At the end of the Treatise (Ch 21-25) I came up with pathtivism, and at the time I saw it as relevant to a few activists who might perceive a spiritual side and would be willing to marry the spiritual and political in activism. Ever since then it has become more apparent to me that this marriage is essential – whether you call it pathtivism or not – if we are going to address the malaise that is now being experienced by society because of the ineffectiveness of the (genuine) left political activism.
I have listened deeply to Russell’s podcasts “Under the Skin”, and he and others are regularly discussing narrative. I question this discussion. With Russell and elsewhere there have been many excellent analysts who, in my view, have accurately described the narrative. However what good has correctly describing the narrative done? If we examine the political situation now, we see a dangerous lurch to the right, and whilst the narrative continues to be tweaked and be accurate it is not affecting this dangerous lurch. What is significant about this lurch is that people have stopped listening. Individuals are listening to their "own media", their own narratives, and are not willing to listen to different narratives - they certainly are not willing to listen to a different narrative and be informed by this.
So whilst the narrative is of course important, it does not address for me the real political issue, as well as being the real human issue, how are we dealing with this problem of listening? What is preventing this listening? An increased ego, an arrogance that is committed to their own narrative - irrespective. And how are we dealing with this newly entrenched ego? We are not. There are many great activists whose analysis is far sounder and more pertinent than mine, whose narrative is much more accurate, but they do not address ego. I suggest that without consideration of the problems of ego, the movement will remain stuck – or worse – as at the moment they are losing to the populist right.
In this book I hope to demonstrate the importance of understanding ego in the context of political activism, and then begin to develop a methodology for developing control of the conditioning that leads to ego and the divisions that are then caused.
But whilst ego is an essential part of the problems within the movement, being aware of the ego is not the only aspect of path, and I haven’t described the book as being about a movement called “Ego-awareness”. This book is about pathtivism so I will answer why pathtivism is something worth developing. As the book developed the importance of a particular political awareness that I associate with the path grew, and it was an awareness that I had not given sufficent priority to in my own activism - Gaia. Following the path ultimately leads to Unity - being Gaia. From my point of view - being dispossessed - my spirituality (path) was never sufficiently connected to Gaia, not to the depth of recognising Gaia-conscious activism as the priority. Pathtivism by its very nature must be Gaia-conscious, and the implications of dispossession and Gaia-consciousness will be developed throughout the manual.
I begin this book with a very shaky remit. I am retired and out of touch living in Thailand. Whilst this gives me sensible detachment it does not give me an activist’s understanding about the way the movement is functioning at the moment, following from afar does not give understanding. This should be written by a contemporary activist who understands the needs the way I do. Sadly you are left with me, I do hope I can provide a worthwhile contribution to the struggle.
Because of my detached situation I find my analysis flitting back and forth across the Atlantic. As a grassroots activist I was UK-based but most available information comes from the US hegemony, as I have said this is not satisfactory for an in-depth view.
Who is this book aimed at? It is aimed at educating people about the power of their egos and the way in which they are being manipulated socio-politically, this could be a definition of political awareness. So in general I am trying to raise awareness about the ego. Activism – the struggle - is our duty, this is a spiritual awareness that far too many people do not have because they are struggling with their egos. Activists, not expressed as such, recognise this duty, but because they are not spiritual they do not address the question of ego thus damaging the effectiveness of their activism. And where does this duty come from? Gaia. This answer might be interpreted as “saving the planet”, a fundamental for any activist now, but it actually means far more than that for pathtivism.
So this book is aimed at combining the driving forces of spiritual people with activism as a means of taking the movement forward without being impeded by ego. I hope you get something from the manual.