In America, terrorists could have never have guessed how lasting the homage we pay them, gyrating as if the whole social structure was a whirling dervish of police and police-like entities, people watchers have multiplied, while threats remain infinitesimally small. We are each far more likely to encounter a drunken driver and die at his/her hands than to be threatened by terrorists. The biggest threat in America today is, by far, the texting driver. They have the power to kill and it is set to randomly strike. In many ways, much more difficult to stop than someone who has a plan and is working out how to make it happen. Sadly, the events that took place in Colorado this past week prove the inability of big government to stop individual psychopaths from creating mayhem in our midst. There was no treatise or diatribe offered, no outcome desired other than to create pain and suffering for as many innocent victims as possible.
Those who have died on the battlefield and those who have served often have the most lucid comments about why war needs to be abolished. Just last week, My wife Nancy and I were reminded again of the long hand of war on our society. We were parking the car in Madison, Wisconsin and were approached by a man who had been a Lieutenant in, I believe, the Marines. He saw in our eyes compassion and support for him, not an image of a warrior tacked up on a wall at a recruitment office. A real human being worthy of love. This man's Vietnam era question remains, Why? He cried with us, and we cried a bit with him. There are no parades that make up for the daily assault we feel from our government, our "leaders" or the media outlets that skew the numbers and spin every issue in terms of maligned hatred with undertones of psycho-sexual dysfunction. This man still carries an unbearable burden, having held brothers in arms as they bled out and having seen the eyes of the innocent young men whose lives he snuffed our for no good reason. Why?
When one takes the time to slow down enough to talk about issues, virtually everyone is in agreement. The giant chasm between the Left and Right is completely made up and although there are a few single issue voters, the vast majority are trying to vote for the lesser of two evils. There is probably not a voter in America who has not wondered why there is no one in politics who wants to tell us the truth about the issues that we face, because the stark reality is far more untenable than the public has been led to believe. When there is a pragmatic candidate, interests far more powerful than the voting box are threatened and the corporate machine grinds that poor fellow into a moderate mix of mush and pablum. The few candidates who cling to their foundational beliefs are ground to dust beneath the wheel of our military industrial complex. This train is so massive and powerful that even when it goes off the tracks, it continues to bulldoze through anything in it's way.
We need to demand the chance to get what we want. Representation free from the contamination and slant of big money campaigns, free from corporate influence, corporate welfare and free from the repression of the public will for change. Those who lost their lives, the majority of whom perished in far off lands, would not consent to have died for EXXON or GM, WELLS FARGO or Monsanto. they took an oath to our country, not the way of life of the 1%. Our way of life is far more than the sum total of our economic activity just as the lives of those touched by war will never be the same again. To the walking wounded, the mothers who lost sons, or daughters, to the families forever broken because of war, single mothers whose children are fatherless because of our rush to war, my hat goes off to you. I bow low to honor your service. I will continue to fight for the land that we come from, the earth on which we were born and the same sacred soil that we have laid to rest countless thousands in service to a dream. The American Dream that I believe in is not possible as long as people are sent around the world to kill in my name. My relationship with the planet demands that I respect all organisms, to be a true patriot in my eyes is to honor Mother Earth and work toward equitable distribution of resources worldwide, at lowest possible cost. Peace has never flowed from the end of a gun and it never will.
One facet of our approach to ecotours is that, the way we present our ECO-Tours, they reflect more about where we are spiritually than where we are geographically. Like the walkabout or pilgrimage that we may know of from practices of Aborigines or Catholics, breaking from routine, accepting the challenge, being willing to be humble amongst our fellow beings, all have their own rewards, if we are willing to listen. Quiet awake phase is when young mothers are encouraged to teach their new-borne babies to nurse. So too, our most open moments are in the quiet awake phase as well. Stillness, rhythm, repetitive ritualized motion, awareness, all enhance the trans-formative power of the environment. Our ECO-Tours have always sought to sanctify the landscape of which we are a part. Healing the scars made by "modern" man and his destructive ways unleashes a powerful sense of purpose in other areas of our lives. It is patriotic to plant a tree for a service person that you know. The powerful statement of hope that planting a tree is may be but a mere shadow of the sacrifice our service members have endured for us, but there have been whole forests of men cut down in the prime of their lives to give us this land. The least we can do for them is to recognize them with a memorial tree. Make it so!