The second Law of Spiritual Ecology according to John Michael Greer is Flow. Flow refers to energy which generally flows down hill from high concentrations to low concentrations, e.g. outwards from the Sun or inwards into a melting ice cube, but can be concentrated by blocking / diverting the flow such as in a heat pump. It relates to the Second Law of Thermodynamics.
Flow is essential to life. The energy from the Sun spews out across the universe some of it hitting the Earth. The energy heats the Earth and some of it is captured by plants which turn it into carbohydrates through photosynthesis. Plants are eaten by animals and decaying animals are fertilise plants in a dynamic flow of energy that we call life. The energy flows down hill from the Sun’s huge concentration dissipating across the universe until plants and animals start to concentrate that energy up and down the food chain. Entropy refers to the flow down hill and eventually the system will reach a state of equilibrium, e.g. life will end when there is no flow from the Sun.
Without the flow of energy there is no life.
Which is all very interesting but how does that relate to us as Green Warrior Mages? How do we use this knowledge in our work?
It all comes down to energy or power and how to change the flow . Corporations, governments and the media (CGMs) have huge amounts of concentrated power (money usually), power that they use to continually replenish and increase their power. They tend to quash dissent, such as in the case of the Heathrow 13, increasing their power over people by blocking attempt to stop them. They also act as wealth pumps, outsourcing loss making parts to pump wealth back to their centre. It is a power struggle that ordinary people cannot win in a straight fight (it isn’t a straight fight of course as the sides are not equal).
So it comes down to using different forms of power / energy in our battles that are more readily available to us. The Tao Te Ching (Chapter 8) says:
The highest goodness resembles water
Water greatly benefits myriad things without contention
It stays in places that people dislike
Therefore it is similar to the Tao
Dwelling with the right location
Feeling with great depth
Giving with great kindness
Speaking with great integrity
Governing with great administration
Handling with great capability
Moving with great timing
Because it does not contend
It is therefore beyond reproach
and in Chapter 34:
The great Tao is like a flood
It can flow to the left or to the right
The myriad things depend on it for life, but it never stops
It achieves its work, but does not take credit
It clothes and feeds myriad things, but does not rule over them
Ever desiring nothing
It can be named insignificant
Myriad things return to it but it does not rule over them
It can be named great
Even in the end, it does not regard itself as great
That is how it can achieve its greatness
This suggests a number of points to remember in our work:
- To create the flood (create a groundswell of opinion).
- Remain anonymous (do not regard yourself as great and take no credit).
- Do not rule (we are all equal).
- Go where people dislike (stand in the face of power / speak truth to power)
- Use integrity and kindness.
- Timing is essential.
Information as power: The internet has unleashed a dragon for us to use but one that can be used against us to. The organisations such as Avaaz and 38 Degrees are beginning to create the flood – work with them, help spread their campaigns. Even if a particular petition doesn’t deliver a specific outcome (i.e. the GCMs ignore it) it still chips away at the GCMs and helps other petitions have more effects.
Information played directly into an organisation or to the media can be especially powerful. Speaking truth to power can be done anonymously of course as this can be a scary thing to do. The backlash from speaking out can be harsh but a well place piece of information can be embarrassing and disruptive to organisation who are intent on delivering an agenda that hurts the planet and people.
Use information wisely, create a twitter account and use it carefully. Ask good questions in public. Be like water, flow information into uncomfortable places.
Democratic power: Power should flow upwards from the people to deal with issues that are beyond the remit of individuals yet power has corrupted much of politics and now flows downward as GCMs control politicians and messages. It is time to hold politicians to account to disrupt the flow of their power against us. Use the same techniques of information. Talk to the press and given them information that they can’t ignore.
But pick you politicians wisely. There are good people out there, e.g. Caroline Lucas the Green MP. Help the good people with information and join them on campaigns.
And stand for election too but remember not to let the ego get in the way. Do not regard yourself as great or power will corrupt you. Let the will of the people flow through you in your work. Standing for election takes power (votes) from those who are failing us but it can also take power from those on our side so pick your places to stand and people to stand against.