We Are The 99 Percent

by Mayuri on February 6, 2012

We Need Consciousness, Not Just Political Reform

Journalist Faiz Sakir of Think Progress wrote on October 5,2011:

“The original “Occupy Wall Street” protest has grown beyond its name — it is no longer solely about the courageous people camped out at Zucotti Park; it is a nationwide movement bonded by a shared refrain: “We are the 99 percent.”

This slogan has entered our political and financial lexicon and refers to the 99% , the vast majority of Americans, and their opposite, the 1% who have  the exceedingly disproportionate share of the wealth.

There is  a mounting disgust and anger in America’s citizenry with a political and financial system that rewards the 1 % at the expense of the rest. The Occupy Wall Street protest reflects this by moving outside of it’s original platform as a protest against Wall Street, and has become a nationwide movement that is bringing awareness to ordinary Americans, not just about income inequality, but the declining median household incomes, the growing numbers of people getting kicked out of their homes, increasing numbers of adults and distressingly children falling below the poverty line, the millions joining the ranks of those without health insurance, and the corruption and unjustifiable political influence by  greedy banks and corporations in the financial services sector.

So far, the proposed solutions of the 99% have been political in nature at the level of national policy and are  encoded in a list of demands called  “99% Declaration” and a more loosely defined set of goals called the “Liberty Square Blueprint”.

It is crucial that the financial realities of our current economic system are coming to light and ordinary people are waking up to them. It is also imperative that the  concerns be addressed at the national policy level, but what in my view is missing is addressing the underlying issues at the level of the individual and his consciousness. Throughout history, in different empires, there has been this same increasing corruption and income disparity, with the consequent protests, wars, and regime changes that have inevitably ended in virtually identical inequalities. As the Spiritual teacher Osho said “There is no idea of changing the society or the world, because there is no society. Only individuals exist. Society is an illusion. And because we believe in society, all the revolutions have failed. The belief that the society exists has sabotaged all efforts to change man—because the belief is rooted in illusion.”  If this is true, and it seems from the lessons of history, which we often fail to recognize, that it is true, we must address economic issues at the level of individual consciousness.

Bringing increased attention to the development of consciousness in the middle of our money and worldly affairs is the doorway to our freedom from its dominance over us. And that freedom extends out to make a difference in our world. For if we each participate in and take responsibility for our part in becoming conscious about the money in our lives, money can be restored to its true purpose—not as a measure of success, or intrinsic personal value, or as a way to collect fame and recognition, or a means to repress or dominate others, but as a tool of support for who you truly are as a human being and a reflection of the legacy you would like to leave for the planet.

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