Slowly you realize that you have become a spectator, an object. Your politics take place on a stage and your social relations consist of sitting in an audience or marching in a crowd.
A persistent fantasy lightens my steps. I am peeking into the living room of a large house shared by several housemates. It’s evening, and all are companionably gathered there. All these folks are very interested in political solutions to our current impasse. One is reading a book analyzing the Washington political scene. One is at the computer, following political discussions in the state’s capital city. One is watching TV (with headphones on) where political pundits weigh in about some issues the legislature is discussing. Another yet is strategizing for an upcoming protest, while her neighbor is preparing a speech for the local Democratic Committee.
All is quiet, and into that silence, magic falls. Perhaps the Spirit of the Times has just flown by the softly lit window and waved its magic wand at the gathered household. The people stretch and wiggle about, as if awakening from a trance. They look around, trying to acclimate themselves to something so familiar and yet somehow completely unexpected. And one by one, they slowly turn around to face one another. It’s as though they are seeing each other for the first time.
A dawning. “It’s up to us, isn’t it?” a woman says wonderingly. “Can we do it?” The man next to her leaps in with gusto: “I am betting there are at this very moment small groups all around the world coming to the same awareness. We don’t know about them yet, and that is good, because they need time to mature, hidden from the Eye. But we are not alone!” “Just think,” says another, “we here are the beginning of a whole different world. The time we have waited for is upon us.” Smiles all around: We are the body politic!
“Our politics” begins as we come together within “our space”, three or five or a dozen, and begin the holy work of helping Gaia live & helping each other out of the slavery of Babylon. Then linking through the grassroots with others.
Our politics begins as we resolutely turn away from the Spectacle and give each other our full and open-hearted attention.