from ThePulse Website
Young women with shining eyes, from China, Rwanda, Belarus and elsewhere, spoke of their campaigns for justice for fathers, husbands, and friends who had fought against tyranny and ended up in jails or prison camps, or were "disappeared".
After a while, the
stories started to blend together into one litany - one ancient,
I often toggle back to the prophetic exploration I made in my book, 2012 - The Return of Quetzalcoatl.
It does feel to me, more
than ever, that we live in prophetic times - an epoch of culmination
and abandonment, realization and surrender, a kairos, an adventure
into the black depths of night and dread, yet streaked with slivers
of illumination, of ecstasy.
He notes that most people engage in an incessant quest for happiness, but joy is always transitory.
We may attain temporary euphoria through some new object, idea, or adventure but this is always fleeting:
Spira proposes there is only one way to attain enduring happiness:
The only unchanging thing in a universe of constant flux is our awareness:
The wind of history appears to be blowing us backward - to a world defined by prison camps, refugees, ecological collapse, dominated by ruthless dictators empowered by the latest technologies.
At OFF, Yeonmi Park, a young woman from North Korea, spoke about growing up in a completely indoctrinated and mind-controlled society. Until she happened to encounter some foreign media, she thought of dictator Kim Jong-un as a God whose word was unquestionable.
A Tibetan, Chemi Lhamo, told how Chinese "high tech surveillance" now makes it impossible for Tibetans to escape Tibet by foot over the Himalayas to India or Nepal.
While thousands of people
made this passage previously (including the Dalai Lama himself), now
only a tiny handful manage to get through each year. Many get killed
in the attempt.
Today, more than four billion people live under authoritarian regimes.
I still want to think this is the case. But I don't know...
A lot of contemporary
spirituality falls on a spectrum between spiritual bypassing and
spiritual materialism. The "consciousness community" got infected
with cultural viruses like QANON, revealing its blind spots.
During the American and
French Revolutions, the people realized they had the capacity to
determine their own destiny. This understanding seems lost - or at
least muted - at the moment.
The dictators who stomp on their people while buying mansions for themselves in Malibu, super-yachts in the Mediterranean, and Lamborghinis to match their outfits are suffering and in denial.
The last night of the OFF was the closing party, held at a rooftop event space atop a department store in downtown Oslo.
I haven't seen such an authentically joyful celebration in a long time.
It reminded me, at least
for a night, that we can still awaken from the nightmare of history
and seek to create something else.