By Mankh (Walter E. Harris III). Axis of Logic
Editor's Note: For nigh on 10 years I have been telling my friends that I've never been more optimistic in my life than I am now at age 66. Always, the response is a puzzled look or a query, "How can you say such a thing, when the world looks so dark". I respond with many objective reasons which include the power of the resistance forces in the Middle East, the Bolivarian Revolution in Latin America and the current collapse of the forces of capitalism. But Mankh answers the question better than I ever could in his essay and call to action, below.
- Les Blough, Editor
IMPEACH: from Late Latin impedicare, fetter (as a foot), shackle, hinder.
MONSTER: from Latin monstrum, inauspicious portent or sign.
Typically there are signs or warnings before 'shit happens.' I think of this process as a pattern of mercy built into the universe.
When not heeded and instead allowed to run amok, monstrums can take on a form-- anything from falling on one's ass, to an addiction, a river-polluting corporation, a brainwashing media, a flagrantly offensive military force . . .
Many of the modern monsters appear as the proverbial wolf in sheep's clothing. Whether a super-fancy-car-driving televangelist, or a clown pedophile, or a corporation that holds charity events with one hand while destroying natural habitats and cultures with the other-- the concept is the same.
Oddly enough, corporations are, by law, considered as a "juristic person" with legal rights, yet real human beings tortured at Guantanamo Bay in 2008 were "not persons at all for the purposes of U.S. law."1 What insanity that a human being could be physically tortured, but by the twistedness of legal jargon they are not considered a "person," WHEREAS a corporation, under law, IS considered a "person."
Many signs in the world continue to go unheeded, and so: many monsters need to be dealt with.
In his 1975 Pulitzer Prize book Turtle Island: with Four Changes," Gary Snyder highlights population, pollution, consumption, and transformation as key areas to attend to. Not enough people seem to have heeded his advice because these issues still need to be urgently addressed.
It is fascinating how some Peoples have long seen the monstrums and have different (yet similar) ways to explain what’s happening.
The Navaho as well as the Hopi Traditionalists say that we are in the process of entering, or have already entered, the Fifth World (of consciousness) and that the path from Fourth to Fifth requires much purification. Other American Indian names for Fifth World are "Many Colored Earth" and "Changeable Earth." The Toltec mention a Fifth World, and the Aztec a Fifth Sun along with their solar deity Tonatiuh, "he who goes forth shining." The Fifth World is like a spiritual equal-opportunity employer and the more of us who go forth shining, the better we can work together. An excellent book is The Hopi Survival Kit by Thomas E. Mails.
Some natives call this age we are living in "the great sweat."
The Mayan calendar indicates that the world will end AND begin anew on December 21, 2012, when the Earth aligns with the Milky Way, a process called "galactic alignment" - though it takes time, and so, is already underway.
The three Abrahamic religions refer to End Times (but have they have forgotten to add a new Beginning?!).
According to the Hindu calendar (with its mind-boggling lengths of ages, called "yugas") we are in the midst of a Kali Yuga (dark age), an age of devastation and purification.
". . .there will be numerous rulers vying with each other. They will have no character. Violence, falsehood and wickedness will be the order of the day. Piety and good nature will dwindle slowly... Passion and lust will be the only attraction between the sexes. Women will be the objects of sensual pleasure. Dishonesty will be the bottom line of subsistence. Learned people will be ridiculed and put to shame; the word of the wealthy person will be the only law."2
How is it that an ancient Hindu text, the Vishnu Purana, sounds like a description of the corporate media news world?
Part of the prophecy of Kali Yuga is that the appearance of a 'being' on a white horse will end the discord. Luckily, this is to be followed by a Satya Yuga, a golden age of truth, light, equality, and blessedness.
"We humans face a choice between two contrasting models for organizing our affairs: the dominator model of Empire and the partnership model of Earth Community."3 Of key importance to The Great Turning is our story-telling nature. Even though Hollywood's movie-stories have spun a predominantly violent and competitive message, we have the ability to tell each other stories that empower as well as carry on traditions and folk wisdoms.
In 2007, Lakota Sioux Indians formed the Lakotah Republic, withdrawing from all previously signed treaties with the US. Reasons? Too many broken treaties, and dismal statistics concerning poverty, disease, housing, employment, incarceration, etc.4
In Iraq: "An army unit committed mutiny and refused to carry out orders... Several platoon members were afraid their anger could set loose a massacre."5
Ecuador's indigenous and farmers are making progress with overcoming abuses by Chevron/Texaco Oil.6
There are many more such examples. The monsters are being challenged.
What 'signs' have YOU seen? . . . in dreams, visions, the world 'out there.' What have you felt in your gut, heart? What have you experienced? What have you heard? Do you trust your intuitions, and what do you know for certain?
Whatever you call it, we are being shown that the pathway to an age of light, a golden age, one of truth, virtue, and real knowledge requires change and purification. Some choose to use frightening labels such as apocalypse, armageddon, and rapture. The more we learn, share, communicate, and stay calm the more we diminish the turmoil, and create tranquility. As Gandhi said: "Be the change you wish to see in the world."
Some people work for change within the system, some confront the monsters directly, some seek to overthrow the system, some ignore the monsters (as much as possible). Some individuals are monastic, some are activists, some a bit of both. In whatever form, small or large, impeach any monster that attempts to tie you down, shackle you, deceive you into thinking some institution or false idea or mass-hysteria knows better than you what is good for you. And remember that some systems (or parts of them) work well, and some monsters can be rehabilitated, including any that happen to be inside you.
- Court: Gitmo Detainees Do Not Meet Definition of 'Person' " (January 14, 2008).
- Navigating The Great Turning
- Republic of Lakotah
- "U.S. Soldiers Stage Mutiny, Refuse Orders in Iraq Fearing They Would Commit Massacre in Revenge for IED Attack" (December 21, 2007).
- Frente de Defensa de la Amazonía; ChevronToxico: The Campaign for Justice in Ecuador
Mankh (Walter E. Harris III) is a writer, small press publisher, and Turtle Islander. This article is a revised version of the title piece in his book of poems and essays, impeach the monsters: New Dawn (2008). His literary website www.allbook-books.com.
READ MORE POETRY AND ESSAYS BY MANKH