Monday's Vital Conversation

8-10a PDT | 11a-1p EDT | 3-5p GMT

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We are delighted to welcome back Stephanie Van Hook, executive director of the Metta Center for Nonviolence, for this conversation on the intersections of feminism, Occupy and non-violence.

Please post your thoughts here in advance of, during and after our Cafe Call.  

In her recent piece "Waging Feminism,"  Stephanie quotes Betty Reardon:

"There is still insufficient understanding of the depth of both the psycho-social and structural holds that patriarchy has on our culture and politics. " 

What do YOU think might be one leverage point for addressing the challenge of patriarchy in our culture and politics? 

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Mushin, I think it would be a tragedy if the bison replaced the beef industry.

Bison were once so many that it would take days for a herd of them to pass by. They provided everything that people needed to survive: food, clothing, and shelter. They roamed freely and the earth provided for their needs as they provided for ours. They were not meant to be captives any more than we were.

Because the bison made it possible for indigenous people to survive without having to work for corporations, Predator deliberately tried to kill them all. Only a few survived, but their habitat was destroyed. There are very few places they could roam freely if they returned--they would have to be fenced in. No living creature likes being fenced in.

Domesticated bison aren't the same as free bison, any more than domesticated humans are the same as free humans. Very few free humans remain on this earth, and as Winona LaDuke explained in my all-time favorite book, All Our Relations, all of them are under attack. Corporations want their land, their resources, or simply don't want them to exist as an example of the truth that it is possible for humans to exist without working for corporations.

We too, like the bison, were almost exterminated by western civilization. Billions of us were murdered and the survivors became captives. Some of us were domesticated, deprived of the right to roam and survive freely and fenced in, thousands of years ago, some only yesterday. But we are being raised for industry, not as free creatures with the dignity, respect, and freedoms to which all creatures are inherently and unalienably entitled.

The commons, the natural diversity that nature provided to sustain us freely, has been destroyed. Only tiny pockets and remnants survive and they are constantly under attack. Were the commons to be restored, so that people could live and roam freely like the buffalo, nobody would aspire to being a wage-slave. Why work when you already have everything you need?

I didn't choose to become homeless. Most people don't. Most people become homeless to escape unbearable abuse or because industrial "progress" and "technology" have found cheaper, more docile slaves and no longer needs them. I was absolutely certain that I would die on the streets. Very few homeless people ever get housing and the numbers of homeless are growing all the time. When I first got a roof over my head, about thirty years ago, it took me three years before I stopped thinking that I would be forced back onto the streets the next day, and was able to contemplate that I might be able to have a roof over my head for another week, or month, or year. The collapse of this system of government would certainly mean that I'd be homeless again. But if it would stop "progress," the pollution of the planet and the privatization of the commons, and stop "technology," turning living things, animals, and people into dead things for profit, I can only support it. My comfort should not come at the cost of genocide in the Congo to obtain coltan for electronics, genocide in half a dozen foreign countries to obtain fossil fuels (I've never owned a car), and death squads in hundreds of countries where the US sends them to foment violence in hopes of provoking wars so that defense contractors can sell more weapons. Nobody should be killed or enslaved to sustain the US lifestyle. Quoting S. Brian Willson, "We are not worth more, they are not worth less."

The bison are also our sisters and brothers. What was done to them was also done to us. When Robert King, the only member of the Angola 3 to have been freed (Angola is a slave plantation in Louisiana that is now called a prison, but only the name has changed--the conditions remain exactly the same.), spoke here in San Diego, an audience member asked him how he remained so calm after decades of solitary confinement. He said that while he had been in a maximum security prison, the rest of us are not free--we're just in minimum security prisons. He's right. In minimum security we get more privileges, but that's not the same as freedom. In my view we shouldn't be fighting for more privileges, we should be fighting for freedom. For everyone.

Where are the lifeboats, you ask? The owners of this cruise ship thought it was unsinkable, so they didn't provide enough lifeboats to begin with, and they were trying to cut costs, so the few lifeboats they provided weren't properly maintained (think Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans). They really weren't concerned about us surviving, they were thinking of their bottom line, profits. When our unsustainable lifestyles collapse, many of us will drown, many will survive by clinging to bits of wreckage, and only a very foresighted few will have constructed their own rafts. Many of us, like myself, live in cities and the closest thing to a life raft we can construct is an urban garden. But even our precious permaculture organic gardens are inundated daily with radiation from Fukushima. As Annie Leonard said in The Story of Stuff, there is no "away." Patriarchy has conquered the entire planet (yes, a few tiny pockets remain, but they cannot sustain us all) and there is no longer an "away" where we can throw our nonbiodegradable trash, or an "away" that we can escape to. We clamber aboard a liferaft, only to sink it with our excess weight, to be turned away at every port, or to gain landfall only to find ourselves in a worse situation than the one we escaped.

Thank you, Mushin. I appreciate your perspective and am enjoying this discussion. Strangely enough, I believe that we can set things straight, but before we can do it, we need to understand the problem. I think the problem is basically the old monkey trap, where there's a box with a narrow opening and a desirable object inside that is too big to fit through the hole, so the monkey puts a hand in to get the object but can't withdraw the hand without dropping the object. Thus the monkey is trapped even though the solution is easy--nothing more than the old Buddhist advise to rid ourselves of desire so that we can be free.

Scribing the final harvest...

  • Power with versus power over
  • The loss of the Commons (enclosures) as a key power grab by patriacarchy
  • Franz deWaal on apes societies
  • neuroplasticity on how much the brain can change and grow
  • how to take the next step at the level of the Cascadia bioregion?
  • modern distinctions--occupy the earth in unity and solidarity.  language is about growing closer together
  • a lot of political battlegrounds--how do we have this conversation without triggereing them?
  • the circle group.  consensus.  can hear difficult things with the support of the circle and the sense of belonging it brings
  •  Pacific Women's Camp
  • naming:"Patriarchy"-->defensiveness." How about the threat system to relationship-building/reconciliation system
  • UN sec council passed resoutuion calling for equal participation of women and men in peace processes many years ago-powerful step.
    • missing from the declaration of human rights is right to access to the (mother!) earth itself
    • people's summit during NATO meeting in Chicago recently--consensus was that the UN res had not come to pass at all.

Barbara Marx Hubbard has some great things to say about the feminist principle and about women as leaders of the emerging paradigm shift to a world that works for all.  and

Good links, Ben. The first one appears to have both males and females involved, and indeed the founder was a male. The second link speaks of "evolutionary women," rather than just women, as patriarchal women in leadership roles have not proven to be good co-creators of a new paradigm.

I agree with Wendell that it is important to discuss whether we are people or property and whether land should be commodified and owned. If you can own land, why not own trees? If you can own trees, why not cut all the other trees down so that yours will be more valuable? And if you can own land and trees, why not own animals? And if you can own animals, why not own people? These are all key values of patriarchy, that everything is here for us to own, dominate, and rule over, rather than to steward and live in harmony with. It wasn't just females who endured total economic loss when the commons was privatized, but the poor of every kind who didn't own anything and had previously survived through access to the commons.

I think that the reason patriarchy was created by means of violence and to this day, thousands of years later, can still only be maintained by means of violence, is because it is not natural to us as a species. There is both archaeological and contemporary evidence of societies where females do all the hard labor because males are considered to be weaker and not suited to heavy work. In such societies it is females who are conditioned from birth to become the physically stronger sex, given more and better nourishment as children, and encouraged to use their bodies fully rather than to engage in the sedentary activities deemed more suitable to males.

Interesting links guys, maybe refer to evolutionary people ( of either sex )  Also mother earth is a great example of the feminine  she has nurtured all creatures and all humanity since time began and done a grand job - she deserves our gratitude and our respect, we should not just be thinking of our own rights to earth, but also other creatures rights, and mother earths rights,.  Also what right have patriarchal or matriarchal societies got to condition children from birth both should be nurtured well and encouraged to flower in whatever field they choose to grow in. Our schools are guilty of conditioning them in all sorts of ways to fit into the system. If their learning and imaginations were alloewed to unfold naturally who knows what wonders might develop..

I approached this “Vital Conversation” today with trepidation throughout the weekend because over the course of 61 years, no topic has provided more emotional disturbance, argumentation and fertile ground for self-exploration then balancing the notion of gender relations in a meaningful aware manner.

As a boy who parachuted into modernity through a powerful mother who taught me the meaningfulness of caring, nurturing, being empathetic, vulnerable and authentic emotional intelligence by taking effective actions in deviant behaviors. She was 100% German operating as a General never allowing any bullshit in the family my father even saluted her. I also intersected patriarchy by essentially being born into a Roman Catholic family and raised under the Franciscan spiritual habit for 12 years. The notion of egalitarian appreciative inquires and dialog circling in conversations was not even a possible possibility in this creation story. You were tested under questioning and there was only one answer in the course of the curriculum. The emotional contradiction is my mother ruled the rooster with five male cubs with an iron fist as a Beloved Matriarch while simultaneously she was the most dedicated Catholic woman in my life, while I, confronted as a boy the ruthlessness and contradictory evidence in her primary ideological belief system like a terrorist black sheep rebel refusing to adhere to any authority other than my own independent thinking. The double bind experienced nearly tore us apart in the 1960’s, she was hysterical, and by the time of her death in 2006 we were one in consciousness sharing the same being “eye to eye” in the oneness of our human heartfelt experience.  I find that a remarkable intimate story of engagement with the feminine that lives with me everyday.

I assess the breakdowns arising today in balancing the complexities in gender relations is the deepest shadow and most profound experience in our psyche. Looking to do it outside with a woman is getting more difficult by the moment for boys and men in my assessment. It appears stopping the war inside and ruling one’s own state and conducting behaviors is the real challenge in the moment. On one hand men in the past were expected to “bring home the bacon” “provide protective safety for the spouse, children and familial community” and “articulate some mysterious ordering of meaning in language as a brotherhood (boys, fathers and elders) between on another.” Today when patriarchy is expressed as constituting the host of breakdowns collapsing in our surrounding world as a gender male driven evil empire headed by Bush and Chenny, that has destroyed the feminine in the world, there is an emotional confrontation that threatens the historical roots of a sacred male's in the world who wanted to destroy both men.  And I can honestly report that men are sick, ill, suffering, looking for love and acceptance anywhere, and despairing like flies hitting a electronic holocaust in an attempt to love women. They are being rejected for a host of reasons; female warrior matriarchs for not getting it right, transcendental goddesses claiming superior divinity and yoga bodies to prove it, diva queens entitlement based on previous past cultural conditioning, and the real breakdown competing partners based in power of the purse at the kitchen table.   Never mind we are living in America driven by consumption and women do 70% of the purchasing.  Most men hate shopping.  

Where is the love, appreciation and clearing for learning to heal and become whole in our selves through one another?

I have a daughter 34 who thought I walked on water and a son 24 who knows better and serves as my executioner. Honestly I am confused as they are and wonder how we start over facing a WHOLE NEW DAY?

(((There I said it and I am prepared to die with the onslaught of feminist arrows that may be flung like political clean shots, failing to see, or understand, just how sensitive boys and men are in conversations of power in gender relations. Inside we cry all the time over the inability of never getting it right with anyone on the playground. Gender realization in living is a deep heart felt breakdown for all of us right now and in my assessment, not easy for either side. We all come from a womb and yet the boys have been required in the units of humanity to invent narratives and roles to protect, defend, acquire, care, feed and nourish children in a different manner than women. My father is my hero and still living at 90 years old.  He flew 45 missions in Operation Torch out of North Africa at the beginning of WWII, lost both ear drums and thank goodness he had a woman who love him even in the midst of all his stupidities as an incompetent boy in the family. Real feminists in my honest assessment have a natural caring empathy for sacred beings (children) and connect in every human heart as Homo sapiens amans not gender driven based roles, titles, and distinctions. My father is a great mother and my mother was a great father. We need both as sacred beings.)))

My own authentic take away today is I survived the initial vital conversation intact in my own notion of how important the sacred masculine has been in human history. Not only my own father, also, Crazy Horse, Gandhi, Martin, John, Bobby and Nelson and hosts of ancestors who have confronted the rough riding ownership elite mentality in western civilized Kings and Queens and Church. I see the possible possibility of formulating a new partnership in gender balanced appreciative inquire and dialog in sacred circles as Homo sapiens amans; wise sing up social loving animals recovering our partnership in the solidarity of “The Chalice and The Blade” where no one is authorized to use transcendental ontological past distinctions of indoctrinated political or religious belief systems as a cultural mechanism for political power in designing a future world together.

I observe in my political adult life in America that gender distinctions of male versus female have ripped our society apart and we are now bleeding to death watching porn while children of the future are being ignored as virtual fragile narratives in a ruthless educational wrongheadedness. We in our cafe have started to invent an appreciative manner of communicating using a new integral languaging of common distinctions called “Appreciative Dignified Conversations.”

The question of who comes first "the rooster, hen or egg" is meaningless chatter now. The fact is the rooster, hen and egg constitute a unity transcending all the particular distinctions in narratives. As Homo sapiens amans I submit we are constituted in love (in the presence of one another we genetically desire the experience of legitimacy in coexistence for one another = friendship) and this is where we begin to co-create a trans~formative solidarity in the Next Big Game!

I have gained an appreciation for Wendell Fitzgerald’s notion of “Occupy Earth” the most in these dialogs thus far. As he shared today what we are missing in communicating the declaration of human rights, political nonsensical discourses, economic statistics of bankers and UN policies equality is we don’t own shit and the bankers own everything and its going to hell in the next few moments. I invite you to consider that the patriarchy distinction is genderless and is an “observer error” operating in the “global cultural matrix” based in the ownership of land, discourses, institutions and dualistic emotional contradictory patterns corporate media plays like a violin and we buy into it hook, line and sinker, wrapped up holy books and patriotic bullshit that is never questioned. Wendell’s suggestion of “Occupying Earth” breaks through the problem and double binds of political power by declaring that every Homo sapiens amans has a right to being on earth and owning one’s existence as a proprietor living in a dignified manner of legitimacy in coexistence in the web of life.

That’s an inspired notion that strikes me like a lightening bolt inside~out! I suggest reframing all these subset political creative collapsing opportunities to “Occupy Earth” inspires a new integral natural circling language that is already always present in every unit of humanity and passionately desired in real time pure play heart felt experience yesterday, today and tomorrow. I vote for a new integral communicating process that unearth's this western intellectual machine based in wholeness and serving all peoples; not any specific class or distinctive ideological point of view. One thing is for certain “owning what owns us in our humanness~love” is radically different than any thing we have experienced in human history; looking back makes even the strongest among us cry like a baby. I invite us to consider we need a new blank canvas that inspires solidarity instantaneously for as offered in the conversation today, time has run out! Thank you for hearing my voice as a participant of this sacred circle!

Thank you, Mushin (aka Patric), for this deep rumination on your own history, our conversation today, and what you see as needed in the world.  I, for one, feel powerful alignment, especially at the heart level.  You honor us with your authenticity.

Thank you, Mushin. I have a friend who I consider to be a patriarchal sexist, although he considers himself to be an egalitarian feminist.One day he was talking about government having too much power over us, and I said:

If you want to get somebody's boot off your neck, the first thing you should do is check to see if your own boot is on somebody else's neck. Because if it is, you only have one leg free, so you can't fight off or run from the boot that is on your neck. To remove the boot from your neck, you need both legs free.

His response was that if he was to remove his boot from someone's neck, they might run away or even attack him to try to get even with him for having had his boot on their neck.

He had what anyone would have considered to be the perfect wife, but he drove her crazy and last I heard she was in a nuthouse and he has custody of the kids. But he's on welfare because while he succeeded in keeping his boot on his wife's neck until his wife could no longer endure, doing so made him unable to remove government's boot from his own neck. That's the price of patriarchy, or of any hierarchical power relationship. Power, as you say, should be power with, not power over.

Every being "has a right to being on earth and owning one’s existence as a proprietor living in a dignified manner of legitimacy in coexistence in the web of life."

If we see the earth as a living organism, then that applies to the earth and to everything on it, as Gael says.

Patriarchal gender roles prevent us from interacting as equals. Because patriarchy assigns us different roles at birth on the basis of sex, and we are treated differently from birth on the basis of sex, we see each other as different on the basis of sex rather than seeing our common humanity. That's the old "divide and conquer" strategy, and it has worked very well. It even results in people saying that they "love men" or "love women," as if such a thing were possible. We cannot love groups, only individuals. If we see individuals as part of a group, then we don't see them as individuals. We may think that we do, but in reality patriarchy (and porn) has taught us to see "a man" or "a woman" rather than a unique individual person.

I had an experience like that many years ago in Costa Rica when I was visiting a friend who had a monkey. He went into the house to fix the monkey something to eat and I was left outside playing with the monkey. Since female monkeys can have a large clitoris that resembles a penis, I'd assumed it was a male monkey and was sort of roughhousing and tumbling around with the monkey. We were both having fun. Then my friend called out, "I'll have her food ready in a minute." Instantly my behavior changed, I picked up the monkey, dusted it off, and starting playing with it gently and apologetically. I was surprised to notice the abrupt change in my behavior brought about by hearing a single pronoun, but I'm sure the poor little monkey thought I was schizo. ;)

Too funny, Mark!  And while I completely get you on this...

Because patriarchy assigns us different roles at birth on the basis of sex, and we are treated differently from birth on the basis of sex, we see each other as different on the basis of sex rather than seeing our common humanity. 

... I also think we need to embrace the very real differences there are between the sexes on many dimensions.  Yes, we each possess and need to connect with the masculine and feminine principles within us, and we need fundamental equality and an end to male power OVER women, we also need to recognize that male power and female power are NOT the same.  

And, again, as Barbara Marx Hubbard argues, it may be that female power is what gets us where we need to go.  Something about what she calls the "supra-sexual" creative impulse--we need to give birth to a whole new class of collective humanity.

Can you name an example of how male power and female power are not the same, Ben?

As far as I can see, Barbara Marx Hubbard does not advocate putting females in power but putting evolutionary females (nonpatriarchal females), along with evolutionary males in power as co-creators. In other words, power with rather than power over.

Obviously, putting non-evolutionary (patriarchal) females like Margaret Thatcher, Hillary Clinton, Condoleeza Rice, and Madeleine Albright in power, will not get us where we want to go.

It is also necessary to change the system. If a system is based on war, putting females in power without first changing the system will continue the wars. Slavery was a system based on unpaid labor. Not all slave plantations were owned by males. Sometimes a male died and a female would become the owner of the plantation. Either the slaves were freed and the plantation closed (a rare event which also occasionally happened when a male who disapproved of slavery inherited a plantation), or slavery continued as before only with a female slaveholder. There were female concentration camp guards in the Nazi era who were notorious for being as cruel or even more cruel than the male guards.

We do need fundamental equality, and nobody should have power over anyone. Power corrupts. Female oligarchs become just as corrupt as male oligarchs. Evolutionary males and females would not become part of an oligarchy.

Within the context of Occupy, specifically the 1% and the 99%, there are some females who are part of the 1%. There were photos of some Occupy Wall Street protests where a bunch of stockbrokers were on a balcony drinking champagne and making fun of the protesters below, and some of the haughty, arrogant, wealthy, powerful elite on that balcony were female.

It is one thing to make a blanket statement that "male power and female power are NOT the same." It is quite another thing to give examples to support that statement. The US military has reluctantly been forced to allow female combat pilots. When a US military plane bombs a civilian village, I can detect absolutely no difference due to whether the pilot is male or female. Nor can I detect any difference in that use of power due to whether the politicians who vote for and fund it are male or female. If there was a real difference between male and female power, no female would vote for, fund, or carry out the bombing of civilian villages.

Philip Zimbardo's book, The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil, explains not only why male guards in Abu Ghraib abused their power, but also why female guards did the same. In fact, if I recall correctly, for much of the time the military Commander in charge of Abu Ghraib was a woman.

We DO need fundamental equality and an end to male power over women, however fundamental equality means that nobody has power over anyone else because everyone is equal without regard to sex.

Sorry I can't seem to find it but someone here said we can't love groups. From personal experience I would argue we can love individuals, groups and even totalities. It depends how wide our definition of love is right up to universal love. . It can be as narrow as I love shoes, some people live for their next pair of shoes, and have hundreds in their wardrobe. We can love an individual to the exclusion of others or it can be inclusive, as well as others. The wonderful thing about love is that we can draw on an endless supply of it - when we have one child our heart feels fit to burst with love, yet we can still feel the same for the next and any number of offspring, adopted children too.  Consider groups,  we can love our family which is a group, our community, or our nation. My icon picture was the result of a very vivid dream in which I was out in space feeling love and compassion for earth, feeling sad for all the harm our activities have inflicted on the planet, a cosmic egg above me cracked open and from it flowed a light of love peace and truth,which enveloped the earth, it was the same sort of light I had experienced in an NDE. I do feel tremendous love and respect for mother earth and the more I learn about the universe the deeper my love for the intelligence and love within creation. I think universal love is strongly linked to our capacity for compassion in which case we can feel that in our heart for a stranger or groups in distress. Mother Therese for example took many strangers to heart.


I had the profound gift of meeting Mother Theresa as a young man 30 years ago.  What I experienced was not the Roman Catholic Church rather a woman who practiced love by having a presence of acceptance for everyone "BEING" legitimate in coexistence regardless of beliefs, group, behaviors or practices.  Appreciative inquiry is a conversational circularity in living speech acts between people such as you and i. Exploring the distinction we call "love" has been the central poetic exploratory expressions of artistic sculpturing in songs, poems and literature throughout human history.  It amazes me that we are still "talking and singing" about it in the midst of such horrific behaviors we embody.  As a DJ I really appreciate music throughout our world singing love songs that prevail over all the screaming painful experiences in modernity. We must be constituted in love for that to be happening! 

I do not love nor hate patriarchy or matriarchy.  I do not love nor hate republicans and democrats.  I am not prejudice i love and hate every~THING in MODERNITY!  Last Friday the cafe conversation was drilling into a consensual tagline for the "Occupy Cafe" in Philly and I popped in. And like normal threw a cocktail into the party offering this tagline "STOP THE POLITICAL BULLSHIT."  Now, I offer that the term "Bullshit" is a technical distinction now in the American lexicon and not swearing.  (My father doesn't fully agree with this perspective and like many on the call Friday he also finds it a bit aggressive.)  Yet, my experience in living is I am swimming in a historical swept along cultural drift in western civilization that is nothing but a constellation of ideological bullshit where "distinctions" are ways of seeing and being in group herds politicizing trust through ideological taken for granted assumptions in languaging.  When one says "I am a Conservative Republican" or "I am a Progressive Democrat" there is a load of absolute bullshit attached to the political positioning in the living speech act.  One can experience an immediate termination of a social relationship as a friend.  I renounce being a participant in either party because the denial of the old "observer error" is evident in both in the claim of right and left, right and wrong, conservative and liberal, money and poverty, white and black etc. The political machine of governance today eats people and disruptors are terrorists confined to a "NO FLY LIST" in open Democratic conversations.  Before long the state~priavte~corporate plutocracy will you (me) (us) (we) peeing in cups to validate we exist as robotic transactional configurations in the political game.  As a baby boomer who refuses to pee in any cup for anyone, I reflect often on what would have happened in '68 to 72' if Nixon had declared we must all pee in cups?  Our liberties have been blown away in the last 40 years and nobody says "Bullshit" because there afraid of being tagged for "No Fly."  More Bullshit on top of bullshit!

My friend Humberto Maturana offered this notion as an hypothesis for the creation of patriarchy.  Around 8,000 years ago a Indo European family was migrating yearly with the Caribou and the wolf was a part of the migratory pattern eating the Caribou along with the family of man.  We have old mythological stories such as "Little Red Riding Hood" claiming that wolves eat human beings.  The fact is there is no scientific evidence supporting this notion.  Wolves do not attack humans and there is historic evidence of feral human children being raised by wolves in modern times.  Imagine a mother wolf breast feeding a human child! So why did we project fear of being eating and killed by the wolf as an "observer error" in mythology. 

Humberto invites us to reflect that for thousands of years the wolf and family of man migrated and shared the Caribou in a natural flow of legitimacy in coexistence = love!  His hypothesis is that there must of been a trigger in the environment like a climactic event or illness in the herd where the wolves stated eating a lot of Caribou and someone in the human family declared "we must stop the wolves from eating all the Caribou!"  It could have been the woman who said it, we don't know?  Patriarchy is genderless and a cultural phenomena.  The primary organizing feature of patriarchy's birth was to "exclude the wolf from it's natural relationship in the food chain living in coexistence with man" and what happened simultaneously unknowingly to the family of man was "appropriation of the Caribou as property to be owned and controlled."  Thus the beginning of a cultural phenomena in the modern cultural matrix of the power of man to exploit creation based on exclusion and appropriation as owners.  Today we are captured in the "observer error" of "Get Money or Eat Dirt" and a faster, better, cheaper Internet Super Highway exploiting the insanity eating each other in buying and selling one another as the central organizing principle determining human existence.  I submit we are all sick and dying from the bullshit.

I have been married so many times I should be a chief.  Yet, it was an "observer error" operating blindly in the historic swept along cultural drift that my "wholeness" is dependent on acquiring for exclusivity the appropriation of a woman to be whole. Nothing could be further from the truth.  Now that is a learning experience destined to suffer over power operating in a culture of patriarchy.  Today I am beginning to crawl on my belly out of Plato's Cave and see the light of a new day.  Wholeness is not dependent on another at all.  Wholeness is the gift of birth as a sacred being regardless of gender and love is presencing one's virtual identity and narrative as a legitimate other in coexistence in a living web of life not a dead materialistic universe of Hollywood's fantasy in Disneyland based in conflict of who owns what or has the biggest ___ whatever.  

In truth all my romantic notions of love have been utterly destroyed in a charred forest of broken hearts surrounding me.  I propose that this new improved Homo sapiens amans central nervous system based in neo~cognitive~plasticity is radically different than the romantic notions of the "observer error"in the past.  Like ET's "WE ARE ONLY ALIVE IN THE MOMENT" and the experience is a DYNAMIC QUANTUM REALIZATION IN LIVING in social relations not dead organizational power to exclude and appropriate any longer!

When all these groups, communities, corporations and nations realize the Next Big Game, the Arab Spring people will be embraced in a new brotherhood not feared, as we begin to beat these WMD into brooms to clean up this town hall confused mess we have created together in being only attentive to what divides us in the shadow driven Plato's Cave.  I love "NOT AFRAID" taking a stance within this hypnotic mesmerized "observer error" and the notion of taking each other's hands and walking together into a living universe.   The emergent light of new day where we "Occupy Earth" in love (legitimacy in coexistence) and heal the relationship with OUR MOTHER in consciousness by caring for all the sacred beings of tomorrow!

We are definitely in a hopeless creative collapsing disaster, time is over, and thank goodness it's not serious.  We can laugh at our stupidities in social relationships.  Like Chris Rock said "If you ever loved someone you have thought of murder."  Last Friday in the cafe I shared this reflection of Men's Brain versus Women's Brain!  Everybody laughs because it's true in our experience with one another.  I love my "NO~THING BOX" and consider myself an accidental activist in this "Occupy Cafe" conversation looking forward to doing absolutely nothing ASAP!  

I invite us to consider that one of the essential breakdown in human communication is the collapsing of the boxes in appreciative conversations.  I submit that when we agree to speak about one box at a time in appreciative inquiry and dialog laughter arises in the unity of a new understanding of how wonderful the rooster, hen and egg is in flowing experience of a new observer praxis; a exploratory domain of discourse, as an anomaly or reflective breakdown, reporting as observer's sharing authentic experience not truth or reality.  So enter the gate~less gate on not knowing what we don't know in trust.

To laughter amid all the seriousness in patriarchy!

Latter Mushin


Weekly Cafe Calls

Regular Calls are no longer being held.  Below is the schedule that was maintained from the Fall of 2011 through Jan 10, 2013.

"Vital Conversations" 

8-10a PDT | 11a-1p EDT | 3-5p GMT 

Tuesdays (except 10/16)
"Connect 2012"

1-3p PDT | 4-6p EDT | 8-10p GMT

"Occupy Heart" 

3-5p PDT | 6-8p EDT | 10p-12a GMT

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Clay Forsberg posted a blog post

"Happy Birthday Occupy Wall Street ... thoughts on Year One"

Fifteen years ago, I ran across a book, "100 Most Influential People in History," during one of my dalliances to my local Marin County bookstore. "Influential People" was one man's assessment on exactly that. But how he determined his rankings was the interesting part. They weren't always the reasons you would think. But after thinking about it, they made complete sense. For example:George Washington was ranked in the top 40 of all time. Understandable. But the reason why ... not so much. You…See More
Sep 20, 2012
Clay Forsberg is now a member of Occupy Cafe
Sep 20, 2012
Vic Desotelle posted a group

Leadership Ecology

When a Leadership Ecology occurs, a web of relationships emerges revealing each person’s authentic leadership qualities through the transfer of their power to others. When done in a conscious way – a shared collaborative awakening happens.See More
Feb 6, 2012
Vic Desotelle posted a blog post
Feb 3, 2012


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