Claire Hansen

viva la revolution

we heart Bob Marley

viva la revolutionClaire Hansen1 Comment

Rise ye mighty people, ye-ah!
There's work to be done,
So let's do it-a little by little:
Rise from your sleepless slumber! Yes, yeah! Yes, yeah!
We're more than sand on the seashore,
We're more than numbers.
All together now:
Wake up and live now, y’all!

 -Bob Marley

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We have been listening to lots of Bob Marley and the Wailers in out studio and the music is super good for relaxing into a deep slow groove and encouraging natural creativity and flow. It is also deeply subversive by throwing light onto to those who hold deeply vested interests in perpetuating war, slavery and inequality. Also, revolutionary because the message always seeks to empower us to stand up against all oppression and injustice.

Marley’s lyrics call on us to unite as one people, reminding us to all look to our collective roots in Africa. To first liberate our brothers and sisters who are oppressed by forms of racism and honour our shared roots as a universal family.

I think that for anyone the most confronting moments are when we realize that our understanding of ourselves, others and our world is often completely wrong. One of the main limitations to our understanding is simply the architecture of our neural pathways.  We have been taught to think in certain ways, paths run in the same directions over and over again,  and the unhelpful beliefs, transmitted by our society, parents and peers all operate like mental roadblocks. Embedded in our soft brain tissue are neural pathways accepting and perpetuating the inequalities of our the world. Embedded is a feeling of powerlessness to change ourselves and our society for the better. Bob Marley’s music works to undo this programming.

“enlightenment” referred to in Buddhist and Hindu teachings is a way of describing the limitless consciousness of an awakened being.  In an awakened being those neural pathways no longer control the consciousness and an enlightened person is able to perceive reality as it really is, and to perceive it without judgement.  Experiencing Bob Marley’s music is one way of moving towards an enlightened state of being.

Hazrat Inayat Khan,  the Sufi teacher and musician, brought messages of divine unity (Tawhid) to the West. He wrote that,

‘there is nothing in this world that can help one spiritually more than music. Music raises the soul of man even higher than the so-called external form of religion’.

Bob Marley’s messages of hope, spirituality and the end of slavery in all forms , set to these booty loving rhythms is one of my favourite examples of spiritually awakening music. Just press play :)

 

FIGHT CLUB (1999) - A liberation of consciousness

viva la revolutionClaire HansenComment

 

Fight Club (1999) provides a critique of our capitalist consumer society, presents us with the options of an alternative lifestyle, actual methods for disrupting capitalism, and provides some new and subversive methods of revolution. These four things alone make this movie subversive and a cause for celebration.

In these respects Fight Club is unique.  I wonder why are there so few movies that examine the human condition as a response to the society in which we exist? On a more basic level, why are there so few movies that actually provide a critique of the values of our society?

Memories stir,  Noam Chomsky’s and Ed Herman's masterpiece Manufacturing Consent suggests because our media is owned by the rich; whom have a vested interest in keeping us all pacified and lost somewhere in-between anxiety and desire; our entertainment is manufactured with the underlying intention to create feelings of dis-empowerment.

Fight Club is different, it makes us feel strong. I love Fight Club because it names up some really deep stuff like:

1.    In truth, it is the members of the working class, working poor, and the enslaved white collar drones who hold the power in society because we number 99% of the population. Those filthy rich aristocrats only rule us because we allow them too.

2.     Our desire for possessions enslaves us and prevents us from properly connecting with our authentic selves.  We are kept so busy paying off impossible loans that we all become distracted from ever critiquing the society we have created, or questioning our masters.

3:      Hitting rock bottom can be experienced as a liberation to be celebrated. This is because by hitting rock bottom we confront; and are then are released from; our fear. It is at this point we are liberated and get closer to an authentic expression of being.

4.     It is for each of us to take personal responsibility for our own level of acceptance of what we     are given to consume by society; and by this I mean all that mass produced crap like TV, magazines, packaged food and that endless flow of crappy D grade movies that pour out of Hollywood into the consciousnesses of the credulous.

It is true that the films messages have problems, and the narrative offers no role for women in the revolution which 'cans it' as a solution to capitalism, regardless, it deserves to be treasured. Without a doubt my least favourite part is the fighting; violence is so standard in contemporary in entertainment it reeks of Orwell’s 1984.  I chose to interpret Fight Club's fighting as a crude metaphor; suggesting that we are such brainwashed and robotic clones that takes physical pain to “wake us up” out of our consumer stupor.  Reconnecting with the self through physical sensation doesn't have to be quite so dramatic, for example it is the technique of Vipassana meditation.

I take my lessons with gratitude from this fascinating film but keep my eye on the prize of a kinder world.