Today is Independence Day, when most Americans are gathered around family and friends, grilling burgers and hot dogs, and unwinding from a busy week of working hard. It is a good day for many, enjoying the company of loved ones and feeling a connection with them. With so many working long, hard days, and several jobs, it is no wonder that quiet moments of respite in the warmth of others are so welcome!
And yet, I cannot help but wonder, who is really independent on this planet? In truth, we are so intricately dependent on one another all around the globe. Whether we care to admit this to ourselves or not, the things we use daily may not come from our country at all. How often do we stop to think where something we use or eat comes from? How often do we look into the people and the processes that bring to us our daily bread and more? If we experienced – just once – the rich webwork of activity that supports our lives in all of its detail, we would hold an entirely new appreciation for the global interdependence that sustains us.
Let’s look at some of the things we all have in common – our basic needs:
- We all need the basics: food, water, warmth, and rest.
- We all need to feel safe, which is the exact opposite of being afraid.
- We all need to have relationships and feel connected to others. After awakening, we do not ever feel dis-connected from anything.
- We need to feel some sense of self-value until we awaken. After that, life ceases to be about the identity of the self.
- We want to explore what it means to reach our full potential and to go for it….
Also, our DNA is the same 99.9%. We all live on the planet’s surface and breathe the same air. We all rely on the Sun and the planet’s resources. Although our atoms originated in the violent death throws of a massive star, these atoms have been used and reused by living beings who came before us. We are all creative and have the ability to bring into existence unique works to inspire and further connect others. We ask the same questions about our existence and about our death. We all feel a sense of Mystery about our universe when we look up at the starry sky. We have the ability to love, to care, and to nurture. We have the ability to feel – everything.
So, are we celebrating what we have in common and sharing our diversity with joy? Not quite… Many are too hungry, too oppressed, too frightened, or too disconnected to celebrate life and its possibilities. Many face a short life of pain. Even in a country like America, many live in ghettos and struggle for survival. People are ostracized based on their life choices in the name of someone else’s morality, and some are brave enough to step forward and fight for their civil liberties. People are abused by those who hold power and learn to live in fear. No, we are not whole. And, no matter how long we try to talk ourselves into it, we are not independent.
In fact, denying our interdependence with all of the Earth, is a lie that continues to fulfill predictions of our demise. We scramble over territory lines, bully others into turning over their resources, and continue to dump waste into every corner we can find to perpetuate the doomed paradigm of eternal economic growth. Collectively, we live like a bunch of teens in a frat house – partying to forget and go numb. Our infrastructure is designed to focus us on one problem at a time – recycle that water bottle or get a water-efficient shower head – without ever proposing a holistic solution that could reestablish balance.
Spiritual activism is about beginning global healing by starting to heal the rift within ourselves. We must come at the issues that plague all of us with clarity and a sense of who we are. After all, we cannot heal our society from self-absorption if we ourselves are self-absorbed and reactive. Unless we wake up to the fact that we have value, how could we truly advocate for all to have the same opportunities – regardless of culture, religion, or sexual preference? We can heal ourselves while we work on developing and enacting the changes we need to establish balance.
Healing ourselves requires nothing short of awakening to the truth that there is really only one being on this planet – and It is all of us, including the planet. This reality is nothing new. The idea that we are “all One” has been around for thousands of years, and possibly longer. If this idea were to, instead, become our reality, we would not do most of the things we do to ourselves, each other, and the Earth. We would not be so disconnected from our actions, and destructive, unconscious, and careless acts would fade into the fog of the past.
It is not enough to do lipservice to being One. We must live it to know its power. And this requires work – hard work – to drop all of the illusions that tell use we are isolated, self-reliant, and must assert our identity at all costs. We cannot even properly work with one another in groups to accomplish a common goal because of the persistent need to dominate, outshine, and be the one who has all the answers. Collaboration continues to be the coveted skill of the 21st century because it is, as yet, not a common skill!
Awakening to the reality that is our One-ness is a very strong form of activism. We don’t really need everyone to awaken to this degree – just a critical mass of people who would be able to keep the peace and support true cooperation. These people would make sure that there is no anger-driven agenda, no in-fighting, and no superficial competition and attention seeking while all participate.
Contrary to common belief that spirituality is tame and passive, an awakened being is very capable of literally devastating ignorance with a hard blow using words and his or her energy. When the resistance to truth is thick , a firm response is needed to break the resistance and to move everyone forward. Of course, as soon as the job is done, such a being would smile and complement you on the beautiful color of your shirt or laugh at the funny joke you told at lunch – as if nothing had happened. That is because awakened beings give the necessary energy to blast through illusion, and then feel no attachment to the outcome. Imagine such beings emerging all across the globe and assisting all of us in coming together around the simple dream of making happiness an opportunity for all.
How could you recognize an awakened being? Well, you would notice that somehow most of the stuff they say seems to speak to you directly. They do not appear to value the typically things, such as possessions, status, or cultivating a self-image. They have a twinkle in their eye and seems to look through you toward infinity when looking at you. They are very kind and care deeply.
Such people do not reveal themselves to the public for many reasons, including that most have been castigated by society over time. Many say that the world is not ready for these being to walk freely and participate without triggering everyone’s shit to the surface. In fact, another way you can spot an awakened being is by their ability to impact others. While many will be drawn to such people, there will be some who will feel flat-out hate and attack them. Can you think of any such people in your community?
Without clarity and surrendered service, there is a danger that activism is merely a an angry and destructive force, designed to sabotage “our cherished way of life.” Some people may feel afraid of activism because it has the potential to endanger oneself and others. Some people may doubt that the lack of connection between activist groups will fail to address the holistic changes needed to truly restore balance in our world. Is this the activism legacy? Wouldn’t activists want to include the majority, rather than take pride in being a minority. What will it take for activists to organize and unite? Probably, the biggest factor would be to make sure that only healed people lead the changes to further healing. Unfortunately, those who feel broken cannot catalyze healing. So, let us start to heal….
Where do we start? We begin to yearn for awakening from the illusion of having to assert ourselves and to push our agendas at all costs. Such a yearning, if sincere, will likely bring the resources into our lives to support our healing process. This is the way it typically works – when you are ready, the support is also standing by to help you. We may even be fortunate enough to come in contact with awakened beings, who will kindly guide us through our illusion so that we wake up. We can enlist such beings in helping us to learn how to listen and to hear each other, so that it becomes safe for all to share ideas. A climate is created where all are free to be who they are and are aligned to allowing others the same. All have an open mind and are willing to carefully and systematically examine our current problems and the most effective leverage points that will bring the system of Earth to a balanced state for all. On this fertile soil, activism can grow and blossom.
We do not want to make everyone the same. Instead, we want everyone to have all that they need to be their true and unique self, and for happiness (rather than struggle) to becomes the norm for being.
Gradually, as we serve each other and the Earth, we also heal ourselves and open to new possibilities of reaching our potential. When did becoming enlightened become impossible and unrealistic? Isn’t freedom from illusion the ultimate independence? And isn’t our interdependence the true cause for celebration?
Spiritual activism is about healing ourselves so that we can bring clarity to any movement, enlist the help of awakened beings to further unite us in a true grassroots movement, and model a way of being for all where the common and the unique are embraced in a life that can only be characterized as a true celebration of life.