Reminder: Deadline TOMORROW For Lies That Build Empire
Above, the Overpass Light Brigade engages in some Right Speech over a Wisconsin freeway. Reminder: Turn in your spiritual submissions for The Lies That Build Empire by the end of the day Tomorrow! Email them to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you!
The Lies That Build Empire
Observation shows us how lies cause suffering in our own lives. And some of the lies we encounter are those entrenched in systems, power structures, laws, norms, and language.
If you work hard enough, you can be somebody.
The poor deserve their fate.
Prisons, wars, and bank bailouts make civilians safer.
Good immigrants follow the rules and wait in line for citizenship.
Strong people don’t cry.
There are only two genders, men and women, and love between them yields national prosperity.
How do system-level lies affect us, personally and spiritually? Who benefits materially from these lies? Who benefits from denying that systemic lies or fictions help perpetuate real material differences? (Example: declaring “We are all one” does not magically create racial equality.) How do these lies buttress and lubricate the consolidating of resources, money, & power into the hands of a few? What makes them seductive — why might we want to believe in them? And if we interrupt these lies — in our own minds and collectively — is this enough to interrupt the crushing grip of global empire?
If you are a spiritual and political seeker looking to contribute toward liberation, we would love to hear from you. Send your Buddhist, Buddhist-friendly, or spiritual-activist media — art, essays, films, poems: you name it — to email@example.com by January 15th, to be featured on Turning Wheel in February 2013. Selected works will also go into the PDF curriculum for The System Stinks, distributed to Buddhist Peace Fellowship members and study groups internationally.
We’re especially excited for media reflecting on
- action & organizing
- personal stories
- practices we can try at home
We also have a soft spot for media that demonstrates some of the creator’s vulnerability and courage, including a willingness to be surprised, and wrestle authentically with strong counter-arguments or uncomfortable contradictions. We’ve all got ‘em. The question is whether and how we learn from them.
Thank you for sharing your practice! Metta and solidarity,