Michael Meade: Yeah, I'm with you. I'm with you, and the only meaningful revolution is a revolution from the inside out. Revolutions that happen on an outside, abstract, or ideological basis turn into their opposites. The revolutions that happen from within add to the continuity of the world and the healing that's necessary. So I work with all kinds of activists, and one of the things we always say is "Healing is a revolutionary act." In other words, what healing means [is] "to make whole"; so when a person -- think of all the activists that have burned out. I've done all kinds of activist projects. I just returned here from LA where I was meeting with nine different activist groups in the Latino and African American communities. One of the things we talk about is burnout, because you're always against something that's bigger than one's self, you're always trying to bring in the great universal values of truth, and love, and honesty, and justice, and equality; and that's always been a big fight, a big battle, and people get burned out in the midst of it.
What's usually missing there is an awareness of the soul and how to heal it, and how to step back once and a while in order to find one's own wholeness before going back to the big project or the big battle. So yeah, I'm with you on the activist ting,. I just think that, for instance, for the activist working in nature, two things that I think are going to be necessary for ecological change and environmental healing is understanding - there's an old African idea, that says "Nature is just spirit with clothes on". So if the ecologists base what they're doing simply on science, they're already falling into the game that's controlled by the abstract aspects of culture. Nature has a spiritual quality that needs to be understood.
And then the second part is: if the ecological movements don't get a little smarter about how mentoring works, they will fail to bring in enough young people to really carry the whole project forward. So there's a connectiveness between older people and their experience, and younger people with their living dreams that is necessary for activism to work, and then in the case of ecology, there is a need to get a better understanding of the spiritual presence that people find in nature: why they love trees or why they love that body of water is partially spiritual thing, and that's an important trasformative quality for the ecological movement.
On the other side, in the issues of justice and building just communities and all, what is needed is not just collective sense of agreement and certainly not just consensus, but a greater process for awakening the individual genius of people, because that gives people automatically knowledge what they have to communicate. The real old idea is that a genuine community values it's individuals for their uniqueness, and on the other hand, the person that learns their gifts and their unique qualities needs a community to give them to. So I think the revolution right now is re-imagining the size of the world we live in, and our unique ways of connecting to it. I think the big revolution is from within back out to the world.
Rob Kall: OK. Now, let's get back to a story.
Michael Meade: OK. So that brought one up.
Rob Kall: Great.
Michael Meade: This is a story from down in southern Mexico and in Guatemala, so it's at it's roots a Mayan story. In the story what happens is there's a woman in a village who is about to become a mother because she is going to give birth to her first child. That's what makes her a mother, and she feels the labor coming on and so she sends word out to the midwife, because this is an old story, and it used to be that the midwives were ready to help each child come into the world. And so the midwife arrives and whoever else is there to help, and the labor gets stronger, and the mother is giving herself over to the labor, and then the crowning moment, as it's called, occurs, where the infants head comes through and opens the way for it to be born And at that point everybody is so busy helping the mother and the mother is so busy helping the child, that no one sees that when the child is born, it's not only clear that it's a boy, but he enters the world carrying gifts. That is to say, he has on his shoulders a green cloak, and in his hand he has a gourd full of water. The midwife takes the green cloak and she takes the gourd full of water, and she puts them away so that no one sees them, and she goes back to helping the mother give birth and dealing with all the things you have to deal with.