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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 2/14/12

A Bio-hazard Valentine of Dissent

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By commitment to this process, the poet averred, one is provided with a means to transmute grandiosity and a sense of entitlement (defining traits of the 1 percent) into a sense of appreciation of being in the presence of life's grandeur.

Thus, one is advised to: show your face to the world. " Yet the corporate state demands an individual become a job resume on two legs, as opposed to the sustained act of revealing one's innate self by means of a chosen vocation.

Moreover, the hierarchy of vampires who lord over the present economic system demand the 99 percent surrender their very life force to sustain the disastrously narrowed, self-serving agendas that ensure the privileged status of the economic and political elite.

In so doing, they reduce work to empty servitude, as opposed to allowing one to make a contribution to the interwoven fabric of life as a whole by the everyday sublime of one's individual art and labor. What these corporate state undead demand is an abomination.

Conversely, one's work is an act of providing and receiving common communion, an activity of both solemn reverie and joyous reverence ... a process that originates in and is borne by love -- but is not bestowed with soulful agency by the small bribes and unspoken coercions imposed by the operatives of the neoliberal state.

One does not have to be a monk, artist, poet, mystic or musician to approach their vocation with elan and ebullience; yet one should grant oneself the right to surrender to ardor while engaging in work. To derive meaning and resonance from life demands artful labor -- the awful daring of choosing to give oneself over to responsibility, thus allowing one to occupy one's occupation, heart and soul.

The act of working is a journey (not the prison sentence demanded by the 1 percent); one cannot predict where the journey will lead or how one will be transformed along the way. Antithetically, the corporate state, by means overt and covert, demands an unjust portion of one's fate.

Therefore, to some, dissent becomes imperative.

Yet love and work (the act of political protest falls into both of these categories) places one in a struggle with oneself, as well as with the powers that be. Oh, what vehement angels and dogma-besotted demons are unloosed by the process, and, often, it is difficult to discern the difference. Apropos, the latest leftist tempest as to whether the Black Block delivers belligerent balm or inflicts carcinogenic rancor to the OWS movement.

"Perhaps all the dragons of our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us once, beautiful and brave. Perhaps everything is in its deepest being is something that needs our love."--Rainer Maria Rilke

Still, many seem at a loss to understand why some are driven to struggle for a more just world, even though, time and time again, their ardor will be met by seemingly implacable, ruthless resistance ... that one's heart will be repeatedly broken. One might as well ask, why one's heart yearns to move towards beauty?

We are compelled to move towards beauty and justice for the same reason a sunflower follows the course of the sun across the sky ... opening, wheeling across the eternal moment, ripening and casting seeds of futurity beneath the heavens.

At our best, we are graced by the type of moments, engaged in craft and suspended in beauty, that an earthworm knows as earth passes through its body, as its body, in turn, passes through the body of the earth. ... Now, that is perfection achieved through labor; beauty incarnate; a living line of verse.

And that is what one experiences when one's character is aligned with one's destiny -- when one has gained the wherewithal to insist on one's portion of fate. This is essential: One diminishes oneself and the world when one chooses to ignore one's heart's calling to passionate engagement; for the fate of an individual is determined by the collective fate of humankind.

May we all be so graced as to be granted an earthworm's portion of fate.

There are, of course, obstacles (because no story worth telling unfolds without antagonists and obstructions). Thus, at present, in an era in which one's humanity is deemed only worth its value by the amount in dollars that one generates for the 1 percent, as, all the while, one's sense of self is continually inundated and buffeted by the come-ons and emotional coercions of the commercial hologram -- one holds unto the debris of one's essential nature, as one is pulled along by powerful currents of a cultural death-drive.

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Phil Rockstroh is a poet, lyricist and philosopher bard living in New York City. He may be contacted at Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/phil.rockstroh

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