The instant reflex reaction experienced by most of us when attacked, is to come off our center. This is why most Martial Arts practitioners focus so heavily on centering…why it is central to everything; the breathing, the stance, the block and the blow. The ability to center in the midst of sudden danger and chaos maximizes your power, control, your leverage…and your mind.
Our world has become enraged with itself. I believe, despite what so-called leaders might tell us, we are living in a time of great treachery, deception, destruction and upheaval meant to serve the interests of the wicked and the diabolical, at the expense of the righteous and the innocents. In other words, and in my humble opinion, our entire world is the most dangerous place it has ever been. And the fact of the matter is that most of us live in a place as far removed from center as humanly possible…in the place called distraction, the polar opposite of center. When you stop to think about it, we have made (with the help of technology) distraction one of the most comfortable and appealing places in our lives. I suppose another word for distraction might be escape, which is interesting. To escape from a concentration camp is indisputably a wonderful thing. To escape reality itself brings terrible consequences more often than not.
Relationship is one of the first things to suffer in the worst storms of human nature, unless you are fortunate enough to be in a healthy one. A healthy relationship is like a healthy body attacked by disease. The body’s immune system response is centered to maximize power, control, leverage, and the mental will to thwart the attack. But an unhealthy relationship, say one in which the core values of mutual dignity and respect are weak or nonexistent, will wither and break apart in the storm.
So, understanding that relationship is a term we can apply both individually and collectively, we can recognize some unhealthy tendencies. For example, I’ve noticed a tendency on the part of many of my friends in the Liberty Movement to react to this terrible and often-times depressing storm of human nature by first acknowledging the flaw(s), “I don’t like people”, and then respond by moving to Wyoming and taking themselves off the grid…or in their marriages by replacing their spouse with a television set…or handier still…a smart phone. I think of the lyrics to a song I wrote years before the storm, “If you want her to love you, turn into the light.” I guess it’s a flight or fight thing as old as the hills, but mama that’s where the (healing) is. So if it is flight, we must part like a dart. If it is fight we must learn to fight smart with heart.
What do most of us do when we walk into an angry room, or when we’re attacked by an angry person? We become angry ourselves, thus escalating the emotion and feeding the storm surge…which is kind of what we see happening now with increasing instances of road rage and cop shootings. I should stop here to point out that while some storms are natural, others are man-made. When you read “cop shootings” just now, you probably thought cops shooting people instead of people shooting cops. In reality the instances of cops getting shot by people are up 44% since 2015. On the other hand, you thought “cops shooting people” because we are in the worst most diabolically orchestrated man-made storm in human history, and numbers don’t lie.
Perhaps it’s time for a different response? Whether the relationship is individual or collective, the question is the same. Where is the dignity? I said to my “off the grid” Liberty friend just the other night, we are the shining city on the hill…there is no place to run from here! Unless of course our relationship, individual or collective, is an unhealthy one. And as I reflected on the genius of Jefferson in Independence Day and the “Causes Which Impel”, the lack of “dignity” is the distilled essence in the very recipe of Jefferson’s “causes which impel us to separate.” Further, I submit that where the individual and collective are concerned, our only response at this moment in time is flight from the former and fight in the latter…once dignity is denied.
The interesting thing about the turbulence and tumultuousness of the storm in its effect on relationship is that it can both reveal the fundamentally unhealthy relationships, as well as sink the healthy relationships that have simply lost their center. Understanding this equips us for flight in the one, and fight in the other…hopefully at the point we’re only taking on water.
I know I’ve mentioned this in previous tune-ups, but I can’t help but think of the Kabbalist healer’s stealth response to the angry room. By cleaving to the energies (love/compassion) on the opposite side of anger and hate within himself, he alters the dynamic of the room. This sounds like an impossible task to most of us, my Irish-temper-self included; but the fact of the matter is that getting to the right emotional energy in the worst situation is a far easier task when we are centered. Think of all the fights, rumbles, and tumbles that might have been avoided and/or more peacefully resolved had we approached the turbulence (we knew was coming) centered.
Finally, wisdom is the fruit of a centered mind. There is a huge difference between consciously fighting to defend the things worth fighting for, versus being goaded into a fight instigated to set us up to react. Wisdom provides conviction for one, and brakes for the other. And if wisdom is the fruit of the centered mind, then prayer is the light switch to a centered heart. A gun is a very effective tool in the hands of a good person. Prayer is the most powerful weapon we possess. Yet how many of us are quick to reach for one and forget where we put the other? I pray for the day when we all find our way back to the center we knew, before that which divides us set us apart. And that day will come, because the best of who we are will simply never let it go.