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MANIFEST DESTINY MANIFESTO: Healing the Soul of America, Iona Miller 2008
We can create an evolutionary politics to build a more creative future. Calculated cycles of commodification and scarcity, business and war have driven the military/industrial complex and the multinational corporate climate. Cover Ups and confusion have paralyzed us into apathy where nothing significant can be trusted, believed or known. One percent of humanity controls 40% of global wealth.
But we can empower ourselves to resist status quo politics and shape ourselves a better destiny - a 21st century Manifest Destiny that fulfills our positive spiritual potential. If we don't want a dark future for humanity, we must reinvent ourselves and our culture from the foundation upwards. Even if that is fantastically radical, it can still happen, one inspired person at a time and cascade toward a visionay approach to large-scale societal transformation that heals personal and global socioeconomical scars.
Competent citizenry can learn to impliment constructive visions for our collective planetary future. Deep and broad visions can stimulate reflection and lively discussion of contemporary solutions that can become the scaffolding for action plans from the community level upwards. A courageous and truly integrated vision would include a detailed strategy for a vibrant and life-sustaining future. Individually and collectively we have to redefine what it means to thrive with more compassion for others, not just survive. The paradigm needs to switch from "dog eat dog" to "we're all in it together."SOUL OF AMERICA: A spectre is haunting America -- the dark shadow of her domestic and international covert activities, cover ups and arguably poor choices. America is dysfunctional; she has a sickness of the soul. Maybe she has lost her soul. Soul loss is a spiritual illness. We are an addictive nation and our government is an addictive organization, as demonstrated by its leaders. Individuals reflect the addictive nature of the system. The system demands you are consistent with the system.
CONSENSUS CULTURE: We are always in a trance state. We conspire with one another to create or confabulate consensus reality. Cultures and subcultures share tacit understandings which together are Cultural Trance States, an unconscious cohesion. All cultures are trance states with their own modified programming content - family, community, religion, nation. We have been programmed by repeated suggestion since birth. We don't question or doubt this deep trance. Nations and organizations also create lived trance states. We are surrounded by and absorbed in their powerful reality in the social cradle.
SHAME & BLAME: Addictive organizations and their false images (PR, spin, false fronts, false flags) are the infrastructure of an addictive society. Addiction leads to compulsiveness. Thus, we have become a shame-based society. Symptoms include grandiosity, confusion, self-centeredness, dishonesty, perfectionism, scapegoating, self-righteousness, paranoia, projection, defensiveness, fear and ethical deterioration.
TOXIC SHAME, the fuel of addiction, divides us from ourselves and others. In toxic shame, we disown ourselves and cover-up with a false self. Toxic shame has many disguises; it loves darkness and secretiveness. It stays in hiding and covers itself up with a myriad of behavioral cover-ups. Toxic shame is spiritual bankruptcy. Healthy shame is honest. It lets us know our healthy limitations and provides meaning. It is the basis of humility and spirituality.
DEPRESSION is the number one mental health problem. Stress is the number one killer. Often depression lurks behind compensatory manic activity. Our boom-bust economics, the irrationally optimistic housing bubble and over-extended credit reflect the same syndrome. We react to an illusion of scarcity with the illusion of control that blocks what we fear we can't handle. Personal or collective disaster leaves us dispossessed. Shock, disaster and economic downturn is a formula that can be manipulatively exploited to eliminate resistance.
For America to recover, she has to see through deep denial, acknowledge the realities of her shadow self, hold the tension of the opposites, and let go to the transformative process of self-actualization that promises rebirth at a higher level of integration, stabilization and functionality. We can become more conscious participants in our own self-unfolding and in course-correcting the ship of state toward positive directionality. We can understand, adapt and respond to our world better.
POST-TRAUMATIC CULTURE: PTSD is a chaotic, hyper-reactive state of being. Our cultural crisis is characterized by symptomatic numbing, dissociation, impulsive aggression, depression, denial, shame and anxiety. We are haunted by a sense of injury -- victimization. "Victim speech" is used for economic and military gain. First- and second-hand trauma shapes our central narratives of overwhelming personal and collective change.
COUNTERMEASURES: Mediated images of war and catastrophe can produce PTSD symptoms much like directly witnessing traumatic events, especially if one identifies with the victims. Providing a means of processing information and feelings, Internet may provide an antidote to toxic media images that induce panic. When we see history repeating itself, we flashback to similar unresolved events. Hampered by persistent high-level denial, time does not heal these collective wounds. Disclosure would be a start.
CREATIVE RE-PATTERNING: We need to eliminate the blocks to our maturation process as a nation, even if no nation can realistically survive being totally transparent. A nation can oversight itself internally just like an individual can do a "reality check." We've been stuck in pointless paranoia with a Draconian government, corporate feudalism and an unwinable war that has sucked us dry. Dynamic change and flux means finding our own way to an authentic relationship with self, others and world.
SELF-IMAGE: We need to make a quantum leap beyond our delusions in all these domains. Currently, we are getting "shock treatment." The Shock Doctrine (Klein) and "disaster capitalism" have been imposed abroad and domestically to reengineer societies reeling from disasters. This corporate warfare and economic policy are rooted in CIA electroshock experiments in torture. Ideally, we need breakthrough not breakdown. But our self-image, our national esteem has been damaged. Self image is linked to feelings of destiny, meaningfulness, significance, uniqueness and reason for being.TRANSFORMATION: Without meaning we are cut off from our spiritual source that is our motivation, soul, spirit or destiny. The essence of tragedy is the realization of a destiny that escapes the human will, even if some have been able to predict the end. With insight and a new orientation we could effect a dramatic and positive self-transformation of our national character. It is our potential for eminence and the exceptional -- a clearer perception of and response to reality.
OWNING THE SHADOW: The Shadow is the first challenge on the way to clarity. With 1/20th of the world's population, we consume over 50% of the energy. We have to integrate our dark side, face our negative qualities, what we have attempted to hide or deny, our secret shame. Our national shadow is embodied in our clandestine history, the dirty tricks conducted in our name. We have to know ourselves fully. We also discover our own buried potential there. It brings hidden powers into the light. To heal our denial and learn discernment, we need trustworthy disclosure.
I’ve seen the future, brother: it is murder
Thing’s are going to slide, slide in all directions
Won’t be nothing
Nothing you can measure any more
The blizzard of the world
Has crossed the threshold
And it has overturned
The order of the soul (Cohen 1992)
SOUL RETRIEVAL is the process of recovering what we've cut off, left or lost somewhere, or that was stolen or appropriated by someone else. Refuge is found in the human heart. Soul retrieval relieves trauma and fragmentation by mending the past and healing the future. The object of healing is to become whole...to embody soul. Wholeness is a process of reconciliation. Imagine what a more soulful nation might be like.
VISION: Each step in our history has been marked by a quantum leap in our Manifest Destiny driven by our expansive spirit and zeitgeist. If it is so that we "create our own destiny," it is time for America to manifest a better destiny in harmony with global values that support true democracy and our Constitutional freedoms. A more meaningful manifestation of our national spirit would prioritize universally spiritual ideals, like respect and compassion, over domestic and international power trips. To grow our citizenry and government need vision, communication and trust. We are the only species capable of long-term systematic planning, but we willingly sabotague ourselves for short-term gratification. We need to heal our relationship to self, others, and world.
CRISIS DRIVEN: The fact is, we live in a sick system and it impacts our quality of life from the inside out. If the USA was a person, that individual would be a toxic, narcissistic, territorial, workaholic control freak with boundary issues. Our violent nation is manipulative, dramatic, paranoid, compulsive and soon may become literally depressive. The housing market is in a depression, and that is symbolic of our condition. You have to wonder what all our irrational exhuberance and manic activity is hiding in the depths of America's soul. Just what is our collective "heart's desire?"
COMMITMENT TO TRUTH: What is our shared vision today? Shared visions arise from those truly committed to their personal visions. What is the true nature of this "reality" we are creating? Are we on purpose and achieving our collective destiny or has our country been hijacked by special interests? Why do we obsessively overwork, overspend, cover up, get aggressive and perpetuate sick organizations? How can we let go of our old national identity, pass through the 'neutral zone' and experience transforming rebirth? We need a paradigm that superimposes the new on the old. First comes a change in attitudes or worldview that embodies a different set of values in cultural rebirth.
CREATIVE STRATEGIES: How can we raise the bar? Shared vision uplifts our aspirations, gives us courage and ignites our spirit. It pulls us toward an overarching goal. It creates room for risk taking and experimentation by fostering long term commitment. We can extend principles and insights from personal mastery into the world of discipline, collective aspiration and shared commitment. The vision may come before its time is ripe, but we have to try, even to fail. We need a transition plan or crisis and confusion will arise. We can look to the past to get to the root of the problem.
MANIFEST DESTINY is the philosophy that created the USA in her westward expansion. But it didn't stop there; our penetration has gone global. America has lost her boundaries but Manifest Destiny is still a driving ideal of virtually endless expansion. This ideology is still creating America's history, powering our culture. But in our egotistical zeal we have spread ourselves too thin, like the Alexanders, Napoleans and Hitlers of bygone eras.
But does the rightful destiny of the American people include unlimited imperialistic expansion? We're running out of places and cultures to invade. As a restless territorial culture bent on acquisition and conquest, we have boundary issues. We are the dominators, but the only frontiers left are within ourselves. It is high-time we manifest a new vision of our collective destiny, beyond the materialistic, religious, utopian design.
If the buzzword "Intentionality" is to be properly applied, we have to move beyond the ego gratification and wish fulfilment of THE SECRET and apply it in a global context. We can choose to consciously engage in self and social transformation. In a strongly networked society, a bottom-up approach to order is the counterpoint to the old hierarchal dominator model that has permeated history -- participatory consciousness.
We are enmeshed in denial. We either don't know or don't want to know the details of global exploitation that undergird our consumer lifestyles. We don't have the rationalized right to destroy anything or anyone who gets in the way of our so-called freedom and independence. We aren't independent; all of humanity and life is interdependent. We aren't free; we have traded freedom for so-called security. Far from demonstrating our superiority, the immortal doctrine of international Manifest Destiny reveals the spiritual faultline in the Soul of America.
|FOR "WE THE PEOPLE" TO HEAL... |
CATASTROPHE OR CREATIVITY: Pleasing ourselves is loaded with the potential for self-deceit. We have prospered at the expense of others. We consume more than we make. This is most true of the elite who are the meta-controllers of world events. We must not remain content with sociopolitical mediocrity but have to widen the boundaries of our compassion.
We have already mortgaged our progeny's future and must address that debt with more ethical economics. We need to find out what lies beyond the artificial constraints of corporate media, unregulated covert action, self-serving officials, greed-ridden American imperialism, the decline of civil liberties, environmental atrocities, egregious war, nuclear proliferation, lying leaders, global tyranny, the military industrial complex, the prison industrial complex, commodification of healthcare, and transnational crime.
We need to reinstitute safety nets and social justice. We need a pro-evolutionary environment, social innovation and economic synergy -- socio-cultural negentropy. Our nation needs to make a strong commitment to the health and well-being of all people and stop being an entropy sink. To successfully meet the challenge, we need our Constitutional Rights restored.
We can begin by admitting our addiction to our false GOD -- Gold, Oil & Drugs.
MANIFEST DESTINY: How can we manifest the common destiny of a peaceful and prosperous future for all of mankind? We can create an evolutionary politics to build a more creative future. Calculated cycles of commodification and scarcity, business and war have driven the military-industrial complex and the manipulative/exploitative multinational corporate climate. Cover Ups, media distortion, disinformation and confusion have paralyzed us with apathy and cynicism so nothing significant can be trusted, believed or known. But we do know this: 1% of humanity controls 40% of global wealth.
FROM GREEDY TO NEEDY: But we can empower ourselves to resist propaganda, consumerism, fear factors, status quo politics and meta-control to shape ourselves a better destiny - a 21st century MANIFEST DESTINY that fulfills our positive spiritual potential. Spiritual bankruptcy, the failure to consider our effects on the whole system, is a symptom of our collective ethical and economic failures.
ETHICAL ECONOMICS: If we don't want a dark future for humanity, we must reinvent ourselves, our ethical economics and our culture from the foundation upwards. Even if that is fantastically radical, it can still happen any moment, one inspired person or community at a time, cascading toward a visionay approach to large-scale societal transformation that heals personal and global socioeconomical scars. Active reconciliation must replace passive resignation to our fate. We have to "check it before we wreck it," that is, check our overweening narcissism, self-indulgence and gluttony as a nation-state.
COMPASSIONATE CONSUMPTION: Competent citizenry can learn to impliment constructive visions for our collective planetary future. We can wrestle our future from the grip of sociopathic control freaks, fiscal irresponsibility and deluded mental processes. Deep and broad visions can stimulate reflection and lively discussion of contemporary solutions that can become the scaffolding for action plans from the community level upwards. A courageous and truly integrated vision would include a detailed strategy for a vibrant and life-sustaining future.
SURVIVAL STRATEGIES: Individually and collectively we have to redefine what it means 'to thrive' not just survive with more compassion for others and life in general. The paradigm needs to switch from materialistic "dog eat dog" to universalist "we're all in it together." We must remain self-reflectively vigilant for mass stupidity, cultural bigotry and racial intolerance. We have to develop an active courage to change and to impliment more intelligent choices.
CONSCIOUS EVOLUTION: Evolution has made us self-aware and self-conscious. But those terms are not states but a spectrum of states, which can be up-regulated with simple techniques, such as concentration, self-reflection and meditation. Even biological evolution is now under the direction of human Conscious Evolution. Hard technolgies and spiritual tech are expanding our ideas of what it means to be human, and our inherited potential for realization and self-expression. Conscious Evolution is a worldview that supercedes the Manifest Destiny philosophy, a higher octave of the comprehension that "our reality is what we make it."
ENLIGHTENMENT: Many are pro-actively implementing their personal and collective vision of social potential and an emergent worldview that is negentropic and integrative, personally and culturally. Greed is unenlightened self-interest, myopic selfishness. Enlightened Self Interest is a good place to begin. It is an ethical philosophy demonstrating when we act in the interest of others, we promote our own well-being. An illumined state is not the goal, but the platform for creative interaction within the authentic Self, or essence, in a collective context. Conscious Evolution links discipline, practice and service. Our culture can be enriched by our present actions.
EMERGENT PARADIGM: The new paradigm embraces chaos, complexity, emergent creativity and self-organization. We all participate in the evolution of consciousness, whether our transformations are conscious or unconscious. Conscious Evolution is the ethical, philosophical, intentional governance of human change and cultural engineering.
We can each conduct ourselves compassionately with spiritual responsibility for the health and unfolding of human progress. Thinking and behaving with creative intent, we form a graceful society, approaching our ideal, incorporating loving, harmonious methods also in harmony with nature. The post-metaphysical desire is to contribute to the spiritual fulfillment of all people. The needs of the many resonate with the needs of the one.