"All the World's a Stage We Pass Through" R. Ayana

Thursday 22 November 2007

Content is the King

Content is the King
* Discontent are the People

Many people are beginning to wake up to the uncomfortable reality that the direction our global civilization has taken is off course. A sizeable minority are coming to terms with the fact that we’re all passengers on the Titanic and an iceberg is in sight while our power-drunk captain orders ‘full steam ahead’, stoking the steam engines with more and more coal.

              Most assume that our elected functionaries and captains of industry are just a little slow on the uptake and that the SNAFU principle (situation normal – all fucked up) is the reason why no-one’s slowing our doomed vessel or doing more than discussing the tentative possibility of changing course. Most well-meaning souls believe that it’s some kind of accident that we’re destroying the ecosystem as quickly as we can - ripping up the earth, crapping in its rivers, smoking up its atmosphere and tearing down its forests like the planet was going out of style. Other more world-weary witnesses put it all down to simple greed.

             The unfortunate reality is far more pernicious. We live in a world where those who ‘own’ and control all of our real resources believe that their fellow humans are a problem that can only be dealt with by ‘final solutions’. They fail to admit that their iniquitous elitism is responsible for the parlous current state of Humanity and the unnecessary destruction of our global environment.

          Their vast host of captivated wage-slaves is trained to believe that they are beholden to their economic, religious and political masters (of whatever stripe or hue) for the few freedoms they imagine they enjoy. 

       In fact, our grandparents fought, wheedled and struggled for these rights and freedoms, forcibly dragging ownership of themselves from those same masters – inbred megalomaniacs who still believe they’re ‘entitled’ to control the lives and dreams of all others. Their forebears literally owned the rest of us as slaves (until our forebears threw off their yokes in bloody revolutions and painful reformations) and the current crop of self-styled princesses and princes would like to bring back those good old days.  Their parents told them they were ‘born to rule’ when they were kiddies, so it must be true.              

       This was all normal in feudal societies – and is still the norm in many hidebound nation states that still haven’t recognised certain fundamentals – that all humans have equal rights, for instance, or that women have the same rights as men, or that children have the same rights as adults. Or that all humans have rights to privacy, access to shelter, unobstructed passage, free speech, fair and honest legal, judicial and police systems, an adequate social security safety net, the right to vote, equal access to adequate public utilities, free universal healthcare and free education – all already paid for by the generations of citizens whose labours created civilization.

              If you don’t believe these rights are guaranteed to you, have a look at the International Bill of Rights (U.N.) – that your government almost certainly signed and ratified on your behalf – without telling you. You are entitled to far more than these basics – take a look for yourself.

              And our leaders have the unmitigated gall to call us all consumerssuckers – to our faces, when we produce everything they vampirise, taking the cream from the top for themselves. The feudal monarchic infancy of our global civilization is an outworn cloak we have yet to discard, even though it strangles our growth, awareness, compassion and evolution. Now that the globe is full of relatively free, prosperous and educated people it’s time to introduce the concept that we can have something better than the same old pyramid money scam. We can stop competing with each other and scrambling over each other’s backs in pursuit of crumbs offered to us by glorified prison guards – when we all made the bread (and circuses).

          The internet can be a fulcral part of the dawn of a new, real global democracy – but only if enough of us discover and demand the collectively agreed upon rights and responsibilities that we already abide by. The articles that our grandparents created to protect us all are worth defending and fully implementing, now that the world is finally wealthy and free enough to do so.  Our current outmoded civilization(s) can only survive in a state of an endless feeding frenzy of growth. In any living organism endless growth is known as cancer. Our crazy doctrine of untrammeled economic growth is an unaffordable illusion on this finite planet.

         What living things really thrive on is equilibrium – a balanced, harmonious environment that allows diversity to thrive. Growth cycles naturally come and go in fits and starts, with plateaus of peaceful assimilation in between. Equilibrium is easily achievable. It’s much easier to sustain and more pleasant than greed or competitive flailing about. Why compete when we can all share and trade and intermingle – when we are one people surviving together in the same capacious boat? We need to cooperate to survive – to stop those who are tearing out the ship’s superstructure to build themselves temporary doomed palaces, to pull together and turn away from the evitable iceberg. We can cast off the beliefs and fears that got us here in the first place and turn away from the path of the dinosaurs while the time is still ripe.

         We can give up the idea that we need to struggle or suffer to survive. It’s our struggles that produce suffering – they don’t make life easier, and an easier life is what we all really want. Living just to keep working is only a fraction worse than continually working in order to live. Either existence is an indication of an utterly inefficient slave society whose members don’t know (or care) they can improve their lot. Remember the concept of leisure time? Do you know what freedom means? It isn’t something you can put off until later, when it’s more convenient. But it is something most people have to relearn, after having their individuality drummed or beaten out of them as children - to prepare them for the ‘real world’.

         The human world is what we make it. Could it be that it’s not merely the direction of our global civilization that’s off course, but its very underpinnings and structure?    

By now we’ve all begun to understand that things won’t continue in a state of ‘steady as she goes’, as they did for our war-torn, shell-shocked parents and grandparents. Everything’s changing now. The task facing us all is to ensure that we don’t throw out the baby or the bathwater as our ships of state begin to go down the gurgler. We have to do a lot more than rearrange the deckchairs (and there aren’t enough lifeboats for everyone). We can’t abandon ship.

               But we still don’t have to sink, even though we've already cut up most of the decking even though we deserve to for being so stupid and gullible. The first step is to realise that our Captain and the ship’s Owner don’t have our interests at heart. They’re of the view that they have to reduce the number of passengers to a manageable complement. They view their fellow humans as too unruly and uncontrollable – in fact, they call Humanity ‘vermin in their warrens’ among themselves - and besides, they can abandon ship, and have been preparing to do so for quite some time. They’re all quite ready to bunker down and emerge after the conflagration – remember?

               Wrecking the ship is, in fact, their plan. Sinking most of the world’s population (or encouraging it to sink) is the only way their limited minds can conceive of maintaining control - which is, after all, the only reality they believe in. In their isolated, dispassionately fearful minds, sinking the ship is their insurance policy.

            If you understand this you’ll understand what’s really going on; you’re living inside the ranks of a grand Millennial battle between semi-living feudal fossils with self-fulfilling apocalyptic notions and the new generations of awakening people, for whom anything is possible – if we seize the day. It’s time to decide which side you’re on. Now is the only time to change course. Now is the only time we have to change our lives and transform our selves. We all know there’s no putting it off; it’s way past time for a reality check. It’s time for a radical and unexpected change – it’s time to smell the roses. It’s time to forget the past and future and concentrate on the priceless, unrepeatable gift of the present.

              It’s time to step back from the brink, take a look at your life and find something to do with your time that fits the new paradigm – time to see if what you do is actually worth doing for its own sake – not for the money or reputation you derive from it. A chance for change will arrive if you want to take it; it’s that kind of time.  

             Equilibrium means learning to live with yourself. It means learning how to be content. Content is the king or queen who knows they already have all they need for a good and meaningful life. Discontent are those who can’t control their appetites; they don’t even know what they’ve lost when it’s gone down their open gullet. Greed is the basis of most conflict. 

            The most important task we have to achieve right about now is to give up the outmoded notion of war. We’ll all have the chance to actively oppose war very soon. You can even start today! It can only be achieved with a mindset of non-violence and peace, of course. The best place to transform the world is within your own heart and mind.
              In this beautiful unified world no-one can be secure until everyone is secure – and you don’t get security with armies, police forces and surveillance. You get it by sharing and ensuring that your children and other people’s children all get a fair share – and by learning to appreciate what you already have. Count your blessings! There’s more than enough for everyone. Wanting more than enough will just ensure you lose your life and freedom trying to hoard the ever-changing present. 
            You can have so much more than that!
Have you never wondered why you have to pay someone for the right to live somewhere? Have you never wondered why access to land for the purpose of simply living isn’t a right that all the world’s citizens enjoy, but an entitled privilege that has to be granted by invested interest?

Why is it so?  -          

- R. Ayana

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