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10/29/09

The Consumer Revolution

It is appropriate once again, that today I am cozied up in a tiny boutique hotel in the Latin Quarter of Paris where I just discovered that an infamous, yet small group of American poets lived for several years. They had started an entire movement you might recall, known as "The Beat Generation". I remember them more for their protests against the Vietnam war then for their poetry. The Beat Generation, the Cathars, the French Revolutionists, the Knight Templar - it's always the same story repeating itself.... There is an injustice on freedom, a small group gathers in a home, shares similar perspective and passion, and an oath is taken to stick together to fight the bad guys until freedom is restored.

Here we are again battling against the bad guy capitalists that have rocked our world but this time the perpetrators also include ourselves....the consumer. Our overindulgence in harmful and unnecessary products to seemingly make our life easier, stripping our planet of its shield, obliterating every natural resources in existence, raising farm animals in such cruel conditions only to slaughter them within six short months of their life, the 'ridiculousness-list' goes on. We are truly a most unconscious, self-absorbed group in history on mass.

"We the People" were those who suffered the social injustices from the few. Now 'We the People" are the invaders.  If I didn't know that evolution was a principle law of the universe, I would swear we were going backwards.

This trip has been good reminder that I need not keep thinking that there is some grand global idea that is going to change the world, but rather, it can begin right in our own backyard, a living room, the kitchen table, at Grail Springs, and deciding as a small group of friends, family, citizens, what oath can we take right now as consumers to change our ways and change the world?

What I plan to do so far: Grail Springs has gone completely vegetarian as of last month. And very soon we will have clean electricity throughout the building. I promise to buy locally whenever and wherever possible, cut back on travel, do more tele-conferencing for business meetings rather than meeting in person, buy carbon credits, and focus on local markets versus international markets. That was a huge revelation to me that was a hard one to swallow. But hey - until we figure out a new way to live peacefully with our host Mother Earth - I'm joining the new "Consumer Revolution".

10/28/09

Free Thinkers

Yesterday I appropriately ended my stay here in the South of France by renting a car and traveling west along the picturesque Cathar trail, my end destination; Rennes le Chateau - made famous by two best selling contraversial books 'Holy Blood, Holy Grail' and 'DaVinci Code'.  The location of Rennes was sublime, a little peace of heaven on earth.

Almost immediately leaving Perpignon you are in Cathar Country. For those of you who do not know, the Cathars were new age thinkers of the 11th century. Anyone who was a 'free thinker', gathered in this region. It is here where women were revered as equal to men and played a part in every aspect of culture, governance, business, teaching, spiritual guides. It was not long before the Roman Catholic Church sent along massive French troops under the reign of King Philip, sought the Cathars out, and masacred as many as 300,000. You could not help but get a sense of both the sublime life of living in such a beautiful surrounding, being free to be yourself, and the incredible terror and violence that was inflicted therafter.

It was a reminder this type of violence and social injustice still continues on today in many eastern parts of our world. Humanity is not yet free. Much work to be done yet. As I am about to leave this region, also home to my own ancestors on my mothers side, women who were the 'free thinkers' of their time, I plan to carry on that legacy - the impulse to do good, be good and vision the world as it could be - Heaven on Earth.

10/27/09

Renaissance2

Social innovation for a sustainable planet was the topic of the day today at the Renaissance2 Symposium here in Perpignon, France.  My message - the importance of integrating 'conscience' within all new planning, systems, institutions, governance, etc. It is a foundation on to which we must build on.  We also heard from the likes of Barbara Marx Hubbard, a leader in conscious evolution, and Neal Donald Walsh, author of Conversations with God.  His message - that world crisis - its not a economic problem, nor a military or political problem, but a spiritual problem. I agree. It is a crisis of conscience. I imagine, if all of the worlds people woke up with their conscience in tact tomorrow morning, we would have a completely different world. Just imagine.

10/24/09

Bitter Sweet in Perpignon

I landed in Perpignon in the south of France today after 20 hours of travel from door to door. With great anticipation I could not wait to disembark off the plane and set foot on these grounds steeped in Grail history. Just yesterday on my way to the airport I was stunned to find out that I have direct roots in this very region on my mother's father's side. And my mother, who was just as stunned to find out this was my exact destination, informed me that she had vacationed here with her parents for a couple of summers just before they passed and was left with wonderful memories.

I want to be able to write and say that I felt great joy on touching down on this once elegant and romantic town, but that changed when the clouds parted. Instead I saw - just another over crowded corner of the world, humans cutting out their little boxes called home, insane drivers racing for their life, garbage strewn on the side of the road and iron bars on most of the store fronts.

I'm in a bitter sweet mood tonight. Resolved that it is so. It will be my fuel for tomorrow's symposium on social innovation and the shift for human conscious evolution.

10/23/09

Heading for Grail Country

Good Morning,
Today I woke up to the first sprinkling of snow! It always fills me with a sense of freshness, cleansing and wiping the slate clean. This post will be the last for 48 hours as I now rush to pack and head to the airport to catch a flight to Paris and then on to Perpignan in the south, staying in a 15th century chateau, host to the Renaissance2 symposium on social innovation. I've been invited to speak on issues of personal wellness and the correlation between the health of the individual and the health of the planet. We're bringing the message "We all need to well in order for our planet to be well."

During my stay I'll be shown many sites of the Knight's Templar, the gnostic Magdalene and the journey of the Holy Grail in order to create another sacred journey ~ returning next year with 30+ individuals. Perhaps you will join us as well. Keep tuning in as I send you postings on my discoveries! I feel as if I am going home.

10/21/09

The Quest Continues!...

It feels almost impossible to express the complexity of feelings when I dream of ancient times, especially those related to the "quest for the Holy Grail". Whenever I hear those five words spoken, I am sure my heart skips a beat. I am not exactly certain when I first became aware of the legends surrounding the Grail but it seems they have been with me all my life. I do have one childhood memory though from very early on that occurred during the summer of '68 that stirred my soul's calling. My grandfather and I had walked up a hillside capped by an old monastery. As we sat in the pew he filled my mind with stories of enemy invasions, the fight between the virtuous and the corrupt, and described how the monks protected thier secret scrolls and treasures by hiding them inside the backs of the pew so the invaders would not find them. Lo and behold he reached out, sliding the back of the pew aside and revealed a secret pocket. Whether he was making up stories or not, I was hooked! To this day I am not sure which I love more....the 'mystery of life', not knowing everything.... or revelation itself.

How about you?

I hope we travel together over the next months and maybe years. Whether you have been a guest of Grail Springs or dream of coming one day soon, I invite you to become part of this growing community, whose common interests are in creating lifestyles of health and sustainability; focusing on being well, fitness, environment, self development, spirituality, animal welfare and social justice!

I welcome you to this new forum! Please feel free to contribute or ask questions in the light of our common goals.  ~ Sincerely, Madeleine Marentette