1. This, again, resonated to my core. And, if I may say, A fucking men! I remember when, just after 9-11, my otherwise progressive in-laws got behind the idea of giving George W. Bush the “blank check” that Congress voted to give him, with the lone voice of Barbara Lee being against it. I stood with Barbara Lee, so, they tried to convince me that we should all get behind the President and allow him to, essentially, seek revenge. A rather heated argument followed as I was not convinced, at all, that revenge seeking made any sense . . . it almost felt to me like playing into the hands of the aggressor; I thought, why should we lower ourselves to that level? I just wished that I had had your gift of calm, thoughtful, and articulate story telling! Thank you so much for sharing this!!!

  2. A couple of thoughts/comments. You do not mention how war is used as a tool by Governments and TPTB to achieve various outcomes. Most of the time wars are not declared for the reasons stated publicly but for a vast array of other reasons. A war on drugs simply moves money and resources into the police state. A war on terrorism does the same but times a zillion. I mean let’s face it, war never produces anything positive for the planet or inhabitants but more misery. Meanwhile some do profit in many various ways by these declared wars. To change this story narrative, we will have to mature to the point that we no longer need or accept a mother society telling us what to think, believe, who is or is not evil, etc.
    The second issue is the whole notion of ‘the other.’ This is fundamentally an issue of duality and the humans inability to harmonize the self. Through our own shadow, we are the ‘other’ that we hate. So if we want to change the narrative of the story from where war springs, we have to start with learning as individuals and as a species to harmonize the duality within and heal the shadow. This, I believe, will go a long way toward real interconnectedness and heal our relationships with not only each other, but also the natural world.

  3. Charles, Howard and I were at the Green Party meeting, and being fans of your work for years, we were at your talk. It was clear from the questions during the Q&A that people weren’t really hearing the message even though they would start with “I hear what you are saying,” and then comes the dropped shoe, “but…”. Afterward I asked several people what they thought and several people said “it was over my head”. Huh?! Love, compassion are over your head?
    I was flabbergasted. The Party is a long way, and getting further at this point in the swing, from holding these memes being offered. The more beautiful world. We say we want it and then when the plan is laid before us, complete with its track record of success, we scoff at the message. We scoff because it takes work to break habits of the cultural malaise of separation. So much easier to complain. I want a Party that gets it. I am hoping this Party is it, and I am waiting for the pendulum to come back our way and set the new memes we want to live by.
    Thanks for coming Charles. Howard and I aren’t alone in the Party. There are others ready for the shift, we just weren’t as vocal as those not ready to accept their power in relation to the whole. Sorry, we should have been. I am grateful for the opportunity to see you in person. I also taped it and the quality came out pretty good. I have enjoyed listening to it several more times. That’s one of the powers of storytelling, isn’t it, that we get more out of it each time? Some things aren’t ready to be heard once and be absorbed. Not when there are strong cultural norms that speak to the contrary of the message: might is right, the end justifies the means, if you’re not with us you’re against us, etc. Peace!
    In Lak’ech, Kate

  4. I use to live in an activist house in D.C.
    Housemates included a western medical student who also studied wholistic healing, a self styled monk, an alternative radio producer, musician, environmentalist, women’s rights advocate, and others. I considered myself a social entrepreneur.
    One of the main themes of the house was “F#%k Bush!” There was a spirit of anger and judgment. There was also a spirit of sexiness in the grand, dangerous struggle and fight.
    There was a strange juxtaposition of spending much energy hating and fighting for a better world and the fact that we had a huge, old, broken air conditioner in the window with large gaps around it so that much energy was being wasted in the winter. The place was dirty, the pets were neurotic and there was constant quibbling, power struggles and selfish and inconsiderate behavior. If we could not create a healthy, human and functional microcosm in our collective home….how do we create a better larger world?
    Those of us who would consciously profit at the expense of others are able to collaborate with others, to find common ground and to further our agendas. Quite effectively it would seem, given the state of things. I have seen often that we, people of conscious goodwill, will find reasons to exclude other people of conscious goodwill. A homophobic environmentalist, a racist feminist….or differences in views with one aspect or another. When more people of conscious goodwill can associate and collaborate with other people of conscious goodwill from varied disciplines, views and backgrounds with mutual respect and find common ground…then we create more so the more beautiful world. This, I believe is the great opportunity and the great obstacle.
    Some of the feedback that you wrote in the above essay, Charles, seems to suggest that these individuals did not fully grasp what you were saying. (to point out the obvious) I also noticed a current of negative energy in myself….having a feeling of “Those idiot’s! Don’t they understand that fighting is not the way! Duh.” But then that is more of the same…the lack of compassion. More judging and fighting. More heat but not more light.
    If someone is beating a dog or a person and we have the ability to intervene intelligently, firmly and effectively….influencing a peaceful outcome…then, to me that seems good. Of course. And if we can do this on a larger scale…then I say yes. If it can lessen domination and suffering, Then yes. But this will not get us all the way to where we wish to go. This is not enough to build a more beautiful world.
    When living in NYC, I thought to myself, “How can extremely rich people spend money and consume and party and be idle when there is so much suffering? How can they perpetuate that lifestyle by going into businesses that harm? How evil!”
    I was making good money as a massage therapist at the time….all of my life previously, I had supported myself from minimum wage. I I enjoyed my fancy long black wool coat. It kept me warm in the winter and I felt stylish. I felt more socially enfranchised.
    When I noticed my judgement, I did what my father taught me to do. Place myself in another person’s shoes. What if someone approached me on the street who was living a poverty stricken life and he said to me, “How evil you are for wearing a nice coat and drinking wine and going to the movies and having fun when people are suffering!” And what if he wanted to rail against me, even hurt me, because in his mind he thought I deserved it? In my mind, I am a guy who is just trying to make it in this world dealing with many different stresses.
    I imagine if I were born to great wealth and saw how the average person lived…I may very well be tempted to safeguard my position and to not think too deeply on the suffering of others.
    I think the work you are doing, speaking to groups, is vital work. I imagine there are those who understood what you were saying even though it may have been a new way of seeing for them. I believe there may have been discussions among audience members and some people may have acted as a bridge for those who did not understand. And for those who don’t and are coming from a fighting for peace view….their time will come, I imagine, when they see it…probably after a period of continued self inflicted suffering. i think addressing this kind of feed back is very useful…clarifying…giving an opportunity for increased understanding…if perhaps some of the audience members subscribe to your newsletter and read it. and useful to all that read this blog.
    It is so easy to me misunderstood…completely. Even when choosing very carefully how we say something. As I’m sure you know.
    On TMBW Fb page there was a small bit of acrimony when discussing whether or not to keep the page an open group. But then, beautifully, it evolved into a very nice, edifying and inspirational discussion.
    This is the real hope for our world, I believe. Seeing people of conscio

  5. …….Seeing people of conscious goodwill associate and collaborate with others from diverse views and backgrounds with respect, finding common ground and creating. Thank you Charles for you work and for all people’s good works. Herb

    • Thanks for your comments, Herb! I especially resonated with the story of your winter coat and your move from minimum wage slavery to a more comfortable and life-serving livelihood, and I was reminded of an eye-opening metric I subjected myself to. I wish I had bookmarked the link! Anyway, the finding was that, in spite of my position at 50% of the poverty line in the cultural context of the US of A, I’m in the top 5% from a global perspective. Diversity – It’s not just about race any more! And as you so rightly point out, this is not a single-issue world.

  6. Thanks for the post! It reminded me of some of Adam Werbach and others’ writing on the ‘death of environmentalism’ and the need for classic, combative environmentalism to evolve into a broader movement that strives towards a common, inclusive vision.

  7. Dear Charles,
    I invite you to Israel-Palestine. To strengthen the birth of a new story here in this Land.
    Thank you,

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