Yesterday were the Juneteenth celebrations in Denver. I had planned to attend the celebration in Five Points, to take in some yoga vibrancy from Satya Yoga Cooperative, to take in some fresh veggie juice from Mo Betta (Bev) Green’s HEALing presence, to take in some tunes from the outstanding musicians. Although large public gatherings aren’t really my thing these days, I desired to be among beloved community in in-the-streets celebrating a symbolic day in the struggles for freedom. Juneteenth represents the attaining of freedom for millions of people, freedom that some of my own white ancestors may have sought to block, that some of my own white ancestors may have supported as well, freedoms that were nevertheless gained and for which I am grateful. Grateful for the precious lives and liberties gained for the black and brown people I know and love today, grateful for the sacrifices of freedom fighters to allow for a more free future. Even as the fight to be free from oppression doesn’t end and evolves, even as reparations from slavery remain unreconciled, there is nevertheless the joy, the dancing and shining, the raising of hope for rising up, honoring our ancestors. I wanted to partake in a shared ritual acknowledgment of that gratitude, a “lifting up” and raising praise to these ancestors.
But I wasn’t able to make it there bright and early in the morning as planned. The night before, I’d read this article and commentary on Reddit about permafrost thawing currently “not anticipated until 2090,” prime evidence that a positive feedback loop amplifying global warming is in fact underway, accelerating our miseries and the likelihood of severe and abrupt losses of life in our lifetimes. Then, I had dreams. Sick dreams, dense dreams. Of being incarcerated. Jailbreaking. The “preyed upon” reality of poverty. The oppression that limits the range of choices of the poor, as callously arrayed by those with infinite liberties.
We are not free yet. For even as tangible freedoms are secured thanks to strong people’s movements, still, the entire mentality & mode of colonization is not overcome–sometimes, it scarcely seems scathed. Battles are won, yet the tactics of the colonized/oppressing pattern evolve and adapt, like a virus. Rights and freedoms are wrested as concessions from the powerful, so that more may live and thrive. But how long will it take to eradicate the parasitic pattern itself, to uproot the weed, from all across the globe and in any of its manifest forms? How could we secure lasting victory?
The intensifying rate of ecological degradation we are seeing is only the latest extreme (visible) manifestation of the same effects colonizer cultures create anywhere they go. Everywhere, colonizers de-diversify (monopolize) and co-opt all life energy for their own ignorant ends (extraction and exploitation), and waste the rest (pollution). Everywhere entitled colonized people and agriculture goes, the land, its ecosystems, and its original peoples are damaged. Relational bonds of every type are broken like so many soil communities thoughtlessly crushed underfoot. Now this pattern has become so magnified, so “macro,” it seems especially insurmountable and intimidating: we are staring down the patent denial of life in all directions. This pattern, if let to remain in its societally dominant position, will kill us all, through denying space and life to “other” (disincluded) beings, first.
If only we had been more willing to face hard truths, sooner.
If only we’d been compelled to listen to the marginalized voices, including the quiet statements issued by the conditions of the ecosystems in which we live. Yet we have been conditioned to forget these languages, even to entirely forget to listen to the experiences of others for what they can teach us.
We’ve instead created heavily-insulated “bubbles” of our existences. “Human realms” where only societal concerns penetrate, and the ecosystem actually supporting existence is marginalized to a generic afterthought. “Human realms” have proliferated in the form of sprawl and pollution, like scar tissue encroaching across the skin of living Earth, slowly suffocating itself.
Why is it so popular to create material–and increasingly, informational/ideological–bubbles?…Perhaps there is fear that there is simply, at this late stage in human history, Too Much to integrate. Perhaps: it’s only vestigial (leftover) cultural practices that are the barriers, ones we’re not attached to but yet persist due to inertia, no longer adaptive, no longer serving us objectively, & so, secretly primed for change.
How could we finally throw off the chains of wrong thinking, of oppressive constructs and outcomes, that have long been maladaptive, yet have survived only because of the planet-wide conditions of abundance produced by self-renewing/regenerative “natural-capital-rich” contexts that the oppressive pattern could dominate and exploit? Now that those self-renewing contexts are diminished, depleted and dying, the colonized pattern seems poised to kill us all. Even propagating regenerative means (yes, even collaborative platforms designed to propagate regenerative patterns, like Bloom or Cosmos) are at risk to inadvertently become “life support” to this extraction-hungry parasite–that is, the colonizer culture could adapt to co-opt even our virtuously intended work, too.
I’m speaking from an understanding that the oppression pattern is fractal, and if we fail to rout it out everywhere, it will regrow and continually adapt its defenses, like a noxious weed.
Looking from the highest level (or, if you prefer, looking at the most fundamental “roots”) of the oppression pattern, it is about the flow of energy to serve (some) life while destroying others. It is a type of local survival adaptation, but not one that is globally liveable/survivable. The oppression pattern includes human societies and cultures, individual human actions, and their economic and ecological circumstances, but these are manifestations of what is at root a repeating pattern comprised of epic dynamics between entropy and negentropy, evolution, systems, and “DNA” or how things get encoded, copied, and proliferated.
I’m claiming that this colonized pattern is so wasteful in so many dimensions, it can’t be let to continue living on the face of this Earth. I’m claiming we need to address the pattern by pulling it up at its roots, somehow, some way, teaching it/teaching ourselves, holistically, that it has no place here. I’m talking about something as big as overhauling the pattern itself, pervasively demonstrating its maladaptiveness to itself, and accelerating the evolution away from those patterns, globally. So as not to let any future human be deprived of full access to their self-actualization as a being, we must manipulate the conditions so oppression naturally does not re-materialize.
Being that this pattern abides in our cultures… and so, by extension, it is internalized, residing in and transmitted by our body-minds... what is our praxis for possibly snuffing it out? How do we completely extricate ourselves from the generic pattern that grossly squanders the potential of our lives? Especially when we know that the full creativity of our lives must emerge and be harnessed if we are to have any influence over the renewal of Life in all arenas??
The work (truly more expansive than just “a book”) that I am in the process of producing, which I refer to as EPIST, discusses how, through careful surgery of thought and action, through reconditioning, we could accomplish the eradication of Oppression, actually. I hope to gather folks together on such praxis, with the EPIST offering functioning to catalyze interrogation and experimentation on a deeper dimension of praxis. (The word EPIST is an anagram of the two books that serve as a kind of “inspiration buttressing” for it–Emergent Strategy (ES) which delves into fractal living praxis possibilities for enhancing all aspects of a radical, organizing life, and The Patterning Instinct (TPI) which unpacks historical societies’ “cognitive structures” to reveal the (evolutionary) feedback loops set in motion by collective mythic/metaphoric and behavioral forms.)
Looking at these emergent evidences (like the permafrost article) of massive suffering payable to our children and their children, looking at the massive injustices already etched into our lineages and STILL unhealed… the grief is terrible, enormous, like drowning in a rising ocean. The ongoing disintegration of our society is and will be monumental. Yet, where there is breakdown, there is the potential for breakthrough. I want my offerings (EPIST) to be there to aid the transformation of breakdowns into breakthroughs.
“What wants to happen” is NOT perpetual evasion of responsibility and desperate stressed-out hoarding of any minute scrap of good left in the world. What wants to happen is a blossoming to wholeness, fully opening to feedback and information, integrating, learning, and adapting into ever higher orders of maturity, of harmony with our existences. Because every being who can call themself alive yearns for this to happen, I trust that even the slightest local restructurings could trigger an escalating epic reorganization of our minds, our cultures and our relationships.
Juneteenth. I want to have been there because it is right that we celebrate our freedoms just as openly and fervently as we confront our oppressions. (I mean the global “our” here, inclusive of all peoples pursuing their liberation.) Yet what I am authentically concerned for is that we will run out of time before all these wrongs can be meaningfully righted, before all people’s reconciliation and reparation processes can reach their satisfactory fulfillment. (Which I believe they otherwise would, because this is the evolution we need to become whole and free, all.) I am concerned that, not only have those in power worked to stymy giving ground and space to such discourses that would hold them accountable–their final acts of oppressive dominance will be to render these arguments–and the lives and peoples fighting for them–moot. Effectively annihilated, the destructive climax of many generations’ worth of a genocidal pattern. (Yes, the rich are building bunkers, in case you were wondering.)
If we do nothing to restore our relations to our environment, to each other, and to our means to life, we don’t buy ourselves any time, and as a result all this effort to heal our societal rifts may be squandered. We’ll die oppressed, like our ancestors… and that is my fear for us.
I’ve known we were facing outcomes as dire as the one I read about the other night. I’ve known since at least my teenage years, and though I’ve grown discouraged at times, feeling like nothing I was doing was having any impact, I condemn my own silence and withdrawal that I’ve had the privilege to reside in over the past few years.
What I’m writing (EPIST) is a synthesis, analysis, thesis that is needed in the world, yesterday. However, it may not even be available to the world tomorrow. That’s because I need material and interpersonal supports so that my focus can go there and remain there until the job is fulfilled. Beyond that, so I could rally a team to bring EPIST forth, even more effectively and efficiently. (And beyond that, so I can facilitate and engage in critical discourses in this theme to continue advancing and enhancing the work.)
More than a book, EPIST is a template catalog, a “recipe book” of praxis, meant to be done and tested, practiced and digested, as much as read. It’s my offering, having processed all kinds of information, cogitating quietly, intently for years, resulting in a (perhaps innovative, perhaps sophisticated) cognitive structure with vigorous potential to turn the soil of stale and stuck modes. EPIST embodies my evolved understanding, from which (I can personally report) immense freedom stems.
I am calling in a movement that acknowledges the limitations of the whole fractal “oppression” pattern (whatever forms it may take) on this Earth, now and for our future. I’m calling in a movement that studies the conditions emboldening and weakening the pattern in general, and endeavors to influence those conditions, across all scales, to change, so as to make our Earth and our societies an unwelcome soil for that pattern to take root.
Taking this “generalist” approach to routing out oppression is deeper yet inclusive of resisting the particular oppressions taking place on Earth today. I believe diminishing the pattern holistically would influence the sociocultural “field” such that particular resistances and restorative efforts would benefit. This thing we’re up against is a way, encoded into cultures (reflecting how it was once a method for survival of those cultures), and carried on by the cognitive and behavioral structures of the body-minds that benefit from it. We must dismantle it with the keen praxis of disempowering the conditions in which the pattern tends to thrive. (If oppression is like a cancer, the greatest means to avoiding cancer is preventing it, right?)
This may seem like even more work than the already exhausting labor of attempting to correct particular injustices still prevailing today. However, it could be seen as the opposite–as more elegant, more accessible, more efficient and fractal. Becoming capable of confronting and routing out oppression in all dimensions of one’s existence–internally, externally, subtly and grossly–a being becomes more resoundingly, pervasively liberated. This movement must recognize that NO being should be left behind from liberation. EPIST, the calling in, is an invocation addressed to the secret yearning in any being’s heart… a “call to action” of the liberation-wanting-to-happen, that potential to be redeemed, to let it come out, be seen and expressed, be exposed in the light of day… and grow like the treasured seedling it is.
Please support EPIST and its invoking. Donate money or time/talents to the project through this link.
I should have writing samples sharing some crucial content from EPIST within the next month–sooner, with support. In the past 16 months alone, I’ve already been organizing my “keystone ideas,” book structure, index cards, and have at least 60% of the content for the book transcribed. Progress is occurring, but the sooner EPIST emerges, the better potential to affect outcomes in the world.
Thank you for witnessing me… and if you are one who takes the further step to join me in walking this path toward universal liberation, thank you further.
Print by Holly White, follow @hollite on Instagram
Once again, please support the production of EPIST by following this link.