Sunday, January 15, 2012

A Cowardly Act by the U.S. Marshalls Office in Weastern North Carolina

Regular readers of this blog will know that I am actively involved in the Occupy movement in Western North Carolina. I's not like being at OccupyWallStreet, or in Oakland, Chicago, Boston, LA, or any one of more than 900 Occupy groups around the world, but you work with what you got, right? This is where I live, this is where I occupy....and, I believe the people of Occupy are at the leading edge of consciousness on this planet at this time.

What we are seeking in the movement was shockingly brought home to me over the past few days. OccupyWNC is one of many Occupy groups across the nation that is working with Move to Amend, a national day of action just one day before the second anniversary of the infamous Supreme Court decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, which held that corporations (as people entitled to the rights of the U.S. Constitution) can spend unregulated and undisclosed sums of money in order to influence elections. [There are] over 80 rallies at federal courthouses around the country, including the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C.

On Friday January 20th, we are occupying the Bryson City Federal Courthouse, the closest federal courthouse to us.

We're in a rural mountain area where everyone, even if you don't know them, is your neighbor, so we have not used the same tactics that are sometimes used in bigger cities. We followed the rules in applying for our permits. The Bryson City Police Department was a pleasure to work with and I had a great talk with Chief  Rick Tabor, and we had no problem securing a permit to demonstrate on the city sidewalk.

I then continued the process by contacting the Asheville GSA offices who manage the Bryson City Federal Courthouse. From there I was directed to contact Inspector Greg Erdley who is with the Dept. of Homeland Security Federal Protective Services. Needless to say, I was apprehensive about calling and getting involved with the DoHS. When Inspector Erdley returned my calls, he indicated I should talk to the Bryson City Federal Courthouse property manager, Michael Caldwell, with the Asheville GSA.

Initially, we connected by email and Mr. Caldwell sent me the application for the permit. I completed and returned the application by email (attached). A day later, I received a call from Mr. Caldwell and Inspector Erdley informing me of a court order over riding any permit the GSA might give us. They were kind enough to send me a copy of the court order prohibiting any kind of rally, demonstration, or parade on Federal property. Upon inspection, I was shocked to find that the court order was issued in 2003 and was apparently still active. Talk about legislating from the bench! Also, From the wording of the court order in the fourth paragraph, it appears that the U.S. Marshall may stop the rally altogether, even if we're not on federal property, even if we have a city permit. This is exactly the kind of inequality OWS is talking about.

Here I was, being denied my civil rights to demonstrate and address my grievances with the Federal Government of the United States of America, the land of the free. EXCUSE's not the federal government that owns these properties, it's we the people.

When I asked Mr. Caldwell and Inspector Erdley if we could include their organizations  (the GSA and the Dept. of Homeland Security) on our flyer supporting Move to Amend, there was a deadening silence...The agent began to explain that as Federal employees they could not take political stands, and I said "relax, guys, I'm pulling your leg"...followed by a couple more seconds of silence and then they both broke out in laughter.....Both good guys, and I think we made a couple of friends. They were both polite, friendly, respectful, helpful, and, in my judgment, somewhat apologetic about the court order.

OccupyWNC is an affiliate with the national Move to Amend organization, and we had been directed that if ran into any problems with permits, to let let them know. Apparently, Move to Amend is working with the ACLU for just these kind of unconstitutional actions by the government. I prepared a letter describing what had happened, attached the court order, and sent it off to the legal team at Move to Amend.

Move to Amend and the ACLU has been successful in getting other like court orders overturned, but doubt they will be able to do it by Friday the 20th.

So, as our local Occupy group meets over the next few days to prepare for our rally at the courthouse, one of the things we'll undoubtedly be talking about will be whether to use civil disobedience and occupy the federal court grounds, anyway. 

And we thought our "building bridges" tactics would work...Maybe locally, but apparently not with the feds. This all comes after President Obama signed the NDAA (National Defense Authorization Act) on New Years eve---while everyone was getting ready to celebrate and not paying attention---which allows American citizens to be indefinitely detained without the right to counsel (nervous's where I joke about winning an all-expense paid vacation to a FEMA camp located somewhere near all of us).

So, here's my challenge to you: I know a lot of people want to create their own reality and don't want to think "negative" thoughts. But if you don't get up and join us, and stop this now, you will be creating your own reality, and you won't like it. Time to reach down and warrior up. Show up at the Bryson City Federal Courthouse on this Friday, Jan, 20th, from 11am to 2pm and stand with us.

Last, this: 2011 will be remembered as a year of revolution, the beginning of the end for an unsustainable global system based on poverty, oppression, and violence. In dozens of countries across the Arab world, people rose up against broken economies and oppressive regimes, toppling dictators and inspiring the world to action. Popular rejection of austerity measures and attacks on worker's rights brought millions to the streets in Greece, Iceland, Spain, Portugal, Italy, the UK, Chile, Wisconsin, and elsewhere. 

Fueled by anger at the growing disparities between rich and poor, frustrated by government policies that benefit a tiny elite at the expense of the majority, and tired of the establishment’s failure to address fundamental economic inequalities, OWS offered a new solution. They built a People’s Kitchen to feed thousands, opened a People’s Library, created safer spaces, and provided free shelter, bedding, medical care, and other necessities to anyone who needed them. While cynics demanded they elect leaders and make demands on politicians, they were busy creating alternatives to those very institutions. They were busy creating the new model of what this country should stand for They were busy creating the world most of only talk about. "A revolution has been set in motion, and we cannot be stopped."

And if you don't show up, don't ever talk to me about change, again.....It's not like you have to camp out.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Thought of the Day

"Patriarchy" is the consciousness of fear, and it is fueled by shadow. Men's lives are violent because their souls have been violated. It is past time for men to do their work.
Awakening the New Masculine: The Path of the Integral Warrior

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

"Awakening the New Masculine" is available on Pre-Order

My Dear Friends, new and old:

Great news about my book, Awakening the New Masculine: The Path of the Integral Warrior:

I am finally to the point where I can see the "book publishing on the wall" and expect to have a published copy in my hand very soon! I can't begin to tell you how much I appreciate your support, your comments, and mostly all the men who went through my men's process, The Integral Warrior, in 2011!

I'm very excited to announce that I am taking pre-release orders off my website for the soft cover version of the book at the Special Pre-Order Price of $11.87 + Shipping and Handling (retail value of $16.95)! There's also a hard cover version that can be purchased at a special price as well. 

I so appreciate all of you who kept asking, "when's the book coming out?...I want to buy it!" Well, it's almost here! By pre-ordering the book now, you'll be one of the first to get it, you'll get it at a special price, and you'll be helping promote the book as I hand all of your prepaid orders to my publisher on the day it's released.

Not to mention supporting this work with men that is so needed on the planet today.

Not sure you want to move this fast? Want to wait to read some reviews? Well, here's what some of my friends and teachers—and my heroes— who are supporting the book are saying:

"Gary Stamper's vision of the new integral man is a refreshing departure from mythic visions of the past, but without abandoning their power or magic. — Allan Combs; Author of Consciousness Explained Better, The Radiance of Being, etc.

"Awakening the New Masculine is a brave, exciting and significant contribution to one of the most important aspects of our time- the birth of a New Sacred Masculine capable of being fiercely and tenderly protective of the world and human life."—Andrew Harvey, Author of The Hope a Guide to Sacred Activism

“Something very ancient and very new is being presented here! Gary Stamper is bringing together many disciplines, much experience, fine scholarship, and good writing style too.” — [Fr.] Richard Rohr, O.F.M., Author of Wild Man to Wise Man and Adam’s Return

Gary Stamper
has done a masterful job of pulling together various integral and visionary shamanic approaches to assist the change that is greatly needed for not only men of all ages but also for the masculine that is ready to be activated within us all.” — Linda Star Wolf, author of six books, including Visionary Shamanism: Activating the Imaginal Cells of the Human Energy Field

My book tour will begin shortly after the release and I hope to see all of you at one or more of the book talks I'll be doing around the country as I try to live up to these great comments by these heroes. Another good thing... I love being on the warrior's quest for a noble cause...and in front of people talking about my passion for this work!
Come join me on this journey!


Thursday, January 05, 2012

The Lifting of the Veil

I have to admit I'm not a "feel good" kind of integralist. If you come to my part of the conversation for soft consoling words of comfort or pats on the back, you might as well stop reading now. I'm the kind of integral thinker that asks you to step into the abyss. Shaking things up is clearly part of my masculine purpose and the heavy warrior archetypes I carry.

It's interesting that--- more often than not---whenever I talk about what seems to happening in the realm of collapse, the conversation inevitably turns to the apocalyptic. When I talk collapse, people seem to hear "the end of the world." Andrew Harvey says it's rooted to a deep shadow fear of death that comes up for people. However, collapse is not necessarily the end of the world, although depending on which of several possibilities in this perfect storm of economics, ecology, and energy, it is one possibility. But rather than talk about what we can do about it, the conversations seem to usually go to the "end of the world" scenario. It's much easier for people to deny it when they frame it in that context.

My background with the Apocalypse was Southern Baptist, so I'm no stranger to the co-opted term used by mythic Christianity to scare the bejesus into us and to control us. I say co-opted because the original meaning is from the Greek (ironic, ain't it? See the next paragraph) meaning "lifting of the veil" or "revelation:" a disclosure of something hidden from the majority of mankind in an era dominated by falsehood and perception, i.e., the veil is to be be lifted. This term has come to mean, in common usage, the end of the world, but originally meant the end of an age. The lifting of the veil is happening all around us. As I said before, everything is transparent: The patriarchal powers that want to dominate us, the greed of Wall Street and consumerism, the politics of the right and the left who are becoming indistinguishable because we've opened our eyes, the idea that what's important can be measured by GNP instead of happiness ratios, the loss of our indigenous souls who once loved the planet....the veil is lifting.

I agree there's no way to tell if an impending collapse will happen suddenly or over a long period of time, and, whether it's slow or fast, it appears to largely depend on who you're talking to. Ask the people of Greece whether their "collapse" was sudden and unexpected or a slow decline that everyone could see coming. Another irony is that even the people who caused it and could see it coming were powerless to stop it in their greed and quest for power and control. Hence, we once again see the lifting of the veil. While everyone can see the problems that caused the economy to crash in late 2008, nothing has been changed except to further exacerbate the problem by not fixing the obvious problems, the continuing loss of jobs, record foreclosures, and the continuation of the greatest transfer of wealth ever to the very people who caused it, and who are now losing control. The veil is lifting. #Occupy Wall Street, and the satellite Occupy groups around the world--including the local Occupy group I work with--see this for what it is, and are calling it out. We threaten the infinite growth monetary paradigm money machine at all levels and are being pounded into evolving from occupying locations into occupying hearts and minds and into what looks like one of the leading edges of consciousness. But we're not just sitting around talking about it. We have far to many Caesars who are willing to fiddle while Rome burns.The thing about collapse is that it can no longer be talked about in future tense. It's happening all around us: government, politics, nations, economics, populations, climate change, weather, earthquakes, water shortages, peak everything, health care, employment....You name it...some statistics:
  • There are more hungry people in the world than the combined populations of the US, Canada, and the European Union
  • Hunger kills more people than AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis combined
  • 925 million people do not have enough to eat  and 98 percent of them live in developing countries. (Source: FAO news release, 14 September 2010)
  • Women make up a little over half of the world's population, but they account for over 60 percent of the world’s hungry.
    (Source:  Strengthening efforts to eradicate hunger..., ECOSOC, 2007)
  • 10.9 million children under five die in developing countries each year. Malnutrition and hunger-related diseases cause 60 percent of the deaths;
    (Source: The State of the World's Children, UNICEF, 2007)
  • 3.575 million people die each year from water-related disease
I believe, based on several years of study and observation, that we are coming to the end of an age, and by definition, the beginning of a new one. So, the question begs to be asked: The veil is lifting, and what are each of us doing about it?

.... and if I hear "things are perfect just as they are" one more time, I'm going to lose my cookies! What a new age load of spiritual bypass that allows one to disconnect from the suffering in the world. If things were perfect, why would we want to change anything, why would we value cognitive dissonance, why would we pick up a child who wanders into the street? Zen quotes:
  • Don't wish for perfect health. In perfect health, there is greed and wanting. So an ancient said, " Make good medicine from the suffering of sickness."
  • Don't hope for life without problems. An easy life results in a judgmental and lazy ind. So an ancient once said, "Accept the anxieties and difficulties of this life".
  • Don't expect your practice to be clear of obstacles. Without hindrances the mind that seeks enlightenment may be burnt out. So an ancient once said, "Attain deliverance in disturbances". Zen Master Kyong Ho [ 1849-1912], in Thousand Peaks.
It's amazing that some of us continue to confuse the celestial realm with the manifest realm. While it's true that things are perfect just as there in the celestial realm, the manifest realm needs a lot of work!

Sometimes we're just too intellectual for our own good. It's time for us to stop talking and theorizing about integral and to be integral. To take what we've learned from the map and put into practice so we can see the rocks and trees, actually jumping in and seeing what's happening in our own interior and the exterior world. That we pay attention to what's happening in the physical world in front of us, what's happening in the breakdown of all of the systems in the LR quadrant, and the inevitable collapse of the LL cultures that comes with it. I'm among those who think we've already passed the tipping point, that we are in collapse, so for me, the question is now "how do we prepare the new systems to fill the void caused by the failure of the old systems?" And they are failing. It's one more reason why it's important for the integral community to move beyond competency of yellow's intellectualism into turquoise community, building new systems that support new ways of living our lives. And the first thing we must absolutely do is to get out of denial about what's happening, whether it's slow or fast.
The lifting of the veil is our opportunity to end 5,000 years of patriarchal rule and to be more fully human. The veil is lifting. Don't turn away.Occupy your heart.

Monday, January 02, 2012

Awakening Thought of the Day: Peter Pan and Post Modernism

"We’ve created a world of Peter Pans, or puers--the eternal boys--who never grow up and want to marry trophies instead of wives, and girls who want someone to take care of them instead of bold partners. The current older generation of men, especially in the United States, has, to a great extent, not been mentored by their own fathers"--Awakening the New Masculine