Understanding Tag

05 Oct / MERELY BY BEING

MERELY BY BEING

O

ne reason #ImWithHer in this election is because earlier in life I might have agreed with the transcendent view that “to choose between two evils is to participate in corruption.” Putting aside the complications of assigning Satan’s ethos to a human being, I came to realize that to opt-out of corruption entirely is to opt-out of living; and that there exists a need to hold space for our outrage so that we may go on with the corrupt business of being…

Merely by being born, I perpetuate the patriarchy.
My work is to dismantle the patriarchy,
but I cannot be immune from its grasp on me.

Merely by being a white male, I perpetuate
systemic racism by benefitting from its sweep.
My work is to dismantle the systems my ancestors built,
but I cannot deny my accountability.

Merely by being an active citizen, I contribute to
overpopulation and climate pollution.
My work is to create a clean, equitable economy,
but I cannot exact a carbon price on my enduring mobility.

Merely by loving and moving to Portland, I’ve contributed to
its gentrification and overcrowding.
My work is to create a harmonious society,
but I cannot reject my role in its divisions.

Merely by getting drunk and eating Taco Bell last Saturday,
Uh huh.

MERELY BY BEING we are given NO choice but to
accept the world we were born into.

But this fatalist frame is unnecessary
in light of its mirror overtone:

MERELY BY BEING we are given EVERY choice to
accept radical responsibility toward a brighter future.

Our work isn’t to figure out how to *not* participate in corruption. That search is futile.
Our work is to feel into how we might contribute to its healing, and to our awakening.

Our work is the petulant balancing act of honoring the legacy of our ancestors while advancing our own karmic place in progress.

How’s your balance?

– Danny/TL&TW/October 5, 2016

Posted by Danny Lampton in Articles, Media, Poetry, Politics, Resources Read More

On Political Idealism, On Earth.

I

f you’ve ever tried to interpret your dreams upon waking, you know that it takes a delicate touch or strange, detached patience to manifest in life what has suddenly been revealed to you as urgent.

Idealism. Idealism is the juice of dreams. The archetypal plum. Without it we’d be empty of its virtuous concentrate: possibility. But idealism can’t thrive in its raw form when applied in daily life on Earth. It must be trudged through, leaped for — wrestled to the ground in reluctant ecstasy, and fixed upon like gold-toasted marshmallows.

Idealism untamed isn’t idealism as we know it — not at all. Without it we’d be lost forever, yes. But swallowed whole, idealism is a mirage disappearing into its own horizon. It’s there where idealism turns from the antidote to corruption or cynicism and reemerges as its very accomplice.

At once we’re physical bodies living in consciousness. That means the loftiness we project is ours to carry — our own slice of karma to live. Ours is a reality borne of Earth’s limitations & Sky’s eternity alike — not cosmic justice alone.

We manifest our dreams by living *through* our aspirations — not by leaning against them. We weed our apathy and illusions from takeover not by living as though things already function properly, but with the foresight that purity we long for can be achieved only in human proportion and with human results.

This is in fact a *celebration* of human idealism, not a haughty retreat from its drudgery. This is no settlement with lesser evil, either. This is the acknowledgment of good and evil’s primordial coexistence. They’re not *Hillary’s* feet we must hold to the fire so much as our own penchant for discernment, tenaciousness and unity.

This is the grounding of our faith. This is the necessary acceptance of our own personal responsibility through the screen of a gray fortune.

#ImWithBernie #ImWithHer #ImWithJillInTheoryButNotInPractice.

– Danny/TL&TW/September 28, 2016

Posted by Danny Lampton in Articles, Media, Politics, Resources Read More

How We’re All Politicians

I

have an important message to share about my experience in politics. [Editor’s note: I worked for 2 years at the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) during President Obama’s first term.]

One’s survival as a political appointee — Democrats and Republicans alike — largely depends on how brightly strategic you can be in whatever office you’re working. The very nature of our system is to incentivize behaviors that create a leading edge for whatever side you’re on. As such, the perverse outcomes that surface eventually start to look predictable and nonpartisan.

Speaking very generally, political corruption is less anyone’s “fault” than it is the fault of a system designed to invite cunningness over the best in people. It’s a system designed to abate personal responsibility and incite blame in its place. We deserve to be angry about corruption in politics. It’s how we harness our anger that counts. It’s how we harness our anger that could really change everything.

Take this example from The New York Times of a Republican lobbyist scheming — in a recently disclosed email — about a very close election in Wisconsin:

“Do we need to start [falsely] messaging ‘widespread reports of election fraud’ so we are positively set up for the recount regardless of the final number?
I obviously think we should.”

This behavior is abhorrent no matter how we cut it. And yet, in the lobbyist’s view, he’s just doing his job and damn well at it. Gaming the system is only problematic when you’re caught — that’s part of the game, too.

“No snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible.” — Stanislaw Jerezy Lec

It’s time to stop pretending. Real change comes by shining light on our individual and collective shadow. As we internally take full responsibility for our external environment — seeing ourselves as a creator in this world and not its victim — suddenly our ideas about guilt become those of collaboration. And as we own our collusion with the current system, politicians will have no choice but to do the same. This is nothing short of a paradigm shift and it’s on the tip of our tongues if we’d only accept its reach.

I’ve worked in politics and conscious leadership and have begun to learn what it means to own my shadow myself. Through this work I’ve learned to find compassion for ALL those working within a system — because we’re all ultimately conspirators of the same game.

Having compassion doesn’t equate to letting anyone off the hook for their transgressions. In fact compassion lends itself to a greater understanding of their predicament so that justice can be served with clear eyes rather than a pointed finger. Paired with taking responsibility, compassion is bridging our old world to the new.

The hard part — beyond imparting this understanding for all who care to listen — is converting our impulse for blame to the co-creation of the *next* system: A system designed to feed the very best in people. A system incentivizing radical personal responsibility to the point that it becomes obvious. It’s the only way I see in transcending an everlasting blame-game.

It’s at once incremental and revolutionary.

Let’s do it together.

– Danny/TL&TW/September 26, 2016

Posted by Danny Lampton in Articles, Media, Politics, Resources Read More