Tag Archive: identity

Conversations on Awakening

Heart-shaped Love Island at Sedona's PlaygroundI’ve been having some adventures in the embarrassingly long time since I’ve posted here. Islands, chakra meditation, kitties, griefers, snow, Occupy, more snow, and finally finding my way to another island, Love Island at Sedona’s Playground.

We’ll catch up on all of that soon, but first I wanted to tell you about my latest Second Life adventure, which has been inspired by hanging out with the kitties at Love Island.

I’ve launched a discussion group around the big campfire there to talk about the Awakening that is happening everywhere.

Have you felt it?

It seems many people in all the worlds are awakening to…what are they awakening to? That is a big part of the conversation, and answers are as varied as people. For me, it is people awakening to the bigger picture, to a connection to Spirit many never find in churches or religions, to truth from blogs, and pics from Smartphones, and alternative media that most busy people never see. Perhaps the most important thing we are awakening to is the fact that we are all connected to each other.

My experience with Occupy SL and Occupy SF has shown me that SL can be a very effective place for that conversation to take place. SL provides us a level of anonymity, if we choose, that can only enhance the conversation about topics many are fearful to talk about in the culture of First Life in 2011. Here in SL our ideas can be more freely expressed without fear of being ridiculed, harassed or punished for speaking what we believe.

But, what is it that we do believe?

That is what fascinates me!

Spiritual AwakeningThese conversations on awakening are, for me, people coming together to each blend their ideas with their own imprint and energy, with the ideas of others. Then like a wholesome, tasty soup we’ve layered with yummy ingredients and allowed plenty of time to simmer, we each take the conversation with us. We can use this soup as we go about our lives to feed and enlighten those in our paths.

One of the main things the Occupy movement has reinforced for me is the strength in each individual as they add their energy to the whole. This opposed to an organization that already has a vision and agenda, and they need you to basically see the same thing and add your energy to make the effort grow and move.

It was the collective energy and the spark I saw in so many eyes at that first Occupy march in San Francisco in late September that showed me the power in the coming together of those that have awakened. That feeling was reinforced over the next few weeks at the Occupy camp as I saw those individual souls stand together and refuse to give others their voice and momentum. The ranks of the Occupiers quickly grew beyond those at camp. Solidarity with other activist and labor groups showed how we can each champion or focus on a more specific area to bring about change, and also lend our energy to a larger movement such as Occupy making change at a group level.

Through my own awakening about how badly our government was governing, and their part in the economic plunder and complete disregard for human rights over profit, I began to see the most powerful way to fight back against the insanity that seems intent on destroying our quality of life as individuals, was to awaken more of those individuals. Or at least help it to happen.

Conversations on Awakening was born!

It is my intent to bring together some of those individuals in SL so we can all be in the same place to talk to each other. To talk about who we are, what we think, what we see, what we believe, and what we want. The General Assemblies at Occupy SF showed me something I’ve learned through my travels in the last few years; everyone just wants to be listened to, hopefully heard, and recognized as existing; that they are here, and that matters. In the process it can get a little messy as some of us have not had many chances at speaking our truth.

Conversations on Awakening is a place to give people that voice.

Lots of Love,


Random music: Steely Dan – Aja


A Tale of Two Cultures

Two cultural icons came to my attention this week, and the juxtaposition for me is vivid.  I think the two icons dramatically represent two cultures at odds with each other, and two different ways to deal with innovation and evolution.

The first is Google software engineer, Andrew Bunner , the other is musician/inventor/visionary, Onyx Ashanti.

This past week there has been much press about the launch of Google’s new social media site, Google+ and the removal of some accounts deemed to not be “real” people. Those accounts were removed on the basis that the name used on the account was a Pseudonym Identity. Avril Korman has an excellent discussion on the what and why of Pseudonym Identities.

If you’re wondering how a company as big as Google would have the time to track down the many pseudo name accounts even with all those servers, well apparently they can’t. But Andrew Bunner, seems up to the task. In a recent blog post he apparently said, “If you see a person with an obviously fake name, go to their profile and find the “Report Profile” link in the bottom of the left column. Report it as a “Fake Profile”. We want Google+ to be place for real people to connect with other real people.”

Some pseudo’s have already been lost in the battle, such as Opensource Secure, who brought this issue to the light; some such as Summer Seale  who remain Google+ account holders, offer themselves as sacrifice if necessary to speak out about the subject. If you scroll down on this Flickr photo by Opensource you will see a long list of links to articles and blog posts about this hot topic.

A Google search (no irony here) for a definition of “Pseudo Indentity” brought up topics in math and psychology, but not much from a cultural perspective or even a Wiki definition. But it did bring up this article from iKeepSafe on the subject of keeping kids safe using pseudo names.  This seems like reason enough to say pseudo identities are at least an okay thing, and good to have in some situations.

I think the two camps in this discussion will quickly become polarized and entrenched as has happened in Gender studies , and those two camps, the Privileged, in this case those with “real” identities who will fit themselves into the global info structure of a company like Google and conform a little bit more if necessary, and the rest of us who will find open source methods of creating more egalitarian social networks.

Now I want to introduce you to Onyx Ashanti and how he sees life. Watch this amazing video of Onyx performing for TED and read the text on the video towards the end to see why Onyx does what he does. As amazing as the music is, and how he does it, and that he conceived and created the tools to accomplish it, the reasons why he did it are even more important. This is why people like Onyx matter, and whatever name they feel best represent their essence matters too. Onyx’s name would also seem to qualify as a false persona not worthy of space at Google+. I doubt he loses much sleep over such things.

I want to live in a world where people like Onyx are seen, heard, embraced, loved, thanked, and supported. Our global culture seems to be moving away from this attitude toward artists and the arts, as witnessed by the recent news from Holland about the 25% budget cuts to funding for the arts that was supposed to have been set up to be sacred to their culture and immune from cuts.

I say that those on the pro-pseudo side of the discussion can, and should, start their own social networks that represent their own values. Others must feel the same way as anonplus.com has just launched, “Social Networking Anonymously”.  There are also a multitude of tools available on the web to help us interact with each other in ways that work for us. My friends on Facebook, the few I actually know, feel the same. Sharing info is good, having to do it someone else’s way is not. One of my friends on Facebook, one that I don’t know, found a romantic interest through Google Maps recently. Think outside the Facebook box.

We also need to tell each other about such things in more traditional ways as well. If a Facebook post works for you, super. I found it interesting this morning to discover that Onyx is on Facebook and has a mere 300+ fans. I think I was surprised to find he was there at all. None of my amazing friends knew of him or had posted about him there.

In the busy, info-loaded world we live in, I almost missed him too even though this is what I seek out. How long until I would have found Onyx if not for happening to see his video at my friend Zola’s salon on Sunday. Thank you Zola!

I am so taken with what Onyx is doing and the music he is making! But on top of it, I think he is showing us and telling us that we need to be evolving the spaces and methods we use for learning itself. Open everything. So I want to tell the world about Onyx, and I want you to help me. I’m talking viral here.

I almost feel like sending this beautiful man into viral space would be a cruel blow. But someone with his Light and Magic knows why they’re here, and he’s ready. Now that he’s hooked up with TED, that opens that door anyway. So let’s do it up for one of our own! Repost this in every random place you can think of, tell people on the street, lead the next person you find on a computer to him; Onyx Ashanti

See you soon,



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