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.

Bare Bones Biology 050 – We Have a Problem

Last week I put my foot in my mouth by saying that we all agree (that should have been the clue). I said we all agree that we: “have serious human problems on this earth, and we can not resolve those problems in a positive way unless the ecosystem is healthy, because everything we need is provided by the ecosystem.” That’s what I said.

It turns out we don’t all agree to that. Some of us believe The Creation is perfect just the way it is. I don’t really argue about that, and I wish we could have a good discussion about it, because I don’t think we are disagreeing. I think it’s a matter of definitions. If we could sit down and define our terms, I think we would both be saying more or less the same thing, and then we could get together and spend our energy trying to fix whatever we see that needs fixing.

For example, surely we must agree that our human opinions will not change how God made The Creation. We can’t, for example, change the law of gravity that holds the thing together. The best we can do is try to understand it, so we can use it to make things for our convenience. Pyramids, airplanes and the like. We can’t change how the Creation functions – how it is set up, how molecules and atoms interact with each other, how animals get their energy from food, and all the other basic things of that sort. In that sense The Creation is indeed perfect just the way it was meant to function. Perfect and beautiful and miraculous. But I still think we have problems. I think we are disagreeing because we use different words for the same things, and again – your words or my words won’t change how God made things to function. The best we can do is try to understand.

Joseph Campbell devoted his whole career to studying our different ways of trying to understand God. In a PBS interview with Bill Moyers, he used the word “myth” when he talked about our religions:

“. . . the only myth that’s going to be worth thinking about in the immediate future is the one that’s talking about the planet . . . how to relate to this society, and how to relate this society to the world of nature and of the cosmos.”

Naomi Klein used the term ideology when she said in a recent speech in Totnes, England
Naomi Klein – The Paradox of Crisis:

“ . . . this issue, the climate crisis in particular, affects everybody. We are all in this together, and this is beyond left/right. This is beyond ideology.”

Naomi Klein is willing to see that there are important ideological issues involved, and I certainly know how that feels. I’ve had my dreams shattered, and my world view. This happens in small doses when we live for a time in other cultures. It’s known as culture shock and it’s painful. It happens in bigger doses when one’s own culture abandons the beliefs that it taught us to believe. And the worst kind of culture shock is known as PTSD, when everything you tried to do for good turns out bad. It’s hard. It takes a long time to adjust, and I hope I have been moving my own world view, or you can call it my ideology, cultural myth, religion) a little bit closer to factual reality, at least for solving physical problems, because when we acknowledge factual, measurable reality – that’s when we have the power to fix physical problems.

When man, who was made in the image of God, can not talk with other man, who also was made in the image of God. Then we do have a problem, and the first step to solving it is as simple as listening to other points of view, and the second step is to cut through the propaganda and blame-placing and discussing our world views with compassion and dispassionate common sense. Because only God is perfect, and we are not God.

Bare Bones Biology 050 – We Have a Problem
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