Native American activists in the Dakotas seeking to defend their lifeblood waters are being met by a militarized police force whose goal is to defend the short-term financial gains of a multinational corporate entity. This should not surprise anyone - since its inception, the American republic has abused, marginalized, and stolen from the indigenous tribespeople who originally inhabited Turtle Island (the North American continent). Previously, the Sioux tribe was forced violently from its ancestral lands by the U.S. military so that Americans of European Descent (i.e. white people) could take over the fields and valleys the tribe had for millennia groomed, tamed, and settled. Now, in the previously unwanted territories to which it was sent, the Sioux tribe is again under assault, this time so that an oil pipeline can be dug into its sacred soils and under its treasured rivers. Using technologies to capture and utilize solar power, America could run entirely on the nearly endless supply of fresh energy that arrives each morning from Sol, our system’s sun. Instead, America runs on old sunlight trapped by plants long ago in formations now buried deep below the earth - black, viscous old sunlight that must be pumped from deep underground before being moved often thousands of miles to refineries and storage dumps by pipeline, train, or truck. If each Ynki home or business were to collect its own solar electricity and use that self-generated power to cook food, make heat, or run electric automobiles, each Ynki home or business would become independent of (and by necessity take profits away from) the corporations that control this nation’s energy economy. These corporations want to make sure that American homes and businesses run on old and dirty rather than new and clean sunlight, since, this way, they get paid for each watt of energy used. Therefore, they spend untold millions of dollars lobbying against investment and research in solar-energy technologies; such technologies could upend their market dominance and disrupt their profit margins, and they will do nearly anything to maintain their stranglehold on consumer freedom. It bothers them not that the fluids containing old sunlight, if allowed to flow freely, tend to poison the land and pollute the waters - the only thing that matters to these corporations is that the Ynki simply can’t do without what they are selling and that he will pay a high price to maintain his addiction. If a person is concerned about the sad state of affairs in the Dakotas but cannot join the Standing Rock Sioux at their water protection sites, he ought consider reducing the amount of old sunlight he uses by heating less and driving fewer miles. Additionally, he ought contact his elected representatives and demand they work toward the adoption of solar energy initiatives instead of acquiescing to the demands of petroleum (old sunlight) producers. Stand strong, brave Sioux brothers and sisters rallying at Oceti Sakowin - this American author recognizes your sacrifice, and thanks you for it. Mahalo.
© JPR / whorphan / americanifesto / 場黑麥
Similar to music, words have great power. In film, for example, certain styles of music are used to alter a person’s perception of a given scene - classical, say, for drama, hip-hop for action, country for nostalgia. Music can alter a person’s mood, improving or ruining it, depending on circumstance. Yet music, once heard, vanishes into nothingness; looking at a sheet of music and imagining what Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony sounds like is one thing, but hearing it played is a far more powerful and exciting experience.
Words also vanish into nothingness once spoken, unless they get stuck in an infinity loop inside the brain of person (A), in which case the words will continue to affect him, because he is repeating them to himself. In this manner, person (A) tends to build up resentment and anger against person (B), who had said the words previously, even though person (B) may no longer bear animosity toward or even remember what he’d said originally. This author finds himself engaging in subconscious conversation with persons who in the past got the upper hand over him. Apparently, this author thinks that by speaking the words that he failed to speak, he may regain some sort of power. Ah, what foolishness.
© JPR / whorphan / americanifesto / 場黑麥
The blessings of Wotan are here for to stay since Westerners praise him by saying Wednesday. Some claim to be loyal to a single power and walk 'round with miens set in dark hateful glower yet always do give up to Wotan much fame by saying and speaking each week his true name. It isn't surprising that they keep on giving much glory and honor to forces yet living and thriving because of this one simple truth: to speak a god's name is to firm up his youth and firm up his force so that they endure, providing us humans with sadnesses' cure. The Allfather's knowing wise never aloof of which his longevity must stand as proof so open your doors to whomever should knock and never desire his entrance to block for when Wotan shows up we surely won't know but must to all beggars our kindnesses show. By proving our hearts are devoid of all fears we'll be granted many and bountiful years especially Christians who speak of Odin and teach selfsame speaking to children and kin for uttering gladly his name every week is the highest honor a human can speak.
© americanifesto / 場黑麥
Yesterday, while playing disc golf with a few friends, I was granted a glimpse into the inner workings of my psyche. At about the 12th hole my spirits began to flag and I unconsciously decided to allow the innocent banality of the others' conversation bother me. Having said nothing during the first part of the game about people grunting approvingly and saying “Nice” every time someone else even touched a disc (regardless of how that disc actually flew), I finally explained the course etiquette to the new member. “When a person says 'Nice' while someone else's disc is still in the air, it's called nicing the disc,” I said. “And nicing a disc is a breach of course etiquette, especially when the disc does not in fact fly well and the person who niced the disc then retracts his initial statement and says something like 'Uh never mind' or 'Bummer dude'.” The man laughed dismissively and I noticed the two other men in our group stiffen slightly around the groin. As soon as I registered these reactions to my brief explanation about nicing discs, I realized that the only reason I had said anything was because I was trying to exert power over the other players, to make them stop grunting and moaning and cursing out loud whenever a bit of colorful plastic didn't fly exactly the way they had hoped it would. Thinking back I realized that most of what I had said that day had been in part intended to make others dance to a tune of my liking, to get them to see things the way I saw them, to coerce them into adopting a pattern of My choosing. This realization flooded me with awareness and as I traced my subsequent actions back to their source I found that most of them – from using my netbook instead of focusing fully on the other person in the room to the topics I brought up for conversation – were somehow related to the exertion of power within the dynamics of a group. The need to feel powerful pulls subtly but inexorably at the cockles of one's heart, and one of the best ways to keep it in check is to remain humble, speak little, and remember that each person is entitled to his or her own opinion, that each person walks a path of his or her own choosing. The power that comes from controlling others pales when compared to the might of self-control. Aho.
© americanifesto / 場黑麥
During my yoga teacher training, I discovered that I have powerful skills of empathy. When persons choose to direct their feelings and emotions at me, in my current condition I receive that power mostly intact and largely unfiltered. If others direct love at me I am learning to let it buoy my heart; if they thank me I am trying to wallow in gratitude for as long as I am able to; but if it is anger or disgust or discontentment that they feel toward me my heart grows cold, rage builds in my chest, and I become deeply irate. At some point in my life I learned that sponging anger in this way makes me feel powerful, that it is proper to answer like with like, hatred with hatred. My fellow Americans exhibit this type of behavior frequently, and over the years I have been wont to retreat into it much as my compatriots do. As however I study the ancient truths and leave behind the clouded and the confused path for that of the warrior I am beginning to understand that anger and hatred frighten Spirit and that our connection to the Divine is severed if instead of compassion and grace we cultivate in our hearts loathing, coldness, and fear. My path is for me alone to walk and I am not saying that other people are acting incorrectly, only that they seem to have abandoned action for reaction, consciousness for unconsciousness, beauty for ugliness, and that it shall take a lot of effort on the part of each individual, individually, for our the soul of our nation to become bright, once more. The greatest journeys of the world start with just one person stepping forward, and so I lift my foot. Mahalo.
© americanifesto / 場黑麥
blog updated Fridays, usually
I bicycle, write, surf, and the rest.