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What It Really Means to Be 'Woke': Radical Activism Is Spiritual as Well as Political

March 12, 2018 in Blogs

By Terry Patten, AlterNet

It's about balancing the inner work of personal growth and the outer work of political activism.


The word radical means “root.” The Oxford English Dictionary defines radical as “relating to or affecting the fundamental nature of something.” In the U.S. today, our corporate media and our hyper-capitalist public agenda have created the popular misconception that radicalism is simply another word for dangerous extremism. But what a true radical does is “cut to the root” of both political and personal reality and seeks to address the source of problems instead of their symptoms. As we barrel toward environmental and social collapse, we are in a moment that demands radicalism and offers an unprecedented opportunity for root-level solutions and fundamental change to take hold.

Harking back to the ’60s, hundreds of thousands of Westerners have “gotten radical” in one of two ways:

  1. We have gotten “woke” to what is actually happening and ceased to be diverted by what the powerful say is happening. We rejected obfuscation and denial. We “followed the money”—literally. We dared to speak the truth. We recognized bullying and corruption and refused our consent. We were “radicalized” by our recognition of systemic injustice and oppression. We saw through the false narrative we were sold about why the world is as it is. We got political.

  1. We “awakened from the dream” of our thoughts and problems into an experience of open, joyous, awake intelligence. We discovered a deeper wholeness and interconnectivity that revealed our experience of separation, contraction and conflict to be illusory. We underwent a personal radicalization when we awakened from the stories we told ourselves about who we were, how we should related to each other, and what kind of life we should strive for. We saw through the false narrative we bought into about our identity and the place we occupied in the greater scheme of things. We got spiritual.

We are now in a moment when it is time for these two ways of being radical to integrate. For those who have awakened, it is time to “get woke.” For those who …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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