An open letter to Mike Ruppert

As many of you may have heard, Michael C. Ruppert took his own life this past Sunday evening after his radio program The Lifeboat Hour aired on PRN. I sent a short version of this email to him – a busy news analyst – on November 7th of 2013. I kept the long version for a book I’m working on but today I felt inclined to share it. I hope it brings some comfort to those who loved him and respected his work, which meant so much to so many. The Refreshment Center changed significantly since I met him, but it simply wouldn’t have existed at all without his contribution & commitment to high standards in investigative journalism. He was one helluva mentor. RIP Ruppert Bear. ~ Gabrielle Price

A letter to Mike Ruppert

11/7/2013

Greetings, Mike – I hope this finds you well. I’ve been incredibly busy on the new homestead after years wandering and trying to find my place. My time here may be short-lived but it is a welcome respite, especially now, and I am making no small plans for this place.

I’m writing in regards to your last radio show with Carloyn Baker and I was very pleased to hear the band Puscifer during the break. I’ve followed Maynard’s career for awhile and I was reminded of a post I made at The Refreshment Center in 2010. It has many more views than most, except for a short screed on anarchy that was juvenile at best when I wrote it.

I wanted to share this post with you personally, rather than on social media because it is personal to me and reminds me of a time when I had sequestered myself away from what Krishnamurti would call our ‘sick society’. I had my longest ‘dark night of the soul’ as it were. There have been others, but this one was the mother of them all. I hope you will entertain my telling a short story.

Long before Occupy, I had read ‘Crossing the Rubicon’ after the BP Disaster and later watched Collapse with a former roommate. During the film, you mentioned ‘finding your tribe and gathering your friends’ – he paused the film and told me he was very glad I was there. I was, too. We made plans and worked well together, sharing data and researching into the wee hours, planning a garden and keeping an eye on events that were just coming to light in Greece.

Unfortunately, our bond of friendship wasn’t as strong as his love of alcohol and need for repetitive fighting. It was traumatic on many levels. My daughter and I had to leave less than two months after I viewed Collapse. From that point, I had to walk away from my former life and friends because they were barely familiar. Stung by this experience before for different reasons [‘cliques’, ‘art snobs’ and ‘self-proclaimed gurus’ among them]…this experience was vastly different. Your work gave me two gifts: My freedom from mental slavery and the realization of why I was left uninspired by this culture. The things I saw and heard being passed off as art, spoke nothing about the world we actually live in. I began the hard work of decolonization of self.

After reading Rubicon, a fine work but I admit it was when I heard your voice in Collapse that the ‘bell rang’ out in my soul. It resonated with startling clarity what I had already known…that everything is connected. I felt this in the ‘inner’ before but was grasping to figure out what the ‘outer’ connection was that drew us all toward this coming shift. I credit you and your teachers for this part of my awakening. Gratitude matters a great deal to me and I’d be not worth my salt without thanking you personally for this foundation-breaking epiphany.

It was this epiphany that compelled me to sequester myself in a hotel room for six months. My daughter moved before this and I was able to make the decision to stay by the grace of friends I met online and knew your work. I had been practicing meditation a few years by that time and what I learned resonated loudly enough for me to take the drastic measure of leaving behind my comfort zone. To turn down the volume, study your methods…learn how to investigate, how to dig, how to pluck out the ice cream from the BS [as you once said]. And I’m quite sure many believed I had lost my mind.

It was also during this time that a long-distance relationship deepened. A man who knew me well and loved me deeply enough to encourage the work I was doing, whether he understood it or not. I’d never experienced this before and it was not for me to question the when or why of the gift, I simply surrendered to it. I found a love – my beloved – who encouraged me to become what I had always wanted to be: a writer. He was far away and I missed him often but I never felt lonely. Love like that made me stronger when many would have quit. I found I was not afraid of solitude. In fact, it was a blessed gift.

My time in what Bukowski may have called a palace [compared to his ‘cold water flats’] to connect more dots and develop my intuition, this following blog post was born. Occupy came soon after and a year later, it was through this rushing wave of awakening that I found myself on your doorstep, interviewing you at your home in Sebastopol, holding my signed copy of Rubicon and leaving a rose quartz in your garden.

There is, of course, so much more to this story. I hope you’ll honor me by reading it one day but please know these experiences taught me that nothing is coincidence to those who trust the path of spirit, brother. Nothing.

Heaven is for those afraid of hell – to be spiritual is to have gone through hell. I believe that as much as I believe I was led to the place I am blessed to be in now. I try to help every soul I meet that carries the heavy load of this ‘sick society’ knowing much of that suffering is illusory. The weight of shackles we do not own but many call a birthright. It’s this idea of ownership that validates the absurd notion that man can rightfully own the earth.

This ‘theater of the absurd’ is older than the Buddha. The earth is older still and we must all be her witness now. Her suffering is our suffering.

An old Swedish proverb that holds true as much as it did when I heard it in my youth, “Shared joy is double joy. Shared sorrow, only half a sorrow.”  Thank you for sharing both and the courage to bear witness to the atrocities of this dying age. It has made me appreciate the beauty of all life more acutely, not just through my camera lens. I recognize the sacredness of simple pleasures. The jewels contained within a simple life.

My friend, such treasures we’ve had all along! We’re all so much richer than this paradigm wants us to know…and I found that’s where my work finally met spirit. What a blessing to get here. Some of us just have to take the long way home, I reckon.

I honor your journey and I wish you peace, Mike. For every envelope you pushed and trail you blazed, I thank you. I’m honored that spirit saw fit for us to meet upon the path.

Enjoy : Sacred Math and The Sacred Hoop [with Tool song Lateralus]

With love and respect,

Gabrielle

image

Spiral out, Brother Mike. We’ll keep going.

 

Michael C. Ruppert on Occupy, Peak Oil, Environment and The Shift

submitted by Gabrielle Price

12/17/11 – Occupy Fear and Loathing Media Tour:

The Refreshment Center’s Gabrielle Price interviews Michael C. Ruppert at his home in Sebastopol, California.  We talk about Occupy and how the collapse of industrial civilization is coinciding with the most dynamic protest movement since the 60’s.  Mike touches upon geopolitics, energy depletion and environmental issues that humanity faces and the spiritual awakening that is taking place globally.  He also shares his experience of the Occupy camps, the women of Occupy and the many veterans who support the movement. [We also verify that no animals were harmed during the making of this film…].

For more information about Michael Ruppert and Collapsenet, please visit http://www.collapsenet.com and make a connection in the Lighthouse Directory.  You can also tune in every Sunday night to hear Mike’s radio show, The Lifeboat Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

The Shift Is Coming – What Is It?

by Gabrielle Price

I used to write a spiritual and progressive column on an internet site that claimed to reach a broad audience and could make me some part time money if I just kept writing and plugging away.  The money was ‘pay per click’ with some commission for ad revenues initially – now that site just gives away coupons, travel miles and vacations or some manner of toy, gadget or consumer item.
For a writer trying to eek out a living is hard enough…to write progressive content about dumping the corporate mindset of political greed and consumption on a page full of ads that I had no control over and could potentially be about the very companies buying our democracy?  It just made me feel like an asshole.  Not that I wasn’t pleased with my final work but I felt the advertising would call my integrity into question.  That and I just can’t eat a coupon.
I quickly created my own site and never looked back.
Until recently.  I revisited both columns – I’m a firm believer that we don’t know where we’re going until we remember where we’ve been.  It was the spiritual column that found me chuckling at myself.  Not because of the work – it was at best indicative of a time during my own personal journey of intention and positivity – at worst it was incredibly naive.
I recall at the time that I struggled internally to write the words ‘power of positive thinking’ and ‘law of attraction.’  Not that there isn’t a little something to that – but I’m also a realist.  That comes through in my photography.  I don’t like to photoshop the hell out of a simple image but work with shadows and lighting until the essence and feeling of that moment reveals itself to me.  Sometimes it is a completely happy accident.  I think the world is plenty photogenic and mother nature doesn’t need candied-up like so much glitterati.
A quote has resonated with me over time that has been attributed to one of my favorite photographers, Dorthea Lange.  “A camera is a tool for learning how to see without a camera.“  As one of the photographers who recorded the haunting and famous black and white images of The Great Depression, she would know.
Life, like photography is a balance of shadows and light.  I had to admit to myself that a lot of what I was seeing without my camera was worrisome.  The political and environmental concerns were too real to imagine positive thinking could ‘change’ all that.  It’s the same as praying which I didn’t put too much stock in at age 8, let alone in my 40’s.  Then I saw a video that made me realize I was on the right path and that no path is full of rainbows and unicorn farts – unless you’re a sheltered pre-teen or a character in a Disney movie.

 

Using a photographer’s analogy:  A lot of ‘new age’ spirituality never resonated with me because it literally ‘photoshopped’ right over reality, like many religions before.  I never liked The Secret and was a critic of it from the get go – but there were other ‘new age’ problems.  These problems were made very apparent to me after my first viewing of Josh Fox’s documentary, Gasland.  I had to pause the movie several times because I was moved to tears.  Things were worse than I had ever imagined and something had to be done.  I was changed.  I shared via my social network that I had viewed the film, and stated that, “I wish I could unsee Gasland but what has been seen cannot be unseen.”
Within 5 minutes there were two ‘new age’ folks asking me, ‘Why can’t you?’ and ‘Pretend you didn’t see it.’  This, ladies and gentlemen, in a nutshell is what my intuition had already been telling me was absolutely, inherently wrong – so very, very wrong – about this country’s inability to take their own blinders off.
I have the Smile or Die video bookmarked to share with others like me who share my same concerns.  They are more often than not, deeply spiritual people who know how bad things are right now but that listening to their own intuition serves them well.  They are incredibly vigilant.  The keen observers, scouts and warriors for humanity and the environment that has sustained us.
“Has” being the operative word here.  That’s all about to change in a big way.
What is the shift?
I believe it is an energy shift that is happening in waves.  Part of the shift, the human aspect, is happening right now.  All around us.  You may not believe it has much to do with politics, markets, resources or government – but I put to you that is has everything to do with these things because they are, in fact, globally intrinsic and effect all people.  The web of life.  Whether you pay attention to the news outside the idiot box or not there are many things happening in other countries that your government does not want you to see – and if you are a truth seeker, like me – you dig until you find what resonates with you.
The digging is also a spiritual undertaking.  An excavation.  Investigating for your own peace of mind is one thing, to do it for the benefit of your craft, sometimes your own consciousness can take a good beating.  You learn to assimilate information that makes you uncomfortable – but that is the purpose of any real spiritual undertaking – to get out of our own comfort zone.  Learning to handle the truth, when we have been lied to for so long about so much, takes not only mental but spiritual stamina…stamina we have to want to obtain.  This can be difficult when pushed or pulled in other directions, even from well intentioned others.  This is when solitude beckons and only then can intuition be developed.
When I say ‘consciousness takes a good beating’, what I mean is that it is challenged – you challenge your comfort zone, your own way of thinking.  The outcome of this practice is keener observation and your intuition becomes acute.  A sharpened sword molded under your own blacksmith’s hammer.
This is not an easy task in the world we live in now – shifts are happening faster.  One must make time to do the work, study, practice and meditate.  Yes, meditate.  The mind is a big place with lots of bright lights and swirling data coming at us at an alarming rate every day.  It’s the best tool for quieting one’s mind in order to focus our best intentions even when the information we receive seems confusing.  Finding the truth is like separating the wheat from the chaff.  The best way to start to do this is turning off your television and picking up a book.
The journey isn’t about arriving
I know a lot of people who enjoy traveling but not always for the reasons that seasoned travelers take to the road.  Arriving isn’t the goal – it is the journey that teaches us about observing.  Speed bumps on the road aren’t so much of a surprise when we’re able to slow down and move over them smoothly.  Many people are ill-equipped to deal with the slightest hiccup in their lives – the fastest way from point A to point B can be more fraught with difficulty than if we take our time – and in rushing, we miss an awful lot of the scenery and opportunities to learn from our surroundings and other people.
People in a hurry to get where they’re going are usually not attentive for long periods of time – so reading, researching and absorbing information can be a chore for them.  Perhaps this is why it is frustrating to me to read badly written headlines, when many only read them like so many Twitter updates, rather than reading the content.  Headlines are designed to capture attention.  How long that attention lasts is of no concern to most media spin doctors.  Some headlines are inflammatory, others are just plain shocking.  To the point at which a satirical piece can be taken seriously, even by people we tend to imagine should be much more observant than the average Joe.  Then again, politics doesn’t always denote intelligence.
What I have found is that the more I seek – I am sought by people who share my sensibilities and love of life.  In the past two years, I’ve met people with a lot of courage to change what they see broken in the world we share.  They think little of themselves and more of the greater good.  They know what effects them, effects everyone – we really are all connected in more ways than one – but our biggest connection has been being fellow passengers on this boat.  When people seek to sink the boat, some of us take it personally.  This is exactly why people are in the streets with Occupy.  This is why people complain about their government being corrupt.  It’s also why politicians and banks that own them are nervous – they know we’re right.  Quite simply, there are more of us then there are of them.  When you don’t do right by the people and they finally learn the truth, they will let you know about it.
Imagine all the things that have come to light already by switching off televisions and reading alternative news sources!  There really is an underground college that has taken shape via the internet.  It is a very important tool for learning, sharing ideas and meeting people with common goals and concerns.  Even a thousand miles away!  I have found it to be a marvelous place for spiritual growth in this way as well.  The shifts that are occurring are less scary when you find other people experiencing them – the same problems – the same suffering, and that connection is healing medicine for the planet.  It is what the Buddha taught – that in our suffering, we also learn compassion for ourselves and others – because all beings suffer.  Awakened beings wish to help ease this suffering, or what is called Samsara, by teaching a way of detachment of earthly possessions, among other things, which cause us unnecessary suffering and keep us from enlightenment.
Representation of samsara in Buddhism / wheel of life
Right now, there are many people in the 99% globally, who have learned this lesson quite acutely, not through spiritual practice or a guru but by physically losing their savings, work, homes and loved ones.  You don’t see them giving up, nor their neighbors give up, their towns will not give up and a whole glorious wave of compassion is being unleashed and what I see now is that America, the sleeping giant,  is finally coming out of REM sleep.
The hope is that it does not behave like a rudely awakened child because we have a lot of work ahead of us and we need to catch up with the rest of the world. Begin by embracing the reality that we no longer passengers on this ship, we are all crew.  Prepare to roll up your sleeves.