Our culture is riven with wounds. The linguistic tapestries woven from many of our stories arise from psychological, emotional, social, and physical trauma. Ken Woodley, a man who once attended the same small, all-male college as I did went on to advocate for deep racial and social healing between Blacks and Whites in Virginia and across America. From his position as Editor of The Farmville Herald, the local newspaper in Prince Edward County where he still works, he once stated, “We are not responsible for a lot of the wounds we find, but we can be responsible for the healing.”
Healing of such magnitude begins with awareness and presence. Healing of any kind demands such presence. Awareness begins with waking up. Dreams aren’t any good unless you wake up to take action to make your dreams come true.
I remember when I first woke up.
Waking up into awareness happened to me as a child. It was the first of many over the span of my life as I dug deeper and climbed higher. One day I experienced a deep knowing. In those moments in a matter immeasurable I knew truth. I was a child in my preteen years, a boy upon the cusp of adolescence. I happened to be outside in my parents’ backyard, standing near the clothesline where Mom often hung clothes to dry on sunny days. I can’t recall what month or season it was. It felt like the more summery periods of Spring or Fall. It seemed to be either late morning or early afternoon. The year must have been sometime around 1970. Clearly this even occurred during a time of slow transition and rapid change.
From an early age I had deep interests in a variety of subjects. The concept of mystical experiences was familiar to me. I had grave doubts about the existence of God or any particular deity for that matter. If such entities did exist were there explanations other than religious ones? Deep down, however, I was aware of the reality of spirit and the spiritual realm even if I could not define, prove, or explain it.
The sun was bright, and yet I felt compelled to look up. It was the strangest sensation. With my eyes I saw only blue sky and white, puffy clouds. It was as if I heard a voice from the heavens, yet not with my own ears. I heard the voice inside my own mind, and it was also not my own conscious mind, but another. That felt clear. There was even the sensation of a message being beamed down to me. Yet it felt so soft, soft as leaves drifting to earth. The message was not as a stream of audible words, but feelings and images and pictures in my mind. These felt chaotic in intensity and energy yet absolutely clear with vision and purpose.
It scared the Hell out of me, yes, it did. It was a calling, and it was a calling so clear and certain it resonated as truth deep within me. This call terrified me. Then I just knew. I just knew. It was a vision of hope, a vision for what’s possible for Earth and for all people. I imagined what was possible if we learned to work together and cooperate. Growing numbers of people are becoming aware we humans have more in common than differences with one another.
Yes, I hoped. Yes, there was plenty of hope, and hope is often dismissed as inaction and wishful thinking. There is a deeper kind of hope, however, hope alive as an unshakeable faith not lost in fantasy yet undeterred by circumstances. My hope included a vision rooted in reason and common sense.
These sensations probed deeper into my being, opening me up as if to reach down inside me to implant images, direction, and action plans.
My experience was mystical yet on point. The messages I received seemed to call out with both purpose and yearning. To my disbelief, I felt called to be a stand and a force for peaceful and prosperous democratic world republic. Our collaborative actions on the scale required to establish planetary government for all humanity were based upon ideals of courageous love with an abundance of money and wealth generated and shared. Our species had the choice to envision, build, repair, and sustain enlightened, global democracy truly of the people, by the people, and for all the people.
Images of people from around the world coming together to create a united, planet-wide approach to resolve our age-old and worldwide challenges. Even now we still torment ourselves with war and violence, poverty and ignorance, fear and scarcity, gender tyranny, and slavery. We continue to abide environmental destruction and struggle with energy generation. Together, however, we can choose to overcome ethnic and religious discord with health, wealth, and wisdom. People would craft such new global-local architecture in a respectful manner loving and kind yet resolute and firm. At moments it felt too utopian. I was a child, remember, and naïve about much of what actions people took to accomplish great achievements.
We do not need to suffer any longer.
All these images spiraled through my mind. The message was clear. When the moment passed I felt cast into fear and confusion. What was that all about? There was no way I could accomplish such a gargantuan task. Who was I, a young farm boy from the South, in a nation seemingly on the verge of both civil war from within and world war without, to have any say or influence in the matter?
Maybe it was a message from God, a mystical experience, or a biochemical event in my brain, or delusions and hallucinations, or deception by the Devil, or a message from extraterrestrial aliens flying overhead in some starship. Or perhaps my experience arose from all of those in some combination, or none at all. Perhaps it was just a fancy daydream in flight. Yes, a dream.
I felt, too, great shame, having read enough to know about megalomania and so I tried to dismiss this call as some combination of ego and fantasy. I was just scared. Maybe I was crazy. So what? Ultimately, even if my experience could be explained away as a delusion, it was still my experience. I had choices. I could ignore it, and most likely nothing would happen. Truly nothing would happen. Or I could be inspired to take action anyway. Anyway. I had choices. I had a dream.
My experience was a mystical one. As such it left me clear, not fuzzy.
I took action. For a while I tried to organize the neighborhood kids, but it didn’t work out. We created our own constitution, an international political party, and built a revolutionary children’s army. Even local “national” parks were designated in the woods, ravines, and swamps of rural Virginia. Together we tried to overthrow what we freedom-hungry children called “Parental Dictatorship.” We considered families the last bastions of authoritarianism.
Although we were kids, our imaginations brimmed with solutions. For example, we experimented with currency based upon a common yet finite and rugged material, something real and tangible: road gravel, of all things, milled from granite. Members of our “army” and “party” struck against wage slavery and dead-end jobs on the farm yet unsure how to use the entrepreneurial spirit to liberate people. We were still dependent upon our parents for shelter, food, and utilities. From a legal and financial perspective we felt governments and businesses were against us.
Caught up in the turbulence of the 1960s and 70s we ended up fighting amongst ourselves, our parents, and against other. I made many mistakes and misinterpretations, some of which I feel greatly ashamed of. My dream seemed too grandiose. I was idealistic and naïve. Cultural conditioning toward aggression and defensiveness played out from generations trained to defend and attack and in which wars are justified and glorified. After all, we who dreamed of revolutionary change were children. We didn’t really know what the hell we were doing.
Over the years I buried my dream, dismissed it, moved on to other things in life, traveled, relocated to the Pacific Northwest, but never really forgot about my almost-mystical experience in a Virginia backyard. In my mid-40s, however, I finally got clear to my deep purpose in life.
My deep life purpose is to serve and empower human beings in their relationships. That purpose is expressed in a number of different ways. Often it is learning to be the best father I can be to my children, the best mate I can be to my life partner, and as a author, speaker, and teacher. As a writer I create art with language. As an author I feel most effective at affecting change. At times I simply bring different people together and connect them to something bigger than themselves. Sometimes it shows up as a cultural activist. Whatever human beings are in relationship with.
Through this book on democratic world government and all else that comes forth I serve to empower people in their relationships. I envision human beings galvanized to come together to design and implement the architecture of a democratic, participatory global republic with vision and courage to finally address our worldwide challenges. To do so with big-hearted love, strong spines in their backs, thick skin, open minds, and a merry laugh.
My book for global transformation is a beginning. I began writing it back in fifth and sixth grades. This manifesto of sorts evolved over the years as I worked on it off and on yet not quite sure what to do with it or how to market it to everyday folks around the planet. The manuscripts of this book were composed during my own struggles and new beginnings amid such rapid changes.
Many others have worked long and hard on these issues of world democracy, social justice, and environmental and financial responsibility. The ongoing tension between individual liberties and social responsibilities hums tight with multiple points of view. Certain thoughtful individuals and forward thinking organizations have considered the challenges of creating worldwide political and economic structures since the rise of our Ancient civilizations.
How people viewed such has certainly evolved over the centuries, but with much failure and little success. Too often it was the way of Empire striving to dominate through economic expansion and wars of conquest that won out over freedom, democracy, justice, and equality. Today, however, we have resources and technologies unavailable to our ancestors. It is high time for the rest of us to get up off our duffs. Together we must figure out what to do and how to do it.
I wonder how many other countless people whose secular accomplishments and attempts to engage in good things were sparked by mystical experiences kept private and left unspoken?
For me it all began with the call of the Divine down in the yard back of the house where Momma hung up our wet laundry to dry from the clothesline.
William Dudley Bass
Thursday 14 February 2013
Note: This essay was developed from journal entries, notes, and other writings I’ve scribbled down over the years since I was a young boy.
Copyright © 2013, 2016 by William Dudley Bass. All Rights Reserved until we Humans establish Wise Stewardship of and for our Earth and Solarian Commons. Thank you.