Note: this will be my final post for this summer. Starting tomorrow, I will be traveling to Clarks Fork, Minnesota, there to camp out in a field with 400 other permaculturists for a full week at the North American Permaculture Convergence and tour of permaculture sites in the upper midwest. Off-line, except for iphone. Bringing tent, sleeping bag, pillow, etc., reminding me of the last time I “camped out,” only a little over a month ago, in northern Michigan, at the Great Bear National Lakeshore, with the Great Old Broads for Wilderness. So now this great old broad is to be camping with, I suspect, probably 350 youngsters and 49 or so other “elders” (of one sort or another; either age, like me, or else long experience with doing/teaching permaculture, or both), attending workshops and presentations, hanging out, meeting and greeting . . . it will be interesting to pick up on the atmosphere of this convergence, the first to gather permaculturists from across the North American continent. And, if permaculture is “relationships,” in all of its guises, whether human to human, or human to insect or animal or plant or rock or mountain, to cloud, to starry sky, we’re all in relationship, and our excuses to gather are just that, excuses. We’re always gathering anyway, but it’s nice to think it’s sometimes for a “reason” beyond the heart’s longing to connect.
P.S. I’ll take lots of photos on that iphone for a slide show, later. Hold tight!
So, to this final summer post.
I was stunned to see the range and passion of responses to yesterday’s post taking me to task about my use of the word “sheeple.” (See comment section below the post)
I also received a number of personal emails. In fact, the article itself originated that way, until I asked the sender if I could post it.
Somehow, the very word “sheeple” hits a nerve is us. Why? And to me there doesn’t seem to be any clear-cut answer. Besides, who’s us? Well, I sense that‘s not so hard to answer. A “sheeple” is an “other,” one not like ourselves who see through the bullshit, but instead someone who is led around by the nose, or maybe the nuts, in a direction dictated by the PTB via various brainwashing, mind-kontrolling methods: early family conditioning, school, peer pressure, advertising, fashion, religion, and so on. It’s hard to avoid the conditioning, if you live here on Earth, and we all do, though those of us who consider ourselves NOT sheeple would sometimes rather not live here; we’re just so “alienated” (a word that sprang up full blown back in the early ’60s when I was in college, with the “existentialist”philosophers for whom, with Camus, “suicide is the only real philosophical problem.”
It may be that in every society (not tribe, notice, no: society; larger than tribe, so that we don’t all know each other) there are always those who consider themselves other than the run-of-the-mill citizen, or as we know him/her now, “consumer.” Always those who would rather question than bow down. Socrates was one of them. Look what they did to him! Best to stay low, stay quiet. Most ex-sheeple do. I know hundreds of them; they know better, but they go along. So they’re not really sheeple, are they? But maybe they are — since they still depend for their daily living on jobs manufactured by “the elite” for sheeple, and they can’t quite break away. So, they may think they’re not sheeple, in that their inner views differ markedly from their outer behavior, but in fact, if they continue in that vein, either they will go crazy, or numb themselves to the point of oblivion, in which case their behavior differs not a whit from sheeple! And there are lots of numbing agents around: drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, entertrainment of various kinds — shows on tv on stage; family dramas, etc. All predictable as hell, all with plots that we can spell out in advance. But that’s kind of comforting, you know? And besides, “a known bad is better than an unknown good.” Right?
So, yeah, while many people who are, in a sense, waking up to the perfidy that drives this world from above (ETs and various “gods”) and below (instincts, passions, greed, the limbic brain, predatory capitalism), very few really want to dwell on what they are discovering. In fact, most would rather not, thank you. I’d rather go on and on, pretend everything is okay when I know it’s not. Because I don’t want to know it’s not. I don’t want to think bad thoughts. I don’t want to cause myself any more stress than’s already here, inside me, leaking out all over the place and driving me crazy. Pretend I’m not crazy. Just pretend. Keep going. Make a habit of it.
But then there are those who really have awakened from the dream, the matrix, the nightmare, and WHO ARE DOING SOMETHING ABOUT IT. Not by changing the world, for they know that’s but a childish dream that they probably tried a long time ago, and predictably, failed, since they were so ego-ridden as to think they could be Superman and Darth Vader all rolled into one, the one Robin Hood, the lone hero who rides off into the sunset satisfied, when his job is done. Actually, those among us who rode off into the sunset, probably did so more because we needed to lick our wounds, and, still being ego-ridden, didn’t want anybody else to see.
No, WE WHO ARE DOING SOMETHING ABOUT IT are actively engaged in CHANGING OURSELVES, OUR LIVES, in whatever ways feel appropriate and possible at the moment. Every little thing counts. (And each little thing leads to another.) Just one real, heartfelt smile into a stranger’s eyes, for example, goes a long way, lifts the heart. It truly does, it lifts the heart! That’s huge! It energizes! Try it! I know. I do this all day long, whenever I’m out in public. And each time our eyes connect soul to soul I’m carried on the wings of love, to far horizons where even more mysteries beckon.
In this way, while we are out and about doing our business, or “stuck” inside our houses, or our cubicles, or our hospital beds, or our gardens, or our little mind-sets, our teensy tiny conceptual boxes, we can be pushing gently against our own boundaries, discomforting ourselves just a wee bit, or as permaculturists put it, working our edge. The edge is where the action is. Even my puppy Shadow knows that. Every time we’re out and about on our smiling, connecting walks around town, he works the edges of buildings, bushes, trees; he knows there’s more action there, some kind of critter that, if he gets lucky, he can chase.
What I need to work on inside myself, the edge that I sense inside me, is a certain scorn that I have for “folks” (as in “we tortured some folks”) who prefer to remain heads down, stumbling along, reading their tiny screens. Even tiny children! Today I was in a store, “in relationship” with a clerk, and his tiny beautiful child was nearby, back turned to us. Remarkably quiet and well behaved, I thought, until I walked over to him and saw that he was playing a game on his dad’s iphone. This child couldn’t have been more than two years old.
So yes, scorn, inside me, for that part of me, too, who prefers screens to reality, the simulacrum to the original. And yet, and yet. What I must realize is that the sheeple part of me will always be there, at least as long as I’m inside this society. Unless, of course, I want to become like the hermit guy in Maine who survived for 27 years by stealing other people’s stuff in the middle of the night. Nobody can call him a sheeple, can they? But is that good? Wouldn’t it be better to court sheepledom and then shake myself free of it over and over again than rip off other people? Either way, he’s still “in relationship.” Only one of these ways is transparent.
So what would it be to be transparent to whatever? To always tell the truth, no matter what comes next. I come close to that, I admit, though there are still tender areas that I cannot touch, more out of a sense of loyalty to those close to me than because I don’t want to. Truth-telling, for a double Sagittarian like myself, is second nature, or rather IS my nature. It’s harder to be a sheeple Sagittarian than not. On the other hand, it’s probably pretty easy to be a sheeple if your sun sign happens to be Pisces, or Cancer, or, say Capricorn. Pisces, because the dream world is preferable to any harsh light of day. Cancer because I just can’t stomach the idea that my family could be hurt by the outside world, so I’ll cushion them and myself off from those troubling aspects of reality. Capricorn because, let’s face it, I love structure, and the status quo, and let’s face it, I do well here, where we’re supposed to go along, follow the rules, be “successful.” Even Taurus might benefit from the sheeple pose. He can dig in, pretend he’s okay, root himself into security of some kind, usually money-related, or stuff, or both. Scorpio? Well, who knows! Unless evolved, they’re predisposed to see layers of treachery hiding below surface calm. They have a knack for it. So sheeple? Probably not, unless they band together with other treacherous ones in hurting others without thinking for themselves whether or not they really want to be such assholes!
Libra? Sheeple all the way, unless they realize that the person looking at them in the mirror is somebody they would rather get to know than to emulate.
Let’s see, who have I missed? Aaah, Virgo. Well, they like to discern, analyze, figure things out, so sheepledom, isn’t comfortable, unless they also like to stay within certain boundaries, which they do, at least the Virgo part of them does.
Anyway, all this is just off the top of my head. (As usual.)
And in any case, I daresay that though, yes, there are lots of sheeple around, lots of lemmings who would follow their leader over the cliff into the sea, lots of fashionistas of various kinds who just have to be doing the right thing, wearing the right brands, thinking the right thoughts, living in the coolest places, I daresay that some astrological signs harbor more sheeple than others. Another sign that might have trouble remaining ignorant is Gemini, with their incessant curiosity. And of course Aquarius, who will bust out of any fence you try to put them in, especially one that was created to control their minds! What? NO WAY!
Aries too, they like to bust out. And to be the first to do it! But Leo? Well, Leos do love the limelight, and they love wealth, and one thing the mind control experts do is make some people “stars” that other people can “look up to” and emulate, or envy. Leos love being those stars, love the adulation. It makes them feel good — until, that is, their powerful creative urge just surges through the bullshit and whips something into manifestation that is so over the top that their followers retreat once again, back into their shells; “something went wrong with him, he’s no longer our hero.” Click. Searching, searching, find another hero to emulate.
This is a rant, admittedly. I’m letting all the stops out. Meanwhile, I have a feeling that the reason this word “sheeple” and the reality that goes along with it is such an intense one for us who at least hope that, in the main, we’re no longer sheeple, is because it sometimes feels so damn lonely outside that lemming herd. So damn lonely to be thinking our own thoughts, making up our own minds, ploughing ahead our own fields without anyone to tell us whether we’re good or bad, right or wrong, sane or crazy. All we can go on is that internal lodestar, the one that magnetizes us back to source. And when we really recognize that, when we truly do follow that lodestar, we’re no longer lonely. All of life opens before us. Our “identity” dissolves into the flux. We become like gods, heroes, all of us, each of us singular, individual, but connected, “in relationship” with all the others, inescapably. Though we may think we can divide people into “sheeple” and “non-sheeple,” underneath, that division dissolves. So let’s just get off our high horses, shall we? All of us are sheeple, some of the time. There are even some “opinions” that I don’t even know I have, but that show me that I’m following someone else’s lead! What? Moi? Who takes pride in having an open mind? Yes, precisely. Even me. Especially me. My sheeple face is appropriately abashed. I bleat out my distress. I sigh. I laugh.
In conclusion, I want to quote my dear friend Ted who sent me a rant of his own on this subject, painstakingly typed on his iphone. Not easy with his big hands, but he did it. Thanks, Ted.
Here’s a thought —
Suffering is the addiction to the conviction that something (could be anything) should be different than what it is. That is the truth of “sheeple”. It masquerades as worthy causes and holy crusades and allegiances to ways of life that are oblivious to the forces at work that feed into the negative grid. It crosses all political, socio-economic, religious, gender, cultural, educational, nationalistic, astrologic, akashic, emotional, life-style boundaries. The addiction is universal within the human condition. Homo sapiens is in it’s last hour. Homo luminous awaits. It is not obvious, even to the best and brightest of us, how this Passion Play will work out: all we can do is remain steadfast and true to Who We Really Are and play together in the Fields of Creation singing Creation’s Song within the energetic tableau of the historic/genetic control pattern. The great drama, spoken so well by Arjuna and Krishna, by Jesus, by Buddha and so many others is before Us now. “All the World is a stage” and we are on it ~ Surely! This is Our Time. I give great thanks to know You in this adventure and am prepared, as I think you are as well, to follow out the commission that has been granted us to encourage all those who resonate that this World may rejoin the cosmic I Am.
Whoooo – that was a mouthful!
Thank You for all that You do ~
Sent from my iPhone