Taking it personal

     For years, I’ve been posting articles and photos on social media that align with my experience or that reference my political outlook. But very little of what I have shared to date has been of a personal nature.
     Until now.
     Why NOW?
     Because as a result of my own growth as a human, conversations with friends and colleagues and geopolitical circumstances, I’m recently aware of the need to come out strongly, personally and definitively on the side of LOVE.
     Who am I to speak with any authority on this topic? I’ll get into that in a future post about How I’m learning to Love Everyone. But for now…
     What I know for a certainty is that we all, indisputably, derive from one source. If you’re a religious person, that source is God, Yahweh, Allah, Rama – take your pick. If you rely on science to represent the truth of what is, then you have to acknowledge that we’re all just recycled carbon. The sun, rain, and earth combine to build and energize these bodies we all inhabit.
      We are all impermanent incarnations of energy. Without warning, we take an incarnation, and just as suddenly, we make our exit. No one is removed from this equation.
     We arrive with nothing. We leave with nothing. But while we are here, we are intensely, incontrovertibly interdependent.
    Notably, in Western media and politics, we often encounter the myth of the “self-made businessman.” Conservatives like to parrot this notion ad infinitum. You may recognize it as regurgitated Ayn Rand enlightened-self-interest-speak.
     No man or woman, no businessman or businesswoman, is self-made.
     Any person operating in today’s business climate is building on centuries of American capitalist ideology (which, itself, was given a considerable jumpstart by hundreds of years of free and disposable labor via the enslavement and commoditization of dark-skinned peoples). A business requires employees, means of distribution, intra and international trade pacts, laws supportive of industry, trademark protection, the Internet. In other words, MASSIVE amounts of collaboration on a local, global and historical scale. If you don’t believe me, consider how many people it took to get the blueberries to your breakfast cereal from their point of origin in the soil of South America!
     Likewise, on a human basis alone, none of us sprouts independent of familial, social and environmental factors. And we all depend on the infrastructure of existing society to live moment to moment, day to day. Need evidence? You’re using the Internet! Decades of technological development, the mining of raw materials, legislation, server farms and millions of man hours of innovation and labor were required for you to be able to read this post.
     Irrespective of race, ethnicity, culture or geography, our DNA is 99.9 percent identical. Xenophobia, the patriarchy, white supremacy and the vermin associated with these evils that have reared their ugly heads in the 2016 presidential election cycle must be acknowledged for what they are if we are to evolve to realize our potential as a species: the awareness of our oneness. The obliteration of the illusion of separation. Union with the divine.
     “The power of LOVE,” as earnest 80’s rocker Huey Lewis put it (It don’t take money! Don’t take fame!).
     Environmentally, socially and politically, our world is balancing precariously on a razor’s edge right now. One one side, EXTINCTION. On the other, EVOLUTION.20151207_holga_arizona_01-2
“Extinction vs. Evolution” ©2015 Dave Getzschman
     We see it in politically-motivated obfuscations of impending climate change. In the disenfranchisement of minorities and the poor. In denunciations of immigrants driven from their own homes by hatred, war or economic conditions. Will we rise to the challenge of embracing everyone as equal partners in this endeavor or sink into the muck of self-interest?
     I feel this personally as well. Some days, it feels too hard to evolve, to face the daily reality of my hierarchy of needs while maintaining a belief that any of this matters. Some days, I think, “Baby steps, I can do this, evolution takes time,” and some days I think, “Go to Walmart. Get a gun. Put it in your mouth and point north.” In part, that’s why I’m writing – in the process of convincing you that this stuff matters, I’ll also be working to remind myself.
     The bottom line (and I’m borrowing this from a recent lecture by Kadampa Buddhist monk Gen Kelsang Rigpa): in the Venn diagram representing where our daily needs and deeds overlap with those of our pets, we MUST begin to show more evidence of our cognitive capacity as human beings.
     The views represented here are my own. AND those of my employer. As a self-employed professional for the last 11 years, I’ve enjoyed liberties that my friends with full-time jobs have not. I’ve gotten to travel, explore other cultures, and meet people whose standards are much different than mine as a privileged white, adult, Protestant, male American.
     Maybe more importantly, I’ve had the luxury of time to explore the constructs of reality through the lens of a camera, the wisdom of Western and Eastern religion and philosophy, and the deep end of my own consciousness. What I’ve learned has affected me profoundly, and I think I have a responsibility to share. The time is NOW.
     So here goes. STAY TUNED. Please SHARE this and consider publishing your own personal stories of evolution because, as my yogi sister Shira Barlas says, WE’RE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER.
© 2016 Dave Getzschman Feel free to share on social media but please ask for permission to reprint in full or in part

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