Thank You Headspace

 

I don’t do any more free gigs. I don’t need the ‘exposure’. In fact, more and more these days, I’m inclined to retract from society and maybe just grow apples to feed horses with. In any case, free or discounted gigs with the promise of selling lots of merchandise is not something I do anymore.

 

But… Every now and then. Not often, but occasionally, I will at my own cost, travel to another city to speak, perform or facilitate a workshop with no fee requested, if I believe in the cause or the person inviting me. And that is what I will be doing this weekend.

 

While planning and preparing the Townsville Cultural Festival, I will fly to Brisbane this Friday to offer a workshop in Warwick on Saturday afternoon, and a full-length show in the evening at the Warwick Town Hall.  The event is donation based, and all donations are going to Headspace.

 

I understand that Warwick is a long drive from Brisbane, and I know there are many things to do on a Saturday night in Brisbane. But, I also know that there are people who live in between those two places. And if you happen to find that you are free, this Saturday 1st of July, then do it. Perhaps make a day of it, maybe you’d like to attend the workshop as well or just the performance.

 

Come. Attend. Be present and show me your face. Say hello, and tell me what moves you. Whatever donations you make at the door will go directly to Headspace, and who knows, maybe hearing what I have to say might actually offer you some relief or solace. A support perhaps, as we come to terms with the end of civilisation as we knew it and this existential angst we deal with. Even if just for a short while, let us smile as if we’re not terrified.

 

It is so easy to forget that all we really want in this life is to be heard, to be acknowledged and to be of some form of service to others. That’s it really… to feel good and make people around us feel good. Am I right lads?

 

Anyways, having gone through some heavy shit in my past, having attempted to take my own life, having suffered from debilitating depression and mind shattering anxiety in the years gone by, not only do I have a few things to speak to you about, but also organisations and initiatives like Headspace are important to me.

 

Self-harm, suicide, depression, anxiety, and panic attacks are all signs that our society is not functioning correctly, we are ill, collectively not individually. We have to acknowledge that we are in a bad state. Some would say we have cancer. If we had been a horse in the Melbourne Cup, we would have been put down. Stop eating animals it’s cruel and unkind. If we were a computer we would erase and reformat the drive. Maybe nature will do that for us. I don’t know.

 

But in the meantime, we need initiatives like Headspace, and we need to look out for each other, and we need to acknowledge that as fierce and powerful as we may be, just like nature, we are all also very fragile. We should remind ourselves that we are all seeking our own resolutions and trying to befriend or behead our own demons, however you wish to deal with them.

 

Consider the thought that those people you find so easy to judge, the ones staring at intently at their iPhones on the bus or train home, are just doing their best to not burst into tears in front of others. And maybe when they get to their home and they are alone again, they burst into tears the minute they see their own face in the mirror. Just a thought.

 

So be kind to one another, be gentle, be patient and if you are willing and able to make it to Warwick this Saturday, then be present.

 

Erfan

 

 

Warwick Town Hall 6 pm Saturday 1st July

For event details please email Bronwyn Clark at  bronwyn_millicent_clark@hotmail.com or call or text her on 0421 723 200 to let her know you’re coming.

 

Blunt force trauma to the heart…

 

Without a doubt one of the most effective and powerful motivators of personal growth is heartache. Whether it be, deceit, betrayal, the abrupt ending of an intense relationship, or a sudden death. Trauma to the heart, if it does not floor you with the initial blow, can be an accelerator of growth. Regardless it will make you grow, but how you receive it in that first moment determines how much growth is initiated.

 

How you manage to hold your tongue and remain calm, how you manage to catch your breath and stay at peace, how you manage to process instantly in your brain and respond with, “I understand.” This is how you accelerate your development.

 

To take a blow to the heart and not only remain standing but to hold no resentment or feel any negative emotion towards the assailant is the most powerful form of alchemy that exists. In truth, it is the only type of transmutation that has ever meant anything, the only form of alchemy that has held any worth. All other forms of alchemy pale into insignificance when considered against the alchemy of the heart and the ability to transmute emotion. If you can receive a form of emotion, transform it and send it out again as a new form of energy, you are edging closer to mastery.

 

To receive the weight of the falling sword with arms wide open and a smile on one’s face is the most powerful stance one could ever be in. When no force can overcome you, when no action can influence you to change the nature of your energy, when peaceful acceptance is what you offer in return to any affliction you are faced with, then you have become the master of your own being.

 

So much talk of being the master of our destiny or the master of one’s universe, when so little effort and attention has been afforded the task of becoming the master of our own emotional selves. For what hope do we have of influencing the environment around us and to inspire new actions and behaviours of those around us, if full and total mastery of our own self is not first obtained.

 

If you cannot practice controlled governance of your emotional self and even your physiological reactions to hurtful words or heartbreaking truths, why set yourself the task of changing the world? Why entertain such fancies? Why imagine that you have any hope at all in becoming a leader amongst lost men, or a champion of social change if you still react and respond like a needy child or a resentful teenager.

You can say, but that’s just how I feel, or I can’t help feeling this way, or my heart is aching, or my body reacts in this way, but that’s all BS. Whether it is your physiological response to heartbreaking words or the domestic violence perp who screams, “It’s Her fault, she makes me so angry!” You know it’s all BS. How you respond to this world is only ever a choice you make, and you are the only one ever responsible for the way you conduct yourself.

That’s the difference between the instinctive animal that acts in perfect harmony with the environment that it has evolved within, and the human being who has the ability to condition its own behaviour. Consider the significance of that statement. The difference between the human being and the animal is the ability to condition the self.

The animal will learn new skills when taught, it will learn from its natural environment and develop new skills and faculties, certainly. But a dog will never teach itself to sit, nor will an elephant teach itself how to paint. Make use of this ability, make full use of this gift. If you can’t teach yourself to remain calm, or to not take offence or to not be upset by unkind words, well…

The thing is, this world doesn’t need any more opinions, bickering or hurt feelings, it’s crumbling under the weight of them, this world needs pillars.

If you still have needs that require being met by another person, their attention, their love, their acceptance or respect, then there is an imagined lack that you must first address. If you need these things and their absence causes you angst, anxiety or hurt, then you are not yet prepared to be a leader.

 

When you do not flinch, when you do not become tense, when lies, betrayal, deceit and mindless aggression cannot disturb your peaceful loving kindness, then you are the master of your own being, master of your domain, then you are worthy of an audience and truly fit to lead.

 

Do not look to others to reciprocate and replenish the love you offer them, do not expect them to understand the extent or purity of the love you offer. If you do, you will be disappointed.

 

Instead look towards the source of your being and the architect of this existence, to give you what you need to continue. Understand that energy flows from a place of higher density to lower density, as does heat, water and love. So seek your replenishment from that which is greater than you, not from your peers.

 

You cannot barter your love for the love of another, this is not how it works. Your ideas of economy and finance are flawed imaginings that are not accurate or correctly aligned with the true nature of existence. This discrepancy has caused you much discomfort. Look to nature in order to achieve a more apt financial system that serves humanity and does not destroy nature. Then consider spirituality and themes of a spiritual nature in that new paradigm.

 

Your ideas of God, love, profit, progress, spirituality and even the after-life, your understanding of the concepts of abundance, prosperity, development, progress and growth, have all been based on and stem from a fundamentally flawed economic construct that is not a true reflection of the nature of existence.

 

You cannot just impose any economic system crafted in your imagination on a world it does not suit. You cannot then argue that one is best suited for life on this planet over another, or that one suits a particular region and not another. This universe existed before your ideas of economy, so look to the workings of nature and the planet that you exist within, that you may glean some insight and then create an economic structure that serves life on this planet. Look at the functions and systems of nature, consider the innate economy that exists in the workings of nature, and try to emulate that. Understand it will take time to perfect, but it starts with gifting.

 

 

Until such time, offer your love, your generosity, your kindliness, patience and enduring compassion to all who may cross your path and do not expect to receive it back in equal measure. I tell you, your expectations have been the cause of a great deal of your grief; acknowledge that and let it go. Offer without expectation of receiving.

 

Trust that God is the witness of your existence and that what you endure is being noted. Trust that God will afford you mercy, compassion and wisdom. Trust that you will be replenished with the courage, strength and steadfastness that you require in order for you to continue on.

 

If you fail to believe or trust in, or even recognise any awareness higher than your own, then no words of mine, or any other wisdom of a lasting nature will ever serve you, for you have already severed yourself from the source of life, the source of knowledge and wisdom. To come to know and comprehend this higher awareness is the very purpose of your existence. What can be done for the ray of light that does not believe or acknowledge it has come of the sun?

 

How can you expect to become a beacon of light and a leader of the heedless if you are to react and respond in like manner? How are you to show forth trustworthiness, integrity and honour, if you cannot show resilience in the face of the derision and impertinence they offer you. Strengthen your heart, my love, that you may with ease and joy carry the burdens they heap upon you. Strengthen your mind that you may see clearly the path ahead and let your thoughts and ideas act as lights that might show the way.

 

Rely not on your fellow beings to receive you in the way you receive them. Know that you have been entrusted with a position of leadership and as such, it is expected of you to offer forth love regardless of what you receive.

 

Erfan Daliri – 5 June 2017

Hasta Siempre Comandante – The Post-Human Revolutionary Code

When asked what the most important quality was for a revolutionary to possess, Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara replied “At the risk of sounding ridiculous. A great revolutionary is guided by great feelings of Love. Love of humanity, of Justice, and Truth.”

 

Further to that, I would like to add a few words…

 

 

Code of Conduct – Article E1

 

Practice emotional hygiene, be vigilant with your inner dialogue, reinforce your internal equanimity, take pride in your mental clarity and focus energy on developing your core strength; both physical and emotional. In every moment ask yourself, “which action would I be most proud of?” And do that.

 

Eat clean, live clean, become familiar with the straight edge philosophy and embody it. Remove the need for unnecessary packaging from the food that you eat, and find nourishment that requires no packaging, it’s not that hard. Remove all unnecessary packaging from your conversations, and engage only in conversations that are straightforward, upfront and unashamedly honest. When you cannot speak your truth to someone’s face they can already tell. When you do, they can also tell.

 

There is no doubt that you must live a vegan life. If in doubt, educate yourself. The reasons fall into 4 categories; moral, environmental, health, and economic. Become familiar with the term ‘non-participation’ it’s going to come up a lot. It’ll be one of your most effective tools when navigating this phase of capitulation and restructure.

 

Non-participation will be a core theme for us because our actions can no longer be justified by their means anymore. And if all you can do is to not participate in practices that you do not believe in, then just do that. It is a more powerful position to come from than one who is frantically doing something they think is helping while supporting the systems they are fighting against.

 

Whether it is with regards to false economies, the wage slave existence, the flawed banking system, the meat and dairy industry, the drug and alcohol fueled nightlife scene, the packaging of foods, or the supporting of unethical companies that profit from selling poisons, or any number of other industries or practices that continue to prop up this system that is causing us trauma, removing ourselves and ceasing our financial and emotional support of these structures is key.

 

Practising non-participation is crucial, and it must come first and foremost before all other forms of social change activism. It is how you can begin living in integrity and with honour. It is how your words will carry more weight and travel further. It is how your ideas will become clearer and your mind will become broader. You must embody what you believe in first before further truths are brought to the surface. Living in contradiction is a heavy and painful burden.

 

Do not participate in lower level conversation, base-level emotional exchanges, and most certainly do not engage in, or even allow for back-biting and gossip to occur in your presence. This is not befitting of Novalanders. Initiate conversations of a higher nature, discuss themes from an intellectual, academic, poetic or spiritual realm.

 

Do not become gloomy and angsty by engaging in politicised arguments and dramas; the entire system is corrupt and failing, there is no need to take sides now. Rather speak of philosophies, ideals and ideas that might lead us to a new age.

 

Remain calm and always be kind, practice being infinitely patient. If you feel you are about to lose it, ask yourself, how losing your patience and composure might help you or serve your situation. I assure you, there will never be any context where losing your patience will be of benefit. Do not react to unkind words, nor respond to unconscious behaviour, lest you become drawn into ineffective and ignoble actions.

 

Be aware of your posture, your gait, your demeanour and your gaze, observe your thoughts, practice physical and mental cleanliness and be aware of the smell of your breath. Walk with conviction, speak clearly and loudly, in a courteous and polite manner. Conduct yourself in such a way that causes those who are witness to ponder whether they are in the presence of nobility. For what is being noble, then to act in such a manner?

 

Sell your car. Buy a bike. In fact, sell anything that no longer aligns with your philosophy on life. Leather shoes, woollen jumpers, ugg boots, and furs. Get rid of them and research alternatives. Someone will buy them off you. One day society will stop making them. For now, sell them off for what you can, don’t be a martyr.

 

Instead become immortal. Disengage with the trivial bs of this world or you’ll be forced to. By choice or by force, you will become detached from this world, it’s the only way you will find your way back home. Your heart will be broken, time and again, until you learn to let go of this world and everything within it.

 

The individual and the collective trauma we’re experiencing is for the purpose of awakening us and drawing us closer to our true nature; away from our animalistic past and closer to spiritually enlightened behaviour.

 

So slow down, shut up, sit quietly and breathe deep. Realise that if you still care if your shirt has a stain on it or your jacket has a hole before a meeting, then you’re still too easily distracted by trivialities.

 

So turn off the TV, put down those drinks, turn the air conditioners off, stop going to shopping malls, don’t eat animals anymore, it’s cruel and unkind. Fuck the economy, that’s how we got ourselves into this situation, don’t be blind. Don’t use your hearing selectively. Investigate a field of knowledge diligently before you speak of it. If you are an amateur, admit it openly and you might learn something.

 

Educate yourselves on the things that matter. Pick up text books, download PDFs, watch lectures and listen to audio books. No longer speak of sports, of fashion, of the trendiest new gelato place or reality tv shows; that is not conversation befitting of Novalanders. This world is literally dying, we have no time for such uselessness.

 

Be focused, stay true, be calm, remain clear-headed and keep your bodies fit and trim. Be agile both physically and mentally, you never know how you might need to defend yourself or from where an attack might come.

 

Know your first aid, study crowd control and become familiar with conflict resolution. Have a basic understanding of global politics, economics and history, but always remember this is all just an illusion. Teach yourself the basics of mathematics, physics, chemistry and yoga. Understand that everything in this universe is connected and there is no ‘other’.

 

This world needs champions. These people need exemplars. It is time for you to stand up and charge forward. Now is the time for you to stand by your intuitions, your ethics, your morals and if need be take a bullet for them. The dawn of a new day is breaking, and light will soon shine forth. Be aware that the actions you are engaged in will soon be laid bare for all to see. So act now if you wish to be on the right side of the sweeping hand that will wipe this earth clean.

 

There are too many amongst us who make claims and state audaciously that now is the time for change, but cannot bear to forego sleep, give up their souvlaki wraps or even so much as fast for a day, much less put everything on the line, risk ruin, ridicule and their own lives. But I tell you my friends, this is what is required. Weakness, sloth and cognitive dissonance have infiltrated most of the minds and bodies of the peoples of the earth. Be not one of them who has been lost to idle fancies, or those whose courage has been found wanting.

 

There are far too many disappointments in this world of ours; do not be one of them.

 

These people need lanterns of light to look towards, they need beacons of hope and emblems of resiliences. Be the halcyons this world is in need of. Be the kind of person who seeks not to point out other’s shortcomings because you are only ever focused on your own growth. Seek no one’s approval, recognition or support; if you need validation from your contemporaries you’ll become a plaything and you will lose yourself in vain thoughts.

 

We do not need those who still seek validation or those who are distracted by the fanfare of this world. Be not a child lost in the bedazzling lights and puppetry of the show. Instead, seek out the moral of the story. Understand the journey. And be brave enough to accept the hard truth.

 

This world is full of maddening ignorance, prejudice, shortsighted, self-serving fools who are lost in seeing only to their own bodily needs and desires and will be of no service or use. Accept that, move on, and continue doing the work. Do not concern yourself with their ways. Instead remain fast and firm in your moral grounding, be still in the face of tribulation, and calm in the face of heartbreak. Do not react to hatred nor retaliate to acts of aggression.

 

Be not of those who speak false words or make claims they have no intention of living up to. Understand the concepts and themes that you wish to speak about, and be certain you know the truth of the matter before you say anything. Until then it is best to refrain. Be silent and witness, while you continue to prepare and train.

 

Do not become a victim of petty bickering, impatience or a short-tempered nature. These things will do you no benefit, and are beneath your station.

 

It’s not going to be easy to be who you’ve been asked to be. It is no small feat to surpass what has been expected of human beings. You are not here to be a proponent of mediocrity, nor are you here just to fill seats.

 

You’re here to break all boundaries, exceed all expectations, and leave behind any who cling dearly to things of this world or still harbour petty fears. Those who run with you will be there all the way. And those who fall back were never going to make it anyway, so pay them no mind. Lean into life. Make yourself proud of the person you became through the hardship and the strife.

 

Understand that everything the people had once put their faith in has failed and disappointed them, they’ve been hurt, they’ve been let down. Now they need you to be an indomitable source of courage and strength who will never fade or fall back. Never fail them my fellow Novalanders, they have already been hurt too many times. They need someone to trust, someone to believe in, someone to rely on. And that is us my friends.

 

Onee Pahl Zjen

 

 

 

 

The pain we’ve caused in our Search for Meaning

The fact that a single act can have innumerable opinions attached to it means the opinion actually means nothing. The opinion is not a matter of fact, it is simply a single perspective and it does not constitute truth. So I urge you to not consider your opinions as truth, but only as fleeting, momentary expressions.

Do not place judgment, do not hold too firmly onto your beliefs. Your beliefs are fleeting, ever changing, transitory. You yourself can recognise how your own opinions on a matter have changed over the course of time. That which you placed your opinion on has not changed, and yet your opinion has. Therefore, your opinion means nothing, whether it be regarding your own self or another. It is simply a belief you carried for a certain period of time, until which point experience led you to believe something else.

And yet it seems what we believe is all we have. This is the paradox. The fact that a certain act or situation can result in an infinite number of opinions renders the opinion worthless and proves that we have not seen the reality of the matter. So if we cannot see the reality of any matter, and we never truly know something for what it is, then all we are left with is what we believe it is. But how can one say they have understood the essence of anything if an opposing or varying opinion exists? How am I to know that my belief or belief system at any point in time has any relationship with the truth if another, contradictory belief exists? It seems it is only by the superposition of beliefs that we gain any faith in them.

This is why we form communities. This is why we form cliques. This is how we fend off the uncertainty and angst; by finding others who agree with what we believe. It is not the opinion that we are most passionate about, it is not the belief or faith that we live for and die for, for we can recognise how these things change over time. It is the sense of certainty that holding onto it, while others are also holding onto it, that we yearn for. The conflict, the violence, the aggression, the wars which have been fought over belief systems actually have nothing to do with people’s conviction in that belief system. Rather, it is human beings fighting for their tenuous grip on a fragile and threatened identity. It is only in numbers that we feel safe. It is terrifying and testing to hold an opinion or belief that no one else does. But the larger the group who believe that same thing, the safer we feel, the more convinced we become of our closeness to truth. It is in fact truth that we are seeking.

We are not fighting over which direction we should face when we are praying, or what we should call this God; we are not fighting to defend whether God exists or not; we are fighting each other for our sense of sanity. It’s as if, at our core, we recognise the nothingness of it all. It is as if, deep down, we realise there is nothing here that is real. And so, we dig in, we cling to ideas and opinions and belief systems that are in themselves meaningless, but somehow gain weight by virtue of the number of people who share it. We trick ourselves into thinking that we have laid hold onto something that is real and all others are false. Like weights, like anchors, these opinions, these beliefs, hold us in place. They weigh us down, and make us feel connected to this earth, to this reality, and give us a reason to remain here.

For the nothingness that surrounds us is terrifying. And like gravity, our nationalism, our religions, our political affiliations, and the sporting teams for which we barrack, give us a sense of stability. We cling on so tight, we kill each other over them, we kill ourselves over them because we are afraid of flying. We are afraid of free fall. We are afraid of the infinite. We are afraid of God, and so we construct an infinitely smaller and limited concept in our minds, failing to recognise that we could never fathom the extent of such a thing through our thoughts, story or art.

How heart-wrenching, that we hold onto such tiny things. How heartbreaking, that the extent of our nobility terrifies us into belittling ourselves and each other. We draw lines, we draw boxes, we create boundaries and build walls, and then squeeze ourselves into them. It’s as if the infinite nature of our existence is unfathomable, and as such, we cut the infinite up into pieces so that we may come to terms with it, digest it, piece by piece. We make ourselves into drops because the ocean terrifies us. We become grains of sand because we are afraid of the desert. If only we ceased our attempts to understand everything. If only we stopped trying to make sense of it. We might have just realised the beauty of all of it.

If only we could find one thing that we all believed in. If only we could extend the walls of our belief systems further and further apart until which point we found something we all believed in with all of our heart and soul. If only we could let go of culture and creed, forget of the nation-state, look beyond religion, colour and gender. Perhaps if we were to remove ourselves from these categories, these shelters, if we could step out of these clay huts we’ve built ourselves, and we found one thing, just one thing that we all believed in, then we wouldn’t have to argue about right or wrong.

Perhaps then we wouldn’t have to kill, degrade, denigrate, abuse, in order to defend our limited beliefs and defend fragile and ever-changing identities. Is there not one thing we can all agree on? Beyond our creation stories that differ, beyond our languages that vary, beyond our opinions that are fleeting, can we not find one thing that every single being on this earth can believe in? Can we not step out of these stories that we have crafted in order to fend off the angst that we found ourselves born into?

It seems it has been our refusal to let go of these stories, these identities, that has withheld us from witnessing the truth that is. It seems these anchors of certainty that we’ve crafted in times when we did not know of others and other ways of being, are potentially withholding us from recognising an even greater identity that exists; one that encompasses all of humanity and becomes the cause of our unity and solidarity.

As these older and limited identities came into contact with others in years gone by, we felt impelled to fight and defend them because we believed them to be related to truth, and the existence of an alternative belief system caused us to question the validity of our own.

As the conflicts edged towards unbearable, as the mindlessness of the bloodshed became apparent, alliances formed, and communities became tribes, tribes became nation-states, nation-states were usurped by religious belief systems. Smaller belief systems merged and coalesced for the sake of peacefulness. Larger battles were fought between larger groups until again either one ideology was victorious, or the mindlessness became apparent and the establishment of a treaty or broader understanding brought peace to a region.

Again, it seems, we have reached a point where the mindlessness of the bloodshed is becoming ever more apparent, and the grief ever more unbearable, and as such, a greater, all-encompassing, singular belief must be found in order to bring peace to humanity.

Can we not find one thing that we all agree on, and place our faith and trust in that? Can we let go of tradition, culture, creed, and outdated belief systems and place our attention on a point of unity and solidarity that resonates with one and all? Can we agree on the exquisite beauty of a few simple truths that cut across all boundaries and borders and leave the discord creating minutia aside? I guess it depends on what we feel is more important to us, our stories of the past, our ancestors, our faded memories of someone else’s limited perspective of something they once believed in? …Or the story that we are co-creating right now. Which side of history do you want to be on

The question is, which side of history do you want to be on? The one that fought tooth and nail to uphold the past, or will you be one of those who lived, worked, and died for the evolution and betterment of humanity?

Erfan Daliri 27/5/2017

Soon this will all come to an end…

It’s been a long journey… I know. There have been times you didn’t think you’d make it, but you did. There may have been times when you wanted to end it. I know I did. Perhaps more often than I’d like to admit.
But we made it. We’re still here, and all those moments we thought might have crushed us, or killed us, all those times when it seemed like life was too painful to continue… well, we got through them…
We may or may not have learned from those experiences, but guess what, we’re still standing so we can learn next time. Just be present. Be aware of yourself and your surroundings, stay calm and you will see a little more light than the last time. It’s been a long journey, I know, and though there is much still to go, it will all be over very soon. It will all go back to nought, so despair not.
Keep your peace, hold your calm, find your feet, stay kind, remind yourself that this journey will soon come to an end and another will begin, so be kind my friends. To each other, to yourselves, to nature, be kind to animals, be respectful of the old, pay attention to children when they speak to you, regardless of whether they are yours, for they have pure wisdom to share, and this existence will soon come to an end and you will awake in a very different world. So pay attention to the details while you’re here.
Notice the pips of oranges, the scent of autumn mornings, and count the freckles on the face of your lover each morning, because one day she may be gone. Be present with this life, smile even when you are in pain, not to hide what you are feeling, but just to say, “Yes I’m bleeding in knowing that you’re leaving, but it’s ok.” Stay awake my friends, it’s been a long night, it has at times been dark and lonesome, it has been full of suffering and fear, but stay awake my friends for the enduring dawn is near.
She is softly spoken, she treads lightly with a gentle gait, so stay awake. That you may tell her of the glorious details of this world, of the scents and sensations, the friends you did make. Tell her of the joys of eating food that you grew, the taste of the rain, and how it was different to the taste of the sea…
Pay attention and appreciate the feeling of warm towels, and cold showers, notice that the sun rises from a slightly different position each day, count the dimples in the moon and the wrinkles on your mother’s face, memorise the sound of your father’s voice and the way your parents called your name, for one day this will all come to an end, and you will want to recall these things, so slow down the passing of time and pay attention my friends.
Watch steam as it rises and disappears, notice the feeling of different textures on your skin, breathe deeply as you chew your food that you may take it all in, count the grains of sugar you put in your coffee, be present with your tea, appreciate the touch of cold steel, examine your hands every now and then, consider the things that they have committed and those they accomplished, look yourself in the mirror and eye gaze for a few minutes each day, this world will one day be the faded memory of a dream, so pay attention dear friends.
Do not act in haste, do not let your hearts house hatred, do not rush through life trying to change it or fix it or make it better in any way, just sit with it, be loving and kind, be present and patient. Put headphones on and listen to classical music as you stand still in busy city streets, consider the people who walk past you without so much as a glance at your long lost friends.
Look at the food that you waste, and the packaging that you threw away, consider how you could be kinder to this earth and all its inhabitants, watch a tree being cut down and tell me it’s not painful. Listen to the sound of bleating lambs being separated from their mothers, look in the eyes of a cow being lead to slaughter, slow down for a moment and consider if it was worth it.
Slow down my dear friends, be kind to one other, I beg you be patient. There is no evil other in this world, just beings like you, who are confused, frightened and a little ashamed. I tell you, there is no judgement, no sin, it will all be ok, but while you are still here, slow down, be gentle, be kind, be patient.
And know that if I must leave this place before you, I will remember you, and I’ll be waiting.

 

Erfan Daliri 26/5/2017

Nobody cares about your feelings

You need to come to terms with this. You can remain a prisoner of your emotional self or you can decide to train and better yourself at the controlled expression of emotion. To believe that your emotional response is a valid or true judgement of any experience diminishes and detracts from your experience of life. Remind yourself that your emotional response is just your tiny and insignificant opinion. An ever-changing and transitory one as well.

 

Just because you felt a particular way in response to a certain set of words does not imply that those words were inherently kind or unkind, cruel or just, disrespectful or enlightened; this is a judgement you choose. Your decision, your response is not a valid judgement on those words or the person who spoke them. Your thoughts on that experience are an opinion, your opinion, and not a statement of fact. So stop your bickering.

 

Your feelings are responses to external stimuli. They are not an accurate gauge, true understanding or valid judgement of that external stimuli, they are simply the way you chose to respond. If unkind words, if a gesture of disrespect, if a cold, rainy, windswept campsite, or painfully slow traffic, has the ability to affect your emotional state in a negative way, that is a reflection of your inability to be the master of your own self.

 

This is not to say that one must be void of emotion at all times, to become insensitive and numb to the glorious array of experiences that life has to offer, no, much to the contrary.  What I am saying is that your ability to be the master of your emotional state will ensure that you will be able to sense, and feel, to experience and witness life at an even greater depth.

 

When sadness, anger, depression, hurt, rage, frustration and all the other refractions of fear are no longer coded into your auto-response, then and only then will you begin to witness the finer, more detailed, nuanced and exquisite beauties of life. The further you develop your ability to witness existence and not be coerced or triggered into automatic responses, the more deepened your experience of life becomes.

 

When a neo-Nazi hurls a curse and a salute your way from a passing car, when a lover speaks words that spit in the face of your expression of love, or when a colleague gives you critical feedback that does not feed your ego the way you had wished, you have a choice to be hurt or upset or disappointed, or you can choose to be a non-reactive witness of that experience. From a position of cool, calm, collectedness, you have the ability to learn from that experience.

 

You may learn more about yourself, you may learn more about the other person, about life, psychology, spirituality, you might come to understand a little more about interpersonal communication or perhaps economics or politics. If however you respond with an instantaneous and automated feeling of hurt or upset, you fail to witness anything new, you withhold yourself from the possibility of bettering yourself.

 

As you develop this ability in yourself you do not become cold or insensitive, rather you become witness to life and capable of experiencing even more intense feelings of joy, gratitude, bliss and contentment. You begin to notice the texture and flavour of a banana more intensely, you feel the sensation of a brisk cold wind with more depth and understanding, you sense the touch of your lover more intimately, and you are more likely to experience fits of laughter and bouts of giggling joy.

 

These sensations and feelings, these joyous realisations and glorious experiences of gratitude await you just beyond the gates of the prison of self. As you leave the limited experience of judgement and the negatively charged automated responses, you enter the realm of The Witness. As you train yourself further and further to love all that you see and experience, and refuse to remain trapped within the tiny body of the emotional self, you can witness reality for the absurd beauty, the glorious comedy, the intricate infinite existence of pure joy that it is.

 

You begin to realise that it was only ever your response to life that was dark and painful, it was only ever your decision to place this judgement on life that created your experience of it. And your decision was never a true reflection of the nature of existence. Rather it was a reflection that was muddied by the mirror of self. It was your own fears that had left dust on the mirror that is you, and as such projecting a dimmer and diminished version of reality; one that you yourself had cast.

 

It is The Witness who is peaceful and at peace, it is The Witness who is enlightened and understanding, it is The Witness who is kind and generous and compassionate without any thought of barter or reciprocation. It is The Witness who is patient, trustworthy and reliable. It is The Witness who is unconditionally loving and supportive. It is The Witness that one can rely on for advice, protection, guidance and true recognition. For all others are trapped behind the veil of self. It is The Witness who will accept your expressions and your aggressions, your words and your actions, without judgement and offer in return only love.

 

So become The Witness. Leave behind your limited emotional self and move towards this greater version. It is The Witness that people are in search of, and crave so deeply. It is this type of person who will bring peace to troubled minds and ease the suffering of grief-stricken hearts. It is this type of person that we seek in our relationships, friendships, as our comrades, friends and lovers.

 

So become The Witness. Become that which this world needs the most. That which you seek is seeking to become you.

 

You have the capacity to reflect the light of God, so clean your mirror, your heart, that you may become and allow others to witness the true reality of nature. Let the light of The Sun be reflected by you without dust and mud getting in the way. Your fears are affecting your experience of life, you are the only one who can change that.

 

Life is what it is, not what you think it is, so clean and clear yourselves of your fears and fear-based emotions that you may witness it for the glory that it is.

 

Erfan Daliri 26/5/2017

Lean into Life

Do not fall back, I want you to lean into life. Take a deep breath, hold firm and realise… That sometimes people just want you to fail; you have to come to terms with that. Even those closest to you. It’s a shame, but it’s true, and it’s because it will allow them to feel a little bit more at peace with their own existence.

When you take risks, and attempt the insane, the absurd, or even just the morally upright thing to do, it makes others feel uncomfortable. Putting your neck out, pointing out contradictions, or simply standing your ground on thin cracking ice, reminds others of how brave and daring they once used to be. It reminds them of how much more they could be giving, how much more they could be doing. And they would sometimes prefer it if you just stood down and went quietly into the night, perhaps walked a little more softly through life. But you will not stand down, you will not fall back; because you love them, and you want them to see in you, the best parts of themselves. So stand strong.

By giving everything you have without getting anything in return, you inspire others to question how much more they can give. They may not say it to your face, but your unflinching existence reminds them of a part of themselves they thought they had lost or forgotten. They don’t like the noticeable difference between where you choose to stand and where they choose to stand. They want you to stand closer to them.

They want to tell you where they edge is and to tell you to not get too close to it for you might fall. They say it’s ambitious, or impossible, they would like to tell you what is and is not sustainable according to their own appetite for  uncertainty or risk or effort or adventure. And if you ever resign and return to the fold, they will be there to comfort and reassure you and tell you that you made the right decision. They will support and assist you to reintegrate into the system you tried to change or escape.

So don’t do it my love. Don’t go back. You believed in what you were doing once, and you still believe it, so don’t let hardship or uncertainty deter you. If you have arrived at a new and grander understanding, then fine, move on from your belief system. But do not return to a way of life, or retreat from a goal or ambition just because it was too hard to achieve. That is how the status quo is maintained, that is how you begin to feel small and insignificant, that is the beginning of the end. It is when the flow of Qi begins to decrease to your body and finds a more alive channel to feed. That is when your passion for life will dissipate, that is when anxiety or depression sets in. I tell you, do not be afraid to go out in a blaze of flames if that’s what it takes because you never know who is watching. You cannot know who will be inspired to pick up where you left off and perhaps burn a little further than you did.

How many people still wish upon shooting stars? How much hope and joy do they offer those who are witness? Be that shooting star if you must. Burn until there is nothing left. Perhaps you may arrive at your goal before you are completely consumed. Perhaps that is the goal in itself; to be so completely enraptured by the thought of attaining your desire that you relinquish your comforts and all thoughts of personal wellbeing, simply that you may offer yourself up for something you believed in.

Better that than to have cowered away from life, to have cowered away from risk, and uncertainty and hardship, better death than to exist without a point or purpose to exist for. If we are to eventually close this chapter of our existence, would you not rather commit everything you have to something you believe? We can’t really know the answer to all the questions that plague the mind, but one thing that we can be sure about is that one day your consciousness will detach itself from this body you now have; that is unavoidable. And whether you call that death, or simply a transition to another world, what you cannot deny is that whatever is of this world will remain in this world.

Like a dream that scares you or fills you with joy as you fill your pockets with golden coins, when you awake you will be left with nothing but the feeling. The gold was always an illusion, it was just there to test you. So why busy yourself with things that are of no consequence, what does it matter if you were hungry and cold, or if people despised you because you believed in something? Because maybe you believed in them before they were ready to? Maybe you saw a better version of this world, and it took an entire lifetime to show them? What does it matter if people laugh at you behind your back? In your heart you know you still love them.

One day the hardships you have faced will be gone, and you will not remember them. The toys you play with in your dreams, the fears you run from, the situations you find yourself in, they all disappear, and all that will remain is how you feel about how you reacted. You will not be afraid of what you feared in your dream, once you wake, but you might wish you had been a little braver. You will not have your pockets full of coins when you wake, but you might be embarrassed for the way you behaved. You will not be angry at the person you were angry with in the dream, but you might be ashamed of the way you reacted. This life is much the same.

What you will take with you, if anything at all, is your reflections on how you carried yourself? Did you live a life that meant something? Did you do something that scared you? Did you do something that others were too afraid to try? Did you do something that made others ask question and rise into better version of themselves? Did you stand firm in the face of your fears or did you hide? These are the questions that you will have to answer for yourself when you leave this place behind.

So do not cower away from life my friend, stand firm and remain steadfast, hold your ground, brace yourself, and lean into life. Holler with the full force of your lungs and let that roar turn into laughter as you realise there was never anything holding you back but your own hesitations.

Speak up. Be loud and clear and address all those who try to deter you. Shower them only with love, and let them grow with that love you offer and become bigger people. Turn your face directly towards all those things you were afraid of, and you will see how empty they all were. You will see how upon the touch of a delicate finger they all fall away like the floating bubbles that they are. And just as you realise in a dream that you are dreaming, and you begin to play, and fly, and create and explore with no fears or hesitations, so too will you be able to experience this existence for the glorious, joyous dream that it is. So stand strong my love, brace yourself and lean in.

Erfan Daliri

 

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Social Change and Media Reform – How I began constructing my ideas for structural change

40 years after Gil Scott-Heron’s ‘The Revolution Will Not Be Televised’ it still rings poignantly true. It hit the streets as a commentary on the civil rights movement and an anthem for the Black Power movement, and yet it could have been written yesterday.

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The relationship between the media and social movements has always been strained and complicated, with movements often framed as deviant and unjustified lawlessness as opposed to a legitimate call for social change. Social movements are disruptions to the status quo and understandably are not welcomed by hegemonic powers. Nonetheless, the media is a crucial factor in the success of a movement as it gives visibility to the public, creates resonance with like-minded citizens and establishes legitimacy (Thomas, 2006).

Social movements have arisen throughout the history of humankind in all forms in all parts of the globe displaying a vast multitude of motivations and diverse sources of momentum. The legitimacy and resulting actions of various movements are topics of much debate and animated discussion. However, their point of commonality is that they stem from the desire for a change within society and that desire cannot be objectively analysed (Castells, 1997). This influences the mobilisation of resources around an idea or ideology spurred by a point of solidarity. This point of solidarity is what unites the members of the movement together in the face of a common enemy or desired goal.

It would be easy to attribute the limited results and frustrated efforts with regards to the establishment of a global media reform movement (Thomas, 2006) to shortcomings of organisational skills, clarity and consensus amongst its proponents, lack of available funding, and so on. However, this would be a misjudgement on the actual magnitude of the undertaking. The resistance to such efforts and the seemingly insurmountable odds which this movement faces should only make us realise the importance of this particular movement.

Throughout history, society has headed towards an inevitable convergence of space, place and base. The boundaries of space and time which previously separated our world have been removed through technological advances in travel and communication, the economies have become interconnected, our environment is finally understood as globally connected and environmental issues are no longer contained locally. This global society has become increasingly interconnected and our concerns and actions interrelated. As a result, our social movements have necessarily become increasingly global in nature.

We must not consider the Media Reform Movement as a one which is parallel to, and acting alongside the environmental movements, human rights, women’s movements and poverty alleviation;, this would be a gross underestimation of the implications of such a movement on our society. It is perhaps this misconception which has limited the success and influenced the approach of the movement.

Media reform is on the front line of social change; it is the overarching motion of the tides, while other movements work as the waves. A successful media reform movement is possibly the most vital step towards the establishment of a fair, just and peaceful society. Media, content production and communications methods, control not only the ideas that frame society and influence its behaviour, but it even goes as far as deciding what themes and concepts are even up for debate. It is for this reason that I propose that media and communications reform is the movement that we should garner support for and initiate agency towards.

If we want to change society, we need to alter the media diet of the population; the content that is consumed. This includes the online content, popular entertainment, music, arts, news, and even gaming. All social change movements rely on a change in behaviour, a shift in perception and an evolution of social norm, and these all require a changes content production and media and communications reform. Tackling the issues of environmental neglect, rape culture, racial prejudice and even class and economic disparity, all rely on a change in understanding that will cause a change in behaviour.

The pervasiveness and ever-present nature of media and communications today as opposed to thirty years ago means even education systems cannot keep up with the behavioural influence of the media content that is consumed on a daily basis. Not reading newspapers or watching the evening news does not insulate one from this control. Even the things we are passionately for or against is decided by what the media chooses to cover and how the issue is framed.

Once we dive deeper into the underlying principles of the aforementioned global movements, it becomes clear that a common thread unites these movements and places them all broadly under the umbrella of media reform and communication rights.

Media reform and communication rights in its truest and purest, strike at both the heart and throat of the neo-liberal consumer driven capitalist and patriarchal society that we exist in. This capitalist experiment which has been carried out is the cause of the injustice of our world; there is no question. By the heart, I refer to the idea of the privatisation of the commons and the commodification of the world; the copyright of medical research methods, treatments and cures, music, software and technologies, as opposed to it being common knowledge owned by the public and implemented for the betterment of society.

Media and communications reform also question the privatisation of, and profiteering from telecommunications and the internet (Stein, 2009). This approach to Intellectual Property and communication should be applied to all other commons; the environment, natural resources, companies providing basic needs such as food, water and electricity and in effect, the entire capitalist experiment.

The throat refers to the mouthpiece of its propaganda machines, legitimising war for resources, the demonization of Indigenous groups and their knowledge, re-enforcing prejudice, perpetuating excessive consumption, establishing societal norms and laying the boundaries of inclusion and exclusion whilst also framing and undermining alternative perspectives. The democratisation of the media aims to bring about a society where contribution to media content and in effect global discourse would be diversified and representative of the actual population of our society; and not the whitewash that it currently is.

This would necessarily bring about massive changes to the media ownership policies of governments and end the incestuous, polygamous marriage between media, governance and corporate interests. The concept of mental environmentalism is also aligned with media reform and content democratisation. Media reform movements are therefore taking aim at the core of the system, and this is not something that the media or controlling elites will take lying down.

Many examples of national media reform movements have been witnessed in contemporary history with temporary results. The Peruvian experience of the 1968 military coup is a case of attempts at media reform with limited effect and short-sighted approaches. As has been the case with many leadership based revolutions, it only produced a reshuffling of governance and one form of suppression replaced with other (Mattos & Atwood, 1982). The media structure was still a sender-based communication system which did not address the democratisation of the media at all; it merely changed the sender. This cyclic transition of ownership with no democratisation of the media was also the case wth the decade of Thai media reform efforts.

Examples of media influenced revolutions, and the power of the US media juggernaut include the CIA-backed coup d’état overthrow of the democratically elected Iranian government in 1953 as an American backlash to the nationalising of the Anglo-Iranian Oil company. It is evident that even democracy does not hinder the commercial interest of the US. With the media’s power to control and alter the course of our global history in favour of the interests of the controlling elite and commercial corporations, one realises the full implications of a media reform movement and understands the complexity of establishing and giving momentum to such a movement. Mainstream media would in no wise knowingly assist such an endeavour.

The political economy of the media in the US can be understood to be the reasoning behind the tangential approaches to media reform which major funding bodies support. The misconception that the media is a ‘natural’ system with self-regulatory characteristics had by the late 1980’s begun to unravel as it became apparent that it had always required support from crucial policies and subsidies (Pike, 2004). The most powerful media apparatus of the world is, of course, that of the US, and it is a reflection of the political system of that country. Any efforts which aim to bring about fundamental changes to the media would inevitably challenge the entire capitalist structure; therefore the nature of the media is inextricably intertwined with the nature of the political structure.

The policy debate influenced by commercial interests and therefore tending to be undertaken by the controlling elite with public debate stifled due to the inconsequential and trivialised subject matter presented to the public via the media (McChesney, 2004).

The Communication Rights in the Information Society (CRIS) campaign is a prime example of an initiative which is struggling to find financial support for initiatives which it identifies as of global importance (Thomas, 2006). The numerous local chapters of CRIS being established attests to the fact that the issues being dealt with are of global relevance however its successes have been restricted to a presence at conventions, panels and advisory boards with genuine momentum still lacking.

The outcomes of media reform initiatives have been limited to support for local and discrete projects with little scope and no global resonance (Thomas, 2006). Ironically the system which media reform and communication rights philosophies fundamentally critique is the same system within which NGO’s are working within. A competition based, resource driven fight for survival against each other which not only impedes collaboration but more importantly renders such initiatives prone to manipulation and leads to a ‘scramble to re-vision, re-organize, realign’ every time a funding body changes its agenda (Thomas, 2006). Leftist organisations even ‘burrow’ into these narrow, specific reforms as dictated by hegemonic influences and hence ensure their financial viability and future existence and in doing so also ensure their irrelevance to structural change. (Hackett & Carroll, 2004)

This brings us back to the point of solidarity, which is one of the key sources of momentum for any social movement. By setting the agenda and direction of media reform the funding agencies divert the attention and efforts of campaigns aimed at media reform into projects which address symptomatic issues rather than core underlying factors. This global resonance, this point of solidarity amongst the masses is what the media reform and communication rights movements need to deliberate on. The general public is not incapable of comprehending the issues which are being tackled they just need a platform which is relevant to their daily lives. The rise in citizen-initiated culture jamming is a sure sign that the dissent is rising and the general public, though not as eloquently as the academics, can still articulate resentment towards media imperialism and understand the need for communication rights and media reform.

The importance of a locally managed radio station in isolated communities has little resonance to the general public of a country like Australia; they may agree to its worth but unlikely to feel passionate about it. And yet even a conservative retiree would readily join the movement if the implications of Intellectual Property laws on the cost of their medication could be succinctly explained to them. Youth populations youth may not fully understand the implications of open source software for developing nations, but the idea of peer-to-peer music sharing is something that they could identify with. Momentum comes from solidarity and citizen agency, or civil disobedience. Media reform needs to leverage alternative media, social networking and the release the full potential of the internet and connectivity to initiate and empower citizen agency.

One of the fundamental Paradoxes of development has always been and still is, even in participatory and dialogical forms, a continuation of the colonial experiment and when we look at where the resources and financial assistance comes from we can see why. The way forward is to look inward. It is our western so called ‘developed’ societies which are in need of development, and it is within these constituencies which we need to find issues of solidarity and motivation for social change.

Though present-day sociologists mostly reject Collective Behavior theory as individuals acting irrationally, Herbert Bulmers’ understanding of social movements as the fourth form of collective behaviour has something to offer here. He has described social movements as being either ‘active’, wanting to bring about change within society, or ‘expressive’, wanting to bring about change within its membership. Perhaps we have reached a precipice of human progress where we need to combine the two and realise that we require both internal and external change to develop. This could very well stand true on a personal and a global scale. Western society should finally wake up and realise that the problems of the marginalised and underprivileged are not endemic but rather stem from so-called developed nations and their further incorporation into this failing system will not alleviate inequity and injustice.

Collective Behavior theory of social movements had framed movements as the acts of irrational individuals who had not yet been integrated into the system. Though this idea has been rejected and alternatives have been successively proposed they still have a sense of hegemony to them. Relative Deprivation as well as Rational Choice theory both places the impetus on the deprived and excluded.

Resource Mobilization theory though able to more accurately frame social movements as social institutions with rational actors focused on bringing about social, economic or political change still frames it as individual desire and economic or political motivation of the alienated. This form of reductionism completely disregards the concept of those actors which are involved not out of deprivation or their personal economic situation. Anti-whaling protest efforts is one example of innumerable cases where mobilisation of resources is not connected to economic factors, but purely a result of individual agency forming a collective motion for a cause or belief. The emphasis on organisation and efficiency within an organisation clearly reveals the North American roots of this theory.

The New Social Movements theory with its European influence takes into consideration production of meaning and the constitution of new collective identities (Offe, 1985: 831). As Habermas explains, the disruption of norm and meaning production processes by steering mechanisms (colonisation of the life world) is the cause of our current crisis (Habermas, 1981: 35). New Social Movement theory may have various authors and diverse perspectives. However, convergence towards the concept of the discontinuity of traditional to contemporary social movements is apparent, and this is referred to as the rupture. Though there may be some relative truth to the concept of contemporary social movements as ‘middle class’ movements with meaning and identity acting as a fulcrum, this too has shortsightedness.

We have discussed the relationship of the media and social movements with the realisation that visibility, resonance and legitimacy are all dependent on the media, and this raises the issue of framing and the power which the media holds over the success or failure of a movement. We can easily understand that an event which receives no coverage is a non-event (Thomas, 2006).

With this background, we should critically examine what we consider as a social movement in our contemporary society and why? Is this so called ‘rupture’ which New Social Movement theory refers to, from traditional economic and class-based struggle to identity and meaning production efforts a legitimate statement or a skilful manipulation? Is it just the media, the state and the economic players who wish to frame the movements as purely identity and meaning based movements? If this were the case, then in doing so they would effectively divert attention from the underlying factors and resist the legitimacy crisis currently facing them.

At a quick glance over these so-called ‘identity and meaning based’ struggles, we can immediately identify underlying economic factors. The system within which we move creates in us economic considerations that we do not naturally possess; we are not born with these concerns. As a result, almost all social issues and concerns can be related or connected to underlying economic factors.

Beyond the moral and social justice issues, of all movements, we will be able to find an underlying economic issue. And as such, in order to dismantle the failing structures of society, we must bring social movements together with a common point of solidarity and then approach the task at hand with a coordinated and cohesive effort that attacks the heart of the system.

The still, ongoing black rights movement, though identity-based, stems from economic factors of injustice and exploitation.The women’s rights movement beyond the moral and social justice concerns can also be linked to economic factors of equal rights within the workplace; wages, positions of power, roles within society, etc. The environmental issues we face are very closely linked to the economy, and in fact intertwined. This is a perfect example of a case where the diverse symptoms are being presented by the media, i.e. global warming, decreasing biodiversity, animal rights, logging of forests, and yet the common economic core of it is not expressed; it is all connected to our economic behaviours. These social issues though sources of solidarity amongst some, are framed in such a way as though they bear no direct influence on our daily life or to other movements.

Global warming though it is happening, has not been conclusively articulated to be a result of greenhouse gases; the media allows the confusion to continue. Animal rights are important to many yet bear no impact on how people will pay my mortgage, and the biodiversity of our ecosystem is crucial to maintaining life on earth, but it’s not going to pay people’s electricity bills. These issues are all framed in such a way that the suppressed masses will find no common ground for solidarity and unison and instead fragment into isolated movements bereft of global momentum and collective action yet they are all inextricably linked to our economies, economic situations and behaviours.

Resource Mobilization Theory has linked social movements solely to economic and political factors stemming from disenfranchised and suppressed populations leaving the concepts of volunteerism and the collective actions of actors which by and large have no economic or political motivation. Neither Resource Mobilisation nor New Social Movements Theory addresses the concept of educated, economically content and ideologically unsuppressed individuals forming, joining or supporting social movements.

The New Social Movement theory is a step forward from previous social movement theory, and incorporates the complexity of culture, identity and meaning; however, it has framed social movements as isolated and with disparate points of solidarity which are fixed on differing fulcrums from each other.

The answer for those engaged in media reform, communication rights and in fact all social movements lie in these two theories being reconciled with the realisation that all social movements contemporary or traditional share a common fulcrum.

With this further development of social movement theory and taking into consideration concepts of volunteerism, individual recognition of injustice, and the development of social consciousness we will gain a better understanding of the current situation and have a more complete Social Movements Theory.

 

 

 

– Erfan Daliri –