Sunday, 4 April 2010

The Buddha said everything changes. I say fine, let's change everything.

I am now the proud owner of a full-body arctic camouflage suit.

I have decided to go with my gut. My gut is having visions. Last night's vision was me dressed as a soldier, standing in a forest for the photo shoot for my new album 'In Defence of the Wild'. Today I went shopping for an outfit.

As some of you will know, my first album came out on a UK-based indie label and had a few thousand pounds thrown at it. This second album will be supported by a couple of labels (one in the UK and one in Canada) but it will basically be self-funded. The upside of this is I can do what I like, promotion-wise.

So today I found myself standing in a shop in downtown Vancouver trying on army gear, while several young ladies from Mexico gave me fashion tips.

I am, in fact, a pacifist. A love soldier (the ladies in the shop found this amusing - I said it in order to justify my wearing multi-coloured sneakers with my arctic camouflage suit - a fashion no no, apparently).

But just because I don't believe in violence, doesn't mean I don't believe in conflict.

The current political and economic system is doing massive violence to this planet. For the benefit of all humans, particularly the children and the poor of the world, as well as the other species with whom we share the planet, we must say no.

We must get into active conflict with people who care only for their personal and immediate gain and we must force another way, non-violently, but effectively. I do not like to use force at all, but time is running out, and they will not listen to reason.

I am not talking about hatred for those in power. We must act out of love and compassion for all beings, including power-hungry, wealth-obsessed lunatics (sorry, that last bit just slipped out).

We must recognise the power we have as citizens and as consumers.

We can all make a contribution. My way is to sing, dress up as a soldier, and stand in a forest having my photo taken. And blog. And gig. And generally be in dialogue with as many people as possible on these important issues. And to come up with other solutions for living. And to live those solutions.

Right now, for example, I live in a cohousing community that recycles over 90% of its waste, uses greywater for the toilets, makes decisions by consensus, and is a multi-generational, multi-family 'village within a city' that is totally cool and I think is a good model for city living. Not only that, it's fun! (And it works - it's been going for over 10 years and there are plenty of others like it).

My cunning plan is to live in such a way that the current economic system is undermined (reduce, reuse, recycle, and practice mutual generosity with your friends).

By making active choices about the way we live, we can make a government that does not care enough about this planet and its people quake in its communal boots, as it is made irrelevant by an electorate who increasingly take charge of their own lives, and joint-govern their own communities by participating in making the decisions that affect their lives.

Democracy is not just putting an X in a box once every few years. The Buddha said everything changes. I say fine, let's change everything.

<a href="">Consumers of the World, Unite! by Padma</a>

No comments: