Wednesday, April 11, 2012

blog021 We Are The Nation Of Avaaz

I feel glad about ("Avaaz" means "voice" in several European, Middle Eastern and Asian languages.)
Avaaz emerged as a global nation of collaborating activists in 2007 with a simple democratic mission: organize Earthlings to close the gap between the world we have, and the world most people everywhere want.

With a population of nearly 14,000,000 (fourteen million!!!) Avaaz has become the 68th largest nation in the world, larger than Cambodia. We are larger than Belgium, Greece, Portugal, Zimbabwe, Tunisia, Cuba, or Bolivia.

Let this sink in past your mind for a moment.

If you have registered with Avaaz and participated in an action, you are a citizen of Avaaz.

With which structure are you more aligned? Your land-based corporate-controlled mega-government? Or your value-based global communication meshwork of activists?

We will soon be bigger than Ecuador, Mali, or Guatemala.

I want an Avaaz global passport.

What is the purpose of our country of Avaaz? We are a nation of activists enabling responsible conscious actions. The purpose of Avaaz, if I dare say it, is initiation into authentic adulthood, something long ago excluded from modern culture. The cost of putting adolescents in positions of financial, military, religious, and political power now impacts all life forms on planet Earth.

Avaaz empowers people from all walks of life to take action on pressing global, regional and national issues, from corruption and poverty to conflict and climate change. We are helping each other to help each other. Our internet organising allows thousands of individual efforts, however small, to be rapidly combined into a powerful collective force.
[Avaaz is] "a transnational community that is more democratic, and could be more effective, than the United Nations."  -  Suddeutsche Zeitung


Following is a letter I recently sent to Avaaz coordinators. It feels great just to have people to write such a letter to!
Dear Avaaz Team,

(and I stress the "Dear" part...)

Here are 3 questions:

1) It seems imperative that oil extraction from the Ecuadorian Amazon be FOREVER stopped, and oil companies punished and taken out of business for having already raped so much of the jungles and disrupted indigenous tribes and tropical ecologies. What stops Avaaz from maximizing action in Ecuador?

2) How can Avaaz empower people working in mainstream companies and the military and governments to simply quit their jobs, go home, and grow community gardens instead? Let's take the insane systems down. Please. For example, Avaaz can empower women to stop teaching their daughters to be slaves of the capitalistic patriarchal empire.The evolution could literally happen overnight when women say to their husbands: "Quit your job or you will never touch me again..." 

3) When does the Avaaz Global Homeschool for Sustainable Culture start? I want to be part of it.

Thank you so much for creating a global nation which gives the 99% some clout.

Clinton Callahan

Monday, April 9, 2012

blog020 Declaration of Commitment

NOTE: My buddy Brad Blanton just wrote me his commitment. I notice that I am committed to Brad's commitment. I wanted to share that with you. My sharing about this allows you to participate in my experience of being connected with others who have a similar commitment. USOB makes for a fun world.

Request for a Commitment:
The Occupy Movement as an Occupation
"There is a war going on between those who believe that the power of information lies in its capacity to be withheld—that information is power if you can keep it to yourself. This is not how it works really. Information is power if you can share it, validate it, vet it, and contribute it to that global awareness that we are all here in the process of creating."
- John Perry Barlow (italics mine. BB)
Being "in the process of creating" applies to individual personal growth as well as social change. The open sharing of information--undoing secrets and lies--is the fundamental source of both personal and political power. Personal growth and activism are parts of the same movement. We start with personal growth and grow to activism.
Here are a few distinctions that mark a trail from personal growth to the creation of a new social order:
Your mind is not your being.
Your performance is not your identity.
Your being notices.
Your mind thinks.
One of the things your mind thinks is that it notices.
Your mind is wrong about that. Your mind is not capable of noticing.
Your mind makes clang associations between current and past events, makes comparisons and pretends the resulting conclusions are real. Interpretations can be useful, but when presented as reality this is phony information that can cost you your life. Your mind lies to you and others about this all the time. Belief is not perception.
Fundamentalists of all religions attempt to have judgments based on interpretations be more important than experience. Noticing actual experience becomes secondary to maintaining belief. This is a mistake with terribly deadly consequences over the last 5400 years of civilization and is getting worse as we speak. Each minute civilization ages, fundamentalist belief-in-belief mind frames about religion and money threaten human extinction.
Your mind is also incorrect about who you are. Your mind thinks that who you are is the sum total of your performances and how well you have performed. If you buy that, and identify yourself as the sum and judged quality of your performances, your chance for personal happiness is completely ruined, along with hope for human survival.
Your mind was formed in a culture--the Western Alliance Christian Kapitalist Korporate Kleptomaniac Oligarchy (WACKKKO!). Your culture is insane.
You can pause in the chaos of today's modern world, renew and restore your creative focus on your own life and make your presence a gift and example to others. Your capacity to identify yourself as a present tense noticing being can change your delusional reactive life to a creative life--one that helps people instead of depriving and killing people for illusory selfish gain. Being grounded in the present, related to gravity and other people in the simplest way, changes everything. Then, as your friends discover the same wisdom you and they become artists in affiliation with each other. Then we can destroy the dysfunctional systems that support the antiquated ways of identifying ourselves and build institutions that nourish our more grounded compassionate honest identity as beings with minds, rather than minds dominating beings!
Those of us who relate to each other and to others with compassion can win out. We don't need all these cops and soldiers and wars if we are no longer obeying the old bullshit hierarchy of belief. The ongoing open revelation of what is actually so, radical honesty, is how empathy gets stronger in you and in the world at the same time. It is also a possible voluntary choice for life. We invite you to join us. We are building a world wide anti-cult cult!
Give us your name and email address and what city you live in or near and some money. We would like $5 a month or $50 a year or $200 for a lifetime membership. However, your membership fee is whatever you can pay. If you don't have any money then don't pay anything and just sign up and you are a member. If you have a little give a little. If you have a lot, give a lot. Just join and pay what you can. We expect USOB's to be honest!
(If you pay the two hundred you get a nice t-shirt that says: "I DON'T NEED SEX. A GIANT CORPORATION FUCKS ME EVERY DAY!") Let's build our membership until we are the world. We can occupy everything and never give it back!

Join USOB here!

Upcoming tour stops
Meet-up in Chicago
Thursday, April 12, 2012 from 6:00pm – 8:30pm
Uncommon Ground
3800 North Clark Street, Chicago, IL USA 60613, 773.929.3680
Facebook event

Meet-up in Boca Raton
Wednesday, April 18, 2012 from 7:00pm – 9:30pm
The Center for Spiritual Living (A Science of Mind Center)
2 SW 12th Avenue, Boca Raton, FL 33486
Facebook event

Meet-up in Denver
Sunday, April 22, 2012 from 2:00pm – 4:30pm (potluck beforehand, at 1:00pm)
First Unitarian Society of Denver
1400 Lafayette St, Denver, CO 80218, (303) 831-7113
Facebook event

Meet-up in Oakland
Monday, April 30, 2012 from 7:00 - 9:30pm
Taber Shadburne Residence
1550 5th St., Oakland, CA 94607
Facebook event

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Tuesday, April 3, 2012

blog019 Working For A Better World

Window Washer courtesy of
The alarm woke me up this morning in the middle of a dream. I was in an American suburb, brown wooden houses close packed into rolling hills under a California blue sky, perhaps near San Francisco. It was late morning. No cars passed. I was standing at a T intersection with Marion and Wolfgang K. We had just asked a tall, energetic, short-haired man in his early thirties for directions. After he gave us clear instructions I asked him, What are you doing home at this hour of the day? He answered, All my contracts have been cancelled! The economy is so bad I'm out of work. His anger and frustration came out as a giant sweeping gesture. All I want to is to be out there washing windows! He makes the sound of a rubber squeegy scraping across wet glass.

My mouth starts speaking before I know what I will say. We are Possibilitators. We work for a better world. We are going to do for you right now exactly what we are going to suggest that you start doing for others, which is, to stop working for money and start working for a better world. We are going to provide you with our Possibilitator services for free, right now, for the joy of creatively collaborating with you. We know from experience that when we provide you with our services something interesting will happen. Maybe not instantly, maybe not directly, but by providing you with these services something good will come of it. Together we will have made a little bit of a better world.

Here is our suggestion. Get your gear together now and go out there and do what you came here to do, what you love to do. Get out there and wash windows. Choose some windows to wash, knock on the door, tell them you are washing windows for a better world. Tell them your profession is to create clarity and openness and light for people. Then get washing. Do a good job, always adding something a little extra: tighten a few screws on a loose hinge, pick up some garbage, pull some weeds, something like that. As you pack up to move to the next location leave your card. It says your name, telephone, email, website, and the following words: I work for a better world. If you know anyone else who could use a little clarity and freshness and light please call or write me. I will get right on it. If you have a little extra food, that you would like to give me so I can keep working for a bettter world, I thank you. I love my work. I'll write that down for you.

Now, I continued, do you know someone else who could use some possibility from us? He thinks for a moment then says, Come inside. We step into his garage that he converted to an office because he uses bicycles for transportation for his wife and child. The office is full of clean windows. On a large cork board on the office wall is an irregularly shaped poster cut-out with a dark green border. It is a photo of an undaunted American Indian chief in fine beadworked leather and eagle-feathered headdress, facing a crowd of onlookers. Just in front of him, first in the crowd, stands Lee Lozowick, blue long-sleeve shirt, a full head of silver dreadlocks, serenely connected with and somehow befriended with the Indian chief, who now resembles a combination of Arnaud Desjardins and Yogi Ramsuratkumar.

I point to Lee and exclaim to our window-washer friend, Do you know who that is? Do you know this man? He doesn't seem to know, or at the moment won't say. Next to this photo is a smaller cut-out from the same larger mural, also outlined in green, a closeup of more members of the crowd at the same gathering. Clearly visible in the crowd is Dasya, another student of Lee Lozowick. I look at Marion and Wolfgang mutually acknowledging that by encouraging the window washer to work for a better world instead of for money, something interesting certainly did happen. And then the alarm goes off.