The anti-war movement, anti-police violence, pro civil rights activism of the 1960’s hippie era was the biggest cultural peaceful protest since Gandhi freed South Asia perhaps, or at least since they began fluoridating the water! The expression born out of this counterculture was the mostly intoxicant related idea, ‘turn on, tune in and drop out.’
Today, as activists protest police violence, corrupt wars, and the oligarchical destruction of clean air and water the phrase and the sentiment requires update. On recollection of how the counterculture was corrupted by the idea that people should do drugs let me be clear this is not to suggest that you should use any intoxicants, unless it is cannabis used to protest unjust laws related to the oligarchical destroying plant. Today we need to turn off, tune out, stand in and drop out.
Turn off, tune out, stand in and drop out.
The dropout is hero but the ignorant is not. There is a big difference between the dropout as hero and the ignorant as sheep, or wolf. There is a whole world of institutionalized individuals who are like The Hopi Two-Hearted expressing the misgivings of an institution to feed a mechanized heart and not the single truth of individuals. A recent example of such institutionalized interjection aside from the obvious and overt, there was a woman who told protesters in Hong Kong that, “safety is more important than freedom.” She did so as if she had any philosophical standing to do so when she had none. In fact, one of the founding revolutionaries of The United States said the complete opposite.
“Those who would give up essential liberty, to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.” ~Benjamin Franklin
As activists who say might be challenging Monsanto/Bayer or The Government of the state we are in it is extremely important to be courteous and respectful and maintain cool for you never know who you might encounter or rather who you might trigger.
As activists, 108 holds an important lesson for us, as it represents the trinity of time: 1 for the present, 0 for the past, and 8 for the infinite future. Anything is possible. We are countering negativity with information on potential contrasting paths of positivity for the future.
For meditators and all of us who want to integrate meditative mind state 108 is the simplest meditation instruction. Be 1 with the breath, let 0 thoughts coalesce and tap into the infinite, 8. When we are in the middle of an encounter no matter the level of absurdity of seriousness it can be of critical help to regain calm and centered focus. The 108 meditation is possibly the very simplest way to regain the meditative mind state and certainly among the most effective as well.
As 108 relates to the intent behind activism, that being transmutation/change. 1 is for acceptance. It represents the singular ‘now’ moment; what is. It reminds us that we cannot change anything unless we understand and accept reality.
0 is for integration. It represents the integration of the past. It reminds us that we cannot change anything until we integrate our reality, and combining everything until it just is; until there is 0 negative and 0 positive, just the mix if you will, the integrated whole.
8 is for the transmutation. It represents the infinite undefined potential. It reminds us that we can change our reality in infinite ways, yet only after acceptance and integration of the entirety can we see and understand then act on that potential.
Turn off, tune out, stand in and drop out.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Activist, author and Tai Chi teacher Ethan Indigo Smith was born on a farm in Maine and lived in Manhattan for a number of years before migrating west to Mendocino, California. Guided by a keen sense of integrity, humanity and justice, Ethan’s work is both deeply connected and extremely insightful, blending philosophy, politics, activism, spirituality, meditation and a unique sense of humor.
You can connect with Ethan on Facebook, check out his author page on Amazon, or visit his new websites, Geometry Of Energy and Meditation 108, where Ethan offers lessons on individuation, meditation, the conceptualization of energy, and the metaphysical significance of 108.