Journalism

Re-membering the Sacred> by ls

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*Re-membering: to consciously reinvest a known concept with vital relevance and to relate our life experiences thereto, such that the concept may be powerful to effect change in our world.Change one's worldview to change the world.

Transformational spirituality has been a popular meme since the mid-twentieth century. In Australian culture people have been thinking about the meme of self transformation and have continued to identify with cultural movements which are expressive of this direction, and which affirm that this potential exists for all. People of the Woodstock generation dancing with acid house ravers. The smiley face an enduring image, augmented in the nineties by an open third eye: evolution. Yet how great a gulf in cultural significance between the traditional perspective upon entheogens (plants that "awaken the divinity within") and the Western appreciation of their use! In the West, the entheogenic experience turns upon a transaction, which goes forward at the desire and risk of the buyer. In a traditional society the Shaman governs access to entheogens on the basis of need; here in the West the principal question is, "Do you have the cash?" There, entheogens are understood as a medicine - here, people are buying a product, a commodity.


Jungle Fever > by Rak Razam

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We're 45 kilometres out of Iquitos, deep in the Peruvian Amazon, in the great green web of nature with our native Shaman, Percy Garcia. He has the boyish enthusiasm of a physical education teacher, which is reinforced by his western garb - Nike sneakers, tracky dacks and soccer shirt, but he's been trained since he was a boy in the world of the spirits, and of the great plant medicine - ayahuasca.

The night is alive with the sounds of insects and animals, like a constant hum of electricity. The maloca - a wall-less jungle hut - is lit by candles and mattresses litter the floor for the gringos to crash on as their bodies surrender to the pull of the medicine, and their spirits soar.

Percy's gotten changed into his ceremonial garb, a curious mish-mash of western clothes and indigenous bling bling that visually sums up the changing nature of Amazonian shamanism. Jaguar t-shirt, silk spotted pants and trainers, a feathered parrot hat with blue, red and yellow feathers around his forehead, offset with Christian rosary beads and a chacapa leaf fan in one hand.

He sits behind a makeshift altar, a wooden box covered with an intricate, geometrical patterned cloth that the local Shipibo Indians weave to represent the patterns one sees on ayahuasca. The altar is covered with ceremonial objects, little rainbow bead dolls, wooden cups, giant mapacho cigarettes filled with organic jungle tobacco, Nicotinia rustica, a smoke that cleanses and purifies and banishes bad spirits. Percy's got about a hundred mapacho cigarettes on the altar like he's expecting a horde of demons tonight, or he's having a stoner party with Cheech and Chong as the honoured guests. And last but not least, in plastic two litre San Luis water bottles, a thick, dark brown liquid - ayahuasca, the 'vine of souls'.


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The Anatomy Of Peace > by Levin Diatschenko

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The Anatomy Of Peace

For the world citizen of today, perhaps the most pertinent question regarding the people of that world is: How to make the 'United Nations’ a reality? If a therapist can get groups of angry people to cease arguing and get along with each other, why not a group of Nations, religions or political parties? If there is a science to it then it can be done.


WW III for Dummies> by Ralf

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The need for a comprehensive peoples movement against the warmongers has now moved beyond just the scope of ones own personal moral issues with the “War On Terror” and is fast becoming a desperately needed countering force if civilization itself is to survive. It appears that we are indeed dealing with madmen in the White House who are willing to risk the veneer of democracy, the entire economy and possibly whole countries – including those of their allies as they pursue their hegemonic goals and push the world to the brink -- and beyond – of World War III. With global warfare at perhaps the most pivotal moment in all of modern history, one must ask why the average person either doesn’t care or doesn’t have a clue. In a 21st century where the media plays a vital role in social engineering, many people may find it hard – or overwhelming -- to join the dots. Here then, is a regularly updated primer of current global conflicts, the political machinations behind them and speculation on where it’s all going that I call – World War III for Dummies…


"The Secret" Revealed! > by Ralf

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The Secret revealed! Of Snake Oil and Other Charmers

by Ralf

I had an interesting, if somewhat drunken, Earthdance. Given that it is the global party and day for peace, I spent the day picking peoples brains to further my understanding of why the resistance to war in this country is not growing with what has been going on. In some way I finally found an answer. In several separate conversations with people they urged me to watch "The Secret" to cast more light on things. In fact they were all saying the same thing. That to resist something will only give it more power and all used "The Secret" as an example of a cogent explanation to this theory. Luckily I had recently been given a copy of "The Secret" that I had not yet watched so it was obviously something the Universe was putting in my way. I have since watched it and am glad that people finally urged me into checking this out. I had no idea that things were getting so bad.


I guess I better start with a positive, as it wouldn't be right to bring anyone down with negative vibes. These guys are definitely getting craftier we have to tip our hats to them on that level. I have long wondered how long it would take for the establishment to get a serious handle on what we have been up to and start fighting fire with fire. Obviously this particular movie has a struck a chord with a number of people from the psychedelic world here in Melbourne. Indeed this makes sense since it draws heavily on the emergent spiritual theory that seems to be growing out of the Psychedelic and Quantum Physics worlds about the nature of reality and ones ability to control it and manifest it with ones thoughts. This idea is obviously becoming more and more of a driving force assisting in the decision making of people from our culture.

And as The Secret is one of the newest and freshest manifestos, in the tradition of What The Bleep Do We Know etc, about where such an insight can lead us in the way we live our lives it makes sense that it seems to be influential at the moment. Indeed it is actually produced and made by a team of people FROM Melbourne so another reason why it must resonate so solidly with people from this city. This theory and greater enlightenment that is growing is of course very exciting and I certainly understand and believe much of the framework and basis behind it. My own deep psychedelic sojourns have allowed similar teachings to be downloaded. However once receiving this enlightenment one must be cautious about where the logic steps then take us as to how we apply that in the practical physical world. And once 'THEY' work out we are onto this they will inevitably use it against us. And so they have with the production of this twisted abomination;The Secret.

Obviously the central 'truths' behind "The Secret" are in some way correct. As they have to be in order to coat the blue pill they are feeding us in it in a believable framework. The more believable the less likely we will notice the atrocious mind control going on in this pithy piece of propaganda. The whole premise behind the movie seems to have been to resubvert the Psychedelic enlightenment back into blatant consumerist, capitalistic, individualistic culture. They have certainly hit on one of the Ancient Laws of Attraction all right. That of Fool And His Money Are Soon Parted. Almost all of the premises are presented to show how to use these skills and techniques in order to amass more wealth for ONESELF personally and to make ONES own life a heaven at the expense of all else. The American Dream in a nutshell really.

That was really where this movie started to rankle me. A quote on the shows own website states; "Previous to what Rhonda had thought, she discovered there were people out there alive who were aware of this information. Actually, there were lots of them, and they were some of the world's greatest living scientists, philosophers, and authors. In every part of the world, different fragments of The Secret were being offered, to anyone that would listen. All that was needed was to pull all of the pieces together... Well it appears that every part of the world includes one Australian businessman and a veritable army of Americans. Amazing that the whole worlds knowledgeable people now happen to reside only in America. Or maybe it's just that as, by the movies own admittance, "The Secret" has been passed down in a direct lineage from the Babylonians (surely that was a clue guys Babylonians warmongering psycho's remember?) it was bound to be concentrated in the seat of world power. Or maybe they uncovered it recently in Iraq. After the helicopter assault camp, Camp Alpha, had been established at the site of ancient Babylon in 2003 and they had finished ethnically cleansing any of the pesky sand niggers in the area they uncovered it and returned it to all of us lucky westerners as a spoil of war.

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Nuclear Power and Australia's Energy 'Debate'> by Jim Green

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By Jim Green Nuclear campaigner -Friends of the Earth, Australia.


Over the past year the nuclear industry has once again tried to exploit concern about climate change to reverse its ongoing decline. Nuclear power is being promoted not only as the solution to climate change, but also to water shortages (by desalination), the drought (by John Anderson), and world poverty (too cheap to meter --- or too expensive to matter?). You begin to wonder if there's anything nuclear power can't solve.

One positive aspect of this debate is that it has highlighted the need for action to avert the social and environmental impacts associated with climate change. But it's been a limited debate. Only the nuclear 'solution' solution to climate change is being debated. Never mind that nuclear power simply can't do the job. Never mind that the adverse impacts of nuclear power are every bit as alarming as those of climate change. Thus the 'debate' has diverted attention from the range of renewable energy sources and energy efficiency measures that, combined, can avert climate catastrophe.

The Earthdance Journal Project

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Earthdance Journal poster Undergrowth.org invites all participants in the global Earthdance Festival this September 16, 2006 to contribute blogs, photos, art and stories about your experiences for The Earthdance Journal, a forthcoming anthology of experiences celebrating the Global Festival for Peace and exploring the cultural diversity of the only synchronised music and dance festival in over 250 locations and 50 countries in the world. Send us your writing (approx 500 words) festival reports on Earthdance from around the globe - art, photos and creativity to: contribute@undergrowth.org . Select contributions will be curated and printed in an online eBook available for free download. "The Earthdance Journal", a global community experiment in "Gaian Blogging". Deadline October 16th, 2006. For more information on how to find a festival near you, go to the Earthdance website.


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Dancing in the Realm: Life, Fusion, Boom Festivals> by Graham St John

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(Sundancer by Dakatz)


It's June 2006, London.

A shift was in the making. I'd been staying at the Parallel Youniversity in West Hampstead for a month, while its Dean, Megatripolitan Fraser Clark, had been off on some Saharan adventure. This was hippy, or - as Fraser might have styled it - `zippy', central. The first storey flat had a couple of decades worth of rave-olutionary activity pinned to its walls, the reminders of several East Asian and subcontinental tours adorning the eaves and immeasurable layers of grime and hair worked into its carpets. Apparently most of the hair belonged to Jonty, the dog, who I was tasked to mind, along with the world's wildest indoor plant. While in the zippy lair, under the Hanging Gardens of Pronoia, I had privilege access to Fraser's extensive countercultural library. Flying off the shelves was a book called Its Happening: a portrait of the youth scene today by J L Simmons and Barry Winograd (1966), a couple of hipper members of staff in Sociology Dept. at the University of California, Santa Barbara.


Telestreets - Hacking the Infocalypse> by Luther Blisset

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The cold rain lightens passing the small twice-weekly farmers’ market, down the corridor past the Italian class for migrants, the bookshop, a meeting, the circus class. Entering into one room a web of cables crawls overhead, converging in a loft. Upstairs a small group chatters in front of computers, editing, uploading, downloading, emailing; organising a 24-hour pirate TV station. This is the Xmercato24 social centre in Bologna, Italy, home of “Teleimmagini?”, part of the Italian Telestreet movement of around 80 pirate micro-TV stations, most of which have grown in less than 2 years.


REWILDING > by Kevin Arnold

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REWILDING

“The wilderness that has come to us from the eternity of the past we have the boldness to project into the eternity of the future.”
—Howard Zahniser,
author of the 1964 Wilderness Act.

When veteran environmental activist and founder of Earth First! Dave Foreman looks into the future, he sees a wild and green North America. A continent where grizzly bears, wolves and mountain lions roam free, where native plants and insects flourish.
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