Occupy Wall Street

by Mayuri on December 6, 2011

Evidence Of Our Human Spirit

The upheaval that our world is experiencing is a sign of the human spirit behind our culture, and that has been the case in every place in every time. For those who study history, the condition of the United States in our time is no surprise. It happened in Rome. It happened for the British Empire. The fall of every empire was presaged by the increasing disparity between the haves and the have-nots.

When we comprehend how dire the state of the economy is, the impact on our lives can feel chaotic. The wake-up calls that are pulling us out of our sleep can feel shocking, dismaying, and depressing. It is no wonder that many people are afraid. Historically, chaos has meant that things aren’t working. But humanity is resilient, and within chaos resides our capacity to open up into something new. In Thus Spake Zarathustra, Friedrich Nietzsche said “I tell you: one must still have chaos in oneself, to give birth to a dancing star.” We can see evidence of this capacity in the Occupy (Wall Street) movement, which has as of this writing has 2,668 occupy communities spread not just around the United States, but in more than eighty other countries as well. Note 10 People want a voice and they want change. Matt Taibbi said this in the November 24, 2011 issue of Rolling Stone magazine: ”Occupy Wall Street was always about something much bigger than a movement against big banks and modern finance. It’s about providing a forum for people to show how tired they are of not just Wall Street, but everything. This is a visceral, impassioned, deep-seated rejection of our society, a refusal to take even one more step forward into the shallow commercial abyss of phoniness, short-term calculation, withered idealism and intellectual bankruptcy that American mass society has become.”  I would extrapolate that to the entire world. Even if you don’t agree with all of the politics or methods of the Occupy movement that began in September 2011, I believe that it signifies to humanity the strengthening of a force inside of us willing to stand for needed change, as well as a movement toward cooperation and empowerment that can lead the way. We are finding our voices and to beginning to see ourselves as more deeply interwoven in the fabric of the universe, and learning to act from an expanded sense of self and community.

It is time for all of us to get out of denial and face any negative emotions we may be feeling—whether fear, rage, helplessness, or even sorrow that leaves us feeling hopeless or paralyzed—so that we do not have to act like victims. It’s important to recognize that our egos are attached to victimhood: “It’s all the government’s fault” . . . “The banks are merciless” . . . “Those Wall Street crooks, taking their huge bonuses with my tax money . . .” Remember that you can get lost in victimhood even when some of your perceptions about others are correct. In fact, the more the facts seem to justify your feelings, the harder it can be to escape the powerful draw of remaining the victim. To compound the problem, the media love to capitalize on our tendency to judge and blame when we feel afraid or threatened, so they tend to emphasize and dramatize anything that will keep us stuck.

Instead of remaining trapped in an ego focused on negative factors, we could see what is happening as a paradigm shift offering untold opportunities for connecting more deeply to ourselves. So we are faced with two possibilities: We can look honestly into our own illusions, mistakes, and unwise decisions. Or we can avoid looking into and acknowledging our contribution to the situation—which will ultimately make us suffer more.

We may simply have forgotten that each of us has the freedom to shift our frame of reference at any time. In any moment, we can see our problems as a whole new set of choices that we can make in light of our changed circumstances.

 

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