Pivoting to the Endgame

Roger Hallam (Extinction Rebellion) interviewed by Neta Ahituv (Ha'aretz/Israel)

Through the eyes of What Really Is:

The first thing that grabs my attention in this article is the question of disorder. It surprised me to find out that there is an academic degree program called Civil Disobedience. It suggests the profoundness of the question : what is disorder?

What gives order its validity? Is it not the consent of the majority? And if so – when there is a movement that expresses a different voice – how can it make its voice heard other than disobedience?

At the same time, can any voice that thinks differently from the existing status quo strive for change? Can we as a society function when everything is constantly fluctuating?

If we do not look at disobedience as a moral question, of right and wrong, but listen to it as a movement – This sharpness of expression reveals a real, sincere, and pleading concern to divert our attention from the habitual routine, based on a premise that is driven by the world of fear (illusional needs and the strategies to obtain or preserve them) that produces oppression and silencing. The message that Hallam, and many others, express in a loud cry, is that we have brought ourselves to the brink of self-extinction.

It is therefore exciting and interesting that the court hearing on the issue of vandalism at the university ruled that the victim was innocent, since in their view the message justifies the act, because in fact the ruling recognizes that if the victim had the opportunity to speak directly and simply, there would have not been a need for the act to be done. 

The question of choice –

 “And I think with all due respect, you are ignorant of the history of the social sciences. Structural change cannot be brought about by creating awareness. Awareness is not the decisive factor that brings about social change. A real disruption of order is the decisive factor” (Hallam).

If I disagree with something, the only choice I have is to fight it?

The mind will say yes. It’s either or. black or white.

If I do nothing, it’s like I’m cooperating with the unwanted. (so Hallam attacks the journalist, saying that if the press does not break laws and comes out openly and defiantly against the situation – it’s as if they are cooperating).  Assuming that only what is discovered is “real.”  Only struggle, disruption of order, is effective and has the power to change.

That’s true to some extent, but, and here’s a big but, it’s within the rules of the game of the world of fear.

According to the mind, NO + NO = YES.  That is, if there is something bad or unwanted, I must oppose it.  And that will bring what I do want.  Although this equation is very, very compelling, so compelling, that no matter how many times it has failed us, we come back to it, it is simply not true. My opposition to the thing I do not want, strengthens it, fixes it, and does not give it a real channel for change.

In the book “What Really Is”, violence is described:

“Violence denies that I am fighting against an illusion that I myself have created with my own thoughts. That I am fighting against a story I believe in; a story that, because of my belief in it, will never go away”.

Albert Einstein is quoted as saying, “No problem can be solved with the same way of thinking that created it.” To allow for change to happen, I must go down to the erroneous roots that created it, and that, Hallam does not do.  This leads me to his claim that “structural change cannot be effected by creating awareness. Awareness is not the decisive factor in bringing about social change”.

This is a very narrow look at what awareness is. If awareness is simply provoking a flow information, bringing attention, then yes, he is right. But there is a much, much broader awareness, that’s required, which exposes the erroneous assumptions of thinking, which created the problem or the discrimination or the damage in the first place. And this, not only can bring about change, but any change, whether intentional or not, happens through it.

Then, if we continue to look at Hallam’s observation, and get down to the root, he formulates really nicely the request for change, that it’s time has come. 

There is one thing, which is nature, and that includes us. It includes our bodies, our local environment and the system of the whole world.  And at each of these levels, we are completely integrated into the environment…  I say these things because two plus two equals four. If we emit carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, we will kill humanity. period” (Hallam).

If we listen to his message from what’s time has come, it seems that this fiery message in his heart, is the true request of humanity to awaken from the illusion of our separation from nature and our separation from our true nature, which is one with everything. It is surely one with our planet, which unequivocally and painfully reflects to us – that we have moved away, that we have become confused, that we have forgotten the beauty of life.  It shows how much we live from the equations of survival, of control, of survival of the fittest, and we exploit, to the point of utter destruction, what gives us life. We are biological beings that are part of a fabric, a whole ecosystem, that has a delicate balance that allows life for everyone. No species can survive and certainly not thrive in isolation from the planet that gives us life. We are one with her. And she is dying, and thus, she is our reflection for ourselves, and she calls us. Are we listening?

And can we see this crisis as our broad, deep and thorough call to go back to ourselves?  Can we use this crisis, this extreme point , as an invitation to question the automatic line of thought that have led us so far?  As a call for a complete spiritual awakening, that its’ time has come?

Then, it is worth noting that we use the results of what is happening in the physical world, as a calling that draws us inside, that asks us to observe, and to listen modestly:

From the book:

I relate to the results as something that is happening, something that is inviting me to see more, to understand outside the box, to walk paths and operate in manners that are new and unexpected. 

But at the same time, I make sure not to turn the results into “truth”. They clarify and create motivation, but in one minute they are right and in the next they are not. They are only a framework for relating. I will discover the most important part through motion, not through achieving results.

So while working towards results and the practicalities of achieving them, I ask myself and those around me: 

What can we see beyond the results? 

What can we understand beyond that which we have understood until today? 

What will happen if we no longer play this game? If in this situation, we are left without coordinates, without maps or landmarks, without “allowed” and “forbidden” and “need”, and instead, listen to our intuition, to the voice of the soul, of knowledge itself?” 

Transforming – What’s time has come. 

More on Extinction Rebellion form the bbc article: here

About the Author

סמדר ויסמן What Realy Is

Leave a Reply