Spiritual Activism and the Power of 108

By Ethan Indigo Smith

Contributing writer for Wake Up World

The anti-war movement, anti-police violence, pro civil rights activism of the 1960’s hippie era was the biggest cultural peaceful protest since Gandhi freed South Asia perhaps, or at least since they began fluoridating the water! The expression born out of this counterculture was the mostly intoxicant related idea, ‘turn on, tune in and drop out.’

Today, as activists protest police violence, corrupt wars, and the oligarchical destruction of clean air and water, the phrase and the sentiment needs an update. Being how the counterculture was corrupted by the idea that people should do drugs, let me be clear that I am not suggesting that you use any intoxicants – unless you use cannabis to protest the unjust laws and the oligarchical efforts to destroy the plant. Cannabis aside, today we need to turn off, tune out, stand in and drop out.

Turn Off, Tune Out, Stand In and Drop Out

The dropout may be a hero but the ignorant is not. There is a big difference between the dropout as a hero and the ignorant as sheep. There is a whole world of institutionalized individuals who are like The Hopi Two-Hearted, expressing the misgivings of an institution to feed a mechanized heart and not the single truth of individuals. Take for example the woman who chastised protesters in Hong Kong, telling them that, “safety is more important than freedom.” She made this institutionalized interjection as if it had some philosophical basis, when in fact it has none. Indeed, one of the founding revolutionaries of The United States said the complete opposite.

“Those who would give up essential liberty, to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.” ~Benjamin Franklin

Now, as activists who say might be challenging Monsanto/Bayer or the Government of the state we are in, it is extremely important to be courteous and respectful and to maintain your cool, for you never know who you might encounter or rather who you might trigger.

As activists, 108 holds an important lesson for us, as it represents the trinity of time: 1 for the present, 0 for the past, and 8 for the infinite future. Anything is possible. We are countering negativity with information on potential positive paths for the future.

For meditators, 108 is the simplest meditation instruction. Be 1 with the breath, let 0 thoughts coalesce and tap into the infinite, 8. When we are in the middle of an activist encounter, no matter the level of absurdity of seriousness it can be of critical help to regain calm and centered focus. The 108 meditation is possibly the very simplest way to regain the meditative mind state and certainly among the most effective as well.

Don’t forget that 108 relates to the intent behind activism, namely transmutation/change. 1 is for acceptance. It represents the singular ‘now’ moment; what is. It reminds us that we cannot change anything unless we understand and accept reality.

0 is for integration. It represents the integration of the past. It reminds us that we cannot change anything until we integrate our reality, understanding  everything as it just is; where there is 0 negative and 0 positive, just the mix if you will, the integrated whole.

8 is for the transmutation. It represents the infinite undefined potential. It reminds us that we can change our reality in infinite ways, yet only after acceptance and integration of the entirety can we see and understand then act on that potential.

By understanding the power of 108 as a meditative tool for activism, we can create change from a centered and holistic perspective.

Turn off, tune out, stand in and drop out.

Recommended articles by Ethan Indigo Smith:

108 steps to be in the zone - ethan indigo smithWant to learn more about the metaphysical relationship of 108, and how it can help you live “in the zone”? Check out Ethan Indigo Smith’s book 108 Steps to Be in The Zone.

In this work, Ethan  provides a set of 108 meditative practices and steps toward self discovery and individual betterment, including techniques to develop balance, transmute sexual energy and better the self.

“Ethan’s work on meditation achieves a level of  rarefied  quality so necessary to metaphysical writing and teaching. The 108 Steps is simple and profound, and rich in details and analogies that bring the inner truths of diverse traditions into usefulness in the present time. Ethan’s writing…  lays out a system that can be used beneficially to reveal one’s inner nature and the truths we all seek sooner or later.” ~  Laura Peppard, Founder and Director of the Reno Psychic Institute.

“108 Steps to Be in The Zone” is available here on Amazon.com.

About the author:

Activist, author and Tai Chi teacher Ethan Indigo Smith was born on a farm in Maine and lived in Manhattan for a number of years before migrating west to Mendocino, California. Ethan’s work is both deeply connected and extremely insightful, blending philosophy, politics, activism, spirituality, meditation and a unique sense of humor.

You can connect with Ethan on Facebook, check out his author page on Amazon, or visit his new websites, Geometry Of Energy and Meditation 108, where Ethan offers lessons on individuation, meditation, the conceptualization of energy, and the metaphysical significance of 108.

Ethan’s books include:

If you've ever found value in our articles, we'd greatly appreciate your support by purchasing Mindful Meditation Techniques for Kids - A Practical Guide for Adults to Empower Kids with the Gift of Inner Peace and Resilience for Life.

In the spirit of mindfulness, we encourage you to choose the paperback version. Delve into its pages away from screen glare and notifications, allowing yourself to fully immerse in the transformative practices within. The physical book enriches the learning process and serves as a tangible commitment to mindfulness, easily shared among family and friends.

Over the past few years, Wake Up World has faced significant online censorship, impacting our financial ability to stay online. Instead of soliciting donations, we're exploring win-win solutions with our readers to remain financially viable. Moving into book publishing, we hope to secure ongoing funds to continue our mission. With over 8,500 articles published in the past 13 years, we are committed to keeping our content free and accessible to everyone, without resorting to a paywall.