The other day I went to a meeting for Frack Free Yeovil, and learned some incredibly interesting and disturbing things about the industry and what people are doing to stop it.
I was talking to a lady involved in another local anti-fracking group, who lives in Glastonbury.
I thought that being in Glastonbury would be a good place to be for anti-fracking,
as the people here must be conscious of what is going on in the world.
But she told me its actually the opposite, and people in Glastonbury are more interested in their spiritual lives and are more self-obsessed than conscious of helping the wider community.
What she said struck me so hard and fast, that I didn't stop thinking about this for 2 days.
In comes the article!
Now, on the one hand, of course, she is absolutely right: ''navel-gazing'' and self-obsessed spirituality are not going to stop Fracking happening in our local area, right now.
On the other hand, I believe she has completely failed to see the wider picture: that if everyone were practicing spirituality, we would not even be having this Fracking conversation.
If our world were truly awake, then no one would even consider it a possibility, it would not even enter people's minds to damage our earth.
I see the world today as being stretched further and further between ''good and bad''.
Much of humanity is of such a low vibration that something like Fracking (and any other environmental and human rights issue you care to mention) has somehow, unbelievably, become a reality. This can be said to be 'the bad'.
But I also see the opposite happening: more and more people are waking up to their own spirituality, their own sense of oneness with everyone and everything, and this is raising the vibration. The higher the vibration, the more ''good'' we see in the world, the less likely Fracking is to continue. Eventually these two polar vibrations will 'snap back' into balance, but it may take the destruction of more earth and life before that happens.
I see two types of people fighting the good fight.
The first are the 'activists', who are actively going out, spreading the message and getting involved, those who are active and angry and ''doing something about it''.
The second is the 'spiritualists', who believe the best way to change the world is through self-reflection, and ultimately doing what Ghandi famously said: ''being the change we wish to see in the world.''
These two groups may be at odds with each other, and misunderstand each other.
The 'activists' may see the 'spiritualists' as self-obsessed and not doing anything about what is happening here and now. But self-reflection is far from selfish, and is actually the quickest way to really feeling the oneness of humanity. It is the quickest and best way to raise the vibration of the entire planet. But should that still mean that they sit around on their asses and not get involved in helping their local area?
The 'spiritualists' may not want to get actively involved in these groups, because they know that in doing so they may be winning small skirmishes, but ultimately the 'war' is much larger, more widespread, and less easily stopped. And they may not want to get involved because these groups of people may live more in their minds and emotions, and to a sensitive spiritualist this is not an easy place to be.
So considering both these sides, which are both right in their own way,
I cannot say that one has it ''more sussed'' than the other, for ultimately both these groups are
FIGHTING THE SAME FIGHT.
So what if we combine these two aspects into one?
What if we create a group of ''spiritual activists''.
We can use spirituality in activism to help people to 'let go' of the ultimate outcome to what they are fighting. This does not mean that the goals change, or the actions they take are different, it simply means being aware of the whole picture. Being aware that whatever the outcome is, whether you 'win or lose', every small step you take towards a better future does send ripples throughout the planet. You have no idea what you have just achieved, even if you didn't achieve the outcome you hoped for.
We can use spirituality in activism by not allowing ourselves to get so consumed by the cause that the mind completely takes over and we forget to listen to our heart. By not allowing ourselves to get so angry about what you are fighting that violence enters your mind (in any form- physically, emotionally, verbally). All that does is perpetuate the low vibrations of the planet: actually adding to the problem you are trying to solve. Ghandi knew this: a spiritual man who never used anger or violence to voice his opinions, but was also actively 'doing something'.
We can use spirituality in activism by choosing not to identify with the 'victim' persona, and living life as if you are undamaged, free and NOT DEFINED BY YOUR PAST.
Consider carefully the words I just wrote, for this is exactly what Ghandi meant when he said ''be the change you wish to see''. Not ''make the change'', ''force the change'', ''fight for the change'', but BE IT. Chose not to be angry, be a victim, be damaged by the past, and this will become reality.
We can use ACTIVISM IN SPIRITUALITY by accepting what is, in every moment.
'Accepting' is not the same as 'ignoring'. You can care about a certain issue and cause, you can take action to stop it, you can do all the things activists do and use that as a spiritual practice. Feel yourself in all moments: notice when you get angry, when your mind is over-active, when you are run by your ego. Let it all be, accept it, and then let it go.
Truly 'accepting what is' can have profound effects on spiritual growth, and if it is something you are so passionate about, then see that as your next step to an enlightening moment.
Feel the peace that is underneath even the most horrific of events or issues.
I believe that we can use a lot more spiritually enlightened people in activism.
Those who know the ultimate truth of the planet and all that is on it, those who can calm and inspire people around them, those who act with their heart and soul
rather than with mind and negative emotion.
So let's change that paradigm of spiritualists being selfish and uncaring about the world,
for that simply isn't true. You can still stand up for what you believe in, fight the good fight, and be at peace at the same time.
Ghandi did it. So can you.