Why "Bottom Up" Matters
Like some monstrous Venus flytrap, top down hierarchy lures its prey to the attractions of the ladder, only to inject the unsuspecting bloke with its systemic, mind numbing control. We in the West have become immersed within its strata, where visionary ideas are readily mocked by the shouting voices of radio and TV. Elite multinational financiers at the top can so easily manipulate perceptions and Wall Street money has such an enormous hold over the two major political parties and the revolving door through which executives travel between firms and top positions in government. (Read Robert Scheer's The Great American Stickup.)
One can readily imagine what Herman Goering could have done with network broadcasting, our latest weapon of mass delusion. "But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and then denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger."
Mass movements for social, political and environmental change come not from the ripples on the surface of the sea, but from the massive depths beneath, and that is where our salvation from this current nightmare will swell up. Because we are social creatures, seeking connection is hard-wired into our DNA. The digital age has now increased this ability exponentially.
In a top-down culture, small town girl listens to a barrage of insightful war rhetoric, sees holes in the logic, yet has been so intimidated by nationalistic fervor that she implodes along with her ideas. While that used to work as a great control mechanism to keep her in line, now, thanks to bottom-up communication, she discovers that thousands of other souls around the world are also realizing that the "Emperor has no clothes". The lies no longer work as effectively. This in itself is terrifying to international billionaires who control mainstream media. An extremely small number of families have got to keep the current hierarchy in place at ALL costs.
Through bottom-up dialogue, I'm learning about Palestine and Iraq and Afghanistan from people on the ground. The military-industrial war machine has slaughtered millions of innocent people, abused indigenous peoples, poisoned us, drugged us and experimented on us. Thanks to the freedom of information act, a great deal has surfaced in this regard.
Though it may seem that the human race is a ticking time bomb and that we are at the last tick, I refuse to identify with fear and separation, for now, at this moment in history, we are at a most amazing window of opportunity. Humanity is poised for an upgrade in consciousness both at the collective and individual levels. This quantum leap in consciousness is sometimes referred to as the great shift, or the shift of the ages. Ideas promoting planetary sustainability along with values pertaining to peace, dignity, and cultural and ecological diversity are already here and exerting a strong influence.
Millions of small but essential glimmers of hope are making their presence known. These flickers of light aren't waiting for a presidential or congressional decree. Planetary citizens are digging in, organizing, and "being the change", everyday people sharing energy, ingenuity, and creativity. They know we've run out of time. They know that the bottom line has to be about compassion, about giving rather than receiving, speaking truth rather than manipulating, sharing over accumulating. Perhaps the new bottom-up won't be a ladder at all, but a spiral where creativity replaces consumption, where human values and contemporary knowledge are intermingled. It's time to celebrate the sacred within our natural world, interweaving the holy with understandings inherent in various cultural traditions. What if we knew the truth, that we're all standing on holy ground.
Read Blessed Unrest, by Paul Hawken, How the Largest Movement in the World Came into Being. Also check out Teihard de Chardin and the Noosphere at http://december.com/cmc/mag/1979/mar/cunning.html