I can't suggest to you that history's potent activists had the advantage I have of Harvard’s Piririm Sorokin's implied model of psychology; that we best understand ourselves, our nervous system in terms of head, flesh and heart; that we live in a culture optimized for head and flesh, and optimized to destroy our hearts, which pretty much by the end of high school has now happened to our American students, studies of empathy suggest. My generation at least made it through the first couple years college, with heart intact.
But though they didn't have the language or the benefit of Sorokin’s model, they still were the best we've ever seen in terms of understanding their own nervous systems, how we're shaped by our DNA’s predispositions, how we're predisposed and therefore how others are genetically pre-disposed, but I'll switch to speaking explicitly from my own behavior and experience, which I now experience as being extremely similar to theirs.
We are all born creatures of the heart; were born loving creatures; and in this culture, we then have that punished, and we're turned into creatures of the head and flesh. The great Ashley Montague said, this highly degreed, PhD man, who taught at Yale, Princeton and elsewhere - 'we die by degrees in this country, bachelors degree, Masters degree, PhD degree. He wasn't kidding. There are people that escape it, just like there are people that escape an epidemic, just like there are people that escape our spiritually eviscerating main religions, but they're the exception not the rule. We swim in a multitrillion dollar economy that is entirely directed at inflaming and intoxicating and selling intoxicants to the head and the flesh - he house, the car, the girl, the boy, the wife, the husband, the glamorous job, the Coca-Cola, the expensive meal, the vacation, and they're all intoxicants for the head and the flesh. I didn't just condemn them, though I don't want them in my life anymore than I want crack cocaine in my life. I want the joy of serving our global neediest that I can stretch and reach in my life. I want my universal family to entirely fill my life, but that's different than saying the lusts of the head and flesh are bad, just experientially grossly inferior to the joy of serving from the heart, and this, intuitively or through study, the great activists know, and live. That's the core reason why you find a Diane Wilson planning an action in her own mind, or talking to serious activists about doing so, rather than off at the movies or off a party, or off dancing. I'm not speaking for her. She might disagree. But that's my take on it.
They would not have said that these other things are bad, intoxications of the head and the flesh. They showed by their lives that they preferred loving, over lusting and the intoxications and pleasures that come from lusting for stuff, head and flesh in charge. I’m with them on this, now. I never I guessed, I always knew it as possible, most of my life, I didn't believe it would ever happen to me. I wasn't sure it was real. It's absolutely real. And it's heaven, living Heart in charge for the joy of serving, Loving.
I look at all the lusts I wasted my life on and I hate every second that I did. I'd trade every single second, for another second for what I'm doing right now; out of love of giving my life for our brothers and sisters, which some of us should do over 90 years, and some of us, depending upon a more appropriate mission for us at the time, over 90 seconds, or 90 days. Depends entirely on what our human Family needs from us.
If you're not a creature of the heart, as I was not creature the heart, you can do it.
Use this personal trainer, invest your time, every day, hours a day at the beginning, and as your nervous system becomes grooved you can do it less and less, that's how it is with me. It becomes part of your cell structure, it becomes part of your atomic structure. But there are always temptations. They come at the worst times, they come in the most unrecognizable ways, and there may be no more important tool than this Personal Trainer to recover in time - 'Am I operating out of the head and the flesh in charge, or am I operating out of the heart in charge?’
There may be more no more important compass for staying on the path in difficult situations, than this question, one that I had to learn and develop and use for myself to my great profit and gratitude.