148 Comments

Spotted you straight away in the background shots of those being questioned. It raised my spirits to know you were there and you had RFK Jr's back :)

Expand full comment

It made me grin as well. Not only knowing you were there offering your support, but seeing you in a suit! What is this strange world I find myself in?? 😉

RFK’s capacity to hold his center and reply to the near non-stop baseless accusations and attacks continues to inspire me on the daily. In full disclosure, my husband and I often watch/listen to podcasts with him just to have in our lives a living example of this kind of leadership.

And lord knows I, at least, could take some tips from RFK jr, and yourself, on finding and keeping to the middle ground, to honesty held with strength, but not force and modelling the kind of leadership that comes from the deepest kind of integrity.

Truly, this is a momentous time in our history, and I feel blessed to be witness to it.

Expand full comment

Beautiful comment 😊

Expand full comment

I know, I saw you, too, there, and smiled!!

Expand full comment

Watching it live I had a similar moment of satisfaction when I noticed him.

Expand full comment

Yes, my husband did as well, and raised our spirits as well!

Expand full comment

Likewise!!

Expand full comment

Charles, I salute you for your efforts in being an advisor to RFK Jr. It is my hope you can function as the adult in the room, for as you so eloquently point out, political discourse occurs at the level of the child, just with larger vocabularies. The entire mess is built upon lies, deceit, and assumed power, and in a just world most of it wouldn’t exist at all. Hopefully you can do some good. Good luck.

Expand full comment

Great reflections and I first let out a giggle when I saw you and Kucinich in the background of Bobby's testimony, then a deep sigh of satisfaction at seeing you three men doing battle in Congress to show that the tendency toward dehumanization is the true enemy.

Expand full comment

Thank you. The whole structure in which these spectacles - like Congressional hearings - take place are, imo, actually over. They are now dead things, that belong to another time. They feel like watching history.

Yes, we need to do something very very different.

Expand full comment

Yep, the charade is over.

It's so freaking dumb how they have these ridiculous OCD time limits and what you can and cannot say. Same shit with courts, that needs to be gone.

It was all set up to obfuscate the truth and so far people are starting to see the bullshit.

Expand full comment

I too, saw you and I felt you supporting Robert. I also knew that the garb you were wearing was a surrendering. Thank you for showing up and witnessing firsthand the current day's sacrifice. Hope you were able to do a smudge or some other ritual to remove the debris of the day.

Expand full comment

The mind will never sort this out. It’s said that the mind itself is the child of duality, and its job is to keep us safe. In the heart is where dualities dissolve. When I am in touch with my true desires for peace, safety, an opportunity to experience happiness, and freedom, then I can extend that understanding to others. We can meet there.

Expand full comment

Right on. To state the obvious, what's missing is compassion. We're designed to care for each other but how far we have drifted into insane polarization. I know, it seems like oversimplification to say this but it counts for a lot just to be kind to each other. I care about you, you care about me... regardless of anything else (positions, party affiliation, etc.). First, you are my brother, my sister, myself.

Expand full comment

Easily recognized despite the suit. What an awful display of abuse of power you were present at.

Expand full comment

I’ve gone from finding RFK Jr. so intriguing to having my doubts about his judgement. Maybe no one can stand up to in-depth critique in this personal information/disinformation overkill era. Regardless, Charles’ observations re the human mob’s inclination to social ostracism ring very true. I’ve been there as I’m sure others have here, daring not to brand someone based on the mob’s knee jerk response and then being judged guilty by association just for not falling into lock-step immediately. According to James Joyce’s Stephen Deadulus (sp?) “ history is the nightmare from which I’m trying to awaken”

I was just travelling in Israel, and attending demonstrations there. Hopefully a balance will eventually be struck between left and right and between Israelis and Palestinians. We don’t need to put down one side in order to elevate the other or we become part of mob-think. Balance is a North Star worth aiming for. More easily said than done..

Expand full comment

Another outstanding post—thank you and God bless you for all the light you are adding to RFK Jr.‘s campaign and to the world at large. May you, and all of us everywhere, be happy, healthy, and well.

Expand full comment

We were also happy to see you there. I said, “Charles is just sitting there, holding space, breathing with awareness and probably meditating.” :) !

Expand full comment

So good, Charles, you are a master at weaving threads of ideas together in a very heart full manner. Thank you so much, it creates a space for me, and others, to do the same!

I woke up this morning with a whirlwind of ideas flooding in, mainly relating to an upcoming event this Sun day, but also relating to many other artistic pots on my creative burner. One of the lightbulbs that turned on in that whirl pool was how the word weird was often one of the words used by other children to put me into a box. The box is like mob mentality, where as a creative I tend to flow more in the circle, which I perceive is what you, Dennis and RFK are bringing to the foreground.

Expand full comment

Roxana, continue to stay out of the box! : ) Once, I had a teacher say that I dressed "interestingly" - I just replied, "oh, I'm an artist!" That made her go quiet immediately. Like, "I am following rules that you just don't understand!" LOL

Expand full comment

Love it, thanks for sharing that little nugget from the past @DorrenSmith, and cheers to your wise artist self!

Expand full comment

in the spirit of Charles' essay can I suggest that - ' "I am following rules that you just don't understand!" LOL' - is actually a kind of dehumanizing too? Isn't it saying "you are not as cool as I am, go back to your box".

I am an artist and yes, we might have different ways of being in the world but that is our role and how we contribute to the whole... including those who do not understand what it is to be an artist/creative. I see my role as artist is to open doors to those who have less capacity to understand instinctually what art is (our culture has driven this capacity from too many people's lives and bodies) but whose lives can be enlivened by what art brings if the door is opened - because all lives can be enlivened by what art brings!

Expand full comment
Aug 12, 2023·edited Aug 12, 2023

Gently, gently my dears. I feel a young heart (Doreen) sometimes needs a barricade whilst it grows. I thought the statement to an (older/bigger) teacher was an effective form of self defense.

Expand full comment

It was so cool to see you behind RFK Jr when I watched the hearings live, and I was looking forward to reading what you would write about the experience of being there. Thanks, as always, for a clear and lucid accounting of what we need to be paying attention to in these times.

Expand full comment

we are crying

and we don't even know it

because the tears taste like

anger

and dismissal

and the cold turn of the knife of disdain

but beneath the 'other'ing

the making wrong

the raised voice of desperate fear

we are crying

because we miss each other

Expand full comment

cg. Thank you. This makes me want to cry but my tears dried up a long time ago. Now the best I can do is yawn which causes my eyes to water. Wait a minute. Maybe that is why there is so much yawning going on during congressional hearings. "because we miss each other." Sniff.

Expand full comment

A saying - "Whom the gods wish to destroy they first drive mad" If so, looking at our governing "leaders" we are crusing for a bruising as my dad would say.

Expand full comment

The recent flap about support of Israel gets down to the kind of political strategizing that I detest. RFK choosing to distance himself from Roger Waters, and associating himself with people like the editors of the Jewish Journal who label Waters an "antisemite," make me think, Really? Is this person, with a plank of peace and articulations about the suffering of the Ukrainian people, being honest with himself about the plight of the Palestinians (or of Muslim members of Congress, for that matter), in his seemingly unequivocal support of the state of Israel? Even Sanders was more circumspect about Israel in his campaign. And then, I heard another candidate's (Cornell West) viewpoint on Israel and it was simply an untainted statement of truth that made me feel sane. I would like to donate to RFK. I would like to support. But, just can't bring myself to do so. My observation has always been that the co-opting of integrity required to succeed as a major candidate is SO GREAT as to evoke disillusionment in the very people who should constitute a candidate's core. Sorry, Bobby, but that is me.

Expand full comment

I don't believe that RFK's position on Israel is a calculating one, I think he genuinely believes it. It's important not to project calculation just because we don't agree with a position someone takes. This is what many democrats do when they dismiss him as being 'really' a Republican because he shares some concerns that some Republicans feel.

Expand full comment

Like Keppel Cassidy, I believe RFK Jr's support of Israel's rights is genuine. Does that necessarily mean he supports their actions? We have a responsibility to look at history: Supporting Israel holds the possibility of being elected. Doing otherwise removes the possibility. Plain as day. My heart breaks for Palestinians, but again looking at history, can we trust RFK Jr to see clearly and act justly? My answer is a resounding yes.

Expand full comment

I don’t wish to enter into a political debate, argument, or even conversation, only to invite you into considering the situation in the Mideast to be an example of particularly complicated and complex dynamics. With that, perhaps there’s a possibility to be a person who supports Israel and the Jewish people while also supporting the Palestinian people and their plight for an independence and statehood. It’s not an either or and doesn’t have to be.

Expand full comment