More than Ten Percent

Our consciousness, what we deem the ego, comprises only ten percent of our working mind. What of the other ninety percent? What if we touch upon that, the greater realm of our actual existence, where the Spirit which created us has the maximum impact on the reality of our lives, that grand segment which constitutes they mystery of why we are here.

Five senses at two percent each. How much grander is the sixth sense of intuition? The still soft voice of Spirit that whispers in every breath, “I Am”.

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Open Mike Poet

This was written in June 2005, but I thought it needed an airing out.

X is for...340/365
Image by AndYaDontStop via Flickr

By the paper, the poetry open mike night was supposed
to begin at eight, and I showed up at 8:40 as a
measure of aloofness and due to the fact that I was
editing what I’d been inspired to write until I
noticed the sun had set. As it was, the hostess Emily
didn’t show up until after nine and we started some
time after.

It’s been awhile since I’ve gone to anything like
this. I used to do it quite a lot when I was in LA and
there was a new scene on every corner. But I suppose
the comfort of home brings a sense of complacency
sometimes and I don’t get out as often as I should.

So I spent the last two dollars in my pocket on the
beverage of the evening and jacked myself up on a
twenty ounce jolt of Brooklyn Beans liquid caffeine
while I waited and experienced the room around me. I
listened fleetingly to the conversations within
earshot, breathed in the ambiance of Big E’s, and
checked the Planet to assure that the event was indeed
occurring.

I’d read an article in the paper on Porch magazine the
Thursday before, mistakenly reading that the reading
was on that night. So I really hoped that I didn’t
make the same mistake twice. But the coffee slinger
assured me that Emily was just running late so I just
sipped my beverage and talked to the young guy who was
first to perform for awhile. He just finished at UF
and is moving to Chicago to take part in a performing
arts conservatory, and after his very impressive
songs, I made sure to give him an eye when I described
my piece as a sort of commencement address.

I wrote it this afternoon while trying to take a break
from the screenplay I have way too long avoided.
That’s one of the beautiful things about a rainy
Saturday afternoon in Florida. We are far too addicted
to the sun to leave the home without it and so our
days are spent attending to whatever is locked in the
house with us. And so here it went…

“This is my at-one-ment with the Universe, including
all that She provides for me. And I call her a She
because She is the Bounty of all Being. God remains as
the masculine and serves as the Provider of and for
Her offspring. And thus They Create One Another. As
the Bible says Eve was made of the rib from Adam. So
the Universe is created from the piece of Him that is
nearest and dearest to His Heart.

I assume by many I will be called a New Age thinker,
and I don’t dispute that indeed I am. At the rate the
world is moving right now, 2005 is definitely a newer
age than 2004. And indeed June a newer age than May.
If an age does not become new, it is because it the
Being has ceased to grow. And Life decays from
stagnancy.

Yet from whichever age I have come, be it the Age of
Buddha, the Age of Christ, the Age of Mohammed, the
Age of Slavery, or the Age of Darkness, This Age is
New.

The stories on which we are raised are many and rich.
From whatever culture we are spawned, the legends
portray, not only the ideal of our Being, but of the
journey We take to Become. The images are vast and
playful, signs and symbols that can barely begin to
describe the wonder of the actual Experience.

To Breathe through Life. To Sense. To Feel. To Touch.
To Hold, to Love, and To Let Go. To forget that any
story has ever been told and the Present Moment is the
Climax of the only Story that Matters. Here. Now.

As Aristotlean Wisdom proclaims, every story has a
beginning, middle, and end, each character a trial,
sacrifice, and victory. For we are All the Big Picture
of our Legends. We are the culmination of our
Collective Culture.

For in Each of Us is the Spirit of Whomever has
brought us to Spawn. And we face this World, these
situations, these libations, these intoxications, and
find such interesting things from these people in this
funhouse mirror that is called Life. For in Every Face
we see, there is the same Spirit, in a Different
Story, from a Different Culture. By a Different Name.
In a Different Game.

In each of these People who mirror our Souls, there is
a Map sketched into their eyes, of the Journey that
has brought them to the Treasure of Now. And in the
right light, Your Map looks just like Mine. The raging
battleplaces of Good and Evil, Right and Wrong, Love
and Hate, Faith and Folly, and the War to tell the
Difference. And in each and every Story, each and
every facet of Reality, in each of our own
Perceptions, We are the Hero our People have been
waiting for.

It is our trial, our sacrifice, our victory. For in
each of us there is the Spirit that my culture calls
the Christ. And upon the Realization of our Heroism,
we first accept our Call with the two words ‘I Am.’ I
Am the Change I long to see in the World. I Am the
vessel through which My God Serves. I Am That I Am.

And to clothe ourselves in the armor we will need for
our epic battle of deciding which I Am we really are,
if we choose for our Story to Believe in this
God-breathed Example of Service and Compassion, and
tell it through the Three Acts of Faith, Hope, and
Love, then our Story will Become as Legend.

But before We set off on our Quest for Reward, we take
a Moment to Be Still and Know that I Am God, we are
blessed to receive two of the Greatest Gifts from the
Parents of our Creation. Time and Choice. This New
Age. This Moment of Stillness, of Silence, as our
Mother holds us in her bosom and the rhythm of our
Hearts blend with the Heart Beat of the Universe. With
the Faith of a Child we Know that we can always Choose
Peace.

Our Breath joins our Beat, adding melody to the
Musical Score of Life. Our Words, Our Songs, Our
Laughs, and Our Cries as Instruments to celebrate Our
Return, our Resurrection as a New Creature.

The Credits from the Previous Feature have come to an
end. And as we begin to tell the Story of our New Age,
we begin at Act One, in touch with the Rhythm from
whence we have come. As We go to face our Own
Adventures, I wish you well on your Way, and Time if
you Stay.”

It was kind of funny, when I read it to the applause
of downpour on the back porch and imagined performing
it in my mind, I envisioned a still and quiet room as
I talked about the Heart Beat of the Universe. But as
God’s humor would have it, that was when five or so
people decided to come and go through the door beside
me. I just smiled through most of the rest of it at
how the Universal Heart Beat is rarely what we think
it will be, but oh, how Joyous is the Rhythm.

There were a few other poets who sat and read. This
one kid gave a real head down, droop shouldered,
mumbled reading of words that echoed of truth, but
lacked in focus as they’d careened through a post
adolescent mind still seeking reincarnation to
adulthood. But I marveled at the size of his journal,
and how even from twenty feet away, I could tell that
the small print he used bled all the way to the edge
of the paper.

I so much admired the vigor of youth that I readily
went home and began to let my ink bleed, and began my
own reincarnation.

Where this is going…

Where this is going can only be discovered upon repeat visits because I can imagine much more quickly than I can write. So I think it best that I start our tour of opportunity right here, since this is where life is presently happening.

For me, the purpose of this website is to explore new avenues of thought in all directions: politics, society, philosophy, environmental sustainability, spirituality, and basically every facet of the human condition, in order to help us in reaching that next level of our collective evolution. So many of the concepts and means we are currently using have grown tired and ineffective. It is time that we give them a Second Thought. As we propel ourselves forward as a society and a people, as we offer this space as a sounding board for the ideas of our future, the call for you is to Inspire Us.

Where is this journey taking us? As the voice of American democracy has been usurped so often by talking heads on cable television, and the instrument of democracy is so often seized by corporations and power mongers, it is our hope that this vehicle will give us the opportunity to reclaim the power of our voices and the courage to reclaim our democracy.

imagineWe now have the opportunity to look beyond the bureaucracy of our governments, beyond the borders of our country, beyond the differences in our races, creeds, and beliefs, beyond the tried and true methods we have habitually used to find those that have become little more than ineffective actions of consequence instead of the methods of world reform we so dearly need. We can tear down the walls of isolation. We can consider our neighbor’s point of view. We can re-create our community. Of the People. By the People. For the People.

It seems to me that the Internet has become the last great bastion of free speech, and it is my hope that we will utilize this gift to fully appreciate the opportunities that it brings. It is my prayer that we use it responsibly and consciously. It is my dream that we use it at all.

What’s on your mind? Where have we gone wrong? What can we do better? What seems to be working? As we step out in faith that the words that follow, be they journalism, prose, poetry, or prayers, be they audio, video, still, or raging, will bring about the changes we want to see in the world. It is our hope that the ideas that are shared through this venue will be guided by a simple motivation… Inspire Us.

For those of you who think in full Technicolor, where words are not enough to convey what is on your beautiful mind, for those who have been so inundated with the talking of organizations, religions, governments, politicians, and long-winded wanderers who have nothing better to do with their time than spend countless hours in front of a radiated plastic box and consider interesting configurations of letters as they come to his mind, that you can no longer bear the thought of creating more words… We need Artists!

Though my motto for many years has been to “write the world,” it is my conclusion that mere words are often not enough to convey where our dreams can take us. Art speaks to and from our souls beyond mere vocabulary. Musicians, Film Makers, Photographers, Painters. Sculptors, and yes, even writers. There is a place for you here. Help us as we celebrate the lessons we have learned from our expressions, and carry on the education.

TMC web pic cropped

As for me, I tend to write. I dabble in video as well, but InkenSoul is where I bleed my inken soul onto paper (or in the less romantic sense I bleed my typed soul into a laptop). However it comes through, I hope it does your heart good and helps to expand your mind.

Write the World.

The Greatest Spiritual Secret of the Century

gssmallThere’s a book I read awhile ago called The Greatest Spriritual Secret of the Century by Thom Hartmann. I’m going to go ahead and give the secret away… We are all One. Every person we meet is a part of this grand scheme we call Life. Each person, each animal, each plant, each sensation is an expression of God. None is less important than the other, but everything and everyone brings their own flair and purpose to life whether they know it or not. The amazing thing is when you realize it and start to see it in action. Synchronicity abounds.

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A Man of Peace in a Time of War

This was written a few years ago when Bush was first rattling his sabres to go war. I can’t currently find the words to describe my disappointment over our delayed stay in Afghanistan, but I thought this might suffice.

When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love has always won. There have been tyrants and murderers and for a time they seem invincible but in the end they always fail. Think of it, ALWAYS.
– Mahatma Gandhi

I like to believe that people in the long run are going to do more to promote peace than our governments. Indeed, I think that people want peace so much that one of these days governments had better get out of the way and let them have it.
– Dwight D. Eisenhower

May 2003 – Los Angeles, California

I’ll be the first one to admit that I have not been the most politically motivated individual in these United States and have often looked at the workings of our government with hands raised or shoulders shrugged. And I confess with a hanged head that I did not even vote in the last election.

I was in North Carolina on voting day, moving from Asheville to Wilmington. It’s possible that I would have made a more concerted effort to take part in my duty of democracy if I felt that democracy could actually be attained. But as it was, the ballot for President of the United States was limited to very few parties in the state of North Carolina, none of which I felt represented me, leaving me with the unwinnable choice of finding the coin in the Devil’s left hand or his right, only to find out that the wily shyster had hidden it behind my ear. As it turned out, being actually registered in Florida, who knows what my vote would have counted for or if it would have been counted at all.

sanfranYet, in the last several months, considering the international allegations being made against my country as a warmonger, I have gained more of an interest in our government and the goings on in its hierarchy. And in these dreadful days of “the war without end” – from the rumors of war yet to begin to the whispers of its onset – I found the desire and opportunity to become a little more educated on the subject and a little more involved. In October, I joined several – 42,000 according to the San Francisco Chronicle, 72,000 according to the protest organizers – in protest of Bush’s war against Iraq, marching from the Embarcado to the corner of McAllister and Larkin for a rally in front of the civic center.

To be honest, I was originally guided by a curious sense of ambivalence more than anything, but the more thought I gave to it, and the more I looked into the subject, the more I considered making my own sign to carry along with the others who filled the streets of San Francisco. In the state of fear that has gripped our nation since September 11, 2001, our reaction of defense seems to have begun a transmogrification into offense – the fear of what has happened causing us, as a country, to do most anything to stop it from happening again. And as the Bush administration guides us toward what they consider an increased sense of security, it would seem that our methods for maintaining our peaceful and free way of life have brought us to the brink of becoming what we fear the most. We are answering even the threat of danger with full-scale war, which can only be considered as terrorism by a larger, more complex organization than the small groups of militants to whom terrorism is commonly attributed.

I agree with most every other flag-waving American that Saddam Hussein is a power-hungry madman. And I would agree that the Iraqi system of democracy, where 99.3% of the population turned out to vote for the only person on the ballot, Mr. Hussein himself, is not democracy at all. But I would also contend that our own fearless leader shows questionable sanity and just as much hunger for power. And I would add that our own system of government, where several candidates for President of the United States are not even on the ballot in every state, where we’re left so disillusioned in the system with a measly two parties for a melting pot culture, that roughly 67% of the population don’t even bother to vote, isn’t exactly teeming with democracy either.

On New Year’s Eve here in LA, a few hours after the ball had dropped and I had gotten quite chummy with Jim Beam, I wandered into a debate on voting. My opponent and I saw eye to eye on choice of beverage but not much else. He compared himself to the Watchers in the Highlander movies and called himself an observer but saw no hope in his one little vote making a difference. I figured one hour a day, once every four years, to voice one’s opinion on how things in this country should be run, wasn’t too much to ask. And as futile as it may have seemed to me at various points of my life, I am now a registered voter and am looking at my government, my country, and my world with new eyes. And I am following up my visions with action.

In January, there was another march here in LA, a week before the second San Francisco march. I arrived at the corner of Olympic and Broadway, melted into the mass of people, was handed a sign with a little Iraqi girl on it, and started collecting all of the literature I was handed. The organizers had a small rally from the back of a flatbed truck, and I stopped to listen for a while. A local Presbyterian pastor spoke of how religious groups need to be united in standing against this war and all methods of violence.

I yelled an “Amen.”

The Green Party had booths at both ends of the march to give out information and register people to vote. I wondered why the Republicans and Democrats didn’t put up booths. I decided to remain unaffiliated for the time being but took some literature to read later.

I was to meet a friend at the corner of 8th and Hill, so I stepped into a donut shop to grab a cup of coffee while I waited.

“What’s going on out there?” A Jewish woman in her early sixties was motioning toward the mass of people a block away, as she entered with the ding of a door chime.

“It’s an anti-war rally.” I held up my sign, which was leaning against the counter, while I paid for my caffeine and sugar.
She rolled her eyes. “You’re just cowards. You’re just afraid.”

“‘Scuse me?”

“You’re afraid to go to war. I’m a Democrat. And I’m backing my President. He knows what he’s doing. You’re just afraid.” Her voice got louder as she spoke.

“Ma’am, for one,” I smiled, “why are you yelling at me?” She caught herself and softened. “Secondly, what am I afraid of?”

“You’re afraid of fighting for what’s right.”

I said, “Ma’am, I’m not afraid to fight for what’s right. That’s what I’m doing here.” I motioned to the little girl on my sign. “I am afraid of becoming a person who would kill this little girl because I feel threatened. I’m afraid of sacrificing my humanity to my fears.”

“Well, what if they have weapons? What if they have bombs?”

“Then they are just as dangerous as us, and we should be careful not to provoke them.”

We bantered back and forth, as she tried to convince me that our military was fighting for my right to take part in this rally, but I reminded her that my right to do so was won in the Revolutionary War and needn’t be fought for again. We soon parted, and though our ideas still differed, she agreed that I had every right to do what I was doing. We smiled at each other as I left. We were at peace with each other, and I considered it a good start.

I’ve taken part in two other demonstrations since January. One was a march in February, which was mentioned briefly on the protestnews, and the other was on Saturday. Both began at the corner of Hollywood and Vine. It wasn’t until Saturday morning that I actually decided to take part in the march down Sunset Boulevard to the CNN building. I spent the week receiving my information from the television, and up until Friday night, I felt a growing sense of apathy toward the war It wasn’t until I started listening to KPFA, free speech radio here in LA, that I started to understand that history was taking place just down the street from where I live.

Since the war began, I watched it on the evening news as well as morning, noon, and night. And for the first few days it didn’t seem as bad as I felt it was.

Though I’ve heard enough conspiracy theory about our government, especially the Bush administration, to find at least some plausible truth; though I have participated in demonstrations, standing alongside a myriad of Americans opposed to the misuse of power our nation has unleashed upon the world; though I realize that television was created for entertainment and know that the device can be used to sway the mentality of the individual as well as the masses, and have been personally taken captive many times by its wily snares of Technicolor dreams; the war didn’t seem that bad. Sure, war is bad, but explained as it was by our military personnel, government officials, and newscasters, there almost seemed a rationale to it. The bombs burst in the distance, and it seemed that casualties were low.

And then I stopped and prayed.

Regardless of any rationale I may come up with or hear; regardless of how much I fear the possibility of this power-crazed dictator attacking us with the very weapons of mass destruction my country sold him; regardless of how noble I may feel by liberating these people from this ruthless tyrant and a life of violence and oppression; regardless of how many of his own countrymen this enemy has killed; we will never defeat him by becoming what he is and attempting to match his numbers in the struggle for control of Iraq. And yet, as it is, with our tumultuous American tempers ranging from blood boiling with anger to frozen with fear, rationale has ousted reason. No matter how good one’s intentions may be, violence cannot bring peace. A man with blood on his hands will always have a wounded heart.

Thinking thus, I sought out like-minds. Friday night, KPFK was taking callers, and there were plenty of whacked-out ideas for protest, like the idea for everyone to agree not to drive for just one day, but the one I decided to partake in was the march and rally at the CNN building. It was proven to this group of people that they weren’t getting much press for their demonstrations, and the press they were getting did not shed a very good light. Most of what I have seen on the television of protests has been extremely short and consisted mostly of telling how many people were being arrested.

And to be honest, watching the network news, seeing that the numbers didn’t seem that great, and people were getting arrested, it didn’t make me too excited to go. Forgive me if I consider that that might just be CNN’s idea. So I went to Hollywood and Vine and met with the people there at noon on Saturday. The crowd consisted of people of every race, creed, religion, and age, even a few Republicans, all gathered together to agree that they will not stand idly by while their government converts to gangsterism. Though the crowd was varied and the philosophies were as broad as the landscape, we were united in our desire for peace and harmony. The people were friendly. Concerned and upset, but built up by the companionship of their neighbors. With all of my travels, of spanning the country in the search for America, this is where I found it.

The signs and banners were far less obscene than many I saw at the other rallies. I think the protesters are doing all they could to make their message more palatable for network censors in hopes that they will actually be shown on camera. The message this crowd had for our troops, the one they will never hear on the truncated editorials they watch on television, is that they are supported. “We love them, and we want them home. But regardless of how much honor they show in fighting for our country, we feel that they are being unnecessarily utilized to fight an unjust war.”
The police were out in force, and before we started the march, the man with the microphone reminded us that the police were there to protect and serve us, as we took part in our constitutional right to assemble and protest. And then we began, shouting chants along the way:

“WHO’S STREETS? OUR STREETS! WHO’S STREETS? OUR STREETS!”
“NBC AND CNN, YOU’RE IN BED WITH BUSH AGAIN!”
“WHAT DO WE WANT? PEACE! WHEN DO WE WANT IT? NOW!”
“THERE’S NO POWER LIKE THE POWER OF THE PEOPLE CUZ THE POWER OF THE PEOPLE WON’T STOP!”

By the time we reached the CNN building, we were pretty stoked. And though the leader began another clever rhyme regarding corporate media, the overpowering sentiment of the crowd was a simple message, a challenge, and democratic plea, as all of us yelled over and over again: TELL THE TRUTH!

I’m still not sure how many of us were there, but we filled the street, and it took a while for those in back to catch up and join us. We had a few speakers from various organizations, and celebrities like Susan Sarandon, Tim Robbins, Eddie Vedder, and Pedro Almodóvar. As Tim Robbins began to speak, he softly asked everyone to take a step back. The crowd moved back, and as he asked for yet another step back, the people drifted back peacefully, wafting like the scent of burning sage that permeated the area.

And when we had made our message known, when we had demonstrated how a group of people could gather together peacefully and prove their faith in democracy, and do so without a permit, we marched back in solidarity. As I left the rally and headed back to where I parked my bike, I was sure to thank the officers I passed for their help.

What I saw on the news that night was nothing of what I saw that day. For the hour that the newscast spoke of war, as military personnel tried to make us understand the weapons and strategies we are using, as government officials reluctantly told us that this war would last longer and take more lives than previously imagined, there was less than five minutes on the millions of people around the globe who protested that day.

The rally I saw was not an everyday occurrence here in LA, but lately it’s becoming so, and I find it amazing how little time was spent reporting on it.

The protests I have seen on television have seemed quite distant, almost as distant as the bombs. Most of what I have seen of the protests on television are wide shots of the crowds, where their signs can’t be seen, banners can’t be read, and their message can’t be heard. It would seem that those Americans who can resist apathy and take part in speaking out when they disapprove of the actions their government takes are never truly introduced to America. Basically, if you can’t get on TV, you’re not going to be heard. That’s the way that America is introduced to what they believe.

And what I saw Saturday night was no different. There was a shot of the front of the march, and I tried to spot myself under the big, yellow banner, but it cut quickly away. A few people were interviewed, one of them being the guy who sold me my WAR IS NOT THE ANSWER T-shirt (to point out that some people were there just to make a buck, demoralizing the event by focusing on the dollar). The story then moved on to the seemingly contrary “Support the Troops” rally, where the numbers were much smaller, but more people were interviewed. The segment dwindled down to a group of a dozen or so pre-pubescent “Support the Troops” demonstrators and came to a smiling end as the girls in the brightly colored T-shirts fulfilled their mission to be the last demonstrators on the street. Democracy was in action throughout the world, and it was mentioned as a side note. The Sunday edition of the Los Angeles Times had two pages with the word “protest” on them. Both were advertisements.

Forgive me if I seem like a crazed prophet of doom, but the voice of the people is being silenced. I doubt you’ll find me preaching from the street corner. I have no desire to be arrested as a martyr for the cause just yet. That’s a story that’s already been told and need not be relived. Though I did come close.

A few hours before the Oscars on Sunday, I decided to scope the scene. The Kodak Theater was blocked off completely, as I rode round the perimeter. It reminded me so much of walking around Ground Zero in New York last October, as if the bombs of 9/11 had found another target. How much of America was destroyed that day?
Someone told me the day before about a protest and candlelight vigil, so I decided to check it out. I’ll be safe and say there were about five hundred people there when I arrived. There was a flat bed truck with a Mexican band singing about peace to a cross-legged crowd at the junction of Orange and Sunset. I registered to vote Green, noticing, again, that the two parties in power were nowhere to be seen, and made my way toward Sunset Boulevard. It was blocked off with metal gates and filled with protesters and movie fans alike as far as the eye could see. The passing crowd was swaying east, so I followed the flow, and we streamed on down the way. A block down, all of those people who were shoulder to shoulder on the sidewalk burst out on the next road and headed toward the next cross street. I really hadn’t planned on protesting any more than wearing my new T-shirt. But off I went, following the crowd.
I was halfway up the next block when I heard the sirens blow, and half the crowd turned and went the other way. I stopped for a moment and considered going with them. But whatever was going to happen on a day like that in LA, I wanted to witness it. I went Zen and walked forward.

A half-dozen police motorcycles were an arrow in the street, with a row of cruisers as the shaft. By the time I reached the front, the police were standing with their hands on their batons. A few of the younger protesters with signs taped to their chests declaring that they had been arrested the day before were starting to ask, “Who’s streets?”
“Our streets,” I gulped and took a few more steps forward.

The crowd moaned a bit and thinned a bit more, as we slowly started to retreat. I suppose I didn’t move quickly enough, but I thought about Seattle and figured I may just be a part of history here. The worst crime I had committed was wearing an opinion on a T-shirt and walking down the street. I understood that the police were doing their jobs, and I wasn’t going to interfere or harass them, but I sure wasn’t going to walk the other way just because they showed up prepared to beat me with a stick.

A few of them had video cameras they used to shoot film of the crowd. As one of them pointed it at me, I gave him a nice profile and took a look back down the block. Another squad was at the other end. We were trapped. These boys were not playing. With all the shit that’s gone down, they were having none of this tonight.

The officers nearest us mounted their bikes and headed forward. Their engines growled like a wolf pack as they moved forward corralling their sheep. There were about a seventy-five of us left when they had herded us together. We were all shoulder to shoulder. The officers dismounted, batons cocked and ready for a phallic demonstration. It was a few minutes before anyone made a move. The first was the officer lifting his bullhorn to ask if anyone wanted to leave. The next was the crowd raising their hands.

He said they would let us go in groups of four. The deal was, we had to go to our cars and go home. If they saw us again, we would be arrested. Militarism declared that there would be no protest, and our voices were silenced before they reached a mutter.

They slowly began to let people out and stopped as more officers moved in. In every direction, a block’s worth of LAPD and CHP had swarmed on our uprising. We hadn’t even chanted before they showed up.

The ones who had been arrested the night before started the chants.

LET US GO! LET US GO!
WE ALL LEAVE TOGETHER! WE ALL LEAVE TOGETHER!

Their fear was that by dividing us, it would be easier for the police to make arrests. I kept my mouth shut and tried to stay Zen.

I called a few people on the cell phone and found Matt at home, telling him with great glee where I was and what I was doing. He immediately began to worry and warned me not to protest as a pretty, blonde, hippie chick handed me a flyer on what to do in case I’m arrested for civil disobedience. Matt and I argued politics until it was my turn to leave, and I walked through the labyrinth of law enforcement that had descended on our quiet city street.

There was a voice message from Glenn, inviting me to watch the Oscars on the big screen at his place. I considered skipping the Oscars on television and continuing my protest, but I promised the cops, as well as Matt, that I would leave and saw the Oscars to be an historic event as well. Plus, I was dying to hear Michael Moore’s speech.

Monday night, I watched Fox11 News at Ten. I can honestly say that I get more accurate news from Tina Fey and Jimmy Fallon on Saturday Night Live. I watched Fox11 News with the same candor I use to watch SNL and was struck with true shock and awe as the propaganda streamed on. On SNL, I know I am being entertained, but I am also learning. I look for humor, which causes me to think, and I can better understand the ideas they are portraying. In addition, the writers on SNL are clever and seem to have a much greater respect for the intelligence of their audience than the good folks at Fox.

The first story was on the War. Obviously. They went over strategies, bombs, and prisoners of war. They moved on to their wives at home, who worried about them, but supported them. One of the wives mentioned how it pains her to see anti-war protests. Another woman said it was fine to have an opinion, but you have to support your troops.
CUT TO: a “Support Your Troops” rally, where the crowd was dazzling in red, white, and blue, as they smiled and waved flags.

CUT TO: CHICAGO – CLOSE UP – HANDCUFFS. “About one hundred protesters took to the streets.” (INSERT – LOW ANGLE – CROWD CHANTING) More shots of protesters being dragged away as the reporter said that they were protesting the news media’s coverage. Is there any other way to take that than a slap in the face?

Next was the report on Michael Moore, whose “speech had nothing to do with his film.” They showed the clip of the Oscar broadcast where Mr. Moore protested the war and lambasted Bush. Then they asked the question to the average person on the street, “What do you think of Michael Moore’s speech?” The first guy was livid and said Michael Moore was a disgrace to America. Another said he has the right to say what he wants to say but went too far. The other two were in between. So, according to Fox11, they couldn’t find a single person in LA who agreed with what he said. I saw a crowd of them this morning off of Wilshire, protesting in a park, but none of them have a voice on Fox.
I was truly shocked at how slanted the report was, how shameful it made democracy. I was awed to see that there is no media coverage for those who wage peace but only for those who wage war. And I find it an almost futile effort to demonstrate when my cries are sure to fall on deaf ears. And though I find hope in the stories of protest from the generation before me, I realize that spring of ’03 is a different world than the summer of ’69.

We live in frightening times with shouts of international terrorists and murmurs of martial law. And now more than ever, I am waging the fight for peace. I’m not looking for a face to my enemy. I’m not going to blame Bush any more than I am going to blame Saddam, Clinton, or Rumsfeld. I don’t have any delusions about a single person or even regime at fault for this occurrence but see the cause to be our general mentality.

peace sign3To be a man of peace, I must allow it to encompass all that I am. I cannot raise a gun to another man and hope to achieve peace. I must accept it as it is. I cannot strive for peace or struggle to achieve it, for in so doing, I obliterate it. I must feel it in my very being and exude it in everything that I do. And though the world is at war around me, though terror echoes from every wall, though this play would seem to be a tragedy, I am at peace with my part in it.

Living your Intent

In facing the challenges that meet us on a daily basis as we strive to live out our purposes and just to maneuver through our days, it is always nice to have someone cheering us on and encouraging us. It is with this objective that Mallika Chopra has launched www.Intent.com. The daughter of Dr. Deepak Chopra, Mallika states that her principle intent is to connect with others by sharing and listening to each others stories and wisdom. That is precisely what the new website allows.

Filled with articles and blogs on Healthy Living, the Planet, Spirit, Success, and Relationships, the site also offers free memberships whereby users can post their intentions and receive support, encouragement, and advice on how to achieve their goals. The site also features podcasts and the ability for users to post blogs detailing their intentions or just to extol others. Users can also customize their profiles with a photo, bio, and email updates on who is supporting them and who they are supporting. Still in the Beta stage, the site works better with some browsers than others, but if we’re going to progress in our intentions, we might want to start by updating our browsers anyway.

Labeled as “My Path to Wellness,” Intent.com offers those of us seeking for higher consciousness, better relationships, and greater success the opportunity to connect with people who share similar intentions and realize that we’re not alone in our journeys. Like other social networking sites, users are encouraged to make friends and keep up to date with how their intentions are being made manifest. Watching others achieve their goals is a surefire way to be encouraged in our own.

In a day and age where so many of us are looking more deeply at our purposes and setting new goals for ourselves as we move out of a recession and closer to a new decade, it is such a thrill to see such find such a site devoted to relationship building and encouragement. Regardless of what background you come from or in what direction you are moving, you are sure to find someone in the same boat who is willing to help you maneuver through the rapids and share in the thrill of a journey well traveled.

Originally published in Modern Hippie Mag.

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