Saturday, September 26, 2009

THE WEIRD TASK SPECIALIST

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License. SPIRITUAL FOUNDATIONS

From my Catholic upbringing I learned that Christ preached love above all else. I also took to heart the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy. It is via these noble Works that we exercise love and become real human beings. And I thought there is much value in becoming facile at negotiating and transcending the seven deadly sins.

From my immersion in Sufism I learned the way of being heart-centered and the value of knowing oneself via meditating on the annihilation of the false self. And it is in knowing oneself that the false world begins to fall away and we can become real human beings.

From my appreciation of Buddhism I learned mindfulness, simplicity, and tolerance via peaceful acceptance.

From my appreciation of Zen I learned that learning and unlearning are together the sound of one hand clapping, the Oneness that is non-duality.

From a limited exposure to Kabbalism I learned that there exist occult dimensions accessed via an interpretive esoteric grasp of letters, texts, numbers and symbols.

From my appreciation of humanity’s first religion, or Advaita-influenced ruminations, I learned how rich is the root of the soul’s yearning.

From my identification with Native American and other aboriginal peoples I learned that nature is the real world and to live harmoniously with the quotidian rhythms of the natural world is to experience Heaven on Earth.

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ALIENATION AND SEPARATION
Feeling estranged from and unsuited to almost every known career identity, secular and otherwise, I found myself adrift in the world. I resisted committing myself to much of anything because not much that I encountered seemed very “real” to me; that is, the world I had come to know had developed a problem with authenticity. At the same time I also felt a strong yearning for some indefinable connection to something greater than myself, e.g., a loving relationship with someone of the opposite sex, family, community, the deity. I longed for meaning, purpose, creative focus, whatever might foster a sense of truth, goodness, and beauty, of accomplishment, of satisfaction in doing a good day’s work. I sympathized with the underdogs of this world; I identified with those who had failed at becoming successful in normative reality via honorific titles or secure positions, and the materialistic ways in which that is usually measured. On the one hand, I felt that such failure should be worn as a badge of honor; on the other hand, to be poor, powerless, or to feel like a loser on the material level is not all that contributive to one’s sense of mental and emotional stability and self-worth. In fact, when one is an abnormative it can often get difficult to maintain a healthy modicum of confidence and self-esteem. And so, rather than wallow in the despondency side of things, my tendency is to empathize with people from all walks of life that I meet in order to try to feel what it must be like to walk around in their shoes. As a result of my own experience of doing this, I recommend it to all of the so-called disaffected, disenfranchised, and disempowered as a kind of therapeutic regimen. Empathy somehow helps to attenuate the alienation and separation that is so pervasive in modern life; via empathy the inter-relatedness to another is made palpable and the truism “We are One!” can impart a whole new meaning.

WEIRD TASK SPECIALIST
Eventually, by default, I made my own career identity and called myself a Weird Task Specialist. A Weird Task Specialist goes about his or her day doing odd jobs (weird tasks) that are not just for oneself, but include helping others with getting “stuff” done. It does not pay money, necessarily, and one should not hold any expectation of return. There is generally an ambivalence about the making of money, though there is an exception to that rule. When I have my own urgent need I may ask a favor in return. Asking another human being for help teaches us humility, a burying of one’s pride. Getting things done is satisfying enough; helping others to get things done provides a satisfaction that is shared and this makes it a wonderful reward in and of itself. Still, learning to receive graciously is as important as giving generously. When something is done for someone else, it is natural for that someone to feel obliged, to be in that person’s debt; not to be open to receive in return is really a desire to retain a certain power over that other person who has been helped. And so a kind of weird calculus is born wherein favors can be owed and repaid by favors in-kind, whether that is a service, a gift of something in barter, or money.

AN IDEA IS BORN
After years of weird tasks it finally dawned on me that I can provide much more to people from the various skill sets that I possess. Rather than simply painting a fence or running a weird errand, I am also capable of providing legal services, entertaining on the piano, writing, and so on. And yet I always had a problem characterizing myself as someone offering services for money. It seemed seedy, like prostitution. For me, the motivation should not be money, just service. Of course if it helps those benefiting to offer me money, so be it. And so I founded the Sovereign Union of the Spiritual Self as a corporation sole [1], for spiritual, charitable, and educational purposes: spiritual energy is formed in the grace generated at the encounter between oneself and others; the work is charitable and donations are certainly accepted but never expected (though sometimes requested); and the education is in the example one gives to others via the kind and giving manner in which the weird tasks are freely rendered.

By using the corporation sole structure I mean to give perpetual life to the idea and the enterprise that supports it; it does so by being as free as possible from entanglements with the machinations of government and the demands of its bureaucratic institutions. This is what a corporation sole is, a kind of semi-autonomous entity. It is not exempted from the tax code, as is a non-profit or 501(c)(3), it is an exception to that code that is based on the free exercise of religion clause of the United States Constitution. In a democratic society, the People are sovereign and the government is servile to them. The individual person carries within him or herself the spiritual essence of liberty; the union of these many spiritual selves is a greater, spiritual self. The sovereignty of the individual self, when multiplied many times over, becomes the oversoul of liberty in a sacred trust with all life on the Planet. Just as Spirit is a pure love that is life-giving, the Sovereign Union of the Spiritual Self sustains itself through the practices of selflessness, self-reliance, and the sharing of service and resources that it seeks to cultivate in its work.

Being a friend, being honest and helpful, thoughtful and caring – these are qualities most cherished and worth cultivating. Those who participate in the Sovereign Union of the Spiritual Self are adopting a way of life, a way of doing that is, at the same time, a way of being that honors our common humanity. It is hoped that this enterprise shall contribute to the general welfare of the People and the Planet. Even if it does so by small deeds, the shared joy it brings to those otherwise unsuccessful makes successes out of all who are touched by it.

MONEY AND BANKING
Ideally, the use of money (dollars) should be minimized. Why? Money is not controlled by We the People, but by corporatized private banks (viz., “banksters”) that control the government via their own financial and monetary policies [2]. Control the money and you control the People, their possessions, and their institutions. Over-dependence on money implies over-dependence on others who are NOT interested in the welfare of People and the Planet, but only in profits. Thus, human or social capital is to be preferred. Picture an Amish barn-raising, or a surprise makeover of someone’s home, or baskets of food brought to a family in mourning. On the other hand, money is not “evil” in and of itself. So long as there is a connection to the status quo system there will be a connection to and a place for the use of money. And so when offered, money is accepted and deposited into a bank account set up to receive it as earnings of the Sovereign Union of the Spiritual Self, a corporation sole. Perhaps one day the bank in which the deposits are made will be owned by the folks participating in the Sovereign Union of the Spiritual Self who have formed their own credit union-style cooperative.

FUTURE VISION
Being of service to one another can be viewed as a training ground wherein like-minded souls learn to support one another for the purpose of realizing a common vision. That vision is one of entire communities freed from the yoke of debt and the need to participate in an economic system that is inhospitable to the integrity of People and the Planet. That vision includes the founding of multiple, off-the-grid Eco-community Land Trusts ("Ecolts") worldwide, using as models the Global Eco-Village Movement [3] and the Global Eco-Village Network [4], but more particularly Anastasia’s vision [5] of returning the Planet to its natural state of bountiful gardens inhabited by real human beings living free from dominion by any and all overlords. For more information on Ecolts, see, Eco-Community Land Trusts holding title as Corporations Sole: Organizing the Global Ecovillage Movement into a Network of Semi-Autonomous Zones (the post below), bits of which are extracted below:

Eco-communities are examples of sustainable society in which members take responsibility, research, plan, organize, manage, evaluate, and govern well, while promoting the following:

- Much simpler, non-affluent living standards

- Small, highly self-sufficient local economies, mostly using local resources to produce and meet local needs with little trade between regions, let alone between nations

- Highly participatory and co-operative systems

- Alternative technologies that minimize resource and environmental impacts

- A totally different economy, one that is not driven by profit or market forces, in which there is no growth, and in which much of the economic activity does not involve money [6]

A newly suggestive cartographic representation of the contemporary global order, Eco-community Land Trusts ("Ecolts"), especially ones titled as corporations sole, can be a particular affront to state sovereign hosts, as they largely are, in and of themselves, discrete economic and lego-political entities that enjoy their own de facto internal sovereignty of extraterritoriality. A more uniform, internationally validated protocol concerning ecovillage legal structures would likely strengthen horizontal integration, intensify a sense of decentralized unity founded upon common purpose, and foster stewardship of the planet as a garden rich in democratic simplicity, justice, peace, and contentment.
HOW CAN YOU HELP?
The most direct way to help is by taking action to start a self-sustaining community. What are your current skill sets? Do you know any like-minded souls? Good pioneering opportunities? I think what you come to realize is the enormity of taking that step (which is not to say that it can't be done, as anything is possible with enough gumption!).

What I conclude is that by following the path of the weird task specialist, by openly making oneself "available" to others, a corps of like-minded souls begins to gather naturally, almost unintentionally. The result just might be an "unintentional community."

A weird tasker thinks of others much of the time, takes action, follows through on his or her word – in short, does not forget. With materialism and self-absorption ruling the day, the modern tendency is "me first." This is symptomatic of false consciousness: an enthroning of the ego-self, which is not so much a character defect as it is a trap set by our conditioning.

Let me reverse the question and ask what I can do for you? The only difference between us is that I have set up a special enterprise with a bank account for the purpose of dedicating ourselves to the proposition that by loving and helping one another, and with enough gumption, anything’s possible. Articulating an alternative structure to the status quo system IS a beginning. I think what you find is that helping others helps you a lot, until, finally the conclusion makes itself obvious => there are no "others" as such, at least there need not be.

Doing something together (a weird task) has a way of drawing the attention away from one another, or from one’s distractions, onto the "doing"; "being" has a way of manifesting via the doing.

What is expressed in this document is meant to help all of us in our aspirations to be real human beings, to regain our true selves, our humanity and our authenticity.

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[1] See, Cases on the Corporation Sole (n.d.). Retrieved on September 26, 2009, from http://www.trioid.com/PDFs/Cases_on_the_corporation_sole.pdf

[2] See, e.g., Greider, W. (1989) Secrets of the temple: How the Federal Reserve runs the country. Simon & Schuster: New York; See also, Fitts, Catherine Austin. (February 2, 2009). Financial Coup d’Etat, Retrieved on September 26, 2009, from http://solari.com/blog/?p=2058

[3] Mare, E.C. (2000). A concise history of the global ecovillage movement. Retrieved on September 26, 2009, from http://www.villagedesign.org/vdi_writings/Concise%20History%20Ecovillage.doc

[4] Global Ecovillage Network. (n.d.). Retrieved on September 26, 2009, from http://gen.ecovillage.org/regions/index.html ; Gaia Trust.(n.d.). Retrieved on September 26, 2009, from http://www.gaia.org/gaia

[5] Megre, V. (2008). Ringing Cedars Series (9 Volumes). Ringing Cedars Press: Paia, HI; See, http://www.ringingcedars.com/

[6] Trainer, T. (July 2000). Where are we, where do we want to be, how do we get there? Democracy & Nature, Vol. 6, No. 2

© 2009 by J.D. Suss (a/k/a Bro. Jack, O4B)

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