THE PHILOSOPHY OF AN OCCUPIED PLANET
Freedom is near. The birth of the Occupy movement was both miraculous and inevitable. In the chaos of a crumbling empire, you and I found each other and discovered, to our surprise, that we were not alone in our understanding. What had always been my suffering and my awakening was now ours and we knew this immediately, implicitly. We slept in the rain and our voices rang together through the corridors of our city. Nothing had ever meant so much.
I say Occupy was inevitable because annihilation has never been the destiny of this country nor of this planet. The protestors in Tahrir Square, on Wall Street, and in front of St. Paul’s cathedral were the natural and inspired ascent of humanity’s survival instinct. However, despite our numbers and our dedication, the threats of economic collapse and environmental destruction continue to haunt the horizon. Criminality in government persists. We stood up and spoke out but our mission is incomplete.
In the following pages, I’m going to attempt answers for two questions: how is Occupy different and how will it succeed? I am going to present a doctrine, but my aim is not to indoctrinate. Philosophy, seeking the Truth, is what led me to Occupy and this philosophy is my contribution. This is the truth about Occupy, as I see it. I present it for your consideration in the hope that you find in it something of value, something that will serve you. My belief, however, is that the application of these ideas could harness the Love and camaraderie of Occupy toward something magnificent. I should also add that regardless of the effect of my words, I am certain that with the united strength of an Occupied planet, we will avert extinction and discover Utopia.
It did not take long for the media’s denial of Occupy to be replaced by confusion. This confusion is encapsulated in the question, “What is your message and what are your demands?” We all had different answers to these questions. Elements of the corporate-controlled media treated this fact as a flaw and attempted to convince the public that this new crop of protestors were naïve and disorganized hippies. This spin hardly slowed us down, though the question became a meme among the public and within the movement. This is worth noting. The fact that the question resonates with people means there is something to it – it is not merely the concoction of the corporate media. I think a better formulation of that question is, “How is Occupy different?” Everyone senses that there is something new here and they are right.
Occupy is different because it represents the united opposition to tyranny in all its forms. All possible progressive goals – gender equality, racial equality, income equality – are united in Occupy. It is a banner that all activists can share. What unifies PETA is the shared conviction for the welfare of animals. What unifies Occupy is a shared conviction for the toppling of a tyrannical system in its entirety. This is why Occupy is different: it seeks to remove the roots of injustice, rather than address isolated instances of injustice. Revolutions throughout history have brought down tyrants – but never tyranny itself.
With our current mindset, however, the ultimate revolution we seek is impossible. The truth is that tyranny is a concept and you cannot defeat a concept with action, you must defeat it with thought. You cannot move past a concept until you change your mind.
Tyranny is vanquished by the thought of Humanity. If we realize our Humanity, tyranny disappears. This begs the question, “What does it mean to be human?”
Human beings are both physical and metaphysical, matter and mind. We have bodies that we can see and thoughts we cannot. We have physical needs such as food, shelter, and medicine. We also have metaphysical needs like love, a sense of self, community, and education, to name but a few. Now, everyone understands that our system of government is not meeting the physical needs of the people. Physical Tyranny exists anywhere humans are forced to fight for survival and anywhere they are destroyed. We see deprivation and destruction everywhere. We blame this on the individual tyrants – the corporate executive and the corrupt politician. While it is true that individual humans are responsible for their actions, the single tyrant is not responsible for the whole of tyranny.
What we fail to realize is that the many individuals who maintain and profit from this system of injustice, all of them, suffer with us under a tyranny greater than their own and more destructive than any war they may seek to wage. Humanity – 100% of it – is plagued by Metaphysical Tyranny.
Far surpassing the brutality and wide-sweeping vision of any human tyrant is the Metaphysical Tyrant, Doubt. Doubt is “the state of uncertainty with regard to the truth or reality of anything,” (Oxford English Dictionary). The media landscape is so convoluted and our educational institutions so dysfunctional, that Doubt exists at the center of our lives.
It occupies the place in our consciousness meant for Truth. Instead of filtering our experience through our understanding of Truth, thereby gaining knowledge, we filter experience through Doubt, and gain only facts and uncertainty. To meet a metaphysical need is to know that it is met. When we fall in Love and suddenly a void within us is filled with light, we have moved from Doubt as to the reality of Love to certainty. When that Love comes into Doubt, we suffer. In our state of Metaphysical Tyranny, Doubt reigns supreme over our most important thoughts. Even when we glimpse our life’s purpose, our true Love, or our God, Doubt shuts are eyes and turns us away.
When your Humanity is in Doubt, when you do not identify as a human but as a man, woman, dictator, or anything else, then you are capable of inhumane, even horrific, action. If the police officer, as he raises his night stick to strike a protestor, were to be freed of Doubt and suddenly, fully appreciate the Truth that both he and the protestor are Human, the protestor would be unharmed. Similarly, if Barack Obama were to preface all of his action with full consciousness of his Humanity, he might be a very different president. But most importantly, if each of us were to remember, at all times, that we are Human, then ruthless competition would give way to joyful cooperation. We know this from Occupy.
Metaphysical Tyranny (Doubt) is the necessary condition for Physical Tyranny (Institutionalized Inequality). Confusion of fundamental truths is the cause for the chaos in our politics, in our economics, and in our personal lives. The tyrannical individuals who own and operate the control system understand this. A brief investigation of the Think Tank network of the elite will show you how Humanity’s Doubt has been systematically reinforced for decades in order to stave off Revolution. However, organizations like the Tavistock Institute, the Rand Corporation, and the Rockefeller Foundation did not invent metaphysical Doubt, they merely exploit it. It is absolutely essential to remember that flawed thinking is our only enemy – we have no enemies among our fellow Humans. Rahm Emmanuel is a human, and if he identified as a human, rather than as a king, he would not engage in oppression. We are all equally guilty of falling prey to Doubt.
Knowing the nature of Doubt is the key to Occupy’s success. An old paradigm is falling and a new one is emerging. Occupy is on the cusp of this emergence. For Occupy to be truly effective, Occupiers need to let go of the language of the old paradigm. And that language is the concept of duality, which we are presently moving beyond. Us vs. Them.
With a message of duality, 99% vs. 1%, our energy and our usefulness are cut in half.
The concept of 99% contains all that is good in Occupy. The concept of the 1% contains all that is old in Occupy, that which must change. We are loving towards the 99% and hateful towards the 1%. We chant, “Feed the Poor, Tax the Rich,” and the implication is that we don’t care whether the rich are fed. You might say, “They can feed themselves.” And this is true, except this is also exactly what they say about you.
Occupy does not need to incite anger against the criminal factions of our society; that is accomplished by the crimes themselves. The anger in Occupy, which is both natural and useful, could be channeled into a campaign for independent audits of our elected and non-elected government officials, as well as an audit of all variety of financial institutions. This could then become the campaign for the indictment of criminals.
When we paint with such a wide brush, decent humans in the business, financial, and government sectors are potentially alienated and thus remain silent. This is a tremendous loss, for these are the very people who must carry out essential reform.
A new paradigm requires a new language. And in place of duality, we have unity. We are united as a race of Humans. I’d like to complete the definition of Human: Humans are creatures of the Earth with bodies and minds. Our bodies have needs, our minds have needs, and the Earth has needs. To be Human is to fully appreciate this. To be humane or to exhibit humanity means to champion the equal satisfaction of the needs of all humans and the planet on which we live.
What is our message? What are our demands? We are all human beings living on one planet, and our needs and the needs of the planet must be met.
Furthermore, we can elaborate our needs as both physical and metaphysical. Here I would propose a new metaphysical need: the freedom from indoctrination, so that we may prevent the return of crippling Doubt and assure that each human being is free to pursue happiness in health of body and mind. This message of Humanity is unified and positive. It completely disregards the hopelessly confused current political discourse of our time. In our thoughts and our actions, we can champion Humanity, the Earth, and all life on Earth. Never before has a revolutionary movement included all living beings among its ranks.
Our efforts up until this point have gotten the world’s attention. We currently live in a wasteland, a Desert of Doubt. If Occupy becomes a fountain of the Truth of our shared Humanity, our possibilities are limitless. We can make this a reality by holding onto that connection we made last fall – that Occupiers around the world continue to make – when we discovered each other’s Humanity and thus discovered a new world. Because that’s how it feels when you know Humanity – that you are exactly where you are supposed to be.
March 6, 2012