The following letter is my final public statement summarizing what happened to me in a fully fledged cult of Social Justice, in Minneapolis-St. Paul. I worked for the 2nd largest nonprofit in Minnesota- Lutheran Social Services, in a cooperative network of youth advocacy nonprofits called StreetWorks. I emailed this to 329 contacts in my field who shared some connection to the cult network, including executive directors of core youth agencies and people who knew me from when I lived in transitional youth housing years ago. You might call it “career suicide”, but this has been a long time coming. If I don’t do it, I doubt anyone else will, so here it goes. Continue reading “To the Job That Fired Me: You’re in a Cult”
Addiction confuses the problem and solution. Yet we always get the last laugh because it won’t last forever, and when it comes to its end, we’ll wake up from the dream. We’ll see the damage done, see what is broken. The gift of truth that shows us what can’t be lost or destroyed.
I walk away from the pursuit of happiness and towards the experience of curious, wonder, groundless and always shifting. loss is liberation.
violence will become healing and art, eventually, inevitably. It’s the nature of change. It happens, and is the most likely outcome. So next time you take action violently, know that you will have no power over what it becomes in the world. It takes a long time for this transformation- so don’t be fooled as if it will be easy. On a long winding path that is unexpected, confusing, painful, deeply burning. As if the phoenix looks you in the eye and says “you and I are one of the same. When you are ready, you will become me. The fire ignites when you are ready to surrender to death with no assurance you will be reborn.” Rebirth happens after the silence.
“As human beings, not only do we seek resolution, but we also feel that we deserve resolution. However, not only do we not deserve resolution, we suffer from resolution. We don’t deserve resolution; we deserve something better than that. We deserve our birthright, which is the middle way, an open state of mind that can relax with paradox and ambiguity.”
– Pema Chödrön, When Things Fall Apart
I don’t value success or frame my goals or life around it at all. I’ve never thought much about it, but in May I had a major shift where I consciously focused on “quality of character” as an alternate to success.
Everyone you meet has likely been through some debilitating suffering and loss. Has lived at least one moment where reality stuck them to a corner with no escape. If you’re not able to be gentle and open to each individual, the way you care is to walk away and first do no harm. You should wish the best for your enemies, because their lives impact you. If they get dragged down and corrupted, they could become the villain of your story. It’s no one person’s responsibility or obligation to save others, but likewise all human beings have the basic right to their autonomy, full and complete. No individual, no matter how much they have committed atrocities or are PERCEIVED to have committed atrocities, ever deserves to be abused or their autonomy violated.
At the end of 2016 I had my first dissolution, what many people see as ego-death. After that I wrote in one go a short book called Transmutations of Deep Dark, still unpublished. The idea is, Deep Dark is the place so ugly, gross and horrifying, when you encounter it you run away before you even know you’re running. A song I wrote shortly after that, my second ever with lyrics, goes like this:
“run from fear you do, fear is the running, chasing translucent desires, anaerobic suffering… under the underneath, thunder from your heartbeat, close your eyes and you will see, the shadow will set you free… go around the world, there’s nowhere left to run”
I just got accepted to the Northstar Youth Worker Fellowship 2019-20! This is one of the most profound breakthroughs in my life, and absolutely in the last 3 years. It’s equally a miracle that I have this in the aftermath of one of the most insane destructive houses I’ve lived in, on top of my 2 new jobs in the field. The following article is relaying half of my replies to the application questions (the relevant ones). I just reread everything and put it all together in the bigger picture, realizing that the research topic I’ve chosen overall is based on the practical study and application of my universal philosophy, Intrinsic Abundance. It should become apparent as the story unfolds that this isn’t just a profound opportunity for me, but for so many more people.
It is the potential for astounding transformation and opening gateways to self-determination that even I can’t imagine.
I’m not letting anything get in the way of my unrelenting dedication to exploring this philosophy.
I know the feeling of showing up and feeling stagnant, feeling lopsided, uncomfortable, pain, being overwhelmed. I know the tension of showing up vulnerably in person after being scarred. I know that after self-isolation for not long at all, even a day or two, it can feel like absolute shit to go out in the world and be with people. To show up in the midst of the storm, off-center, confused, distracted, deprived, can feel dumb, meaningless, as if it’s just not worth it.
But I’m here to say that’s an illusion. When you show up and feel these emotions and physical disruption, it’s shaking up what’s been stagnated and becoming aware of what’s already there. In fact, self-isolating, numbing out, escaping in the same pattern, over-indulging, hedonism, that’s what actually creates this junk residue within you. Getting out in the world awakens feeling, and you actually begin the hangover- the detox. Continue reading “because your presence alone is a miracle.”
I’ve been immersed in conflict. It’s part of life, but for some people more than others. I even got trained as a conflict mediator, which was one of the biggest investments I’ve ever made, to try and deal with powerless situations, and so many of them seem to be created out of nothing. I’ve lost so much, and I can’t believe what kind of person I am coming out of this. Battle scarred, given a 2nd chance.
And with new people giving me real opportunities to lead community events on play and healing trauma. And one damn good friend working on a secret project with me that could make a radical impact on the world. An employment counseling program that saved my life, with new friends who are completely authentic and appreciate my authenticity. I’ve been shrouded and nearly suffocating in the worst horror while dragging myself up to the light of miracles I never would have imagined or believed.
This comic is absurd but unintentionally reveals the core flaw in people who reject free speech (who may not even realize they’re doing it). I’m amazed that there are so many people who reduce it to government and laws and don’t at all consider it primarily a cultural value.
The aim for free speech is to create an environment with a trustful reputation, so over time it becomes clear that any one of us will be able to speak with each other, especially about important issues, without fear of being punished, hurt or ostracized.