Bastille Day: Have Fun Stormin’ the Castle But Don't Get Fooled:The revolution will/not be televised
Updated: Jul 21, 2020
Remember: As you storm the castles in your life – whether they’re seats of political, religious or corporate power or simply someone’s heart you want to win over – remember, that “the Other Person” is like you – made in the image and likeness of the Creator. Treat them with the respect that is due them – the same way you’d want to be treated.
Rules of Engagement: Love one another as we are commanded to love ourselves.
How can we do this?
With a change of mind...a change of heart...we can be transformed from fear to love...
Our ego minds give us a fearful, self-protective stance toward anyone, any way of life that's different from ours. It divides the world we see into good or bad, black or white, safe or dangerous. While this is helpful for crossing the street, it can't take us all the way to the experience of unity that our Creator desires for all her/his children - union with the Source and with one another. Read on to learn more about how to move beyond the constrictions of our egoic, small-self-defense system to the corresponding expansiveness of living in unitive experience of our True Self.
Meditation to help open our hearts to unity
Jesus' version of the above song
“You’re familiar with the old written law, ‘Love your friend,’ and its unwritten companion, ‘Hate your enemy.’ I’m challenging that. I’m telling you to love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer, for then you are working out of your true selves, your God-created selves. This is what God does. He gives his best—the sun to warm and the rain to nourish—to everyone, regardless: the good and bad, the nice and nasty. If all you do is love the lovable, do you expect a bonus? Anybody can do that. If you simply say hello to those who greet you, do you expect a medal? Any run-of-the-mill sinner does that.
“In a word, what I’m saying is, Grow up. You’re kingdom subjects. Now live like it. Live out your God-created identity. Live generously and graciously toward others, the way God lives toward you.” (Matthew 5: 43-48 The Message version of what's now called "The Beatitudes")
Bastille Day - 14 Juillet
July 14th Bastille Day is celebrated in remembrance of a fight for freedom against a tyrannical system of oppression. Like many revolutionary movements in history, the change suffered from its own flaws. Often we simply do a political version of military golf on our way to the (w)hole:
We DON’T need more swinging of the same ol’ pendulums...
It’s time to wake from our illusions that either party is gonna’ save us…
Apéritif or THE Song for the Revolution
(“Drink with me…” – pretend you’re in a scene in “Les Mis” back in the French Revolution)
"We'll be fighting in the streets
With our children at our feet"
Readers: What would your ONE song be for the revolution?
--Our musical leaders, led by General Peter Townshend:
“Meet the new boss
Same as the old boss”
So, unless we change the way we’ve been doing things, nothing significant really changes…the rich get richer while the poor get poorer…
“Insanity is doing the same thing again and again and expecting different results.”
Often incorrectly attributed to Einstein, here’s a site that looks at potential origins – several of them in the recovery rooms of A.A. My own life and the wisdom of the 12 Steps – tell me that’s enough evidence for me! I don’t care who said it or (from above “Who”) – IT’S TRUE!
The Middle Way/Narrow Road/Third Way as Replacement for Military Golf (L-R, L-R)
Deserving a post on its own, I just want to introduce a practice that can help us come to a place where we do, in fact, see the other person as connected to us, by virtue of their connection to G-d or Higher Power, or whatever you choose to name her or him or it.
That practice is contemplation…Also see below - “Contemplation: A Life’s Journey”
(excerpts from this meditation) “Our religion is neither solely detachment nor attachment; it’s a dance between the two. It’s neither entirely isolation, as symbolized by the desert, nor is it complete engagement, as symbolized by the city. Jesus moves back and forth between desert and city. In the city, he feels himself losing perspective, love, and center; so, Jesus goes out to the desert to discover the real again. And when Jesus is in the desert, his passionate union with the Father drives him back to the people in the city.”
“The contemplative stance is the Third Way [neither fighting nor fleeing]. We stand in the middle, neither taking the world on from another power position nor denying it for fear of the pain it will bring. We hold the hardness of reality and the suffering of the world until it transforms us, knowing that we are both complicit in evil and can participate in wholeness and holiness. Once we can stand in that third spacious way, neither directly fighting or fleeing, we are in the place of grace out of which genuine newness can come. This is where creativity and new forms of life and healing emerge.”
Le Plat Principal (main course)
Revolutions sometimes begin in coffee houses…
Down the block from my house is a neighborhood gathering spot known as “Witches Brew.”
Here are recent photos I took of some of their mindful signage. Seems like more than coffee’s brewing here. FYI – They are OPEN – for business and conspiracy (from the Latin, the word literally means “to breathe with or together”). And this involves breathing of the One Spirit than fills all of our lungs. There aren’t separate Spirits for black, white, female, male, gay, straight, or any other distinctions.
These distinctions are superficial and merely Skin Deep as this next song portrays. It features the song writer, Buddy Guy, accompanied by the Playing for Change Band.
…It’s failed us and…
The partial lyrics shown below recall Tom Waits’ “Step Right Up” about the deception in the advertising world. Both songs are about deceptive worlds - politics and advertising – both promising more than they deliver.
“The revolution will not be right back
After a message about a white tornado, white lightning, or white people
You will not have to worry about a dove in your
Bedroom, a tiger in your tank, or the giant in your toilet bowl
The revolution will not go better with Coke
The revolution will not fight the germs that may cause bad breath
The revolution will put you in the driver's seat
The revolution will not be televised, will not be televised
Will not be televised, will not be televised
The revolution will be no re-run brothers
The revolution will be live”
“Garcon, Un autre café et une bouteille de vin por mes amis…”
(Scene: somewhere in a French café over 250 years ago)
JEFFREY FAMILY: Thanks, Jim, MaryLou and the rest of the Jeffries family for not only introducing my family to this memorable story, but also performing the songs for us!
Counterpoint: The Revolution WILL be Televised…on NETWORK’s TV
Deuxième Cours (2nd course)
Howard Beale – Network’s Prophetic Messenger is Still Speaking Truth:
Look at that CEO leading Howard Beale into the boardroom like a lamb to the slaughter…
Advertisers today lead all they can deceive into the slaughterhouses of big box stores, prescription drugs and voting booths.
Dessert sucré (or “Dolce” for my friends from Italia)
In the spirit of “a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down,” I offer this lighter look at the serious business of mindful revolution.
--Billy Crystal & Carol Kane scene from Rob Reiner’s “The Princess Bride”
Remember, the most important revolution is the one that happens in your own mind and heart, as Paul says to the people of Philippi (Chapter 4: 6-9).
Some things to ponder while you’re sipping your coffee…at Witches Brew, your own neighborhood joint, or “the joint” – where you have time…because you’re doing time for activism – against evil systems that enslave.
“You who are about to be jailed for social activism, we salute you!”
Richard Rohr’s Weekly Theme: Contemplative Activists (7/12/20-7/18/20)
Sunday: Contemplation: A Life’s Journey (I’ve included the full meditation below)
Monday: Peace and Advocacy for the Poor (Dorothy Day (1897–1980)
Tuesday: Civil Rights Contemplative (Fannie Lou Hamer 1917-1977)
Thursday: Mysticism and Nonviolence
Friday: Two Revelations of Faith
Saturday: Contemplative Activists: Weekly Summary
Contemplation: A Life’s Journey
I believe that the combination of human action from a contemplative center is the greatest art form, one that takes our whole lives to master. When action and contemplation are united, we have beauty, symmetry, and transformation—lives and actions that heal the world by their very presence. Jesus is the perfect example of this, but we can also point to the lives of many saints, mystics, teachers, and even people we know who share this gift.
For most people, the process begins on the side of action. We learn, we experiment, we do, we stumble, we fall, we break, and we find. Gradually, our thoughts and actions become more mature, but it is only when we begin to question our own viewing “platform” that we begin to move into the realm of contemplation. The contemplative side of the soul will reveal itself when we begin to ask, “How can I listen for God and learn God’s voice? How can I use my words and actions to expand and not to contract? How can I keep my heart, mind, and soul open, even ‘in hell’?”
Contemplation is a way to bring heaven to earth, but it begins with a series of losses, largely of our illusions. If we do not enter the learning process deeply, with curiosity and openness, we will use our words and actions to defend ourselves. We will seek to protect ourselves from our shadow, and build a leaden cover over our soul and our unconscious. We will settle for being right instead of being whole and holy, for saying prayers instead of being prayer.
True contemplation is really quite down to earth and practical. It does not require life in a monastery. It is, however, an utterly different way of receiving the moment, and therefore all of life. In order to have the capacity to move the world, we need some “social distancing” and detachment from the diversions and delusions of mass culture and our false self. Contemplation builds on the hard bottom of reality—as it is—without ideology, denial, the contemporary mood, or fantasy.
The reason why the true contemplative-in-action is still somewhat rare is that most of us are experts in dualistic thinking. And then we try to use this limited thinking tool for prayer, problems, and relationships. It cannot get us very far. We cannot grow in the great art form of action and contemplation without a strong tolerance for ambiguity, an ability to allow, forgive, and contain a certain degree of anxiety, and a willingness to not know—and not even need to know. This is how we allow and encounter Mystery.
This week the Daily Meditations feature contemplative activists who encountered Mystery and felt called to live out Jesus’s prayer that God’s will be done “on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10). Their lives embody the beautiful struggle that is revealed when we seek to hold heaven and earth together through our love and faithfulness to God, humanity, and creation.
Changing systems and dealing with systemic evil is best done with help from similar minded folks – Comrades, fellow conspirators (conspirare – to breathe together – to “inspire” one another [from the same root word as conspire]))
On the day I took the photos at Witches Brew I did a selfie by the apropos sign:
Nowadays, when people ask me if I need any help, I quickly reply,
“At this point in my life I’ll take all the help I can get!”
Usually brings a smile to their faces.
Besides help from likeminded friends, Yoga helps keep me balanced (read my shirt!). So does the 12 Steps – all 12 but especially Numero 11 – Prayer and Meditation.
Resources for the Revolution
OneEarthLive (music and more uplifting content)
(from the site) In a time of unprecedented global crisis and social isolation, it is more important than ever that we inspire feelings of hope, love and community connection.
ONE EARTH LIVE is a collaborative response to our time. Modeled as an “online transformational festival” that celebrates global unity and community connection; people around the world were invited to immerse themselves in a 2-day celebration of music and uplifting content that will inspire, engage and open the heart.
The entire 2-day event is now available online - for free!
One Earth Live includes multiple stages featuring a diverse mix of programming representing many nations and disciplines. Included are conscious artists and DJs, global visionaries and solutionists, Indigenous elders, youth activists, community leaders and more. All share a powerful message of positivity and hope, direct from their personal homes and places of shelter.
"But when you talk about destruction
Don't you know that you can count me out"
"But if you want money for people with minds that hate
All I can tell you is brother you have to wait"
"You tell me it's the institution
Well, you know
You'd better free your mind instead"
Our Differences Are Merely Skin Deep
Took this next photo yesterday after shopping in Jandi’s in Oceanside. NY. Great place – healthy food, good vibe and great music (not elevator-friendly : )))) The car’s owner told me that she’s in the skin care business but had never heard of Buddy Guy or Playing for Change. She started taking notes – including the address of my website, where, I told her, I often blog on the topic of this song. Hmmm…wonder if her website will be getting a face lift with some uplifting sounds.
This is why we’re here – to walk in the light - to be light – to delight…
The following greeting - along with bowing slightly with hands folded by your chest - simply expresses our awareness that the G-d in me recognizes the G-d in you.