social-transformation

This issue brings together a series of commentaries, interventions and projects centred on the theme of workers’ inquiry. Workers’ inquiry is a practice of knowledge production that seeks to understand the changing composition of labour and its potential for revolutionary social transformation. It is a practice of turning the tools of the social sciences into weapons of class struggle. It also seeks to map the continuing imposition of the class relation, not as a disinterested investigation, but rather to deepen and intensify social and political antagonisms.

PDF here

Plotinus, the great neoplatonist philosopher of the Byzantine empire and a great mystic, spoke of the mystical apotheosis as the flight of the alone to the alone.  I’ve always thought that was an excellent program for how to meet the psychedelic experience.  It is a mystery.  It is not an unsolved problem.  It’s a true mystery.  We are not accustomed to this.  I’ve searched the world for mysteries and I’ve found illusions, fraud, misunderstanding, obfuscation, impenetrable complexity, but never true mystery except in this one tiny, tiny area of the chemical and biological world.  There -I guess because in the greater plan, everything must exist so therefore must magic - but the doorway to it, the doorway into that world, is a very confined spot in the vast data field of this world.  You could miss it, although I’m doing my best to make sure that doesn’t happen.

Where spiritual advancement is discussed, I want psychedelics to be discussed.  Where transformative social visions are put forth, I want psychedelics to be part of the agenda.

—  Terence McKenna
guardian.co.uk
Chilean girls stage occupation of their own school

This is like really late but it’s been in my tabs for weeks, so here:

It began early one morning in May, when dozens of teenage girls emerged from the predawn darkness and scaled the spiked iron fence around Chile’s most prestigious girl’s school. They used classroom chairs to barricade themselves inside and settled in. Five months later, the occupation shows no signs of dying and the students are still fighting for their goal: free university education for all.

A tour of the school is a trip into the wired reality of a generation that boasts the communication tools that feisty young rebels of history never dreamed of. When police forces move closer, the students use restricted Facebook chat sessions to mobilise. Within minutes, they are able to rally support groups from other public schools in the neighbourhood. “Our lawyer lives over there,” said Angelica Alvarez, 14, as she pointed to a cluster of nearby homes. “If we yell ‘Mauricio’ really loud, he leaves his home and comes over.”

The first thing they did after taking over the school was to hold a vote. Approximately half of the 1,800 students participated in the polls to approve the takeover, and the yays outnumbered the nays 10 to one.

Now the students pass their school days listening to guest lecturers who provide free classes on topics ranging from economics to astronomy. Extracurricular classes include yoga and salsa lessons. At night and on weekends, visiting rock bands set up their equipment and charge 1,000 pesos (£1.25) per person to hear a live jam on the basketball court. Neighbours donate fresh baked cakes and, under a quirk of Chilean law, the government is obliged to feed students who are at school – even students who have shut down education as usual.

So much food has poured in that the students from Carmela Carvajal now regularly pass on their donations to hungry students at other occupied schools.

Carmela Carvajal is among Chile’s most successful state schools. Nearly all the graduates are assured of a place in top Chilean universities, and the school is a magnet, drawing in some of the brightest minds from across Santiago, the nation’s capital and a metropolis of six million.

But the story playing out in its classrooms is just a small part of a national student uprising that has seized control of the political agenda, wrongfooted conservative president Sebastián Piñera, and called into question the free-market orthodoxy that has dominated Chilean politics since the Pinochet era.

The students are demanding a return to the 1960s, when public university education was free. Current tuition fees average nearly three times the minimum annual wage, and with interest rates on student loans at 7%, the students have made financial reform the centrepiece of their uprising.

At the heart of the students’ agenda is the demand that education be recognised as a common right for all, not a “consumer good” to be sold on the open market.

Politicians and many parents fret that the cancellation of classes has turned 2011 into “a lost year” for public education, but for many of the students the past five months has been the most intensive education of their life.

“I have become a lot more mature. I used to judge my classmates by their looks. Now I understand them and together we stand up for what we believe,” said Camila Gutierrez, 15, a freshman at Carmela Carvajal. “It has been exhausting, but if you want something in life, you have to fight for it.”

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Sonia as a mother you want your children to feel safe. Well, between yourself, Andrew Bolt, Pauline Hanson… and the mainstream media, who are giving you airtime to spout your irresponsible “free speech”, you are creating a whole new generation of cyber and school bullying towards Muslim children. Do you think they are feeling safe today after your vitriol on TV?

It is not Islam that incites violence, it is your ignorance, racism and bigotry that divides, creates hate and incites violence, just like that of the terrorists.

Shame on you.

Educate yourself.

And, please, as a celebrity, you have a duty of care to consider what you say and the consequences.

Bloody hell. I am so tired of this nonsense.

And to those who disagree with Sonia, make a stand! Social justice starts with us. Use social media to stop ignorance and educate; follow your conscience towards ethical living by boycotting her programs. Social transformation is only forged by our unity against hate and division; to make this world liveable and loveable. “Solidarity is the iron law of social transformation”. Australia is moving in the wrong direction. WE NEED TO STAND TOGETHER BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE.

In the domination system, somebody has to be on top and somebody has to be on the bottom. People learn, starting in early childhood, to obey orders without question. They learn to carry a harsh voice in their heads telling them they’re no good, they don’t deserve love, they need to be punished. Families and societies are based on control that is explicitly or implicitly backed up by guilt, fear, and force. The world is divided into in-groups and out-groups, with those who are different seen as enemies to be conquered or destroyed.

In contrast, the partnership system supports mutually respectful and caring relations. Because there is no need to maintain rigid rankings of control, there is also no built-in need for abuse and violence. Partnership relations free our innate capacity to feel joy, to play. They enable us to grow mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. This is true for individuals, families, and whole societies. Conflict is an opportunity to learn and to be creative, and power is exercised in ways that empower rather than disempower others.

— 

Riane Eisler. Partnership 101: An introduction to Partnership

Center for Partnership Studies

… Although others had focused on the role of glossolalia as the initial sign of being filled with the Spirit, it was the black minister of Azusa Street Church, William Seymour (1870 – 1922) who linked glossolalia with social transformation. A generation before the civil rights movement and Martin Luther King, Seymour realized that one’s commitment to the gospel of Christ could not result in oppressive practices towards one’s fellow men and women. There are two areas where Seymour developed a theological praxis in and through glossolalia.

First, for the Azusa Street Church, where Pentecostalism was born in 1906, the gift of speaking in tongues was not just an initial sign of receiving the Holy Spirit, but also a signifier of a commitment to radical social transformation. The gift of tongues was a continuation of a just world order established by God in the New Testament Church. Therefore, the outpouring of tongues in the small church on Azusa Street was a continuation of this order. One could not have tongues and continue with forms of social discrimination! What we witness here is the birth of a political pneumatology. That is to say, the Azusa Street revival teaches us that the Spirit of God is a force for challenging social structures that discriminate in the world today. This is the reason why Michael Dyson has suggested speaking in tongues can be experienced as speaking a radical language of equality.

Unfortunately, the connection between tongues and the socio-political world has been lost as Pentecostalism spread beyond Azusa Street. However, as Alan Anderson has argued in a South African context, in some cases the relationship between pneumatology, power and radical social change remained. Consequently one way in which we might revive the political potential of Pentecostal pneumatology is by re-contextualizing the interpretation of tongues so that it is once again connected in a more explicit way to social change. In that sense, the Church would also rediscover the gift of interpretation as the ability to translate the Spirit-inspired language of equality into the real world of colour, gender, wealth and sexual orientation..
— 

Dr. Robert Beckford

I’m just so ridiculously intrigued with this view of tongues.

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Senses of Places

Lucy Lippard Brings it Home

“Nothing about us, without us, is for us.”

Because we are all creative beings, each moment in the space(s) of our lives we are creating place. It’s that simple.

Source: CreativeTime New York

From a Buddhist perspective, it would be naive to expect social transformation to work without personal transformation. But the history of Buddhism shows us that the opposite is also true: although Buddha-dharma may focus on promoting individual awakening, it cannot avoid being affected by the social forces that work to keep us asleep and submissive. It is the mercy of the West that those social forces need no longer be mystified as natural and inevitable.

Trust in Place

Measures of Togetherness


Seeds of Civil Society


At the heart of much civil society research is a concept of trust. It is a basis for which we cross thresholds of difference, risk engagement with others and the degree to which we posses and can cultivate a sense of shared belonging.

As Katy Pearce writes:

Interpersonal trust is, arguably, the most important concept for a society. Interpersonal trust is understood as the general inclination of people to trust their fellow citizens (Hall, 2002). Interpersonal trust is related to EVERYTHING – democratization, economic wellbeing… you name it.

This graph, part of a European Bank “Life in Transition” study, lays out responses by central European country to a key question centered on trust when ‘meeting others.’ People in crisis trust others less.

It has been found that people engaged in consistent personal informal exchanges, such as creating art together, can cultivate greater social trust.

The previous post on corruption is the other side of trust.

Stop Struggling with Life and Step Into The Flow!

The “flow” is what it feels like to live in harmony with your life purpose and the natural rhythms of the universe. Everything you need comes to you at the perfect moment and you always find yourself exactly where you need to be, when you need to be there.  It takes great trust, but that’s about it.  You don’t have to do anything, which is exactly what this news update is about, relaxing into the flow… because it really is that easy… Recently, our old premises were bought by new owners. After the discomfort of noise and chaos amidst the renovation work done to the building, we have opted not to renew the lease after a 72% increase. So for the time being, I have relocated office to work at home. So in the middle of the Storm, we can ask, what is the Universe saying, where is all this going, and the big one; What’s Next? But hey, what about stepping out of the turmoil and letting it all go? Pushing harder against all the discomfort and undesirables, and trying to struggling to get clarity and direction only makes things harder.  Struggle engenders more struggles, as per the law of attraction. I want to let you in on a big secret: life can be as easy as you want it to be. We have been taught that life is hard and although difficulties and struggle is not just necessary, it is a fact of life.  We believe this collectively and so it begins to form our reality. Beliefs held by large groups of people create very strong realities which can be difficult to disconnect from, especially if we do not yet have a renewed spiritual understanding. However, we can choose to disconnect permanently from struggle and step into ease, also known as the flow. The secret is to look for the gift in any event, see the beauty that unfolds as any situation always leads to a greater more empowering situation, when we choose not to resist the flow, and stop pushing the tinkling the stream to an intentional river.

“Life is like a river. You cannot touch the water twice, because the flow that has passed will never pass again. So, enjoy every moment of life, even when it gets tough”. (A homeless man). 

One of the big diseases of our times, is idealism - a craving for comfort and instant solutions, instant wealth and success. An idealistic way of life that will earmark what we think is the perfect form of spirituality disguised in concepts of anointing and superabundant provision for those who are in the “perfect” spot of “God’s” will. And then the unforeseen happens and the questions start flowing from all directions. And what makes it worse, is when the person in the midst of the storm needs to be the one giving direction for others. And in the image of success, we loose the sense of adventure and instead of seeking for more of Source, in desperation of survival we clasp at any immediate and seeming solution that will ease the ride. So, are you (sometimes) struggling to make things happen? If you are like me, you would also be torturing your consciousness for a sense of the right direction, begging the Universe for assistance with the difficult decisions? So we interrogate your guides, trying with all your might to listen to the heart, but hearing none and getting no clear answers, we resist? You know that trying too hard only makes it worse, so you beat yourself up about that too, spinning your wheels in a Purgatory of Indecision and over-analysis before we take action. And then again, isn’t the only constant in life change? And what is it that really be needed in order to grow, expand and to move towards that dream that needs to unfold. The problem is that in order to move into the next stream of life, we sometimes need to cross a desert or bundu-bash through a jungle. So we try to push the flow of the old tinkling stream with the hope that it will conveniently open up into the bigger river, forgetting that sometimes the dream moves in a vastly different direction than which the old stream flowed. In my own life I have seen the signals, yearned to follow the new direction, and yet we somehow want to push the old wine sack to hold a new vision without bursting its seams. Neither can a canoe, or kayak carry cargo meant for a ship. And then when the canoe capsizes – how do you keep head above water? And this doesn’t just happen to some, in the last year alone, no less than eight or nine beloved clients went through the same process. Now what do we learn from this and what do we do in struggling and challenging circumstances. On our website, you are welcome to download a free article that articulate answers and assist to bolster inner motivation to face the storm. How do you Survive a Storm? Read more at http://www.meta-lifecoaching.yolasite.com/resource-page.php  Listed below is more principles that can be applied to gain control over your situation.

 “Life is like a river - it’s moving, and you can be at the mercy of the river if you don’t take deliberate and conscious action to steer yourself in a direction you have predetermined.” (Anthony Robbins).

1.   When Events Re-circulate your Life.

Recirculation is a white-water rafting term that explains the dangers that occur when you’re dragged into a hydrodynamic phenomenon where water cascading over a cliff flows to the bottom of the river, and, instead of moving downstream, is pushed back up, under, and behind the fall. Kind of like under-current at the beach, only it never stops. Just like the “Wheel of Life”, you can be caught into a whirlpool and get stuck beneath it. To make matters worse, our fight-or-flight response kicks in and every cell in your body demands that you struggle upwards, toward the air and light. And yet, you don’t stand a chance of kicking or pushing against tons of pure brutal force. If you keep trying to swim against the current, you’ll drown. Internal conflict arises as all signals, instinct, training and logical decision-making tells you to get out of the dangerously cold water. When we respond to the river’s force as a friend, instead of reacting against it as an enemy, flow and force and survival becomes one. The remedy for the situation is actually extremely simple and requires absolutely no exertion of strength whatsoever. The challenge is a mental decision, one that must transcend physical action and the survival instinct of the body: Do Nothing, or at least until you see the light, the next guiding signal clearly been given. Do not struggle; do not try to swim; do not push with your legs; do not grasp with your hands; do not pull with your arms. Do not even think about breathing. Curl into a foetal position and release control. In the same way a river re-circulate objects and spit them out – for sure you will survive, especially when wearing a life jacket – symbolic of having a clear intention and holding on to your vision. No effort is required on your part, yet doing nothing is the hardest course of action to take. Here is the catch-phrase – go with the flow. Sometimes we just need to let go and let “God”, to literally go with the flow and trust the outcome, knowing that there is a solution at hand. And for the time-been, follow the path of least resistance, respond to invitations and walk in where doors are opened. Where hands are extended and ideas are shared, just listen, don’t defend, just observe and be in silence. For the louder we scream, and the greater the tantrum, the longer the answer will take to re-circulate and emerge with fresh ideas and possibilities.

2.         Master the Art of Surrender

When we cease trying to alter the course of the river and get out of your own way, then let yourself be carried in the direction of the answer you seek? Surrender is more than Trust … believing in an external saviour to alter the course of life, rather it is a knowing that the passions of the heart and the dreams that grab your attention, is the intentions that set the wheels in motion. Understanding and accepting this as the Meta-Principle, the higher spiritual law that oversee and govern life, it is easier to settle back and allow the flow of circumstances to bring you closer to your destiny. The most challenging action you may ever be asked to perform could be surrender. To master the art of surrender is critical at times when all other options, even the ones you think are the only way to survive, falls away. Surrender does not mean you will never do anything again. Surrender doesn’t mean that you “turn it over to God” and that you have no further role to play. It does however require of you to wait for your cue and then act with focus, intent, and rested power. Wait, gather information, play a bit, explore different directions and allow the Universe to show you its hand. Allow yourself to be carried where you most need to go, you will be moved and that is inevitable. When you are ready, the inner zeal will be there to stir you into action. Don’t allow external intimidation by circumstances put you on the wrong track, especially the expectations of loved one’s that demand you to take action for fear that they too will be caught-up in the same stream of turmoil. We need to ask ourselves if we really are aware of the times and places where, I am untruthful to myself. When you need to take action, remind yourself of the intentions you had. What was the dream, the yearning of the heart, the secret castles that you’ve built in the sky. Now in order to manifest your dream, simply ask yourself the question; When I communicate, express and pursue the destiny I’m about to enter; can I give myself permission just to be real, in whatever circumstances, for whomever and whatever I want to be? So how will I find the synchronistic support to give me direction for the choices I need to make? It is found in the places and reflected in the people that offers the warmth of encouragement and where you find that “whom you are”, is welcome there. You will get answers in the places where your body can be silent in stillness and where you feel that where you are is “safe”, without “having to do something”. Answers appear in the conditions and environments wherein you can abide where your soul finds rest, can breathe and get nourished – create it, search for it, and remain there. Passion will be rekindled in the activities and values that feel as important to you as “fire to the cold”; or “water for the thirsty”. So find the daily activities that make you feel alive and offer this unfolding ray of light.

3.   Find Meaning of Synchronicities and Coincidences.

Serendipitous events; Synchronistic coincidences in life, holds much more meaning than we often give them credit for. Albert Einstein once said “God does not play dice with the universe.” Synchronicity is more than just mysterious chance or coincidence, it is divine providence and a little hint from an intelligent, responsive, multidimensional universe that there is more going on than meets the eye. It’s happened to all of us. You’re in your car, absently humming a song. You turn on the radio and the same song is now playing. Coincidence, you tell yourself. Or is it? It’s a haunting presence that cannot be escaped and are almost too purposeful, too orderly, to be a product of random chance.

Who then is responsible for the synchronous arrival of any occurrence.  The fascinating reality discovered through scientific research proved a collective connectivity of all existence. Implicit in the concept of synchronicity is the belief in the ultimate “oneness” of the universe. As we think and feel, so we create. When an intention is set in motion, random events are conspired by the Universe to support your focussed attention. Unless of course you want to compromised and start taking discomfort out of the equation and determine your own journey home. What we call coincidence seems to be providence, yet passes by almost unnoticed … unless we become aware and write everything down to the finest nonsensical detail, for all of the ingredients constitute the observed moment. The bigger picture will only be revealed once all the pieces of the puzzle come together, yet the enduring process my stretch our character by far. James Redfield in the Celestine Prophecy explains that, In the pursuit of an individuals life purpose, we rediscover an inner intuition that shows us where to go and what to do. When we make only positive interpretations of these signals, it brings a flow of coincidences that opens the doors for our intention to unfold and guide you toward its manifestation. It all starts with an inner quest, then a daydream that become a passion, and inner pull and urge that leads you towards the answers, which usually are a synchronistic manifestation of coincidences. Synchronistic answers may come from many sources: dreams, events and circumstances, intuitive thoughts, and most frequently, other people who feel inspired to bring you a message. During the Personal Development course (Alter Point) presented by Meta-Life Coaching, we discuss this principle in great detail. (Please inquire for more information).

4. Find the Good in the Bad: There’s a Gift in Every Difficult Situation.

Once we accept that things do happen by Synchronicity or Serendipity, and Intentional manifestation,  everything happens in our life for a reason. We are able to create reality by the strength of our desires. Think for a moment that anything and everything is completely possible. If we always think positive with good intentions, have strong desires, hopes and dreams then we make it possible for the Universe to fulfill our wishes, even in the strangest or peculiar way imaginable. Have you ever felt as though something was just meant to be? So many gifts come to us through adversity, although at that time we do not want to recognize it. Right now, identify your biggest problem and then think about the good things that can happen to you or through you to resolve this issue. Then think through some of the good things that happened in your life, especially the things you enjoyed doing. See if you can draw a direct line between reoccurring negative events helping you to move closer to what you really are passionate about. And what similar messages is reflected through negative events, maybe it is helping you to discover what you really want in life. A healing principle worth to remember is that healing only occur when we are sick of being sick. When patterns reveal stuckness, the emotional charge associated with that previous events, and towards the people associated therewith, can be released - believes amended and a more enhancing orientation to life adopted to support a purposeful outcome. It’s up to you to infuse every day with new meaning. On our journey in life we all go through many experiences that mould our thinking and help you to create a framework of reference. These events that unfold sometimes divert your journey unto a new path. Underlying the direction of that journey unfolds choices based on whether you experienced pain or pleasure, encouragement or disappointment, rewards and punishment, and the feelings associated with that event is then used as filter mechanisms at an unconscious level that determine perceptions. There are many gifts to be found in facing our biggest challenges and we’d be fools not to accept them because we hate the wrapping paper. When you really struggle to get beyond a particular occurrence or event and the emotional memory associated with that experience – sometimes you need a little help as well. Please let me know should you like to receive our article on; the Meta-Point of Decision-making, and how to deal with that emotional charge. For further assistance, make an appointment and we will guide you through the patterns and resolve the dilemmas that block your happiness, excitement and success.

 Love and Support, your Meta-Life Coach: freepaths@gmail.com

The trade union is superior to any other form of cohesion between individuals because the task of partial amelioration and the more decisive one of social transformation can be carried on side by side within its framework. It is precisely because the trade union answers this twofold need, no longer sacrificing the present to the future or the future to the present, that the trade union stands out as the best kind of group.
—  Emile Pouget (1860-1931), French anarcho-communist
Nonviolence is the answer to the crucial political and moral question of our time - the need for man to overcome oppression and violence without resorting to violence and oppression. Civilization and violence are antithetical concepts. Negroes of the United States, following the people of India, have demonstrated that nonviolence is not sterile passivity, but a powerful moral force which makes for social transformation.
—  Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on the occasion of the award of the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo, December 10, 1964

My six year old discovered today that somewhere in the Transformers franchise there is/was/will be a female Dinobot and he’s so. Excited.  He’s going on and on about it and bringing out his books about prehistoric creatures to identify her species (we’re 99% sure she’s based on Elasmosaurus) and looking up toy reviews on YouTube to add her to his Christmas list and I just

Don’t tell me boys don’t care about female characters or want to see them in their media.  Don’t tell me they won’t play with toys of girl characters.  It’s BS.