108. Channeling Creative Tension Every Breath


GWDF D6A Characteristic 108 Channeling Creative Tension Every Breath

As I've before written and said, there are two ways to bring radical change - show up with enough guns and kill or threaten to kill until you get what you want, or show up with enough loving bodies and die until you so evoke the humanity of onlookers that pressure comes to bear from them and you get what is rightfully yours.  Violence and unviolent action; 1. Destructive Tension, and 2. Creative Tension. 

It is essential to understand these the two ways of creating tension, and it was with Dr. King that I first saw that the concept of creative tension (actually I first saw the concept from MIT's Peter Senge in his book “The Fifth Discipline,” but the earliest reference I've seen is Dr. King), that all advance for humanity comes from, not the absence of tension, but the near unbearable creative tension: seeing on the one hand an impending horror and seeing on the other hand the slimmest chance of averting that horror, particularly for dearest loved ones; tho for the INSHE warriors, ALL are their dearest loved ones.  This is really at the bottom of what Gandhi spoke of - truth force – the emotive truth of how things should/could be and the truth of the horror of how they are now or are about to become; unless prevented, stopped, averted, replaced….

We are not bricks, we’re not trees, we’re not cats, we’re not birds.  Our DNA would have us be human beings and as humans we are motivated by, moved by, tension.  We’re driven away from something by the tension of fear, by threat of force, by actual force.  We’re drawn to something by the tension of passion, sense of solidarity, desire to alleviate someone else's pain, or threatened pain, and thereby alleviate our own which we feel vicariously, empathically. 

Gandhi on hunger strike was a tsunami of creative tension for ultimately millions, maybe billions around the world.  It was excruciating, it was e-motive, that is, moving, was e-motional, motional.  Wave after wave of people in India marching simply to get salt that had been taken from their oceans that was rightfully theirs, clubbed unrelentingly, kicked in the groin over and over, but did not raise a hand to protect themselves, channeling creative tension to millions around the world via vicarious learning, empathy, the royal road to hacking our defenses and awakening the heart.

Alice Paul and her sisters in prison 30 miles South of here on hunger strike, being force-fed simply for demanding what was rightfully theirs, the right to vote as full human beings.  This channeled immense creative tension.

And that's what I seek to do, every breath, to bear near unbearable creative tension and thereby channel it into the world to be available for others to take it on, and if others do take it on, and too begin channeling it thought every moment of action, and thereby spread the fire, then, and only then will there be hope.  Unless others succeed where I’ve failed, which I pray, but don’t see happening, or even tried.

There are only two ways to bring radical change and only one brings radical change to the world permanently, that is life.  They both can lead to permanent radical change.  Much more of the violent kind, destructive tension, the violent tension, will conclude Armageddon, environmental Armageddon and in the Middle East it may spark global Armageddon, nuclear war.

Creative tension is the one that adds to the complexity of life, which is to say it expands, it enriches human life, possibly forever.  That's the direction of evolution. That is loving.  That is the force of loving.  That is the truth force Gandhi spoke of, the soul force.  And that is what I seek to be in every cell, every atom, every molecule of my body, with every breath, because therein lies all hope.

And you?

107 'Greedily, I'm Deeply Humble. Greedy to see and remedy every shortfall of mine


Do we think about this much?  I don't think we do.  But if we think about the people of the greatest intellect, greatest moral force and we ask ourselves - were these people humble?   Did these people avoid seeing their important shortfalls, or did they sprint to see those important shortfalls so they would have as much time, and be as likely as possible, to see them and to fix them? It's clear to me that these were immensely humble people.

‘Humble’ was a problematic word and concept for me earlier on because such people, our insanely humane throughout history, these are not timid people, they're not shy people, they can be enormously forceful.  When I thought of the humble person I mistakenly thought of someone with their eyes down all the time, meek and mild all the time. No, it would be a matter of time and place.

So, because of their acute humility, their intense horror at their shortfalls, because of how those shortfalls limited their ability to serve the needy, our brothers and sisters; because of that acute humility the greats learn faster and deeper and more completely than the rest of us. 

And because they know, and they're not here to play games or put on airs, in what they've learned, they're masterful.  They speak with authority, they act with authority, and would be communicating false, misleading modesty or inadequacy that didn’t exist, if they did not. 

But within themselves, and at times evident to others, they were the most acutely aware among us of what they didn't know, what they couldn't do, what was needed of them, where they fell short.  

Humility is a deep yearning to be everything that is required of one, by one's neediest brothers and sisters.   It's deeply painful.  It's deeply uncomfortable.  But pain, brothers and sisters, is adaptive.  You and I would not exist as part of the species if it were not for pain.  Pain is designed to be an early warning system, to enable action to be taken before more dire consequences manifest. 

And the insanely humane unviolent warriors embrace that adaptive capacity.  They don't wallow in it.  They don't make a fetish of it.  But they use it as intended. 'Oh my God, I feel how short I fall in this area.' 

It's not obvious from Gandhi's saying but it comes to mind - "Learn as though you were going to live forever; live as though you are going to die tomorrow." 

Humility is our word for pointing to the neurological capacity for internal creative tension as it relates to building ourselves further; seeing, on the one hand, the strengths that are required of us by the neediest of our human family and at the same time bearing a desire to rectify that and awareness that one can if one applies oneself.  It's a glorious thing.  Painful, but glorious. 

And the insanely humane warriors throughout history embrace it.  The fakes?  Quite a different matter, my brothers and sisters all.   But the real ones?   They embrace the pain, and the wonder of Humility, like air, like Love itself.

106. It is my duty to expose the danger, evil, sickness, cancer… of the status quo - r, Ctr, LFT; just as MLK and Gandhi demanded


What use is a vaccine that does not make the body sick?   What use is a vaccine that the body does not try to kill?   Does not try to crucify?  I don't know that the medical science is as straightforward as that, but that's the prevailing wisdom, or certainly it used to be. 

I can only loosely paraphrase Dr. King who being criticized for 'upsetting things' said that 'the purpose of unviolence was not to create tension, was not to upset people, but that it was to reveal the hidden tension, to reveal that people, and the way of good, were already upset.  

I've shared often, and for decades it's been clear to me that if those who can't abide the status quo of needless suffering and needless death, if in the sick body of today's humanity they're not getting crucified, they're not doing the job. They're of no hope.  If they are getting crucified, that doesn't mean they're doing the job; they may be needlessly bastards, abusive, arrogant, hypocrites, taunters, ranters.  But if in a sick body the vaccine is not getting crucified, attacked; if the body's not attempting to kill it, not hostile to it, bearing it in ridicule, slander, deliberately perverting its message, and dismissing, diminishing... if the vaccine is not provoking such responses it is not doing its job; it's of no hope.

Gandhi said, 'I'm asking you to fight, not to provoke their anger; I'm asking you to fight against their anger.'  He further said, 'The duty of the unviolent warrior,' and I'm giving him words that I think he might like better, 'the duty of the unviolent warrior is to provoke a response.' 

The duty of the vaccine is to provoke a response.  This is NOT license for the unviolent warrior, but rather, a grave duty and responsibility to do wisely, constructively, responsibly with never a spec of self-indulgence or animosity, but courageous service of each and ALL.

105. When I'm not blue hot flame, I'm no hope. I can't bring others to that

'We are all extremists.  We are ere extremists for love, or extremists for hate,' to paraphrase Dr. King.   To paraphrase Jesus,  'I came to bring a fire and oh how I wish it were blazing already.' 
This, is what it is to die to head and flesh, and Live in Heart.  This, by different words and name, is what Jesus died to give us – Life, Burning with LIFE, the Light on the Hill, Blue Hot Flame, LIFE ITSELF, or Death.  Those are the only two options.  INSHE Warrior, Truly, not in our imaginations, our delusion, but Honestly, Truly measuring up to those that have been most like our Creator – on all 105 characteristics.
Possibly the hardest to defend academically of all these essays, quite possibly the most important of all these essays, among the most difficult and important of the metaphors, and mixed metaphors.  After my second major hunger strike to avert environmental Armageddon ended, just about a year ago, June 2011, 50 days in front of the White House, oh, I realized that I was doing the best I knew how to avert environmental Armageddon, and that I was not doing well enough.  I don't remember what hit me first - the realization that I finally knew enough to design a tool, a personal trainer to increase the odds I would become what the world needed of me; I don't remember if that came first, or if the notion of burning at blue hot flame came first.  Maybe sometime I'll have a chance to retrace that, and I would be able to do so because of the various postings of such ideas on the Start Loving blog.
But quickly they became hand-in-hand, and the notion that I needed to burn hotter, I think it came on the second to last major hunger strike, the one in the November-December timeframe, 50 days again. I think the notion of burning at blue hot flame came then, and I wasn't, I was smoldering I was anywhere between minus numbers and 3,3.5.  And the notion that unless I learned to burn hotter, whatever that meant, but it meant a lot to my nervous system, and I was correct, that I was no hope in igniting others.  Profoundly correct. 
There is a delightful, important expression - the fish are the last to discover water. 
So after seeing a hundred and four characteristics of history's high impact unviolent warriors, 105 presents itself to me, the last, and the one that most makes sense of them all.  Unless I'm burning hot enough, unless you are burning hot enough, you can't bring the fire that Jesus spoke of.  You can't be the extremist for Love, you can't bring about extremists like Dr. King spoke of.  Water boils at, is it 120°, so the flame underneath can be in 119° forever, or for a few seconds it can get to 120 and then drop below, and the water will never boil. 
It is so immensely tempting, the most promising of us - well I'm doing better than anyone else today. I did well yesterday. I did well last week, it's okay that I'm down now.  Well, in some sense it's okay.  We can't do better than we can do.  But if what matters is giving a decent life to the next 200 billion people - I'm blue hot flame long enough, intense enough, for others to catch fire, or I might as well move on, because all depends on enough people burning at blue hot flame, which is the heart in charge; the heart fully engaged and accountable to the global neediest.
Back in September if you look at this jpg, far right, Loving was smoldering, never conceived of getting to blue hot flame, was sure he could not.  And in inventing much of this tool along the way, and in capturing many of the ideas from history's great unviolent warriors, he finally arrived at blue hot flame. It took about 8 months.  
When I think of the very most promising people I know, they are about where Loving was in September, far right.  In each case I see the opportunity to progress as far and as fast as I, or maybe faster. 
EXCEPT, the desire is missing, in all but maybe one case.  Oh, how I pray I'm wrong, about the others.  Jesus, King, Gandhi, Alice Paul, Loving… came for those literally dying for a world better than the status quo.  That is why, that is why the 'gate is narrow, and few shall enter in.'  They can live with the status quo.  They can take, they will kill Truth, God, Hope… every time, to stay within the status quo – 'no change,' the status quo of the right; 'no fundamental personal risk,' the status quo of the left.  And no one dying to be the middle way – a world better than the status quo, regardless of personal risk.
You don't have that much time.  The personal trainer has given you an opportunity to get there more quickly.
You can't say you didn't know.
Will you be the 'seed' on the path, on the rock, among the thorns, or on good ground? 
The odds, the world, is totally stacked against you.
And you, are their only hope.

104. You're dying for something, dying 'to' all else. We all are. I'm dying for Humanity, Loving, Joy, Creation

You know anyone who isn't dying for something?  You probably do not.  No, you probably haven't thought of it this way.  You have an uncle who's dying for the local baseball team to win.  You have a young niece that's just dying for a young man to ask her out on a date, a certain young man.  You have an aunt who's dying for things to stabilize at work, to get along with her boss, to keep her job.  You have an uncle who is dying for it to be time for that golf vacation that he's been dreaming of and working toward every day for a year.
Gandhi was dying for the liberation of India. Nelson Mandela was dying for the end of apartheid. Jesus was dying for the end of the reign of greed.  Alice Paul was dying for her sisters to have equal rights with men.
How frequently do we step in, in our own minds, or with words, 'Oh, uncle, you shouldn't be 'dying' for that golf vacation, that's so morbid!'  In our culture which caters to the head and the flesh, intoxications, selfishnesses there of, it's entirely appropriate that we die, that were dying for selfish things.  But it's an indictment of our way of life, our way of being, if we're dying for unselfish things.  And we can't have that now, can we?
But there is more to it  than that.  Our measured, through studies, our measured amount of working memory, that which holds our 'conscious' thoughts at any second, is immensely small, finite - 1 major, and maybe a 2nd minor thoughts in any second.  So quite literally, that conscious thought, goal, thing... we are 'dying for', is 'killing,' displacing, keeping out of consciousness a virtually infinite number of competing things we could be 'dying for.'  Right?  Do you think Gandhi was struggling to not be dying for a golf vacation?  At the point that he so became that which was dying for justice in India, he died to the golf vacation, the law practice, the business suits....  And, at the point that we die to the values, the sanctioned 'wants' of this sickest of all societies, we 'die' to our global neediest, to Joy, to Peace, to meaningfulness…. 
What are you dying for?
What are you dying to?
Are you ok with that?

103 - Entropy, evil, decay wins by default, every second that I am not, INSHE warriors are not it's defeat. Every second

Have you ever thought about this? I had not till a couple years ago. I'm no physicist, sadly, but the second law of thermodynamics, the law of entropy, is that everything breaks down over time unless an equal or greater amount of energy is expended to prevent that, or to create beyond what's already been created.  A tree will eventually succumb to entropy; the sidewalks and buildings in DC are every second, victims of entropy.  In some cases the buildings and sidewalks, it's very clear that no efforts, no sufficient efforts have gone toward their upkeep, maintenance, or enhancement, and the unopposed ravages of entropy are clear.  And, with some it's very evident that loving care to overcome the ever present entropy has been at work.
You know, an activist including yourself, faces this on a daily basis.  A True Activist, is, exactly, the counter to entropy, evil, destruction, exploitation of the global neediest.  'Well, I get tired,' 'I get burned out.' 'I tried, I did an action last month, I wrote a really important blog last week,' 'I undertake a really important project next week....'
The true, effective unviolent warriors throughout history were humans.  They were not super-humans, but relative to most of us that are so deformed, so crippled psychologically and spiritually, they appeared super-human; but they're not.  And for years, or decades, or their entire life, they don't burnout.  For most people their hearts, that literally beat in their chest, don't burnout for 60, 70, 80, 90 years; nor do their kidneys; nor do their livers; nor does their skin.  These persist and succeed because at some level the understanding is in them that if they falter, in the case of the beating heart, for a second, it's over.  So, for 50, 60, 70, 80, 90 years - no faltering, constantly and successfully overcoming entropy, and creating anew.  The skin does what it has to including something like 40 billion cells self-terminating per day so that the, I guess trillions of skin cells stay healthy, the body of skin cells stays healthy. 
Healthy tissue, healthy organisms are 24/7 devoted to defeating entropy. If you're reading, or listening to this you probably consider yourself an activist.  Is this a correct assessment of you?  Are you a 24/7 counter to entropy?  Were the potent activists throughout history of 24/7 counter to entropy?  Seems to me Gandhi was.  Seems to me King was. 'Oh, but he womanized.'  What, 16 hours a day?  I don't think so.  16 hours a year maybe.  An 80-year-old can have a heart with an occasional arrhythmia imperfection and live effectively. 
Perfection is not the issue. Excellence is.