Sunday, June 29, 2008

Call to Satyagraha


I have been reading an amazing book, one that is speaking truth to my soul in such a way that is leading me to a spiritual renewal of The Way of Peace I discovered in my youth during the Vietnam War. Satyagraha is the faith-essence of Martin Luther King, of Thich Nhat Hanh, The Barrigan Brothers, Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu.

Would that this were true of Binyamin Netanyahu, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, George Bush and Richard Cheney, but like J.R.R.Tolkien reminded us two generations ago, "Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely." If it is as pragmatically true as it is esoterically real -- "The first shall be last and the last shall be first" -- then lasting and universal power is found in "letting go" or "surrender" of self-will as a prerequisite to Purity of Heart.

By hallowed analogy, when the Pure in Heart come together in community, the life, faith and inspiration found in a mustard seed can give birth to a great social movement - it can move mountains.

The Hindus and the Buddhists claim that once the Seed of Truth has been planted in fertile soil and receives the rain of compassion and wisdom it will grow into a Tree of Life with roots interconnected to others in such a way that one can no longer perceive life as a tree separate from the life of the forest itself.

Sound familiar? Same root system, same sunlight, same waters of life flowing through our veins while inspiring and respiring the common elements of universal life itself. From earth to air, from fire to water the elements nurture us until we Realize -- or make real within our minds and actions -- that we are part of a force, uncreated, undying, that occupies the Universe. Wherefore, we begin to act upon this Universal Truth, holding firmly to the life it inspires and avoiding all activity that would send us reeling backward into the hell-realms of suffering through which we passed on the way to Our Great Destiny, that Sublime Glory through which life and our universe is graced with the interplay of cohesive energy and sacred emptiness.

All of my heroes spoke of this Sublime Glory within which we breathe the substance of our lives -- Spiritus, Pneuma or Rhua -- in ever more expanding cycles of surrendering until it completely opens our minds and our hearts in devotion to its source and to the dedication of our lives to our common journey of return.

We soon learn through experience that all illusions that detract us from our common journey lead back to the suffering that comes of separation and the illusions of radical individuality and self-sufficiency, that self-ishness that drives our habitual and obsessive will to power over others and our common circumstances.

Community experience also teaches us that we do not progress on our sacred journeys alone for very long without becoming lost again. "It takes a village." We will achieve our enlightened liberation together or we will hang separately. One inspires another in virtue; the inspiration is mirrored back to him and is refined until all are resurrected in The Light.

This is the great realization of the Mahayana Movement, incipient during the time of Christ, himself recognized outside his zeitgeist as a great Bodhisattva, a compassionate one who transcended his time to all-time.

This is Satyagraha. It is The Way of power and truth. It is an investment of spirit that goes beyond the misnomer "non-violent resistance" into an active practice of Truth in the face of evil and oppression. It is The Great Insistent Way of speaking Truth to power. The Way of holding forth together in communion. It is the bread to nourish our bodies and the wine to fill our veins with vitality and peace. It IS our Body and our Blood. It is the Word of God from the mouths of the prophets through which all things came into being. It is the Imam singing from a thousand minarets. It is the true gospel and true dharma of our salvation and conforms to but one law of spiritual physics that can be wisely and compassionately expressed either negatively or positively, just as the symbol of the Tao reminds us: Ahimsa, "Do no harm," and Bhakti, "If you would practice devotion to God, love others as yourself."

Rome has fallen; Britannia drowned upon the seven seas. Terrence J. Rynne has answered the call to proclaim the good news within our own materialist empire, yet another spirit-negating illusion built upon the machines of war and the worship of Mammon -- Pax Americana. Zealots of the right-wing are beginning to faintly perceive the Socratic Shadows on the walls of their mega-churches; yet their Simon Maguses continue to rail from nationalistic pulpits, "Give us Barabbas!" In all that clamor and hypocrisy, how can we find the real Jesus and save our children from the grinding dirges of war? How can we turn from this madness? How can we "let go" into the Kingdom of Heaven?

The answer has always been sitting right there on the living room coffee table. Stop sending the pretentious zealots of televangelism your money and help them find Salvation in the Truth-Spirit of Compassion and Wisdom by inviting them to join us in the great Pan American Satyagraha marching arm-in-arm across the bridges of Selma, of Juarez, Nuevo Laredo, Ojinaga; across the Gulf to Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Bolivia and Cuba to LiberaciĆ³n, el mundo de la promesa antigua.

If you feel dumbfounded and without a clue reading memos like this one from the left-field bleachers and would like a more grounded explanation, for the sake of his sorrowful passion, and that gracefully inspired acceptance of salvivic suffering exemplified in the life of Gandhi, read the book! It will restore our republic while it opens us to our neighbors whom we claim to love.

Gandhi and Jesus; The Saving Power of Nonviolence, by Terrence J. Rynne.

Terry McMillian: This Train is Bound for Glory (Harmonica)


* * *



Thursday, June 5, 2008

La Calera Chapel

La Calera Chapel is a little adobe church nearby where I live in West Texas. The chapel has been preserved and maintained by the retired mayor of Balmorhea, Ruben Fuentes. It's in the Chihuahuan Desert at the base of the Davis Mountains on Toyah Creek, six miles out.

The chapel is the only structure that remains of this 19th century settlement of sheep and goat herders. Nearby there are stone ruins and a small forgotten cemetery comprised of rock mounds with small hand-carved headstones and wooden crosses.

Here, the desert winds have sand-blasted everything to its origins in stone and sand.

One afternoon I ran into a neighbor who, like me, had come to pray and meditate and kick around in solitude. We did not talk long. The life out here can be very simple yet so harsh that it drives a man into submission under the sun, where all is vain that does not conform to windblown rhythms; and everything that carries life must carry with it the burden of water -- to drink, to bath, to baptize, to ride upon one's shoulders and become heavier and heavier in these torrents of sand until the far shores turn themselves inside out, there where the Child of Grace and Light begs to be delivered.

Today was so hot the dogs refused to come out from the shade. It has not rained in weeks and the creek beds are all dry. Fires have begun to stir in the prairie grass. I wonder how many will be traveling under the stars tonight seeking refuge to the north. There will be no moon. It went down with a thin smile right behind the burning sun. Perhaps we should place bottled water inside the chapel -- here where only the brothers of the desert come seeking grace; where a man can become so scorched the stones begin to prophesy.

+

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

GEO Group Plans to Expand ICE Detention Center in Colorado


I have a general aversion to linking with anything related to Fox News, which at the national level is viewed by Progressives as not much more than a big media funded propaganda machine, a fact which even owner Rupert Murdoch arrogantly admitted. But this story deserves mention if for no other reason than it escaped the usual Fox News corporatist filters.

It should be no surprise to West Texas locals that The GEO Group -- which is a predatory corporation roundly considered unworthy of government contracts because of its sorry human rights record when dealing with "deportees," an assessment which is pretty well documented in case after sorry case across the nation -- is involved in yet another controversy, this one in Aurora, Colorado, whose citizens seem to know exactly with whom they are dealing.

So West Texans, beware! When B.O.P. finally looses patience with The GEO Group's mismanagement of the RCDC Complex in Pecos, it could very well move out the foreign nationals now serving crime related sentences and turn the units over to ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement]. Our most recent experience of GEO involvement in the mismanagement of detainees involves unresolved allegations of sexual assault on females detainees by corrections officers at the South Texas Detention Center in Pearsall, documented by our brother blog This Ain't My First Rodeo.

Protesters Fight Immigration Center Expansion
Last Edited: Monday, 02 Jun 2008, 9:38 PM MDT
Created: Monday, 02 Jun 2008, 9:38 PM MDT
By SEAN TOBIN, Reporter

AURORA (MyFOXColorado.com) - Protesters taking over the Aurora Municipal Building Monday evening.

They came to protest the city's expansion plans for the current immigrant and custom's enforcement holding center at 30th and Peoria.

Many protesting say the center violates the rights of immigrants being held there.

"It's [even] inhumane to the people that's working there" [emphasis added], said Scott Kwasny of Jobs for Justice.

Protesters say the company looking to build and run the ice facility the GEO group is an international company that doesn't help the local economy.

"In the United States, GEO is very aggressive at keeping labor unions out", said Kwasny.

While protesters hammered their point home outside council chambers inside, city council heard from several protesters imploring council to allow a public hearing on those controversial expansion plans.

"Basically, I would just ask that you actually see this hear this", said one protester.

Ultimately, their protests were in vain. City Council voted 10-4 to kill an agenda item that would have allowed a public testimony.

The story continues at the Aurora Fox News site, which includes video footage.

It was so nice of the city council to vote democratically, as it were, to suppress the voice of the people and "move on." But then, Colorado has become infamous for its "grass roots" right-wing theocrats who've taken an interest in politics without the slightest knowledge of democracy as a form of government.

The people of Aurora would be wise to appoint a watchdog commission to oversee The GEO Group. It's not that The GEO Group goes out of their way to commit or allow human rights abuses in dealing with foreign nationals; it's just that they don't let ethics get in the way of the bottom line.

This company-wide attitude of negligence regarding the rights and welfare of non-citizens is reinforced by federal bureaucrats who have come either to a place of career apathy or who consciously accept the fallacious notion that the Enlightened framers of the U.S. Constitution had only American citizens in mind when they drew up the Bill of Rights.

In fact, one of the hallmarks of the Age of Enlightenment was that the liberties and freedom its philosophers advanced were intended to be universal. The American guardians of that flame recognized this principle, yet only two hundred years later, those responsible for carrying the banners of liberty have fallen into a stolid repose.

The wolves are at the gates.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Meditations on a Thunderstorm; Hoppin' a Train Back to Mexico






It was reported that in Pearsall, Texas, last month at an ICE deportation center managed by The GEO Group, female deportees were sexually assaulted by corrections officers. Objects to be abused. Like fuckin' watermelons.

My generation has gone back to sleep;
Even the darkness is empty of feeling.
Things goin' on again in our name;
But the lights are gone out in the ceiling.


Watchmen desert
The ancient stone towers.

Virgins are sleeping
In beds of stale flowers
No oil for their lamps
No grooms in wee hours
No stores for their camps
No heart-light of power.

My generation has gone back to sleep;
Even the darkness is empty of feeling.
Things goin' on again in our name;
But the lights are gone out in the ceiling.


Who troubles to wake them?
Who'd care to go shake them?
Show them to stations
And hilltops by lamp?

How many are praying?
It's secrets they're laying
O'r desert lamentations
Masada's death ramps.

My generation has gone back to sleep;
Even the darkness is empty of feeling.
Things goin' on again in our name;
But the lights are gone out in the ceiling.