Monday, December 12, 2011

Full Circle


Total Eclipse

NOTE:  This is the second draft of this blog post.  The original was intended to be published on Saturday Dec. 10, 2011, in coordination was the Total Lunar Eclipse.  That version was lost due to a technological error (Mercury Retrograde) which resulted in failure to save on my computure.  Since my style of writing involves channeling whatever comes to me in a specific moment and always occurs as a quick burst of inspiration captured in one sitting, the style and tone of the original piece cannot be replaced.  I hardly remember much of what was written, and this second version is almost entirely different.  This teaches me a valuable lesson about being conscious of saving drafts during the creative process, so as not to waste effort and cause repeated steps. But it also informs me that everything I am doing at this time requires documentation.  I will end this blog with an appeal for help acquiring video equipment, so that in the future I can produce a video blog which will allow me to be able to capture exactly want I am feeling in the moment in a much more immediate way and accurately preserve information.

-

This weekend's Full Moon in Gemini Total Lunar Eclipse brings powerful new insights and renewed focus.  It also provides an opportunity to look back on the path we have traveled with a refreshed perspective.  I have felt the need to return attention to the original purpose of this blog for a while now, even reminding my readers to re-read this blog from the first post in July chronologically up to the most recent post.  Often, the way forward requires looking back.  At the very least, we need to be able to read the signs when the time is right for a change of course.  The ancients invested great significance in signs they observed in the night sky.  A Total Lunar Eclipse meant impending change.  We also must be prepared to recieve signs of change as well.

Finding myself in the midst of a global uprising, my energy and focus was devoted exclusively for the past several months to the Occupy Wall Street movement.  But it is clear that Occupy has moved into a transition phase.  The evictions from Liberty Plaza (or Liberty Square, as some who wish to associate it with Tahrir Square call it), and numerous other encampments does not mark the end of what we created in those parks.  These encampments were not founded in a way that could allow them to continue indefinitely.  They accomplished their primary objective, by launching an ongoing nationwide and global dialogue.  The next stage is to harness the energy and ideas on display at Liberty Plaza, and adapt it into a model of society that can be sustained permanently.  The transition now is to move from a protest movement to actually creating an alternative to the society currently in place. 

This weekend, I attended the lecture Starhawk presents: The Magic of Co-Creation: Building Power in Groups (http://www.evolver.net/Starhawk_Collaborative_Groups).  Starhawk is a leading visionary of New Paradigm thought who has been teaching Earth Activism for many years.  She lives in an intentional community in the Bay Area which practices the principles of permaculture and sustainability.  Her novel, The Fifth Sacred Thing is a prophetic work which envisions a future utopic society based on non-heirarchical organization and earth-based spirituality existing on the margins of an all-encompassing police state.  It was probably the unconscious influence that spurred me to pursue this project, which involves me attempting to live rent free as a means of raising awareness about issues of land ownership and encouraging efforts to move toward a cashless reciprocal gift giving economy and intentional shared resource communities.  So once again I am observing a syncronicity in the timing of a rare visit by Starhawk to the East Coast, on the weekend of a Total Lunar Eclipse and a time when I am revisiting my earlier focus.  That she is making this trip at this time, with the purpose of educating Occupy Wall Street in techniques of permaculture and sustainabilty, is further evidence of the transition of OWS to something more permanent and lasting.  It also reaffirms that the ideas I have been pursuing since July of intentional homelessness and cashless reciprocal gift giving are on the vanguard of this new paradigm.  It is time for the rest of the movement to move in the direction I have been advocating since before the movement even started.  The move is toward a radical acceptance of our interconnectedness. 

Looking back to what I was thinking then, the ideas may have appeared crazy or strange.  For that reason, I initially only shared my intentions with a group of 35 select individuals from Facebook who I knew to be involved in New Paradigm thinking.  I figured they would be the most likely to understand and support my efforts to opt out of the system.  Breaking ingrained patterns in never easy, and sometimes it requires repitition.  Below is my original statement of purpose.  If you were one of the 35 who have read this before,
now is a good time to read again.
   
-------From Facebook:

Stephanie Mark and 33 others

June 30
Kelly Heresy

If you have recieved this message it is because you are involved in a lot of projects and have an interest in changing the world. If what you read here does not interest you, simply remove yourself from the conversation. I have no intention of spamming anyone. Conversely, if someone you know may be interested, please forward to them.

I have had several conversations recently that indicate to me a lot of people are working on similar projects, yet at the same time do not feel as supported as they should be or are overwhelmed with more things than they can handle. Some of the factors are that people who are so used to doing everything do not feel comfortable asking for help. Or there is sometimes a proprietary interest in maintaining control over their project, their ideas or branding. Or they don't have money to offer and can only rely on unpaid volunteers. I feel that if we are to move out of a cash and competition paradigm, we need to move to a sustainable, cooperative, cashless paradigm. More specifically, a reciprocal service paradigm.

The Iroquois Confederacy managed to keep the peace between several distinct tribes through a system in which goods and services were exchanged, and later returned in some equal manner when it was time to give. The European settlers didn't understand the delicate balance and assumed a quid pro quo transaction for the land of the indiginous people or that they were voluntarily surrendering their rights to it. All of our concepts today around land ownership and monetary exchange are bound to the European colonialist model which did not previously exist on this continent. The transformation of public, shared, common space in hunter-gather culture to private, exclusive property under feudal and colonialist society is the major problem of the world today. It is the source of poverty, homelessness, environmental degradation, tyranny and corporatism. The labor of people dispossed of their land become the fodder of the capitalist machinery.

There are three entities today that take control from individuals over their own lives. They are the Paymaster, the Landlord, and Government. The paymaster is the one who writes your checks. You can evade this through self-employment. The landlord has a unilateral relationship with the tenant who surrenders the fruits of their productivity for the right to use of private property. One must be a landowner to avoid this form of exploitation, and thus their is a division between the Propertied and Tenant classes. The Government is a longterm adversary, but can be influenced by use of First Amendment rights. I believe we should eliminate our reliance on government as much as possible, because everything the government hands out has strings attached to it. True freedom can only come through self-reliance augured by a reciprocal gift based community.

We have had Free Trade, then Fair Trade. I believe we now need Share Trade. I would define this a cooperative cashless economy based on reciprocal service. It is extemely important that there is a distinction here with volunteerism, which is a voluntary giving without the expectation of recieving. For the Share Trade economy to fuction, it must the exchange must be reciprocal and the return gift is obligatory. Otherwise the balance is skewed and you have a class of givers and a class of takers.

I am developing a project to test this theory. Today is July 1st. My 10 year anniversary in New York City. Today I am also officially homeless. I have negotiated out of a two-year lease with my landlord, have sold off or thrown away most of my belongings, and will now attempt to put a Share Trade economy plan into action. My goal is to live rent free in New York City for one year. I have had several issues over the years with landlords, and I can no longer justify giving slumlords a large percentage of my income, considering only the wealthiest 2% are gaining in this economy. By my calculations, if I can go without paying rent for one year I will save nearly $10,000, which I can then invest in land upstate where we can grow our own food and start a Share Trade Colony. What I need to survive in New York City is individuals willing to give me a place to crash in exchange for my services. It a similar idea to the idea of couchsurfing, in which people give travelers a place to stay and network with others so they have a place to stay in other cities. Or taking the Burning Man and Rainbow Gathering gift economy into an urban setting. It will be an interesting social experiment.
I hope this offer will encourage you to utilize my service. I am available and quite enjoy being involved in your projects. I will exchange my services for a place to sleep on a couch or floor, or other reasonable trade. Some of the services I can provide include, errands, cooking dinner, cleaning your bathroom, spiritual counseling, tarot, writing, propaganda or performance art for your event or cause, manual labor and my ability to find things you are looking for. I will document my experiences and transactions in a blog and everyone who helps me with a place to stay will be acknowledged. It will be a different type of lifestyle, but no more uncomfortable than backpacking through Europe. I am looking forward to the challenge of being an Urban Nomad. Hopefully I can also assist you in your projects and bring some exposure to issues related to homelessness and the real estate industry.

Look for updates on http://liverentfreeordie.blogspot.com/ or follow me on twitter @kellyheresy
I welcome your comments and suggestions.

If you need work done or services to trade, contact me at kelly.heresy@gmail.com

Happy Independence Weekend
kelly h

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

It is interesting that this piece was written on June 30th.  The previous Total Lunar Exclipse before this one was on June 15th.  I had a perfect view of it from my kitchen window.  At the time, I had no idea that in two weeks I would end up opting out of my lease and pursuing a path of intentional homelessness.  That is how quickly those developments took shape.  On this Total Lunar Eclipse, I find myself going full circle once again.  With the eviction from Liberty Plaza, my nomadic path has once again been reinforced.  With the dispersal of the community that had gathered in that park I've also lost a certain sense of security it provided.  I am again revisiting my call for help and support.  I am again trying to establish the reciprocal gift economy.
Only this time, I have the understanding and experience from Occupy to know that it is no longer an individual path.  Rather than ask for your help, I invite you to join me.

The next phase of Occupy is to acquire land, to live together on it and create the alternative society that we are seeking.  We need to prove that Occupy is not merely about a list a grievences, but is also capable of offering solutions.  We need to show that our way of living is better than what society currently offers, and inspire others to join us.  How might we do that?  One way is to link up with the new Facebook group New Paradigm Solutions (http://www.facebook.com/#!/groups/304691456218971/), which was founded for the purpose of discussing practical ways to impliment the changes we seek.  Some of the projects this community is involved with include Green Roofs and Urban Farming, carpooling and transportation alternatives, urban sanctuaries and intentional farm retreat communities.  We are linking up with people who own land and wish to provide opportunities for work exchange and Share Trade.

One last note - there are a few specific items of which I do need some help with.  I would like to find someone that has access to video equipment for the purpose of creating a documentary about the transition to intentional communities and the Share Trade economy.  There are in fact several video projects I have in mind at present, including video updates this blog.  I could use either collaborators to work with me on these projects or investors to help fulfill the vision.  I also have to mention that since I have opted out of the system, I have not worked in 3 months and have spent all of my savings.  I have less than $20 in my pocket and a phone bill due in 5 days.  Anyone who understands the work I am doing and values the mission, now is a time where I need people to step up and get behind me.  Please email me at kelly.heresy@gmail.com if you are able to help me out with a donation for my sustainence and continued work, or if you want to invest or collaborate on projects.

I will leave you now with a song that remains appropriate, all be it a few days late and perhaps not so gracefully aged.  I remember hearing this song on the radio as a child and being blown away by its epicness.  It became my first ever "favorite song."  I look back on it now with a little more than just nostalgia.  Because I really do need you tonight.  I have nothing else but you.  Without your support, I am lost.  I need you more than ever.  I am you.  You are me.  We are one.

Forever's gonna start tonight.  Forever's gonna start tonight.


Turn around, bright eyes.


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

(Occupy) The Paradigm Shift

Answering the Call of our Highest Selves



A transition toward a new paradigm has been unfolding on this planet for thousands of years.  It is a process occuring within the consciousness of humanity.  Certain individuals, initiates or adepts of occult knowledge, are aware of this process.  Throughout history, they have guided the process as it has unfolded.  Some have guided it with pure intentions.  Others have tried to impose their will on it so that it would manifest to the benefit of their own interests.  Many are responsible for guiding and shaping it without even being consciously aware of it.

The revolution that started as the Arab Spring and has now become a global phenomenon as the Occupy Wall Street movement, is a visible manifestation of this new paradigm and this new consciousness.  To characterize these movements simply as political or economic, does not get to the heart of the matter.  First and foremost, these movements spring from the deepest desire of human beings to be able to live their lives with dignity, to be free from oppression and injustice.  It is this innermost desire that has given the movements its strength, to withstand repression and to topple dictators.  It is what has given individuals the willingness to risk physical harm to their bodies and well being.  But furthermore, it is coming from a deeper consciousness that has been unfolding throughout time and is set to become known to all as the new paradigm takes hold.

Astrologically, these events are predicted by the influence of Pluto in Capricorn, which causes great changes in governance.  Interestingly, the last time this alignment occured was during the American Revolution.  We can see history playing itself out again, as Occupy Wall Street quite literally is in the process of reordering the process by which we reach decisions, govern ourselves, and eventually, how we conduct ourselves as a society.  But even more interesting is the implications of this shift at the spiritual level.

The author Colin Wilson speaks in many of his works about a condition called Faculty X, which is an innate ability to percieve levels of meaning beyond the ordinary.  It is the same faculty that can be attributed to telepathy, clairvoyance, energetic healing and other paranormal abilities.  Many people have natural abilities in these areas.  Most people, however, have the ability to develop these attributes through effort and focused attention, since Faculty X is innate to all human beings.  As a matter of fact, developing these attributes are important for the full expression of the gifts and talents each individual has, and are an important spiritual practice.  Every religion has a mystical aspect.

Of course, the paranormal throughout history has been regarded with a lot of fear and suspicion.  The word "occult" itself has sinister connotations, although the meaning of the word is "hidden," and refers specifically to those hidden abilities that are not easily explained.  In the past, those with natural abilities often had to concel them because of the fear it engenders in those who don't understand it.  They would have to form secret societies so they could work with other adepts to develop their abilities.  But now, we are entering a new age and we can discuss these things much more openly than in the past.

I have always had a very strong sense of intuition, and I began working to develop these abilities at a young age.  At least since around 2001 I have been openly sharing my abilities with people who are interested.  There had been many indications that I wasn't alone and that a lot of people were attuned to the same messages I was recieving.  Sharing with others was a process in discovering my true identity.  Along the way I had several powerful experiences.  One example was my meeting with the channel Alex Murray.  He went into a trance and communed with my spirit guides, and gave me a message from them.  The message was that I have a powerful ability to understand symbols, and that is why they chose me.  He said someday I might even write a book. 

The new consciousness has existed in the subconscious of humanity for ages.  Certain individuals have had the ability to access this consciousness and prepare humanity for the time that it would be actualized on the planet.  Others have deliberately tried to mislead humanity about the new consciousness for their own selfish motives.  It matters little, because the new consciousness will be manifest and the light will be cast regardless of the desires of the ego.  It will be an Age of Awakening, the shadows will be removed and all will become visible.

The great occultist Aleister Crowley described it as the Aeon of the Crowned and Conquering Child, or the Aeon of Horus.  The symbology of the Crowned and Conquering Child represents the ascendancy of the Individual.  The previous aeons of Isis and Osiris represent matriarchy and patriarchy, respectively.  The age of patriarchy is coming to an end, and rising in place is the age of the child, which is a product of both its mother and father.  Thus the coming age will be a new paradigm that is a more harmonized balance between matriarchy and patriarchy, the Divine Feminine and the Divine Masculine.  The child furthermore represents the Inner Child, the aspect of us that is purest in form, our most innocent and truest self expression.  It's the identity of who we truly are, rather than the face we show society.  The key is to harmonize these different aspects within ourselves and to bring forth our Highest Selves.  The new paradigm will value the Individual as the basis of society, that individuals will work together for the good of all so that all can develop themselves and express their highest nature.

Some secret occult societies that are in power today and have been in power throughout history understand the coming shift and that it will correspond with the Individual assuming power.  They have misinterpreted the symbol of the child, taking it to represent the freedom of the child from morality, from being held accountable for knowing right from wrong.  They believe the new age will be about powerful Individuals who can hide the truth and steer humanity for their benefit, because they are the enlightened ones who are beyond good and evil.  These dark societies and their influence will be exposed in the coming years, and their errors will be proven to all.  The truth cannot remain hidden in the age of revealing, and it is merely an ego attachment to attempt to direct the inevitable outcome.  All will have to confront their own darkness before they can enter into the new paradigm.


              Democracy is Coming to the USA



The year 2012 has had significance for occultists and a variety of spiritual traditions for a long time.  I am not going to discuss the different ideas associated with the date other than to say it will be when a tipping point is reached in the consciousness of mankind, and the ideas of the new paradigm will be ready to blossom.  But the way forward starts with each individual.  A new society based on respect and tolerance for each individual will require healing on a profound personal and spiritual level.  Each individual will have to undergo a personal transformation to access their highest potential to serve the greatest good. 

I recently had my birth chart analyzed by an astrologer friend of mine to see what my next actions should be and how best I can be of service in these times of change.  He indicated that I have the chart of a spiritual teacher and reformer, and that speaking and writing are very strong in my chart.  It was interesting to hear because I have in fact been doing a lot of public speaking and writing lately.  I was recently asked to do a guest column for Newtopia Magazine http://newtopiamagazine.wordpress.com/.  It will be called Occupy and Evolve, and will be a weekly series about Occupy Wall Street how it relates to the emerging new paradigm.  I also spoke at the book release for What Comes After Money? http://www.realitysandwich.com/beyond_money with Daniel Pinchbeck, Ken Jordan and Sharon Gannon recently at Jivamukti, and at the left-wing think tank Demos with historian Michael Kazin.  This blog started me off on a path of seemingly chance circumstances, which lead to opportunities I didn't know existed, but my birth chart confirms that all of this is what my destiny had in store for me all along.  My Highest Self is to act as a guide and spokesperson for the new paradigm.  To connect with people, assist in the process of shifting consciousness and help make sense of it as it unfolds.  This is what has been channeled through me from my spirit guides.  It is not me writing it.  I am only taking down the dictation that I recieve.

I have been doing the work that I have been called to do since at least 2004.  I have mostly been doing it quitely in the background, but now the time is right to do so in a much more public manner.  There are several projects I have in the works that require funding.  One such project will involve visiting to sacred sites around the world and will result in a documentary or a book.  Below is a link more information and the donation page.  If you are able to offer support to my mission of service to humanity, it is greatly appreciated.



My Speaking Engagement at Demos with Michael Kazin


Friday, October 7, 2011

The Whole World is Watching

Liberty Plaza 10/5/11:  Protesters, Cops and the Greatest Reality Series Ever


It has been several weeks since my last blog post. Or several lifetimes, I am no longer sure.  It is almost impossible to keep up with the events of each day, when seemingly each moment has transcendent significance.  A threshold has been crossed, where it is no longer possible to simply live in the moment, breathe it in and experience it for oneself as a first-hand witness.  By the time you process it, it has already been seen by a few thousand people.  We have seemingly evolved countless sets of eyes overnight.  The witness is much less powerful than the media device that documents and transmits to the eyes of the world.

Each moment is now a meta-reality, recorded on cell phones and cameras, live-streamed on the internet all over the world.  The news cycle is now as instantaneous as a Tweet or a Facebook post.  The corporate media, which took nearly two weeks and hundreds of arrests to take the Occupy Wall Street movement seriously, has been exposed as what the internet generation has long believed it to be: a Dinosaur dying off in Darwinian fashion as it is too old, slow, and entrenched in a system maladapted to the new paradigm emerging before our very eyes. 

It is a peculiar feeling to be living in such a context.  To know with absolute certainty that I am, in my actions and my physical surroundings, at the center of something truly historic and perhaps even the beginning of a new era in human history, and yet to experience the mainstream channels of information responding with such blatant hesitation, reluctance and outright denial, is utterly fascinating.  How deeply they've conditioned us, and for so long.  But the spell has been broken.  The corporate media is quickly trying to recover, to act like it has been there with us the entire time.  Sometimes they even offer complimentary words.  But I will never forget those first 10 days, as we, American citizens slept outdoors on Wall Street's doorstep, constantly facing police intimidation, and the media were no where to be found.

It is odd for me even despite the fact I was pretty much the first representative of the movement to break through the corporate media blackout, appearing in interviews on MSNBC, Countdown with Keith Olbermann and Liberty Watch with Judge Napolitano.  In each of these instances I recieved my introduction to TV news.  Superficial questions, not a lot of time to respond, interruptions, and a clear angle based on network editorial policy.  But more difficult was the uncertainty of the movement taking hold, and that my words could impact how the police respond to the situation in Liberty Plaza.  I did not want to say something that would prompt the NYPD to end this spectacle in the park before it is given more media attention.  Since the media would portray it as nothing more than a few unemployed kids causing a pointless ruckus.  But now, the movement has spread beyond the reach of the NYPD or the mainstream media.  The corporate media is dying a slow, painful death.  The internet, social media and cell phones have already won.  And so has our movement.


 Abundance
 Consciousness:

Give up your home, live in a park, join a movement, and watch as countless packages of food and clothing arrive each day to make sure you are warm and well fed.



Liberty Plaza has obviously changed significantly since the first days.  The most incredible thing aside from the way in which we were able to spontaneously come together, form productive working groups and transform a small park in the financial district into a village capable of sheltering and sustaining a movement, was the fact that we were assisted throughout the entire process by faceless contributors who responded to our every need.  The occupiers of Liberty Plaza formed a group mind and quickly met urgent collective needs.  But the disembodied eyes and hearts and minds in the digital world made all of this much more easy and efficient, in ways unthinkable in previous decades.  Our village is a meta-village.  It exists physically in a specific location, on Broadway between Liberty and Cedar.  It exists in cyberspace and will continue to exist even if we are forced from this location.  And as a result of it existing in meta-reality, there are now occupations in over 80 cities in the U.S.  As the movement continues to grow and to occupy new territory, the digital reality continues to grow and remains equally significant.  The occupiers depend on the support and solidarity of those who follow in the digital realm.  This blog post has come to you later than I would have liked.  But it does so with the direct assistance of our supporters and online occupiers.  My laptop was stolen over a week ago.  Liberty Plaza is an amazing place, but it is still subject to the ills of human nature.  I was unable to get much writing done, until an angel benefector from California who wishes to remain anonymous responded to a call for help replacing it.  It is this generosity, this collective sense of purpose, that is allowing us to change the world.  This is the new economy we are creating.  A gift economy in which needs are responded to quickly and purposefully to fulfill the higher purpose of the greater whole.  It is this that gives me faith we can build a sustainable future in which everyone can utilize their talents as they are called and no one is left behind for lack of care or resources.  It is in our grasp, if we truly want it.



My interview with Keith Olbermann





Webster Tarpley and Alex Jones appropriate my name and image (at 7:50)


The last thing I want to touch on, but ties into the earlier ideas, has to do with celebrity culture.  Liberty Plaza is now the most interesting place in New York City, and as such, the world.  In the early stages of the ancient Greek city-states, they had the agora, the open space where free people would gather to debate publicly, to be seen and to be heard.  Liberty Plaza is the modern equivalent.  It is a marketplace of ideas, a beacon of open democratic process, and a mecca of art and culture.  At any given time you are apt to hear a speech from a leading intellectual or be treated to an impromtu performance by a famous musician or artist.  Celebrity media figures from Michael Moore to Susan Sarandon have regularly appeared in Liberty Plaza.  You are also just as likely to be interviewed and end up a media personality yourself.  That has been my recent experience in this journey into the surreal life.  After having been pepper sprayed by the police, I was invited on mainstream media shows to share my story.  I have learned that once you are in the media, you are a commodity to be consumed as much as anything else.

My life as a media personage as taken on Phillip K. Dickian weirdness.  One day my I am accused of being a lazy slacker with nothing better to do, the next I am accused by some of my favorite media figures of being a head honcho in a conspiratorial plot to undermine the movement I am part of.  The very first responses to my media appearance that I saw were typical youtube comments that I would expect, criticizing my appearance as the look of a "slacker hippie", rather than engaging in the ideas presented.  Then things took a bizarre turn when Webster Tarpley and Alex Jones, two people whom I respected for their insights and non-mainstream opinions, actually accuse me of being a pawn for George Soros and trying to undermine the movement to serve the globalist agenda.  First of all, the fact that they can make such unsubstantiated claims without even speaking with me or evaluating my history is extremely disturbing.  Is this how they come up with their theories on a routine basis?  What is worse, they are exploiting the fact that I was on TV, as a victim of pepper spray and police violence, and twisting it for their own concocted story and for their own financial gain.  It is completely depressing coming from them as I actually was a regular listener and reader of theirs.  Now, it has been exposed to me that they are not interested in facts.  They have an agenda just like the mainstream media they decry.  They are willing to throw and innocent victim and an honest protester, as well as an entire movement, to the wolves so long as it backs the agenda they serve.  I have learned a lot about media in the course of a few weeks.  It is the 99%.  99% bullshit.

We are living in an historic moment.  A generation has literally taken the course of history in its hands.  It is time for us to step up, to end the fear and division that the media has sold us for so long.  We are united.  We are one.  We are the 99%, and we cannot be stopped.  We will not settle for little concessions or reforms.  We know we have been lied to, repeatedly, and stolen from every step of the way.  It is our destiny to throw off the liars, cheats and oppressors.  We will not trust media that has decieved us over and over again.  We will trust our eyes, the eyes of our village, our meta-village, our cameras and videos.

This is our moment.  Our MLK moment.  Our Gandhi moment.  We will seize it.  We will win.



Monday, September 19, 2011

Liberty Plaza


 Welcome Home


If you have read my previous blogs, you know that I made a decision to adopt an Urban Nomad lifestyle as a means to live rent free for 1 year and to promote a new Share Trade economy based on cashless reciprocal gift giving.  I arrived at this decision as a response to what I percieved to be chance circumstances and a desire to leave behind old ways of thinking that were not producing results.  Little did I know that so soon after I began this process, I would discover that not only are the ideas and lifestyle change that I took upon myself as a challenge would so quickly prove to be the exact opposite.  A decision to try something outside my own comfort zone and the conventions of society has conveniently and effortlessly opened me up to a new set of circumstances in which pretty much everything I have been asking for is before me like a key to a secret door.

I am writing from Liberty Plaza, a park just a block from Wall Street which was liberated by the Occupy Wall Street movement http://www.occupywallstreet.org/ which now serves as the staging area for our demonstrations.  But for me personally, it is so much more than that.  It is the perfect testing ground for my ideas about Share Trade and reciprocal gift giving.  It is also now my home, as I am one of the demonstrators who sleep here in order to hold the space.  It is the home of many other Urban Nomads who will live here rent free, hold the space, and practice Share Trade with each other.

At this point it should become apparent that I am not the author of this blog, but rather the Universe is writing it through me.  I as a human being could never be this clever, that I could create a set of problems and then solve them in a completely unexpected manner so subtly.  Either that, or the power of my wish for these things in my life was heard by the Universe at it obliged them with great promptness.  Because only two months earlier I was in a very uncomfortable situation of not having a home and not knowing if I would have a supportive community to help me manage.  Now, I not only have a home which I can live at rent free, I have a whole revolutionary operation with like minded comrades, and I am living my deepest desire which was to be a full-time revolutionary.  And every need I have is already taken care of, as I don't even have to buy food anymore.  The movement is recieving donations online from supporters who wish to help take care of us.  We recieved $2,800 worth of contributions to the pizza fund yesterday, and everytime I turn around someone is handing me a cup of coffee.

The Occupy Wall Street movement is truly global in scope and we are connected to our comrades in Egypt, Tunisia, Spain, Greece and others that have been fighting to take their governments back from oppressors and return it to the People.  As such we have supporters all over the world following what we are trying to create in NYC.  When you are ready to be free once and for all of having the banks and corporations control us, come join us in Liberty Plaza.  We need every person we can get out here.  It is also the most fun you can have with some of the awesomest people I have ever met, from all over the country.


Order from Department of Buildings to Vacate






Let's go back for a minute to the reason this project started in the first place, my former apartment.  Upon returning to NYC from my vacation to visit my family in PA, I stopped by the old apartment to see if any of my mail was still being delivered there.  I discovered that, not surprisingly, the building had been evacuted by the Department of Buildings due to "conditions imminently perilous to life."  I had been aware of the structural instability of the building for a long time and made numerous attempts to get the landlord to address the problems.  I even reported problems on countless occasions to the Department of Buildings.  Nothing ever came of my complaints other than the occasional fixed leaks in the roof.  The larger issues remained unaddressed, and when it was apparent that the landlord had no interest whatsoever in fixing the problems or spending any money at all on repairs, my roommate and I decided to negotiate out of our lease.  Less than two months later the building would prove to not be able to withstand Hurricane Irene. 

I feel bad for the new tennants that I noticed were living in the building and who probably lost a lot of their belongings.  But at the time, my first reaction was to wonder if I would have been better off not to have gotten out of the lease, because this would have been indisputable evidence of my case and I could have sued my landlord after all.  But now I realize that such scarity thinking was born of my situation at the time being homeless and not feeling support for my project and concern that I would fail.  What I didn't realize was the Universe was already at work in my favor, that I had been delivered from an unsound apartment and living situation, forced out of my element only to realize that a greater abundance than I could ever have imagined was waiting for me where I was least likely ever to look for it.  For that I am truly grateful and truly blessed.  The message I want to leave you with is that the Universe is listening.  All you can ask for is waiting, but you must be willing to give up that which you think you have and give away what you don't need.  You have to be willing to serve others ahead of yourself.  Only then, when you have given what was needed of you, does the Universe return in full.  I hope that you will take this as inspiration to try something different, to step outside your comfort zone, and for everything someone gives you give back to magnitude of times three.  Join us down at Liberty Plaza, learn with us how to serve each other and teach each other, to stand together in the face of that which seeks to destroy us, and to give all we have in order to recieve all we need.  Then we can truly co-create the world that we have always wanted.




Saturday, August 27, 2011

The Life Nomadic

Change is Inevitable
It is very difficult to blog in the summer.  If there is any season that should be spent outdoors and away from a computer screen, summer is it.  The heat and vacation possibilities occupy a dominant share of mindspace, anything involving work is an afterthought.  This project and the accompanying blog were launched on July 1st when I informed a select group of 35 people on Facebook of my intentions.  It became official when I signed the agreement terminating my lease and officially became homeless.  Now two months in, this is only my third blog post.  Maybe starting out on a radically life-altering course of action during the Dog Days of Summer, which correspond to the dog star Sirius rising and setting with the sun and associated with periods of stagnation and the hottest muggiest days of they year was less than advisable.  Add in the influence of Mercury Retrograde, and astrologically speaking, probably the worst possible timing for choosing intentional homelessness.
Anyway, those facts are noted and I press onward unperturbed.  After all, I did not have much of a role in selecting when the project would commence.  The Universe presented with me with a set of circumstances, and I made a decision to take a less conventional path toward a solution.  The decision was to live as an Urban Nomad and not pay rent for 1 year, instead offering goods and service in exchange for a couch to crash on.  And now as the waning weeks of summer are closing in and autumn approaches, I can already feel the brisk air returning to sweep away the doldrums and bring clarity and purpose.  The harvest must be reaped, and there is work to be done to prepare for winter.
Beyond the changing of seasons, there are unforeseen circumstances that occur, that suddenly change our situation in a way that requires a different approach to the task at hand.  Such circumstances as say, a financial meltdown or natural disaster, challenge us to see the problem differently, to view obstacles as an opportunity to create new possibilities that only existed previously as a potentiality.  This is also a Supreme Law of Chaos Magic, by temporarily adopting an arbitrary change in your behavior or lifestyle, something outside the conventions of society or your normal beliefs and conditioning, you can access great insights and create new possibilities for yourself and others.
My purpose in choosing not to pay rent for 1 year has several aspects.  It is a protest against the cost of living in NYC, which continues to go up even as the economy worsens.   The system favors the wealthy at the expense of the vast majority struggling to get by.  Rent is an expense that accounts for a large percentage of our labor and productivity that we seem to take for granted.  For some reason we think it is natural to forfeit a major chuck of what we earn for the right to live on a piece of land we do not own.  How much more creative and productive would we be if we didn’t have to work so hard to pay the rent?  NYC used to be a haven for starving artists, who flocked here and made it the cradle of the counterculture and the avant garde .  You only have to look at the landscape of the Lower East Side to see how the times have changed. 
Another motivation is to promote a lifestyle and a new economy based on cashless reciprocal gift giving.  The economic order is imploding.  Everyone can see it before their eyes.  I believe that it is being engineered intentionally by the elite banking class, to provoke civil unrest and justify the institution of an all-powerful Police State.  It’s not necessary for you to believe that at this time, you only need to observe that the old system is no longer sustainable, and the solutions that have been offered by the establishment are not working.  Eventually, we will need to adapt to our situation and collaboratively solve problems for ourselves.  By paying rent, we are only perpetuating a cycle of exploitation and are not moving forward to empower ourselves.  Property and Landownership is essential for achieving personal autonomy.  If only an elite class has the means to purchase land, and the regular individual has to mortgage their entire financial future to the banks for that same opportunity, then we need to look at collective forms of landownership and communal living.
I propose a new Share Trade economy, which involves the sharing of goods and services through cooperative, cashless agreements.  It is necessary to implement this type of alternative to the cash economy now, before inflation gets out of control and access to goods and resources is limited by scarcity.  The old way of the Rugged Individual or the Nuclear Family unit, living in isolation from the greater community behind four walls and a roof will die out with the economic order that spawned it.   Our ancestors lived in tribal societies and had no concept of land ownership.  A return to a variation of tribal living with communal work and resources may offer a better hope of mitigating the effects of economic or environmental disaster.
Now, let’s discuss the practical motivation.  By my calculation, if I can live rent free for 1 year I will save $10,000. No joke.  Now how much could you save by living rent free?  The hardship of the situation is living out of a backpack and couch surfing for a sustained period of time.  Think of it as a kin to a long camping trip or backpacking through Europe.  With that $10,000 my vision is to acquire a piece of land and create a collectively owned, off-the-grid, sustainable, organic farming and permaculture, holistic, Interfaith, Free Love, cashless Share Trade intentional community, armed to the teeth with assault weapons(what is the point of owning land if you can’t defend it?).   It will require a large number of workers and shareholders to manifest this vision, but it does represent a legitimate alternative to the decaying authoritarian economic order.

Have Faith in CHAOS
  
I am writing this blog from my parent’s home in Pennsylvania.  This trip was planned for months as I come home once every summer to visit them.  However, it is also coinciding with Hurricane Irene.  This blog will be published before the storm hits New York City.  I am praying that the storm will die down rapidly and the damage and inconvenience will be minimal.  Having been in NYC for 9/11 and The Blackout, I have seen how disaster situations pull people together.  I am hoping that the hurricane is not too significant but serves as a wake-up call and inspires people to start creating the types of resource sharing infrastructures I am suggesting.  Even if this storm becomes a major disaster, it is only the first of what could be many more.  When inflation hits, the suffering will be on a mass scale.
As for me, I am not sure when I will be able to return to NYC.  When I do, I will need to stay somewhere.  I will need more places to stay than the 4 or 5 places I’ve stayed regularly.  I would like to be able to move around based on where somebody has a need, not based on my need for somewhere to stay.  This process is not about me needing a place.  It would be easier for me to rent an apartment of my own.  I have willingly chosen this as an obstacle to work with and create new possibilities.  It is a spiritual journey for me.  To prove to myself I can commit to an idea that sounds absurd and follow it to its logical conclusion, trusting that my Spirit Guides and Allies will protect me.  It is an attempt to prove that one can live free simply by utilizing their gifts and sharing them with others.  It is karma yoga.  It is kind of like a literal attempt to follow the example of Jesus Christ, who was homeless and just traveled from place to place doing good things for people.  It is a challenge and an opportunity.  I hope to be successful and inspire others and create new possibilities, and to Find a Way.
So, when I come back to NYC, I will need you to offer me a floor or a couch to crash on occasionally.  In exchange, I am offering to assist you with your needs.  I have intuitive, healing and magical gifts to share, and many other talents.  Think of any task you need accomplished, whether it something mundane like cleaning or something larger like starting a business.  Send me your ideas of what you need, and I will help you get it done.  All I need in return is an occasional place to sleep.
This is a social experiment.  Perhaps it will fail miserably.  I have no idea where it will lead.  I have an invitation on the table to go to California.  I am willing to go wherever I am called to be of service.  New York, you have always been my first love.  I just need you to show the love back.
Follow this blog or @kellyheresy on Twitter for updates.


Thursday, August 11, 2011

HOME NO MORE

Goodbye, Spencer Street House

Every so often in a person's life, the Universe redirects ones path in a way that cannot be foreseen or even remotely expected.  But out of this context patterns emerge, and new opportunties arise that seemingly always existed of which we were unaware, until thrust out of the familiarity of normal everyday circumstances. Such has been my experience recently.

For the past few years, I have been trying to find ways to make my living situation more affordable and more creatively stimulating.  In December of 2010, a friend and I signed a lease on a duplex apartment in Bedstuy/Clinton Hill, which we remodeled and subleased to artists and creative types.  The idea was that we would be able to live cheaply by renting out the spare rooms, while also giving creative people an affordable place to live and a community environment to work and collaborate.  Unfortunately, this vision was never fully realized.  It would take too long to list the reasons here, but most importantly the fact that the building was in violation of numerous codes and the landlord refused to address any of our complaints.  In the end, we decided to negotiate out of our 2 year lease rather than get involved in a long and expensive court proceeding and risk being on the hook for the balance of the lease.

Freedom

July, 1st 2011 was my 10 year anniversary in New York City.  It was also the day I signed the agreement terminating my lease, which made me officially homeless.  It was this strange confluence of events -  the money lost on the investment and hours of work spent refurbishing the apartment, all the hassles of dealing with roommates and collecting rent, and dealing with a landlord who refused to invest any money into the property to make it more attractive to renters but rather let it deteriorate while extracting any money he could get out of it - that lead to my decision that I will not pay rent in New York City for 1 year.

I understand that on the surface this must sound completely insane, that nobody of sound mind would willingly choose homelessness especially in a large urban environment like New York City.  But I arrived at this decision with much greater ease than many would imagine.  For one thing, I had been seeking an opportunity that would release me from being tied down to a specific location and allow me freedom to travel for awhile.  And the bourgeois lifestyle centered around a home where people live and accumulate material possessions has never held much interest or appeal to me.  So getting rid of my belongings and freeing myself up to be more mobile was not very difficult.

But what really made up my mind was a disinclination to have to pay another landlord after what I had just experienced.  New York City is a renting city.  70% of New Yorkers rent rather than own the place they live.  We pay the highest rent prices anywhere.  I remember paying $420 a month for a nice sized studio apartment in Pittsburgh, which would cost probably $1200 a month in NYC.  You can't even rent a closet for $420.  Even worse, the rent prices continue to go up even though only the top 2% are better of today than they were a year ago.  The rent prices are such that it often accounts for 1/3 or up to half of a persons income.  When you consider that many of these landlords are scumbag slumlords that don't even keep their buildings up to code (which often are never enforced), it is very hard to justify giving these people a large percentage of your income each month.  It is easy to see why we are in the midst of a housing crisis.  100,000 New Yorkers are homeless each year, yet new luxury condos get built and go unsold or half filled with renters.

So circumstances guided me to my decision to not pay rent for 1 year.  But there are deeper philosophical reasons for this as well.  I believe that land ownership is the biggest issue facing the world today.  The division between the Propertied and Tenant classes is a vestage of feudal and colonialist society.  The economic order sustaining these class distinctions is in the process of collapsing.  As a result, we will either experience extraordinary human suffering and social unrest, or we will move into a new cooperative and sustainable paradigm.  Our survival will depend on how we adapt to the challenges of the disintigration of the false system of cash and competition once currency has been devalued to the point of having no practical use, and if we create value through communal living and shared resources.  I am advocating for a return to the Archaic Mind, to our hunter-gatherer origins, and a return to the tribal family.  This is a new lifestyle movement, the Urban Nomad lifestyle, and a new Share Trade economy.  These concepts will be explored and developed.

In this blog, I will document how I am managing a rent free lifestyle, so that you can use some of the techniques if you choose.  I will also be exploring various issues related to homelessness and the real estate industry, and interview experts on these topics.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Independence Day

Everything you have been taught is Upside Down.



Did everyone have a great Independence Day?

July 4th is one of numerous holidays we celebrate every year that seem ironic in so many ways.  We are celebrating American Independence, but from what exactly?  From the British?  The same British that control our currency through the Federal Reserve Bank today.  We celebrate the signing of the Declaration of Independence and the establishment of this nation, yet we live in a country that looks nothing like the Founding Fathers intentions and we stand by watching as the Rights they bestowed us in Constitution are being shreaded.  We celebrate the American Lifestyle, the envy of the world.  The same lifestyle that consumes half of everything the world produces, a lifestyle built on and impossible to sustain without the harsh poverty of the Third World.  We celebrate the American Dream, that anyone can make it with a little hard work.  40-50 hours a week worth, until you're 65 years old and if you are still healthy enough to enjoy it.  We celebrate Freedom.  But that freedom apparently doesn't include freedom from enormous debts, including college loans, and how much income do you keep after rent or home mortgages, and taxes?

The system is a scam.  It always has been.  It is built on the European feudal and colonial model, and was transposed on this continent after the land was stolen from its original inhabitants.  The transformation of public, shared, common space in hunter-gatherer culture to private, exclusive property under feudal and colonialist society is the major problem of the world today. It is the source of poverty, homelessness, environmental degradation, tyranny and corporatism. The labor of people dispossed of their land become the fodder of the capitalist machinery.

We do not view this as unnatural, because we no longer have access to the mind of our hunter-gatherer ancestors.  We think it is perfectly normal to live in a box, to be isolated from our community, and horde over a bunch of possession that we don't even need, and to sit for hours staring at a box that beems images into our heads and corporate advertising.  We think it is perfectly normal to live in an environment covered in concrete and asphalt, to breath air that is full of toxins, and to eat foods that are basically poison.

This blog will document my attempt to opt out of that system.  I will also share my ideas of how we can build better system to replace it.  The first step, for me, is to adopt a new lifestyle.  That of the Urban Nomad.