Freedom, and Real Freedom: Ethical / Moral Liberation….

One Month and Phew how Much I moved…..!

A month ago today I stepped off the ANL Bindaree in Auckland, and I did sense a new reality was awaiting me: One I was actually fearing but not sure exactly why?  Living intensely as I do, I thought it could be the impending solo sail to Fiji that was weighing on my mind. Weather window permitting, my plan was to change gears from being an ocean passenger to set sail from Nelson for Fiji as an intense ‘solo participant’ in Nature’s Grand Adventure!

The other side of me said that the three months of Trumped by Nature was a Howard watershed time, and that One Point Zero had somehow gotten right into my inner core and I should expect the wild and unexpected reaction that had nothing to do with solo sailing…..! Maybe sailing is what I should be doing: Running away from ‘The Arena’…??!!  Maybe I was already on my Extreme Adventure, and just been through its Baptism of Fire? Out of control on a ‘voyage’ into the unknown, and there are no manuals, charts, or other peoples’ blogs one can read for inspiration or in preparation?

In my earlier blog I lay out how I was feeling like the “Man in The Arena”, and how tempting it was to throw it all in and take up Plan B, away from society and trying to have a small impact on its course change away from ‘One Point Six and Ever Increasing‘ current course…..

I have never experienced the turmoil that I am currently experiencing:  In many ways I can conclude that a One Point Zero vision is idealistic and an impossible goal. My experience of the past three months, plus my many interactions with other humans over the years has often led me to the conclusion that “This is all Hopeless, Society will never change” and forced me to look within as to why I am even concerned or interested? I have those answers firmly banked I have had to as personal risk management!!

A Moral and Ethical Calling….

Thinking about this always brings out a strong response from deep within me that says there is an ethical and moral issue at stake, and I have to be true to myself and my beliefs and values. This to me is the holy grail of life: To live authentically:

Firstly knowing one’s self and what one stands for and then living as that same self. Quite challenging in this world that increasingly seems to reward manipulation and deception, and not value those who ‘Walk the Talk’. Deeming them as missing out on themselves and Game of Life!

Taking Gandhi’s quote:  My life is my message”, how many leaders of today, and the two USA presidential candidates included have a life message that is one that testifies to being inspirational and exemplary in following a sound moral and ethical framework that is necessary for future humanity Success? Forget the CNN witch hunt dirty laundry, just core life message they stand for… Hmmm, I have to say, I’m not inspired by many, if any??

I almost feel like a re- born religious addict, who has found His Truths, and is now preaching to all to follow my found path, but herein is my confusion…!

I’m a freedom seeker of the highest echelons, and when I set out in 2004 the main goal was Freedom: Freedom from a society with whose leaders and direction I had lost respect, Freedom from a hegemonic System that had cleverly imprisoned so many unknowing pawns, and Freedom from a set of Spiritual ‘truths’ that I no longer believed were truths, but ones for which I had no ready replacements.

Not being arrogant, I can confidently say that free of any real societal belonging context, over six years I found freedom that few will ever understand. However as I gained new Spiritual Truths and pushed the freedom boundary I found Nature’s restraint to my exploration of absolute Freedom. It became all crystal clear:  I was free to live the life I chose, other than it needed to respect Nature’s transcendental role in sustaining human life, and the vibrancy of our home, the Planet.

It’s taken a few years of understanding what that actually means, and maybe ‘Trumped by Nature‘ was the final liberating learning step. I’m now truly free, in that I can now live the life I want, but within Nature’s constraints and it all feels REAL good! It feels like this is how we were supposed to live, an ethically and morally sound human context within Nature and our Planet.

Without exaggerating:  This past month has seen my final acceptance of the One Point Zero restraint for me and the consequences have been quite profound and quite radically changed my expectation of life and my relationship to ‘normal Society’. Everyday normality is now seen in the light of a flawed definition of Success and whether I am tacitly enabling it or not? All quite scary!

Are we talking about Crimes?  

Colonialism, slavery and many of society’s other darker pasts now make total sense: They are all linked to a very similar definition of Success. One that I now see as fundamentally flawed, and I can just see our disregard for Nature’s constraint as the anthropocentric spine supporting the body behind all these past crimes! And yes they are crimes!

I can’t be part of enabling further roll out, and yet everywhere I look this body is at work creating more, driving for growth, bringing more novelty, and spiralling on ever tighter circles to some utopia void of spiritual context and that is in ever increasing conflict with Nature. There is no remedy, because there is no acknowledgement of a problem. There is just denial and blind pursuit of ‘this Success’ and a self-fulfilling hope that somehow ‘we will win’ against Nature.

So what do I do….Part of The Crimes or Not?

Other than devoting my life to pointing this out, and trying to propose solutions, I can’t see how I can be part of a contributing role in enhancing society along a path I don’t agree with…. I guess I could become a ‘carer’ of the helpless victims who see things like I do, but have lost hope, and belonging with a society they disagree with but I’m not ready or able for that yet! I could join those who see the picture as I do, but have decided to partition them from ‘that society’ and live one of the increasing numbers of bio regionalised communities. Communities that have One Point Zero values and ignore the fact that the rest of the world is living on different ‘One Point Six and Ever Increasing’ values.

No Escape? Its a Planet and Humanity Problem

Because Nature and the planet is a single and holistic ecological system for our single Earth, and not partitioned by nation, continent, community, individual etc., the only solution to the One Point Zero crisis is one that reflects the totality of The System, and the collective impact of all humans. In this respect we have a problem maybe cleverly designed by ‘our creator’, where all humans now all have to work together to solve?

National / Regional / Partial solutions are not solutions, and herein the responsibility to show leadership lies with those most culpable and with the capability and resources for solution. This points to the Wealthy nations, the wealthy and influential of the world, but sadly there is no history of these entities forgoing their selfish goals in the pursuit of grander, morally and ethically grounded humanitarian , Success that could require a compromise of their Success.

So as One Point Zero is an all of humanity as one issue, I feel compelled to continue my path contra to Society. Not knowing where I am going or how I am going to achieve any meaningful impact I do however feel this strong force within. Driving me to be true to my heart and soul and soldier on regardless of the odds, just embracing the journey and the learning and further freedom it brings me….

If only I could really share the sense of liberation success that comes with adopting a One Point Zero vision and exploring the pursuit of its associated lifestyle with those powers that be?

Transformation at Two Levels 

I see the process of the Transformation of Society to a One Point Zero World as needing to take place at two levels:

Systemic Change

Firstly, there is no doubt that huge Systemic Change is needed. I.e. Society needs to redefine what Success is!!  Many books have been written about that, and I have no doubt that if one was able to have a one on one over quite a few drinks, with Planet concerned world leaders they would acknowledge that Systemic change is the only solution: That is that the current path of citizens just continue with business as usual, and behind the scenes governments will just change the fuel of the engine is mere window dressing but at least seen to be doing something, for which they will get legacy building brownie points.

How We can get Involved Personally?

The second level is at the personal level, where gathering momentum from those desiring to embrace a One Point Zero life, demand fashion change and help the System leadership become more courageous in their vision for transformation and Systemic change.  In this individual context I believe the wealthy, elite and influential members of society can play a very big role in showing the way for change.

I do wonder when it will become frowned upon to be obviously living a multi planet demanding lifestyle?

My sense is that this isn’t that far off, and when that tide changes a vision of One Point Zero will start appearing as a distinct reality, and Systemic change will move pretty quickly as necessary the enabler. Individuals alone will not be able to turn Society around: It requires both levels of change, and both helping each other make the transformation easier.

I do come across many people living humble One Point Zero lifestyles within societies / communities that collectively are multi planet lifestyle entities. Often for them change was initiated by economic necessity, almost making it easier to cross ‘The Chasm‘ than for those who are burdened in luxury and wedded to the current day definition of Success and dependent on all the trappings that go with that pursuit. If you are one of the already committed One Point Zero-ers, I’d encourage you to join my activism in trying to influence the multi planet living people to change their ways. Many of these people are key cogs in The System, where the Systemic Change is needed, and so change at their personal level will have a huge knock on effect.

New heroes and celebrities of society will be those voluntarily getting of their huge multi-planet demanding lives and joining us on the Nature side of ‘The Chasm‘. Humanity desperately needs these role models, people who seemingly ‘sacrifice’ The High Life, for The Simple Life, and can vouch for the liberation they experience

So it is in this moral and ethical centred pursuit that I have resisted my Plan B escape option and move forward both tentatively and excitingly exploring the unknown. I look to harbour the strong moral and ethical inspiration within and remain ever open for outside injection from wherever it comes. As this past month’s surprise further awakening of my soul has shown me I maybe short on a route map, but a moral compass I have and I’m far from ready to give up…..

I’m just taking it one step at a time, and although I have lots of ideas and possible ways forward, I’ll just let this point in my journey deliver its next steps, and will be back here soon…

“The Man in The Arena”….?

Back in Society, and as expected interesting re-grouping times I am going through…..and I’m going to share my personal ‘grappling’ as it relates to One Point Zero, and how I forge ahead!  After the experience of the past 3 months, I have thought long and hard as to the value of this sharing of my struggle, but sense it may help me, and in some strange way maybe provide readers with something of value too…. (Even if just my free ‘circus act’…!)

While out there in the Pacific I shared with you the news that Switzerland were voting on a world first, public ‘One Point Zero’ referendum, on 25 September 2016. This to decide whether the people want the government to redirect the path of the Nation from its current demand of Four Point Five Planets to a ‘One Point Zero’, Switzerland by 2020.

The 64% ‘No’ vote was a not a surprise to me, if anything I was expecting a larger ‘No’ margin. However the harsh realities of what this means are quite devastating for me. Read more about reactions to the Referendum result here.

Being back in (sub One Point Zero) New Zealand for just over two weeks now, reflecting on my intense One Point Zero  experiences in the USA, and then the freedom and clarity I had out there on the big blue Pacific? Out there I was almost ‘just a creature of Nature’ disconnected from everyday society. Now being back in ‘it’, but quite a different ‘it’ to the USA, and understanding the realities of what I found in those three intense months has been very challenging and traumatic. Although it would seem to many a small issue, this new information about the Swiss Referendum has added another bit of important information to my whole One Point Zero perspective.

As often happens in life stuff pops up at just the right time: I was reading the London Times today and a quote from Roosevelt, although used a different context, connected with my soul:

“The Man In The Arena” It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

I definitely feel like “A Man”, who has been in “An Arena”, and I am now taking a break between 1st and 2nd rounds to wipe of the “dust, sweat and blood”…! I’m also trying to understand “The Man” and ‘The Arena”…. Working out whether I’m deluding myself in the importance and authenticity of my personal mission or whether this is the REAL Arena, and it’s time for me to be a REAL Man!!! Maybe I was just shadow boxing, and the readers just enjoying watching me getting annihilated by my shadows…????

Ha-ha, yeah it is quite funny when one steps outside the arena, but seriousness soon returns as I realise that for me this ain’t just a sporting boxing match with a friendly sparring partner: This is My Life, and the game and the arena is quite confusing at the moment. Where is the confusion…?

I believe that my desire, mission and intent are all very simple:   I want to be able to live in a society that has a primary moral and ethical conviction to respect and live within Nature’s restraints. I believe without doubt that this is a primary condition for all human existence, and a pre requisite for any claims of Humanity Success.  The confusion comes with how to deal with the society Arena. And yes unfortunately I see it as an arena… It is crystal clear that ‘Society’ doesn’t want One Point Zero, and that is the other source of confusion…Why, do I so clearly want it and society don’t???

In the context of Roosevelt’s quote:  Have I really been “The Man” and have I really been in “The Arena”??  Did I “do deeds” or was I “just pointing out where the Strong Man stumbles”….?

Well, after all I did take the ship and train rather than fly..? I made the most of both ship voyages (almost 40 days at sea) but in its lengthy voyages it certainly wasn’t the first choice convenience of rather flying. This is about feeling and experiencing change, and so in that regard I took the challenge front on, and also ‘Walked the Talk’, and had a huge experience, one I’ll never regret!   But the act of not flying was just a small part of My Arena. The main part of this arena was my public sharing of the One Point Zero story, ‘The Facts’, my beliefs, my Truths, and then my resultant ‘judgements’ of society and where it has gone wrong! The teeny weeny exploratory steps into the world of activism.

I said some serious ‘just pointing out’ stuff:  “Western Society cannot claim success, with a One Point Six and ever increasing, scorecard…etc, etc”

Implying that the One Point Six and beyond ‘Success’ and ‘The Development Failure’ are tantamount to humanitarian crimes is a serious allegation, Howard. Do you really believe that???  Yes I do! Now that we know the extent of the problem, from the bottom of my heart I believe these are verging on ‘criminal’…. Wow, now that’s a serious issue, My Boy!!…. Remember:  Western society is everywhere and expanding every day, it’s just the shades of ideology intensity that vary from place to place… ! It must be you who has it wrong, or there is another explanation…?

Why am I ‘only’ pointing to the ‘only’ failure / weakness when Society has achieved such amazing things….?  Who the hell am I to point this out? Why am I doing it? Am I so different from the people and communities I engaged with? If I am so different why is that so? I was born in grew up and ‘played’ significantly in the western society? Am I envious of a success I long way back walked away from, as I don’t have a new success? Are my One Point Zero beliefs wrong? Have my extensive expeditions around the planet changed me forever, and given me a different perspective? Is it a morally and ethically sound perspective?

Man over the years I have thought long and hard about all this, but now having been three months in an Arena, and coming out with a bloodied face, I have had to really look deep within and ensure I know my soul’s answer to these questions? This is not the time for comforting lies, but also the Crowd is very good at hiding its inconvenient truths and attacking those that are courageous enough to deal with them. This all requires personal vigilance mate! I have checked my deep inner motive for my One Point Zero initiative to ensure it is ‘pure’: It’s not adopted with malice, envy, a need for power, or from religious ideology blindness, but rather by purely what I feel is morally and ethically right. Yes, just like everyone else I am selfish and it’s connected to a purpose and a spiritual necessity to enable me to be a full human, firstly deserving of living on this Planet, and secondly enabling me to fully flourish.

I had some ‘bruising’ encounters with members of the elite, who blatantly said they couldn’t care and they have earned the right and freedom to live however they please. I had very difficult interactions with many members of anthropocentric religious groups, who to my surprise, also said they couldn’t care about One Point Zero, because the apocalypse is coming anyway, to solve the problem, and they have a beyond earthly solution for their soul’s continued existence.

What really struck me is that many of these same people were leading lifestyles whose footprints are multi-planet demanding, and they seem totally disconnected from any earthly spiritual context. I had Jacques advice from Tahiti come up quite a few times as I remembered the excuses people gave for not being able to embrace a One Point Zero life. I could write a book just on these alone!

I had to deal with the fact that almost everywhere I went in the USA I saw people, communities and society at large on a common mission. Like a vast crowd all engaged on climb up a human created mountain. They were in a struggle upwards, some had fallen down, others stationary just clinging on at their current level, and all at different stages of difficulty and proximity to the summit. Most had no goal of summit-ing, just moving upwards with the crowd: A mountain climbing mission that had all the signs, behavioural traits, and media encouragement that supported a multi-planet demanding lifestyle that was in total conflict with the one I am fighting to live as I try and step back into society….

Many talked the Sustainability / Belong to Nature talk, but sadly most of these people are caught up in the struggle of the climb, a struggle to survive in the  western world’s ‘life race’ to ever illusive newly appearing teaser summits. So in the choice between survival or Walking the Talk, there was no choice. As I moved along my adventure road, it seemed like I was always an odd man out: Always trying to find a way around this upward current as I moved on a fixed contour, I really felt like I was in an Arena, and dealing with a serious physical and emotional onslaught……

Coming back and hearing about Mark Zuckenberg and Priscilla Chan’s $3 billion fund to “Cure, Prevent, or Manage all diseases by the end of the century”…, was just the icing on top! I have no doubt that they are good people and their intention is noble, but the mindset behind this initiative almost epitomises ‘our’ anthropocentric perspective and ‘our’ relationship with Nature: A sense of ever increasing human rational superiority over Nature and the Planet, and yet ever increasing void of spiritual belonging context. I wonder if they even know that their country is already more than 200% over populated with respect to its demands of Nature.

I wonder what their perspective is with regard to the fact that if everyone lived their lifestyle we would need many, many more than two Planets? I sense he does know this but maybe I’m wrong? Maybe they know but don’t care. Maybe they know but focusing on solving that one, will put a spot light on him to lead by example, force him to question the Success formula for society he is promoting. Not that they are bad people, it’s just the act of mindfulness of their contribution to Humanities most Challenging Issue? This is challenging stuff, and taking on One Point Zero would make him ‘The Man in The Arena’ . Clearly taking on this huge ‘Disease project’ with a serious intent to change the path of society, he has the means and influence to be ‘The Man in The Arena’ of a One Point Zero, society changing initiative, but maybe is not desiring of The Arena. Rather choosing to buy a lofty platform of popularity that will bring the anthropocentric Crowds shouting out accolades and giving them Humanitarian hero status.

I’m not angry, nor jealous, nor being dismissive of the enormous financial commitment they are making to a noble intent. I’m just very disappointed that those that have the power and means are not actually stepping into The Arena, where they are most needed, and could have huge impact: The Arena where tough love, and a desire to ‘Walk the Talk’ and lead us to the difficult road to Real Success is needed. I am envious of not having their position of influence, as I consider my meagre almost hopeless arena options!   In laying this out I’m not being critical but I’m back within my sphere of influence looking at myself and my ‘shadow boxing’ question??

This all points to me having a wrong priority perspective and the Swiss Referendum result confirms the validity of my ‘Top Priority’ answered question as being the key:

“How come ‘most people’ don’t see the need for living a One Point Zero life as a ‘Real and Fundamental Human’ issue….?”

If ‘they’ didn’t know ‘The Facts’ well that’s sort of deserving of forgiveness, but then again why don’t ‘we’ humans know this most fundamental Human belonging requirement? Either way the situation is an indictment on Society, or am I missing something??  Is society so lost that we have forgotten we are part of Nature? Discovering the answer to this question and the fact that most people are proudly anthropocentric and have no desire to even question that orientation and its misalignment with Nature, has truly bowled me over.

I could point to many huge ‘sub-Crowds’ within Society, whose group beliefs and values are in direct conflict with a Nature view of the world and those  needed for a One Point Zero society. Many of these groups have serious influence as the pseudo invisible hand that shapes World Values and the direction of Society. But singling out groups and making them my ‘Man in The Arena’ target for change would merely be seen as me having some anger based unfair personal vendetta against their members.

So after all this, and forgetting that my face (and ego!)  is “marred by dust and sweat and blood”   was I “The Man in The Arena”, Roosevelt referred to…?

If I have to be honest with myself, that this wasn’t ‘The Arena’ and with my current clothing and weaponry I am never going to be ‘The Man’, even if I found ‘The Arena’. I am close to concluding that the only nothing I have to offer is my experience from crossing The Chasm myself, and I can see that my journey was so unique and personal that it is probably seen as “the journey of a madmen, and in his financial independence and ‘strangeness of living’, it has no relevance to those more ‘normal’ beings living ‘normal’ existences, with all the ‘normal’ demands from a life deeply entrenched in Western Society. I can see how concluding a picture like this will enable me to go away with a good excuse and society to have swatted another irritating fly.  I can  but I need to be honest with myself as to whether that is me running away scared of stepping up to be ‘A Man in One of The Arenas’, or is that the best reality…?

 

There is another ‘Arena’ I can witness to have been in and have no doubt I was ‘The Man’ for ‘That Arena’:  This was the more than 10 year struggle to free myself from an Anthropocentric, Capitalist, Western Ideology based way of living and to find what it means to belong to Nature and this Planet and what being fully Human actually means…. It is from this hard won context that I derive the clarity of the dire situation of Humanity that I have, yet unless one has travelled the path one wouldn’t know my perspective exits nor the value of taking the seemingly perverse adventure. The hard won moral / ethical pillars of strength enable me to withstand this ‘attack’ and provide huge energy that drive me as I decide whether I withdraw and find a life away from a society that is not needing of my offering or continue in some evolving form…

As I have explored the various Sustainability / Global Warming / One Point Zero type initiatives going on around the world, I realise ‘Motive for Change’ is the key issue. Almost without exception all the initiatives are based on a fear motive, and the fear level is not enough for real change yet. A fear that the earth is going to overheat; A fear that human life will be threatened, etc….  It’s all about what is the minimum we have to do so we can avoid discomfort, disturbance to our current existence, etc…. Fear is not a good primary motive for change, and also those with the means will buy their individual protective solutions, leaving those that don’t have the means to face the threat.

 

With the One Point Zero goal, I only see a spiritual and ethical motive as the driver. With both of those motives anything more than One Point zero is NOT acceptable. I realise the world is made up so many people of so many different beliefs, values and culture, and so my clarity may have no relevance for others. In my maybe myopic view of humanity, I honestly believe that One Point Zero could be that one uniting goal for the whole of society, irrespective of colour, creed or class to unite work together for some real uniting purpose. That this is an impossible dream, because of the selfish and parochial orientation of humans is the harsh human reality which I need to factor into my path ahead.

The fear driven motive is typical of an under threat and survival mind, whereas the spiritual and ethical one is of a flourishing soul. That makes me sad, that in humanities selfishness the minimal will be done to survive, but in that delayed addressing of the issue and desperate expediency that will arise, humanity will continue on its path of deformed development and the lie of Success will become harder to keep covered from The Crowd!

I leave this open and honest blog download in mid conclusion point and the ‘resting time’ outside my ‘little arena’ for The Boy continues ……!!

No More ‘Trumped By Nature’ : The Reflections…!

Another ship: Cook Strait Ferry going into Marlborough Sound!
Another ship!!: The Cook Strait Ferry going between North and South Island here going into Marlborough Sound!

It’s been a few days since I arrived back in Nelson, South Island, New Zealand, crossing the finish line of ‘Trumped by Nature’. The final leg took three days from the time I arrived in Auckland until I climbed on board Allone in Nelson! I was finally back on the home I’d left just over three months ago!  I’d achieved the ‘Trumped by Nature’ goal, and proved to myself that I could overcome the ecologically disastrous convenience of flying between continents. I’d tested and successfully found a way to live my adventure lifestyle on Nature’s side of The Chasm.

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Arriving in Nelson, brought from Start to End, the whole Journey into vivid context.  Wow, what a Journey this has been, very intense, so diverse, and yet also very, very sobering and challenging! A total of 31 000 kilometres travelled, and all of it only on the surface of Nature’s amazing Planet. I know this may sound like me trying to make something of nothing, but for me who travelled every metre of this path, I can honestly say that once again surface travel has put the size of ‘our’ small planet into real context for me.

SA Planet Picture

I sense when flying it is all about the destination, and one loses the feel for the planet and it vast and dominant ocean component. This trip has made me wonder whether through the convenience of flying and not experiencing the vastness and intimacy of the oceans, our individual ‘Environmental Identities’, has been deformed as we have almost become to believe that the planet is only about the continents?  The land, with these ‘inconvenient oceans’ in between where most ‘humans don’t go’. The oceans make up a whacking 70% of the surface of the earth, and how many of ‘us’ ever get to feel this vastness, experience its many moods, and then incorporate it in our picture of what the Earth and Nature really are to us….?

An 'aptly' named cafe in Portland... we all know our planet stopped laughing in 1970, when it could no longer support us!
An ‘aptly’ named cafe in Portland… For some our planet stopped laughing in 1970, when it could no longer support us! For others it just for us to use, so no worries. How do you relate to the Planet? Nature?

Whether we consciously recognise it or not, we all have a picture of what Nature and The Planet mean to us, and this forms our unique ‘Environmental Identity‘ which then sets how we contextualise One Point Zero in our lives.

We all know that the forests play a huge role in absorbing billions of tons of greenhouse gases, in their natural photosynthesis process, but I wonder how many know that the vast oceans absorb some 40-50% of human greenhouse gases. The Southern Ocean and cold water around Antarctica is like the planets heart ocean heart, one that’s drives the major ocean current system of the world. These currents are interlinked with the weather and so yet again we see that this wholeness on Nature and how it’s is all one diverse and complex, yet self-regulating system. There are no sovereign boundaries, providing portioned kingdoms, for domination or exclusion. There is just a diverse, interlinked and co-dependent one-ness, and Nature makes it all work together as One.

Maybe there are lessons for humans in that oneness, and the un-naturalness of self-determining nations who disregard this fundamental rule of One-ness, and ‘One Point Six and ever Increasing‘ results?

The Harsh Reality of the Adventure

My time on the vast Pacific ocean, and the contrast with my time in the different vastness of the USA as a nation of portioned humans, has made me reflect deeply on The Chasm and human role in the initial fracture of our Relationship with Nature.

I left Nelson three months ago as an adventurer with passion and positive expectations of having ‘some impact’ with my message. I passionately believed that One Point Zero was a concept that had the potential to unite a fractured humanity, and bring focus to our long fractured relationship with Nature. Yes, I was just teeny weeny, Howard setting out on mission impossible, and in acknowledging that I also thought I had realistic expectations of the enormity of my challenge ahead.

Upfront I knew this would be a mission of ‘tough love’ for society, the inconvenient truths are beyond inconvenient they are verging on  The Criminal Truths! I threw caution to the wind, and chose to take the inevitable icy headwinds right on the nose, and see whether my beliefs and values would be strong enough to pull me through?   In many ways this was going to be an exploration of the courage and moral fibre of the Human spirit, both mine and that of the society I would encounter! Wow, this has been extreme, and I thought the North Pole was challenging!

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Well, yes I succeeded in my personal goal of ‘Trumped by Nature‘, but the being able to make a ‘wee impact’, I have to say I feel shocked, verging on being demoralised, but at least still not broken! Ha-ha! (See my ‘Broken Spirit strategy’ here)  The exploring was of itself hugely valuable:  Being able to get right inside society and then stand outside and reflect on the enormity of The Chasm that exists was something that presents a truly daunting picture of reality. One that I have to say I feel like running away from myself!  Sadly for me, what I see is almost all are ‘running away’ from the picture, and burying themselves in their own safe portioned world. This is not criticism nor judgement, just the reality of a challenging situation.

I was also ‘Alone’ Out there!

Just one tent out there...!
Just one tent out there…!

In all my 31 000 kilometres I did not come across one ‘person of relatively high wealth’, who was ‘One Point Zero friendly’…… !  Not one! (By relatively high wealth I mean someone who is in the top 1% on the Wealth Gap scale) In San Diego I had the privilege of reconnecting with a head of a Christian community for an affluent county. I asked him if he knew of any ‘1%-ers’ who had decided ‘enough was enough’, and was not trying to create more wealth to have and spend more, but had stopped and was trying to live the simple, One Point Zero type life?  Having met him a few years before we had a very open reconnect chat, and in his genuine ‘mind racking’ I saw his desire to want to help me: But he concluded: “Howard, I’m at a loss, I can’t think of one person I know. Sorry!” He confirmed there were many he knew who met the ‘relatively wealthy’ criteria, but “No None passed the other criteria”!  This was very hard hitting to me, and made me question my alone ‘stupidity’..?

I met Amish people who in their sustainability, simple life bliss, didn’t even know One Point Zero was an issue, and so it was great to just end it before it started:  “Don’t worry about it, you guys are already on Nature’s side of The Chasm!”

I also met many who weren’t in that 1%, ‘relatively wealthy’ demographic who were already embracing a simple life and personal sustainability goal. Often it was driven by economic need, which then fuelled a sustainability passion. Some weren’t aware of the problem, but were eager to learn more and I could see genuine concern and a desire to take some personal responsibility in sharing the load. With almost all these wonderful people, when I shared the One Point Zero concept they really latched on to the ‘neatness’ of One Point Zero as a moral and ethical, based measure of human belonging. In many of these discussions I saw lights switch on inside and the motive moved from a noble responsible citizen one, to a more transcendental meaning one. It was exciting to be part of these discussions and to feel the power of the One Point Zero.

One Point Zero Stood The Test!

The most amazing positive in all this challenging upstream flow, was that One Point Zero and my belief in its value to Society came through even stronger than when I left Nelson. This is a powerful concept that provides an opportunity for bringing humanity together.  That’s not me, or my website, etc, this is about the concept that is built on the Global Footprint Network’s Ecological Sustainability, intellectual property.  Packaging it in a One Point Zero goal, provides the sound ethical and moral   basis for our earthly human existence and our relationship within Nature, and that is where I see the huge void in Society today.

From all the feedback I have received I sense there are those who understand clearly the One Point Zero concept, and its context with Ecological Capacity and Ecological Footprint, and how they are linked. Others seem to be unsure of how this all fits with Carbon emissions, Global Warming etc…. I can see how it can be confusing and I’d suggest a visit to the Global Footprint Network’s site will be well rewarded, and convince you that there is just one way of looking at real sustainability and what it means to you and I.

 

The Future…

So there we go, ‘Trumped by Nature‘ is completed, however the blogs on this site will continue, with my sharing of my perspectives, highlighting worldwide initiatives that support or undermine a path towards a One Point Zero vision.

I have obtained huge insights on where best I can contribute. So pop by the website once a week, and I’ll try keep you engaged as I adapt the One Point Zero journey to accommodate the huge insights and impact of the past three months.  I’m also hoping to get out a monthly One Point Zero e-zine that will keep you updated on developments.

Lastly:  I hope you enjoyed being part of the last 3 months?  I would value any comments and feedback you may have, as I’m busy deciding on how best to progress the journey!  Coments can either be sent ublicly on the site, or confidentially to me at: lifeaseriesofadventures@gmail.com

Nature Gives US the Perfect Arrival into Auckland

Nature Gives us the Perfect Arrival into Auckland

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From the rough seas of the day before, it all went calm around 1am yesterday. I was up on the bridge at 3am and it was a perfect night, the sky showing me every star possible, and the outside temperature not as cold as I was expecting as the thought of sailing to Fiji in a few weeks starts dominating my mind. Very soon the lights of shipping and the various navigation aids in the approach to Auckland made me realise Nature’s vast open sea wilderness was coming to an end and I was about to be confronted with Human’s ‘domain’: The Big City wilderness, where anthropocentrics can exercise their almost full control over a wee part of the surface of this planet.

 

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Coming into the Hauraki Gulf, we cut speed to the required Whale respecting speed of 10 knots, and as the daylight broke the almost unspoilt natural specialness of the Gulf’s outer islands came into view, and a perfect cloudless, windless day opened up in front of us on the bridge.  It was good time for savouring the last hours of life on the ‘Big  Machine’, and in conditions like this it almost didn’t seem like the big brute of yesterday.

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With hardly a bow wave as it seemed to be part of the mirror it was ‘gliding’ on. The vivid blue of the open Pacific sea was replaced by a nutrient rich, almost brownish hue, typical of these higher latitude southern ocean waters.  As I looked down from the bridge I could see many jelly fish close to surface and was struck how things are changing for me….

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Pilot Pic:  Our first Kiwi!: The Pilot boat dropping off Matt our Pilot

There is a long and snaking channel into Auckland and so the pilot joins the ships quite far out and has a long ride in as ‘temporary captain’ of all arriving / departing ships. New Zealand and Auckland included can get some pretty wild weather, and so these pilots must have man a pilot story to tell…

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In capturing the extent of ‘our perfect day’, Matt the pilot said:  I don’t know whether today is better for a pilot to be at work or better to have the day off? Clearly a guy who enjoys outdoor recreations he was debating whether the easy job today was better than enjoying the recreational day off the easy weather would provide!

That's one of 'our' tugs coming to assist the docking.
That’s one of ‘our’ tugs coming to assist the docking.

As we turned the corners of the channel, the views of Auckland changed and New Zealand’s largest city go larger and larger. Since 1995 when New Zealand ‘shocked the world’ winning America’s cup in San Diego, and Auckland became to host in 2000, Auckland has just exploded into a relative metropolis given the small size of the country and its 4.5 million people.

Conspicuous consumption trending up...
Conspicuous consumption trending up…

Auckland’s population is said to be around 1.4 million and I sense its changing values and ever increasing alignment with the highest level western ideals is causing some ‘values conflict’ with more traditional New Zealanders.

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I’ll delve more into this in a future blog relating to New Zealand’s ‘REAL elite nation’ status as a rare member of sub One Point Zero club of nations. Exploring how long term sustainable that club membership is given these inevitably changing values in the increasing pursuit of higher Western Success.

New Zealand's One Point Zero Credit Statement, but is it heading for 'The Red' like everyone else? (Global Footprint Network graph)
New Zealand’s One Point Zero Credit Statement, but is it heading for ‘The Red’ like everyone else? (Global Footprint Network graph)

In many ways but for totally different reasons, I put New Zealand and Switzerland together as countries that just ‘get on’ with what they see they ‘have to do’ for themselves, and ‘Just Do it’!  Both seem to do it in a way that is ‘their’ unique way but seems also one that is inspiring and has many ‘values lessons’ for ‘the rest of the world’, yet they aren’t trying to change the rest of the world!

Clearly New Zealand and Switzerland are almost at the opposite ends of the One Point Zero scale, so in linking them above it’s not about that but more of a low key, yet strong almost independent clear identity and value system, that fits with their unique needs.

ANL Bindaree, Final Hours and Goodbyes

The final reverse into our 'tight parking space'!
The final reverse into our ‘tight parking space’!

Each day it’s been building but today it was clearly visible that I was no longer part of the ANL Bindaree team, and these guys now saw me as a ‘traitor’ about to step off into freedom: To leave them to carry on with two or three more 22 000 kilometre circuits of the Pacific. I’d done one circuit albeit with a six week break in between legs. For these guys stopping in Auckland is a mere 10 hour period with a different set of work tasks.

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Amazingly the ship was being partially unloaded / reloaded (about 700 containers each way I think) in just 10 hours and my home and new ‘ship friends’ of the past 16 days would be dropping mooring lines and heading back out that same Hauraki channel: Destined for Melbourne Australia, and crossing the sometimes treacherous Bass Strait.

In those ten hours in Auckland, even with the container terminal being almost right in the CBD, very few go ashore, either not wanting to, or because of work responsibilities, not able. I understand their reluctance, and need to stay in settled in ‘their ship world’, but Auckland and New Zealand was about to become my ‘new world’.

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So all in all it was quite tough dealing with The Chasm  between our ANL Bindaree motives and experiences. But these are tough guys, men of the sea, and they told me they experience crew members ‘coming and going’ all the time: Sometimes they are the one saying goodbye to their imprisoned buddies, and other times their buddy is like me saying goodbye to them and stepping to freedom. For me I didn’t see it like that, as I had had another very intense and special experience, and with One Point Zero occupying a lot of my focus our motives and goals were very different.

The ‘Goodbyes’ started the night before Auckland arrival, as I knew I may not see some of them on the day. So ‘one by one’ I made sure had a special goodbye, some exchanging email addresses, but in all I felt a strange ‘intimate stranger’ bond, as we knew our sharing had been intense but our paths were now seriously diverging.  I sense for many I had been someone they could talk to about life, real life, and the things that matter in this world. I sensed that life on board almost forbade them going there, and in that unnatural, yet necessary discipline they realised they were preventing themselves accessing an important part of life’s intensity. I felt some human to human value in helping them see that….and in its absence of fellow passengers, this trip brought a much larger element of this intimacy of exchange.

Sorry there are no pics of The Crew, these guys are very anti photos, and being made passenger’s celebrities! I like that…..

Preparing for ‘The Shock’ of Civilisation

As far as cities go, Auckland in a great city, but my re-entry into civilisation will no doubt have some shocks over the next few days. I rode the short distance into the CBD and went straight to sort out accommodation for the night. I sit here typing this blog, in this Auckland ‘prison cell’ that cost more per night than my spatial cabin on ANL Bindaree!

There is not a single window to the outside world and on the one wall are three large adverts for Adrenalin activities. The one’s caption is: “It’s not the Last experience that counts, it’s the First”!!   I wondered how this applied to my birth into this world! Another caption is: “Celebrate The Journey”! Is that celebration at The Destination or when? Sounds like maybe a ‘journey’ of a series of ‘conquests’ and to celebration each ‘milestone’ towards the final destination! But then is it a Journey or a Conquest! ????

THE Journey without destination, and to belonging! No followers hey, each creates their own Journey. Or does destiny do it for ya??
THE Journey without destination, and to belonging! No followers hey, each creates their own Journey. Or does destiny do it for ya??

Ha-ha, yeah I am at a CBD backpackers place, convenient location for the ship and bus, and this is all part of the exploring experience! Good to be around young people, they all international and on ‘Their Journeys’, yet it’s supposedly still New Zealand off season.

IF I’d ‘Taken the Plane’ I’d be ‘There’ by NOW!

Hmmm, that would have been 'convenient'.. But, Howard...!!!!
Hmmm, that would have been ‘convenient’.. But, Howard…!!!!

Just a reminder: It’s been over three months of this Trumped by Nature adventure, and I’m committed to No Flying?!  Part of the adventure is dealing     with the struggle to really understand what living a One Point Zero life as a ‘financially independent’, traveller is all about?

The Planet is (used to be???) my Oyster!
The Planet is (used to be???) my Oyster!

Whether it is even possible, and whether it will still be enjoyable, or whether I have to curtail my planet explorations?  These are all explorations with possible profound implications.

Anl-Bindaree-sailing towards

It has been pointed out to me many times that the Ecological Footprint of Ships is much worse than Aeroplanes. Yes, for kilometre travelled, Flying is very bad, and Ships even worse, I have been aware of that for years. From a personal Footprint, one has to look at the specifics:  As I pointed out in the amusing (well I think so!) blog from Tahiti: Because I didn’t come on a Passenger ship, (rather a Container ship) the Ecological Footprint ‘accounting’ is quite different between me and cruise ship passengers and also the footprint of the cargo goods on the container ship. Passenger planes and Ships only ‘go’ if there are passengers, and as with both Cap Capricorn and ANL Bindaree, they ‘go’ with or without passengers.

These are the worst of The Worst way to travel as a passenger!
These are the worst of The Worst way to travel as a passenger!

I hope you can see that, and also that I’m not promoting Passenger ship travel over Air travel?!! My Tahiti blog should clear it all!

It’s been an intense 3 months, and good to get back to New Zealand. Yesterday it was very tempting to go on line and book a ‘quick’ flight to Nelson. If I had done so I could be writing this blog from Nelson, but instead I wanted the full experience of trying to live my One Point Zero life. So in a few hours I cycle to the bus station, board the bus for Wellington. After over-nighting there I’ll ride to the ferry terminal, take the Inter Islander ferry across the Cook Strait to Picton on the South Island, and then the bus to Nelson….  I long trip you may say…?

Well I see it all as an experience in itself, and it’s like many of ‘you’ business travellers would do: Its away from home business travel, and I get to do my One Point Zero work on the bus, and ferry, and the many people I will no doubt meet along the way will enrich my life, and add perspective to my One Point Zero work. Importantly I get time to reflect on the past 3 intense months, and what this whole mission has been about. Time to savour the many and diverse moments: Their rich value to my life, whether they were good, medium or difficult moments. I used to be someone who always wanted to get ‘There’ as quick as possible, but long time back I realised it’s about the Journey and taking it ALL in, which includes reflection and learning from the reflection Maybe that’s what that “Celebrating The Journey’ above was all about?!

I know for many of I’m talking to the converted, and probably converted way before me, but this full on, competitive society we live in more often than not, puts the focus on The Destination!

Next one will be in a few days and once I have settled back in Nelson. That should be very interesting….!!!

My awaiting sustainable home in Nelson…From the outside: Small hey!
Inside my home... lounge, dinning room and kitchen all in one... Cosy and simple!  I share it with fellow creatures of Nature: A giraffe and polar bear!
Inside my home… lounge, dinning room and kitchen all in one… Cosy and simple!

 

Follow My Pacific Crossing here….:

ANL Bindaree.... I'm somewhere inside there heading across The Pacific Ocean. Follow me on Google Earth at the link below:
ANL Bindaree…. I’m somewhere inside there heading across The Pacific Ocean to New Zealand Follow me on Google Earth here:

I’ll be on the ANL Bindaree from 25 August to around 15 September when we are due in Auckland. I won’t be at this website, but with a bit of luck with satellite communications you’ll be able to track my progress and read the ‘every second day’ blog here

Without an ‘on blog’ Comment facility, please send me your comments / views to lifeaseriesofadventures@gmail.com

I really do value input and just remember I’ll only be able to respond once in New Zealand.

(A great thanks to ‘Mailasail‘ who provide the great ‘from the ship’ blogging service, and have helped me with my adventure blogs over the past 10 years.)

Who is this handsome guy???

One Activist Battered by America... Ha-ha, and old pic from a tough day in Siberia!
One Activist Battered by America… Ha-ha, and old pic from a tough day in Siberia 2012!

Ha-ha!  I cannot deny that this Trumped by Nature adventure has been TOUGH!

In the June e-letter I warned it would be the ‘Most Extreme Adventure’ yet! Adventure involves Risk, and believe it or not I ‘hate Risk’! But I believe that without some form of ‘Discomfort Zone Risk’ in our lives we are merely souls dormant in stagnation! So I have learnt to accept and live with Risk.  In that light (Ha-ha!): I’m nearly signed off on The Purpose of Life (for Me s just as just another non-anthropocentric, creature of Nature!) as being:

The pursuit of full human intensity as Nature intended us to be, and participating  as a full team member on Nature’s side of The Chasm!

Today, ‘desperately’ seeking some ‘comfort zone inspiration’ I paged through my Simply Adventure, ‘Picture Book’, and magically the ‘battered activist’ perked back up to 100%: Ready for the next steps into the activist journey unknown!

howard final banner reduced

There we go:  Using Nature again hey!!  While I’m away I leave that book here for you to maybe also enjoy too…(It takes a few seconds to download: Quality requires patience!)

Maybe in the context of its images and One Point Zero pondering these questions will help our sharing l learning in our upcoming Pacific crossing together:

What is Nature for YOU? What defines Nature’s boundary? Do you believe we are ‘part of Nature’ or ‘some’ separate being? If a ‘separate being, what should our relationship with Nature and The Planet be? Are devastating storms, disease and sickness part of Nature  or ‘an outside evil’?  Is their a striving for ‘Happiness’ in Nature?  

Now no ‘cheating’ by looking at this  I do think these are fundamental keys to filling the gaps of how and why we have got to ‘One Point Six, and ever increasing‘!

While I am at sea ‘struggling’ without ‘you’ in ‘my cell’ why not also checkout the Resources page and treat yourself to one of the books I ‘found useful’ in understanding Our One Point Zero Challenge?

OK, best I say Good Bye from terra firma!  Just give me ‘a day or two’ to settle into my new blue, prison cell. (vs Cap Capricorn’s red one) before I can get blogs going!

Hey, I’m really looking forward to my 20 day sentence…. I have this feeling inside though that I maybe the ONLY passenger!  Well I’ll be relying on ‘you guys’ a lot more then hey??  Not really ‘Solo but Not Alone‘ is one of my motto!

All the best in your 20 days living too, hey!

H!

A ‘cute’ Photo PS:

The Zero Point Zero-ers in combat against the Five Point Zero's attempted 'consumption colonisation'.
The almost Zero Point Zero-ers (not even clothes nor weapons do they ‘consume’!!) in combat training for preventing any Five Point Zero-ers attempted ‘consumption colonisation’ of ‘their territory!!  Should the west be ‘lending’ their spare One Point Zero bio-capacity on a capitalist market value???  Now spare bio capacity somewhere in the very soon future will be worth far more than Gold!

 

 

 

 

Real Success, Tall Poppies, and ‘Walking the Talk’ Leadership…

(This is the final Post in a series of three. If you haven’t already: You may want to read the last two Posts before reading this one?) 

Over the years of my transformation I have learnt that success isn’t really about ‘Success’! Often those who have ‘real success’, may often may not be the celebrities, or have conquest ‘medals’ to show for it: They don’t seek ‘medals’. Their life is one giant inspirational ‘medal’ for others.

I go back to Gandhi’s answer to the question posed to him: “What is your life message?” His answer: “My life is my message!”

How many of the leaders of the world today, the presidential candidates, the elite, the celebrities, have ‘life messages’ that inspires ‘us’ to emulate their ‘life message’, rather than idolise their narrow ‘medal’ resumes? ‘Walking the Talk’ leadership is not what the ‘soul-less’ System rewards it prefers manipulation, deception and ‘Talk the Talk’. This form of hypocritical politicking is destroying the souls of ‘the majority’, divided ‘us’ further and further way from any hope of a One Point Zero world course.

After all my meetings with many people on this trip to the USA, I am convinced, beyond doubt, that America’s soul is ‘Off Success’. It’s time for the leadership, elite and ‘owners’ of ‘The System’ to have at Bernard Russell tincture ‘overdose moment’. Once Sobering up to The Truths they find, they need to have selfless courage and conviction to plot a new course away from the self-serving, comforting lies that divide what was once an amazing Nation. The Majority have a responsibility to force this ‘tincture moment’ to help themselves and the Nation…..

For ‘you’ it is time to listen to ‘your’ souls, and no longer accept ‘The System’ and its self-serving abuse. It needs a revolution and that requires each person to have the courage to stand out of ‘The Crowd’ and act on their soul’s feelings and directives to break free from the path of ‘Horrors’, Bertrand Russell describes .

The world watches in anguish and anticipation as American’s majority decide what Message they want to give the elite and what ‘Success’ they really want…..

In my last blog I also pointed to a London Times article: “New Zealanders and the curse of the Kiwi Knight.”, and I discuss that now:

My simple mind struggles to find a motive for this article other than one that is from another ‘System servant’, author (David Brooks the other), who is pro ‘The System’, its celebrity building and Tall Poppy values.

In Richie McCaw, I believe we have one of the, if not THE most, valuable role models of what the Olympics and all competition should be about: Yet this article is seemingly aimed at putting him down, and pointing to New Zealand as a country which is behind the times in its “loathing of Tall Poppies”!

Over the years I have moved a lot in my views on what fame and celebrities are all about and who should be The real inspiring and famous people in setting true role models for a troubled modern society? Etc. Watching the way ‘The System’ so easily ‘grows poppies’ from sometimes strange ‘medals’ and contrived resumes, without concern about the person’s life message value? I have often become very disillusioned in how ‘successful’ people  who don’t have a successful ‘life message’ are often presented as icons to be admired. Often the whole thing is built on a money making promotion either linked to reinforcing ‘The System’ hold on ‘The Crowd’, or in some way driving increasing consumption of the celebrity’s promoted products and services.

I sense we should be looking at the real heroes in the light of Who they really are and How they go about their success. We are so desperately in need of real leadership, role models, who walk an exemplary life message talk, not celebrity icons whose personal lives and / or behaviour that are far removed from those needed for a One Point Zero or a unified society / humanity.

In the further context of the exemplary New Zealander Richie McCaw, in yesterday’s post I pointed out that New Zealand ended up with some ten times the ‘per capita’ medal haul of the USA:

It’s easy to write off New Zealand as a very small nation, and black swan anomaly, but having immersed myself in that country over this past two years, I can vouch that it has a success way beyond its huge medals  ‘per capita’ superiority, that could provide huge learning for the USA, and many other ‘tall poppy’ nations.

Sadly, I sense in the case of the USA elite, the brute force, tall poppy ‘blindness’ to the fact of a ‘wrong success’, would make a desperately needed ‘tincture of philosophy’ seem like step towards ‘defeat’. A stop think, understand the truths, correct the course intervention, a seemingly unnecessary waste of time while ‘The Crowd’, are still mostly compliant.

Worse still would be the result that the elite would have to admit to ‘The Crowd’ that their course was merely designed to serve a few, at the expense of the many, and the Planet: That would be tantamount to deception at the highest level?

Behind their sophisticated Machiavellian and Humanitarian masks, there is no care for anyone else but themselves: The more they can use, have, and accumulate, no matter from whom or from where they ‘take’ it, the more they can divide themselves from the good, honest people of the majority.

While my focus above and the last few posts has been necessarily on America, this problem of the abuse of power of ‘The Elite’ and ‘The System’ is pervasive in modern western society. It’s also becoming the new fashion in the developing world where it is being rolled out as the path to ‘Success’, replacing traditionally successful and sustainable cultures. This all flies right in the face of a One Point Zero America, and a One Point Zero world and I believe through each of us taking a revolutionary stance there can be a breaking of ‘The System’. With this must come, new ‘Walk the Talk’ non-Tall Poppy, leadership and with the right vision and leadership humanity would find that a One Point Zero world repairs the divide and eliminates the deeper human soul belonging crisis of The Chasm.

Americans vote with your souls and not as ‘The Crowd’!  Good luck, the world nervously awaits The Result!

Bye bye America and than you for allowing me to do my very important work, and being open to my or ‘Tough Love’…!

PS: I hope you can see that I’m a real person, who really cares for the soul of Humanity.

Have America’s Elite created a ‘Horror Life’ for ‘The Crowd’?

 

Grab a cuppa coffee! A customised Portland 'flat white' with its stand out red tinge! We all know in america plain is boring, its all about differentiation hey!
Grab a cuppa coffee, you may need it for this one! A customised Portland ‘flat white’ with its stand out red tinge! We all know in America ‘the plain’ is boring, its all about choices and differentiation hey!

Yesterday saw the closing of another Olympics games and yet again new human boundaries having been established in our quest for something…..?  I had to think about what the quest is really for….? That was quite profound, as years ago I knew clearly what the quest was for but today it’s not so clear?  It was a quest for excellence of human ability, largely physical ability in the field of organised Sports, but maybe it’s now about a ‘con-quest’.

Beyond the conquests, the Olympics stood for a ‘place and time’ where ‘all’ the nations of the world put aside their differences, gathering together in a one-ness of humanity for the purpose of ‘friendly competition’. Competition, where the top priority was the camaraderie of sports-person-ship and celebrating the wonder of human capability and participation, whether winner, loser or supporter.

I was brought up in a highly competitive sporting family, and this ethic was ingrained in us at a young age, and I took a strong competitive spirit with me into most aspects of my life. With this went a ‘conquest mind’, and the only journey was honing ‘the journey’ to compete and conquer: Whether that was business, sport or climbing the ‘Good Life’ ladder aspiring for its apex of the Elite High Life.

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Around the age of 39, something changed for me, my soul was screaming out loud that this wasn’t a journey at all, this was an imprisoned ‘rail track’ to an illusionary destination. A destination, that was someone else’s ‘statue of success’, and needed their “common sense” belief and values, not my own, to ‘get there’!

At the end of my last Post I pointed to Bertrand Russell’s quote:

“The man (woman?) who has no tincture of philosophy? The ineffective person who just goes through life imprisoned in the prejudices derived from common sense, from habitual beliefs of his age or his nation, and from convictions which have grown up in his (her) mind without the cooperation or consent of deliberate reason.” As Russell concludes that this is a life of ‘Horror’ as one is following ‘somebody’ else’s belief of what life is about….…..

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Twenty years later I look back at my 39 year old picture and see that the ‘tincture of philosophy’ and the ability to see beyond the “common sense” and “the habitual” has freed me from a ‘the Horror’, of living a life ‘according to someone else’ that Bertrand Russell describes!

In my last post I also pointed to the New York Times article entitled “Is our Country as Good as Our Athletes are? “  I’m assuming you have read it, but if not you can get the gist of it here.

As I read this article, I could not help concluding that the author is in his ‘Horror life’ with beliefs and values attached to The System’s statue of success… OR that he is consciously part of that same System, and living the Good Life manipulating and masking its ‘Life of Horrors’ from others?  If it was the former wondered if he is not in desperate need of a serious dose of Bertrand Russell’s ‘tincture of philosophy’ and a challenge of his beliefs…..??!!

Maybe this is what ‘America’ is struggling with at the moment: The elite and those whose very identity is linked, and dependant on The System, being so blinded by its pervasive power, refusing to open their eyes and see that The Nation’s statue for Success has long run its useful day????

In this article, by a highly respected, intelligent, and clearly loyal, New York Times journalist, he points to a ‘Success’ which I see is at the very core of the World, and USA problems today:

It’s a ‘success’ that is founded on ruthless competition, domination by brute force and numbers; An almost exclusive rational orientation, void of any spiritual context, locked onto a co-dependant,  economic and consumerism, success; A focus on the conquest of being Number One on all its many conquest ‘medal’ seeking fronts.

Connecting with my ‘little Howard story’ above, this reminds me so much of the ‘journey-less journey’ to winning and conquering, orientation that I was on up to age 39, and the many tinctures of philosophy I have eagerly taken in between!! (See Journey to The Truths)

The author talks about the Olympic medals as being the measure of a nation’s success, and gloats on America’s hoard of ‘medal’s Success’! Probably knowing that ‘tall poppy’ gloating, based only on force of numbers, isn’t a good advert for real success, he then casually points to another measure of success: A nation by nation, ‘per capita’ medal measure of success  and fleetingly admits that on that score ‘other nations’ are ahead of America!

Maybe the most celebrated nation at the Olympics should be the one whose ‘per capita’ medal haul, is the highest? Maybe it should not even just be about ‘medal hauls’?

Interestingly the UK has a ‘per capita’ medal haul almost three times higher than that of the USA,. Australia nearly four times, and New Zealand and an amazing ten times higher that of the USA!!

Not wanting to dwell on this ‘inconvenient truth’ and its implications, the author then conveniently diversifies his analysis to the evidence of ‘more’ ‘American domination’ success:

Seemingly proud that the nation is “the world’s leading energy producer…”! Hmmm, yes it is also one of the leading ‘per capita’ ecological footprint nations nearly five times higher than the global average!!

Graph thanks to Global Footprint Network
Graph thanks to Global Footprint Network

If the whole world lived like just an ‘average American’ we would need nearly FIVE planets! This is serious leadership, where one would think a huge population with technology leadership traits would be able to be leading the world as the lowest footprint nation of The Developed World!  So yeah no wonder it sees energy as being important to feed its insatiable need for energy to stay be leader of the Footprint ‘race’!

A great building in downtown Portland... I thought the roof was a huge solar panel too...But No!
A great building in downtown Portland… I thought the roof was a huge solar panel too…But No!

Moving beyond his claims of economic and trade success, he moves into entertainment, pointing out ‘success’ here: “Hollywood is as dominant as ever”  This really does get things going: I recently went to see the latest ‘Jungle Book’, and ‘Legend of Tarzan’, movies, to see whether our relationship with Nature was being portrayed anthropocentrically, or as I believe our relationship should be represented to us, ‘planet destroying’ humans?

An 'aptly' named cafe in Portland... we all know our planet stopped laughing in 1970, when it could no longer support us!
An ‘aptly’ named cafe in Portland… we all know our planet stopped laughing in 1970, when it could no longer support us!

I came away from both movies literally shocked at the level of violence that was central to ‘the entertainment’ of both these movies. These shouldn’t be violent engagements, but rather ones that should help us bond with Nature. Ones that help us see where and how we humans fit in to Our Planet? However all ‘they’ show are anthropocentric, gladiators in death defying and violent conquests.

As I saw in these movies, the technology achievements of Hollywood are absolutely amazing, but sadly it’s all directed at the wrong ‘Statues of Success’. Hollywood is a celebrity factory whose ‘medal winners’ provide disastrous inspiration value as ‘walk the talk’ icons for a One Point Zero world, or one that even remotely aligns with us humans living in sync with Nature and our planet Earth.

Yes it is a Great Earth...! Do we deserve a Good Earth, when when we don't treat it 'good'? Lots of 'token sustainability' cafe's in Portland! We should just have one definition of sustainability, the real one not feel good = good profit ones!
Yes it is a Great Earth…! Do we deserve a Good Earth, when when we don’t treat it ‘good’? Lots of ‘token sustainability’ cafe’s in Portland! We should just have one definition of sustainability, the real one not feel good = good profit ones!

I see this ‘tall poppy’, self-appraising and ignoring of the truths and a more balanced scorecard as classic case of avoiding Bertrand Russell’s ‘moment’ for a ‘tincture of philosophy’, facing the truths, and using the learning opportunity presented?  Instead, in his denial of the truths, he is desperately sticking with the Biggest, Most, More and more, Win at all costs, and Machiavellian Domination beliefs, that have paved THE way, to THE Success.  His success, or is he in a ‘Horror life’ too…?

Going further: Can ‘Success’ be determined and measured by a small elite group who are masters of a self-serving system, and out of touch with spirituality and the human soul? A group who are the very architects and custodians of a system that has made a country now deeply divided. Divided into the superficially ‘successful’, dominating ‘few’, who are becoming increasingly removed from the demoralised, imprisoned, and disillusioned, ‘unsuccessful’ ‘majority’.

I hate reporting these truths, but I'll remember Portland for its vast number of bridges crossing the Columbia River, and sadly its vast number of homeless 'broken' people. I was told the wealthy from other cities pay for these people's Greyhound bus tickets to Portland to get them out of their cities! Portland apparently has more nice guys who accept them and don't send them back! This was not a small problem, but a huge one, I promise you, because it made me sad....!
I hate reporting these truths, but I’ll remember Portland for its vast number of bridges crossing the Columbia River, and sadly its vast number of homeless ‘broken’ people. I was told the wealthy from other cities pay for these people’s Greyhound bus tickets to Portland to get them out of their cities! Portland apparently has more nice guys who accept them and don’t send them back! This was not a small problem, but a huge one, I promise you, because it made me sad….!

One can’t holistically measure the spirit of ‘the majority’ in terms of Olympic medals, energy production, economic power, technological prowess, Hollywood success, etc of the ‘few’!  These are the elite’s performance criteria, and ones based on winning, domination and a tall poppy, arrogant relationship with ‘the majority’ and world. It’s because that’s how they measure the success of their own lives, and have mastered how to exploit The System and ‘the majority’ to ‘get it’.

The author of this NYT article would do well to look at the USA’s obesity figures, mental illness, loneliness, spiritual health, ecological footprints, etc to find out whether the nation (the real nation, not the ‘Elite nation’) is ‘On Success’ or not?  The human soul is a very sensitive ‘being’ and knows when things aren’t right and ‘Off Success’.

I believe a nation is successful if its overall human spirit is healthy. A healthy spirit comes from leading a fully flourishing, intensely human life. This fundamentally must includes belonging to Humanity, Nature and The Planet, not exploiting it for selfish intent……

Next Post will connect the London Times article “New Zealanders and the curse of the Kiwi Knight.”, I pointed to in my last post to the above, to hopefully complete a ‘tincture of philosophy’ that provides some inspiration and ideas for a path to personal liberty for all the good people who make up ‘The Majority’ of America! At this difficult junction in our history, the world desperately needs yeah to act on your truths, not on The Crowds ‘convenient falsities’ !!

Last trip done, I'm in Oakland now, My ship the ANL Bindaree arrives this Wednesday, and we leave the same day...
Last Amtrak trip done, I’m in Oakland now. Amtrak has been great for the One Point Zero mission purpose: Thank you, Amtrak! My ship the ANL Bindaree arrives this Wednesday, and ‘we’ leave the same day… I’m really excited about going back to sea again!

More tomorrow….

Portland, The Green Party, and Fun in the Dwang…!

Thanks to Amtrak, I arrived in Portland, Oregon yesterday morning.  Just under eight hours, this was a very special train ride with much of it following the long and economically important Columbia River. With now 14 dams on the river (3 in Canada and 11 in the USA, the river is almost a series of interconnected human-made lakes now. Travelling right on the lake shore for many of the hours provided water based tranquillity that my soul seemed to soak up with a message: “We need more of this My Boy!”

Some info thanks to Wikipedia:

“The Columbia River alone possesses one-third of the United States’ hydroelectric potential. In 2012, the river and its tributaries account for 29 GW of hydroelectricity, contributing 44% of the total hydroelectric generation in the nation the Grand Coulee Dam and the Chief Joseph Dam, are also the largest in the United States and among the largest in the world.”

“The installation of dams dramatically altered the landscape and ecosystem of the river. At one time, the Columbia was one of the top salmon-producing river systems in the world. Previously active fishing sites, such as Celilo Falls in the eastern Columbia River Gorge, have exhibited a sharp decline in fishing along the Columbia in the last century, and salmon populations have been dramatically reduced. Fish ladders have been installed at some dam sites to help the fish journey to spawning waters. Chief Joseph Dam has no fish ladders and completely blocks fish migration to the upper half of the Columbia River system.”

We all know these stories, but on this Trumped by Nature, One Point Zero mission, I’m just so ever mindful of reflecting on the Path of Society, and how we can learn from our amazing Success, and become better.

Wikipedia goes on to say that because of the hydroelectric generation, power in the Columbia basin is almost the cheapest in the USA and Google, with its huge power hungry server rooms, has set up its infrastructure to take advantage of this economic benefit.  A seemingly useless fact, but quoting Mike Berners-Lee  from his mostly useful book entitled “How Bad are Bananas? The Carbon Footprint of Everything”, if ‘one’ spent a whole year browsing Google, one would create a carbon footprint of about 5 tonnes that would mean you have used 60% more than one’s ‘every human the same’ allocation for a One Point Zero planet….Scary hey, as you haven’t even eaten or gotten into your car, taken that flying holiday, etc..)!

Now I know we don’t spend ‘a whole year’ browsing but I sense most of us see browser as free, and having no downside on Nature, but there we go it’s all part of our development path, and as such we should be aware of all the impacts! To me it is not about the details, but rather being aware that us humans are so anthropocentric that we are not aware that we share the planet with others (other humans and other inhabitants) and our almost all of our actions have implications.)

The Town Hall and The Green Party!!

Well as many of you would have picked up from my last Post: The Town Hall where Jill Stein of the Green Party (and Ajamu Baraka, her 2IC), was being interviewed was not in Spokane, but CNN’s virtual Town Hall in a NYC studio!  Ha-ha, yes the laugh is on me, and I deserve it and laughed myself!   Anyway I got to watch it from the comfort of my Spokane hotel room! I have to say I am so glad I watched it all as it give me a missing piece of my USA picture since I have been here:

What a different style, and approach they are pushing:  Very much against ‘The System’, not the all to familiar Clinton / Trump robust confrontational gladiators, fighting tooth and nail, with all the personal attacks that go with, and behind other is a domination and control agenda.

Here I heard a desire to break that system and stop the culture of domination and get back to a nation for all: Rather than the current nation that serves the elite and subtly abuses all else. Not just nationally but globally!  Yes, the Green Party has such a small support base that it was almost a token CNN conference where the show host almost seemed paternal in that he didn’t want to attack her, but support her political development. I enjoyed her positioning on feminism, and what was clear is that she walks her talk on feminism and many other things she spoke about… The questions were geared at find out WHO she was rather than WHAT she was and would DO, and in that sense she came out as a great person, with a great moral and ethical persona.

I can see that the socialistic, blanket forgiveness of student loan debt is not a good way to go, but the idea of the young generation being compensated by the current / privileged generation, and the ones who have stolen the future from the younger people is a very sound idea. And yes, while she didn’t have details on how it would be funded, she did point to The System in the past finding huge amounts of funds ‘for itself’ when it needs them (eg 2008 GFC). Here now it needs to be as creative and serious in solving the younger generation ‘abuse’ as it was then, I though was very appropriate.

I am of the firm view that the baby boomers (of which I am one) have committed huge humanitarian crimes in seriously making the future for youngsters of today so less attractive than ‘we’ had it. This is serious stuff, but unfortunately it is my truth and one shared by many in ‘The Crowd’, who will not publicly admit it. I liked Ajamu Baraka, if only for his ability to Walk the Talk of The (his) Truths, and is clearly someone who lives authentically and by his truths, and has a very strong moral / ethical belief system.  The two of them together were just so authentic, sincere, and of genuine deep commitment to societal justice that in this very strength I could see the basis of no hope for their election success.

They presented a picture of an America and a leadership so different to the America of today, almost an America that is so desperately needed in American and The World today. In reflecting on this Town Hall interview it I saw what I have been struggling with since I arrived here:

The America of today is about the dog eats dog, a gladiator street fighter election process, and the elite managing a huge and highly effective system that continues the decades of domination, exploitation and abuse for their own benefit. I sense as I was part of the ‘The System’, and now having been transformed I am fervently against it, I can see so clearly its goals, mind-set and power, and how hopeless it is to be a ‘prisoner’ on the other side.  America is about winning and domination, and what hit me between the eyes over the last few days is that The Ultimate domination and abuse is in my area of interest: One Point Zero and the abuse of our Planet Earth!! (Yours, mine and all other humans’)

I was hoping that being The Green Party, there would be at least some discussion on Sustainability, Environmental issues, but no not one: The debates were about views on Hillary, Trump, and election strategy issues….. The truth is the main issue is The Tragic System!  Vote for someone who will keep the system going as best she can or vote for someone who has a personal vendetta against ‘The System’, but is just interested in settling some big personal scores, or vote for ‘nice people’ who would love to break ‘The System’ but who have no chance because they are too radically ‘nice’! A bad place to be and the Powers that be should be asking themselves how, and why, they have got the nation into such dwang!  An election should be about choosing a leader for a vision for a better future, but the focus only seems to be about which dwang and / or how do we get out of The Dwang?

Time For Dealing with the Truths and then Revolution to solve…

Since I have been in the USA now I have not heard one election debate / discussion that has involved the issue of care for the planet and America’s blatant abuse and leadership of the abuse of the planet! I can see such a great vision for a new America, one that other Nations could admire, and follow, but this is about a whole new course and one where America would need to stand back and reflect on from whence it has come, and where it is going as a result….

This needs dealing with the realities (The Truths) and not just trying to win more and more with the wrong game. The Facts are something serious is wrong, and I’m not just talking about a planet problem; there is a human soul belonging problem, that’s what the real problem is: ‘The System’ is killing the souls of Americans; I can see it so clearly! I can almost guarantee that The Elite, even with their footprint sinking, hedonistic ‘High Life’, are not living peacefully with their souls….

I sense to win an election these days one cannot be a ‘good person’, because as they say:  ‘Good people don’t win anymore!’

Is One Point Zero REALLY that Important, Howard…

The time on the train has done me good, as I realised that I had got lost in my mission, trying to be the adventure blogger, tourist blogger, and then losing sight of the Big Picture Problem….

Two days ago I sat in Spokane library for the whole day answering a question that had been building:

“Howard, are you sure this One Point Zero issue is as ‘Humanitarian serious’, and as top priority as you make out and are giving it your life priority?”

I thought back to ‘my friend in French Polynesia, who gave me all the evidence to just pack it all in and go and enjoy life!  Read here.

I’d been dealing with the low interest, and general fobbing off I have got almost everywhere, and as evidenced in the media, people not willing to ‘walk the talk’, or even ‘talk the talk’,  etc….… I realise I may need to change path a bit, but there is more to it than that…!

In answering the above question I went all over the internet on planet issues, UN, IPCC, Climate issues, etc, as I have done many times in the past, and dug deep in myself for lies: Each time the answer came back:

This One Point Six and ever increasing problem is hugely important, if not the most important humanitarian issue, as all others are linked to it in some or other way. You may say I’m blinded by my own Truths, motives and issues, but I’m a pessimistic realist: I get my optimism, passion and excitement from the adventure in solving The Truths! So ensuring I’m dealing with The Truths and not convenient lies is paramount for the Howard modus operandi!!

Blinded optimists, just carry on and on, hoping for miracles, which sometimes do come, but sadly the miracle we need today for the course we are on is an ‘impossible miracle’.

Facing The Facts (The Truths) and getting excited about a new Revolutionary Path is the path for those wanting a soulful path! Dominators know ‘The Truths’, prevent ‘The Crowd’ for seeing ‘The Truths’, and keep them in slightly uncomfortable turmoil so that they can continue exploiting for their own elitist needs. Seemingly living in ‘paradise’ this exploiter role doesn’t fit with any human soul!

I concluded it is because of The System that does not want to hear the One Point Zero truths, nor does it want anyone helping the exploited / abused see the Truths. (The Facts). The reason being is it is The System that has caused the Facts, and the people who run ‘The System’ have the most to lose if ‘we’ had to move on to a One Point Zero course!

Many of you may interpret my ‘outburst’ above as one of some source of anger within, and wonder why I put so much little impact high energy into it….  I guess many of you and others feel anger to The System, I know that because I feel and hear that every day….. I would like to think that because I don’t really belong anywhere I have quite a unique disassociated perspective to be able to get the Truths out on the table, without having to worry about what ‘The Crowd’ will do or say to me? (Yeah, I can’t lose being a voice to ‘The Crowd’, and in that way I ask any of you if you can help in ensuring that doesn’t happen, I’d really value that!! My Crowd is all of Humanity, and yes I do struggle with belonging to smaller Crowds where the Truth is a Liar about The Truths! )

Over time I hope to be valued for that perspective, one that is not anger based, because I am a victim, but one that is Truths based because I am taking a moral / ethical view.  I can tell you now, I am definitely not a victim, as I am free of ‘The System’, but what really gets me going is when I see the extent of the exploitation and abuse of others by ‘The System’.

Now this has been a long one, and in ending off I want to point to three, seemingly totally disconnected, 3rd part works that I’ll discuss next Post:

  1. Check this NYT David Brooks article: “Is our Country as Good as our Athletes are?
  1. And this London Times article: “New Zealanders and the curse of the Kiwi Knight.”
  2. Bertrand Russell’s quote: “The man (woman?) who has no tincture of philosophy. The ineffective person who just goes through life imprisoned in the prejudices derived from common sense, from habitual beliefs of his age or his nation, and from convictions which have grown up in his (her) mind without the cooperation or consent of deliberate reason.” As Russell concludes that this is a life of ‘horror’:  Living a life that is not one’s actual view of the world, is not living one’s own life, and one’s convictions are then not of one’s own, but of somebody else: ‘The Crowd’ and The System that makes The Crowd! “Horror” implies:  This is not living authentically and one’s soul will not be peaceful.

Where are ‘you’ on the 1-10 Horror scale?

Before I set out on my Journey to The Truths I would have said a 3/ 10 (where 10 is maximum Horror), but in hindsight I now see that the System had so unknowingly blinded me that I was actually close to a 8/10, Horror Boy! Sometimes we don’t know what we don’t know hey!!

We will discuss tomorrow!

Shooo this has been a heavy one hey, hope you still with me, and find it fun (Serious Fun!!!?)

 

The City of Spokane: Surprise Inspiration and Hope!

Arriving two days ago at 02h45 two days at Spokane Station I wasn’t sure what to expect other than a new city in a new State`, Washington. Well right from the Amtrak representative at the baggage claim counter I have experienced a real friendly, almost laid back culture that has been refreshing. While generalisations are fraught with danger, I sense the fact that this isn’t a huge tourist destination, and also west of the great Continental Divide, makes for a different community.

Spokane Falls: Downtown
Spokane Falls: Downtown

A city of some 210 000 people, it’s pretty spread out around the Spokane River which provides a two stage waterfall feature right downtown that forms part of a 1920 hydroelectric scheme, that has an interesting background I share with you later in this Post.

The city has an aptly called Main Market, because it is on Main Street, but for me it has also been ‘the main market’ for my meals and beverages. Actually I haven’t yet seen (and certainly having been looking for!!) the big supermarkets and that ‘consumer ratchet-er’ Costco!  So far Main Market has provided all I need.

An authentic Co-operative, which also allows non-members to shop, and has that real new community sustainability ethic. The area around Spokane is full of small farmers and the Co-op has linked its supply chain to these organic providers. (See there great Mission Statement) There is both a sit in / take out Deli section and then a traditional supermarket section. Prices are fair, the food fresh and delicious and the staff ever friendly. I know there are many of these types of operations popping up all over the world, and it will be interesting to see how the market responds as sustainability and local organic products are more and more demanded in place of the exotics and ‘footprint heavy’ food options.

Main Market even looks Organic!
Main Market even looks Organic!

Heading out from my hotel room early on Monday morning (yeah, I have weakened for the comfort of a hotel in the city!!) I came across groups of people holding up the placards below and promoting a Green Party Leader rally at the local Spokane Town hall this Wednesday. I didn’t know anything about the Green Party, and so chatted to one of the placard holders… Apparently the polls show they have 7-10% of the electorate, and as I spoke more I thought they sounded pretty much what One Point Zero USA needs! It actually hit me how America’s ‘Two party’ tradition makes it very difficult for small parties to get the voice space to make inroads. I spent some time on their website and thought to myself: “Hmmm, on what they say on their website, This Green Party seems on the surface, and with ‘my spectacles on’, a much better bet than ‘The Other Two’…Those, ‘Most’ and ‘second most’ unpopular candidates ever’!

Green Part Placard
Green Part Placard

Chatting to a few people about it later, it seems that they didn’t really know about the Green Party, or either had strong preconceptions from years back that have meant that they haven’t taken the time to see the party’s latest proposition and how it fits with the current seemingly unpalatable options. Anyway I pulled this Ecological Pillar (One of their Four Pillars) from their Policy Page on their website  and was amazed how it fitted with a One Point Zero vision. Here is what it says:

“Human societies must operate with the understanding that we are part of nature, not separate from nature. We must maintain an ecological balance and live within the ecological and resource limits of our communities and our planet. We support a sustainable society which utilizes resources in such a way that future generations will benefit and not suffer from the practices of our generation. To this end we must practice agriculture which replenishes the soil; move to an energy efficient economy; and live in ways that respect the integrity of natural systems.”

Obviously I’m in no position to make informed views but I thought in sharing this with you if you are an American may just make you stop and think about things a bit broader than you have. I can see how this Green Party would be a ‘Red Party’ to a strong Capitalist mind, but as you have I’m sure picked up: I (Howard) do believe we are at the time where there is a need for Revolutionary Change, and more of the same will continue the annihilation of the human soul!  There we go…:  From the heart of a patriotically disconnected activist who is genuinely concerned about ALL global humanity!

Out of interest I’ve now delayed my departure from Spokane to attend Jill Stein talk this Wednesday night. (17th August). As a foreigner, yet understanding who crucial this election is for the whole world, this should be a very interesting experience, and I’ll ‘report back’ the whole experience in a subsequent blog! )

Now and again I can’t help myself and have to re-live my old consumer days and stroll into an outdoor shop!! North Face have a big outlet downtown and after a lecture to myself that I WILL NOT get tempted into retail therapy, I strolled in for a look, see and maybe talk experience. They had an Mt Everest climbing suit, the real thing and I have to say I spent time at it, felt it and then felt what happened inside and thought to myself: “I wonder whether I will ever do ‘That Conquest’ before I die? That still to do before I die, brought up thoughts and strong emotional pangs of sailing to Cape Horn and Antarctica, This was the reason why I bought Allone, who is hopefully still gently bobbing around waiting for me in Nelson, NZ. I thought to myself: Man this activist journey has really beaten me up….and the ‘The Crowd’ will be ‘The Crowd’ and I’m just a little boy ‘The Crowd’ doesn’t want to hear!

There is something about the Freedom and Purity of Dealing with Nature, no politics, manipulation, lies and authenticity is rewarded. The Soul seems to really flourish! Why have we lost that basic human vibrancy?
There is something about the Freedom and Purity of Dealing with Nature, no politics, manipulation, lies and authenticity is rewarded. The Soul seems to really flourish! Why have we lost that basic human vibrancy?

Fatefully, before I moved down the wrong path, a sales person, by the name of Dane came up and asked me if I needed assistance. I said to him: “No man, not buying anything today, got too much stuff already!”  He seemed to totally understand that and then asked me if I was from Australia? Perceptive man, and it turns out he has family there and so we then started chatting freely. He moved from San Diego 7 year ago, put himself through Bio Chemistry degree, and know had two jobs, this North Face one and then his core Laboratory, Bio Chemist one.

An avid climber, the rock face type, he was going to climb El Capitan in Yosemite in a few weeks. With a more experienced buddy, they were hoping to do the difficult climb in 32 hours. We spoke about One Point Zero, and he was totally aware of the issues and the severity of the problem. When we moved to the question of what Nature is to him and whether he thinks we humans are an integral part of Nature, or disconnected and separate, or higher than Nature, the guy was so quick in his response that fits with the main motive to be One Point Zero: We are part of Nature, and should work within that restraint, but we aren’t. I saw a focused young guy, probably 25 years old, and although he clearly understood the picture he had his plan for working around society’s problem. In him I saw a younger version of me when I was 40, and realised I needed to use the system to get out of the system. He like me was at the same time enjoying the adventure that that involved, and like me he had urgency! Maybe that is still the best way forward in this world that won’t change it anthropocentric view and aim for a One Point Zero vision? I sense if I was a young person facing the chaos of today I’d do just the very same…. That made me sad, as it goes against a One Point Zero path, but then if the powers that be and Richard Branson (See his pathetic Pledge)  doesn’t really care, then it’s each for themselves, and like me Dane’s strategy is a good one for his optimal preservation…!  I actually congratulated him on his focus, beliefs, Nature orientation and as best as he can be sustainable way of life! Good one Dane!

Next stop was a coffee shop called ‘Indaba’! That is a Zulu or Xhosa (African) word that means important community meeting. I sensed it must have South African roots and walked in to meet Nate who picked up my South African accent straight away and was almost excited to have met someone through who he could live his lengthy and clearly memorable trip to South Africa. Turns out the Spokane based owner of Indaba was so taken back by South Africa that on his return he started Indaba!  Knowing the full intent of the word makes it the perfect name for a Coffee Meeting place!

Even he is worried about The Western world... A wise old Masai man just near Kilimanjaro 2007
Even he is worried about The Western world… A wise old Masai man just near Kilimanjaro 2007

Nate and I discussed the African philosophy of Ubuntu:  ‘Without Others I am Nothing’ in the context of the ever strengthening Western culture of ‘Without Me You are Nothing’ and how this election is truly bringing out the bad side of that… Not being able to help myself I said we desperately need the next level philosophy: ’Without Nature we are Nothing’, where we humans all have one highest level Goal!

So there we go, just a bit of my time in Spokane: Quite diverse and ‘multi-cultural’: In fact the most multicultural open I have had since being in the USA, and good for this ‘Stock Taking’ time of mine!

Continuing the Hydroelectric Power topic from above, I have included some really interesting facts and history about Spokane and Washington State’s amazing Renewable Power achievements in a document called ‘Humans Solving Natures Failures‘, here.

Also included are some thought provoking reflections on the role of infrastructure development projects that seem to solve ‘Nature’s Failures’……

Read it here for this some though provoking stuff!