Open Heart Therapy

Radical change is as likely to come from within as it is from Mick Lynch's strikes, XR's actions or votes of no confidence. Those things can still spark change but the 'parallel polis' is unfolding underneath, starting with each of us.

Today I have been reading about physician Gabor Maté’s new book which examines the profound physical and psychological harms of “normal” capitalist society, which makes a small minority very well-off while sowing illness and despair on a vast scale. As a backdrop, I remarked that it doesn’t help that a fair few of the people running the UK are people who were abused at boarding school. It's ingrained our our outmoded systems, in the patriarchy. It’s no wonder we’ve perpetuated this trauma played in out in competition, bullying, lies, wars, cover ups and exploitation. All these things are inevitably hallmarks of what feels like the dying embers of capitalism. 

After doing two Campfire events over the summer, at a time when confidence in governments is hugely diminished and those dying embers are surely being revealed for what they are, against a backdrop where policies around ‘growth’ and ‘progress’ are being pinpointed as leading to existential threats, it’s always interesting to bring things back to the source, back to love. And this is probably where the true alternatives to capitalism start to take root. I’ve often said that the change we need to make at the most fundamental level is based on the question ‘how do we move from a ‘what’s in it for me?’ culture to one where we place collective and planetary wellbeing firmly centrestage.

People are questioning. This is good. They are asking many questions about how we adapt to climate breakdown, about how we can make the change we wish to see, about the bias of media, about how we react to the globalists who are conspiring to enact their vision of UN Agenda 2030 or asking what we can do about the ongoing transferring the ownership of the global commons to the stakeholder capitalists.

My answer tends to be along these lines. In essence it’s about matters of the heart. 

What would love say? I see an earth which is calling for our stewardship, our attention and our resonance with and embracing of nature. That’s a starting point.

People wonder whether we’re on a spiral or whether there are grounds for optimism?  Many sense that there is a plan behind the manipulation and that a ‘Great Reset’ is facilitating the economic transition demanded by the unelected holders of private capital. 

So if the foundations of Capitalism 2.0 are being being constructed, what can we do about what some see as the encroaching AI-dominated world where Digital IDs, Central Bank Digital Currencies on permissioned blockchain built and managed in-house by central bankers and governments, carbon footprint trackers, a new food ecosystem, smart cities and conditional UBI keep us all tracked in some kind of dystopian nightmare scenario?

My reply might take as a starting point the words of Thomas Schorr-Kon’s Campout session as he framed it earlier this summer. It’s in stark contrast.  

We will explore how to rest in the heart and what true courage is, looking at the many processes that block us from staying heart connected. We will endeavour to create a map that identifies the blocks so we can recognise what causes us suffering and let go of these processes.”

The letting go is fundamental to the unchaining process. We all have what it takes to step out of the tumble dryer into our own power.

I sense that the world is crying our for a tenderness, an embrace, a different credo to underpin everything. 

People might say ‘you softy’, you’re too tender. But losing that tenderness or blocking it out is what threatens to numb us to the horrors of war, the inhumanity that is inherent in much of the posthuman condition.

If it really is time for action, why don't we make a pledge to open ourselves up? To identify and call out the blocks that are causing us suffering and let go by casting them out. ‘Being open’ was the fundamental theme to this year’s Campout. Taking a chance on vulnerability, bringing that vulnerability into the heart and resting there, staying in our heart-centred love that we’ve been conditioned over the years to resist through fear, through shame. Let’s look after our own hearts and cherish our own soft centre. 

This shift at our core might just become so disarming, so empowering as we tap into our wisdom. We could all become Life Coaches. We could all plant seeds. We could each find that liminal space to come up with and construct an everyday utopia which each one of us could take forward as our unique gifts into the world as we learn to articulate our vision through the blessings of words. A framework and new language for the real changes starts at home, starts with us and how we each feel into the more beautiful world of our dreams. 

We are the change, in these ways, teaching others... deep listening, use of language, being aware of where the power lies, pulling the wool from our own eyes and others, working co-operatively, working with nature's rhythms. The more we use those new tools in our dealings with each other, the more it becomes the norm in our circles, the more it spreads beyond those circles, the more it renders the existing system and its morals, habits and language obsolete. 

Some of today’s radicals may be lying on motorway tarmac or climbing trees, fastening themselves to objects of love. Other radicals may be going off grid, or simply sitting and being rather than constantly doing. What we can learn from being silent and still is immense. Observing, watching, not getting too involved, keeping the bird’s eye view. Radical change is as likely to come from within as it is from Mick Lynch's strikes, XR's actions or votes of no confidence. Those things can still spark change but the 'parallel polis' is unfolding underneath, starting with each of us.

Let’s be conduits of connection, ambassadors for community, stewards for collaboration and for sharing. Let’s get out in nature (it’s part of us all, not separate) and lavish it with abundant care, with attention to detail, with an awareness of its cycles and rhythms. And bring that awareness into other aspects of our everyday lives. 

Let’s be playful and brave, let’s keep dreaming, let’s delight in the rhythm of an open conversation, in our uniqueness and our differences. Let’s really notice what a difference loving ourselves and others can make. And from there, new ways, alternatives to capitalism start to take root. Systemic change starts with us. That’s you and me being human, alive and present in the moment.

Kindness really is the only way forward, love is the answer.  An answer, at least, but a very important one. One to keep uppermost in our hearts. We reap what we sow. Let’s find the true courage that’s resting in our hearts and feel just how much can be changed through this transition. 

Nurudeen Ushawu once said, “Be soft, don’t let the world make you hard. Be gentle, don’t let the people make you difficult. Be kind, don’t let the realities of life steal your sweetness and make you heartless.”

Blog originally posted on 19.10.22 on Campfire's Network