Posts Tagged ‘peace’

Not much has happened since 1964. The world may have changed, but I have stayed much the same. I’m just a bit older, but not much worse off for the rambunctious wear and tear of 40 years ‘on the road’. 1964 was the year of my emancipation, the time I grabbed the brass ring of freedom and ran screaming for the hills, proverbially speaking.

If I was to do the same thing today I would be running ahead of labels that would have seemed entirely alien to me in the context of what the world looked like in the fall of 1964. At that time, personal freedom and independence was something to be gained and cherished, a higher calling and a bid to live a lifestyle of wicked delirium, to join in on the beggars banquet that defined the Age of Aquarius. Today’s world would have disowned someone like me as an incorrigible homeless tramp.

In 1964 I was one of a vanguard of people who like the Chrysalis yearned to break free and seek the sunshine of a new age. The concept of being homeless had not been invented yet. There hadn’t been any hobo’s in the streets since the 1930’s passed decades earlier. There was a profound differance between the poverty of the 1930’s and the wanton rejection of wealth and materialism in the 1960’s. Poverty in the 1960’s…was cool.

A new tribe had formed out of a disaffected generation, traveling from one crash pad to another commune became a calling. New destinations were as interconnected as the strings of a dream-catcher. The people who had answered the call of the road became like princes and princesses of old, wandering easily from one pleasure palace to another, bearing gifts, news and stories of what lie ahead.

As I lay here on a bed of blossoming clover amidst the honey bee’s and bumble flies I am swept back to those simple times when wealth and materialism meant nothing to me. I have reverted to living day to day, as I would have all those years ago, and it appeals to me that I am much the same person as was, remaining true to my core values, unchanged, unfettered and free to wander the world.

The muse of the media is powerful, educational, biased, destructive and informative. Every country has it’s message of nationalistic intent, a tribal psychology. Individuals fall prey to false messaging and the words of false prophets when the media is either limited by political voice or the intentional malice of a cabal or leadership clique. Good intentions can be muddied by the avarice of sabotage by those whose self- interests are at risk should the population move away from the status quo.

I hear from a lot of people who have regionally, nationally and geographically developed points of view. This was the way the world used to be, the way the leadership of dictators and the greedy fear might change with the oncoming world of free information over the internet and the medium of mass communication and social media. When I hear people speaking  the diatribe of a a particular leadership of religion or political ideology I know that theirs is a small world where spirit, worship, freedom and knowledge has been tightly regulated. I do not really like speaking to conformists, in this I am fortunate to live as a citizen of a civilization that worships freedom above all other ideologies.

When I travel I meet people of every race, colour and creed…of every ideology and religion. What I found extremely interesting when I first began to travel was how simple aspects of the geography had such an effect on the mindsets, cultures and principles of those people who lived there. A religion, race or creed could change by the simple act of trespassing over a mountain range or crossing a river valley. I was amazed that many of these people would harbor such deep traditional resentments against the people who lived ‘on the other side’.

I have lived for a short time with a tribe of Dyak who would hunt other tribes heads but had never seen a white man before. They knew all the power, witchcraft and evil of the tribe five miles downriver but showed an intense interest in my distant culture. On my first evening in the longhouse, they danced for me and sang their songs, the songs of their history and the forest life. They asked me to show them my dances, of course I had none to offer, they were amazed that white men don’t dance with the spirits.

But this is the modern age, the age of the internet and air travel. The world has gotten smaller. No thanks to guide books and easy credit.  I have been particularily sensitive to the messages bandied about by governments that are designed to separate people, as opposed to bringing us closer together. There are political movements and religious doctrines specifically designed to create hatred and animosity. I abhor nationalism, I have seen the results of fanaticism produced by national leaders.

I have a dear friend who is convinced that America and American’s are evil. I have heard the same stereotyping of races and nationals by people around the world, ‘what nonsense’. In some religions it is mandatory to hate the ‘outsider’, they have names for those who are not of their sect. Two of the world’s largest religions have at the heart of their ideology the specter of an end time where everyone currently living  has to die before any lasting peace can be achieved. I just don’t see how mutual mass destruction can be the solution to anything. A person would have to harbor a deep hatred for life in order to believe that.

Isolation, whether geographic, religious, social, fundamental, cultural, ideological, familial or tribal has bred ignorance and intolerance. In the past these evils were isolated by distance and geography. In the modern era these sects have escaped from their isolation to wreak havoc on the world, but this access cuts both ways. The message of freedoms enjoyed by the outside world will eventually have the effect of enlightening those ignorant and impoverished villagers and tribesmen who have been brainwashed by their tribal elders and religious leaders to think that the outside world is evil and profane . The violence of an ugly leadership and the tyranny of a sick and ignorant ideology has historically never been perpetuated when the isolation is exposed by the modern world. What we in the west think of as sending a ray of sunshine into the dark corners of isolation and ignorance, the religious and social leaders of those same centers of intellectual deprivation view as a rifle shot through the heart of the dominion over the hearts and minds of their populations and as such they fear and fight against any change that would supplant their self centered influence.

I want to think that the advent of tourism has been a positive outcome for the world at large. As we get to know each other personally we realize that people everywhere have similar wants, needs and desires. I am very hopeful for the people of ‘The Islamic Middle East’ as they have incrementally shed decades of spiritual isolation and dictatorship and that those countries open their doors wider to people from other parts of the world so that they may learn that great progress has taken place while they were suffering under the delusions of their leaders. It is my desire that those countries, so oppressed by a variety of dictatorships of the mind , spirit and body, will now develop into places where people no longer have to flee from in order to  live a decent peaceful life.