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Day 1: Agapic Energy

By Lily Astiz

The power of love she says! The power of love, Amen!  She says it’s the love for mankind, the unique energy that that love creates in all of us that gives us the strength to demand change.  Agapic Energy, that’s what Diane Nash says, the student organizer from Nashville who was essential to making the Freedom Rides possible.  I feel that love.  It’s the love at the base of humanity, the love that moves through all of us like a breathing current.  It’s a current that once tapped, will sweep you off your feet and out of the illusions of segregation, isolation, and powerlessness that bind your understanding of yourself, the world and your relationship to it.  It’s a feeling, something powerful yet unseen.  This love is dangerous to oppression, hate, dishonesty, and helplessness because it expands not only your hearts, but also how you understand that nature of your own narrative.  What’s your story?  Who defines you? Who draws the limits to what you can do?  Are these limits real?  How much of what you believe do you assume from the language and images that are presented to you by society?  It feels like a movement is stirring, much like what Nietzsche explains as an “awakening.”  Humanity is beginning to see the hidden constructs and infrastructure that create the myths that rule our thoughts– the idea that we are out of control of our own destiny.

I am not saying this awakening will happen overnight.  The ingrained habits of the mind as well as pressures to conform, mistrust, and live within a “defined” world all make it difficult to break free from the chains of oppression, the chains we create inside of us that limit ourselves and our minds.  Yet, I know who I am.  I am a human being and I will not live in illusion.  I am a human being, and with that knowledge I know I am connected to every other human being throughout the world by a common thread.  It is my humanness that connects me to this planet and to those who inhabit it.  It is our humanness that we have forgotten. And if we are to survive the challenges that face us in the years to come, it is our humanness that we must liberate and awaken in all.

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  1. 2011 Student Freedom Ride


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