We're starting off a new year with great hope and promise. This is a far different mental emotional place than the start of 2006-- or 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001. Finally, there's the potential that the insane destruction of the neocons and the extreme right can halted and replaced with constructive visions, projects, leadership and legislation.
For the past six years, we've been thinking about what is wrong with the leadership, the direction of the USA.
Now, we have an opportunity to begin envisioning the positive future we want for the USA and the world, the one we believe is possible. This is a big change from the criticizing, negative diagnosing, pathologizing way we have looked at the Bush Administration, Rumsfeld, the right wing led congress led by Trent Lott, Bill Frist, Tom DeLay.
Now we have an opportunity to start laying out visions and plans, detailed descriptions of the way a better nation, a better society, government and world will look.
We will continue to remain vigilant. There are many ugly, toxic forces in the world. But they are losing, they were dealt a mortal blow last November and now, it is our responsibility to begin taking charge of the direction of humanity's vision and spirit. The November elections were not a total solution, just a first big step in the right direction that we have to turn from a trend to a tidal wave.
Our future is not about executing evil tyrants like Saddam, it is about marginalizing them, taking away their power and redirecting power to people who manifest fairness, justice, courage, strength and love. Probably one of the most beloved examples of this is Desmond Tutu. His strength, character and determination overcame military and police power and set and empowered the energy, the leadership, the vision on a path that has led to an incredible revolution in freedom and justice that has manifested itself far beyond South Africa.
This is not pollyana talk. We already have people among us who have the potential to become the next Tutu, Mandela or Ghandi-- living heroes who have the courage, the faith and strength to do what it takes to make the social, political quantum leaps that are required for real positive change to occur. Evolutionary biologist Stephen Jay Gould theorized that evolution happened, not in gradual, small steps, but rather in dramatic leaps, often spurred by catastrophic events. He wrote,
"The modern theory of evolution does not require gradual change. ...It is gradualism that we must reject, not Darwinism."
And Gould suggests that these leaps result in sudden changes, sudden evolutionary developments.
"I want to argue that the 'sudden' appearance of species in the fossil record and our failure to note subsequent evolutionary change within them is the proper prediction of evolutionary theory as we understand it. Evolution usually proceeds by 'speciation-- the splitting of one lineage from a parental stock-- not by the slow and steady transformation of these large parental stocks."
Can these ideas be applied to political and sociocultural evolution and change? I think it IS possible. Who really expected that the Democrats would win the house and senate? That is a massive change. Here in PA, after a long, protracted vote recount, the democrats won the majority in the state house of representatives, only to have a traitorous Democrat switch his party and vote for the dinosaur right winger, Then, at the last minute, the Dems found a moderate Republican and pulled off a win, ending the eighteen year reign of the former right wing, "Republican House leader have been full of intrigue, Machiavellian maneuvers, patronage power grabs, guerilla warfare both against Democrats and against House traditions of responsible party government, the naked display of ruthless political power."
We live in wild and dangerous times, pregnant with possibilities for either a better future or the dark future so many of us feared and were relieved to see much weakened by the November elections. We still have, hovering on the horizon, the imminent threat of a future ruled by transnational, globalist, anti-human soulless corporations. These are the Goliaths of our time, as former Howard Dean campaign manager Joe Trippi describes them. But there is a solution. We can all become, enabled by the internet and democracy itself, the Davids of the world. And Trippi suggest going a step further, actually becoming the slingshot, the new generation, the new web 2.0 technologies, the collective "you" that Time magazine named person of the year, enabling those Davids to, en masse, defeat the Goliaths. Trippi (in a soon to be published interview I did with him) gives Napster as an example of a web entitity that morphed, finally into itunes, defying and ultimately overcoming the goliath music industry.
We now have reason for tremendous hope. A positive future is certainly not a sure thing. The way this positive future actually manifests itself in reality is definitely uncertain. It will come with many surprises and assuredly with setbacks and upsets. That is the way of the heroic journey and the only way true growth and advancement occurs-- for a person, a culture, a people or a nation.
One thing that can and will make a difference is our attitude towards the future and towards change. There is an indie movie making the rounds now. It is titled, "The Secret" I first heard about it from a group of interfaith ministers in training who'd watched it as a part of their final training before ordination. While it does have a spiritual dimension to it, it could just as easily be something a physicist endorses, as has been described by Gary Schwartz's book Living Energy Universe.
The movie's message is very simple, and its length includes a lot of repetition. But the message is worth hearing and bears repeating. Think about what will happen in your future (and that can be anything that affects you in the world, in the universe) in a positive way. Your thoughts emanate out into the universe. Your energy and thought forms manifest themselves and creat the reality that becomes your future. Think negative, you get negative. Think positive, envision positive outcomes and they are far more likely to happen. See the world, see congress, see the US negatively and you leave out a positive future. Yes, it is essential to identify the problems, the roadblocks to a positive future. Yes it is necessary to fight the obstacles that are in the way of making a better America, a better world. But it is essential to courageously envision the way things can, should and will be. This applies in your personal life, at a personal level and at a community, nation and world level.
I know my readers. I can envision the ones who will scoff at this and call it nonsense. There. I've broken the rules of "The Secret," by anticipating a negative reaction. I know that there are many people whose political consciousnesses were awakened by the Bush election theft, the lies, the corruption and constitutional abuses of the current administration. Now, these millions of people must, as they continue their process of awakening, move from reaction to negative political processes, actions and decisions, towards envisioning, advocating, legislating, empowering and fully manifesting postiive visions for America, humanity, nature, the world and the universe. It's a big job, a big change, a huge opportunity.
It is a heroic journey that involves a huge change in philosophy for many, from fear if the worst towards faith in the best, from anger to agreement from corruption to cooperation. It takes courage to have the faith to embark on this journey, to believe that the darkness we've been through can be further overcome and left behind. There are those who will fall into the traps of fear and the politics of destruction. It will take tough strength and smart strategy, not always transparent, not always telegraphed in advance. It will take trust in our leaders. It will take toughness upon our leaders.
The new internet will help us immensely. The protestors of the sixties did not have a way work through the issues and build a message and send it almost instantaneously, like we can do now on the web. We are a part of, in the midst of an exploding a revolution in consciousness that the blogoverse is a part of. This revolution has just recently, in the past three to five years, gotten under way. It is not stable. It is chaotic and dynamic, changing, morphing, taking on new forms with incredible power. Look at youtube, which did not exist three years ago, exploding on the scene, influencing elections in Virginia and Montana with Macacca and Saddam hanging videos. We don't know which web or wireless or other technologies will burst upon the scene next, empowering the next Stephen Gould evolutionary leap in political power or planetary consciousness. But we can be sure it will happen and that, as Joe Trippi has described, it will be the slingshot that WE will use to take on the GOliaths. And WE-- all those Time Magazine "yous" will collectively and heroically be the victors in a future that will be much, much better than what we have today. I say it and it becomes more of a possibility. If ten thousand readers read it, and think it, even for a moment, it becomes a greater possibility. Help take this energy and give legs and wings and heart-- a whole metaphoric body-- and, as Jean Luc Picard says, in Star Trek Next Generation, "Make it so."
Check out The Secret Video If this video is no longer available, for free, on line, I encourage you rent or purchase the video. Also, let me know. I may be able to re-source a link.