Ground

jeffroby has written several essays since coming to Docudharma that I think ought to have their own tag.  If what he’s writing about had its own unique tag, I’d tag this essay under it.  But I can’t even come up with a properly descriptive word so to hell with you all!  Stop nagging me!

Times have changed.  What worked back then won’t work now.  Or rather, anything at all will work if the ground we stand upon is firm.

I’ve seen that building a movement on quicksand isn’t a very good idea.  So no thank you to that!

See, I wish I could stand upon the lofty mountain of moral superiority and loftily challenge The Coalition of the Comfortable in a supremely lofty fashion.

Unfortunately, I am still in the process of extricating myself from that Coalition (thus the quicksand analogy), so my house is too glassy for that.

So much of my activism has been and no doubt will be, this process of extrication from the conditioning I have been unable to avoid but which I am now aware of and opposed to.

Buhdy’s essays on this ought to be under this unnamed tag as well, come to think of it, at least his “coalition” stuff.

Isn’t it an action to really dig deep to see what the ground is upon which you stand?

In the I-Ching there is the hexagram of “The Well.”  I could write books and books upon that one hexagram, but will limit myself to what I think is pertinent to this essay:

… there are … prerequisites for a satisfactory political or social organization of mankind.  We must go down to the very foundations of life.  For any merely superficial ordering of life that leaves its deepest needs unsatisfied is as ineffectual as if no attempt at order had ever been made. …

Being comfortable also means not going “down to the very foundations of life” and thus will not withstand the strong forces one will encounter as an activist that work from the opposition to shatter our solidarity.

I guess I’m saying politely that I would need something really powerful and deep to hold to when I inevitably hate my closest allies because of my own vain, antisocial and thin-skinned nature.

So that’s my grail in a way — oh, I’m not asking for perfection in this quest, but something I can agree upon with my allies that will withstand any temporary disagreements or distrust.

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I’ve read several places, though I believe I first read it here at Docudharma, that someone described Obama’s style as taking “the path of least resistance.”

I think that’s a fair assessment in some ways.

And it also leads me to believe that if we want to get Obama’s attention, we have to make it so that giving that attention to us becomes, literally, the “path of least resistance.”

Unlike George W. Bush, who could not be influenced no matter how much pressure was applied … for after all, he wasn’t the real Decider, Obama can be influenced.  I think we’ve seen that fairly often in this past year.

In order to accomplish this task, to create a condition where paying attention to us becomes a ‘path of least resistance to the Obama Administration we will, as buhdy mentioned, have to lead ourselves because we are too individualistic to accept authority any other way.

Me?  I’m no longer comfortable being comfortable.

I’ve tagged this essay “action” because I think finding our own inner compass for action is part of that action — perhaps we can’t do that together as a group, but it is still a necessary action.

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  1. … we could resurrect that whole “Manifesto” endeavor buhdy started when this blog began.  That might be a good tag.  I don’t think we were ready for that then … but I do think we’re ready now.

    • rossl on January 9, 2010 at 11:09 pm

    are in a similar place, a similar turning point – unless I’m just projecting.

  2. busyf ro another hour or so… love this essay, kitty.

    *They have poisoned The Well

    * my psychic bank

    there was a third one, I forgot already! lol

    Ill be back.

  3. His TV image could just be pure calculated propaganda, he could only be open to right-wing influence, jury’s still out, in my book.

    Obama can be influenced

    In a way acting upon the prospect that Obama can be influenced is our path of least resistance, beats rioting in the streets anyway.

  4. The Well.

    The well from which water is drawn conveys the further idea of an inexhaustible dispensing of nourishment.

    Nine in the fifth place means:

    In the well there is a clear, cold spring

    From which one can drink.

    A well that is fed by a spring of living water is a good well. A man who has virtues like a well of this sort is born to be a leader and savior of men, for he has the water of life. Nevertheless, the character for “good fortune” is left out here. The all-important thing about a well is that its water be drawn. The best water is only a potentiality for refreshment as long as it is not brought up.

    So too with leaders of mankind: it is all-important that one should drink from the spring of their words and translate them into life.

    Six at the top means:

    One draws from the well

    Without hindrance.

    It is dependable.

    Supreme good fortune.

    The well is there fore all. No one is forbidden to take water from it. No matter how many come, all find what they need, for the well is dependable. It has a spring and never runs dry. Therefore it is a great blessing to the whole

    land.
    The same is true of the really great man, whose inner wealth is inexhaustible; the more that people draw from him, the greater his wealth becomes.

    Good stuff. I love the symbolism and the messages.

    So how do we deal with it that TPTB have tried to poison The Well? Hmmm, guess theres a reason they call us “purity trolls” lol.

    Ive been having a harder time lately with all the labels that get tossed around.

    The Well from which we draw strength & nourishment is going to be different for different people I suppose. For me, it has a spiritual element, for it to be “inexhaustible”, it goes before me and after me, above and below. Within and without.

  5. just as I was trying to finish composing that above post, I got a phone call from OFA!!!!! omg that was a funny conversation. Poor guy. I was gentle though. 😉

  6. I’m a little bit hard to box in, different pieces would fit different categories, but they were written as a set (though I didn’t know it when I decided I had to stick my neck out).

    I’m no longer comfortable being comfortable.

    That about sums it up for me.  Sometimes an outsider (though I no longer consider myself that) can see some things more clearly.  Specifically, what I see is a noticeable shift in the character of docudharma.  A deeper engagement of people’s own resistances, a groping for concretes, a dissatisfaction with the COMFORT of crying in the wilderness.  A grasping for action.  A moving dialogue that is not just repeating itself and finding comfort in that.

    No more enjoying the COMFORT (yeah, I mean that) of being powerless.

    My last piece on method part 2, a practicum, is actually a call for a dialogue on our options.  Some of it is rather poorly written, and that is deliberate.  I would like people to say AHA! that point is wrong.  No, I have a better way of approaching this.  Doing so, I think, would force people to deepen their own thinking of some of their closely-held notions.

    Can we do this?

  7. I said it last July

    For whatever reason, Obama seems to always choose the path of least resistance.

    http://www.dailykos.com/commen

    One of my biggest criticisms of Pres. Obama is that I’m not seeing the kind of persistence that the diarist is talking about.  I would be the first to agree that change doesn’t happen overnight, that it takes work and persistence.  But instead of persistence, I am seeing our president taking the path of least resistance, which is the opposite of what he claimed he would do.

    http://www.dailykos.com/commen

    Since then, I’ve developed that opinion a bit further, but not fully.  I don’t think “the past of least resisitance” explains it well enough.  I think another part of the puzzle is that he’s in way over his head, especially on economic issues.  And there’s more to it, but I can’t articulate it yet.  One thing I do suspect is that he is much less honest than I once thought, and he fights dirty.

    • Inky99 on January 10, 2010 at 5:16 am

    I’m sorry, but that’s a complete waste of time.

    You might as well try to get the attention of a rock.

    Obama has no interest in us, he’s done with us, there’s absolutely no way to get his attention.    He’s a Wall Street guy, a Military guy, a CIA guy, there’s no getting his attention any more than we could have gotten Bush’s attention.  

    Our best bet is to figure out a way to get rid of him in 2012.

    Obama is a lost cause.

    We were tricked.

    Deal with it.  Accept that first, and then figure out what to do.

  8. pressure Obama, Congress, Senate, whoever, what are our demands?  I think that’s where I’m caught up.  

    • Heather on January 10, 2010 at 2:07 pm

    by NTodd

    has links back to his own place, one of which suggests a general strike.

    What To Do

    I like that idea a lot.

    There are already thousands and thousands of people NOT paying because they can’t.

    If other people joined in and started reframing it as a strike it would perk up some ears pretty quickly. And help those that have lost so much feel like they are doing something rather than feeling like losers.  

  9. In the spirit of conducting dialogue essay-to-essay, I have posted a new one on general strike.

    I hope people find it helpful. NPK, can I get it FP’ed?  Thanks.

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