Last night I was awoken to the horrifying sound of several blood-curdling screams. Half asleep, with mind still abuzz from lingering images gathered from the zombie sitcom my brothers girlfriend was watching the night before, I stepped softly out of my bed, lit a candle and crept towards the window. The screaming continued. The man sounded as if he was in great despair. The night, silent except for the eerie sound of his cries, made me consider, could this actually be a zombie I was hearing, meandering awkwardly through the streets below for some sort of life to fill his inner void?
These past few months have found me in various circles where the re-occurring theme of unprecedented shift is an unavoidable topic. As I engage with communities stretching from Northern California to The Windy City, observing the rapid sharing of documentaries, novels and verbally delivered theories of the urgency of now one thing seems certain; something is ready to give. Participating in occupy gatherings around the country and witnessing first hand the collective unrest of the 99 percent and the brutal response from the authorities suggests that an inevitable turn of events is on the horizon. The dogs can only be pressed into the corner for so long before they bite.
On 11-11-11 I attended a gathering in Grass Valley, California. The event was held in an old church. The attendees were from all walks of life and from places the world over including Jamaica, Israel, Chile, Germany, Uruguay and beyond. The atmosphere was unique. The air smelt of burning palo santo wood. The performers were clear-eyed, as were those on the dance floor, and no alcohol was served, but rather elixers of Jun, spirolina, cacao, maca and lavender. All the food provided was local, organic and for the most part, free. On the dance floor children danced with men and women both old and young in an ecstatic pool of reverence while the music being played offered up songs of praise from a myriad of global traditions over thick, driving rhythms.
Pausing for a moment just before midnight, the main performer of the evening, Shimshai, a rock star in his own rite from the underground gypsy movement, The Rainbow Family, had this to say about the auspicious day, “So, many peoples around the world seem to view today, and this time in general, as a time of great change.
Universally there seems to be a belief that we are approaching a time of powerful transition. So what will this transition look like?” he asked, “Well, look around you, look within you. It’s all happening now. So many of us are seeking, almost desperately, an answer from outside ourselves. And for certain, traveling to far off places to expand our understanding is great, attending workshops and sitting in various ceremonies has its purpose. Attaining degrees in higher education and getting certifying in healing arts or whatever it may be is fine, but unless we return to our communities and actually commit to applying what we learn than our efforts are in vain.”
It was a good point, one I have been hearing a great deal from many modern day elders recently. From speaking with Lakota men who suggest that we are in fact the subtotal of our ancestors and the entirety of our human evolution up to this point has been but an education of sorts to prepare us for right now, to such popular documentaries as the recently released “Thrive” and Daniel Pinchbecks brilliant film “2012 Time for Change”, I have found there to be a common thread running throughout these times that binds all theories together; it is time to step up and commit.
We live in an age of overwhelming access to information. The possibilities are daunting, even debilitating at times, as I see so many well-intended individuals overflowing with know-how but oddly incapable of actually acting on what they seemingly understand. All generations have there challenges, and I suppose this is ours; to leap forward into committed action, to not be tempted by every new Siren we encounter who sings a seductive song but to apply radically all that we have learned about everything from living in harmony with each other, the earth, and yes, Spirit right where we live, for an extended period of time.
As the winter creeps in it may be time for all of us occupiers to regroup, come inside, gather together in community over food and song to begin articulating with gusto our new visions and making a clear plan as to how these goals will be met. In less than two months, 2012 will be ushered in. Where will be? Who will we be with? Most importantly, what will we be doing? When we come out next spring we will have to deliver more than a catchy phrase, we will have to show the masses with masterful artistry a tangible representation of what comes next.
I suspect the man I heard screaming last night was a good man. I suspect he was but troubled by a feeling that he was unable to find the kind of contentment that only comes from true connection. Our increasingly scattered society makes it difficult to stay focused, to dedicate oneself to anything beyond our own selfish desires, or, for that matter, even want to. But we have the rare opportunity now to reassess our entire way of being and restructure it all in a way that allows for our highest visions of life to be fulfilled. But it will take more than the mere gathering of wisdom to make this possible. It will take real action, otherwise we risk being transformed into a society of metaphorical zombies, i.e. walking dead. For as the Late Edward Abbey so eloquently put it, “Sentiment without action is the ruin of the soul.”
Gregory is a on again off again iyengar yoga instructor and master of reiki who, while not tending to gardens in Crested Butte, Colorado travels relentlessly around the States and abroad in search of answers to such pressing questions as how to prevent zombies from taking over. He also runs a blog entitled www.therevolutionisablog.com. He can be contacted at [email protected]