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The Status Quo Changes only when it Changes

Well sort of, I can just barely see beyond the chicken and egg aspect of this.   But I can see a little bit beyond.

The status quo is what we are.  Whatever age we are, our life up until that point has been finding our place in the way things are.  We’re an information system; we’re a computer system, that’s what our nervous system is, and it has hardware, it has firmware, it has software, and whoever you are at this instant in time you are that many years and seconds of your life in programming a way to be.  Some of its now in hardware, that's pretty difficult to change.  Some of it is in software that's integrated with that hardware; that's difficult to change.  And a little piece of it is easy to change, not much of it is easy to change. 

So any and every status quo, any threat to the status quo, confronts you or anyone, with the prospect of throwing out your way of being, your way of existing, your way of living, your way of having pleasure, your way of maybe finding joy; probably not joy, so rare in our lives in this society.

I only glimpsed this morning this piece of it - that status quo is a paradigm, or it's like a paradigm - the capacity of our mind to make sense of reality a certain way.  Sometimes that’s shown to us with pictures – have you ever seen the one that is the old woman and the young woman; and when someone's first shown it, they’ll see either the old woman or the young woman; but over time, minutes, tens of minutes, particularly with coaching they can switch between views of the same picture without touching it, without moving it.  It’s a capacity of the mind, it snaps things into place.  It may not be the only snapping that's possible. 

Well a fundamental change in the status quo such as, ‘of course women should have the right to vote,’  has that snapping aspect to it.  It's not only what happens externally, it’s what happens within us.  And when it happens that quickly, it's not painful, but the prospect of it to the nervous system is excruciating, such that all but one 1 million run from it, and even kill to prevent it.

So the status quo doesn't change until the status quo changes.  30 kids are getting on a bus to their expected death, the freedom rides to Mississippi, their nervous systems already snapped into the new status quo. They saw and were living that they became of a different status quo.  ‘No, we don't sit in a separate waiting room.’  But their being it, their living it snapped ultimately millions of onlookers into the new status quo, and the status quo changed for millions almost instantly. Revolutionaries in Tahrir square provoked the same response within days.  The status quo for the whole world switched in days from, ‘yes, Mubarak heads the country,’ to ‘No, Mubarak can't head the country anymore.’  The status quo doesn't change until the status quo changes.

And when the status quo changes there is an, ‘ahhhhh, thank goodness,’ among millions who instants before that paradigm being shifted for them, would kill to prevent it from shifting. 

So there's something to those that cause that paradigm shift.  They go right to the brink of death, by giving every thing they have, not almost everything, everything they have for life in the status quo to be replaced, possibly including their own lives, that it causes enough onlookers to vicariously go to the same place, the same threshold of willingness to give.  And by standing at that threshold, without knowing it, there is the possibility of them getting instantaneously and painlessly and joyfully sucked through.  It's a hacking past the defenses of conservatism; it's so breathtaking, the courage of those 30 freedom riders, the courage of those 200 women in prison for women’s suffrage, that it literally sucks the healthier of those onlookers breathlessly to the brink, to the vortex, and sometimes they get sucked through, instantaneously.  ‘Oh, I see the young woman now; it isn't just the old woman, the mature woman in that picture.’

If the next 200 billion children will have a future other than hell on earth, a handful of people will go to that vortex themselves, and thereby create the conditions for that breathless, vicarious following, by much larger numbers, such that all could instantaneously, joyfully, gratefully and unwittingly get sucked through.  Or it won't happen.

Eagle Scouts stand up to the Boy Scouts of America: *UPD

Eagle Scouts stand up to the Boy Scouts of America: *UPD

'We all are the 'rich young man.' No way in Hell I’m giving everything for the Global Neediest. The problem isn't Loving's Ways

Yes it may be that I'm too harsh.  It may be that I'm too eccentric, too demanding, too different.  Too narrow in my view of what it takes.  That I'm communicating badly, unnecessarily alienating people.  Too philosophical, too harsh.  Communicating inappropriately; no not in a sexual way but in the meaning of ineffective or counterproductive from my generation to younger people, specifically using all caps in some of my writing. 

All of that may be true.  It's my perception that it's not true, that is not correct, it's not accurate. 

What's accurate is, and what has me with a perfect track record so far of losing every promising soul that I've seen is that I do, and by implication call for what no one is willing to do.  The rich young man is unwilling to give everything to the cause.   And thus far we cannot and will not face that to defeat a fossil fuel industry going after $40 trillion in revenue will require some of us giving everything to the cause - our friendships, our comfort, our houses, our wealth, our careers, our futures, our pulse, our lives, our reputation, our alliances on the Left; everything will be taken from us.

NO!  That can't possibly be!!!  It must be the way Loving articulates, the narrowness of his demands, his extremism, his eccentricity, harshness….  No.  No. No. Not by any historical measure.

I can't fully understand this so I'm not sure how I can explain it to anyone else.  How can I have written of, spoken of, thought of, articulated the centrality of the Rich Young Man parable, the Wealthy Ruler,  and feel like I'm only 'getting it' right now?  I don't know.  All I know is, that's how it is.  That parable is the whole deal. The entire deal.

'Yes I want to save the world, but I don't want to offend the people on the left!  Yes I want to save the world, but I don't want to have to devote my entire life to keeping my body in the way!  Yes I want to stop fracking, the folks that are down here in DC today, but I don't want to have to quit my job to do it; I don't want to have to lose all my friends, I don't want to offend my other fellow activists; I don't want everyone in the world to hate me.  I don 't want to devote, to give, literally everything that I have.  I don't want to have to sell my house....'

Probably every promising warrior I've yet encountered.  Duh. That's where they are lost - the rich young man.  I can't give everything that I have.

David Hilfiker, his books are so worth reading.  A modern day Saint, or close thereto, at least for his mid-life work where he left a comfortable practice in a northern Wisconsin town, moving his bio-family to the needier parts of DC to set up clinics, shelters, counseling.  He was involved with Christ House, as I understand it, a marvelous institution here in DC -  medical clinic, longterm care for the incapacitated homeless here in DC.  When I heard him speak 12 years or so ago in the wealthy Philadelphia suburb where I existed at the time, he spoke with authority this scholarly man, how the most written of, explained, over-explained passage in the new testament is the passage about the 'rich young man.'  Century after century of people contorting themselves into answers as to why Jesus certainly did not mean that we all should give everything for the global neediest.  Right? 

We give EVERYTHING that we have, or we do not fight alongside Jesus. 

I expect to speak of this more in a moment, in another log, but the status quo is the status quo.  It can change, but is a paradigm shift when it does.  It's a total shift.  Everything old goes, everything new takes its place.  So everything in the lives of those of the status quo, near all of us, is threatened.  And in that profound sense, everything has to be sold, given up, given, devoted, risked to join the Jesus' of the world, the King's the Gandhi's, the Alice Paul's, the Diane Nash's.  This is where I've lost every hopeful soul I've seen.  With all of them, sooner or later it surfaces to them what they would not, could not, will not give up for the least of these our family. 

And if I ever play a role in helping to win just one Warrior to the cause, it will not be by my joining the all but one in a million liars, or misleaders, or those who are mistaken who say, 'Oh no, this can be easy.  We can stop fracking an easy way.  We can stop the fossil fuel industry, crazy insane after $20-80 trillion in revenue, we can stop them without it costing us everything.’  'You can land on Normandy Beach to defeat Hitler, and it won't cost you everything - you won't have to leave behind mother, father, wife, children, farm, job, career, all safety and comfort.... No, there is an easy way.'  That's a lie.  Fracking isn't going to be stopped without some of us giving everything we have in the world so that the next 200 billion children have a life other than Hell, to the cause.  The fossil fuel industry will not be stopped in their dumping of deadly warming gasses into the atmosphere until some of us are seen for the joy of it, for the love of it giving everything we have for the global neediest - the next 200 billion children, yet to be born. 

And that's the one little thing that so far, 'Oh, of course I want it to stop, I'll do anything!  Except for giving everything, every single last thing I have for the cause.'

Absolutely fascinating.   


Obama-Clinton wins big The Hill

Obama-Clinton wins big

The Hill -
Ernest Hemingway advised young writers to write one true sentence. For the 2012 campaign one true sentence is this: A great nightmare for Republican strategists is that President Obama might pull a "JFK in 1960" and run with Hillary Clinton for vice ...

nd 'Eternity's Future, not Legislation, not saving earth is the goal of the sane. Fee and Dividend Legislation is the current answer. So?

nd 'Eternity's Future, not Legislation, not saving earth is the goal of the sane.  Fee and Dividend Legislation is the current answer.  So?

Cue the GOP mea culpas: Deficit will decrease under Obama's health care law, budget office says The Star-Ledger

Deficit will decrease under Obama's health care law, budget office says

The Star-Ledger - -
WASHINGTON - President Obama's health care overhaul will shrink rather than increase the nation's huge federal deficits over the next decade, Congress' nonpartisan budget scorekeepers said Tuesday, supporting Obama's contention in a major ...


NYT: GOP's Michelle Bachman - "Dangerous Fundmentalist"

The Divine Miss M

New York Times -
What I find most fascinating about Michele Bachmann - and there are many, many more where she came from - is that she presents herself as a godly woman, humbly devoted to her Christian faith.

MUST READ. MUST FOLLOW! Nuns on the Bus!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Nuns on the Bus!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

NOT US: The World’s Top 10 Kid-Friendly Nations TIME

Child Poverty in the US set to Rise

Child Poverty in the US set to Rise

SOS Children's Villages Canada (press release) -
While the global recession must certainly shoulder a chunk of the blame, wider trends of modernization cannot be ignored. Peter Edelman of the Georgetown Center on Poverty, Inequality and Public Policy pointed particularly toward "automation ...

BROKE IN AMERICA: U.S. Poverty Rate Highest Since The 1960s (DETAILS) Global Grind

BROKE IN AMERICA: U.S. Poverty Rate Highest Since The 1960s (DETAILS)

Global Grind -
Census figures for 2011 will be released this fall, which show that the poverty rate has climbed to levels unseen in nearly half a century amid a weak economy and fraying government safety net.

2.18 billion Christians of all ages around the world

804070000 - Estimated population of Christians in the Americas

Pew Research Center -
The December 2011 study found that there are 2.18 billion Christians of all ages around the world, representing nearly a third of the estimated 2010 global population of 6.9 billion. Christians are also geographically widespread - so far-flung, in fact ...

Water is the new gold, a big commodity bet MarketWatch

Water is the new gold, a big commodity bet

MarketWatch -
(MarketWatch) - "Is water the gold of the 21st century?" asks Fortune. Answer: Yes, water is the New Gold for investors this century.

How super PACs are saving Mitt Romney Washington Post

How super PACs are saving Mitt Romney

Washington Post (blog) -
Republican-aligned super PACs and other outside conservative groups have spent more than $144 million on general election ads in swing presidential states, a huge outlay of cash that has allowed former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney to not only ...


Sally Ride dies at 61

Advice to an individual thinking of helping in Loving's work

"How are you doing health wise? My idea is to have various people come sit with you and when they do for whatever time period, they also adopt some variation of the word "love" into their names. My name, for example, when I come sit with you will be "Keep Loving." What do you think?"



80% of all communication is non verbal.  That comes to mind Friend. My name came long after my behavior changed.  I've always been glad of that.  My health is good.  I've been at this work for years now without a break, so I'm very tired, but I haven't taken a break from breathing, either, nor has my heart taken a break, or my liver, or lungs.  We are designed to serve, to work. Our next 200 billion children deserve every waking second of our lives, so that they have a planet other than Hell. From me, they get every breath. I look at my behavior, and I understand myself as an Unviolent Marine on the battlefield.  If other Marines want to come alongside and fight with similar focus, dedication, passion, commitment, courage - well, we lose until that happens.  But others, more casually involved?  Collateral damage, and what good is there to that?  It seems incomprehensible to folks that I'm fine, that I, the fight, desperately needs reinforcements, fellow fighters, but that I don't need company, that it slows me down, drains me, distracts me, with the rarest of exceptions.  But that is how it is.  All are my sisters and brothers, to the good Marine too.  But on the field of battle?  I want soldiers, or to be left to the fight, alone, until Unviolent Marines materialize.  



"Ending AIDS and Poverty"

World Bank Group -
And I challenge you to join me in harnessing the moral power and practical lessons that the AIDS movement has produced to speed progress against that other global scourge, poverty. As the leading global development institution, the World Bank is ...

Aurora: "Three who died from shielding others from bullets."


NYT: California GOP, becamea 'cult,' soon states #3 party

In California, GOP Fights Steep Decline

New York Times -
LOS ANGELES - This would seem a moment of great opportunity for California Republicans. The state has become a national symbol of fiscal turmoil and dysfunction, the Legislature is nearly as unpopular as Congress and Democrats control every branch of ...

vid From Colorado - Obama Talks About The Colorado Tragic Shooting 7/22/2012

US poverty on track to reach 46-year high; suburbs, underemployed workers ... Washington Post

US poverty on track to reach 46-year high; suburbs, underemployed workers ...

Washington Post -
WASHINGTON - The ranks of America's poor are on track to climb to levels unseen in nearly half a century, erasing gains from the war on poverty in the 1960s amid a weak economy and fraying government safety net. Census figures for 2011 will be ...

MLK Jr. “We shall match your capacity to inflict suffering by our capacity to endure suffering."

From MLK's sermon "Loving Your Enemies," delivered on November 17, 1957, at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama:

To our most bitter opponents we say:

"We shall match your capacity to inflict suffering by our capacity to endure suffering.

We shall meet your physical force with soul force.

Do to us what you will, and we shall continue to love you.

We cannot in all good conscience obey your unjust laws because noncooperation with evil is as much a moral obligation as is cooperation with good.

Throw us in jail and we shall still love you.

Bomb our homes and threaten our children, and we shall still love you.

Send your hooded perpetrators of violence into our community at the midnight hour and beat us and leave us half dead, and we shall still love you.

But be ye assured that we will wear you down by our capacity to suffer.

One day we shall win freedom but not only for ourselves.

We shall so appeal to your heart and conscience that we shall win you in the process and our victory will be a double victory."

2nd Israeli Man Sets Himself Ablaze in Protest ABC News

2nd Israeli Man Sets Himself Ablaze in Protest

ABC News -
Israeli police says a second Israeli man has set himself on fire after falling on hard times. Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said a man in his late 40s set himself ablaze Sunday near a bus stop in central Israel.

Poverty in the US on track to rise to highest level since 1960s Newsday

Poverty in the US on track to rise to highest level since 1960s

Newsday -
Nation Newsday > News Print Aa Poverty in the US on track to rise to highest level since 1960s Published: July 22, 2012 4:25 PM By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS WASHINGTON - The ranks of America's poor are on track to climb to levels unseen in nearly half a ...

OH! 'If your eye offends thee, pluck it out' I get it now! Thoughts on church and unleashing, restoring humanity

OH! 'If your eye offends thee, pluck it out' I get it now!  Thoughts on church and unleashing, restoring humanity

[Also posted here: SL.  Make certain you are subscribed there.  NOW would be a good time to do so.]
I'm not a position to provide an inventory to myself.  Maybe someday I will be, of the Scriptures, the words attributed to Jesus; the teachings attributed to Jesus; the 20% I felt I didn't fully 'get,' that I could not attribute to nonsense made up by John, just a handful of things, but this 20% that I felt were beyond my full grasp, as to Jesus' intended meaning.  There are very few left, if any, now, that I don't 'get.' I can't name one, off hand,  nor is my knowledge that authoritative yet, unfortunately, to speak with full accuracy. 
But clarity regarding the Scripture, 'If your eye,  if your right eye offends, pluck it out,'  that's a paraphrase, doubled or tripled for me in its meaning for me this morning, which is a great gift. 
The 20% of his teachings that were escaping me in their fullness, that's now two or 3%, have come to their fullness for me only as I've walked the path, more than a decade now. I could see pictures of a Milan, I could be presented with a map of it, but it was only upon going to Milan that it came to its fullness in my understanding.  It's only in progressively and totally embarking upon and living each breath the truths that Jesus taught that the details begin to fall into place.  Couldn't happen any other way.
'If your right eye offends thee pluck it out." 
So in recent years part of the meaning fell into place for me - our nervous system is a virtually infinite universe of possibilities.  There's nothing mystical in that phrase.  If it seems so it's only because our language of psychology is so primitive, so inadequate.  I, this person called Loving, sitting here, could be an ax murder, I could be a rapist, I could be a pedophile, I have, this individual sitting here, I have all those capacities, and an infinite variety more.  One of those capacities is the capacity to 'be' Love, to be immediate family to everyone born and to be born.  You have that same capacity, you have that same infinite variety of options as to who you can be. 
So in recent years it became clear to me, that what Jesus was referring to, in total I suppose I thought, was to find those capacities within ourselves that we were indulging, and if they were not that of being family to others, our neediest, or if they distracted from being family to our neediest, to pluck them out; to radically and totally 'surgically' amputate any connection from them, amputate any influence they had,  redirect attention, ferociously and relentlessly to the capacity that is loving.
The doubling or tripling of meaning beyond that interpretation, that came to me this morning, came as the every Saturday and Sunday church over on the west side of town, in Georgetown, among the most over-privileged areas,  came is they do every morning between seven and nine on Saturday and Sunday, bringing a brownbag breakfast and a cup of okay coffee, usually hot.  It's always two people driving their own car, it's not always the same two people, but it seems to be a crew of about six that rotates, or so, on our end of town. 
They are genuinely kind; I'm hypersensitive to that, always have been .  Genuinely kind.  I wouldn't say saintly, but genuinely kind. 
Several weeks ago, after my weekend encounter, one of the days that they come, it hit me that they were being, to we homeless, the entire Gospel; at least all evidence I could see was that they were being the entire Gospel, which is to say they were 'being' 'family' to us.  And it occurred to me I should go to that church one day in the event that they allow people to speak during the service, and that I should tell them that.   And then I thought that would really be unkind because I'd have to make other comments that were not an affirmation of the church. 
But this morning when I saw them bring breakfast I chose to tell that to the two that were here. 
The first thing I told them was that it was clear to me that the entirety of the Gospel is, 'we are all immediate Family; get on with it,' to which one by nodding and the other in words said that 'I totally and completely agree,' and she seemed to be speaking broadly and inclusively of her view.  But I said 'that's not my point. My point is that to me, to my eyes, you guys are being Family to us, we homeless,' to which one of them started to cry.  And she said 'thank you for that confirmation.' 
I added, I said,  'I'm no fan of what calls itself the church.'  These are Episcopalians by the way.  'My brothers and sisters all, within 200 years the church reconstituted what Jesus taught, remade Him in our own image, and thereby have kept the real crucifixion going for 1800 years,' to which one of them aggressively agreed and the other showed no sign of discomfort or disagreeing.  And I further said, 'unless we reconstitute Jesus in His true form, and His true teachings, it's over now, it's all done,' and I think with one, the crying continued, in affirmation, in resonance.
Subsequent to that encounter I reflected further on what calls itself the church, the horrible Apostles Creed came to my mind.  Do we have an apostles of Einstein Creed?  What utter rubbish.  It's so obvious that we don't want to do or live what Jesus said.  We want to be in the proximity of it, but we sure as hell don't want to do it; so let's step one or two or three or 10 orders of magnitude away. 
But I thought of these breakfast people that are showing such goodness, and thought of how to understand what a church should be; what practices should be, what activity should be, and should there be such a thing.  Yes; if there should be medical school; if there should be a Marine base; if there should be a Navy SEALs base, yes there should be a church. 
And the Scripture I've cited here came to my mind; I thought of the apostles Creed which I find dreadfully offensive, not that I've studied it in detail, I find it to be all dogma.  But the test for the individual, or for what calls itself the church, (and fore everyone and every group concerned for Humanity) should be - does it move, effectively and powerfully and inclusively the individual and the group toward being Family, or not?
A church wouldn't just come and mantra – 'I'm family to everyone, immediate family to everyone, get on with it….'  No, there would be other practices, there would be ways; just like a 100 meter sprinter does other things in preparation to be effective than just 100 meter sprint.  He or she goes to a gym, and has a myriad of exercises all of which are pointed exactly to running that hundred at the greatest possible speed.  Similarly there could be a variety of things in what Jesus would recognize as church.
But if the activity does not do that, does not move powerfully, reliably, accurately toward Universal Family, it should be plucked out for the life of it, for the hope of it.  Should the apostles Creed be plucked out?  I suspect so but I haven't studied it.   But that's the test.  If conceptually and in truth and fact and experience the activity, the practice, the teaching… aggressively, powerfully, reliably moves one toward being immediate family, or the group toward being immediate family, to everyone, it's of the Creator.  If not it should be plucked out. 
And so with every part of our life.  The scantily clad women?  No, sisters.  No, no, no.  That does not move us toward being brothers and sisters, Universal Family; that moves into the head and flesh, out of, away from the Heart, brotherhood.   Desiring 'sexiness' of our female friends as I did most of my years of unwitting hideous existence, brothers?  No, guys, that goes.   The frequenting restaurants, the frequenting almost all of our movies, almost all of our Disney which are ultimately about sexual relations; they are; the beautiful alluring female that dazzles the driven wild and stupid male...? No, friends.  Is that where King and Gandhi lived?  Well, it might be where King lived, to a degree.  It's not where Gandhi lived.  It isn't where Teresa of Calcutta lived.  Did they really have inferior lives?  No, actually, they had Life.   We're the ones, we that spend 99% of every day as not Universal Family, it is we that don't have Life. 
So in all aspects of our lives, if it is of 'being immediate family' to our global neediest, or moving us in that direction, it is of the Creator.  If not, for the joy of it, as you would pluck out cancer, (in anger? No), as part of Life, pluck it out.

Essay 107 - 'Humility,' from book 2, "Resurrecting your Unviolent Warrior - Personal Trainer"

I deeply yearn for you to study the entire book, and use it, as I do, daily.  Indispensible to 'being what the world needs to be,' Gandhi's hope and plea to us, paraphrased.  I know of no other substitute, sadly, besides this book.  Yes.  None.  But in any case, here is the current, final essay -

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.