Friday, January 4, 2013

There are enough brilliant people on this earth to do everything that needs to be done

"There are enough brilliant people on this earth to do everything that needs to be done".

Hello everyone,

I hope you are well.

I've just listened to Peter Sellars' lecture, Social Practice, for the Edible Education course.

His wide-ranging talk answers the question of why an artist and theatre person should come and lecture on food and food systems, and I recommend listening to his entire talk.

He offers some light, to contrast with the darkness and depressing things that will be explored in the series (and he gives examples of some serious issues).  He assures those in the class or listening to the tape that through sharing what we do, and by being mindful of the sentience of ... well, everything ... that we have power.  We can act in ways that are apart from the belittling, industrial system that has developed, and that he says is collapsing like a defeated dragon (slowly and with a lot of noise and display).

Sellars points out that we are here now to prepare for what comes next.  We have an opportunity to be ready, and an obligation to others to do what we can (because we are all connected).

I appreciate his bravery in using the word "evil" to describe the behaviours of big corporations ... and his assertion that evil is not sustainable.  Evil always fails.

He states that food justice is important because food is mind and that every child has a right to healthy, organic food; it is not an option.

With conviction and enthusiasm his talk combines spiritual philosophy from several traditions with practicality, something I've been trying to do for a long time ... not always successfully, clearly or without the trying adding its own stress.  I appreciate his reassurance to start small, and with other people. 

He mentions the 4 imeasurables of Buddhism: love, compassion, right effort and courage.

He reminds that "democracy" is not static.

He notes that Indigenous peoples recognize that everything is alive: human, animal, plants, water, rock.

He quotes from the Indian Upanishads (and I may be mixing its text with his own words):

...  the finest quality of the food we swallow rises up as mind.
The finest quality of the water that we swallow rises up as life itself.
The finest quality of the light we swallow rises up as speeech.
We are beings of light.
The more light you take in the more powerfully and beautifully you speak.

Food and sharing food is central over cultures.  Growing food small scale is going to be essential and a saving grace on the path forward.

There's a lot in this talk.  The older you are and the more you've been to workshops that combine spirit and practical, or the more you've tried to reconcile the diverse aspects of your complicated life, the more you'll sit -head in hands - nodding.  You'll think.  And that's important.

I hope you'll listen through. It's a good start for the New Year.

Best regards, as always.

Why's Woman

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