Death Fast Restart - It may not be my time yet
And who would you have me compare myself to - Donald Trump? Dick Cheney? George Bush II? The sports figures that are in vogue? The media figures that are in vogue? Never have, never will, but in many circles I would not be criticized for that. But in comparing myself to Gandhi, King, Jesus, Alice Paul, Diane Wilson... I open myself to near certain ridicule from all quarters. So be it.
Paul Farmer was the founder or co-founder of Boston based, internationally focused Partners in Health. Dr. Kim, previously at Dartmouth, was the other cofounder, now head of the World Bank, or soon to take over there. Paul Farmer's easily one of the world's most respected humanitarian doctors, health systems for the neediest, in the world, for his work with Haiti, and the farthest, most inaccessible regions; with successfully fighting drug-resistant TB all over the world. And do you know where he claims to have gotten the basis for his morality? The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, and there is no indication that he is kidding. So, laugh it up. Ridicule if you like. Wisdom is to be found everywhere, except mostly, we want not to find wisdom, anywhere.
Obi-Wan Kenobi fought and fought and fought…, his body always in the way of the harm, and yet sometimes not. For a long time he retreated to a remote planet, it was neither his time to die nor his time to fight. And then he found it was his time to fight, and then he found his time to die.
Jesus ran from his would-be killers on numerous occasions; not to suggest he ran in fear; but strategically he assessed that his life would not best serve by being killed at that time.
This must be my eighth time of understanding that I was called toward death's door, to death's door, and yet this time it was clear to me I was called through death's door, this death fast. And I correctly heard the Call, as I have every time before.
Yet it seems that it is not yet my time. I'm not certain of that, but that's the way it's looking. The process of creating "Global Warming's Death. Fast," and the companion book "A Personal Trainer for the Insanely Humane Unviolent Warrior" have change things and changed me, and changed most importantly the field of battle with which I'm presented, and on which I choose to fight.
Particularly the "Personal Trainer" is a profoundly important work in its potential. Tolstoy's "Gospel and Brief" may be the most important book on the planet; Tolstoy being one of the most widely read authors in world history. And yet who's heard of, let alone read the "Gospel in Brief?" It could be and maybe should be the most widely read book on the planet. Tolstoy did his job in seeing, and writing what he did. We haven't done ours. Who's read it, who's heard of it? So I'm not suggesting that the "Personal Trainer for the Insanely Humane Unviolent Warrior" will be read. Seems unlikely. Maybe no one, almost no one will read it.
But what it's grown in me, and what it represents is hope that in me physically staying alive, that may increase in weeks or months somehow, the likelihood that others will read take it to heart.
Until about a week ago the Personal Trainer was 95 characteristics of the insanely humane effective warriors throughout history, unviolent warriors. Now it's a hundred and five. And number 100 is - No unviolent Army, no hope. These are assays that simply organically unfolded within me, and the number was established by what unfolded, not by me. That essay number 100 has taken particular prominence in my mind - No unviolent Army, no hope. Central to this death fast is the notion that when 1000 people are seen dying in front of the Canadian Embassy, global warming will stop. And it will not stop before. Well, that's an army of 1000. But more centrally it's the idea of an army. And I've come to the view, and it's been suggested to me, but tragically I seem to have to figure everything out for myself, I listen deeply, but I still have to figure everything out myself. I seem to be today's Sgt. Foley from "An Officer and a Gentleman." I hate that. I wish there were 10,000 that I saw, Sgt. Foley's. But I don't. So, what does the one Sgt. Foley on the scene do? Die? Before there are others to replace him? Depends on the time, and the circumstance.
It was clear on one of my prior to hunger strikes, 50 days in front of the White House, this notion that everything depended on an Army, the notion of INSHE warrior occurred to me at that point in time. And it has come back into the fore in my mind, that all hope, whatever tiny hope there is for humanity depends upon that emergence of an Army of insanely humane unviolent warriors. And me returning to death fast at this moment is not the best way for me to do that, maybe.
Now there was a moment when Obi-Wan Kenobi surrendering to Darth Vader's light saber blow was the time for him to physically exit so that spiritually he would take a greater prominence than ever before. That's the same decision that Jesus made. That's the same decision that I want to make. Timing. Circumstance. OTHERS TO TAKE OVER.
But having said that, none of the three made the decision per se. They recognized the conditions, they recognized and respected the situation, they recognized the opportunity that existed largely outside of their control with respect to its very nature, with respect to its timing. They didn't create all the circumstances, but they recognized when it was time and they recognized when it wasn't time.
This death fast has changed things. It's changed me; it's changed people around me, it's opened avenues of at least visible communication; Start Loving is on the mind of people that didn't know he existed three months ago. That was totally unforseen by me. But, there it is.
So instead of resuming death fast on July 4, Independence Day, I suspect I will not do that. But I don't know yet.
The other thing that's come clear in my mind or clearer, has returned to clarity because again, on one of the prior two hunger strikes it had achieved a clarity in me, that they're different ways of 'dying' for a cause; whether that cause is new countertops, a date with that girl, keeping one's job, liberating India, gaining civil rights, averting environmental Armageddon....
Nothing significant happens unless one is dying for the cause. Ever. But there are different ways, and a trillion slippery slopes. How easy it is to create deceptions for ourselves. The excuses, the temptations are near infinite, and impossibly aggressive. How near impossible it's been for 40 years for so-called activists to escape the delusion. Not 1 in 100,000 of them have been dying for a cause, and the only people who were fooled were themselves and their co-delusionists, the other activists. [The conservatives, the Republican's aren't fooled; this is the major reason for their detesting, being revolted at the left, and understandably so.] All evidence is that these 'activists' are not dying for a cause because people don't respond as though they are.
But Teresa of Calcutta over how many decades was clearly dying for the cause of the destitute in Calcutta. Stephen Biko in South Africa who struggle against apartheid was clearly dying for a cause months and years before he was captured by the South African police thugs and beaten to death.
Such a slippery slope. Those that attempt to die, other than physically, for a cause, of that small population not 1 in a million avoid deceiving themselves - and has their pulse continue to beat, but escapes the temptations at self delusion.
I was admonished recently [laughter] to take the Buddhist 'middle way.' It was well intended but what hogwash. However there could be a correct middle way. And for Jesus to survive as long as he did was the correct middle way. For Obi-Wan to fight as long as he did was the correct middle way. For Loving to fight as long as he has and to fight with pulse a bit longer, appears to be the correct middle way.