Inner + Anarchy = New World (Part Three: Something Old, Something New)

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This is the third installment of a blog series I’ve been doing: Inner + Anarchy = New World. The series is expounding on themes of my recent book, Inner Anarchy.

Inner anarchy is turning away from those false beliefs, mindsets, narratives and ideologies that have been passed along through our family background or programmed into our heads through religion, education, mass-media, pop-culture, government, and other societal institutions. These beliefs and mindsets rule within us, and determine how we see ourselves, others, God, the world and life itself.  They shape who we are and drive what we do. Equally important, inner anarchy is turning toward what is real in our deep feelings and what we know is true in our gut. Throughout the history of humankind there has been a witness to a higher presence, awareness, spirit or consciousness within every person. This higher awareness see and knows things as they really are and meant to be. It knows no separation, only freedom, peace, love, wholeness and harmony. This place within us has power and authority, and we typically experience it in those moments when something triggers and opens up those deep feelings of love, harmony and homecoming within us. Inner anarchy is switching sources from the stuff programmed in our heads to that higher presence and awareness within us.

I chose the words “inner” and “anarchy” to describe this. The root principle of anarchy is the absence of a ruling class. Combined with the word “inner,” the idea is for each of us to dethrone those false beliefs, mindsets, narratives and ideologies that have been ruling us from within and to instead turn to the power and authority of our inner awareness. I also chose the two terms because one implies a more inward reality, and the other rouses the sentiment of engaging the world in revolutionary ways. We need a personal revolution inside each of us first, and then this sets the stage for the passing of the old order and the birth of a new world.

In the second installment of this blog series I discussed how people typically gravitate either to the “inner” (contemplative) part, while others tend to lean more toward the “anarchy” (activist) aspect. Both are equally important, hence the title of this blog series: Inner + Anarchy = New World.

The “inner” folks run the risk of making the path mostly an individualistic and inward/personal reality, while the “anarchy” folks tend to run out the door to take on hierarchies of power without doing their own personal work. Neither of these approaches are going to work. A person must be equally aware of the significance of both – inner work and outer expression.

As a person questions and turns away from the false beliefs, mindsets, narratives and ideologies that have filled their head, they become more aware of how those beliefs and mindsets are driving and dictating the rules human have been trained to live by, and the systems and structures that perpetuate them. Once that inner revolution happens with a person they find it less tolerable to keep playing the game. A person who is serious about this begins to divest themselves from the game, and stops participating in the societal systems and structures that are part of it. Makes sense. How can someone continue to keep the rules and play a game that is based on lies and violates what we know inside is real and true?

This is what the “inner” people can learn from the “anarchy” folk. Whereas many people cannot even conceive the possibility of a society that operates without or outside those hierarchal systems, structures and institutions, anarchists see it quite clearly, and have no doubt that not only can we live “off the grid” of those systems and structures, but that it’s actually the only way for humankind to survive and thrive. Anarchist concepts such as voluntary association, mutual aid and self-organization are but a few specific and practical ways anarchists see society functioning without any ruling class or hierarchies of power. Can you imagine our society functioning without our current economic and labor models such as capitalism and corporatism? Probably not. Ask an anarchist and they will explain exactly how it could work. The anarchist mindset and sentiment is helpful because it shows and empower us to see that we can actually break our dependency on the system.

However, here’s the problem. Let’s say we divested ourselves from the current order, systems and structures that are operating upon those false beliefs, mindsets, narratives and ideologies. Let’s say we all did this and the old system and order went obsolete and faded away. What would we create in its place? Well I know this much, if whatever we construct was being generated out of the same source that created the first order, we would end up with the same mess all over again. History has proven this cycle countless times – liberators become oppressors. Why is this? Because the problem was never really the systems and structures themselves but the false beliefs, mindsets, narratives and ideologies driving them. Where are these false beliefs, mindsets, narratives and ideologies? Inside us… all of us!

The anarchy-minded people have to do their inner work – both sides of it: dethroning those false beliefs, mindsets, narratives, and ideologies programmed within them AND turning toward that higher presence and awareness within them. It’s a switch of sources. Anarchy itself can become just another ego-driven ideology that we beat people over the head with if it is being generated out of our heads. Any anarchy that is not being generated from that inner presence or awareness will eventually unravel into division, turmoil, chaos and unnecessary violence.

I’m not saying that a divestment from the old order and birthing a new world is going to be rainbows, ponies and unicorns. When tectonic plates are shifting there is instability. The old order and its mindsets and ideologies are not going to go quietly into the night. There will be conflict and confrontation. Hence, my first post in this series about what Jesus meant when he said he did not come to bring peace but a sword.

We should not think that the new world is just going to be some re-configuration of ideas that we mine out of our heads. The true source for a new world is that higher inner presence and awareness within us all. We must listen, trust, follow, speak, lift up and live what we know is real and true from that deep awareness.

We have to wed the two together: Inner + Anarchy = New World.

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