"Call on God, but row away from the rocks."
~ Hunter S. Thompson
Today is Michael C. Ruppert's birthday. Mike was my mentor for many years after the BP Oil Disaster led me to investigate the topic of energy. As a consequence, I became not only energy literate but this singular education crystallized with great force a spiritual knowing I'd always felt in my bones: the connection to everything and everyone on this planet. Wahe Guru.
Mike's professional dedication, from his work as an LAPD narcotics officer and throughout his career as an investigative journalist, taught me how to become a media analyst and a better writer. I'd always been a good researcher but Mike showed me how to recognize different patterns, pinpoint what data to keep and what to disregard. He called this 'separating the ice cream from the bullshit' -- in this country that has never been a small task. However, that task is getting smaller with the current media or rather, lack of a real one.
To err is human. Mistakes are always made. Mike often made them but always owned them, apologized for his mistakes and retracted, always doing his level best to help his readers learn the value of their own discernment. A teacher, but also a rare man of integrity, honesty, and duty. A good cop with a big heart.
Highly intelligent, Mike also had a wicked sense of humor, loved music and was a musician himself. Before his appearance in the critically-acclaimed documentary, Collapse, I'm sure he would have loved nothing more than to sing and play music and what any of us have ever wished for: to live a happy life and share that happiness with others. But sometimes we have a calling we simply can't ignore. Ultimately, it was Mike's sense of duty that called him to put his country, and all of us, before himself. What he'd come to see couldn't be 'unseen' and he wished desperately to teach others so they might act and ultimately prepare for what he saw coming; what he felt in his bones.
Mike was a seer and a visionary that I was honored to have met and known a short time in this life.
He forever changed mine. After I met him in December of 2012, we exchanged correspondence a few times and he gave me permission to share anything I desired from his publication, Crossing the Rubicon: The Decline of American Empire at the End of the Age of Oil. I realized a torch had been handed to me as an analyst and a journalist, an honor I could not have imagined after hearing of his work only two years before. That torch has been heavy and a lot of inner work followed. Since his passing, I often find I know the man better than the analyst. I'm not alone in missing him terribly. His friends are many down the rabbit hole. I am blessed to know some of those dearest to him.
We're all mad here. Alice knew the best people are mad. Remember what the dormouse said?
For better or worse, knowledge has a funny way of changing our lives because it changes us. Any wisdom worth knowing takes sacrifice and the courage to face the truth, which is often unpleasant. That's the inner work. He taught me to be courageous to that end. Even now, the skills I learned through him have synthesized beautifully with my recent studies in Jungian analysis and deep ecology.
Strangely, I remember no teacher before him that had as much impact on me but I have met the most amazing teachers on the path since we met. I'm forever grateful for his work, his integrity and his encouragement. He was a torch bearer, a liminal being in a darkening world. The torch isn't as heavy now. We were all once students seeking mentors, were we not?
And like Daniel Quinn's title character, Ishmael, we should expect more students will be coming. This we can predict with absolute certainty.
In Mike's honor, I ask those who knew him, loved him or followed his work [or even if you haven't] to now muster your courage and lift your torch. Speak out against injustice. Bear witness. Continue diligently to separate ice cream from bullshit. Simply trust your instincts, the brains you were given as well as your big hearts. He asked us each to be our own authority. We must speak with that authority now.
Mike told us that people in bunkers with beans aren't going to make it. He also taught us how to start building lifeboats. Now that many have, who are we to sit in them idly? Are we to laugh and point at the drowning? One thing I remember Mike stating clearly: he refused to utter the words, "I told you so."
Let's try to follow that example with the knowledge he gave to the best of our abilities.
Mike's legacy doesn't have to end with a radio program called The Lifeboat Hour. We can all continue to teach using our own experiences, our stories and, like Mike, be a lighthouse for others in the cruel storm.
Happy Birthday, Ruppert Bear a.k.a. Tracker of Truth || Sat nam, my friend.