Summer 2001 Archive
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What I'd coach . . . Posted by John on September 19, 2001 at 15:49:41:
I've been meaning to speak up here in Classroom Talk for many days, yet somehow, something (?), has held me mute. For one thing, I saw in the
beautiful and touching postings of each of you that you were able to go it alone without me. Day after day, those were really great postings, Class!
For another, I felt, not "devastated," that's not quite the right word, but somehow humbled in an incapacitating way. The enormity of what happened
is so great. It is one of the most powerful stingers of all times, and the "ripple effects" of it will be going on for a long time to come. I've wondered if it
might even, being this obvious and apparent to everybody around the world, have the power to wake up the sleeping.
I could teach the whole awareness game off of the events of the 11th and since then. But that still seems somehow "unseemly," "irreverent" to me,
somehow. Yet, things that you students have all seen on your own television screens have illustrated everything I have to coach about this game. I
guess that's why I was so stricken—yes, that's the word—coming from my own selfish point of view. As I'm sure all of you students here can
understand, my life is devoted to teaching a game that I claim shows that human beings can really live in peace and harmony with each other. And it
has been my cherished belief in recent years that this world was getting closer to the possibility of worldwide understanding of that, maybe within yer
ol' coach's lifetime, Folks! That's been my dream. My most cherished belief in the world was going up in the smoke, as I watched those devastating
twin tower images on television. That day seemed to be a big defeat for me and my life. I took it personally, and I was taking it very hard.
The awareness game says that when you sting another person, they are going to sting you back. This supposes both of you to be asleep at the times,
and *unable to do anything else about it*. Stingers don't happen in a vacuum, but in a continuum of behavioral get-backs that sleeping people exchange
with each other on an ongoing daily, weekly, yearly basis.
These behavioral get-backs are manifested as forms of personality. And, personality is simply taking the strengths and qualities of one's natural talents
and abilities *too far*.
The sky would have been the limit for a man like—I'm going to call him the Prime Suspect in this case—with the Suspect's natural talents and abilities if
he'd chosen to live in society—Artist, Teacher, and a rich man as a Player in the game of world economics. But he chose to be a Rebel instead. And it
looks like he's "gone too far" this time. It's personality, for sure.
Con Artist ("mastermind"), Judge (the "business" world . . . the "punisher"), and, above all, one of the most outrageous Rebels on the world stage since
Hitler and Saddham Hussein. (Hitler was a frustrated artist.) He's gone about as far as a human can go in manifesting the extremes of ego-driven
behavior in those types. And his pilots have put in the awesome can-do brute clout of actually doing it into the picture for him.
And the selfishness of this event will apparently bring death and destruction back upon his own people now, if things go the way they usually do in
ordinary human behavior.
President Bush is not the tough guy at their table in Washington, but there are plenty of that type around him. The Suspect in this case has gone too
far, and played right into the hands of the Bush team. They will play this like a "Super Bowl." (Bush, himself, is a professional sports team owner.)
They are getting to put all this sophisticated military hard-ware *into action*, and get to see what it *can do*. They are—probably—going to "kick
I think, as a bunch of normal ordinary human beings, George, and Colin, and Condoleeza, and all of them in the Oval Office are seeing this whole
situation as a God-given opportunity!
I don't mean to suggest that they haven't been stricken with pain and terrible chagrin and anger by what happened. But since that is now what *has
happened*, the Suspect has played right into their hands in this present time. And the President has grudges of his own, and his Father's, against
various players in that region—who could blame their team for feeling that way? Right? The President's own Father had been targeted for
assassination years ago. And his Father's old team of Desert Storm advisors is on the scene again with young George now. I'm speaking of these
people here only as normal ordinary human men and women. So our President has put our people on a war footing in seeming perpetuity until—after
all these millenia— there are no more terrorists in the human race . . . . . ???
That's *quite a change* for the people of this country to put ourselves through! In one dark day in human history, everything has changed for all of
us, in ways that we are only yet to see and understand.
And the President's people are engaged in a holy war of their own. They feel absolutely justified in it. And they are largely supported in it around
the world, for now. Who could argue, at first, after all, with a holy war that pits the good of the world against the evil? I wouldn't be surprised if
they were praying now that Saddham Hussein would give them some excuse, any excuse, to attack him now, too. And perhaps they may not feel
they need any more excuses than they've already got to do that.
It's a time of very great danger in the world. Just as the collapsing towers de-stabilized other buildings near around them, the de-stabilizing
reverberations of this situation are being felt all around the world. Just as giant corporations and whole industries are being de-stabilized by this
blow, the Stock Market, the American entertainment and sports industries, and more than ten percent of the U.S. gross national product already
wasted! (as the counting up of losses hasn't even *begun* yet) so, governments in many countries can be de-stabilized by this, too . . . . . especially as
de-stabilizing efforts begin going *back and forth*, more stingers back and forth, and internal wars break out. This was one Hell of a stinger, Folks! It
is a shock to the world like I don't remember before.
Poor brave old Arafat gave his own blood for us on television, and promised to join in with the anti-terrorism forces of the world. I prayed the old
guy would live through the day. For a little while, on the Jewish New Year, there had been hope they could all just give peace a chance. Arafat
sounded sincere. The Israelis were pulling back all troops. Another peace talk was in the offing. Next morning, the terrorist groups in Palestine said
they wouldn't go along with that.
So what *is* to be done, Coach? (Did I hear any of you asking me that?) Gulp . . .
I don't know. I've been up to my ears in processing the tensions and pains in my body every day, really purging these tensions out of my body as
much as I can with awareness. It seems I've woken up in shock every morning since it happened. And I've gone through stages of emotional tensions
during the days, and just plain feeling sick.
Way back then when Jeff posted his beautiful "zen" poem of eight words, ("Moment by moment," which described my own healing process perfectly!) I
had come to the class as if dragging my body through rubble and dust. I was disoriented. This wasn't long after the towers had collapsed. I knew I
didn't feel "fit" to coach, but I came here with a sense of duty, that maybe I owed it to you students to express my presence here in class to you
somehow. But when I saw what Jeff had written there, I had my first good cry since it started, and let all that grief and tension off my chest and
heart area inside. That was *so healing* for me. And as others of you students posted after that, Sally, Eon . . . I cried each of these times, too. As
Lou has pointed out several times, this class is a healing instrument for me, too. And I was grateful to each of you for it, and proud.
I didn't feel needed here then. And I spent my whole time doing a very foolish thing, watching it all on several of the best news channels on
television. Gurdjieff warns against doing this. My own Gurdjieff teacher in Hawaii learned that the City Desk was sending me to cover suicidal
emergencies because I wrote sensitive stories about it for the paper. She told me not to let my body be exposed to vibrations like seeing a person
leaping from a building any more. And yet that Tuesday, I sat there and saw that horrible sight again with these old, tired eyes, and I felt my body
and I felt my pains and tensions, and I "just experienced my way on through" these terribly impactful events, through day after day of it. I don't
know why. Throughout my life, since way back then, I've followed my old Gurdjieff teacher's advice. But *this time* I've somehow decided to go
ahead and experience as much of all of this whole remarkable event as I can—take the pain of the physical impacts of all this (there are times every day
when I feel like I am poisoned)—and just try to learn whatever I can, experientially, of what the Hell it is that's going on here.
A seemingly enlightened decision was made by the ruling nations after World War II, to give the Jews a homeland of their own. We only have to look
back to Jesus' time, to remember they once had a homeland of their own.
What was overlooked in this benign gesture was the hordes of Palestinians who were uprooted by it. To this day, fully half the population of
neighboring Jordan is displaced Palestinians living in poverty. The Palestinians who had their land taken away from them, and now live in such places
as the Gaza Strip, go on living to this day in poverty. There was no Marshall Plan—such as even forgave Germany at that time—for the Palestinians.
I'm told that Muslims are a quarter or more of the world's population. While the fundamentally Christian world rejoiced at providing a homeland for
the Jews, a billion or so people around the world felt rejected, and resented it very bitterly. Around the personality wheel, the people who react the
most severely to being rejected are the Rebels. It is among these people, the most severe of these Rebels, that organizations are created around
charismatic Rebel leaders like the Suspect. If there are a billion people in the Muslim world, they are all the other kinds of people around the wheel, as
well (as Rob pointed out in the "spider" story) . . . . . and about one-eighth of them, by random chance, will be Rebels in their personality—that is, have
the Rebel as their "chief feature," the most powerful pattern in their personality make-up.
So that's a lot of Rebels for the U.S. and England, and France, etc. to reject—an eighth of a billion Rebels. And this is what happened. Over the years
an extreme few of these have not only done terrorism all over the world, and suicide bombings over their resentment of what we did, they've
launched several wars against Israel, and now, on September 11, finally against us here in the ol' USA. Yeah, I'd go along with calling it "war." I don't
think Jeff is going to protest that we should call it "engagement." Well . . . . . maybe that's not a bad idea, after all. This was some engagement!
Perhaps we can look at it calmly and objectively that way.
Can we Americans blame the Palestinians for being jealous ahd resentful, and acting-out Rebel outrages over the years? They've watched us
cooperate with the building of a thriving economy in Israel, and they've been left in poverty. I'm not against Arabs. Far from it! I've been reading
from a book by an Arab (Almaas, "Essence") during this time. I once lived in Morocco for several years, where Arabs and Jews get along with each
other in peace and harmony (so I know from my own experience that is a real possibility in this world). For years I was angry at the other Arab
countries that they could hide behind their blame that we were the ones who are to blame for it, and not pitch in with a "Marshall Plan" of their own
anyway for a flourishing Palestinian homeland. I think *somebody* in the world has to step up and finish this job.
So this is what I would do about it, as a coaching tip, I guess you could say. Instead of bombing Afghanistan or even capturing the Suspect, I would
suggest that the U.S. and the countries of the world come up with a Marshall Plan for the Palestinians *first*. If the monetary value of only the twin
towers had been invested in a Palestinian Marshall Plan after World War II, maybe we wouldn't have had to have all of these damned Middle Eastern
Coaching hunches: The Suspect is too wily to wait until he is caught. I would look for him on a yacht on the high seas. The Taliban will play a stalling
game as long as they can. And when they can't stall any longer, they will either a) say they can't find the Suspect, after all, or b) announce that the
Suspect has blown himself to bits in a cave. (These are only coaching hunches, Folks!)
Naw . . . . . I don't think they would go along with what I'd coach. Probably not. They're all probably just gonna do what they always do, as
ordinary human beings.
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