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A woman who identified herself as Sarieah holds her daughter Zakiaya during the Rainbow Family peace gathering in Modoc National Forest, Calif. Photo by AP Photo
As a  Rainbow Family drop-out, I’ve recently experienced a personal exodus from a culture who’s primary focus lays on loving one another as a unit, sharing compassion despite differences, and practicing shanti sena peace keeping practices during the occasional conflict large enough to effect the flow of harmonious living.  Our interdependent, communal lifestyle and global thinking put us in a corner where we lived an idealized Utopian life, but isolated from mainstream society, whom we referred to as “Babylon.”

Even hidden away in our self imposed isolation, we find ourselves barraged with whispers of political conspiracies. Rumors abound; even in the woods, word of government-created diseases, government-forced sterilization delivered via genetically modified foods and chemtrails, governmentally funded interviews of grieving family members following school shootings staged by paid actors, government surveillance of its citizens accessed through social media, and of our government staging 9/11 as the needed preface to the war that followed.

And so, the issue of  keeping guns has worked its way, slowly, slowly, to the forefront of our minds, until it can no longer be ignored, challenging our internal concepts of  self-image. The issue is a slippery one.

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From left, Jason Huntsinger, his brother Jared Huntsinger, center, and John Hinton all from Redding, CA., and the group called "Jesus Kitchen," walk along the feeding people assembled in a circle as thousands gather at a "rainbow family gathering," around the area called Bearcamp Flat inside Modoc National Forest outside Likely, Calif. Event on 7/2/04 in Modoc National Forest. Darryl Bush / The Chronicle Photo: Darryl Bush
Faced with the inescapable reality necessitating stepping of out our Utopia to become active in a system many of us intentionally left behind, requires a huge turnaround, mentally. We must put our money where our mouth is. Do we allow ordinary people to be victimized by the 1%? Do we stand by and watch as the government illegally takes our freedoms away? Does stepping out of our comfort zone mean loosing our ideals?

I have so many questions about bearing arms.

If I kill a man, will I be changed? I worry about massive food and supply shortages in the case of a governmental apocalypse. If I chose to remove myself from the violence that's sure to follow and live in an ecovillage and grow food and medicines, and someone tries to steal our food, do I shoot a hungry man, who's hunger has turned him violent? If I'm secure in my  hidden ecovillage with Family, knowing that outside in urban areas have massive food shortages, am I then committing violence by making a choice that precludes showing compassion towards those who are suffering by feeding them? Isn't that what the Rainbow Family does; feed hungry people, and make them our Family?

I'm convinced that entering into violence is wrong for me; but clearly we’ve entered into a season where violence comes to us, unbidden; our options may be fight, or die. I envision myself avoiding being overpowered by an attacker. I’d refuse to engage in violence; instead I would calm him, soothe him; making a connection, and sharing in one another's stories and entering into a mutual compromise in which our mutual needs are met, and parting, we embrace with healing and genuine love.  In Rainbowland, we work towards that ideal, but I doubt that individuals struggling with basic needs as a life or death situation have the internal focus to be climbing Maslow's pyramid. 

What about fighting to defend our right to freedom? 

I'm all about Facebook advocacy, but I'm terrified that Obama is in the early stages of waging war on America, and that war is going to look suspiciously like the Holocaust. Why else would they have gas incinerators in the governmental safe compound? My 13 year old has nightmares about it, and says he will refuse to register when he turns eighteen, to avoid being part of the killing machine. This whole situation is BAD. BAD. BAD. I want my money back. I want to hide in the woods within a village and grow a garden with heirloom seeds and catch babies. I want my boys to be able to build a fire and come of age in a community embracing ritual and celebration, rather than projecting judgment and shame. I want my daughter to come into her wisewoman-self, and live in a way that her wisdom doesn't require being hidden, as if she should be ashamed. I want to break taboos. Our freedoms have been sold to the highest bidder. Our basic rights squandered.

Let there be NO money changing in the Temple.

Let our value lay in our ideals, our character, and our kindness.

Let us be free.




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