Friday Night at 8: Power Riff

If you wish to destroy, you need power.

If you wish to create you need power.

How do we tell the difference?  How do we know whether our actions destroy or create?  

‘Course if you worry too much about it then you probably won’t do anything at all, will become paralyzed and indecisive, “Do I dare to eat a peach?”  And no one wants that, I’d imagine.

In hexagram 34 of the I-Ching “Power of the Great,” the oracle claims that what is great and what is right are not separate, that real power has rightness inextricably woven into it.

So perhaps destroyers don’t have power, but merely force.  Perhaps those are two different things.

And maybe the way one obtains power has something to do with it as well.  Maybe if you go about trying to gain power the wrong way, you end up with only force.

With some dynamite anyone can blow something up, something way bigger than their own physical strength would allow.

We also have opportunities to gain personal power, which is why freedom is such an important right to us.  We want to make our own decisions about life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  That is a kind of power as well,  I think.

This week I’ve watched and seen big power being vied for in our land, symbolized by the Presidential campaign, but evident in all areas of our society — business, the arts, social status, class, education, you name it — all the apparatus of our culture and civilization, such as it is.

Some are trying to gain power in the right way and they will be creators.  Others are trying to gain power in the wrong way and they will be destroyers.

I look at my own life and see how my choices have led to both results, at various times.

We all have power.  I think in the past eight years I’ve witnessed a gang of destroyers steal that power and make it their own to plunder the rest of us.

We’ll take back that power.  I think we’re already doing that.

I’m not talking about sunny times ahead, I have no crystal ball.  Besides, I think the present is the only thing there is right now.  Heh.

One would think I’d have a conclusive ending for this essay.  One would be mistaken.  

Happy Friday to all, and a good weekend.

(John Lennon, “Power to the People,” courtesy of YouTube’s thetentlife)


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  1. … all the union workers who risked everything so I could have a weekend.  I’ve been working for over 30 years, and if I didn’t have weekends I wouldn’t be here writing on a blog.

    Hmmm.  That didn’t come out right.

    Oh well.

    • Robyn on September 27, 2008 at 2:32 am

    ©Crazy Horse Memorial – Paul Horsted photo

  2. about two different kinds of power people seek.

    First of all, there is the “king of the hill” kind of power that tries to stay on top and keep other people down.

    Then there’s the idea that there is power in numbers and an attempt to build coalition.

    I see these dynamics playing out in so many different ways when I pay attention.

    • kj on September 27, 2008 at 2:57 am

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