New System: Reflection on Election Day 2021

“I’m so tired of politics at this point. I would rather build a new system than be a part of these systems.”


Today is election day in the United States. I have not yet voted. Nor do I know if I will vote. I have a privilege, however, that I am still registered as an overseas voter. My official residency is overseas and Colorado allows online voting for overseas voters. I have such an ability, but do I have such a feeling that my vote will move my community in a desirable direction?


This present system of politics cannot understand me. I do not fit. Nomads do not comply with present traditional political systems, especially international nomads.


I ran into this challenge last week when I was writing besides a tranquil creek in the woods behind my grandparents’ house. The police were called on me. This is understandable through the lens of our current political system. The woods are in a gated, golf course community and I am very much an outlier to the common human expression of the people who live here, so they think. Based on my appearance of limited clothing - no footwear, Patagonia baggies, a towel, pen and notebook – and my habitual behavior of strolling down the nature path between the golf course and the Schuylkill River, I certainly appear strange.


These people cannot tell that I graduated from the Hill School, the prestigious prep school upriver whom some wish to someday send their kids. Nor can they tell I graduated from Franklin and Marshall College with honors and awards in chemistry. They cannot tell I was a collegiate athlete, a member of student government, and a multifaceted leader on campus. They cannot tell that I dedicated the past three years living abroad learning deep lessons I intend to carry forward in healing our human nature.


They cannot tell that I have a Master's in sustainability science and environmental engineering. That I redesigned and taught a Master's level course to an international audience where I was one of the youngest in the room before I graduated. That I was adopted into a rural Finnish community along the Russian border, nor that I was adopted into a ski village in Swedish Lapland along the Norwegian boarder, nor that I was accepted into a ski community in Finnish Lapland well above the Arctic Circle. They cannot tell that I was asked by a political party to run for local municipal office in a foreign country.


If they could have told any of this from my appearance, I would have been invited to their back porch for a beer or a coffee. I would have been asked to share my story with their kids, with their parents. I would have been offered a plane ticket and equipment to teach their family how to ski. Or a job teaching and researching at the university they are a dean of.


I would have been offered some form of gift to inspire and profit from my continued work for the betterment of whatever, as I have been by many who feel my energy. I would have not had a community-wide police profile labeling me as a disturbed individual. I would not have been pulled from nature as I was writing of my full moon dreams, of my deeply felt visions, of my previous days learned insights or of my goals for my time visiting home in the United States to spend an afternoon in a police precinct.


But this system of human cultural expression of the United States, of western powers, of Christendom is missing something. Maybe it is missing many things. I can’t say I know what these are that are missing, there are too many for a singular mind to comprehend. But I can feel. And I know I am not the only one that can feel.


I am not the only one that feels exhaustion. I am so tired. So tired of this illusion of choice in our present political system. This constant bleeding of energy through militarism and wars. This leaching of fanatical financial subsidy given to Big Ag, Big Oil, Big Pharma, Big Finance. The draining of human connection to fellow people, the dissolving of human connection to lifeways of place-based ecological systems – these symptoms of authoritarian restraint.


And I know I am not the only one that feels such a hope in an expansion of new systems. I am not alone in feeling intangible multi-dimensional sensations – that of individual egos carved of present systems dissolving into a conscious collective. I have bonded with many humans over this shared hope, this deep inspiration, this sensational feeling. But such bonds of grassroots comradery need to tap into the magnitude of energy of our organized systems of power for us to realize our collective liberation. But in this is a challenge, we must avoid our intentions being compromised by the inertia of present systems. We must not channel our energy into this inertia, rather we must allow the ingenuity of our present dimensional expressions to complement our expressions in other dimensions.


This is where the power of idea is beyond words, where one reading this seeking, a logical argument will be lost, unable to understand. This inaccessibility to understating is where gated suburbia calls the police, sanctioned violence of the state, because an unfamiliar man is seen entering and exiting the woods.

They have not yet given themselves a moment to step out of their car, off the paved path into the call of their expansive nature. They have not yet allowed their being to be enveloped in sensory immersion of multi-dimensional energetic creation of their local ecological system. Not yet taking a step beyond an insulated view of the forest - the soughing of the leaves and singing of birds muffled by AirPods, the scent of forested breeze filtered by cologne, the texture and moisture of dirt, leaves, sticks and stones padded by plastic.


If one settles into the cool, clear spring water, breathing through the chilled anxiety of their ankles, their knees, their waist dissolving to the waters call. Not quite numb, too aware to be numb. To trust the expansion of this immersion is a greater relief than the perception of logical discomfort.


Breathe in and wade one vertebrae deeper. Breathe out. In a moment the whole spine is surrounded, aware of faint tickling of some exchange with the solution. Breath still flowing. Deeper into the body. The breath of nature touching every cell, each that is restrained from pain, each overexcited from temptation. The sounds and sights of their immersion, the water falling, wind blowing the speckled green canopy, birds singing and squirls scampering merge into a something, or a nothing.


The single moment of perfect clarity. Just as quick as it came its gone. But that sense. Some expansion. Some understanding. Sensory immersion of multi-dimensional energetic creation. Or something. That is why that man walked into the woods without shoes, yielding only a pen and a notebook, to somehow write this energy of a new system


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