The Gods are Tired

Posted on 9th April 2014 in music, Poetry, Reflections
by h. Gibrain

 

the sky is tired

your resilience

earth shattering

exhausting the heavens

 

the walls are tired

standing so long

family of stones

daughters of suns

 

the streets are tired

wearied feet of soldiers

exhausted from humiliating

honor and soil

 

the lands are tired

heard it all before

the occupation, assassinations

summary executions

 

the mothers are tired

children arrested and tortured

their crime

Palestine

 

the bullets are

tired of being fired

sky rife with tears

air ripe with jasmine

 

the gods are tired

Allah wrestling Yahweh

for a dose of heaven on

a small piece of desert wasteland

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.

*      *      *

Preludium

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?

Immodest Proposal

Posted on 6th February 2014 in Peace, Reflections, Self Determination

Due to the longevity of the Israeli Palestinian conflict and the obvious lack of political will mixed with sheer political ineptitude – on a global scale, really – to properly transform the situation (at least to enforce international law) I’ve come up with a somewhat absurd partial solution towards transforming and transcending the conflict. The idea itself is nothing new – I’m not that creative or knowledgeable about the shituation: the boundaries of Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories will be combined into a bi-national state. There are many reasons why this is favorable for Israelis, Palestinians and Peace (the rest of us) and that complex of simple reasons emerges as the answer to the following question: what would a Palestinian state of scattered and segregated lands look like as a result of settlements, the wall, and the harsh economic, political and military sanctions driving the Palestinians into a fragmented and isolated society?

In any case, my level, or style if you will, of creativity is in the naming of this new nation; a new name that will satisfy both cultures: PalIstein/stien. Its construction is obvious taking the first three letters of the word Palestine, the first two letters of Israel, and then changing the “stine” of Palestine into “stein/stien” so that it resonates with the suffix of many Jewish peoples names,  yet the pronunciation could be in dispute as to whether there is a hard “e” vowel sound or a hard “i” vowel sound (which, no doubt, would make Palestinians smile, even though it was at the sacrifice of switching the “e” in the English spelling of their countries name with the “i”, capitalized, from the English spelling of Israel). One country, one name with two pronunciations and still something to fight about.

As one nation, there will be a shared economy, a shared political system, shared roadways, shared schools, and above all and encompassing all, equality as citizens and all of the benefits that come with getting to know and love your neighbor. No doubt it will take a generation or two (or seven) to work things out, but under the current circumstances there is such a limited cultural exchange because of the inability of Palestinians and Israelis to freely move from the OPTs to the NonOPTs as well as the taboo of normalization for Pals to engage with Izzies in any way that legitimizes the regime of inequality. Since the respective and collective governments who are stakeholders in this process have proven incapable of establishing equality this task will have to be accomplished by Israeli and Palestinian civil societies who will, themselves, have to transcend the walls of normalization and the convolution of victim and perpetrator.

In addition to a new name, one other important piece of propaganda is essential to forging a new common narrative: a banner. At first thought it would be interesting to have a two faced flag with the Israeli flag on one side and the Palestinian flag on the other but after some immodest consideration I’m thinking the flag should be  a screen playing pixelated permutations of both flags along with other randomly generated visualizations. Let’s leave it at that.

For now, changing the name and flying the first kaleidobanner is enough. When people get use to seeing and hearing these new implants, civil society will begin to change and, again, in a generation or two when all of the old school dogmaticians die off, peace will begin to flourish. Let freedom reign. Pass the felafel, please.

DWB, LGM, and Olive Trees

Posted on 22nd January 2014 in Reflections, Self Determination

Racism may be partly natural and partly nurtural. There is probably something coded in our genes that makes cells undergo meiosis every time we see “other” such that we need to reproduce within our tribe – but not with out siblings (cousins are OK in most places). There is definitely something encoded in our brains about “other” from the racist propaganda (read: education) that most people get.

 

I don’t remember being taught in non or secular school that we’all humans have a relatively broad and meaty common set of biological, logical, moral, ethical, religious, spiritual, chemical and physical properties. I don’t recall too many people who actually embrace universal love – in principle or in practice. I’m not suggesting we should.

 

An acquaintance of mine got a DWB. I understood what he meant before I could stop my mouth from asking. It was obvious; though I’ve never gotten a Driving While Black myself since I am heterozygous black recessive. It’s amazing to me, probably because I’m still only in someone else’s late 20′s, and not in my own 400′s, that I can’t relate to the fact that racism is still strong and proud in the United States. Another generation or two will have to die off before things get much better. They are better than they were, but we got a long way to go people. We have to start remembering ourselves from the future, after we’re dead and gone, to get a better perspective on who we are today. See you there.

 

Perhaps the aliens, not the illegal one’s who come here to steal jobs from Americans (that is, the South or Central Americans that come here to steal ‘our’ jobs (the ones that don’t exist anyway)), are Little Green Men. That could mean numerous things in terms of size. Size is relative. Size matters. Two things are clear. The aliens are men and they are green. They are mono-gendered, which is fine with me. We – as a species – are tending towards something similar here anyway. The numbers are increasing (the percentages are staying the same).We don’t know how they reproduce or if they reproduce. It is not implicit in the label (read: name). These men are green. There is nothing ambiguous about green. It is a range of frequencies of the electromagnetic spectrum which, when viewed in one’s own inertial frame, are well defined. Of course you could be looking at someone else’s green and see red. Little for me is about waise height – below the belt: illegal.

 

An approximate acquaintance of mine was shot in the leg by an Israeli Security Forcerer while planting Olive Trees in Gaza. He asked, rhetorically I presume, “What was I doing wrong?” The answer, of course, is that he was Planting While Palestinian. While he is protected under international law, the racism runs so deep that injustice is rampant and accountability slim to none. Salam. Shalom. Pass the hummus, please.

Ring Theory: A Tool for Conflict Analysis and the Design, Monitoring and Evaluation of Peace Initiatives

Posted on 12th July 2013 in Peace, Peace Pedagogy, Self Determination, Theory

Abstract­: There are many tools for conflict analysis and the design, monitoring and evaluation of peace initiatives. Each of these tools has its advantages and limitations in a given context. Several of these tools used in conjunction with one another can give a relatively complete means for evaluating conflicts and designing processes to transform conflicts. Ring Theory is yet another tool for conflict analysis and the design, monitoring and evaluation of peace initiatives. Ring theory offers a more streamlined means for visualizing the complexity of conflicts and transformation processes than some of the other tools for conflict analysis and the design monitoring and evaluation of peace initiatives because it considers all interactions between all stakeholders across all levels and sectors of society. Ring Theory, used in in conjunction with other tools can yield a more complete and, therefore, accurate assessment of a conflict or transformation process. In so doing, it can increase the likelihood for success of peace initiatives. Ring Theory also has potential as an early warning tool for conflict prevention.

 

Read the entire  article >>

[Edited version coming soon]

Toward a Pedagogy of Liberation: Holotivity and the Internal Arts in Peace Education

Posted on 9th June 2013 in Peace, Peace Pedagogy, Self Determination, Theory

Abstract: The evolutionary trajectory of many fields of discourse teleologically suggest a pedagogy for peace studies with an analogous trajectory towards a holistic inclusivity, an understanding of complexity, and an epistemological understanding that the rational limits of knowledge acquired through western intellectual discourse and deductive reasoning, or positivism,1 are not the actual limits of knowledge; rather, they can be considered as the boundaries for the nascent spaces and phases of the metaphysical and transcendental. Drawing from the fields of the natural sciences, philosophy, psychology, the internal arts, futures studies and peace studies I elucidate a concurrent trajectory of these respective fields as an argument for incorporating the internal healing arts into the pedagogy of a peace studies discipline.

 

I. Introduction:

This, then, is the great humanistic and historical task of the oppressed: to liberate themselves and their oppressors as well. – Paulo Freire

In this paper I propose a rationale and justification for a pedagogy for peace workers to incorporate practices and principles from the internal healing arts. Drawing from many diverse fields of the natural sciences, transitional justice, philosophy, psychology and future’s studies I will elucidate the analogous trajectories of these fields converging on a holist dialogical2 conscientization3, or re-
indigenization (Nelson, 2006), towards empathy and the ‘self-actualization’4 of the peace worker which is very closely related to the goal and role of the Shaman – or internal healing artist. This lends to the notion that we should potentiate any and all possibilities for expanding the knowledge, skills and personal qualities of peace workers.

 

Two working assumptions for the following discourse are: 1. The broader and deeper a peace worker’s knowledge and skill set are, the greater will be their effectiveness in helping others transform from a state of internal and external conflict to a state of internal and external peace, and 2. the effectiveness in a peace workers ability to transform others from a state of internal and external conflict to a state of internal and external peace is greater when that peace worker has undergone an internal transformation towards self-actualization.
As I shall argue in this paper, there is not one working definition of such terms as peace, peaceworker, transitional justice, shamanism, or intervention. However, for the sake of establishing some of the positivist limits imposed upon such terms I shall introduce some working definitions for this paper. Later I will introduce the idea of ‘spectral composition’, providing several examples, to indicate that we need not limit ourselves to rigid ideas but, rather, we can incorporate a more inclusive, albeit more loosely defined, set of definitions expanding both the meaning of the language used to describe such peace praxes and, therefore, the praxes themselves.

 

Read the entire article  (PDF) >>