The Crown, August 4th, Tent City, Love

Fond greetings;

This is an official invitation to come join the festivities in Victoria on August 4th. On August 4th the city will be celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Crown Colony of B.C.--so 150 years since the Crown officially took over this land and began pretending to own it. WE will be meeting at the Totem poles in front of the B.C. Museum at 9 a.m. to sing, drum, pray, and otherwise remember that this land does not and never did belong to the Crown--that this land like all land belongs to no one.


In this way we support all of our brothers and sisters who went before us, honouring the earth not as a possession to be manipulated and sold for profit, but as a gift to respect and care for and enjoy and SHARE with each other and with every other living thing... Some of those brothers and sisters walked in the Coast Salish Way, and we will honour them at this time; but we also remember people from all Ways and all tribes who have suffered at the hands of the Crown, be they native to the Americas, or to Europe, or Africa, or Asia, or anywhere else on this sweet earth where the arm of the Crown has reached (god knows the "sun never sets on the British Empire, but NOT FOR LONG). So instead of celebrating 150 years of the Crown robbing people of their right to enjoy the earth without having to become either slaves or profiteers, let's celebrate a future where we might get beyond all that.


This celebration is related to the Tent City that will be going up in Victoria sometime over the next few weeks--- in the sense that the Tent City will be a place where people can live without having to pay the Queen and her minions for the service (whether in the form of mortgage payments or rent.) Tent City is a symbol of our collective desire to move OUT of a system that denies life and into a way of being that affirms life.


The Tent City will go up when 60 bold souls who aren't afraid of the Crown's bullying tactics decide to get together and put up tents and tee pees and other temporary structures on some piece of public land, thus standing up to the growing tyranny of the Crown, and its steady encroachment on the rights of people to live simply and autonomously--OUTSIDE, as people have done for eons. The Spirit will show us the way in regards to the when and where of the tent city, but it looks like no later than early September, somewhere in downtown Victoria. While living in downtown Victoria is not the most appetizing option for many people, this tent city will serve as a precedent; once it gets established, there will likely be steady waves of other tent cities and tee pee villages going up all over the land, some in urban centres, some in rural settings, with the Spirit of Life doing the effortless work of constellating people according to lifestyle, aesthetic taste, and the like. (So, no, you don't all have to live cuddled up close to every drug addict in Victoria--but let's not be afraid of each other, hey?) Two pieces of wisdom:


1)St. Francis: "Whoever is unwilling to lick the wound of a leper has not progressed far in the love of god." A bit extreme, some might say, but the system has bred us all to be
so fearful of infectious disease that we don't want to get close to our neighbour in need. In this connection it may be good to remember Jesus' wisdom-- "nothing outside of you can contaminate you; it is what is inside that contaminates you." Or Rilke--"nothing can happen to us that doesn't belong to us." Can never have too many reminders of the wisdom of fearlessness.


2) Buddha (whoever that may be)--"Whoever is unable to say to himself--'thou art that'--about every human he meets, has not progressed far in his love of his fellow man." No matter how "pure" we would like to imagine ourselves as being, it is good to remember that the other guy IS us, no matter how filthy or corrupt said other guy might be.


All that said--"boundaries" and "personal identity" have their limited place in relative reality, and the tent city can respect those things too.


So--We've been saying it a lot, but I guess it's worth re-iterating--beyond all our differences--whether we support this cause or that, whether we act by "being political" or act by turning inward and undergoing the hard work of personal spiritual transformation, there is only one question: Do you love Life? If the answer is "yes," then there is nothing to be afraid of. Hardship will come; the difficulties may be great, but victory is certain, because life loves itself and loves every one who by some miracle of grace is able to love Life enough to withstand, even if only a little, the tremendous pressures we all face from the forces that want to deny life.


So--this is an invitation to stand together on August 4th to show our love for lifeónot for the life of this or that person, but for Life itself. And, then, to stand together again when it is time to do the Tent City thing.


This is long.


Lots of love, and strength to you, whatever form your struggle takes. May you all have as much peace and joy and beauty as possible, and the courage to undergo those necessary difficulties along the way (may they be as small as possible, and sandwiched between much sweetness.)