Category Archives: Big Brother

“You have no rights”

Arrested

via http://oxthepunx.wordpress.com/2011/11/11/arrested/

Yesterday, I was beaten, arrested, and jailed for participating in an act of civil disobedience against the privatization of education and criminalization of dissent in California.

I’ve spent the last day trying to process what happened, and writing this is an attempt to get it out of my mind and on to paper (having spent last night on a cement floor, I could use some mental solace).  There’s nothing exceptional about my experience, and yet, even knowing that, I write this grappling with a feeling of voicelessness and powerlessness that I have never before experienced.  I know that, once you start talking about “police brutality” and “police states”, you enter into a group of wild-eyed conspiracy theorists that most Americans dismiss out of hand.  I can’t control that portrayal, but for whatever reason, I need to talk about what happened, even if I can’t figure out why it has affected me so much.

We set up “Occupy Cal” in an attempt to open up our university to groups that had been excluded from it, to create a safe space to debate and discuss the future of public education, and to exercise our first amendment right to free assembly. We all knew that what we were doing was in violation of university policy—which views encampments as, somehow, on par with graffiti and building occupations insofar as they disrupt classes and harm university property—and that in doing so we risked arrest.  But, having passed a resolution explicitly declaring our encampment peaceful and non-violent, we expected those arrests to follow the rules of engagement that have defined civil disobedience since the Civil Rights era.  Cal has had occupations before – protesting against apartheid, for example – and while the university didn’t like them, it ultimately tolerated them as a means of democratic dissent.

We were wrong to think the same would happen for us.  Our encampment was torn down at 4:00 p.m., but we set up again.  At 9:30 p.m., the police issued an order to disperse.  We stayed, linking arms and chanting “Peaceful protest!”  The police advanced up to the crowd and started stabbing and beating people with batons.  Most of them were riot cops from other jurisdictions; a professor who has been here thirty years assures me that this level of militarization of police (there were officers with shotguns and rubber-bullet guns) is unprecedented.  Although the labels “violent” and “non-violent” get bandied around to the extent that they have virtually lost any meaning in public discourse, I have never seen protesters remain so defiantly peaceful in the face of such brutality.  Reasonable people can disagree about whether privatizing Cal is a good thing; no one should disagree that what this video shows is unconscionable.  I trust you to make your own decisions about who here was “violent” and who was not.

I was in front, near the side of the encampment.  A female officer walked up to me and started stabbing me in the ribs with her baton as I screamed at her that I was peaceful and not resisting her in any way.  She ordered me to back up.  This was impossible since there were lines of people behind me, and, perceiving me as refusing to comply with her orders, she continued stabbing me.  I buckled over, letting go of the people around me, because at this point I realized that only by being arrested would the beating stop.  I threw my hands up into peace signs and shouted that I wanted to be arrested non-violently.  I was not afforded that option.  I was dragged through the officers despite my attempts to comply with the officers out of my own volition.  I put my hands behind my back, but they threw me to the ground anyway.  I turned to ask what the charges were and an officer punched me back to the ground.  (If you think I’m pulling this out of my ass, watch this video at 1:40)

They cuffed me and dragged me into Sproul Hall, where they were holding around thirty of us.  An officer came and asked me my name, and I told it to her.  She then started firing off questions, and I politely told her that before I did that, I wanted to know my rights at this point in the process and when I would be able to speak to a lawyer.  She responded, “You have no rights”, to which I responded “That’s impossible.”  In one of many disturbing moments of the night, she informed me that I was wrong – and wrote me down as a non-cooperative arrestee.   That simple request will earn me extra harsh treatment in the student disciplinary process, she assured me.  Throughout the night, we were referred to as “bodies” not “people.”  I was never Mirandized.

In a sense, at this point, the worst was over.  The thirty of us supported one another, comforted one another, and inspired one another.  We were driven to a county jail in Oakland, where they booked us—threatening that because our crimes were “violent” we could not be released until an Arraignment on Monday.  In a holding cell that reeked of urine, we swapped stories, sang songs ranging from Buffalo Springfield to the Backstreet Boys, and shared a sense of camaraderie that could never be imagined in another setting.  If we were afraid, we weren’t showing it: indeed, I would love to have had the defiant moral clarity of some of my eighteen-year-old comrades.

In the end, the entire process was a sham.  I called my parents collect at 3 a.m. ($4.85 a minute—just to screw the poor a little bit more) telling them they needed to put together $20,000 in bail.  And then, right afterward, a kind officer told me that they were sure that our charges of “resisting arrest” and “participating in a riot” had no chance in court, and so they were going to cite and release us.  They took their sweet time in getting us out, but when we were again free, some of our union brothers and sisters were waiting for us with food, hugs, and their own first arrest stories.  It’s strange to have experienced such wild oscillation between human decency and human cruelty, to interact both with officers who were thoughtful and considerate and those who were mindlessly violent.

On the grand spectrum of police encounters, I’ve gotten off easy.  My injuries are confined to a cracked rib and bruised psyche.  I am an enormously privileged person in that I can get arrested and know that it will not ruin my life or manifestly affect my academic career.  I have received solidarity and comfort from friends all over the country and professors in the department I barely know.  I have not for one moment doubted that my actions were in the right, and that I have nothing to be ashamed of; this is a source of strength that holds me together.  And yet I have spent all day on the verge of crying.

I feel profoundly disempowered by what happened yesterday, in a way that has only become apparent once I left the solidarity of my fellow arrestees.  I feel violated because I no longer am safe in my own body, knowing that I can be stabbed and manhandled and the individuals responsible will face no consequences.  I feel humiliated because some of the people I have talked to seem to think that what happened last night demands no response, which suggests the worthlessness of my suffering and my cause.  I feel small because I see myself arrayed against the implacable forces of an administration bent on spinning my actions into the framework of violent, radicals seeking to disrupt life for good, law-abiding students.  I feel stupid because many of the illusions I grew up with about the rules of engagement in our political system are crumbling before me, leaving me no avenue through which to channel my anger about what has happened to me.

– – – – –

I’d rather end on a practical note.  I hope anyone reading this will consider writing Chancellor Birgeneau, who ordered the attacks, to tell him that you—as a citizen of Berkeley / California / Earth—do not approve.  We always chant “The whole world is watching” when police start attacking us.  It’d be nice to know that it’s true.

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Marine Veteran Injured by Non-Lethal Rounds at Occupy Oakland

Protestors are being targeted by the police:

 

 

That injured protestor is a Marine:

 

 

From Veterans Today – http://www.veteranstoday.com/2011/10/26/marine-veteran-injured-by-non-lethal-rounds-at-occupy-oakland/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=marine-veteran-injured-by-non-lethal-rounds-at-occupy-oakland

By David Edwards

A Marine veteran at Occupy Oakland was injured Monday night after being shot at point-blank range with bean bags or rubber bullets by police.

Scott Olsen was at 14th Street and Broadway when he was shot by either San Francisco Sheriffs deputies or Palo Alto Police, according to RT.

“We need medic!” one protester is heard screaming. “Medic! Medic!”

“What happened?” another asked.

“He got shot!”

As Olsen is carried away, he appears unconscious and bloody, unable to even respond when asked his name.

Olsen is associated with Veterans for Peace.

 

 

~~~


General Strike!

“used by protesters all over the U.S.

(and perhaps the world?)”

High Resolution Poster

Article/Writeup

The Tyranny of Entitlement

We read earlier about socialism for the rich, now lets read a bit on the idea of entitlement. One can often hear objections to socialism, re-appropriation of wealth, and entitlement when it comes to the poor and exploited, but what about when it comes to the rich?

. . . A perpetual-growth economy is not only insane (and impossible), it is also by its very essence abusive, by which I mean that it’s based on the same conceit as more personal forms of abuse. It is, in fact, the macroeconomic enshrinement of abusive behavior. The guiding principle of abusive behavior is that the abuser refuses to respect or abide by limits or boundaries put up by the victim. As Lundy Bancroft, former codirector of Emerge, the nation’s first therapeutic program for abusive men, writes, “Entitlement is the abuser’s belief that he has a special status and that it provides him with exclusive rights and privileges that do not apply to his partner. The attitudes that drive abuse can largely be summarized by this one word.”

The relevance of this word applies on the larger social scale. Of course humans are a special species to whom a wise and omnipotent God has granted the exclusive rights and privileges of dominion over this planet that is here for us to use. And of course even if you subscribe to the religion of Science instead of Christianity, humans possess special intelligence and abilities that grant us exclusive rights and privileges to work our will on the world that is still here for us to use. Growth economies are essentially unchecked and will push past any boundaries set up by anyone other than the perpetrators: certainly the fact that indigenous cultures already are living on this or that piece of ground has never stopped those in power from expanding their economy; nor is the death of the oceans stopping their exploitation; nor is the heating of the planet stopping the exploitation; nor is the grinding poverty of the dispossessed.

And the truth is, you cannot talk abusers out of their behavior. Perpetrators of domestic violence are among the most intractable of all who commit violence, so intractable, in fact, that in 2000 the United Kingdom removed funding for therapy sessions designed to treat men guilty of domestic violence (putting the money instead into shelters and other means of keeping women safe from their attackers). Lundy Bancroft also says this: “An abuser doesn’t change because he feels guilty or gets sober or finds God. He doesn’t change after seeing the fear in his children’s eyes or feeling them drift away from him. It doesn’t suddenly dawn on him that his partner deserves better treatment. Because of his self-focus, combined with the many rewards he gets from controlling you, an abuser changes only when he feels he has to, so the most important element in creating a context for change in an abuser is placing him in a situation where he has no other choice.”

How do we stop the abusers who perpetrate a perpetual-growth economy? Seeing oiled pelicans and burned sea turtles won’t move them to stop. Nor will hundred-degree days in Moscow. We can’t stop them by making them feel guilty. We can’t stop them by appealing to them to do the right thing. The only way to stop them is to make it so they have no other choice.

Read more . . .

And remember, “The only way to stop them is to make it so they have no other choice.”

the love police

Bellow is an excerpt from the love police website. I pulled the information from the About page, and posted one of their videos so you can get an idea of what they are about and what you may find there. Please do visit http://www.cveitch.org/wordpress/

About

Hello everyone.

This is a bio written by me so I will be honest and open. I am no different to all the other apes with over-clocked brains running around on the surface of this beautiful planet we call Earth. I have been very lucky in that I have had the opportunity to live in various cultures around the world, most notaby Brazil, Guinea (West Africa), Qatar,  Saudi Arabia, the Caribbean and of course the United Kingdom.

Growing up I had a very pleasant family life, with parents who nurtured me and provided me with unconditional love. Being someone who always had to change schools (Whenever my Dad got another job in the oil industry), I found myself having to think very quickly in terms of how to make new friends, seeing as I was always “the new kid” at school. This raised fantastic opportunities to make new friends and learn a lot about myself.

Anyway, enough about my distant past. Around the age of 17 I got very interested in the nature of things and of reality, and so I did a degree at Edinburgh University in Scotland with Philosophy as my major for the four years of attendance, with other subjects such as Anthropology, Criminology, Forensic Medicine (The autopsy was intense. I had to leave the room feeling unwell) and Sociology. Still something was always missing. There was some truth which I felt none of the lecturers or tutors were able to give me.

Upon graduation, I promised myself I would never wear a suit, nor would I work in an office. Fate threw me suited up into an office for seven years, and seven years exactly. This was my tour of duty in the illusory world of hierarchical control, greed, fear and systemic hypnosis. It’s fair to say I tried to push aside my yearning for more esoteric explanations of the reality I found myself in and distracted myself with womanising and drug taking at weekends, not to mention exotic holidays and fun hobbies. I was living a half-life, and no-one was more aware of this fact than I was. There were, of course, moments of stunning humanity in my time in “the office” working as a financial adviser and all round salesman for the corporate control grid. I met people who inspired me, people who helped propel me out of the locked way of thinking that a big corporation (in my case HBOS PLC) demands of the minds in attendance. But still I remained a slave, wearing my tie as I woke up before dawn to go and sell investments to unsuspecting people.

But fate had different ideas in store for little Charlie. The economic controlled demolition of the world monetary system had me out on the street by the 1st May 2009, jobless. Suddenly I was able to do what I wanted to do, and the destiny I was too scared to enact for myself was thrust upon me, a truly humbling experience – because without losing my job would I be where I am today, megaphone and camera in hand shining a light up the asshole of evil, seeing what it is made of? Who knows…

I bought a camera because I’d had a few experiences where I was spiritually inspired by people in the real world and I thought “If I can do the same for my fellow people, then I want to share with them the best way I know…”, and the spiritual videos were born. We can call them spiritual, we can call them humanistic, we can call them political, some may even call them comedy, though they are not always funny. What I have managed to always be in my work is honest, as dictated by my own beliefs that nothing should be hidden. If I make mistakes, I know that the people will forgive me, as I have to forgive myself. But I hope I can bring my own special method of waking people up to those who need it the most – those, who like I used to be, are trapped in the corporate matrix AND think it is real; those who believe working greedily in an office whilst children die like dogs in Africa is the pinnacle of human evolution. No, none of us think the world is the pinnacle of the way things could be, but we are too scared to change ourselves and the world. The many temptations of money, respect and authority are always with us…until now. You can almost taste the electricity in the air with people waking up and simply not being a part of the consumerist-mediocrity that we hold up. We can now speak to people about conspiracy theories, about spiritual matters, about the esoteric…and we are understood.

Even my father, a conservative-hawk who watches Sky News and has old fashioned views supporting the Empire, now sees that September 11th was not as explained. I wasn’t there, and most probably you, the reader, were not there in Manhattan that day, but like the Swine Flu scare, we have no reason to trust the lies of the governments when we can see with our own eyes a building demolished and blown to pyroclastic smithereens…

I search for the truth. It exists inside me somewhere, and the more work I do for the greater spiritual awakening of all, the more the universe/the source/the absolute cares for me and gently nudges me towards my true path. Again, I  feel small than when I contemplate the Absolute Consciousness, but though I feel small, I never feel alone, I never feel unloved, I never feel misunderstood. This is what I want to share with you; the power of working towards losing ego and trusting that Everything is OK…if only we could make it so.

The work that myself and my friends do is purely to inspire you to look within yourself and realise that there is nothing to be scared of. Do not follow us, do not think of us as leaders, do not emulate us, for we are imperfect fools searching as much as you are. The work we do out on the streets is to bring the message of peace and unity to the people who need to hear it most. By holding our ground against the uniformed/costumed Police officers and security that try and tell us how to act, we show a microcosm of the big issues we all face. Think of your fears in a bullet-proof, flourescent jacket, holding a pair of handcuffs. Learn how to stand up for the inviolability of your own soul.  I promise you brothers and sisters that there is nothing they can do to you once you realise you are a spirit having a temporary human experience; that you hold all of the secrets of the universe inside your heart, and that you will never die. YOU WILL NEVER DIE. You will live on forever and you are infinitely loved. I cannot tell you this, but you will feel this for yourself soon. This I promise. We all used to think like this, but many of us have forgotten. The glory of remembering is for us all to take.

In the meantime, I hope you to make you smile and help you in the same way my friends have helped me.

With so much love and affection which words cannot do justice to,

Charlie

Gulf Oil Spill as the Unfolding of Prophecy

The Gulf Oil Spill as the Unfolding of Prophecy

Daniel Pinchbeck

via: http://www.realitysandwich.com/gulf_oil_spill_unfolding_prophecy

As someone who has written extensively on indigenous prophecies relating to this time, it is hard for me to escape the uneasy presentiment that the massive, ceaseless, devastating cascade of what may be more than 100,000 barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico each day – apparently still mixed with the far more toxic dispersant Corexit that British Petroleum continues to inject, despite EPA objections – is anything but the inception of a new phase in the foretold unfolding of events that may terminate most life on earth, potentially leading to the rapid extinction of the human species. Recent articles reveal that there is a gigantic bubble of methane gas underneath the Gulf of Mexico, which has helped to create the enormous pressure that makes it unlikely, if not impossible, that the Deepwater Horizon oil spill can be stopped by human means. Video taken by undersea robots show oil and gas leaking from many fissures in the earth, far beyond the range of the well hole. This suggests that the underground containment structure is cracking apart. If the current effort to build relief wells fails or is ineffective, there are no more known technological fixes available.

According to  D. K. Matai, writing on The Huffington Post, “The “flow team” of the US Geological Survey estimates that 2,900 cubic feet of natural gas, which primarily contains methane, is being released into the Gulf waters with every barrel of oil.” If the estimates of over 100,000 barrels of oil leaking per day is correct, this means that over 16 billion cubic feet of gas may have been emitted, “making it one of the most vigorous eruptions in modern history,” writes Matai, an engineer and co-founder of The Asymmetric Threats Contingency Alliance. The huge methane deposits beneath the Gulf were well-known as a risk factor for drilling operations, which did not apparently dissuade corporations like British Petroleum from shirking regulatory safeguards in order to drill at the edge of known technology, 5,000 feet under the ocean floor and then 30,000 feet (imagine a distant speck of airplane far above the ground for a comparision) beneath that, into the core of the earth. Methane is a major contributor to global warming, turning into carbon dioxide once released.

What Matai along with other engineers, scientists, and journalists have laid out is a possible scenario where the methane, pushing up with enormous pressure, could lead to a gas explosion: “A methane bubble this large – if able to escape from under the ocean floor through fissures, cracks and fault areas – is likely to cause a gas explosion. With the emerging evidence of fissures, the tacit fear now is this: the methane bubble may rupture the seabed and may then erupt with an explosion within the Gulf of Mexico waters. The bubble is likely to explode upwards propelled by more than 50,000 psi [pounds per square inch] of pressure, bursting through the cracks and fissures of the sea floor, fracturing and rupturing miles of ocean bottom with a single extreme explosion.”

The methane gas explosion would be immediately followed by a series of enormous tsunamis engulfing Florida and the southern coast of the US. At the same time, during the day when this explosion takes place, “several billion barrels of oil and gas” will be released, as freezing water rushes into the enormous cavity, turning immediately into steam. There are many earthquake fault lines running from the Gulf through Mexico and much of the South West of America that might be triggered by a sudden collapse of the ocean floor due to such an event. “Could this be how nature eventually seals the hole created by the Gulf of Mexico oil gusher?” Matai asks. Of course, this is only one scenario, and it is unknown if this will occur, or what the timetable might be.

If such a devastating scenario does not take place, there is still the continuing spill, and the high likelihood that our current known and available technologies will be unable to address it. In this case, we may soon see the Gulf of Mexico area and the Southern coastline rendered uninhabitable. As the Christian Science Monitor has reported in its article, “Raining Oil in Louisiana? Video suggests Gulf oil spill causing crude rain,” there is some evidence that oil is beginning to rain down on inland areas of Louisiana. “Crude oil doesn’t evaporate, but some are speculating that oil mixed with Corexit 9500, the dispersant that BP is using on the ever-growing slick, could take to the air.” As Kerry Kennedy, from the Robert F Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights, stated in an interview on CNN,  the average life expectancy of cleanup workers on the Exxon Valdez oil spill was 51 years old. “Almost all those people who did work on the Exxon Valdez are now dead,” she stated. “And BP still here, once again, is big oil not giving the information to the doctors and health care officials.” According to Kennedy, cleanup workers in the Gulf “had been told by BP that the didn’t need respirators. Apparently, they’re concerned about poor media images of people wearing respirators and rubber gloves and starting, quote, ‘hysteria.’”

As widely reported, hurricane season is now upon us. Hurricanes could potentially carry the extremely toxic crude oil mingled with the even more poisonous Corexit hundreds of miles inland, creating either a slow-motion mass murder of the local populations or forcing the government to execute a total evacuation from the area. As the oil travels up the coastline over the next years, coastal cities facing the Atlantic and Pacific may also become uninhabitable “Haz Mat” sites. Caribbean islands such as Cuba and Jamaica will be devastated, as will be the coastline of Mexico.

As I explored in previous works, I am convinced that we are reaching the hinge point of a shift in human consciousness and the earth that will either lead to a rapid transformation of our way of life, our “civilization” and its basic paradigm, or the termination of our species in a series of intensifying cataclysms. One clear reason for this is that our technological powers continue to advance rapidly, while those who are currently in control of these galvanic forces reveal a dangerously reduced consciousness, a lack of forethought based on their self-centered greed, combined with a complete absence of ethical and moral development. As Rolling Stone recently exposed in a great piece of investigative journalism, the bungled handling of the oil spill was preceded by the gutting of the regulatory system that monitored such operations, revealing once again the government’s capitulation to corporate interests. It seems increasingly obvious that, if we wish to survive as a species, the current ruling corporate, political, and financial elite – working seamlessly together to bring about our collective suicide – must be deposed, replaced by a new orchestration of civil society, an openly democratic and truly transparent system, where nothing is hidden, where profit is not the only motivation, and all have a voice.

As the Deepwater Horizon cataclysm spreads gigantic dead zones in the Gulf, exterminating vast ecosystems of marine life, threatening millions of human beings with illness, dislocation, and death, potentially blossoming into an extinction-level event, British Petroleum CEO Tony Hayward continues to display the profound lack of remorse and the blithe disinterest we recall from the tenure of the last Bush to occupy the White House. Recently, he attended a yacht race off the as-of-yet-unsullied English coast, while his public statements include the infamous “I’d like my life back” and the equally extraordinary, “The Gulf of Mexico is a very big ocean.” Despite extensive scientific documentation of the extreme toxicity of crude oil, Hayward has suggested that “growing health problems among clean-up workers may be related to food poisoning, rather than their exposure to crude oil and dispersants.” Our corporate and financial culture instills a mindset of sociopathic disregard, and the system permits certain psychological profiles to thrive within it: those capable of disassociating their actions from any moral consequences. What should be an extreme liability in a complex and interconnected world shared by a multitude of living beings has become an asset for our corporate, financial, and political masters – the current ruling elite who congregate at events like the annual Bilderberg gathering, who see massive loss of life as “collateral damage” along the way to their next golf game or yachting match. By now, it seems fairly obvious that Barack Obama is one of this breed, indistinct from the rest.

“These deformed individuals lack the capacity for empathy,” writes Chris Hedges in his essay, ‘BP and the Little Eichmanns.’ “They are at once banal and dangerous. They possess the peculiar ability to organize vast, destructive bureaucracies and yet remain blind to the ramifications. … The corporations, and those who run them, consume, pollute, oppress and kill. The little Eichmanns who manage them reside in a parallel universe of staggering wealth, luxury and splendid isolation that rivals that of the closed court of Versailles. The elite, sheltered and enriched, continue to prosper even as the rest of us and the natural world start to die… And our business schools and elite universities churn out tens of thousands of these deaf, dumb and blind systems managers who are endowed with sophisticated skills of management and the incapacity for common sense, compassion or remorse.” Like the bail out of Wall Street, the BP oil spill disaster makes evident – if more evidence was needed – that, in the United States, the corporations and the government have merged into a single power, a destructive force founded on the mindset of Empire, seeking domination of nature through technology, and control of consciousness through incessant indoctrination via the corporate-controlled media. There is zero possibility that our atrophied electoral system will interrupt or impede this juggernaut.

I try to maintain faith that the human spirit will awaken in time to liberate itself from the prison that has been built around it. While my doubts grow, I continue to work for that result – to hope and to pray for it. What seems more likely is that the great churning multitude of humanity will choose to remain distracted, disconnected, pursuing narcissistic aims, vain and virtual pleasures, as the natural world, the generative earth, crumbles around them. On what the Russian mystic G I Gurdjieff called our “ill-fated planet,” most people apparently prefer to die rather than awaken to the situation, think for themselves, and join together in a collective movement to restore the earth and build a sustainable and equitible global society. Many of us can see the awakening happening, but it seems to be coming far too slowly, in hesitant fits and starts, while the destructive force also grows in strength, pumping up the volume on mind control technologies, predatory drones able to assassinate from a distance, data-mining intelligence operations, and all the rest of the sterile evils that our technocrat sociopaths can envision and unleash.

These are aspects of my current view of the world: the faltering of my faith, that horrible presentiment that the forces of disillusion and destruction have already triumphed, that creepy familiar feeling (as if I already experienced this, long ago, on some other lost world, many forgotten splinters of incarnated lifetimes ago) of failure and futility. On another level, I feel an equally uncanny presentiment that all of this is still going perfectly according to plan, that the script of our collective world movie/space oddysey has to unscroll or unfurl in just this stomach-clenching way, toward its still mysterious denouement. Observing my own life, I see that it often takes a drastic crisis to spur me into action – perhaps that is the only way change ever takes place, on the individual or species level.

The environmental and economic meltdown could clear away all the obstacles and obstructions that keep us from attaining clarity, from putting into practice what we know intuitively to be true. Is it possible that the Jungian archetypal Self – the increasingly humanized god-image that seeks to incarnate in our human world – must bring about the complete breakdown of what is known and familiar, to open the space for what can only be revealed, in the fullness – and emptiness – of time? Perhaps we can only reach the depth dimensions of our higher being through an unfolding mega-crash that exposes all levels of delusion and self-deception, that forces those of us who desire illumination to break all the bonds, the “mind-forg’d manacles,” that keep us from attaining liberation. Or perhaps I am only making a hopeful story out of the toxic rubble and radioactive fragments that will soon be all that remains of our ruined world, if the corporate sociopaths and Little Eichmanns have their way.

I consider the geyser in the Gulf to be analagous to the rupturing of the amniotic sac that occurs at the end of  pregnancy. This event presages the birth of the new being, who must be forced by a terrifying and life-threatening crisis to use the organs he or she has developed over the previous months – developed without knowing what purpose they serve or how they function. Like the fetus at the end of the pregnancy, the human race has devoured the stored resources within our mother’s secure womb, the fossil fuels buried deep underground, and now we must learn to survive on new forms of energy, taking the initiative on our own.

Over the course of history, humanity has developed delicate and sensitive organs of consciousness and perception, without truly knowing their eventual meaning or purpose. Unlike other species, we have a tremendous excess of communicative capacity, leading us to make art, write novels, dance, compose symphonies, imagine elaborate inner worlds. How do we know that these seemingly marginal aspects – aspects that seem to have little to do with our survival as a species – are not, in fact, essential to our unfolding evolutionary trajectory? Aboriginals in Australia believe the sacred task of humanity is to “sing the world into being,” communicating with the ancestors in the Dreamtime. Perhaps, through an awakening of our imaginative and psychic faculties, we can restore this primordial communion, and reopen doorways that modern society slammed shut long ago.

Our creative capacities are one legacy of our species’ recent history, a new extension or organ of  consciousness that has developed along with our increasing technical and technological capabilities. Another aspect of our evolution can be found in the world’s esoteric knowledge systems. These systems give us tools for evolving consciousness, for perceiving and interacting with other dimensions of reality. We learn from the traditions of mystery schools that humans are capable of performing marvelous and magical feats that overturn the apparent physical “laws” proposed by science. Up until now, such manifestations have appeared rarely, usually linked to a particular person – books like In Search of the Miraculous or The Autobiography of a Yogi describe many psychic feats of certain masters. In our modern desacralized world, there are also many well-reported accounts of “miracles” – inexplicable psychic phenomena – such as mothers suddenly able to lift 3,000 pound vehicles off of their children after an accident, and so on – acounts of powers that exist in one moment, but afterwards seem to fade into nonexistence.

In the same way that electricity was once inaccessible to us until engineers learned to channel it in the early 19th Century, is it conceivable that these psychic or psycho-physical capacities could become steadily available to people through a disciplined training, once the mechanisms behind them are better understood? I believe that we are currently in transition from the physical to the psychic phase of our evolution as a species. In order to manifest this, we would need to develop a shared realization that such a shift is possible. This requires an open dialogue on the legitimacy of psychic phenomena and synchronicity, building a foundation for general acceptance of the powers and potencies contained within the psyche. I am compelled by Rupert Sheldrake’s theories around “morphic resonance” and the “morphogenetic field” that forms when sudden inspirations and breakthroughs become habits and patterns, creating what scientists mistakenly call “laws.” Those who have broken through to a new level of understanding need to create the template, strengthen the morphogenetic field, before the larger population can comprehend what is happening, and make a transition.

It is now agonizingly obvious that humans do not change their ways until they are far outside of their comfort zone. It is only at the point of death that transmutation becomes possible. Perhaps the rampant desecration of the physical world is going to force the more conscious subset of humanity to purify their intentions, clearing cobwebs from the shadowy corners of the psyche, to access extrasensory capacities on a regular basis. Many of us have experiences of this energy, this potential, but the manifestations tend to occur at uncontrollable junctures and in mysterious ways. In my own life, I have found that psychically charged events occur at certain highly charged junctures, which seem to reveal the working of a synchronic order, as if some form of superconsciousness, when magnetized by the energy of intention, can ripple through the underpinnings of our 3-D reality, causing changes that seem beyond the parameters of what we generally accept as possible. Can we learn to access these capacities on a regular basis, like the dependable current we get from electricity? If we can come into alignment with this superconscious shaping force, we may be able to begin to heal the wounds of Gaia, to stop tormenting the generative earth that shelters us and gives us life. I think it is quite possible that even the course of seemingly unstoppable biospheric and geophysical events, like climate change or the oil spill, could be altered through collective psychic effort, much as indigenous groups like the Hopi used initiatory ritual and trance dances to bring rain down from the sky.

I pray this is the universe’s wager for us: that we will go beyond our current ruts and limitations, that we will manifest a future of imaginative joy by stepping into our potential, becoming the wizards, warriors, and initiates that the world needs so desperately now. As Nietzsche pointed out accurately, “man”, in his current form, can only be a transitional creature. Either we are rapidly approaching the terminus point for our species or we can collectively choose to transmute, creating an evolutionary implosion, from the physical to the psychic realm. As the oil gushes forth and the earth’s resources disappear, it may be that we can learn to thrive on subtler and far more powerful forms of energy. Working together, we can guide the world toward its next phase of being – a plateau of intensified consciousness and synchronic coherence, in which conscious evolution becomes both sacred game and participatory art form.

Decentralize the web with Diaspora

Diaspora – the privacy aware, personally controlled, do-it-all distributed open source social network

We are four talented young programmers from NYU’s Courant Institute trying to raise money so we can spend the summer building Diaspora; an open source personal web server that will put individuals in control of their data.

What is it?

Enter your Diaspora “seed,” a personal web server that stores all of your information and shares it with your friends. Diaspora knows how to securely share (using GPG) your pictures, videos, and more. When you have a Diaspora seed of your own, you own your social graph, you have access to your information however you want, whenever you want, and you have full control of your online identity. Once we have built a solid foundation, we will make Diaspora easy to extend to facilitate any type of communication, and the possibilities will be endless.

For a little more detailed explanation, checkout this blog post.

What is the project about?

We believe that privacy and connectedness do not have to be mutually exclusive. With Diaspora, we are reclaiming our data, securing our social connections, and making it easy to share on your own terms. We think we can replace today’s centralized social web with a more secure and convenient decentralized network. Diaspora will be easy to use, and it will be centered on you instead of a faceless hub.

Why are we building it?

This February, Eben Moglen, Columbia law professor and author of the latest GPL, gave a talk on Internet privacy. As more and more of our lives and identities become digitized, Moglen explains, the convenience of putting all of our information in the hands of companies on “the cloud” is training us to casually sacrifice our privacy and fragment our online identities.

But why is centralization so much more convenient, even in an age where relatively powerful computers are ubiquitous? Why is there no good alternative to centralized services that, as Moglen pointed out, comes with “spying for free?” Why do we keep our personal data in a thousand places? We have the technology, someone just needs to take the time to figure out how we can communicate smoothly and intuitively, without the hidden costs of “the cloud”. As good programmers, when we noticed that the application we need doesn’t exist, we set out to fill the hole in our digital lives.

Why do we need money?

We have a plan, a bunch of ideas and the programming chops to build Diaspora. What we need is the time it takes to iron out a powerful, secure, and elegant piece of software. Daniel, Ilya, Raphael, and Maxwell are all ready to trade our internships and summer jobs for three months totally focused on building Diaspora. We want to write code all the time, everyday. Once we have made our first solid iteration, we are going to release our code as free software so everyone can make Diaspora even better. $10,000 buys the software for everyone who wants to use it, forever. We think it can change the way people communicate and empower individuals to permanently take control of their online identities.

After we open source our source code, we hope to also provide a paid turnkey hosted service in the vein of WordPress.com to make it easy for people who want to use Diaspora, but don’t want to deal with the fuss of setting it up.* We will make it easy to export your data and configuration, so if you decide you want to graduate and host your seed yourself, you are free to do so at anytime.

Our goal is for everyone to have full control over their data and to empower people in to become responsible, secure, and social Internet dwellers. We believe offering this service will be helpful to non-technical users who are also worried about their data and privacy online.

Our Promise.
We promise to you that Diaspora will be aGPL software which will released at the end of the summer.

Want more info?
Check out our website for project updates, blog posts, pictures, and plans. More information is being added every day! www.joindiaspora.com

Check out more videos here.

Follow us at @joindiaspora Twitter or identi.ca

Want get Diaspora updates via email? Sign up here!
* This service will be available a few months after the end of the summer.

Project location: New York, NY