Our project is informed by the book The Seat of the Soul by Gary Zukav, which explores human evolution, the tools we can all use to further our understanding of self, and our reverence for everyone and everything around us.
This activity looks at the concept of power, how we choose to interpret it as individuals, and thus how we continue to engage it within our society and personal lives. The title “One Minute” comes from the pre-recorded voice played towards the end of a phone call that is received from an incarcerated individual in Illinois, which lets both parties know that their time is almost up and that their conversation will soon be terminated. It is often at that moment that we are reminded not only of the physical distance between incarcerated individuals and their loved ones, but also of the restrictions placed on connection and dialogue. This shortness of time forces us to be mindful and aware of the importance of our words as these conversations become treasured until the next phone call.
Find a quiet area where you will be able to record your voice without much background noise.
Read these two quotes by Gary Zukav that were taken from the POWER chapter in his book The Seat of the Soul:
- “There is no power in fear, or in any of the activities that are generated by fear. There is no power in a thought form of fear, even if it is supported by armies” (210).
- “The less empowered you feel, the more you feel a need to control that which is external. The loving personality seeks not to control, but to nurture, not to dominate, but to empower. Love is the richness and fullness of your soul flowing through you” (222).
Set a timer for five minutes and reflect on both of the quotes you just read. Note your reflections on a piece of paper or your phone: What comes up for you when you read these quotes? Feel free to record your thoughts in a free-write, a drawing, or by making notes on the quotes themselves.
Choose one question from this list to respond to:
- Question 1: What does it mean to be powerful in your society, and who taught you to see power that way?
- Question 2: What role do you think fear plays in how we punish people in our society?
- Question 3: Do you feel empowered to shape the world we all live in?
Have a phone or computer open to record your voice and a timer ready.
You have complete freedom in how you choose to answer the question (e.g., with a song, speaking words, rapping, chanting, etc.), but do not prepare your response in advance.
When you are ready, set your timer for one minute, and press record to begin recording your response. Begin your response with one of the corresponding statements:
- From question #1: With one minute left, I see power as…
- From question #2: With one minute left, I see fear in our society as…
- From question #3: With one minute left, I feel empowered to…
When the timer is up, that will be the end of your response.
Submit your recording using the online submission form below, where it will be uploaded anonymously and added to the responses from other participants.