Art for art's sake never meant to mean anything, anyway

28 November
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Above all treasure love, moderation and humility. Love begets courage, moderation creates abundance and humility generates power. Courage without love is brutish. Abundance without moderation leads to over-indulgence and decay. Power without humility breeds arrogance and tyranny.
--B.K.S. Iyengar

"People say that what we're all seeking is a meaningful life. . . I think that what we're really seeking is an experience of being alive. . . ."
-Joseph Campbell

I kept a journal under the sobriquet of cmelak for almost two years, often so personal as to be banal to all who aren't intimately interested in my day-to-day ramblings. After spending some time in my personal Underworld over the last couple of years, I decided to found a new journal which would be a little more serious and a little more earnest.

This journal is both a record of my personal journey towards Self-realization, and of my genuine desire to reach out beyond the confines of the modern-day conception of "ego" ("ego" being quite analogous to "culture"), in order to ONLY CONNECT with the greater world around me.

After completing a B.A. in Liberal Arts at Antioch University Seattle (in social justice/ community development), and as a writer, poet and mystic who is fascinated by cosmology, I decided to attend the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco, for graduate work in their Philosophy, Cosmology and Consciousness program, which I will complete in 2012.

I perhaps self-identify foremost as a culture change activist. I have been studying nonviolence and social change movements since roughly 2003, and participated in the anti-war movement against the illegal invasion of Iraq with the Ballard Peace Activists (Seattle), and the Seattle Women in Black. After a period of self-educating on our global situation, I felt my desire and energy attracted to what might be termed "pro-peace" activities. I helped co-found the grassroots community organization Sustainable Ballard, as a response to the invasion, as well as in response to the looming crises emerging from the failure of the Industrial Growth Society, as embodied in "peak oil production," climate chaos, the growing disparity of wealth and the prospect of a U.S.-led "endless war on Terra." After all, the final battlefield seems to involve capturing the public imagination of what "true security" is, versus the "national security" narrative peddled by the military-industrial complex.

"We have not understood yet that the discovery of the unconscious means an enormous spiritual task, which must be accomplished if we wish to preserve our civilization."
-Carl G. Jung

I believe that we are living in the midst of extraordinary times. I have been slowly waking up to this realization all my life, cast about in strange waves of consciousness which crash against the ragged shoreline of my enculturation and personal biography, producing all sorts of interesting epiphenomena as well as genuine revelation.

Making the unconscious conscious is the stuff of dreams, quite literally. I often ponder whether or not we -- humanity, as a total collective -- have the spiritual resources to reconcile or heal the divide between our historical circumstances and our existential or archetypal realities. I'm not yet sure if the term "archetypal" expresses exactly what I mean by our "existential" realities for I wish to express my belief that humans are far more than the sum of their historical circumstance, that owing our consciousness we inhabit another realm altogether, one which transcends the linear mind's preoccupations with "past" and "future."

And yet I cannot pretend that history doesn't inform the possibilities of our collective future; as the philosopher and cultural historian Richard Tarnas has said, history is the great unconscious. The challenge of our times may indeed be the industrialized world finding a way to both include and transcend our history, by making a conscious choice to turn away from the misanthropy, fear and greed which are both consequence and cause of our cosmological orientation in order to meet the human destiny of evolution, rather than be gobbled up by blind fate. For those who cling to hope for "techno-fixes" of our global peril, it is both to my pleasure and my dismay to point out that there is already enough of every necessity for everyone. We already have the technology to bring stable, material security to the world's population; I believe that the critical missing link is very much a psychological (and spiritual) one.

"Your vision will become clear only when you look into your heart. Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside, awakens."
-Carl G. Jung

I am slowly forming a thesis that the human heart, as our primary organ of perception, is a key component of the evolution of human consciousness. This thesis is ground as much in biology as it is in the perennial wisdom of the world's major philosophical systems. Even simply returning to the wisdom of the heart and our basic instinctual and emotional resources would do much to help turn away from the self-destructive trajectory of post-industrial society, and maturing out of what cultural historian Thomas Berry characterizes as an unhealthy adolescent society. I am fond of pointing out that our current crises are not something we are going to think our way out of, but rather we must feel our way into them.

Thanks in part to Richard Tarnas' writings, I almost constantly meditate on the question "Is the modern human psyche undergoing a rite of passage?"

And so I set myself to the task of decolonizing my own soul, in order to reconnect with my own humanity and emotional wisdom.

Another World is not only possible, I feel her emerging with my every breath.
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