Turn off, tune out, stand in and drop out.
The anti-war movement, anti-police violence, pro civil rights activism of the 1960’s hippie era was the biggest cultural peaceful protest since Gandhi freed South Asia perhaps, or at least since they began fluoridating the water! The expression born out of this counterculture was the mostly intoxicant related idea, ‘turn on, tune in and drop out.’
Today, as activists protest police violence, corrupt wars, and the oligarchical destruction of clean air and water, the phrase and the sentiment needs an update. Being how the counterculture was corrupted by the idea that people should do drugs, let me be clear that I am not suggesting that you use any intoxicants – unless you use cannabis to protest the unjust laws and the oligarchical efforts to destroy the plant. Cannabis aside, today we need to turn off, tune out, stand in and drop out.
The dropout may be a hero but the ignorant is not. There is a big difference between the dropout as a hero and the ignorant as sheep. There is a whole world of institutionalized individuals who are like The Hopi Two-Hearted, expressing the misgivings of an institution to feed a mechanized heart and not the single truth of individuals. Take for example the woman who chastised protestors in Hong Kong, telling them that, “safety is more important than freedom.” She made this institutionalized interjection as if it had some philosophical basis, when in fact it has none. Indeed, one of the founding revolutionaries of The United States said the complete opposite.
“Those who would give up essential liberty, to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.” ~Benjamin Franklin
Now as activists who say might be challenging Monsanto/Bayer or The Government of the state we are in, it is extremely important to be courteous and respectful and to maintain your cool, for you never know who you might encounter or rather who you might trigger.
As activists, 108 holds an important lesson for us, as it represents the trinity of time: 1 for the present, 0 for the past, and 8 for the infinite future. Anything is possible. We are countering negativity with information on potential positive paths for the future.
For meditators, 108 is the simplest meditation instruction. Be 1 with the breath, let 0 thoughts coalesce and tap into the infinite, 8. When we are in the middle of an activist encounter, no matter the level of absurdity of seriousness it can be of critical help to regain calm and centered focus. The 108 meditation is possibly the very simplest way to regain the meditative mind state and certainly among the most effective as well.
Don’t forget that 108 relates to the intent behind activism, namely transmutation/change. 1 is for acceptance. It represents the singular ‘now’ moment; what is. It reminds us that we cannot change anything unless we understand and accept reality.
0 is for integration. It represents the integration of the past. It reminds us that we cannot change anything until we integrate our reality, understanding everything as it just is; where there is 0 negative and 0 positive, just the mix if you will, the integrated whole.
8 is for the transmutation. It represents the infinite undefined potential. It reminds us that we can change our reality in infinite ways, yet only after acceptance and integration of the entirety can we see and understand then act on that potential.
By understanding the power of 108 as a meditative tool for activism, we can create change from a centered and wholistic perspective.
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