We're in this together

As you have by now surely noticed, I don’t know enough about politics to ponder a solution and my hands are sticky with blood money from representing corporate interests through film, television and commercials, venerating, through my endorsements and celebrity, products and a lifestyle that contributes to the alienation of an increasingly dissatisfied underclass. But I know, as we all intuitively know that the solution is all around us and it isn’t political, it is spiritual. Gandhi said “Be the change you want to see in the world.”

In this simple sentiment we can find hope, as we can in the efforts of those cleaning up the debris and ash in bonhomous, broom-wielding posse’s. If we want to live in a society where people feel included, we must include them, where they feel represented, we must represent them and where they feel love and compassion for their communities then we, the members of that community, must find love and compassion for them.

[Russell Brand]

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[...] It is not self-defense but self-mastery that the adepts have learned. To maintain and assert the illusory sense of a separate, contending self, to encourage and nourish a preoccupation with adversity and defensiveness - this is precisely what martial arts is not. Self-mastery involves developing a concept of self quite different from the contemporary meaning implied when using the English words "self" and "defense." Self-mastery involves overcoming the illusion of the isolated self.

This basic principle of self-mastery must be what Aki's karate master had in mind when he told his new students, "Do not get hit." Aki's style and philosophy seemed to suggest a sense of collective self - of an interplay between mutual and individual will and intent. Because of the interrelatedness of all things, each "self" is a responsible participant in the collective will of all of life. One way of saying this is that both "hitter" and "hittee" are co-creators of the scenario in which someone hits someone.

Such a thought threatens those who prefer to hold onto a we-they, victim-consciousness point of view. But a we-they point of view is threatening in itself. It will be a co-creation philosophy, rather than a self-defense philosophy, that will provide workable solutions for our contemporary social problems.

[Doug Boyd]
Mystics, Magicians and Medicine People: Tales of a Wanderer, p. 59-63, 65-6

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