"We don’t call Autumn the end of Summer, we don’t call Summer the beginning of Autumn (Genjo Koan)

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Zapatismo and the Everliving Circle

Talk given in
Melbourne, Australia

Zapatismo and the Everliving Circle

I want to thank everyone of you for your presence here, to the Trades Hall people for offering the place, and to the Melbourne Buddhist Peace Fellowship people for coordinating this meeting.
Thank you very much for your sincere solidarity.

First of all I want to say that of course I do not represent the Zapatista movement, nor do I represent the Zapatista Front. No one does...

I am just nobody, coming from the heart and nowhere, just trying to share issues that i feel of vital importance for this Blue Planet and for us and the many beings, walking, flying, sitting or swimming its grounds.

We will watch the film on the March of the Dignity of the Zapatista movement, and then we can have some discussion and sharing between all of us, in a horizontal way.

So, let me say something, to set the ball rolling.....

A good introduction are the following words from Subcomandante Marcos, on Zapatismo.
A good ground for this sharing too.

He said elswhere:

"It is a need to build a new political culture.
This new political culture can arise from a new way of seeing the Power.
It is not a matter of taking Power, but one of revolutionizing its relationship with the ones who exert it, and with the ones who suffer it.

The Zapatismo is not a new political ideology or a refrying of old ideologies.
The Zapatismo does not exists.
It only serves, as the bridges serve, to cross from one side to the other.

Thus, in the Zapatismo all are contained, all the ones that want
to cross from one side to the other.
Each one has her/his one side and other side.
There are no prescriptions, lines, strategies, tactics,
laws, rules or universal watchword.
There is only one aspiration: to build a better world, that is to say, a new one.

To summarize: the Zapatismo is of no one's, and thus, it is of all and everyone."

So here, in resonance with brother Marcos, i'll try to convey how the bridge is shining, as i see it, and walk together with all of you through it, the walking, as the bridge itself.

I see this movement not really as a movement, but rather as composed of many, many different and at the same time similar movements.
It is a movement of movements.

The Zapatismo planted the seeds for a new way of conceiving politics and political action, that includes poetry and the willingness and disposition to dance according with the circumstances, and resonating with the true, real need of all and everyone.

The Zapatismo then is not enclosed in any doctrine or dogma, as Marcos makes very clear in the quoted text.
It is based on a new attitude in the political world, a new attitude in life and in walking, truly new because it is the old root, the tradition of dignity and struggle that says that

"the flower of the word will not die. The occult face of the one who names her today may die, but the word that came from the bottom of the history and the earth, cannot now be rooted out by the power's haughtiness"....

Two things, i believe, do direct and inspire the whole movement, and they are new attitudes, based and rooted in the Ancient Heart.

The first is the motto “Asking questions as we walk” and the second is “to command by obeying”.

The Movement is walking in this way and rythm the Word, the word that walks truths, and the first history, the most distant, the most profound, the most true, the daughters and sisters of the Primal History.

The indigenous brothers and sistahs from Chiapas, with teir Word and dance do affirm the matter of a radical ethics of personal responsibility.
Choosing to listen, to embody and present the cry, and to walk it "for a world in which many worlds can abide".

And i believe that the only way of walking tis is to walk struggle and dance with the heart of "all for everyone, nothing for us".

So, Zapatismo as a crack in globalisation and oppression, is an unconditioned spark of rebel dignity, aliveness, humour, creation, faith, and passion, and those sparks turn themselves into actions and visions that give a name to our name.

The Movement of Movements do confront the law of oppression and marginalisation with a different logic of legality and legitimacy, a vital one, a life affirming one, to move out and away of the dialectic of Power, and to answer, as life does, in the most unexpected way.

The question is clearly then not to take power, but to exert it.

To make clear the real need for social transformation, but without prescribing the way, not wanting or pursuing leadership or "vanguardship", neither affirming to possess the absolute truth or a clear map of territory.

Dancing thus on uncharted ground.

Thus, living without denying or pushing away death, the struggle is the dance of living in intimacy with the mystery and the enigma.

The Zapatista utopia is related with making a new world, and has to do with an ethic of desire, need, dreams and the impossible.

Here the ideals are not the goal, they just open the walking and the way.

This Movement of Movements, I believe, does not promise total joy and liberation, but to bring forth beauty, to make something creative and healing with the symptom, to go through death, pain, hopelessness and domination with acts that change our position in front of life, deeply inmersed with vital responsibility in the play of mirrors and crystals, as Marcos says:

"Cut from the inverse side, a mirror ceases to be a mirror and becames a crystal. Mirrors are for looking on this side, and crystal is made to look to the other side. Mirrors are made to be etched.
A crystal is made to be broken......to cross to the other side...."

Marcos and the Zapatista community leaders then do not occupy the place of the ideal, but they place themselves as subjects that encourage and trigger the action in others.

They jump, and invite us to do it too, away from power and knowledge and the predictable, in the same act of questioning it, pointing to its unsubstantial evanescent and inconsistent nature.

The compañeros and compañeras clearly show that power is not omnipotent, that the defeat is a lie designed to sink us as vital rebels into the lifeless desert of hopelessness.

That the "Great Other" and the order that language crystallises is fractured and fragmented, and that this is its true nature and weakness.

And seeing this, it is also our opportunity to walk and re-create the "Land Without Evil" that our Ancestors were talking about, at every one of our together breathing and walking in intimate resonance.

This Movemente does make the knot and the problem clearly and vividly evident, and then it retires, giving and allowing space, encouragement and heart to the community, the organization and action of the other, that is to say us, so that us, and they as us and us as them, can settle in the heart of the common responsibility of our life: Freedom, Justice True Democracy and Dignity, the first of all words and of all tongues, of the true tongue that was born from the mirrors, as Old Man Antonio conveys to Marcos in the early days of sharing the jungle

They place themselves momentarily, in and as an empty space, one that is full of potential, an empty (but not void) place that could be occupied by anyone that shares the same heart, walking and word.

The proposal is then, it seems to me, to carry on the vital and just need, the vital and just desire and hope of living a new world to the ultimate, deep consecuences and horizons.
To create at every single moment of everyday life, the style, tone and rythm of our practices, dances struggles and steps, going beyond the commands imposed by the Power (and the deadly danger of internalizing them...), in its many faces...

And thus building and bridgeing from an ancient ethical and poetical position ever new grounds of resistance, of rebelry, of creation, of dignity in action.

This is the replacing of the idea of victimization of the people in front of the power by the great recovering and uncovering of the collective memory and identity, the strengthening of the social and communal bonds, and the re-creation of the World, expressing, walking and embodying of the Myths, symbols, meanings and sense that sustains the heart and beat of the struggle.

We then can sing and walk the Word that says that we have to learn to walk again at each step, looking again freshly to the world, thus, "asking questions, we walk".

We have to look at the world by walking.
And because that looking and that walking has to be new, we ask questions, living as the question herself, and we listen.

And that listening does dance and struggle and brings forth a new world, one that we and the many generations to came (and not only humans), need and long for.

Brother Tacho, says, “To make Revolution is like going to a school that has not yet been built.”

Thus this heart has been walked, built and bridged by the inclusion of the other, the different, the marginal, by the heart and vision of, ‘Behind us, we are you.’

They have vividly shown that it is possible (and a need) to do politics in a completely new way; where the ethics are more crucial than calculation, strategy and manipulation, where the ends does not justify the means (by any means), where giving word and shout to the truth is more radically subversive than shooting a gun, where inclusion is more crucial than doctrine and success, gathering together all kinds of walkers whose heart is dignity and are rebels by nature.

Thus the Zapatismo shows in its word and walking that the community has the primal role.
That community is the primal role.

That history (the true one, not the one told by the "historical winners") has much more to do with the creating of a dign future right now from this very present, than to curse or ignore the past or to resign ourselves to the actual reality, internalizing the lie of the Power that says that there is no other way or alternative.

"Asking questions we walk", we say, bringing forth that radical heart that can imagine, create and walk fresh and new alternatives.
Unknown alternatives, pregnant ones.
A heart that eludes the confrontation that is directed to an immutable, fixated, certain and undoubted goal, because that goal is fixated by a certainty.

And there are no certainties in this word, this dignity and this walking, but steps in which un-certainty and creativity are sisters, and mystery and potential are brothers and sisters.
They truly are the two wings of the birds of freedom.

This Movement has already showed with deep radicality that the word is also an act.

Words more powerful than bullets, that are not only sounds but also a powerful silence, "unthinkable tenderness" the broom and the brush to clean and to paint the new world at each step, as each step itself, as ourselves.

This walking and building of the new heart-walk-world is actualized when those words are the primal heart, and are embodied in the walking, the many colours welcomed not just as equal, but also as different .

Marcos conveys, “We say, I am as I am, and you are as you are, let’s build a world where I can be, and not have to cease being me, where you can be and not have to cease being you. And where neither I nor you will force another to be like either me or you.”

And to begin ending this talk, let me quote once more brother Marcos when he says:

"Zapatismo is not an ideology, it is not a bought and paid for doctrine.
It is....an intuition.
Something so open and so flexible that it really occurs in all places,
Zapatismo poses the question: 'what is that has excluded me?'.
'What is that has isolated me?'......
in each place the response is different.
Zapatismo simply states the question and affirms and knows
that the response is plural, that the response is inclusive......"

I hope to have awakened the inquiring-walking, to have opened that intuition that occurrs in all places, and if so, lets together walk the plural, inclusive response.....

I hope this talk serves as an opening into the rainbow of the Zapatismo.
Let us see the word and the dignity walk… we can talk, and i hope, walk.

"Old Man Antonio used to say that the struggle is like a circle.
It can begin in any point, but it never ends,"

So welcome!
Welcome to the everliving circle.

Augusto Al Q'adi Alcalde


1 comment:

  1. From Sudan

    I thank you dearly for the translation.

    Salamu' Alikom