TIKKUN is also a Magazine and an international community of people of many faiths calling for social justice and political freedom in the context of new structures of work, caring communities, and democratic social and economic arrangements. They seek to influence public discourse in order to inspire compassion, generosity, non-violence and recognition of the spiritual dimensions of life.
This Saturday at a 45-minute drive away from me, Tad Daley will be showcasing a film presentation of 'COUNTDOWN TO ZERO' and facilitating a conversation regarding his book, "Apocalypse Never", and I will be in the audience to learn and then report on what I learn.
Daley is a writing fellow for International Physicians for the
Prevention of Nuclear War and his first book illuminates the reasons
for eliminating nuclear weapons as well as the pathway we must take to
achieve this goal.
CLICK here to view:
To the best of my middle age memory, I met Tad at either the first or second TIKKUN Conference for Spiritual Progressives and what follows is my reflection of some of my experiences at TIKKUN's first conference for Spiritual Progressives in July 2005, which I attended 3 weeks after my first trip to Israel Palestine.
Everything that follows actually happened-but as I was writing fiction in 2005-I wrote it all down in this chapter through the fictional character Jack Hunt in
Chapter 12: THE REVOLUTION HAS BEGUN...
"The Revolution starts now, when you rise above your fear and tear the walls round you down." -Steve Earle
On Wednesday, July 20, 2005, in Berkeley, California, Jack intuitively sensed opportunity blowing in the wind as he rounded the corner from Durant and Telegraph on his way to UC Berkeley's MLK student union building for TIKKUN's first annual conference on spiritual activism. As he crossed Bancroft Way, a young, beatifically-smiling latte-skinned youth handed him an electric green slip of paper announcing:
"Compassionate Caregivers: Medical Cannabis. Two locations, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days a week."
Jack mused, "Now that my third anti-inflammatory has been pulled, I can't do narcotics in moderation, and I am not ready for joint replacement; I wonder if maybe this is an invitation from You to move out here?"
Jack soon forgot all about the aches in his joints--in particular, his knees, which had been crushed in an auto accident when he was twenty-three and then again at twenty-six. The MLK student union building was jammed with people from all faiths, and those who were spiritual, but not religious, who were imagining a new bottom line for America and her true place in the global village. Jack glided up the stairs to the second floor and deeply inhaled the energy emanating from over thirteen hundred American citizens who had gathered in the Pauley Ballroom in support of a new bottom line based on love, compassion, caring, ethical and ecological sensitivity, and behavior; and motivated by generosity, kindness, cooperation, nonviolence, and peace.
Jack imagined a society that honored all human beings as embodiments of the sacred, a society that enhanced one's capacities to respond to the earth and the universe with awe, wonder, and radical amazement. He imagined the Kingdom of God, where men would turn their swords into plowshares and not make war anymore.
The invocation was offered by Father Louis Vitale, a Franciscan who reminded Jack of one of the least of the seven dwarves, until he spoke and revealed himself to be a man of profound wisdom, enrobed in well-worn burlap:
"The Holy One has called on us. In all of earth's sixty-five-million-year history, we are living in the most dangerous of times. The fact that a bomb was dropped on Hiroshima and two hundred thousand lives were vaporized within twenty minutes has not prevented man from dreaming up more ways to fill space with weapons of mass destruction. We were not created for militarism, but to turn our swords into plowshares. We have arrived here today by no accident. We have been summoned by the universe to claim the highest common ground. As the Dali Lama said, the radicalism of our age is to be compassionate human beings. We have been called to bring love and compassion back into the equation and assist others to connect with the deepest parts of themselves. Now is the time to realize, as never before, that when any of us suffer, we all suffer. All life is interconnected, interdependent, and greatly loved by the creator, the sustainer of the universe. We are called by love, for love, and to love."