The Cliven Bundy cattle grazing saga inspired this writing. I have no favorites in this fight. As an observer, it's apparent the government has won. Even if it doesn't collect a quarter from Cliven Bundy, it won. The militia movement which came to Bundy's aid, stepped ignorantly into the government trap. Government forces, in an awesome strategic ju-jitsu maneuver, stood down when the militia showed up armed and itching for a fight. They, the militia, had already lost sight of their objective. The government accomplished its goal. They gave the media an image of the militia as trigger happy extremists, and dangerous buffoons. The government was left with the image of restraint, and the cooler head. The militia has doubled down on its ignorance by setting up checkpoints around the town where Bundy lives, requiring residents to prove residency. So much for winning the hearts and the minds of the people.
Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.
I wondered; How could the militia be so self defeating? They lost all vision of the big picture. They have lost their battle without a defining struggle.
The following is why I cannot stand with them. It is why I actively stand against them.
They are of the belief that legislation and the stroke of a pen will make their beloved weapons magically disappear. They have already conceded their power to their supposed enemy. They like to imagine themselves as 'freedom' fighters' and 'patriots'. But they're afraid to be lawbreakers. Their sole focus is on the actions of their alleged enemy, the government. But not on the enemy within. I use the word 'enemy' advisedly, from the perspective of the militia member. In actuality, that which you deem an enemy has already defeated you. You lose your connection to their humanity, the enemy becomes a narrow self created illusion and a projector screen for your own self hatred. Enemies make you blind.
Opposing forces are not always our enemy. Opposing forces are many times mirror reflections of ourselves, manifest to work with us...to build our own strength. When faced with an opposing force (an enemy), it is best to examine oneself while in contact. To know deeply ones own inner habits and responses, and more importantly, why? Not to obsessively examine your supposed enemy's reaction to you. To focus on your supposed enemy is to be mesmerized by it, and in turn under its control. Think of a prize fighter preparing for a title fight. Yes, they view video of their opponent, but that is not the major focus of their training. The major focus of their training is actually re-training their own selves.
When an opponent throws a jab, what do I normally do?
How can I respond to jabs in a different manner than my habit?
Yes, know your opponent's strengths, but know your strengths better. Make adaptability your strength. Developing your adaptability requires an ever evolving self knowledge. A deep self knowledge.
The modern militia movement may be the least self aware segment of American culture. Theirs is a manufactured, illusory identity. Many times they come off as caricatures, little more than cliches. They seem like little more than gangbangers in camo and hunting boots. Their opponent controls their image and their reactions to stimuli. They seem to be easily manipulated and used. There is an unmistakable bigotry that weaves through it's ideology. I intentionally didn't use the term 'racism', racism implies a position of power. The modern militia movement has no power. They are not warriors, they're soldiers.(this link is highly recommended, it's 30 minutes so please watch after reading).
Senseidave relates the difference between a soldier and a warrior -
"A soldier is basically a mercenary for hire, fights for pay, has been given a mission, a mandate to follow, and follows orders. And who works in a very rigid, compliant, obedient mindset.
The warrior on the other hand is the rebel, the warrior fights for a cause that is noble, there is no more noble cause than self redemption from ignorance of who and what you are. That is your greatest cause and you are your greatest adversary. . ." (paraphrased)
The second amendment patriot has been programmed with an identity as an American, has little knowledge of the depth of his human being-ness, and cares less about the humanity of others. Their mythological script is the U.S. constitution and the rights bestowed on them by the very entity they're arming themselves against. The madness in that is comical.
Which brings to my next critical point...madness. In this case anger. This is an angry bunch. They haven't mastered their own anger, so they've been led, deceived into projecting the causes of their outrage onto others. The government, blacks, latinos, gays, immigrants, Muslims and simply poor folks in general...the targets of their anger are numerous and never seen in their own reflection. That is victim mentality.
I'm reminded of a story told by Marianne Williamson -
There was a tribe of indigenous people living in the rain forest of Venezuela. One day the President of Venezuela granted this tribe their autonomy. When the newscasters went to the tribal elders and sought their reaction to the President's decree; the tribal elders answered, rather sincerely mind you; "what's a Venezuela?"
So, to the militia movement, I say with all due love and sincerity. Yes, change is afoot. Consciousness raising, paradigm shifting change. From where I sit, this change will not be accomplished at the end of a rifle. This change is accomplished by the inward battle, overcoming limited imagination and narrow thinking. Finding common ground with diverse others and standing in that. This is not an appeal to pacifism. I am not a pacifist. I simply believe that if physical, armed conflict is necessary, one must fight from a deep knowing of oneself, and a broader base, or be used spitefully by others to fight battles not your own. If your only connections, and friendships are other people like you, then you're not knowing yourself. If you cannot see the point of view of disparate others, then you're simply narrow minded, and bigoted.
You want sovereignty, you need to know what a sovereign understands. Sovereignty is firstly about personal responsibility. However, a true sovereign is considerate of others, embodies the 'do unto others. . .' maxim. Personally, I think that for the most part the wrong kind of people have seized the idea of sovereignty. If you don't care about the conditions of others, if you think you're an island in the sea of humanity...then you're not sovereign at all. You're a spoiled kid.
"Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war and seek to win" ~ Sun Tzu
Overcome your inner opponent first. You probably will not have to fight an outer opponent ever again.
From my perch in the tree of life...