Return to your Roots

September 8th, 2013

“Cargo Cult” was the intriguing theme for this year’s Burning Man festival. Shipments of cargo, dropped from airplanes onto South Pacific islands during World War II, inspired the legend of John Frum, a serviceman gone native who encouraged islanders to return to their cultural roots. Black Rock City citizens picked up on the idea that the mysterious cargo appeared to have come from aliens with magical powers, and some of the art reflected this obsession with aliens, pyramids, and strange technologies. The Man itself was situated on a gigantic replica of a flying saucer. The movie, The Gods Must Be Crazy, uses a Coca Cola bottle dropped from the air to show how an alien object can disrupt tribal society in comedic ways. We made an homage to this film by naming the Cleu labyrinth, The gods must be Cleu.

Our annual pilgrimage involved 24 people this year, twice as many as the last few years, and we had about a dozen people here at Outpost One for preparation and load-up, and as many for unloading and cleanup. We created more community spirit by making our meals a time for sharing and laughter. Once on the playa, in our usual location at 3:45 on the outer edge of the city, the crew set up the camp shade structure, sitting area, and kitchen, and put up tents. We built the Starman Dome and the Space Igloo, and finally the Cleu Labyrinth. With so many projects to do, we became much more bonded as a crew. Every night before sunset, we would make a big circle for dinner where we cheered the cooks, shared announcements, and enjoyed each others’ company. During the days, Cleu camp was a mecca for many dusty pilgrims who came looking for a Cleu and the ever-popular Cleu guided meditation and sonic experience we call “the Cleu brainwashing.”

Going on pilgrimage gives us a chance to return to our human roots by spending these precious days working and playing together face-to-face. We abandon our cell phones and electronic devices choosing instead to rely on each other. We revive our own spiritual perspective when we meet others who are looking for a Cleu, and our brains get washed too when we provide a good brainwashing to our visitors. Cleu camp is an opportunity for all of us to appreciate the feeling of communalism that comes from living and working together. We experienced that feeling of At-Onement because we committed to each other and to our camp. This is the magic of living closer to our tribal roots, if only for a short time. When we return to our roots, we discover that we have the power to manifest the reality we desire. Black Rock City is our collective dream, the amazing cargo appearing on the playa through the efforts of many tribes returning to their human roots.

The Big Four Values

May 6th, 2013

Make the Cleu vision and values a part of your life. You can do this on your own, but forming a Cleu circle with a few others will give you a greater sense of spiritual community. Use the human rites of music, art, drum, dance, song, and story to bond, the way people have been doing since the beginning of Consciousness. Engage in the spiritual practices that are a vital part of most religious and spiritual traditions, including study, meditation, service, pilgrimage, and mentoring. Read the Cleu Book together. A Cleu circle should be a transformative, participatory occasion that keeps people coming back.

As your circle evolves, begin to focus on the Big Four values: Air, Water, Food, Energy. These are basic survival needs that must be met in order for there to be harmony among people. From world peace to individual health, we are all dependent on our relationship to Air, Water, Food, and Energy. To put it simply: Air is Life; Water is Life; Food is Life; Energy is Life. Use the Big Four to create ceremonial aspects to your circle: Join in a breathing exercise to reflect on Air; use Water in a ceremonial way; host a communion with Food; and light a candle to represent Energy. Try different ways to honor the Big Four.

Providing a structure that leads to more Consciousness about the choices we make as individuals, families, communities, and the world, will increase the spiritual impact of your circle and help guide your decisions about how to use your resources together. By focusing on our most basic needs, you will be better able to set priorities, learn about local issues, and find allies. You are not alone. Spiritual activists, indigenous people, and cultural creatives have been working together to protect our Air, Water, Food, and Energy for over fifty years, and we have learned a lot about the power of the circle.

Now imagine Cleu circles connecting to other Cleu circles in a network that is as flexible, strong, and resilient as linked chainmail. Visualize a shining fabric of circles, healing our communities and our world. We are the clue to our own future.

This End is a new Beginning

December 21st, 2012

As darkness becomes dawn, the longest night gives way to longer days in the return of the light. According to the ancient Mayan calendar and other prophecies, the 2012 winter solstice marks a transition, the end of a cycle, a paradigm shift from the old to the new. We are called to witness the birth of a new world.

We have come a long way, baby. We have freed ourselves from tradition and defined ourselves as individuals. The capitalist culture treats us as consumers, marketing desire and greed, spreading a mass media version of reality, a zombie shopocaplyspe. We live in a world of human-caused wonders and disasters. Global consciousness is awakening. We know that we have changed the climate, collapsing the stable conditions that have supported both civilization and biodiversity for thousands of years. The planet is warming, bees are dying, great cities are flooding, and a young man shoots down children in a massacre-suicide. We are stunned, but we must confront our shadows. We must act on behalf of our existence as a conscious species on a living planet.

Now is the time to reflect on your vision of a world you choose to live in. How will you claim your spiritual identity and live by your values? Remember that you are greater together. Look for people who have a clue. Keep in mind that everyone has a clue, but not everyone wants to know. Find people who are clue-seekers and human rites guides. Get a space where you can gather in circle weekly. Take time to celebrate and grieve, share and serve. Practice our human rites of music, art, drum, dance, song, story, and circle. Build up your community infrastructure so that you can meet the new paradigm with open arms.

Let us join together to preserve Life and affirm Consciousness on the Earth. It’s up to you, fantastic speck of stardust that you are!

You are the Cleu.

Hurricane Sandy speaks

October 29th, 2012

Hurricane Sandy speaks to us as Earth– as wind, rain, and surging ocean. Superstorm Sandy warns us that more global warming means more disasters. Will we listen?

Hurricane Sandy was nicknamed the “Frankenstorm” for being a strange mixture of natural and unnatural parts, creating a terrifying sum. Unprecedented megastorms are increasingly the new normal of living on a warming planet. Bill McKibben says we need to do the math, to stop driving the climate to a future of environmental disaster on what he calls a new kind of planet: “Eaarth.”

As the spokesperson for 350.org, McKibben reminds us that 350ppm of CO2 in the atmosphere is the upper limit for a healthy climate, one capable of sustaining civilization as we know it. Now that we have hit 392ppm, extreme weather events have multiplied all over the planet, from wildfires and droughts, to hurricanes and floods. Warmer air holds more water, and warmer oceans give storms more energy. Physics and chemistry dictate the cost of human greed for cheap energy and great profits. As people with a clue, we respect the scientific consensus on the human causes of global warming, and we commit to creating a more sustainable future.

Despite the human suffering caused by extreme weather events, we can all appreciate how community comes together in emergencies. Witness the depth of altruism that exists among human beings. We truly love each other despite our differences. People who go through hard times find all kinds of ways to help each other. The spirit of giving renews our faith in Consciousness. We are the Cleu!
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Want to change the world?

September 10th, 2012

We’ve just returned from our annual pilgrimage to BurningMan where we gave away over 1100 Cleus to dusty pilgrims who used only word-of-mouth or the Cleu labyrinth to find their way to Cleu camp, located way out on the edge of Black Rock City. Meeting people from all over this fantastic city gave me a vision of circles connecting with circles. Intertwining circles made for magical synchronicities and spontaneous creativity every day on the empty canvas of the playa. My own Cleu reminds me daily of the power of the circle.

Want to change the world? Meet regularly in circle. Start with 2-3 people who either have a clue or are looking for one. Remember: everyone has a clue, but not everyone wants to know about it, and some people deny or reject their clue. Look for people who are open to the mystic truth of At-Onement and the miracles of Consciousness, Life, Earth, Universe. Take a look at the Cleu Book to see more about our vision as well as our human rites and spiritual practices. Get together every week. Make that your first intention. Commit to meeting together in circle as indigenous people have done for millenia. Everything else will follow.
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Isles of Wonder: London 2012

July 27th, 2012

Instead of the usual experienced athlete, seven teenagers with potential lit the Olympic cauldron at the London 2012 Olympics. From the Olympic torch, they passed the flame to 204 petals representing all the nations competing in the Olympics. When the petals were raised, they formed one glorious blossom, shining as One.

We are all Olympians. Reflect on those moments when synchronicities occur, patterns or coincidences that seem like magic, except that they are part of the fabric of the universe. Envision a piece of medieval chainmail, a rippling metal fabric made of interlocking circles. When we connect, synchronicities happen. Meeting in circle and connecting with other circles provides both power and protection, making us strong, flexible, and resilient. Whether we engage in friendly competition, or cooperate to create a greater harmony, we belong together. When we can do both for the benefit of all, we excel.
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