From this profoundly important post and the comments within it from Facebook: https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10213117399882543&id=1620551416
Dave Swank: James Mcginley I love the Tolstoy farm referred to in the forward, which "Gandhi viewed as a centre of spiritual purification and penance for the final campaign — a campaign Gandhi feared might
never have carried the day were it not for the Tolstoy Farm. The Farm was an ethical/social experiment in communal living"...that inspires me to imagine a place for spiritual purification now. Creating detox camps for deprogramming from the permanent lie of American Empire and then building our spiritual conviction into the strength needed for what is required of us -- the light of goodness and kind acts combined with a fierce offensive against the global elites destroying our planet. We have to be ready to die. Who is ready to answer that call now? People can't just jump from one reality to another in a matter of days and give up the comforts they've been trained all their lives to covet, and then to fight for something they haven't given much of a thought. But if we had three or four months of retreat and education and unplugging from the machine to offer -- a stripping away of the illusions that prevent us from absorbing the absolute horror of our current predicament and trajectory -- coupled with creative planning for disrupting the raping of our planet, we just may become the powerful warriors we need today. The battle ahead dwarfs all of human history, yet where is the urgency? How many truly and deeply understand Martin Luther King when he says "if a man has not discovered something that he will die for, he isn't fit to live." I am not yet there but I am getting closer...imagine if we had a retreat where refugees of the capitalist nightmare could go for deprogramming and meditation, where they could discover the unity of all life and heal their souls in woods or deserts, where they could come to know what was worth dying for...and what would then deliver new life...and then emerge from this retreat prepared to sacrifice all for our children our planet our people. One hundred such committed warriors could strike fear into the hearts of our pampered and cancerous elite. One thousand could shut down banks, strip mines, pipelines and refineries. Ten thousand could disrupt Washington and 100,000 at the mansions of the Koch Brothers, Rex Tillerson, Warren Buffett, Jamie Dimon, and Paul Ryan would begin the revolution to kill capitalism before it kills us.
Dave: And I don't imply any violence in that last sentence. I mean attacking capitalism and confronting the people killing us all, face to face so they know us and understand we will tolerate it no longer. Pay them all a visit or two…
Jamas: I think this may be redundant, my comment, because I think our dialogue may have moved his past this, but just in case, I did not understand you to be advocating physical violence. So my passionate warning about your comment was not with respect to some Specter of physical violence. The passion was entirely from the prospect of a lost breath, or two lost breaths. To take the example a little bit too far, grant me that license, every second that I mistakenly spend on trying to reduce the fever of my dying child is a second I have lost to cure the disease causing the fever. Whether it is saving the world which I think is a gift to us that objectively we should forget, even though it may be Savage, indeed, we should afford ousself that luxury to forget saving the world and focus 100% on saving our own Souls, finding the courage to ignore how such words, saving Souls, have been bastardized, to create of our souls what is born in every infant to be, the host of pure loving Spirit of Goodness, that we thereby do the most good we possibly can, becoming the Cure ourselves.
And in doing so absolutely do so with the purpose of saving the world just as the medical team is mobilized to their limit to save the child but wasting not one second, not one breath, on the fever, the symptom.
But I speak a little too hastily. Our focus should be secondarily on saving the world, but we should be able to find every bit of motivation, urgency, speed, we need with the thought that the best we can do might be just to save one additional soul from an existence without the Supreme Joy of incarnating the loving Spirit of goodness in action.
I wonder if you have any idea, you probably do, I think you've alluded to experiencing it yourself, how incredibly helpful it is to be in dialogue with you at this moment, with someone seriously searching in similar directions. An incredible blessing.
I have every reason to think that this will not continue with you. That is not a reflection on you it is a reflection on my life experience. Never have I found a partner that was long term but thankfully many short-term partners. I pray for the reverse, but all I know is that at the moment this is profoundly helpful. When the call came this morning I realized that it probably would make zero impact, that it would impact no one beside myself, which is all ultimately I'm responsible for doing, making a tool to live my own life is helpful as possible. But I also realized, as I think I alluded earlier today, that I yearn to be the keeper of, the Catalyst for, building this religion, rather, building the fertile ground, the open source tools for building the hot house for this religion, the loving Spirit of goodness in action ism. There will never be any breath where that is not my desire and where I will not pay whatever personal price is called from me to cause that collaboration with others to happen. And in doing so I will be as responsible and even ruthless as this all important mission for creation is. It will be stillborn otherwise, if it is not an ongoing collaboration with the world's most serious Souls, but again I will continue the effort if largely or totally alone if only to guide my own life.
Dave: Yes, this dialogue is confirming the direction of my thoughts and providing me with clear insight into our purpose in this dying world. I believe the final collapse is well under way. Current events show this in apocalyptic visions of fire and ice and nature reducing man's arrogance to rubble. We need a miracle. So I struggled all fall to choose the way forward, considering devoting all my time to fighting pipelines in PA, or building community centers of resistance and sustainable living. I even thought of walking across the country in search of a few kindred souls who would help me lay siege to Washington...all striving, all turning up little that resonated in my heart. I follow James Mcginley closely, for he is one of the few -- two, three? -- that I have met who has devoted himself totally to goodness and justice and walking the talk, or riding the bike as James is doing...all true revolutionaries are wandering refugees and exiles... it is no mystery that I have been led back to dialogue with James. I met him on the Democracy Spring walk in 2016 and later showed up at his modest flat in DC some months later to learn more and share. Among discussions of Gandhi and King, James articulated my disappointment with marches/staged arrests, etc. and my sense of how the left played into the hands of the power elite. I fear so much of the way the "resistance" is structured now does not provide a viable path to transcendence from our miserable state. There is a fundamental flaw that is never addressed -- the moral dilemma of living in our modern world, shackled as we are to products and consumption that perpetuate horrific suffering. Our current predatory system could never exist without our participation. Just look how vicious the oligarchs become when we threaten their flow of money, as the BDS Movement boycotting Israel has shown. Not only have they told us it is illegal to boycott (consider the implications of that for a moment), but they have now banned 20 organizations from Israel, including our dear friends at Codepink. These dear people are the spirit of peace. Why are they such a threat to Israel? Ladies dressed in pink? Because they have advanced an agenda of non-participation, BDS movement, that denies the system of our complicit guilt. Another incident that infuriated the architects of our false reality is when Colin Kaepernik took a knee and challenged the symbols of our empire...when people no longer believe in the bullshit of the flag the whole fucking thing will collapse. And this from a black man! They devote so much energy into the illusion of freedom and democracy -- into the illusion that elections matter and that demonstrations without sacrifice will change the world -- because the continuation of crony capitalism depends on our suspended belief. So back to my point...we must accept the reality of our situation and what it demands of us. We cannot be rebels on the weekend and slaves to our consumer society all week. We are at that critical existential moment of end times where the forces of good and evil are clearly felt to anyone with a heart. It is all or nothing time. No one wants to face that or the implications involved with that. Face it now and build your spiritual strength or perish in the collapse. I was directed to Krishna in October for a reason and the Bhagavad Gita...I turned again to the life of Jesus, which I have studied throughout my life...and James led me to these writings between Gandhi and Tolstoy. And the message is clear: embrace goodness, love, selflessness, service to others. That is the sole mission we must do to be a ray of light in this world. So many of us despair at the suffering we see and our powerlessness to do anything about it -- without realizing that the power is within our hearts, and that once we surrender completely to goodness and love, once we abandon the failed institutions and permanent lies that secure us to the decks of this sinking ship, when we do that, we create the conditions for the miracle to happen. Surely, we need a miracle now. But that is beyond me. I will continue to resist and continue to disrupt pipelines and the pageantry, but I know that the true way forward -- for me -- is renunciation of this sick society, a total severance that can be achieved through exile and simple living and our own self-sustaining communities. This is long and rambling but I wanted to share my experience and how liberating this knowledge is for me -- I have far to go but I know the path. Once I give it all up -- and how painful that can be, the comforts, the illusions, the protests of my ego -- I believe I will find liberation and nothing to fear. I know this in my heart. If you made it this far, thank you.
James Mcginley thanks for those words in your message about short-term partners. I understand and accept what will be, but I know my path keeps drawing me back to you for a reason. Thanks for sharing so much. It gives me strength, inspiration, and light in these dark days.
James: Dave Schwenk, your words are filled with such truth in this comment above and so beautifully stated that it brings great emotion to me. With one profound exception, please don't take this personally. It can be done, renunciation, Gandhi did it, but it is not our nature to renounce. I will fight that in what I see as otherwise promising efforts including Within Myself with all of my strength. And this is not a problem, only falling into the Trap as a problem. It is within our nature to greedily go for the optimal experience that we know to go for. In fact, this seems to be an immutable law, we cannot do otherwise then go for each breast being as experientially optimal as possible. We absolutely can have the renunciation that you want, my life is a testament to that and I’d have thought it impossible. But never ever could I have done it through an attempt to renounce. The consequences has been to renounce! What I have attempted to do is greedily understand where Joy comes from. It comes from the opposite direction of pleasure. And every breath, regardless of material circumstance, Joy feels preferable to pleasure. This explains Jesus going to and being on the cross. This alone explains Gandhi saying, do you not know that I am never so joyful as when I am suffering for my fellow-creatures? Paraphrase. This explains Martin Luther King Jr saying, she who does not know what she would gladly die for is not equipped to live. Paraphrase. And as best I can now described the north star of causing my body to produce the chemical reaction of joy, it is to fully embody the loving Spirit of goodness in action. I will now post your beautiful words on my blog and Facebook page with this disclaimer. As always if I take Liberties it is never intentional just let me know and I will remove.
Dave: James I thought of this point while I was writing, because you raised this distinction before with the same conviction. I am thinking on it. I so much welcome your comments. They lead me to consider different perspectives and can save me a lot of mistakes. I hope you will remain open to my feedback.
James: If Ever I for any breath am not open to your feedback I have ceased being of any hope to my own life or to anyone else's. I understand myself, I experience myself as being willing to pay any and every personal price to grasp the essential truths as quickly as possible and as fully as possible. Whatever pain of ego or physical body might be involved is irrelevant to me and this has been true for many many many years. As I experience myself.
. I expect to be going through and editing our dialogue before my voice typing errors through the course of this afternoon and posting on my blog and Facebook page in summary