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.

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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

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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.


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