Where have all the flowers gone?

By h. Gibrain

Not long ago I was standing in a veritable war zone amid the tear gas, rubber coated bullets and stun grenades looking at the little yellow flowers I was unfamiliar with and thinking about how the western main stream media portrays this particular conflict in the usual fairly unbalanced thought-bytes and the only lives that are ever considered are the human ones: some humans matter more than others but the rest of flora and fauna has, essentially, no representation in the media and apparently doesn’t matter at all.

We all know how important the environment is – ever since the word came to be in use – and, as a culture of refugees, colonialists, conquistadors and anything but the indigenous, we are indoctrinated in a culture of denial and disconnect from nature (the environment outside of your skin) and our minds and the language we think with does not contain the right sequences of words to express or question not only human rights and equality in the eyes of international law and human rights law (if that’s your thing), in the eyes of god (if that’s your thing), through a lens of your indigenous roots on Earth (regardless of where you’re from and all of the defining characteristics of your identity), but we never consider the impact of human conflict on the environment.

Trying to unravel the entangling alliances between state parties is as angrifying as actually understanding the often dubious relationships, based on economic and military power, which reak havoc on innocent people the world over. I’m specifically avoiding examples because there are so many to choose from I don’t want to single out one perpetrator over another and draw a chorus of “what about the others’ “. Besides that’s not my point. My point is that all of that is somewhat irrelevant – the behavior is basically universal in that people are making, selling, buying, and using weapons to kill innocent people and it’s generally not sanctioned by the respective civil societies of the nation-states doing the killing. The underlying issue, which gains absolutely no attention in the press, in social media, from political pundits and the politicians themselves, is the simple set of questions everyone should be asking themselves with their morning coffee, afternoon cocktail, dinner and a joint, is “Who is making all of these weapons? Who is selling all of these weapons? Who is using all of these weapons? And why are they being made, sold, bought, used and not regulated in any consistent fashion, let alone produced at all – when they have only one purpose?”


I’m not gonna answer that simple set of questions. I have my own thoughts and beliefs about why this is taking place. The once in a while that I can bear to think about it I just ask myself “why isn’t everyone talking about this and trying to do something about the way these forms of commerce take place?”

Generally, energy flows where attention goes so let us all put some form of attention to this issue. It can be in the form of prayer, mediation, poetry, music, dance, food, letters and phone calls and general lobbying of government officials and weapons manufacturers, letters to editors, peace journalists can participate in focusing their attention on this matter as well. Of course, there are more than one hundred and ninety-eight methods of non-violent armed resistance according to one Gene Sharp (If you’re reading this you know how to use a search engine). I can’t do all 198, but I try a few here and there in a way that doesn’t interfere too much with my white male American middle aged middle classed privilege. I’m asking you do something too. Few are guilty, all are responsible.

The Magical Self-Cleaning House of Al Twani, Occupied Palestine

Posted on 26th March 2014 in Notes, Reflections, Stories

for Luna

by H. Gibrain


Sometimes the strangest things happen in the most ordinary places. Normally such happenings would be classified as miracles because they seem to defy logic and the laws of nature, but there are no miracles; there is an explanation for everything, sometimes it is just so foreign to the capacity for understanding and located in so remote a region on Earth that it is experienced by so few within that context it seems so entirely normal to the indigenous. Yet, it is never elevated to the status of miracle because only a handful of people – in the hands of god, of course – bear witness to it on a regular basis so to them it seems entirely normal and it requires that more than one person at a time experience it to qualify it as such. This is the case in the remote village of Al Twani, Occupied Palestine.


It was on such a rare occasion when a small group of unsettled people came to occupy a space in this place, albeit for a very short period of time. These people fit into the broad category of “people who know things are not right.” They know, somehow, that there is a way to change the shituation and they are looking for that magical key to open up the door to the past – the door of to the house of return, discovering the twisted history of a land, a peoples, a narrative and so much more than those things: a reality of collective trauma and suffering injustices imposed upon them by another tribe of collectively traumatized individuals so entirely disconnected from their karmic debt they created a story of triumph for their future to convince themselves they were not victims but victors. This is one way to deal with the past sufferings of a people. There is no justice in this method since, by the very same laws of nature that prevent miracles from happening, such stories require a new victim.


An alternative would have been the long and arduous process of understanding what went wrong, where and at whose hands were they bloodied so when their time came to assume a position of power their hands would be clean of the guilt and shame which brought them to this place of despair they had to dissociate from. It would be odd, and violent, to say that their success required someone else to suffer – though this is the story of the collective trauma of human history, there are alternative paths to a peaceful resolution absolving anyone and everyone of the guilt, shame and blood that have soiled the collective hands and lands of human history – perhaps elevating the species to a collective status of demigods and goddesses running wild and free in the Garden.


In the world of theater objects can speak, breath and take on lives of their own. “All the world is a stage,” it has been said so you can imagine that when a group of weary travelers seeking to unlock and unleash the past from the enchanted prison there is not limit to the mysterious, fascinating and frustrating things that one, or a group of ones, may encounter. To arrive at such a place as Al Twani there seems nothing mysterious at all. One might measure a simultaneity of humility and generosity wrought of the kinds of humiliation that an inherently peaceful people, thinking as one mind and breathing as one body, are subject to. To walk into an unwitting house in such a place seems normal enough: gravity is the same, floors are horizontal, there are sinks and beds and chairs and windows. The real magic comes in the middle of the night when most normal, decent, god fearing people are sleeping so the village dogs and cats can do the dirty work of restoring the loving order of the confused psychic energy that occupies the small spaces between olive trees, chamomile, cactus and clover; diffusing the air around goats, sheep, chickens and millipedes that accumulates as a result of peoples unaware enough to attribute the blood sweat and tears of loving hands and lands – working behind the scenes – to miracles. Such people are fools.


To wake up in the morning to a clean kitchen, for example, would make it seem like the kitchen cleans itself. After all, when some 30 people are occupying such a small house, each of them leaving their little item behind thinking, “hmm, there are some olive pits and a candy wrapper in the sink, the sink must be the garbage in this magical town” or “yesterday that garbage pail was empty and now it is full and I will now place on top of this pile the critical mass from my ass that will make it all magically disappear.” Cigarette filers, empty bottles and cups – no problem. There are little faeries which double as hotel servants in first world countries who, in their spare time, flit their wings just once and will themselves across oceans, through valleys, over mountain tops and through the vast network of caves carved from time immemorial to come to towns like Twani to do the dirty work of mischievous fools who are traversing the nether regions of their spiritual life somewhere between lost and wandering. These faeries, if they could, they would no doubt wipe your ass for you but most of you have figured out, since a time not long after birth, when the diaper was ready to come off, that the ass does not clean itself. In fact, it requires some semblance of careful attention, a gentle hand and a versatile wrist skilled in the martial art of wiping. So you get to your ass before the faeries leaving them to clean the mound of human waste accumulating next to the inadequate toilet that somehow seems to be enough for the peoples of Al Twani.


Different cultures have different customs. Humans are amazingly adaptive creatures. One can move from, say, a modern full on exquisitely decorated bathroom built on the occupied lands of North America – where the indigenous peoples once live freely as inhabitants of the land – to modernish yet humble hills on the Occupied Territories of the West Bank of Palestine, come across the need to cleanse themselves of the dust and dirt that inevitably accumulates on human flesh, and re-figure out what soap is. This is an easy task. Soap has both a universal appeal and a small set of universal shapes that make it highly identifiable as soap. However, certain structures are seemingly so out of the realm and context of privileged peoples that common sense seems to catch a ride on the rising smoke from cigarettes and the vapor from coffee and dissipate into the air we all breath. Where in the lands named after an Italian explorer, collecting land for Empire abroad – stolen from the indigenous, not a single soul would spill a bottle of olive oil on their kitchen floor and walk away thinking it, too, would magically vaporize into the air we breath or somehow sop itself up and find its way to dress their salad; these same people will, when they come to the occupied lands – collected for Empire abroad from where they began their lost wandering, come to the conclusion that wet floors will mop themselves, that shelves will self organize and replace absconded goods. The only way for such things to occur, of course, is that such a house, such a small house occupied by such a small, intelligent, and good willed people, must be a magical house.


Where magic fails due to little flaws in the divine plan, simple tools can be used to accommodate such inconveniences as wet floors, soiled toilets, garbage piles, dirty dishes, blood stained floors and any matter of clutter, accumulation and a lack of organization. Where magic fails, common sense mixed with a little logic and extrapolation can remove hard to get out stains, dry wet dish towels, empty dish racks stacked with clean dishes, and evacuate the foul air of human animals splayed out on cushions clustered into corners of rooms as they sing their midnight madrigals. When all of the faeries have gone back to their hotels to serve Wasichu (“white man as occupier”), when logic has returned to its rightful place in the sky, when the people of good intention decide to step out of the enchanted prison to which they, themselves, hold the key in the palm of their hand and decide to realize that they are not lost and are only wandering amid the endless beautiful diversity of beings and spirits, the collective shame, guilt, trauma and discord will rise into the skies on the back of mister nice guy and humiliation will be restored to humility, the hatred and anger wrought of denial will be replaced by love, the occupied land will once again be inhabited land and all of the magic that took care of the shit people were too lazy or too stupid to come to terms with will be replaced by gentle hands skill in the art and craft of caring for the land and each other as if everything were a baby just born and still covered by whatever it is that covers babies when they leave the comfort of those wonderful substances that keep us comatose as we get ourselves ready to prepare for a life in the enchanted prison.

The Last Revolution on Earth

Posted on 4th March 2014 in Notes, Reflections, Self Determination

Foreword: I want to be perfectly clear, since I’ve already lost a few friends over this prelude to a short story, that I am in perfect health (to the best of my knowledge). This piece is a back-handed thank you for all of the well wishes I’ve received for completing another revolution around the sun; it is a call to loving arms of non-violent popular resistance of internal revolution – a transformation of self loathe to self love so that all of us can begin to do the dirty work of loving everything around us from seven generations into the past into the future. Aho Mitakye Oyasin – All of my relations.

*      *      *


It will come as no surprise to you, in the most general sense, that we are all mortal. You will die to feed the crumbling Earth. You’ve seen your parents go. An occasional sibling or friend carved out of the picture a little sooner than you expected. You mourn and you carry on with all of life’s enticements, distractions and the things we dedicate ourselves to under the impression that it makes a difference for the general state of affairs on Earth: ease the pain maybe for some or increase the level of violence and destruction for others depending on what your god sanctioned or how brutally you were raped of your capacity for compassion and empathy. So how will you deal with this news I am about to tell you.

This is my last revolution on Earth – around the sun. I didn’t chose to be here – to the best of my knowledge and recollection – to begin with. And I certainly was hoping I might have the opportunity to die healthy in some field in Upstate NY laying in a bed of sweet grass, heather, bedstraw, cleavers, clover and queen anne’s lace. Maybe I’ll make it back there in time. Maybe time will take me back before I get to kiss my sweet friends goodbye, visit the burial sites of my family who, too, were taken too soon or gave of themselves the ultimate sacrifice out of humiliation before the eyes of the divine. In my case, it will be a creeping death until I can’t take it anymore and decide to end my life when the pain becomes unbearable. When my disease ridden body can no longer maintain its physical integrity and I start bleeding from the inside out, my flesh rotting, my friends and family – the few left, can no longer bear to look at me when their suffering becomes greater than mine.

I’m telling you this because I want you to know that I love you. I have always loved you and was too afraid to express it. I was unable to share with you my deepest feelings and desires of love. Had I been bold enough and, maybe, not struggling with mixed messages of superiority and utter inadequacy I would have given of myself selflessly as I had always felt the need to do. As I have always felt compelled to overlook any intrusion of fear and simply give of myself what I wanted to give to you without inhibitions as to how you might perceive what is really nothing but generosity. Yet this sort of giving, this style of generosity is biblical and has no place in a modern western society where big brother is too busy watching us watching him watching us missing the point. Love has no place in a world phased on egotistical projections of narcissistic assholes whose inculcation was a message of rape, estrangement, dispossession disguised behind the mighty dollar and dogmatic regimes.

I realize I sound cynical, angry, twisted and without love or joy and this might well be true as I have spent my life learning and teaching compassion with the realization that we are all subject to the very same conditions and that the very core of our humanity is comprised of a simultaneity of utter despair and confusion of being too scared and afraid to accept what we know as deeply imprinted in our DNA and superficially masked by any number of devices we’ve designed for ourselves to pretend there is anything divine in existence- our existence. Our mortal existence. Yet I know there is not one soul among you who can look me in the eye and pretend that you know anything other than the fact that what we do here on this earth, how we live, and how we die, stays here. Unlike me, you shall have to mourn my death as I will be leaving here relatively soon. I will not mourn your death. I mourn the lives of those of you too scared and to traumatized to let go of the language that enslaves you in the cowards dream; in the oppressors nightmare that was created for you that you somehow came to believe. Even those of you who challenged the nightmare were still owned by it. You should have walked away smiling without a fight leaving the perpetrator to languish alone.

I can say that I’m happy to be leaving and if I had the courage I would do it now but after what I’ve been through and, more importantly, what those few remaining family members have witnessed and what my dear friends have each suffered alone, I don’t feel its right to put that burden on them – on you. Indeed, this letter is enough of a suicide threat to bring some to their knees and I don’t want to be responsible for any ones suffering as I have lived a life trying to avoid that: causing the direct or proxy suffering of any living being that wasn’t for the sole purpose of my sustenance and vitality. Now things are quite different and I don’t have a great deal of time to fret about niceties and to ponder ad nauseum what the right thing to do is based on every ones unique experiences and perceptions dancing on a mantle of thin ice for a race of people who will no doubt cross the finish line huffing, bleeding, drowning in their own love and loathe; your own. I know some of you get it and will read this farewell note as the blessing I intend it to be, seeing through the words themselves to embrace the essence of our collective mortality as something to dance macabre.

In reality this is a call to action. Not for me. I’m cool with my fate but I’m tired of your cowardice. I’m tired of watching people when they are needed the most to give of themselves shut down and close off to the people who are asking in silence to come to their rescue, to come to caress them in their time of greatest need when they are most vulnerable and feel most humiliated when their vision degenerates, when they become incontinent, invalid, and too damned ashamed to expose their base humanity as a result of foolish pride and vanity that we re somehow supposed to die a glorious and beautiful death that when we’re lain in our caskets people will tell us we look peaceful knowing full well that is only what they, what you, hope for yourself. That you will suck it up and live as a slave to anything that will buy you out of your inability to simply shed all of the mythos that drives your subconscious and steers you like a dangling marionette – a hollow ghost of the would be you that is both raging inside against the injustice teeming around you as you are cowered underneath your manger hiding from both the brutal warlord and the fanatic revolutionary.

Think about it. My fate is sealed. I will not be here for you to love or to hate within six months time and you will, like you have your grandparents, your heroes, untold child victims of war, forget not about me, but about yourself. You will forget that you are not living as a brave. That you are not living as this day meant something more than fulfilling some bogus mandate carved out for you by heartless oppressors. That beyond the dome above your head there is an infinity without questions or answers or meaning except what you decide for yourself and the rest them/us. Or will you?

Magic Hat: A Rabbit and a Gun

Posted on 7th December 2012 in Notes, Reflections, Theory

This one’s for you.” – anonymous

Probability is always just around the corner. Step out into the street, and only certain things will probably happen to you. You may be run over by a car, but you will not likely be kissed by a frog 30,000 kilometers away from you. You can’t, really, because it is not in the mix of probabilities. It is very much like a magic hat that has only a limited selection of things you can pull out of it; maybe it is only a partially magic hat. You can’t retrieve or conjure what is not there and what it can not produce. From a quantum mechanical perspective, the probabilities for spectral composition of wave to particle are limited in scope – your canvas is not unlimited in potential. However, it is possible to add ingredients to the probability mixture and increase the number of items that you can pull out of the vortex of the mad hatters wares.

Arguably, my alleged axiom applies to all circumstances and all situations. This is good. It can be a proving ground for that thing some of you call hope. It can be a breeding ground for what some of you call fate. It will be, should you accept that there is a world of infinite probabilities for dreamers, healers, meta-physicists and magicians, an opportunity for the highly improbable to manifest.

This should come as no surprise, really, since the history of so called human progress is nothing less than the visions of dreams and dreamers becoming common place such that we take it all for granted. I can’t think of one thing that was made by the hands of human, that does not fit into this category (other than things like beer and cheese- which, by the way, happen on their own but required human acknowledgment to become fully orchestrated).

Certainly, the idea for and of god didn’t just pop out of the sky. The torque wrench is certainly a creation of magic that works magic – someone understanding the forces of nature and how to conjure and manipulate the long arm of influence to seemingly static objects. The atomic bomb and the breast pump, both – forms of magic – may be catalyst for the end of humankind on Earth (it is difficult to say at this point) and the oud and timpani definitely hold high ranks in the manipulation of mind over matter tending towards balancing the dramatic effects of climate change and the warring amongst sons, fathers and brothers.

If you believe any of this then you have freed yourself from the enchanted prison of ideas and ideologies. You accept and understand that you are free to dream, free to live in your dreams, free to pursue your dreams, because each time you do this you add to the probability mix of things that can happen. Once your dreams become thoughts become words become a part of the common knowledge and, potentially, the common wisdom of the culture of inhabitants of planet Earth – the common ground for all of humanity where our differences become a source of inspiration rather than a source of conflict, trauma, and the cycle and culture of violence, your thoughts become waves in the matrix of matter, accessible to any and all who surf the network.

I am told that my brothers and sisters in Syria, and I suppose this means parts and aspects of Arab culture in general, do not really have the ideas of non-violent means of armed resistance in their probability mix. Shall we acknowledge this and move on, complain, become polarized by this fact? Can we introduce these ideas into the probability mix; infuse the notions into the atmosphere; inject a new ideology under the skin of a culture steeped in violent resorts?

Of course. According to the axiom it is pointless not to.

It is time, dear friends, for the Jasmine Revolution >>

Keeping a Cool Head as a Worker for Peace, Justice and Equality While Navigating the Complexities of International Law

Posted on 30th June 2012 in Notes, Reflections

“International law and the international legal system are not static and have changed over time.”
- Joseph Weiler

The principles of International Law (IL)¹ are devised to establish a foundation for international relations and to protect, essentially, the self-determination of states and individuals.²  This is a very idealistic and broad statement covering a lot of ground. The principles and practices of international law and their effectiveness are questionable and often garner a great deal of criticism. The question of the effectiveness of IL is paramount in understanding its evolution, its application, and whether it is just. This brief survey discusses what I consider to be critical for peace workers who will engaged directly, or by proxy, in IL’s application – subject to its stipulations and boundary conditions, sometimes for the good and sometimes for the bad (the determination of which is highly subjective). The basic principle I am interested in is the dynamics of international law; analogous, in this sense, to IL would be the theoretical principles of fluid dynamics which, by its language, implies the fluidity of IL. 3

The notion of peace as an absence of violence4 and the intentions of peace workers to establish such conditions, subject to the boundary conditions established in IL often cause internal conflict in the attitudes of Peace workers.5 Rightfully, it is frustrating to observe the unequal distribution of justice – especially if you’re in the midst of a crisis situation and in dire need of assistance to protect people and save lives, or if you’re in an academic environment arguing for/against the validity of the UN, the ICC, and other international bodies – who enact and enforce IL – based on a limited number of historical applications to conflict and crisis situations.

Looking at the latter case, that limited view tends to skew ones’ understanding of the intentions of IL and the fact that, from an historical perspective, the battery of IL is still relatively new. This argument does not promote or negate the validity of IL and the bodies that enact and enforce it, it rather asks that a peace worker develop an understanding that international law is a young and dynamic process that requires great intentions, great minds, great hearts and great souls to engage in its processes, further the field, establish accountability, work with great intentions, and not develop an attitude of anger, fear, and hatred towards the structural and procedural integrity void of the remarkable intentions of human beings trying to become, essentially, decent people and overcome, universally, the struggle for identity and legitimacy.

There is a substantial body of IL that establishes a base set of principles which seem to be accepted by most states – though, there is still a degree of fluidity with respect to the firmament of international law, which, arguably could be considered the: UN charter, Rome Statute, Nuremberg Principles, Hague Conventions, and Geneva Conventions. There is, still, a very young branch of IL which regards and responds to more recent developments in both international relations and new technologies of violence and war.

Regarding international relations we can consider the more social aspects of attitudes and opinions towards race, gender, social class, religion and other aspects of a persons individual and groups. The attitudes engendered regarding existing statues – old and new – and their employment are sometimes dubious in nature – typically being generated for the purposes of resource exploitation and territorial domination for strategic purposes. For example, we have seen in the last two or so decades a rise in non state actors engaging in what is defined as terrorist activities. Such activities called for new interpretations of existing statutes, development of new statutes for very specific situations for which there was no precedent in international law, and shifts in support for existing statutes.6 For example, the US withdrew in intent to support the ICC, has violated the right of non-intervention and has engaged in unilateral military operations in Iraq and Pakistan (which, by omission, does not suggest the US”s military action in Afghanistan were legally or morally justified).

With particular attention to the US, in this case, my observations of the anger and hatred it engenders among some of the students of Peace and Conflict Resolution at the World Peace Academy, I believe it is critical to acknowledge the difference between the intentions of IL and the equity and justice of their application. Again, the peace worker has a responsibility to understand the inherent difficulties of administering a highly complex system when the intentions of the state (or non-state) actors are not always clear or honest and it is precisely this reactivity engendered by the system that limits a peace workers ability to function effectively

Further, as implied in this reflection paper, the notion that law is a fluid process suggests that the statutes of law, as they exist now, and as new statutes are created as a result of new situations, should be challenged rhetorically and in practice and that new approaches and new systems should always be explored to evaluate whether there is, in fact, another process or processes available to accomplish the task of what the current infrastructure intends to do – enforce the provision for basic human rights (somewhat arbitrarily defined) and human needs (defined by the needs of basic physiological function). Thus, one should remain critical of such institutions and, as peace workers, should find creative and constructive approaches to furthering the discipline, and/or suggesting other means to ensure the basic principles of IL are upheld or transformed to accomplish their fundamental goals.


1. International Law being defined as the statutes of International Human Rights Law (IHRL), International Humanitarian Law (IHL), and International Criminal Law (ICL)

2. Antonio Cassese, International Law Second Edition (2005), Oxford University Press. Caseese outlines the basic principles of IL: the sovereign equality of states, non-intervention in the internal or external affairs of other states, prohibition of the threat or use of force, peaceful settlement of disputes, respect for human rights, self determination of people.

3. Joseph Weiler, The Geology of International Law, Heidelberg Journal of International Law, 64 (2004): 547 – 562

4. Baljit Singh Grewal, Johan Galtung: Positive and Negative Peace, School of Science Aukland University Of Technology, 2003

5. personal observations of the author during seminars at the World Peace Academy in Basel, Switzerland

6. Marc Weller, Settling Self-Determination Conflicts: Recent Developments, The Europeran Journal of International Law Vol. 20 No. 1, 2009

Transcend Nationalism to Soften the Blow

Posted on 19th April 2012 in Notes, Self Determination, Theory

Recently, I conducted a survey investigating people’s thoughts on the idea of transcending nationalism. 4 out of 5 people, when threatened at gunpoint, agree that “the only way for civilization to meet its end gracefully, that is – terminating with a soft landing (instead of a harsh and abrupt ending) – is via transcending nationalism, dissolving national borders, and approaching this dire environmental situation together, as one species – instead of a collective of divided nations with individual agendas and goals regardless of the common fate we all share.” Kinda stupid isn’t it – that we know this but somehow fail, or refuse, to act according to this knowledge. This is, people, magical thinking. The problem with this particular sort of magical thinking is that we (humans) are killing the planet and its inhabitants (including ourselves).


Are we suffering from the unintended consequences of enlightenment – unraveling and revealing the mysteries of nature only to use this knowledge to destroy ourselves (you can hear the little godevil screaming a resounding yes)? Are we suffering from the intended consequences of rogue states, groups and individuals who are out to destroy, manipulate, control, abuse and exploit (you can hear the toy poodle barking a resounding “WTF”)?


I think nature is fighting back;  and nature will win. Nature will kill us all for messing with her. She will say, “you tortured and abused me and my inhabitants to a point where you can no longer survive – dummy! Now you must go and I will help you.”


Then, finally, we (they) can all have some peace. And nature, with a few earthquakes,  the destruction of the infinitely intimately intertwined interdependence of the “web of life” due to human activity,  a few volcanic eruptions, a flipping of the magnetic poles, and an asteroid collision or two,  will wipe us all out and the earth will begin her recovery process.


 *                      *                      *

I don’t think the threat we are all facing, that some of us caused and most of us perpetuate (most of us in the so called civilized world, anyway), could be more immediate and more serious. Or, I don’t think we realize the seriousness of this threat; this threat to our own existence.


Let’s try to be rational and differentiate between being an optimist, a pessimist, and a realist with respect to the current state of the global environment and the effect that humans are having on climate change.  Though nobody knows for certain what  is going to happen we really should choose to error on the side of caution and take steps that are necessary to at least, if not reverse the course of events,  soften the blow.


In a  way, we are fortunate because the same actions that will soften the blow will, if possible, reverse the course of the seemingly inevitable path we are on towards a global environmental catastrophe (greater than the one that is already happening that no one notices…that is, one that really catches peoples attention) which will render our species extinct (or radically alter the selection process for reproduction). It is also true that the same actions that will soften the blow would have prevented this global environmental catastrophe from happening at all. In other words, we have to start doing what we should have been doing all along which, to state it simplistically, is to realize that we can not sustain our own existence by continuing to fill our basic survival needs (shopping, weapons, make up, erection pills, etc) as if nature were an infinite reservoir to satisfy our needs.


This simple statement includes, by my saying so right now, all of the factors related to environmental degradation (clear cutting, damming, toxic water, air and land, etc) that are part of the process of supplying our human needs. All of them. As an example consider the manufacturing of nuclear weapons. Think about how toxic is the process of extracting uranium ore, processing it for use in nuclear power plants, then converting the spent fuel rods to weapons grade material. So much damage is done just making nuclear weapons there is really no need to even use them for the destructive purposes they are intended (they’re really just for show anyway. Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) is the name of the game. It’s kind of like a battle of the bands where the bands are really shitty so the only thing to really vote on is their hair and their costumes (which is not much different from the way US Presidents are selected)).


*                     *                    *


While the relationships I will draw are only one set of an infinite set of possibilities (i.e., many of you will be ready to argue your points saying, “no uh this and well uh that and you didn’t calculate this and that’s not true and fuck you and all that”), it can be considered at least instructional to contemplate the ramifications of my conjectures – regardless of their accuracy.


It seems reasonable to suggest that if we, as a species, are going to change our actions, we need another set of principles upon which to base our practices. Or, we can continue the completely ineffective approach of leaving it to governments, their agents, and the global body politic to take care of things. That, of course, would be passing the idiot/insanity test (or failing it).


Since we can’t rely on governments to actually do anything reasonable to soften the blow of human population overshoot and the destruction of much of the the earth’s natural relationships between the living and the not so living, we must rely on the people – the subjects – of those governments. If we are going to need a new set of principles, we will need a delivery system for these principles.


Let us just say,  for the moment, that in light of how dire the situation is, the governments of the world decided they would use their educational institutions to educate, universally, people about survival on planet earth and, along with that, how to be nice to one another. Let us just say, for the moment, that all of the “leaders of the free word (enchanted prison)” had a brief moment of simultaneous enlightenment (like they all ate some Amanita one night/that is, they tripped hard together) and realized that it really wasn’t fun to be a selfish destructive asshole hated by the enchanted prisoners, that they (we)really need to deal with the situation as a species since attempts to deal with global climate change thus far have done nothing to curb the environmental devastation we are causing – and have caused.


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Countries can not be competing to exploit Earth’s resources while attempting to cooperate to preserve and restore the earth’s natural state (by leaving it alone). Therefore, in order to effectively deal with this as a species,  for the sake of our own survival if nothing else (if that is what it takes to get people to think and to act)  it will be  necessary for us, as individuals  and as nation states, to transcend nationalism.


Nationalism is an important part of a person’s identity – part of one’s “nurturing” [read, inculcation]. Asking someone to give up an important part of their identity for any good cause is dreaming big. However, it will be well worth the work that goes into transforming, and transcending, hopefully, the part of one’s identity/ego – actually, the collective ego of a  peoples born within certain geographical borders –  that is the root cause of the conflict restricting, and in some cases prohibiting, meaningful attempts to soften the blow.


Transcending nationalism will be difficult to at first just like giving up anything (one is addicted to), but with time it will become easier and will feel much more natural and comfortable than the current psychological/emotional/intellectual/spiritual/psychical states people are enchanted by – the magical thinking that imprisons all of earth and it’s inhabitants.  To ease us into our new way of thinking and living we could perform certain rituals, if necessary, such as carrying our passports for fun and even trading them with each other and border guards – who could be employed to remind travelers that they are entering into a global historic landmark of a peoples of a culture, a language, a history, a heritage ( just like yours), that they are in love with ( as you are with yours), that they cherish, (as you do yours),  that is filled with great beauty in music and literature and poetry and dance and food and drink and imagination and story (as is yours).


There is no need to give up our cultural, religious, or spiritual identities. In fact, these identities will become of increasing importance in defining our differences, as well as our similarities, and we will engage one another on the playground of our commonalities – finding joy and beauty in the differences of our cultural identities while we work together to stop destroying the earth – and of course, ourselves.


We will have to redefine our relationships as being from a competitive and destructive nature to relationships based on cooperation and creativity.  Part of the process will require reparations and reconciliations from the exploiter to the exploited. A process which, as it unfolds, will end up with most everyone giving everything back to everyone since somewhere in our ancestry it is likely that there were those who exploited others and their where those who were exploited by others.


Once we re-educate ourselves towards survival through preservation of the land base, we will be able to transcend nationalism and prosper in peace, collectively, as a  species.  If we could do it yesterday, we could do it much faster. Please!