Bare Bones Biology 117 – Los Alamos

Santa Fe is an excellent place to get lost in, because it is so illogical in the beginning and such an accomplishment in the end. Learning by getting lost, around the small issues, is something we need to do more of, if we want ever to grow a population of people who can think around the big issues. First you go to one place that turns out not to be where you thought it was, then another place, then another, until eventually your brain makes a leap of understanding of its own and realizes that all the places are connected with each other in a pattern that does make sense.

I went to the meeting last night, of a coalition of organizations that are working together to recognize the use of nuclear weapons in WWII, here, where the weapons were created. I’m not sure who spearheaded this action, but it was an excellent meeting, very well attended, that walked an admirable line between organization and self-expression. I did not express myself, but if I had — I would have said:

“People are looking to help people without regard to helping the ecosystem that brings us our air, water, earth and fire. Helping people is good, but only if we remember that EVERYTHING is connected to the ecosystem, so we can at the same time be working to avoid human impoverishment by helping the ecosystem to function normally, or at least not getting in the way.”

The action will be launched on Monday, July 16, with a hunger strike to protest continued development of weapons at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

On August 3, the weekend activities will begin with an art exhibit at El Mseo in Santa Fe, and a workshop on non-violent action. On Saturday the several sponsoring groups, which range from Quakers to Occupy, have lined up an impressive array of speakers, from politicians to those with personal experiences, to speak at the Center for Contemporary Arts in Santa Fe. I hope they will record these talks for people who can’t come. Maybe the new independent radio station, KCEI that is opening in Taos will be able to put up some podcasts for us. I’ll let you know if they become available.

On Sunday, August 5th, the activity moves to Ashley Pond Park in Los Alamos, with teach-ins, speakers and an audio link to the sounding of the Peace Bell in Hiroshima to recognize the anniversary of the American atom bombs dropped on Japan.

I remember one of these anniversaries, about 8 years ago, when I was staying in a Japanese youth hostel on Sado Island. One morning, the residents were all sitting around watching TV, of course in Japanese, so I asked what was on. When they told me –

But I think I’ll finish that story some other time, because you know, unlike most Americans (or Japanese), I remember these events and they are not nearly as simplistic as we now make them out to be.

That’s why we need people who understand that everything is connected and are willing to discuss the connections rather than only debate the simplistic interpretations. Also it’s another reason to not do it again — and especially to not privatize nuclear weaponry. Imagine Blackwater Nuclear. Or you might want to watch the best war movie ever made – one of the best movies of any kind ever made – Grave of the Fireflies. It’s available at the Peach Clubhouse and on Amazon.

I bow to my Japanese friends, and I’m all for serious non-violent actions around human values. As many as possible. And I will be there with camera in hand, reminding people we also need a viable ecosystem.

Then on Monday, August 6th, there will be a full day of non-violent demonstrations in Los Alamos . Bitsy and I possibly might stay over on Saturday night, and photograph the events. In fact, I think this might be a fine opportunity to make a little picture book on the subject, if I had the money, the energy, the time and a collaborator. (hint)

And oh yes, after the meeting I found I had gotten lost again. I drove about 16 miles to find the meeting, and in the end discovered I was less than a mile away from “home.”

Everything is connected in the living earth. Wisdom never forgets this fact.

Bare Bones Biology 117 – Los Alamos
Podcast may be downloaded here
Or at http://www.BareBonesBiology.org

Recommended References:
Nukefreenow.org – http://nukefreenow.org
Los Alamos National Laboratory – http://www.lanl.gov/
El Museo – http://www.elmuseocultural.org/
CCA – http://www.ccasantafe.org/
KCEI – http://culturalenergy.org
Green Village Youth Hostel – http://hotels.lonelyplanet.com/japan/sado-ga-shima-r1973959/green-village-youth-hostel-p1002920/
Grave of the Fireflies – http://wikipedia.org/wiki/Grave_of_the_Fireflies

Yesterday at the Peach Clubhouse

Yesterday we showed the movie “Bhutan, Gross National Happiness” as a follow-up to “Economics of Happiness.”  Both these movies describe different ways of organizing our lives around community values, but the examples they give are primarily drawn from Eastern cultures.  Another such effort, that is flourishing in the Western world, is the Transition Movement that began in England and has spread rapidly.  Rob Hopkins’ “Transition Handbook” describes the basics of organizing a community around local resources.  This book is available to read at the Peach clubhouse, and you can also find Rob Hopkins on UTube.  We also have Bill McKibben’s book “Deep Economy” in the Peachhouse library, that I think describes a year living outside the Corposystem.

But of course the real reason for the clubhouse is to gather everyone together to bring me ideas – either to add new ones to the idea-pool, or to squeeze out old ideas that I didn’t know were in there.  And yes indeed ideas abounded yesterday.

1- Lots of good input for the new series of podcasts and vidcasts.  What is life?  What do we need to live a good life?  How can we get it, right under the noses of those who are dedicated to destroy the good things we have grown together?  (If you doubt that see the last three paragraphs of Chomsky’s recent article on TomDispatch.)

2- What is the deep meaning of Miyazaki’s latest film “Carried Away?”  I’ve been trying to figure that out ever since I got the thing last year.  Miyazaki’s films always hit you with an important meaning (three of my favorites are Kiki, Grave of the Fireflies, Princess Mononoke) and now I think I have the key to Carried Away and will add it to our Tuesday night schedule, probably in June.  Carried Away is about the weakness of the Corposystem.

3- Why do I get so upset when people bring our popular “aint-it-awful” mantra into the Peach Clubhouse?  Well for one thing, I got the Peach clubhouse as a way to get away from toxic mantras, but — why so upset?    Because I want not even for one moment to support the myth that the Corposystem has the ability to keep from me the really good things that we have grown together in this country.  Ritualized chanting of anything engrains that thing into our subconscious.  We all know that.  Ritual chanting of “we can’t do – – –  “  results in — weakness — and what is worse, it offers up our personal power on the altar of the Corposystem.  This blog and this house are all about our personal responsibility and power – not weakness.

Everybody – please read “Powers of the Weak,” by Elizabeth Janeway.  You can get it for seventeen cents on Amazon.  What a bargain.    And it’s on the shelf at the Peach Clubhouse.  Chapter 11 discusses the first power of the weak.  Disbelief.  Not to believe their propaganda or our cultural acquiesence without first examining all the alternative routes toward the common good.  The second power is in community.  There are plenty more that fly along under the radar.

This afternoon (Friday) at 3 PM, in the meditation room at the Peach Clubhouse, the Brazos Insight Meditation Society will meet for meditation followed by discussion over a cup of green tea.  You don’t have to sit on the floor.  I usually don’t.  But you can.

Tomorrow, Saturday the 23rd, is work day at the Peach Clubhouse.  Goal is to get that workroom cleaned up so we can start making vidcasts.

Next movie is really quite amusing.  Tuesday April 26 at 6 pm, a Dalai Lama Renaissance, in which a group of powerful movers and shakers goes to visit His Holiness, the Dalai Lama, in Dharamsala.  The month of May will be a bit off schedule, because I am going to at least SEE the Dalai Lama in Arkansas.

So the first Tuesday night movie will be on May 3.  The title is “In the Land of the Free,” and it is quite a grim story of three people who have been kept in soliary confinement for most of 30 years each, for because they tried to stand for their civil rights.  More about that later.