Who says green/spiritual/progressive ideas aren’t represented in the mainstream?
When we complain that green/spiritual/progressive ideas are not represented in the mainstream, let me tell you about the Jonathan Ross show on Saturday night (and you can’t get any more mainstream than that – it’s the epicentre of mainstream).
Before I get stuck in, let me just say that I’m not putting forward any opinions about the people involved – just the ideas that they’re talking about. With that in mind, here’s what happened.
His first guest was David Attenborough, who said:
‘We’re capable of behaving better that we’re doing at the moment. We aren’t fully aware of the consequences of what we’re doing. We have the power to make things better for everything else on earth – and we’re the only species that can do that. We have the potential to make things much better, but at the moment we’re making it much worse. It’s time we wised-up’
Time we got wiser, understood the consequences of what we’re doing, and fulfilled our potential to make everything much better. Genius. Perhaps the most respected person in Britain – I think we should listen to him. But how do we behave better? What do we do, David? I try not to hurt anybody, I try to learn as much as I can about the world, and I try to do the right things. What else can I do? How do we wise up if the people in charge are egotistical and materialistic?
Eddie Izzard was up next. He said, amongst other things:
‘We’re all the same people. It’s all of our genetics’
Of course. We’re all in this together – let’s unite. But how?
Russell Brand was on next – he said that we might want to:
‘blend with the infinite divinity that encompasses all phenomena’, and ‘all desire is the inappropriate substitute for union, for togetherness. We want to connect, and sometimes the easiest way to do that is through the old pink winky-bridge (he was a sex addict, if you don’t know who he is), although there are more divine ways to do it which should be investigated’.
Spot on or what? On mainstream Saturday-night telly!
He also asked the question:
‘how can we escape our primal natures?’
That’s a difficult one. How do we get there from here? David Attenborough said we should wise up – but I’d like to suggest that Russell’s suggestions might be beyond most of us. If some of you work out how to do it, maybe you should come back and help everybody else – be a boddhisattva rather than a Buddha. Nirvana can wait – we need all the boddhisatvas we can get at the moment. But help them how? I don’t think enough of us are capable of taking the spiritual route yet. Most people are hooked into egotism and materialism – the opposite direction to the spiritual. There needs to be intermediate action at the political level, to clear away the rubble, make sure that bankers can’t get their hands on power, and get better people steering our ship.
My point is that we should be talking about political change, and by that I don’t mean:
voting for, working for or forming political parties – the party-political system is corporate-owned
revolution – lots of people die and we still end up with the wrong people in power
anything that’s been tried up to now – because nothing’s changing, is it? as David Attenborough says, we’re making things much worse
It’s about finding a different way of choosing our leaders. And we do need leaders to steer us from here to there. we’ve been going in the wrong direction and we need to turn the ship round. Maybe at some point in the future we won’t need leaders – when we’re safe. But we’re not safe at the moment – the threat of nuclear war, resource wipe-out and/or ecological collapse, is too great to do without leaders. We just need better ones – ones that will help us ‘wise up’ in David Attenborough’s words. Wise leaders. It’s clear (isn’t it?!) that our current economic and political leaders are not the wisest amongst us, by any stretch of the imagination.
Can’t we just acknowledge that focusing on finding a new way of choosing our leaders, might be a good starting point? Start running degrees and research programmes on it? Start thinking about it, blogging about it, reading about it, meeting, talking about it? It wouldn’t take a very large percentage of us to start talking about it to get something rolling.
But let’s disavow ourselves of this belief that our ideas are marginal. People are ready. The fact that we’re heading in the wrong direction is becoming common sense in the same way that realising that women should have the vote became common sense. Let’s start talking. Let’s hear ideas and debate them. Let’s get the people at Davos out of positions of power, before it’s too late.
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