Walking Away from the King
by Mike Penney

Walking Away From the KingThe time has arrived to “walk away from the king.” The change necessary to save the human species and salvage the planet from impending ecological disaster cannot come from the powers that be, who only perpetuate their own ill-fated system.

A swell of diverse grassroots movements has arisen to create a very different culture than our contemporary world controlled by corporations and plutocrats. Rather than the status quo with its patriarchal, domineering, and exploitative culture of Empire, these groups favor a truly democratic Global Community, centered on bottom-up ecological revival, gender equality, cooperative action and individual responsibility. Collectively, they have determined they must “walk away from the king,” in preparation for a Grand Transition from contemporary self-destruction to a world of resilience and sustainability.

A prominent co-partner in the struggle is an organization calling itself Gaia/Universe. Many have galvanized behind its spokesperson, Bruno Panoka. A charismatic third generation televangelist that has turned from the “Heavenly Father” to “Mother Earth,” Panoka steps over the line and enrages the powers that be when he espouses the use of psychedelic mushrooms to expand consciousness, so as to jumpstart massive cultural change, and in turn economic and political change.

By throwing down such a gauntlet, the renegade preacher realizes he’s threatening the government’s full imperial powers, yet to him it seems the most effective course if the downward spiral of the species and the planet is to be reversed.

When attempting to recruit a key character, it’s all so obvious to Panoka:

“Don’t you want to see a different world?” Panoka demanded. “Haven’t you had enough of our eco-destructive age? Aren’t you prepared to become a steward rather than a pillager of the planet? Can’t you see that the corporate model must necessarily be upended in favor of co-ops and employee owned companies? Do you fail to understand that distributional equity and generalized prosperity is the only way a market economy can be sustainable over the long term? And can’t you see that it’s time to tax the bejesus out of everything relating to fossil fuels so as to fund a transition to a carbon-free economy?
“Don’t you understand, Wimp, that none of that is possible without a consciousness expansion by a critical mass of the populace?” the renegade preacher entreated. “And you know as well as I do the catalyst for a paradigm shift in cultural awareness is the psilocybin mushroom and the individual psychedelic experience. It will be the springboard that transforms our destructive and out of control species. Don’t you want to see a different world?”

Naturally, those in control of Empire’s minions hardly agree with Panoka, and there are even co-partners within Gaia/Universe that question his methods. The government forces eventually surround the Gaia/Universe compound in the Arizona desert and tensions rise as a desperate standoff develops.

The non-violent world that Gaia/Universe once espoused has transformed into an armed, defensive camp as the imperial noose draws ever tighter around the desert compound. And yet, though under siege, there are those still true to their vision of a peaceful Grand Transition to Global Community. There are some within Gaia/Universe that might yet survive the inevitable government conflagration, and possibly, successfully, – “walk away from the king.”

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