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"How many hypocrites are there in America? How many trembling lambs fearful of discovery? What Authority have we set up over ourselves, that we are not as we Are?" --Allen Ginsberg

What’s the use in living if you don’t explore and learn? And what’s the use in exploring and learning if you don’t take risks and explore previously uncharted territories?

I’m starting this new journal to tell myself and the world: Ich zittere nicht mehr. I tremble no more. Maybe if I chronicle my search in a public place such as livejournal, it will keep me going. Knowing that other people may be watching will give me that external push when I start to loose momentum.

*Raises his glass to the Universe.* Here’s lookin’ at you, kid.

Oct. 29th, 2006 @ 08:50 pm Voting Day Flyers.
Current Search
I made up a couple flyers I'm going to pass out at the polling places. They're just something I thought might help people think differently of Anarchism. Here's the text of the flyers (I don't know how to make them into images or anything.

*1*

Recognize this symbol?

[circle-A symbol of anarchism]

It means ANARCHY, right? What words come to mind when you see it?

Chaos? Violence? Terrorism?

What about Freedom, Peace, and Liberty?

Don’t think so?
Think again.

Most of the information you hear about anarchism is either exaggerated, a lie, or perpetuated by dumb kids who just want to rebel against their parents.

Real anarchism isn’t about attacking cops, doing drugs or blasting obnoxious music.
It’s about TRUST. It’s about CHOICE. It’s about RESPECT.

• Trusting that adults don’t need a government or anyone else to tell them what they can or can’t do.
• Choosing where your resources earned by your hard work goes.
• Respecting others right to live the way they want to live.

This flyer isn’t meant to be a manifesto, just something to get you to think about your previous conceptions.

If you’re still interested, do a little research into the Anarchist movement, its history and its proponents… apart from those punk kids.

A good place to start is www.infoshop.org. It has an alternative news source and a great FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) section.

WHAT YOU FIND MAY SURPRISE YOU!

*2*

TIRED OF THE DIRECTION OF YOUR COUNTRY???

Do you want REAL CHANGE NOW rather than later?
Who’s going to bring it to you?

REPUBLICANS? DEMOCRATS?

how about
ANARCHISTS!

No, you don’t need to get you eyes checked.
You read that right.

We will never get real change in the country from ANY political party. As long as they are in power they will want to stay in power. Any attempt at change, regardless of how much the people want it, will be suppressed.

Sure, you hear both parties talk about change, reform, leadership, but
any change that does occur is superficial.

The only time real change has occurred within any government in history is when
mass movements of people have forced the government’s hand.

Imagine having that kind of power EVERY SINGLE DAY!
being able to make all your own choices all the time, and not wait for it to become legal.

Choices made by adults should not be legislated.
We don’t like it if our next door neighbor tells us what can and can’t do.
Why do we let politicians in Washington do the same thing?

So, as you enter the voting booth today, think about who has your best interests in mind:

Allen, Webb or Yourself ???

***

Anyway, thoughts?
Oct. 6th, 2006 @ 11:45 pm Here's something I've been working on in my head, but just got down on paper tonight.
Current Search
Keep in mind, it may not be a finished product:

Reprise

I gaze at the patchwork of my past.
tattered by uncertainty,
quilted with rubble, smoke, fire, and the dead.

I have been wounded, cursed, and spit upon,
but I refused to be broken.
This time it is no different.

Though my enemies try to shroud me with terror,
in the name of safety
Though my enemies uphold a stagnant system
in the name of freedom
Though my enemies slaughter my children
in the name of security
I will not stumble.

See these shattered monuments before me?
They are not symbols of my greatness.
They are symbols of my loss;

Loss of innocence
Loss of ingenuity
Loss of that radical spirit
that was forged at my conception.

Because they have crumbled,
Does not mean I have crumbled.

Because men proclaim my name in vain,
fingers in their ears,
does not mean I am whole.

But take courage.
Stand proud.
Still I stand.
Wave my banner high.

Forget the obsolete prison bars and stars.
Weave a new one
together
that will wash the muck and mire from my true face
like a flood.
Make it rise.

Yes the future is blurry,
Yes, the road may be long,
Stay the course.
Know that spreading your voice
is victory.

I am resilient.
I am revolution.
I am America.

September 11, 2006
Oct. 5th, 2006 @ 11:45 pm (no subject)
Current Search
Zach (Green Anarchist Quaker) and I have just started a spiritual anarchist LJ group called "anarkospiritual" (anarchospiritual was too many letters). Check it out, and join if you feel so inclined.

http://community.livejournal.com/anarkospiritual/profile

Also, I went to the VA renaissance fair last weekend. Laurie bought me early xmas and bday presents: a wicked awesome renaissance-type shirt to dress in when I go to other fairs (it looks awesome with my cloak, plus, it's comfy to sit around the house in), and a FREAKIN SWORD!!!!!! SOOOOOO F-ING COOL! The twelve year old in me is bouncing off the walls. It has a soft leather scabbard with a strap to sling over my shoulder. I named her Aislinne (which means "dream" or "vision" in gaelic. Yes, I am the biggest dork ever. Shut up. At least I own it.)

On a related note, a guy came in to work today to donate some books and asked if we took old Dungeon and Dragons books. Before my boss said yes, I nearly yelled "Oooh! Oooh! What edition are they?" Yeah... nerd...

Lastly, go out and find a documentary called "The Party's Over." It made me not only respect Phillip Seymour Hoffman as an actor, as I already did, but as a person.

I think I'm gonna do a mini-review of it soon, but I want to watch it at least one more time before I do so.

Love!
Sep. 27th, 2006 @ 03:29 pm (no subject)
Current Search
Some points of interest (or maybe points of not-very interesting).

*I had another not-completely unsuccessful attempt at quiting the ol' cancer sticks. Though, I am smoking less (or at least, smoking less of each cig).

*I found out Rachel Grove (my ex) is now engaged. Ugh.

*I had yet to start my fast. Once I get more money, though, I'm going to buy some fresh co-op fruit and a juicer to start it.

*I got a new tattoo (for a grand total of two)! It's an OM directly below my right collar bone. I'll put up a picture soon. It's starting to scab-up now though, so it might not look so pretty for a couple weeks.

More later, perhaps.

Love!
Sep. 10th, 2006 @ 02:13 pm God and fasting
Current Search
I've been thinking about my need for a spiritual renewal. I need something to help me get out of my... I don't know what you'd call it... complacency? funk?

Anyway, something to jolt me out of my current condition. I found a book at the library called "The Fasting Handbook." It gives reasons for fasting, strategies to prepare yourself for a fast, different types of fasting like water fasts, juice fasts, fasting from speech, sight, the media etc. and it sounds like something I'd like to do. I haven't made up my mind completely, but I feel like it could help me spiritually as well as physically: flushing out toxins in my body, not to mention maybe help me quit smoking. I can't put my finger on exactly why I feel it would help me spiritually, but I guess you could call it intuition. So yeah. That's that.

Also, the other night, a phrase popped into my head: "God always gives you a direction, but it's up to you to find the path."

Alright, more on this later, I'm sure.

Peace!
Sep. 4th, 2006 @ 01:37 pm The Revolution and Quakers that Friends Aren't
Current Search
So, I recently asked Zach, better known as Green Anarchist Quaker a question that, as you can see by recent posts, has been on my mind:

I’m frustrated with the anarchist movement as a whole because it seems most anarchists feel that the only way to affect real, radical change is through violence. I’m of the opinion that we can’t have a political revolution without a social revolution as well. The general populace needs to learn that they don’t need someone telling them what they can and can’t do to keep order. If the U.S. government were to disappear tomorrow, it would cause the kind of chaos that society sees anarchism as. But, at the same time, no matter what kind of non-violent action we take, there’s a lot of misinformation and violence perpetuated by the government to shut these kinds of movements down. Without an effective way to fight back, whether violent or not, there’s no way any movement will succeed.

So, in a nutshell, I was wondering what you think the most effective sorts of actions are to affect change?


Rather than responding in the comments section of his blog, he actually responded with a separate post, which made me happy and greatful that he gave my out-of-the-blue question so much thought, rather than a cursory response.

I've just read it, so I haven't had enough time to fully process it, but this which is the core of his post, particularly struck me:

I think if the source of the tireless, defiant, uncompromising, and yet intensely loving spirit that the earliest generation of Friends had could be rediscovered, almost anything would be possible.

But a few questions come to mind, not as a critique, but a response.

The earliest Friends were practicing a form of radical Christian teaching. But now, Quakerism, at least on the liberal end, has become less Christ-centered and more pluralistic. For example, a non-thiest Friend (which is what Zach is) would have been an oxymoron in Quakers' earliest days. How would we, then, regain the "flame" as he calls it, without becomming exclusively Christian? And, if we did, many modern Friends, including myself, would be turned away by it.

According to my understanding, which I'll grant, is limited, Quakerism "turned England upside-down" in a more religious fashion than in a political one. Obviously, Church and State were more connected than they are now (even given evangelical conservatives) so they went hand in hand. But, if we were to truly have a spiritual revolution of sorts, I wonder if it would translate to the political.

And lastly, while I love Friends, and I see them as one of the most personaly, socialy and politicaly-concious groups around, we are not large in numbers. With this rediscovery of Quakers-long-past, would we gain in numbers? And, even if we did, would the numbers be enough to affect change?

I don't know, but these will be further things on my mind this week. Perhaps I'll follow-up soon.

Love!
Aug. 29th, 2006 @ 01:21 pm Myspace Group
Current Search
After a frustrating "discussion" about anarchism and non-violence on an anarchist Myspace group, (essentially, most people resorted to calling me "naiive" and a "fucking hippe" instead of trying to responding to my strongest points) I decided to start a "Peaceful Anarchism" group. Here's the link if you're interested:

Peaceful Anarchism

I just started it, so no one has joined yet, but I'm trying to get some rational discourse on the subject. Here's the blub I wrote to introduce the group:

***

As self-proclaimed radicals, there seems to be an awful lack to radical thought among anarchists. Resorting to violence is not a radical idea. Violence and the threat of violence are tools of authoritarian power structures. If we, as anarchists, want to rid the world of all kinds of oppression, the last thing we should do is engage in violent action. By using violence we are buying in to that mode of thought and creating an "us" and "them" mentality which creates only more fear and hate, which spawns more oppression, not to mention starts a cycle of perpetual revenge. How does that make us any better than all the wackos in the world?

What anarchism needs is a revitalizing push away from the pre-conceived notion held by many that all anarchist want is destruction and chaos. Many people may feel they want the type of freedom that anarchism could bring, but are morally and ethically against violence. The more inclusive we are as a movement, the more power we gain.

But, we are not simply misguided hippies who think that all we need is a Beatles song and a drum circle to change the world. True anarchism cannot happen over night. We need flowers and peace signs about as much as we need Molotov cocktails and pipe-bombs. What we do need is a social revolution before a political revolution is possible; educate people away from destructive cycles like consumerism, the illusion of the political process, and retribution. We need people who are willing to make sacrifices, not by hurling bombs, but by flooding the streets with our numbers in large scale strikes, shouting from rooftops that authoritarianism will not be tolerated, hijacking the economy by producing our own goods The list can go on.

This group is for discussion of Anarchist theories and methods to bring about true, radical change, over time; not a superficial revolution that could topple at any moment. These discussions should be centered on the idea that all people, underneath all the muck and mire of civilization and societal programming, are generally good and as such deserve proper respect from others words and actions.

***

I also added some links at the bottom if you want to check them out, too.
Aug. 23rd, 2006 @ 03:36 pm Where I am now
Current Search
I've increasingly found myself more and more alligned with both Quakers and Anarchists. I've been attending meeting regularly since May. The more I think about it, the more I also feel the two are almost a match made in heaven, as much of Quakerism is inherently non-hirearchical and non-authoritarian. I've also been keeping up with this blog: Green Anarchist Quaker He has many good insights into both movements.

I also found this website: GreenAnarchy.org I've been particualrly intrigued by these articles: Back to the Basics (Downloads a zip file. If you want to read them without downloading, go here and scroll to the bottom. Some of what they have to say is too extreme for me (especially as a only a budding "radical") as well as hypocritical. For example, they are anti-technology activists but they run a website and publish a magazine. Also, their advocacy of violence is not only troubling for me on an ethical basis, but on an intelectual level as well. If they, as anarchists, want to rid the world of all kinds of oppression, the last thing they should do is engage in violent action. Violence is in and of itself inherently oppressive. It creates an "us" and "them" mentality which creates only more fear and hate, which spawns more oppression. Violence also starts a cycle of perpetual revenge for previous violence. And, especially during this "War on Terror" hysteria, violence would only justify domestic and international oppression even more. But even as it is hard to swallow at points, much of what they say is hard for me to ignore. The post-leftist movement is very interesting. They examine the historical connection between anarchism and the left and are very critical of it. While the right is typically seen as the more oppressive end of the political spectrum, post-leftists see the left as just as bad. The left, while critisizing opression within government, use that governments own ways and means to affect change, which is counter-intuitive.

I gotta go. The library will be closing soon. I'll try to finish my thoughts soon.

Love!
May. 14th, 2006 @ 08:52 pm The Inner Light
Current Search
After going to Church with my Mom for Mother's Day, I drove down to Ft. Belvoir to the Alexandria Friends Meeting (ie. a Quaker worship service). I've been wanting to go to a Friends meeting for a few months now, but haven't had the chance. I was singing in Dr. Sandborg's Presbyterian Choir every Sunday last semester, so I missed the Roanoke meeting. I found the Alexandria meeting on the internet and it met and exceeded my hopes and expectations. I was first drawn to it after reading this history page.

So, I finally got a chance to go. If I try telling you what happened, it would be boring since all a meeting is, is a group of people sitting in silence. But I felt like I belonged there; like something was drawing me there, but just waiting for the right time. I guess it can be explained as the Quakers call it: the Inner Light; the divine within all of us. I had this energized feeling most of the day; like everything was becomming allinged. I don't want to use hokey religious imagery and jargon, but I find it hard not to.

Even weirder, I feel a pull towards Christianity; or at least a pull towards re-examining it. So yeah. And this meeting seems sufficiently liberal enough that I wouldn't actually have to be a Christian to be a Quaker. Does that make sense?

I'm kinda tired and this isn't turning out as well-written and thought out as I had hoped.

Anyway, love you guys!
May. 13th, 2006 @ 10:38 pm finally something useful to write about!!!!
Current Search
So, I've been thinking a lot about things lately, particularly religious/spiritual things. I had a whole slew of things to write about, but am too tired to write/forgot about them. So, let's go with this:

Soul


There are three aspects of the soul:
Intuition—Urgings of the soul
Emotion—Interpretations of the soul
Reason—Analysis of the soul

Balance between aspects is called Purity.

Problems arise in life when the aspects are out of balance with each other. This balance is called corruption. Imbalance is caused when thought or action arises that is too heavily focused on one aspect. This results in oppression by that aspect. But, there is a process through which one can be liberated from oppression. It begins with revelation—the realization that an imbalance is present. This revelation begins with a seed. This seed can be planted through external means, or can come as an urging from the intuition. Once revelation is in full bloom, if it is a true revelation, the result is passion—a desire for change (i.e. balance). Then comes revolution—the way which one decides—through reasoning and things like prayer, meditation or any other form of examination—that balance can be achieved. While seeds of revolution can be planted externally, true revelation comes from within. No one can say what method of change is absolutely best for another. Once balance is achieved, liberation occurs, and the truth of the matter at hand is revealed.

As said above, revelation can come from the intuition and not just from external means. In fact, all revelation comes from the intuition, but, when aspects are out of balance, intuition can be obscured. Then, a seed must be planted for the true revelation to be revealed. In the same way, then, passion comes from the emotion, and revelation comes from the reason.
The intuition however, cannot really go out of balance, because the intuition is, in a sense, a part of God (that still small voice that speaks in all of us). And, God can never be out of balance. How do we have a piece of God in us? I believe that when a person creates something, a part of them goes into that thing. For example, I may have strong ties to a piece of my own writing, because I put a lot of myself into it. The same could go for a scarf that someone knitted, or even something like a friendship. The same thing goes with God. God created us, so he is in us all.

The force that is at work when seeds are planted is called practicality or moderation and it seeks balance between the aspects.

Intuition is represented by fire for it is rooted in the divine—the flame that inspires all.
Emotion is represented by water for it is the emotion that flows; sometimes calm, and serene, then just as easily can become a raging rapids.
Reason is represented by air, for it is the force that gives us direction, if we have the foresight to unfurl our sails and catch the wind.
Moderation or Practicality is represented by earth, for it is the base in which all things in this world live.

When two or more souls share an idea or cause, their souls are connected therefore, in a sense, become one soul. So, that body of souls is governed by the same principles. When that body’s soul becomes imbalanced, problems also arise, but instead of affecting one soul, it affects all the souls under that body’s influence. For example, governments, if their policies focus too much on one aspect, that government becomes corrupt.