Occupy Everything… But Start with Yourself

By now, looks like everyone with a keyboard and a mouse has offered up something to the blogosphere about the Occupy movement. I don’t think that fellow in Canada ever imagined in his wildest dreams that his call to action would have this kind of global response.

Still,  I keep getting email from subscribers to this blog, asking me, “So what’s your take on it, Arjuna?”

Ok, you asked. So here it is.

My first response is “Yeah!

I can follow that up with, “Yeeeehaw!

And if you still want more, I’d say, “About time.

Many years ago (visualize me stroking my gray beard as say those words) when I was a young man at Cambridge University, all my friends were becoming Marxists. Demonstrations, protests, sit-ins, and strikes were the thing to do if you wanted to be cool (and get laid).   Back then, I took a slightly different route. All my friends were focusing on the enormous injustice that a huge percentage of the world’s wealth is controlled by a tiny percentage of the world’s population. How can anyone argue?  Of course there’s something wrong with that picture, when a few people have access to the absolute best of anything, more than they can possibly enjoy, and there are children dying from lack of food and clean water.

The question that nagged at me all those years ago was, “What is it that creates this situation?”

It would never happen, for example, in your family. Imagine sitting down for thanksgiving dinner where you and your closest ones get the best of everything, and the distant cousins at the end of the table eat dry bread and contaminated water. Couldn’t happen, right?  When you’re with your family, you share because you feel close, you feel connected. The sense of “us” is greater than the sense of a “you” and a “me” as separate.

I’ve always had the sense that the fundamental ailment in our world is not just economic or political, but to do with this underlying feeling of separation.

When I was living in Bali many years ago, I got to hear about a Japanese company clear-cutting large areas of old growth teak forest. The trees were loaded onto boats, supposedly headed for Japan. It seemed like a shame, as these were very old trees, but the real shocker came when I heard that the boats weren’t actually taking the trees all the way to Japan. Halfway there, in the middle of nowhere, they were getting dumped off into the ocean. The motive? By buying up old-growth teak in Indonesia and keeping it off the market, the company was able to maintain their high price for the rare teak already available in Japan.

When you hear a story like that,  (and of course we could supply an endless number of similar stories today of senseless greed) you’ve got to ask yourself, “What causes someone to make a decision like that?” Some people might call it a savvy business decision, but what is the state of consciousness underneath it? How do you have to feel about yourself, and about life, to make such a decision? I’d say it is all coming from a  feeling of being separate: separate from the earth, separate from other people, separate even from your children, who are later going to have to deal with the messes we are creating today. So early on, I developed a keen interest in discovering what creates this feeling of separation, and what, if anything, can cause it to dissolve.

Whenever any localized society has created the kind of imbalance of wealth we have today, it has eventually resulted in destabilization and revolution. The Roman Empire collapsed as the rich and powerful in Rome never ran out of greed for dominating the less fortunate. The French revolution, the Russian revolution, right up to the fall of Colonel Gaddafi a few weeks ago: people will only tolerate greed and abusive power for so long.

There has always been a problem, however. Revolutions change the balance of power, but generally don’t get rid of the feeling of separation which created the imbalance. Under the Czar in Russia, for example, working people were starving while the aristocracy lived in palaces. But the Bolshevik regime that took over simply replaced one form of elitism with another. When Yeltsin and Gorbachev ended Communism in 1991, again, it just rearranged the players on the board. The dynamic of separation, greed and corruption remained just as strong.

So here are some things that I love about the Occupy movement, and which inspire me to repeat that passionate “Yeehaw!” and to raise my glass that this might be an upgrade to revolution-as-usual.

  • It doesn’t orient around any particular leader, dogma, or ideology. 
This is brilliant. When a movement is not centrally organized in this way, it’s appealing to basic common sense and human decency more than allegiance to dogma.
  • There are no specific demands or calls to action.
 Political analysts say that this is a weakness, but I disagree. It would be a weakness if this was trying to be a new political movement, but by avoiding a particular action plan, it calls upon all of us to recognize that opposing corruption and hoarding by a few wealthy people is not something you need to take any position on. Like the sexual abuse of children, you don’t have to think or align yourself with an ideology to know it’s not ok.
  • The movement is, for the most part, peaceful and even humorous. 
Putting Rome and Tottenham aside, the demonstrations elsewhere all around the world have been well-behaved. The reports of violence (pepper spray in New York, rubber bullets in Oakland) were initiated by the police rather than by the demonstrators.
  • This is not the same old aging baby boomers beating their dusty battered drums again.  This is mainly the generation we sometimes thought was too wedded to XBox, texting and iPods to even care or notice.  They do care, they are kicking b*tt, and they are doing it with more care and compassion that their predecessors in the 70s.

My hope and prayer is that this could be a different kind of a  revolution. A revolution in the way we have revolutions. In other words, not just the same old, “You guys are greedy and rich and you stink, and we’re going to take you down,  yaaahh!  Here’s a bottle in your windshield, you b**stard.”   We can be, and we are being, more revolutionary than that, by moving beyond separation. This is a bold step. To ask ourselves, “What’s the state of consciousness that causes someone to behave the way they do?” “What would somebody have to be feeling (or unable to feel) to have an insatiable lust to have more of everything, and to not care about other people’s needs?”

When we sit with these questions, we realize that we are actually ALL victims of the economic system that is now collapsing around us.  The factory worker who just lost their job, who is paying 28% percent in credit card interest, who is in foreclosure on their house, is an obvious victim.  It takes a leap to see that the banker in his private jet,  mansions on every continent, and the best of everything, is, in a more obscure way, also a victim. Whoa, Whaaaaat?  Yes, think about it.  You ever hung out with someone living this way?  Selfishness and isolation is not a fun way to be. It’s often accompanied by rampant substance abuse, broken marriages, an inability to feel gratitude, to feel good about yourself, or that you’ve made any real contribution.

The way that the Occupy Movement can be a revolutionary revolution instead of a run-of-the-mill ordinary revolution is if we start with ourselves. We can start by dropping our attention deeper than thoughts, rigid beliefs, reactive emotions, and prejudice.   We can start by discovering the dimension within each of us, not so far away, which is limitless and free, which needs nothing, but offers everything. Then you become a spiritual activist, an empowered mystic.  You take a stand not against something or someone, but for something. You take a stand for life, for celebration, for generosity, for values that make everybody stronger.

So for those of you who asked, that’s my answer. I thoroughly support occupying everything in sight, and lets start with yourselves.

Occupy the limitless space, free and open like the sky, which is your true nature.

Occupy the unclaimed love which you always knew was there, waiting to be owned.

Occupy your capacity to forgive, to find common ground.

Occupy the place where you move beyond blame and differences, and find empathy.  

Occupy Yourself, Occupy your True Nature, and then whatever else you choose occupy will naturally become a better place for everyone to be.

To me, that’s revolutionary revolution.

So there’s the story of why, instead of becoming a social activist, or a film maker, or a political commentator like many of my friends back then, I have developed the Awakening Coaching Training. Today I train coaches to become facilitators of awakening, to guide people to move beyond separation, and to start with themselves. We need a good political or social revolution from time to time, and I believe that there first needs to be a Translucent Revolution within.

I’m going to be hosting a free tele-seminar about Awakening Coaching this Friday, November 11th at 10am PST. Feel free to join us. It will last 75 minutes, and so will include the magical moment, never to be repeated, of 11:11 on 11-11-11.

Register Here, for the live call, or to listen to the replay.

Photo credits: Idea go, digitalart, Evgeni Dinev

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56 Responses to “Occupy Everything… But Start with Yourself”

  1. ed November 10, 2011 at 3:55 am // Reply

    i loved this. this is what ive been aiming to express to my comrades in the toronto movement. thanks man!


  2. Savana Rose November 10, 2011 at 3:59 am // Reply

    Utterly beautiful! I truly resonant with and love the elegant and eloquent way in which you’ve expressed a very deep truth here…we are all family and many are awakening to that. This is a revolution of love and compassion and light. A re-evolution…a new way of relating. Thank you for stating it so eloquently!


    • savannah November 11, 2011 at 9:29 pm // Reply

      For me, you are all right on target. This is a Love revolution and nothing else will do. We can not fix the problem at the same level of consciousness that the challenges arose from. Love and compassion are the final solution and it looks to me that we are well on our way! In unity consciousness we are powerful and invincible. Love says YES!!!


  3. Jacqueline November 10, 2011 at 4:37 am // Reply

    It’s a wonderful answer–thank you!–spacious, expansive, generous. Even when I was a little girl I believed that people do bad/selfish things to help us all learn love, and that not only are they, too, victims, because (as you say) they suffer from their own lack of connection to love, but that they are actually choosing, through their “badness,” to take on a role of service to humanity.

    If we all fully occupied our our own hearts, there would be no need of these “perpetrators” to help show us the way. But isn’t the dance of the contrasts wonderful? And the learning.


  4. Richard Sassoon November 10, 2011 at 4:40 am // Reply

    I like what you say. I think the spirit of the Occupy movement is wholesome, energetic, peaceful and its manifestation as broadly as possible is necessary and may well have a beneficial effect on society. Personal awakening is the most necessary for an individual. The two are quite complementary and needed for a further evolution of humanity as a species toward its potential for awake consciousness, genuine compassion and felt connectedness with all life.


  5. drbob November 10, 2011 at 4:51 am // Reply

    Thanks, Arjuna. As usual, it all starts and ends within.
    The melding of this primary and profound consciousness with the basic tenets of the Occupy movement i.e giving, caring, sharing, balance, equity, global awareness, social justice, love, respect, comraderie, passion and compassion will provide a movement that is sustainable, impactful, powerful, enduring and far reaching.
    Thanks for doing your part to move our world to the next level.


  6. Nishkala November 10, 2011 at 4:57 am // Reply

    So beautifully expressed. Thank you for this thorough clarity Arjuna..


    • Eva November 10, 2011 at 3:33 pm // Reply

      Dear Arjuna,
      I took a workshop with you a long time ago and I really got a lot out of it and found you to be a very warm and generous man. I’m glad to have been able to meet you.

      But I cannot comprehend how you, who have so much power in re: to the number of people who listen to you, so enthusiastically support a movement you know so little about.

      You say it’s good that OWS has no specific goals–why is that good? Are you so naive as to think that the innocents with no goals will not be replaced by forces such as those which have taken over every movement (ie; Egypt–Tahrir Square–the military now being in charge and Christians being slaughtered there daily)? Do you think corruption exists only within one group of people? (the rich? aren’t you one of the rich? aren’t you one of the 1% who travels the world and has power over others (I’m not saying in a bad way but still it is power and it is beyond what most of us are capable of (power re: the importance of our words to others))
      You, yourself, are an example of what many OWS would call “corruption”–you travel around the world, make a lot of money over what you say is “free” and are, absolutely in the “1%”–I know it’s “cool” to pose as a Marxist (no it’s not and all governments which have followed this have been repressive, corrupt, fascistic) –it’s not honest.
      Mostly, I disagree with you re: “the movement” being peaceful. There is so much rape, anti-semetism, vandalism, loss of jobs, lack of personal responsibility in this movement. The closing of the port in Oakland, the destruction of a Whole Foods, the loss of jobs from this, the amt. of money it is costing taxpayers to repair the vandalism, the rapes which are not taken seriously enough by OWS, women are afraid. They are afraid to even report it. Rape. I’m sure you don’t support rape but it is rampant in this movement and it is being tolerated.
      I find it odd that you write of separation in re: to OWS. There is zero tolerance in the world of “spiritual seeking) for people like myself who question OWS because of the below–please read–thank you.

      NY: 10/1/2011 — Police Arrest More Than 700 Protesters on Brooklyn Bridge
      Madison, WI: 10-27-2011 — Madison Occupiers Lose Permit Due to Public Masturbation
      Phoenix: 10/28/2011 — Flier at Occupy Phoenix Asks, “When Should You Shoot a Cop?”
      NY: 10/18/2011 — Thieves Preying on Fellow Protesters
      NY: 10/9/2011 — Stinking up Wall Street: Protesters Accused of Living in Filth as Shocking Pictures Show One Demonstrator Defecating on a POLICE CAR
      NY: 10/7/2011 — Occupiers Rush Police … More
      Cleveland: 10/18/2011 — ‘Occupy Cleveland’ Protester Alleges She Was Raped
      NY: 10/10/2011 — ‘Increasingly Debauched’: Are Sex, Drugs & Poor Sanitation Eclipsing Occupy Wall Street?
      Seattle: 10/18/2011 — Man Accused of Exposing Self to Children Arrested
      10/12/2011 — Iran Supports ‘Occupy Wall Street’
      Portland: 10/16/2011 – #OccupyPortland Protester Desecrates Memorial To U.S. War Dead
      Portland: 10/15/2011 — #OccupyPortland Protesters Sing “F*** The USA”
      Chicago: 10/17/2011 — COMMUNIST LEADER Cheered at Occupy Chicago
      10/15/2011 — American Nazi Party Endorses Occupy Wall Street‘s ’Courage,‘ Tells Members to Support Protests and Fight ’Judeo-Capitalist Banksters’
      Boston: 10/14/2011 — Coast Guard member spit on near Occupy Boston tents
      Boston: 10/11/2011 — Boston Police Arrest Over 100 from Occupy Boston
      New York: 10/11/2011 — “You Can Have Sex with Animals.”
      New York: 10/15/2011 — Harassing Police with Accusations of Phony Injuries
      New York: 10/9/2011 – ‘Occupy Wallstreet’ Protesters Steal from Local Businesses
      New York: 10/25/2011 — Three Men Threatened to Kill 24-Year-Old Occupy Wall Street Protester for Reporting Rape
      Baltimore: 10/18/2011 — #OccupyBaltimore Discourages Sexual Assault Victims from Contacting Police
      Portland: 10/27/2011 — Occupy Portland’s Attempt At Wealth Redistribution Ends In Theft
      Los Angeles: 10/14/2011 – Anti-Semitic Protester at Occupy Wall Street
      10/27/2011 — A Death Threat From an Occupy Wall Street Protester
      10/27/2011 – Anti-Semitic Tweet From Occupier or Sympathizer
      Boston: 10/20/2011 — Occupy Boston Doesn’t Want Police Involved in Rape
      New York: 10/5/2011: Anti-Semitic Occupier Screams About Jews, Israel
      New York: 10/4/2011 — Occupier Taunts Jewish Man
      Boston: 10/2011 — Occupiers Block Street
      New York: 10/2011 — Occupier Tries to Steal Police Officer’s Gun
      New York: 10/27/2011 — Occupiers Block Traffic, Get Arrested
      Oakland: 10/27/2011 — Occupiers Throw Garbage at Police
      Oakland: 10/19/2011 — Abusive #OccupyOakland Protesters Ban Media from Tent City
      Eugene, OR: 10/19/2011 — Occupiers Displace Farmers’ Market Threatening Hundreds of Jobs
      Portland, OR: 10/18/2011 — Capitalist Offering Jobs at Occupy Portland Finds Few Takers
      NY: 10/20/2011 — #OccupyWallStreet Threatens Businesses, Patrons
      NY: 10/14/2011 — Violence Breaks Out During #OccupyWallStreet March Toward Stock Exchange
      NY: 10/14/2011 — Protesters March On Wall Street, Scuffle With Cops
      Oakland: 10/19/2011 — #OccupyOakland Protesters Threaten Reporter
      Oakland: 10/26/2011 — Occupiers Scuffle with Police
      Oakland: 10/24/2011 — Protesters Storm, Vandalize, Shut Down Chase Bank
      Dayton, OH: 10/22/2011 — Protester: ‘F*ck The Military, F*ck Your Flag, And F*ck The Police’
      Chicago: 10/14/2011 – Protesters’ Message At #OccupyChicago Rally: ‘Destroy Israel’
      NY: 10/23/2011 — #OccupyWallStreet Supporter Rants Against Israel, Jews
      NY: 10/22/2011 — #Occupy Kid: ‘Burn Wall Street, Burn!’
      NY: 10/21/2011 — New Yorkers Fed Up With Noisy, Defecating Protesters
      Oakland: 10/21/2011 — Occupy Oakland Evicted After Reports Of Crime And Intimidation
      Oakland: 10/19/2011 — #OccupyOakland Out of Control: Rats, Graffiti, Vandalism, Sexual Harassment, Public Sex and Urination
      Chicago: 10/26/2011 – Occupiers Under Investigation by FBI for Links to Terrorism
      Cleveland: 10/29/2011 — Rape Reported at Occupy Cleveland
      Dallas: 10/24/2011 — Police Investigating Possible Sexual Assault Of Teen At Occupy Dallas
      Bloomington, IN: 10/26/2011 — Man Claims Occupy Bloomington Protesters Drugged, Handcuffed Him
      NY: 10/10/2011 — Sex, Drugs and Hiding from the Law at Wall Street Protests
      Glasgow: 10/26/2011 — Woman Gang-Raped
      Boston: 10/23/2011 — Occupy Boston Protesters Arrested For Dealing Heroin – With 6 Year-Old in Tent
      Portland: 10/16/2011 – Sex Offender Registers Occupy Portland Camp as Address
      Denver: 10/15/2011 — Occupy Denver Demonstrator Accused of Groping TV Photographer
      Lawrence, KS: 10/25/2011 — Sexual Assault Reported at Occupy Camp
      Minneapolis, MN: Bricks, Rocks, ‘Riot Supplies’ Discovered by Police
      Phoenix, AZ: 10/27/2011 — Neo-Nazis Patrol “Occupy Phoenix” With AR-15′s
      Chicago: 10/26/2011 — Occupy Chicago Invades City Hall
      10/26/2011 — ACORN, Occupy Email Talks About Assault on Banks
      10/26/2011 – OccupyWallStreet Strategy for Reports of Violence Against Cops
      Chicago: 10/26/2011 — Unrepentant Domestic Terrorist Bill Ayers Wows Occupiers
      Chicago: 10/25/2011 — Ayers Coaches #OccupyChicago, Callsg for School ‘Occupations’
      10/26/2011/ — Occupy Protests Have Jewish Leaders Concerned
      Wash DC: 10/27/2011 – OccupyDC Leftists Provoke Police – Hang Flag on Top of DC Statue
      Albuquerque, NM: 10/26/2011 — Occupy Squatters Riot With Police
      San Diego: 10/25/2011 — Flag Used as Chew Toy by Occupier’s Dog
      Oakland: 10/25/2011 — Occupiers Throw Bottles at Police
      NY: 10/27/2011 — Occupy Wall Street Protesters: Rush Limbaugh Is Bigger Threat Than Al-Qaeda
      10/27/2011 — Occupy Wall Street Launching First Nationwide General Strike in America Since 1946
      NY: 10/28/2011 — Fox 5 News Reporter Assaulted at OWS
      10/28/2001 — Total Occupy Arrests Made Thus Far: 2750
      Nashville: 10/28/2011 — 30 Arrests Made at Wall St. Protest
      NY: 10/20/2011 — Former Marine Tries to Taunt Police into Violence
      NY: 1023/2011 — Islamist Group Joins with Occupy Wall Street
      Los Angeles: 10/13/2011 — Roundup of Overt Occupy anti-Semitism
      NY: 10/12/2011 — There are No Anti-Semites at Occupy Wall Street. Except for This Guy
      Missoula, MT: 10/20/2011 — Drunk 11-Year-Old At Occupy Missoula, Adult Arrested
      Oakland: 10/28/2011 — Bounty Out On Police Officer?
      Manchester, NH: 10/28/2011 – Woman charged with pimping teen recruited at Occupy NH rally
      San Diego: 10/28/2011 – 40 Occupiers arrested
      Boston: 10/24/2011 — Occupy Boston Vandalism of Banks
      Boston: 10/25/2011 – Store Owner Suffers 4 Break Ins Since Occupy Boston Began
      Portland: 10/28/2011 — Portland Police: Buckets of Excrement Scattered Around #OccupyPortland Camp
      Seattle: 10/20/2011 — Two Possible Occupiers Charged With Assault
      Seattle: 10/18/2011 — Armed Felon Arrested at Occupy Seattle
      Seattle: 10/18/2011 — A Tent Fight and (At Least) One Arrest at Occupy Seattle
      Seattle: 10/17/2011 — Over 50 Cops Clear Westlake Occupation, Make Eight Arrests
      Seattle: 10/13/2011 — Cops Arrest Several Occupy Protesters
      Seattle: 10/13/2011 — Chanting Protesters Surround Police After Officers Arrest Two
      Denver: 10/29/2011 — Protesters Clash with Police at OWS Denver
      Austin: 10/13/2011 – Occupy Austin protesters arrested for blocking cleaning Crews
      Calgary, CN: 10/28/2011 — Occupiers do $40,000 in Property Damage
      Cincinnati, OH: 10/21/2011 — 23 Arrested, Remains of protests fill two dumpsters
      Sacramento: 10/19/2011 – 9 arrested in ‘Occupy Sacramento’ protest
      Sacramento: 10/13/2011 – Four More Occupy Sacramento Demonstrators Arrested
      Austin, TX: 10/22/2011 – Man Arrested After Knife Incident at Occupy Austin Camp
      Nashville: 10/29/2011 — Tenn. Protesters Arrested For 2nd Straight Night
      Austin, TX: 10/30/2011 – Austin Police arrest 38 Occupy Austin Protesters
      NY: 10/30/2011 — Woman Assaulted in Her tent
      Orlando, FL: 10/28/2011 – Occupy Orlando, police clash over use of downtown park
      Orlando, FL: 10/26/2011 – 2 Occupy Orlando protesters arrested for trespass
      Orlando, FL: 10/22/2011 – Police arrest 19 Orlando protesters on trespass charges
      Asheville, NC: 10/30/2011 – Occupiers Clash with Homeless in Asheville
      Nationwide: 10/27/2011 — Pro-Occupy Site claims 2511 Arrests Thus Far
      Fort Worth, TX: 10/16/2011 — Arrests at Occupy Fort Worth Protest
      NY: 10/29/2011 — Three Incidents of Anti-Semitism
      San Francisco: 10/29/2011 — Anti-Semitic, Folsom Street Fair Types & Che Guevara Lovin
      Oklahoma City: 10/30/2011 — Death of Street Poet at #OccupyOKC Treated as Homicide
      Baltimore: 10/31/2011 — Woman Claims She was Raped at #OccupyBaltimore
      Boston: 10/31/2001 — Alleged Heroin Dealer Joined Occupy Movement
      Ottawa: 10/31/2011 — #OccupyOttawa Violent & Sexual Assaults Not Reported to Police
      Santa Barbara, CA: 10/5/2011 — Occupiers Defy Police
      Santa Barbara, CA: 10/6/2011 — 8 Occupiers Arrested
      Denver, CO: 10/31/2011 — Occupiers Taunt Police, Knock Motorcycle Cop to Ground
      Dallas, TX: 10/24/2011 — 23 Occupy Dallas Protesters Arrested After Bank Demonstration
      Richmond, VA: 10/31/2011 — Arrests of Occupiers in Richmond
      Dallas, TX: 1v1/1/2011: Man Arrested for Child Sex assault at Occupy Dallas Camp
      NY: 11/1/2011 — Protesters Flock to STD-Test Clinics After Occupier ‘Free Love’
      Iowa: 11/1/2011 — Occupiers Intend to Disrupt Iowa Caucus
      NY: 11/1/2011 — Occupy Wall Street Costs Main Street Workers Their Jobs
      San Diego: 10/29/2011 — Businesswoman Closes Shop After Threats By Occupiers
      Palm Desert, CA: 11/1/2011 — Occupiers Arrested
      Tampa, FL: 10/24/2011 — Six Occupiers Arrested
      Tampa, FL: 10/27/2011 – Two More Arrested In Connection to Occupy Tampa Movement
      Tampa, FL: 10/29/2011 – Occupy Tampa Protesters Arrested After Scuffle With Police
      Oakland, CA: 11/3/2011 — Rallies Turn Violent
      Seattle, WA: 11/2/2011 — Cops, Protesters Clash
      Oakland, CA: 11/3/2011 — Protests Degenerate Into Chaos
      Tulsa, OK: 11/2/2011 — Occupiers Clash With Police
      Sacramento, CA: 11/2/2011 — Occupiers Smash County Vehicle Windows
      Philadelphia: 11/2/2011 — Occupiers Arrested
      Charlottesville, VA: 11/1/2011 — Underage Drinking at Occupy Charlottesville Site
      Portland: 11/2/2011 — Occupier Shoves Police Officer into Moving Bus
      Oakland: 11/2/2011 — Malkin’s Collection of Vandalism and Menacing Signs
      NYC: 11/3/2011 — Occupier Busted In Tent Grope, Suspected In Rape
      NYC: 11/4/2011 – 16 OWS Protesters Arrested at Goldman Sachs HQ
      Oakland, CA: 11-3-2011 — Occupy-Friendly Business Vandalized
      Asheville, NC: 11/3/2011 — 24 Occupiers Arrested
      Raleigh, NC: 10/28/2011 – Eight at Occupy Raleigh Arrested After Standoff
      NYC: 11/4/2011 — Deranged Homeless Man Goes on Violent Rampage In Zuccotti Park
      Dallas, TX: CPS Seizes Baby From ‘Occupy Dallas’ Site
      Wash DC: 11/4/2011 — Occupier Uses Child as Human Shield – Video
      Wash DC: 11/4/2011 — Occupiers Try to Storm Americans for Prosperity Event— Video
      Omaha, NE: 11/3/2011 — Three Occupiers Arrested
      Atlanta: 11/3/2011 — Protester Turns On Fellow Protester With Knife
      Los Angeles: 10/28/2011 — Drug Use and Property Damage
      Boston, MA: 11/4/2011 — 3 Charged With Dealing Crack; Occupy Boston ‘Deteriorating’
      Boston, MA: 11/4/2011 — Occupiers Storm Israeli Consulate; Anti-Israel Chants— Video
      Vancouver, CN: 11/5/2011 – Occupy Vancouver Death Dooms Protest Camp
      Fort Collins, CO: 11/4/2011 — Occupier Arrested for Setting Fire to Condo Complex … $10M Damage
      Chula Vista, CA: 11/6/2011 — Underage Girl Missing From Occupy Protests
      Los Angeles, CA: 11/5/2011 – Two Assaults Raise Concerns About Crime at Occupy L.A.
      Dallas, TX: 11/5/2011 — Eight Arrests at Dallas Bank Protest
      Olympia, WA: 11/5/2011 – Two Occupy Protesters Arrested
      Seattle, WA: 11/3/2011 — Occupiers Cost City $426,000; Most of it Police Overtime
      Olympia, WA: 11/2/2011 — 3 Occupiers Arrested for Suspected of Robbing Local Wine Merchant
      Worcester, MA: 11/6/2011 — 25 Occupiers Arrested
      Milwaukee, WI: 11/2/2011 — Photojournalist, Two others Arrested at Protest …Video
      Milwaukee, WI: 10/20/2011 — Police Confront Occupier –Video … Arrested
      Wash. DC: 11/5/2011 — Rampaging Occupiers Attack 78 Year-Old Woman — Video
      Rochester, NY: 11/3/2011 — 161 Occupiers Arrested at Park
      NYC: 11/5/2011 – Police Clash With Occupiers, 20 Arrested at Courthouse Protest
      NYC: 11/5/2011 — Occupier Arrested for Vandalizing McDonald’s; Wanted Free Food
      Asheville, NC: 11/5/2011 – Four Occupiers Arrested
      Honolulu, HI: 11/6/2011 — Police Arrest Half-Dozen Occupiers
      Waikiki, HI: 11/7/2011 — Two Dozen Occupiers Arrested
      Portland, OR: 11/7/2011 — Occupiers Arrested for Threatening Restaurant Employees
      Portland, OR: 11/7/2011 — Occupier Arrested for Threatening Security Staff with Hammer
      Augusta, GA: 10/28/2011 — Occupier Arrested in Knife Threat
      Portland OR: 11/9/2011 — Police Suspect Occupiers in Molotov Cocktail Attack
      Sacramento, CA: 11/7/2011 — Homeless Clash With Occupy Protesters At Park
      New Orleans: 11/8/2011 — Man Dead for Two Days Found in Occupy Encampment
      San Diego: 11/7/2011 — Occupiers Splatter Vendor Food Carts with Blood, Urine
      Los Angeles: 11/7/2011 — Occupiers Shut Down Burger King — Video
      Atlanta, GA: 11/6/2011 — Occupiers Arrested After Attacking Police
      St. Louis, MO: 11/9/2011 — Occupiers Hack Into Mayor’s Website
      Oakland, CA: 11/8/2011 — “Dangerous” Occupiers Hurting Small Business Owners
      Vancouver, CN: 11/8/2011 — Occupiers Bite Two Police Officers
      Wash DC: 11/8/2011 — Occupiers Use Children to Block Traffic — Video
      Portland, OR: 11/9/2011 — Occupiers Threaten Citizen-Journalist – Video
      Wash DC: 11/8/2011 — Occupiers Use Racial Taunts Against Black Security Guard — Video
      Eureka, CA: 11/9/2011 — Occupier Defecates in Bank – Video
      Wash DC: 11/5/2011 – Occupiers Menace Children, Female Reporter – Video
      Portland, OR: 11/8/2011 — Occupiers Menace News Crew – Video
      NYC: 11/8/2011 — Occupier: ‘I Wouldn’t Give a F**k if 9/11 Happened 911 More Times’
      NYC: 11/8/2011 — Small Business Owner Threatened, Terrorized By Occupiers


      • Andrew November 14, 2011 at 4:19 pm // Reply

        Whoa! Twenty-somethings acting like thugs and idiots? No definite goal or clear objective?
        Yes, they are raising social awareness, one selfish crime at a time.

        Thank you, Eva!


  7. Brenda m Espinosa November 10, 2011 at 5:15 am // Reply

    Greetings, Arjuna As usual a great way to present your case, you are correct everything is to be Occupied,and shared in a way that benefits all and when all people feel equality then there is truly a viable democracy and peace among the classes. A very well written piece thank you for a sharing your thoughts with us 🙂


  8. Diarmid John McLauchlan November 10, 2011 at 5:49 am // Reply

    Thanks for the sensible thoughts! My dearly Beloved Mischa Davison (Saskatoon) forwarded your words just now.

    Of course, anyone who has even slightly studied the known history of ‘societal change’ on our breaking planet (read Doris Lessing’e SHIKASTA)will be somewhat skeptical perhaps about the latest developments.

    I ask myself: what is REALPOLITIK ? Is the Project for the New American Century (PNAC) REAL? The Imperial US/NATO march step-by-step forward is actually being precisely implemented.

    Or, as The Course in Miracles states: Nothing REAL is threatened…nothing UNREAL exists.

    As Gurdfieff posited: Life is only REAL, therefore, when I AM

    Or, how about Shake-Spear in THE WINTER’S TALE?
    The proud, jealous Leontes apparently ‘destroys’ the Goddess in his egocentric outburst only to spend 16 years in penitent remorse when the ‘oracle’ points out his REAL error.

    All these sort of thoughts lead me to the notion of ‘surrender’ as OSHO describes it in his Tantric teachings. A letting go of it ALL, REALLY…

    Still, very grateful for your sensible efforts to bring these ‘awakening’ ideas to whomever and wherever.

    Oh, recently re-read James P Carse’s FINITE and INFINITE GAMES 1986. Robert Pirsig (a wonderful mystic?) claimed it to be a rare paradigm-busting book! I believe all OCCUPIERS should perhaps have a copy and consider very subtly the implied SPIRIT of ENGAGEMENT.

    Again, thanks for your thoughts and also for helping Mischa and myself journey HOME.

    Diarmid John McLauchlan


  9. Gary November 10, 2011 at 6:16 am // Reply

    This is great Arjuna thanks for your take on occupy, I’ve been hanging back on it but maybe I’ll get more involved in this.


  10. Ulrika November 10, 2011 at 6:21 am // Reply

    Oh, love to read your writing… and suddenly I can easily introduce you to my more politically than spiritually oriented friends… thank you!


  11. Al November 10, 2011 at 6:58 am // Reply

    Occupy inclucivity, compassion, love, and passion for being in the now and separation dissolves. Model it so that it grows in the energy field of the planet and becomes available to everyone. Thanks, Arjuna for this insightful observation.


  12. kokoPedli November 10, 2011 at 6:59 am // Reply

    Poly tics, many blood suckers =)
    I’m not interested in group think, not attracted to a culture where being accepted is more important than critical thinking.
    I see a possible evolution on this planet now, people feeling love in their hearts and useing their minds to overcome the herb mentality (wow, I meant to say herd mentality!)

    I perceive that this evolution into heart-space can only happen when we have zero attachment to being accepted, the need to do something for the sake of a groups acceptance takes us right out of the heart into herd think. Cliques. I await the death of Cliques with great anticipation, I suspect I will never feel at home and accepted until this occurs.

    Critical thinking, which helps us be aware of subtle influences towards assumptions and group-think, is a tool of this evolution.
    Propaganda is the antithesis of the heart.
    Sometimes being right IS being kind =)

    AND, at the same time, I believe that the need to be right is a sign of a hurt ego, kindness is ALWAYS better…
    and I hold both these thoughts as true at the same time, aren’t humans grand, weird, and beyond ?!?

    P.S., thanks for the teak story, I heard a similar one about the big trees of the pacific N.W. of the U.S. . those were being hauled off and sunk near Japan to be hauled up much later when all the big trees were gone… to be used then for… guitars!

    More to the point, why are some of them still protesting and asking to still be slaves? Why are they saying just give us a good job when we could be so beyond that?
    I love the protest, and wish the understanding was a layer deeper, that if we help each other, there is enough resources and blessings here already that no-one would really need to work more than a couple hours a day and we would all be what is now called middle class…


  13. Trond November 10, 2011 at 8:16 am // Reply

    Dear Arjuna, I not only agree with you; I quit my job as investment director early this year to write a book about this separation – about its causes and results. It is almost too painful to see how our separateness has played out and how conscientiousness seems to evaporate as we in our separateness have institutionalized responsibility. We cannot avoid crises unless we let our own conscientiousness shine through in everything we do. Trond


  14. klaus November 10, 2011 at 8:30 am // Reply

    very good to read someone else who looks in a different way on the crisis in money system worldwide. we should not forget that a lot of the money the “bad” hedgefonds are playing with , is money from the assurances and pensions…so at the end our money….we are all a part of this game, and if more people understand this,we can start out to find new rules how we all can play this game in the future.


  15. Bjorn Welin November 10, 2011 at 8:48 am // Reply

    This really resonates withing me. I belong to that generation of the 70th and and share that innermost feeling of a deep longing for oneness. At that time I thought it was in the marxism the solution was to be found but you express it so clear and guide so nicely how to start within yourself. Now we are in a time of shift in conciuosness, whether we see it or not. It’s happening just now and your work is incredible important. Thanks Arjuna


  16. Luc November 10, 2011 at 8:53 am // Reply

    Turning inward and being One IS the motor in OWS in New York:


  17. Diana November 10, 2011 at 10:25 am // Reply

    Dear Arjuna! Thank you to express all this in its very true potential. For me it is a release that all the positive energy comes out finally. For years it seemed that people are sleeping- or preparing- for this? I am happy to be part of it- in my mind, in my heart, longtime prepared for this. And the distiction between outer action or inner development gets very small, thats beautiful. Ideology doesn´t work any more, and as Spezzano say the global healing speed (:-)) is accelarating. I am even wondering if the so called democratic party- system still works- or if it would be better that all humains take responsability in their surroundings.
    I am reading the wonderful book of Lynne Twist you mentioned in yours ” the soul of money”. Rich people need healing, too. Those you are not connected with their wealth in any case…
    greetings Diana


  18. Hannah November 10, 2011 at 10:26 am // Reply

    Thank you dear brother. I fully agree to what you have expressed so beautifully. And of course – it all starts inside ourselves. I love your thanksgiving table example!


    • arjunaardagh November 10, 2011 at 10:26 pm // Reply

      big love to you, old friend


  19. Jeffrey November 10, 2011 at 10:40 am // Reply

    I agree with your writing on this subject because a true revolution is a revolution in consciousness, i.e., an amplification of clarity and awareness in regard to the ramifications of our each and every thought, belief, choice, and action. I would be amazed to discover that a majority of the protesters have the appropriate conscious awareness to stimulate such a real and total revolution, nevertheless that is what we pray for…and prayer may provide the necessary miracle ingredient.
    I, too, have thought in your terms, i.e., that the wealthy are also the losers under the current destructive, inegalitarian paradigm…for there are no real ‘winners’ until we operate in a complete WIN/WIN paradigm. Unfortunately, the current elite oligarchs must gain sufficient awareness to recognize that they, too, actually are losers in the current paradigm…before they will be willing to flow with the necessary changes.


    • arjunaardagh November 10, 2011 at 10:28 pm // Reply

      thanks Jeffrey
      the unhappiest people I have know were the super rich
      and the happiest people I have known were not the super poor, but the super generous with what they have


  20. Jane McGilivray November 10, 2011 at 11:04 am // Reply

    Thank you Arjuna,

    What is true about this movenment is that it cannot go away until the situation is addressed.
    I have begun to consider with in my own “occupy myself” movement, that my real body, the body that I most need to hold in heart and care for, is “my body of experience”. It is a taking care of my home, dusting and cleaning and gardening and sharing. “my body of experience” includes everyone who lives in my body of experience, or as you say, everyone who is seated at the table of this communal life experience. It is a big body I have, that any of us has, and it starts close and it extends off for as far as I can see.


    • arjunaardagh November 10, 2011 at 10:28 pm // Reply

      right on, Jane
      chop wood, carry water


  21. peter November 10, 2011 at 12:06 pm // Reply

    Ahhhhhhhhhhh, everything you express is felt in my heart, & yet it seems to becoming from a place of knowing & superiority on some level. What is right for you is beautiful & perfect for you & many others, and what is right for OWS is right for them, at least for now. By their courage—-rage+heart—- they have at least said enough, stop, & created a place for deep contemplation & consideration. The idea that all of us are somehow doing the best we can, nothing is personal, & separation is ‘The’ real & true issue & that the rich are victims seems naive & not anchored in reality. Listen to Guns & Butter available on KPFA & broadcast today for a different analysis of greed, violence & evil. The personal growth, awareness, yoga, meditation, spiritual adventure movements that have been the focus of many Good people in the last 30 years may just be a way of delaying [ & allowing for healing of the Oneness, one soul at a time] the TRUE revolution you, & I & most desire & will not/cannot be stopped. How many spiritual leaders/writers have moved into the political realm, where racism, sexism, classim?, violence, war are the norm and fear & evil & separation still rule? OWS seems to me to be a very humble attempt to allow for spiritual activism to spring up from the ‘not knowing’ the how to change while expressing the absolute need to change. Selfishness & isolation may not appear to be a fun place to be & yet for thousands of years the ‘other’ place to BE hasn’t been so alluring, welcoming & safe that selfishness & isolation & greed & violence & rape & torture & war have disappeared. Many paths to liberation, happiness, oneness…writing books, training others, developing new programs….. & occupying WS, no separation means to me that YOU are a social activist, & that YOU are OWS right now, & at the same time being & doing what is being called from some tender, loving, kind, deep place inside of you, maybe, just maybe, some feel that for them, their personal ‘within’ evolution-revoultion will be facilitated by bringing the horror being generated by an ignorant, evil system to awareness & stopped & that is a worthy first step towards a true translucent revolution, within & out with at the same time. The 99% are not creating the separation from the 1%, they are inviting them to join & become ONE, one heart, one love, one revolution where compassion & the family of Humanity unite, in purpose & consciousness & peace.


    • arjunaardagh November 10, 2011 at 10:25 pm // Reply

      Hey Ewa
      Thank you so much for taking the time to write all this to me
      I hear you, I value your opinion, and I am willing to be educated
      My knowledge of all this is gleaned from news sources,
      So i am not super well informed.
      The point I can stand firm on
      is that ultimately it is a shift in collective consciousness which will save our skins
      Actually. I am no where near the 1%
      let me share my tax return with you some time!!
      the work we do is not profitable, but it means a lot to me to be of service!
      As I said, you have educated me with all these links
      lets stay in touch
      with love


    • arjunaardagh November 10, 2011 at 10:30 pm // Reply

      thanks for taking the time to write this
      i agree with all you say
      there are so many perspectives on all of this
      all parts of the whole truth


  22. Andrew November 10, 2011 at 1:51 pm // Reply



    • arjunaardagh November 10, 2011 at 10:31 pm // Reply

      thanks Andrew
      tell me more about that


  23. Anders Rosenberg November 10, 2011 at 2:00 pm // Reply

    Great points! In this article you bring out the most essential questions of, and some solutions to, the problems of injustice, greed, and violation in our world. I am too ignorant, though, about the Occupy movement to be able to agree, but I hope you’re right. Regardless, your message about the value of “Occupy Everything… But Start with Yourself” is crystal clear. It would be interesting to see who could reasonably have any objections to that.


    • arjunaardagh November 10, 2011 at 10:32 pm // Reply

      hi anders
      trust me, in cyber space there are people who have objections to everything!


  24. Marinna November 10, 2011 at 3:04 pm // Reply

    Oh thank u! U put so beautifully into words what I think many of us feel! I’m so happy to be experiencing a world where so many people are waking up to themselves and love for eachother!

    Thank u for ur expression!


    • arjunaardagh November 10, 2011 at 10:32 pm // Reply

      thanks Marinna


  25. mark yturralde November 10, 2011 at 3:39 pm // Reply

    commie fucker


    • arjunaardagh November 10, 2011 at 10:24 pm // Reply

      I love you too brother
      lets keep up the rich dialogue!
      ( you know you can say anything to me, don’t you? No need to be polite or anything. We are family here, bro)


  26. Terry November 10, 2011 at 4:51 pm // Reply

    Thank you, Arjuna, for articulating all that I have felt about the Occupy Movement but have been unable to put into words. May this movement prove to be truly unique and transformational as it surely will be if we begin first to ‘occupy ourselves’.


    • arjunaardagh November 10, 2011 at 10:32 pm // Reply

      thank you Terry


  27. Rev. Shelly Downes November 10, 2011 at 5:45 pm // Reply

    A friend of mine forwarded this to me, and I am so grateful she did! I have been saying for a long time, to anyone who will listen, that what is needed in today’s world, here and abroad, is a rise in consciousness! The Occupy movement is a One-derful start. And those of us who are Spiritual teachers and leaders (indeed a 1% of a different kind), are being asked to shine our Light even brighter. Our leadership is needed now more than ever.
    Here’s an idea, how about an Occupy vigil at Penn State for all the children that were violated? This is the real tragedy here, not the coaches that have been fired! We must stand up for humanity now! If not now, when?


    • arjunaardagh November 10, 2011 at 10:33 pm // Reply

      thank you, Shelly
      I’d say we are all the 100%
      and we are all part of some kind of 1% too
      we sink or swim together!


  28. Marie November 10, 2011 at 6:04 pm // Reply

    The key you illuminate is the one of connection and community. This has been brewing in my consciousness for months. I finally mentioned this idea to my husband yesterday. Last night, I saw Andrew Weil mention this lack of connection to others as one of the conditions leading to depression. Today, I read your comments on OWS. I’d have to say something is brewing in the M field regarding community. Perhaps when we begin to build ways to honor community and value one another, the revolution will solve the problem simply by momentum.


    • arjunaardagh November 10, 2011 at 10:34 pm // Reply

      great book by Bill Kauth and Zoe Alowan: we need each other


  29. Adrienne November 10, 2011 at 7:52 pm // Reply

    Beautifully said, Arjuna! When the Denver officials asked the Occupy Movement to nominate a leader so that the police could have a contact, they responded by electing a 3 year old collie! That reminds me of a favorite phrase that applies here so well,
    “If the people will lead, the leaders will follow.”


    • arjunaardagh November 10, 2011 at 10:22 pm // Reply



  30. Jeff November 10, 2011 at 8:53 pm // Reply

    Thanks, Arjuna:

    You may not be perfectly informed about the OWS phenomenon, nor perhaps perfectly informed about the situation in Libya (think “oil” and “international banking”, not “oppressive dictator overthrown by indigenous revolutionaries”). However, what you said concerning a revolution in consciousness was something most of us know in our hearts, but need continually to be reminded of. As you wittily described, I have myself been at times caught up in the “take that, and that, and that, you bastards….” mentality. This mentality won’t get us where we want to go, of course. It’ll just mean Robespierre instead of Louis Fourteen, or tweedledee instead of tweedledum.

    Best wishes and thanks again for the timely reminder.


    • arjunaardagh November 10, 2011 at 10:22 pm // Reply

      thanks for hearing me, Jeff
      I am not fully informed about all the facts, it is true
      but I know that the direction we all need to move in is beyond you and me as separate, into we as one


  31. Lise November 11, 2011 at 5:05 am // Reply

    Yes Yes Yes and more Yes, the tide is turning and we are riding that wonderful wave, hugs to you and all Arjuna xxxx


  32. David November 11, 2011 at 6:40 am // Reply

    These words of yours, all of yours, I feel as my yearning: for beauty to take root and flourish among us. And the pain and wounding is here as well, perhaps not Real, but able to disturb and cast doubt on goodness. I thank you all for caring, even when I don’t fully understand your unique expression of it.

    I also thank other way-show-ers such as Lynne McTaggart and Charles Eisenstein, who each reveal the illusion of Separation under which we have labored for so long.


  33. Joseph November 11, 2011 at 11:39 am // Reply

    I think people are exercising their God given right of free will. Whether one personally takes part has to do with one’s calling. You may feel you can engage in some transformational activity – help people to a state of Mind Mastery hep people become emotionally and spiritually mature.


  34. Bridget November 11, 2011 at 4:22 pm // Reply

    Thank you Arjuna – really loved reading what you had to say. I agree that we are all steeped in a belief system that is grounded in the sense of being separate – both rich and poor & in between. Money can be like a drug for people motivated to be rich by greed. And the exploitation they engage in is part of the angst that keeps them addicted since they aren’t really separate. . . And while I’m not sure what will dissolve this illusion of separateness, looking at how greed can operate in our own lives (perhaps for food, the next moment, bargain deals that are part of the exploitation machine, etc.) is one way to wake up to what it might take.


  35. Pamela November 11, 2011 at 6:52 pm // Reply

    Thank you for articulating the resonant underpinning of this movement. Of course the main issue is separation, and the resolution is dependent on this realization. I notice that many of us are not able to hear, or to take in this idea. I wonder what motivates a person who is content in their own ignorance to consider opening up to a wider perspective? What catalyzes such a personal change? How to help that movement?


  36. mark November 11, 2011 at 7:18 pm // Reply

    The Tea Party, OWS groups, riots in Europe and Arab lands, are all different manifestations of the collective frustration of people everywhere. In the U.S. and Europe the worship of materialism and greed at all levels of society has left us empty. A large percentage of our people pay for drugs to escape the emptyness. The money flows to criminal organizations that cause terrible problems in other countries. Our political, financial, and wealthy elites work together to control and gain more for themselves. In past centuries, kings, royalty, and religions operated in similar ways to gain control over masses of people. They play on our emotions of fear and greed to manipulate us and steal our liberty.
    I do not cheer the Occupy movement although I understand their frustration.
    They have degenerated into an unrully mob without any clear understanding of what the real problems are. The Unions, Communists, Anarchists, and others are attempting to gain control of the mob to gain power for themselves. If the Occupiers held the philosophical views of Arjunah such as personal responsibility, discovery of self, and understanding the connectivity of all life, I would support them 100%.


  37. heartfulSoul November 12, 2011 at 3:27 am // Reply

    with the following words:




  38. Andrew November 14, 2011 at 3:00 pm // Reply

    eh, not so much.


  39. bruno November 17, 2011 at 10:35 pm // Reply

    Your a spiritual idiot who teaches victim consciousnesses. You are entrapped, engrossed in the physical dimension by your ego. No wonder you support those phony fake idiots with no goals or direction.Take a drink of reality you socialist act-to-fist.

    You have no idea the purpose of life.


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