HELP TO CREATE A NEW MEANING FOR…
The day Michael Jackson became immortal something unusual happened. Many around the globe were catapulted into not only a confounding and complex grief, but an effectual individual spiritual journey. Affected beyond simple explanation by the death of this elusive mega star, his passing became personal for a multitude of people. These are people from all over the world who fall into many categories: some never met him; were indifferent to him; lost track of his life and career while pursuing their own; drifted away from his music and influence; didn’t pay close attention; knew of him but weren’t interested; at one time admired him but developed skepticism because of the events in his life; were avid fans earlier in life but lost interest for a variety of reasons. And some, of course, were completely emotionally gutted long time Michael Jackson fans.
The odd thing is many who didn’t spend much time thinking about him or hadn’t for a long time suddenly, with his passing, became interested again. They scoured websites, magazines, You Tube, bookstores, record stores, began commiserating with other fans on Internet social media and fan sites, and found themselves with not just a renewed interest but immersed in a sweeping current of enchantment. This magnetic draw of Michael has been described over and over in many stories, in many languages and in many places around the world. They even coined a phrase for this inordinate time investment and obsession with all things Michael: “I am ‘Michaeling.’”
‘Michaeling’ describes the activity of spending hours on You Tube watching Michael Jackson’s performances, listening to his interviews, checking popular sites for the latest news, visiting numerous Michael sites and tributes, spending countless hours on fan social forums and grieving hard over the loss of someone who obviously was/is more than a cultural icon and touchstone.
As a wordsmith who is intimate with the power of and in words, I am aware of how they can impact reality. Sometimes words change their meanings overnight and come to mean something else. On March 20, 2003 for example, the words “shock and awe” assumed a kind of immortality and took on a much different meaning than they held prior to that date. “Am I bad, or my bad?” When the drink is “cool” does it mean temperature or likeability? “What a dog she is!” That used to mean she’s a delightful puppy. “Tweeting” used to be what birds do while they twittered which meant waking you up early in the morning when you wanted to sleep in. You know what I’m sayin’……..
When the name of something becomes a substitute for the generic form of something it becomes genericized, or a proprietary eponym. The brand name is then used to describe anything within that family of things. It can connote an object, activity or idea. Some examples of that are: Kleenex (facial tissues); googled (used a search engine); Xeroxed (photocopied); Band-Aid (bandage.) Proper names and peoples’ names have become eponymous: Hercules (herculean); Cesar (cesarean section); quixotic (Don Quixote). Other examples: McCarthyism, Elizabethan, Darwinian. Orwellian, Machiavellian. Metonyms are words or phrases that are substitutes for words that are intimately connected: “Washington is passing a law” actually means: “government is passing a law.” Words shift their meaning from repetitive use until it becomes a cultural colloquialism: a daring performance by can be “hot,” “cool,” or “far out.” A person is a “dude,” “bloke,” “guy” and so on. It’s all linguistics; it’s all fascinating. It used to take decades for word meaning to change; now a word meaning can become “viral” (used to mean germs) in a weekend.
My journey with Michael Jackson has taught me how misunderstood and abused was this man who was a generous humanitarian and philanthropist.Instead of learning about what an awesome force for good Michael was, most of us were fed a steady diet of tabloid swill that was so far afield of who the man truly was as to qualify as a cartoon or caricature of a Michael that did not exist. Many are angered that the tabloid version was all they knew because it was so in-your-face prevalent. They feel shame for their contribution to that caricature and are angry that they were diverted from experiencing the true legend who was Michael. And now it’s too late.
They are also having a hard time redeeming themselves, for themselves. They feel guilty for not being there and being steadfast when Michael most needed them to believe in him. So I have asked them: “What would it take for you to forgive yourself for your perceived abandonment of Michael Jackson in his greatest hour of need?” They seem to want a form of penance. They want to make this right with and for Michael.
And Michael’s legacy should not read the way it does now even though it seems somewhat kinder than before. He has now, only his family and admirers to speak for him. So here is my proposal: Be the change in Michael’s name. Whenever you do something generous, you donate, you volunteer, you pray or meditate, or you cry tears for the injustice, I ask you to do it in Michael’s name. (See Inner Michael entry: “Be the Change in Michael’s Name.”) Out loud or under your breath say “This I do for Michael.” “This is in memory of Michael Jackson.” “This donation is on behalf of Michael Jackson.”
And then I am going to ask you to explain what you are doing by calling it “Michaeling.” It will mean: volunteering to work with big brothers and big sisters because you are “Michaeling” or working with children on behalf of Michael because he so loved children. Donate to the Montessori school in your neighborhood or buy some children’s books and put labels inside the front cover “Donated in memory of Michael Jackson who wanted to ‘Heal the World’ and urged us to start with the children.” You are now “Michaeling!” Make that change by doing things in Michael’s name (Michaeling) because he is no longer here to do it.
And tell everyone what you are doing. “I am Michaeling to change the world.” When people ask you what that means, you have just created the perfect opportunity to change the legacy, to set the record straight. Here’s an example:
“I really admired Michael Jackson because of who he was. I learned who he really was sadly, after his death. I was curious so I started looking into his life and work. I found out he was NOT who we thought he was or how the media painted him. He actually was a big global humanitarian and peacemaker, donating his time, possessions and hundreds of millions to charities. He supported almost 40 charities- most of them for children. I found out what kind of person he really was—he never harmed a child; in fact, he visited sick children in hospitals and orphanages all over the world, bussed them to his concerts, hosted groups of them at Neverland to give them a day of joy. I feel badly because of how he was misrepresented and mistreated so I am clearing his legacy by “Michaeling” which means charity in Michael’s name. (or any part of that – or write your own response and rehearse it to have it ready.)
Then take the opportunity to change the world and do it in Michael’s name. And call it “Michaeling.” Whenever there is an opportunity to put it in writing, do it. If you have an opportunity to copy and distribute the tribute at Voices Education Program, do it. You have my permission. I’d like to see the term “Michaeling” be defined as doing something to ‘Heal the World’ in the name of Michael Jackson. “Michaeling” has the potential to become viral, to become eponymous. Do it! Ready, set, go! And send me your “Michaeling” stories and I will feature the best Michaelers among you. Now how Michaelian is that?
How did this happen?
My exploration into Michael Jackson’s life, legacy and body of work has taken me into some really unexpected places. It has landed me in places never would have dreamed of—some bright and wonder-filled places and then some—not so bright. And it has shined a light on some very unusual realities.
But then, nothing about Michael Jackson is ordinary. Extraordinary man; extraordinary life. And equally extraordinary are the loyalists who have discovered the magic in the man.
How does it work?
The “Hundredth Monkey” phenomenon examines the collective impact of minds on reality. In the Hundredth Monkey effect, an idea whose time has come spreads exponentially until it reaches critical mass. Critical mass is a tipping point where the idea becomes culturally embedded without contact among the species’ members. Science calls that non-local reality meaning that an electron that is visiting me here has a relationship with your electron there. And yours. And yours too. It means we are interconnected in some sort of invisible web.
The tipping point is similar to a flashover in a fire. The fire burns so hot that everything in the room reaches incredibly high temperatures and in the same moment, everything ignites—flashover. Modern examples: a word that becomes a part of the lexicon “overnight,” a You Tube video that goes “viral;” a disease that reaches “epidemic” stages, a cultural meme which is an idea that spreads socially like a “flash fire” which is another one.
Did you know that the calculated tipping point for the Hundredth Monkey critical mass in humanity is the square root of 1% of a given population? The square root of 1% is just 100 people per million. In our current world population of 6.5 billion, that’s about 8,000 people.
Princeton University calls it the “Noosphere.” Lynne McTaggart calls it the “field;” Bruce Lipton calls it the “quantum field:” Teilhard de Chardin called it “the sphere of human thought;”Rupert Sheldrake calls it the “Morphogenetic field:” Albert Einstein searched for the “unified theory;” others name it the “quantum hologram;” Gregg Braden calls it the “Divine Matrix;” Eastern Spirituality calls it “God;” and Star Wars called it “The Force.”
Whatever you call it, the Institute for Noetic Science at Princeton University has experimented with it for more than 30 years and has found some startling evidence of the phenomenon. Their experiments have included distance healing, group meditation on peace, thought projection and retro-causality which is a kind of time travel—affecting the past from the present.
“Inner Michael” is another term for this compass or spiritual core that is activated and communicates with everything else in the noosphere. The collective body of humanity creates shadow and the collective can create brilliance. And according to some new science, the square root is a tipping point that affects the whole.
So we, at Inner Michael have been doing some experimenting with shifting the shadow that surrounded Michael Jackson and his body of work. Michael was a spiritual messenger for our time but his real message got lost on the masses because it was overcast by the shadow created and projected by an out-of-control media who painted a caricature, not a messenger. His extraordinary work is just now beginning to be fully recognized.
Change the Noosphere, Change the World
Perhaps the real message and the real Michael may be revealed if we use the new science to create a new lexicon and legacy on behalf of Michael Jackson whose one constant message was “Heal the World.” How to heal the world? Keep “Michaeling.”
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