Reclaim Hope: Reflecting on the Occupy Movement

Co-authors Adam Bucko and Matthew Fox reflect upon the Occupy movement and how many of the protestors at the Occupy sites share a common desire to reclaim hope in the American Dream.

| February 2014

Occupy Spirituality: A Radical Vision for A New Generation (North Atlantic Books, 2013) inspires and calls for the need of embodied awareness and enlightened actions. Studying the Occupy Movement and its protestors, authors Matthew Fox and Adam Bucko converse back and forth, emphasizing ‘spiritual democracy’ as necessary if we are not only to survive as a species on this beautiful, sacred planet, but also to thrive together through our conscious, committed actions as cocreators of a planet that we all share.

Is It Time to Replace the God of Religion with the God of Life?

Adam Bucko: Imagine a group of protestors gathering together at one of the Occupy Movement sites. Suddenly, one of them does what they call a “human microphone” check. The mic is on. The ritual of call and response is about to begin. The liturgy of hope is about to start.

Most of the people there are young, in their twenties. Looking around, one can see people from all walks of life. There are college students, young professionals, mothers with babies, artists, even former Wall Street employees who decided to join in. Many are eager to participate in this regenerating ritual. Some feel broken, worried about what kind of future their kids will have.

Many are holding signs. There is one kid holding a sign that says, “That we’re young only means we have the most to lose by standing idle.” There is someone there with a sign that reads, “Obama is not a brown-skinned antiwar socialist who gives away free healthcare . . . you’re thinking of Jesus.” There is an elderly woman who looks like she could be the grandmother of any of these kids. Her sign says, “I’m 87 and mad as hell.”



Matthew Fox: There is much to be angry about in today’s world, whether you are young or old, but certainly if you are young. Adultism reigns. The debts the young are inheriting, which include not only unheard of educational debts but the debts of foolish wars and the debts of a depleted Earth system and the loss of so much beauty and richness and variety of species, the deteriorating health of the planet, climate change, ineffective political systems and religious systems—they all cry out for grieving. And anger is the first level of grief, after all. The question is not “Who is angry and why?” but “What are we doing with our anger? What is the most effective use of it?” What Howard Thurman and Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. teach us is that it is possible and necessary to steer anger into useful protest and authentic change.

Adam Bucko: There are also signs that say, “I won’t believe corporations are people until the state of Texas executes one” and “If only the war on poverty was a real war, then we would be actually putting money into it.” There is even a dog there protesting, holding a stick in his mouth with attached little flags that read, “Democracy gone . . . to dogs.” Finally, there is a sign that reads, “Sorry for the inconvenience. We are trying to change the world.”

ROBERTJ
2/19/2014 5:14:31 PM

"Looking around, one can see people from all walks of life. There are college students, young professionals, mothers with babies, artists, even former Wall Street employees who decided to join in." That is NOT from ALL walks of life! What about laborers, fast-food workers, mechanics, warehouse workers, etc., etc., etc.? I like the idea of replacing the God of religion with the God of life - that's why I'm a Deist. As many Deists say, "God gave us reason, not religion." Progress! Bob Johnson www.deism.com