Planet Waves | For the Faithful by Eric Francis


For The Faithful | By Eric Francis
Planet Waves Digital Media | Seattle

Seattle, Nov. 29, 2000


Readers, cousins, friends,

It's been a long millennium and a long month. I'm going to try to keep this short. But I won't try too hard.

Let's start with the presidential erection. I've been wanting to write an article called, "Why America Can't Get it Up." It could also be called, "Why I Don't Vote." As my esteemed colleague Michael Moore points out, this is the first time in history in which a person has lost both the popular vote and the electoral vote and still gets to become president. The popular vote we know about; Gore won that by like a quarter million points. Under the rules, this matters not. The electoral vote part, the allegedly REAL vote, well, if you really counted all the hanging chads, dimple chads and many thousands of people (i.e., sweet old yentas in Palm Beach) who voted for Buchanan who really meant to vote for Gore... who would never vote for a self-avowed right wing loony tune... and Florida's 25 electoral votes would have gone another way... okay we all know this... but the point is, really, that the president of the United States is not elected; he is really erected.

Despite my not insignificant achievements uncovering big disgusting scandals, my friends have often looked askance at this little theory of mine, but it's seeming to prove itself quite nicely now. There are only about a googleplex of ways to manipulate an election, and elections are manipulated all the time. I assure you from my deepest heart that there is not one election, ever, anywhere, that is not manipulated. The only way to win an election is to get in on the manipulation game. This is why we need to govern ourselves, here on the ground (and stop watching television).

I would suggest that, in a twisted way, the public interest will really be served by having George W'ya Busch be president. For two reasons. One, 'tis better to be looking in the face of unmitigated evil and knowing it is such, than to be looking in the face of someone you think is your friend, servant and ally who is really selling you out at every turn. There is something in here of the Sicilian wisdom of having your friends close and your enemies closer, but something else about not bullshitting ourselves about who the president of the United States really is. The dog-and-pony show that he is some kind of representative of the people has now completely fallen flat; Toto has seen the Wizard, and yapped once or twice.

Yet this revelation has special meaning for we who try to pay attention. The cosmic writing is all over the events of the past 12 months, from WTO/Seattle, through to the present moment. And, it feels rather obvious, far beyond. If you ask me, this one is going to the streets.

It is the turn of a century and a millennium and this is a measure of consciousness, not just of years. We are in a time of utterly astonishing astrology, of great conjunctions (which are beginnings) and eclipses and comets and discoveries; WE ARE CHANGING. IT IS TIME.

Many people are figuring out that each new manifestation of the "American Dream" is a crock of shit, a bundle of false promises, of golden chains, of high speed treadmills, of careers that lead nowhere, of drugs that don't get us high and don't heal our sadness and anger. Lies like guns that don't give us power or safety. Families that do not provide us security, relationships for which we sacrifice and sacrifice that do not provide anyone with a sense of bonding or love. I could go on and on; you could go on and on. (Dogs and cats are still really amazing, though -- have you noticed?)

We are starting to get the point where we want fulfillment, not just being tantalized, and to the next point where this is beyond denial. We're just a little confused about how to get there. I keep hearing the idea that this is so "scary" but once you've got that feeling, scary or not, it's inevitable that you wake up. You will, I bid you, rise to the occasion and lay down your layers of psychological armor, if not gleefully, then with great relief. We all want to be seen naked, held in our vulnerability, recognized for who we are, touched with love and compassion, and to take the freedom to be our real selves, and not just in locked rooms, but with other people. We want to share who we are. This is our deepest need in relationships.

I am writing this to remind you that you already know it.

It is very revealing that anyone could ever possibly be lonely on this planet with so many people around us. The loneliness means that we are not open on the inside and we are not in real communities on the outside. We are quite rusty at both, but rust is just rust. We are not damaged. We think we need to take antidepressants, anti-anxiety meds, or get stoned and drunk not because we are messed up beyond recognition but rather because we do not know so well how to express anger, passion and creativity.

This is the revolution we've all been waiting for. We don't need to tear down the system, burn our draft cards, burn our bras or sign up for any organization; we just need to get real, and get together. If you are feeling any combination of frustrated, bored, horny in that aching unfulfillable way, dissatisfied, neglected or meaningless, you will feel a lot better when you get real and get together with others who are getting real.

YES, we will need to support one another through the formidable task of dealing with our own inner darkness (guilt, shame, selfhatred, fear, selfdoubt, ugliness, fatness, inadequacy, and so on).

YES we will need to educate ourselves -- in a very real sense, we will need to become enlightened, not as some kind of spiritual luxury but as a matter of basic survival and community.

YES, we will need to go through our psychological processes and learn who we are and admit that we were lied to until we became liars, stolen from till we became thieves, or abused until we became abusers, and we will need to forgive ourselves for all of this, because in the end it's all meaningless. A lot has been said about forgiveness and most of it makes no sense. We are forgiven when we are not dragging around, ruled by or reveling in guilt and shame, that is all, nothing more, nothing less.

YES, we will need to LIVE DIFFERENTLY -- but we already know that the way we live is killing the planet and at the same time killing us even faster, since we, as people, are more delicate than a whole planet. Okay, that's really nice. Wouldn't you rather eat out of a garden than out of plastic?

YES, we will need to learn how to love people in such a way that we DO NOT OWN THEM, PRETEND TO OWN THEM, CONTROL THEM OR PRETEND TO CONTROL THEM. These are really dumb substitutes for feeling self-confident, on either end of the deal.

YES, we will need to STOP MAKING EXCUSES and figure out when we are making excuses. YES we will need to learn how to take care of ourselves and deal with our addictions.

YES, we will need to STOP BELIEVING LIES.

YES, we will need to CHANGE and just as important, allow one another to change.

AND YES, we will need to ignore all the people who think that these ideas are total bullshit, and believe me there are plenty of them, and they have a different agenda.

This is all possible. In actual fact it is the very beginning of what is possible; it is the door we must go through, sooner or later, on the way to becoming people, human people surviving out here on a little blue world off to the edge of a really huge galaxy among billions of others.

We have no idea where we came from or where we are going, but we know, be it consciously or "not," that we create our experience here in ways that are actually not so complicated, karmic or predestined. We just create our lives.

Good to be with you,

Eric Francis

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