Sunday, January 01, 2012

A Song and Challenge for 2012

For quite some time now part of my prayer life has involved praying for the paradigm shift in human consciousness that I believe God is calling humanity to embody. It's a shift – a movement, a journey – from greed to justice, from apathy to compassion, from mindless consumption to sustainability, from fear to love.

With this prayer in mind I've watched with great hope the unfolding of the Occupy Movement in this country and around the world. I see this movement as an embodiment of this paradigm shift that so many of us long to see realized.

And so as 2012 begins, I thought I'd share a wonderful song by my favorite vocalist, Dusty Springfield (1939-1999). It's from her 1990 electro-pop album Reputation – an album that actually played an important role in my coming out as a gay man. Written and produced by the Pet Shop Boys, the song I share today from Reputation is called "Occupy Your Mind," and has been described as "acid house existentialism." Lyrically, it's simply about striving to be conscious in the midst of confusion and disappointment. The song's extolling to "believe" is predicated, in my experience at least, on clarity, hope and courage. Of course, all the great religious traditions tell us that such awareness, such mindfulness, is the seedbed of compassionate action – and thus of transformation, our own and the world's.

It's great to see the expression, "occupy your mind," being used in positive and creative ways within the global movement for economic and social equality. I doubt, however, that many people know it's also the name of a song, and one sung by the late, great Dusty Springfield.

This is unfortunate as "Occupy Your Mind" is a very anthemic, pro-active song. I find it quite hopeful and empowering; its message both universal and relevant. And I love the way its different layers of sound are introduced, topped off by Dusty's incredible voice . . . "Satisfy your reason, it will occupy your mind. Even when you're dreaming, believe . . ."

About the song, Dusty said in 1990:"'Occupy Your Mind' was extraordinary . . . It's not really a song, it's a sound and I loved it for that reason. It's quite a meditation in itself."


Here, then, is Dusty Springfiled with "Occupy Your Mind." Enjoy!

Satisfy your reason,
It will occupy your mind
Even when you're dreaming

Find another meaning
To determine what you need
Experience this feeling
And believe

In a world so confused
. . . Believe

Love will pierce the dark cloud
Of unknowing and reveal
All that you were dreaming
And believe

These communications
Will descend on you en masse
So all I'm saying, baby,
Is believe

In a world so confused
If you feel love refused
In a life so defined
You could find time
To change your mind

Occupy your mind and you'll believe

Recommended Off-site Links:
Ten Ways the Occupy Movement Changes Everything
– Sarah van Gelder, David Korten and Steve Piersanti (Yes! Magazine, November 10, 2011).
The Incarnation and the Occupy Movement
– Jim Keane, S.J. (America, December 24, 2011).
Occupy: From Encampments to a Movement (November 29, 2011).
Linguists Name 'Occupy' as 2011's Word of the Year
– Stephanie Gallman (CNN, January 7, 2012).
Occupy the Future
– Noam Chomsky (In These Times, November 1, 2011).
Occupy Wall Street Protesters Condemn US Political Establishment
– Sandy English (World Socialist Web Site, October 13, 2011).
Year of Global Uprisings From the Arab Spring to Occupy Wall Street: A Special Look Back At 2011
Democracy Now! (January 2, 2012).
Occupy Wall Street, False Idols and a Moral Economy
– John Gehring (National Catholic Reporter, November 2, 2011).
Compassion Is Our New Currency: Notes on 2011’s Preoccupied Hearts and Minds
– Rebecca Solnit (, December 24, 2011).
Historical Evolution or Violent Revolution: Choose
– Joan Chittister (National Catholic Reporter, November 23, 2011).
What the Occupation Owes Anarchists
– Nathan Schneider (The Nation, December 21, 2011).
Occupy Economics: Because We’re Teaching It Wrong
Yes! Magazine (December 5, 2011).
2011: A Year of Taking It to the Streets
– Kevin Eckstrom (National Catholic Reporter, December 29, 2011).
The 12 Most Hopeful Trends to Build On in 2012
– Sarah van Gelder (, December 31, 2011).
Occupy Everywhere: Next Steps for the Movement Against Corporate Power
Democracy Now! (November 25, 2011).

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
Quote of the Day – October 1, 2011
Rocking the Cradle of Power
As the Last Walls Dissolve . . . Everything is Possible
Revolutionay Reconciliation
Quote of the Day – October 22, 2011
Something to Think About – November 30, 2011
Something to Think About – December 14, 2011

Image 1: Ezra Li Eismont.
Image 2: Photographer unknown.
Image 3: Mind(ful) Liberation Project.
Image 4: Democracy Now!
Image 5: Mihai Dela.

For more of Dusty at The Wild Reed, see:
Dusty Springfield: Queer Icon
The Other "Born This Way"
Remembering Dusty – Eleven Years On
The Sound of Two Decades Colliding . . .
No Stranger Am I
Remembering Dusty
Time and the River
Remembering a Great Soul Singer
Soul Deep

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