all this manufactured threat is really a fear of transformation? The death of the old us? The birth of the new us? I think it’s okay that people are dying. And that may the most radical thing anyone can say about this pandemic. I’m okay with death and I’m okay with my own death. It’s part of life. Go for a walk in the woods, it’s quite evident there. It’s quite evident everywhere, in fact, if you have the courage to truly notice.

We’re entering a liminal period, a grey area, a place of potential, and, at the same time, we’re collectively putting the brakes on. Why? If we keep telling ourselves that viruses are evil, that death is not part of life, where does that leave us? It leaves fully embedded in the story of separation, from nature, from ourselves, where we’ve been drowning for quite some time, perhaps for the entirety of the Anthropocene age, and it’s not working. We need to accept that we don’t know everything, that there’s plenty of mystery, nuance and complexity we cannot claim to understand. I can assure you, the science of immunology doesn’t know everything there is to know about viruses or pandemics. My cardiologist told me there’s so much about the heart we don’t know. Neuroscientists say the same about the brain. There’s so much about consciousness we don’t know. And so here we are. We can either choose to continue to embrace that we are above or apart from nature, or accept that we are a part of it and look at the beauty of how things truly are. Again, Mother Nature is actually showing us that updating is necessary right now, on so many levels. To me, it’s so clear. Yet we keep falling back to this egoic relationship with our mortality, residing only on the visible material plane. Currently, it’s get vaccinated or not, that’s all, end of discussion, when there’s so much more to consider, so much more to explore, so much more to wonder about. What happened to curiosity?

We all need to slow down, sit under the Bodhi Tree for a while and stop thinking. As Octavia Butler said, the only real God is Change. That’s really all nature does, it’s constantly shifting, evolving and updating. The funny thing is we are already doing that despite our attempts to control it. The problem is we remain prisoners of another story and from our cells, we can only see the bars.

Recently President Biden, in his mandate speech, said, “My message to unvaxxed Americans is this: What more is there to wait for? What more do you need to see? We’ve been patient but our patience is wearing thin. And your refusal has cost all of us, so please, do the right thing. This is not about freedom or personal choice. It’s about protecting yourself and those around you. The vast majority of Americans are doing the right thing. The other twenty five percent can cause a lot of damage, and they are.”

Many people, including members of my family who I’ve had deep, probing conversations with in the past, about the problems of the world, about healing, about humanitarian concerns, have bought into this way of thinking hook, line and sinker. My question is, are the seventy five percent doing the “right” thing?

Stupid is as stupid does was a popular meme, maybe even before there were memes. It’s from the highly overrated American movie, Forrest Gump, perhaps one of the best propaganda movies ever made. A truly American depiction of idiocracy. Let me propose something here – perhaps this was all a set up. Divisiveness grew to exponential proportions when Trump was elected. Fear and othering are escalating to new heights. Is it a coincidence that the pandemic hit at the tail end of the Trump presidency? Right after all the Russia and China fear mongering? After the attempts at impeachment? Let’s go back and work out some quick historical facts. We’ve already bought into some pretty hard-core mythologies. Manifest Destiny. The American Dream. Capitalism. Colonialism. We’re looking up at a Mount Everest of deep programming to unlearn going back thousands of years. It’s going to take a long time to de-program from all this, even supposing we have the intention to do it, which we likely do not. This pandemic could have, and could still give us the opening we need. I’ve written a lot about this in previous essays including Notes From Quarantine. But I could also argue that the pandemic is currently doing the exact opposite of what I was hoping it might do. We are backsliding into the systems we got a pretty good gander at during the Trump term but instead of smashing them into oblivion, we’re distracted yet again.

Recently Russell Brand said, “If you think certain statements or attitudes are not kind, if you believe kindness is a good thing, don’t you think you should be kind as well? People judge people for stuff while simultaneously doing the thing they are judging them for. Enjoying spitting venom in forums where discourse is not the main objective and so therefore the hearer is affected by it thus creating dis-ease, a pervasive sense of there’s something wrong.  Contempt becomes the frequency instead of kindness, listening, congeniality! The argument, if there ever was one, is lost completely. Both the speaker and the hearer are disconnected through the alienation of contempt. Telling people the truth about health industry incentives (money), food industry incentives (money), we discover a vast divide where Krispy Kreme is handing out free donuts to young people for getting vaxxed. Can we speak openly about all this? Can we communicate clearly without fear? Free speech? Absolutism, restriction, censorship? Can we opine or listen to an opinion without hating that person? What’s happening to us? The problem of Coronavirus is tiny compared to the framework of the system holding it. A framework that includes disdain, contempt and conflict. If we take a pass on the basics, kindness, open communication, tolerance, there may be no society worth saving no matter what you believe.”

We perceive the enemy as each other and we’re everywhere. This is a complete misread of data. At our core, our essence, this story, this data, doesn’t exist. Each of us can bring destructive patterns to light with intention and create new pathways to awareness by unlearning long established habits. We’re struggling along with a system that doesn’t serve life. One question is, can anything truly be solved? Likely not in the way we think.

It takes humility to rebalance ourselves with the natural world and each other. It also takes acknowledging the structures we have are not the only structures available. It's been said, “we have two ears and one mouth for a reason – so we can listen twice as much as we speak”. No, we cannot solve this with the resources we've exhausted and old ideas that have proven ineffectual. We keep trying to fix things but never listen enough to get to the heart of the matter because if there are any answers, they probably won’t reside in the realm of reason. The individual self may continue to think so but nature knows better. Perhaps even fixing itself is a concept defined by a system set up to consume and destroy. We cannot meet the problems of the Anthropocene age with individualistic egoic reason because that’s exactly what we’ve been trying to do all along. We keep sticking our fingers in the dyke, creating more and more mandates and amendments. This will not solve anything. Why? Well, here's something else to consider, maybe there's actually nothing left to fix, maybe it’s over.

In order to find our way, we must get lost. We must feel our collective despair and transmit it through a conspiratorial period of agency, where we allow the grand finale to sink in. This is where our emancipation lies. We must become fugitives from the atomic age, enacting a trans-local urgency of not knowing, by not being right anymore and saying thank you and goodbye to the old processes. From this place, new patterns of learning may emerge while we sit together in failure. Coronavirus may actually be more like an alien invasion sending us a message from beyond. But how could we even consider anything like this without listening with both ears? And let’s face it, listening is so difficult right now because there’s so much noise. It’s deafening.

Here’s a bit of science we tend to miss in the whole #followthescience crusade. When water is polluted, we can’t drink it. When air is contaminated, we can’t breathe it. When the soil is filled with toxic chemicals, our food supply will make us sick. When a group of brilliant scientists build a device that was supposed to keep the peace and then a Democratic president drops it on two cities in Japan, vaporizing all life forms within a certain radius, is that science? A reminder, that wasn’t too long ago. When another group of virologists play around with superviruses, what do you think the chances are that they might be let loose on the world. “You monkeys only think you’re running things”, said the late futurist Terence McKenna.

We are in a crisis of agreement, a habit of perception, a tunnel of seeing each other that makes us seem less than what we are, “I am not enough”. Enough of that story. Our words and deeds will be more powerful if and when we speak to the real human being underneath our assumptions of them. When we listen, expressing anger without hate, responsibility without blame, truth without self-righteousness, at the very minimum – if we truly listen, truly see the other divine being standing right in front of us – the inseparable nature of human beingness – a shift will begin to occur. And if we are willing to be transformed in the exchange, then this becomes a powerful invitation for dialogue. This is humility and only with humility and reclaiming a relationship to deep listening can we make our way through any of this.

I’m fundamentally the same person I was prior to the Sars CoV-2 pandemic. I’m pretty certain you are too. In my hypnotherapy practice I work with the idea that our essence, who we essentially are, is intact and can never be touched. Only layers upon layers of data, in the form of long patterned habits, what we’re taught, keep us apart from who we truly are. This essence was born and likely goes on after the death of our bodies.

You have opinions and beliefs but likely understand they are subject to change. Sometimes quickly, sometimes over time and sometimes immediately.  And when they do, you don’t disappear. Why? Because no one is an opinion. You have opinions but you aren’t your opinions. In the same sense, your body belongs to you but it’s not who you are. In fact, your body probably doesn’t look the same as it did when you were a minute old. Every cell has been replaced, several times over.

If you run your finger through a candle flame, and then I did it too, I haven’t touched the same fire you did. Same with a river. If you stick your toe in and then I stick my toe in, the river isn’t the same because it’s constantly flowing. Same with your hand. If I touched it, it would be for the first time, every time. Because it’s constantly updating with energy and cell regeneration. Every time it’s touched for the first time, just like the river, just like the flame.

Think of it this way. There was a time when you were outside in nature and you saw something amazing, beyond beautiful. Now go there in your mind. There’s peace, there’s excitement there, and presence. You were perhaps drawn toward this place because of the beauty of it. You felt at peace there, you were present, just as you possibly feel now as you remember this place. And then there were other moments when your awareness was far from this place, right? But this place never actually went anywhere, it’s constant like the sun.

You might explain to a child that the sun is just as bright at midnight as it is at noon, just as heavy, just as hot, just as bright. Yes, perception may change, proximity may change, but the sun doesn’t change. The peace, excitement, the inner light is always there, whether you’re aware of it or not, like the sun. So, at your center, there is excitement, there is peace, clarity, wisdom. The light is always on. This is essence. Go there again.

This place of beauty, of essence, is always accessible. And it’s kind of like one of those laser lights that cats like to chase but never touch. Even if you throw mud on it, the light still shines. Like the sun. Like you, who you are. True, at times you feel you may be nowhere near this place of beauty, of essence, but it doesn’t effect the light, doesn’t effect you. All we need to do is tap our ruby slippers three times and we’re right back there, in our place of essence. There's no place like home.

When the pandemic is over, my essence will be intact. So will yours. And maybe someday we can get lost together, without fear, without guilt. Shall we, collectively, let go of all former beliefs and convictions that no longer serve us? We are seeing through the glass darkly. But at the same time we're seeing so much more of the destructive patterns that we cling to, keeping us from living our lives fully. It’s taken tens of thousands of years of civilization, an enormous amount of programming to perfect the concepts of fear and guilt to convince us we are not enough. The despair, the dread, the desperate lack we’re experiencing, comes from this deep programming. So, when you’re confronted with this idea that vaccination is the answer, shake it off. Get jabbed if you choose to, but don’t get involved with the fear and guilt associated with your decision.

There are certain tribes in the Amazon that have been dreaming of the end of the world for thousands of years. Perhaps what they've been dreaming is a new beginning, the birth of something to be discovered once we truly let go and get lost. Nature is not against us. She’s not the threat. How could she be?

We are led to Believe a Lie

When we see not Thro the Eye

Which was Born in a Night to perish in a Night

When the Soul Slept in Beams of Light

~Excerpt from the poem Auguries of Innocence by William Blake

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Films For Action is a library for people who want to change the world.

 

Our mission is to provide citizens with the knowledge and perspectives essential to creating a more beautiful, just, sustainable, and democratic society.

Films For Action was founded in 2006 by a few friends in Lawrence, Kansas, after realizing how essential healthy media is to a healthy democracy.

Over the last 15 years, we've reviewed and curated over 1,000 free documentaries and 4,000 short films, plus over 150 pay-per-view documentaries, spanning 34 topics related to changing the world.

During this time we've been able to reach tens of millions of people - not by owning a TV network or spending truckloads of cash on advertising, but because millions of awesome people keep sharing 'films for action' with their friends on social media - in particular, our 850,000 supporters on Facebook and 70,000 site members. 

One of the coolest things is, thanks to our patrons, our library is ad-free and 100% supported by member donations, while 99% of our library is free to access and always will be. The pay-per-view films on our site, of course, help support the filmmakers, and 90-100% of the revenue for PPV films hosted by us goes to the filmmakers. 

To thank our $5/mo patrons, we partner with filmmakers and distributors to provide access to a growing number of films that are normally pay-per-view. With just 23 highly curated films at the moment, it's basically a mini "Netflix for world changers," but its main function is to support the library as a whole.

If you'd like to know more, want to help out, or you're a filmmaker or distributor looking to collaborate, feel free to get in touch!

Cheers,  
Tim Hjersted
Co-Founder & Director
Lawrence, KS