During the GRA, we have been presenting a series
of talks pointing toward what we've come to call the Third Strategy.
The aim of these talks or lectures is to articulate this third
strategy not so much as something that could be or that ought
to be but as something that is already emerging in the midst of
the other two strategies. We began this series by describing our
times, the times in which we live, as the time of Earthrise Consciousness,
a time when the conviction of the interrelatedness of the whole
earth has permeated the globe. We call this new world the World
of Hope. It is a New World of Hope Beyond Hope. You have to push
that image of Hope beyond Hope very hard because the hope of the
past ages, especially the sixties, was the hope that came out
of the anxiety toward the future. The hope of the sixties was
a hope for things like a just world, a secure world, a peaceful
world. These were not sophisticated hopes. Many times, they were
very simple. I remember very clearly joining the world of the
old hope when I was about nine years old.
My family had just moved from Georgia to Chicago.
One of the most traumatic things about that move was we had to
leave all our dogs behind. We couldn't have a dog. I wanted a
dog. My father would come home and I'd say, "Please, give
me a dog. We want a dog." We wrote messages to him saying,
"We want a dog." But no dog. Finally my mother prevailed.
One day my father came home with the prettiest little puppy you've
ever seen, big brown-eyed puppy, soft fur puppy, roly-poly butterball,
get excited, jump on your leg and wet all over you puppy. Beautiful
puppy. We saw that puppy and jumped up and down and screamed,
"We got a puppy. We have a puppy." My father said, "Wait
a minute. Wait a minute. Let's sit down." He took this beautiful
puppy and held it up in his hands and said, "This dog is
going to die. It will die tomorrow if you don't feed it because
I won't. But it's going to die eventually no matter what you do.
When it dies, I don't want to hear about it. Do you understand?"
This is the context for the puppy. "When this dog dies, I
don't want all the crying and the wailing. I don't want to hear
about it. This dog is going to die. Let's just get that straight
from the beginning."
Well, my brother and I resolved that our dog was
not going to die. In fact we resolved to make that puppy immortal.
We were going to make this puppy live forever. Not just a week;
not a month; not five years or ten years; but forever. Forever,
this dog was going to live. So the first thing we decided was
that you could not let a dog out and expect him to live forever.
If he got out, somebody would poison him or run over him with
a car or throw a rock at him or hurt him. So we kept the puppy
inside all the time. We took him right onto the back porch for
his daily necessities. Then we cleaned up afterwards. But never
out in the street.
Then we decided that dog food would probably kill
this puppy since every puppy died and all puppies seemed to eat
dog food, therefore dog food was one of the causes of a puppy's
death. So no dog food for our puppy. Our puppy ate mashed potatoes.
Big bowls of mashed potatoes. Instant mashed potatoes that you
add hot water to. We'd whip up bowl after bowl for this puppy
to eat. This puppy ate corn bread. Lots and lots of corn bread
scraps. On and on. This puppy ate well because we were going to
keep it alive forever. Not going out and eating mashed potatoes
combined in a year and a half to create this grotesque thing with
just a vague resemblance to our former puppy. But it was still
alive. It was so huge and fat that it looked more like a snake
than a dog. You couldn't see the feet on it. It looked like a
big slug. But it was still alive.
One day we came home and our puppy was lying in a
corner twitching. No matter how much we talked to him or tried
to convince him to do otherwise, all he did was lie in a corner
and twitch. So finally we took the puppy to the vet. My father
wanted to put it asleep immediately. We took it to the vet who
said, "This dog has had a stroke." I never knew dogs
could have a stroke before. But that dog had a stroke. He said,
"We're going to have to put him asleep." That's when
for me the old world of hope died, or began to die. I created
other hopes later on but none of them were ever so secure as the
immortal puppy. Once your puppy can die, anything can die.
The old world of hope was just that kind of hope.
It was a hope of the immortal puppy. These hopes of immortal puppies
were expressed in protest movements that spanned the globe, in
surges of nationalism, in impatience with the old colonialism.
These hopes of the old world of hope were expressed in a radical
reevaluation and ultimately a rejection of the values, myths,
images, symbols and customs of the old world. We saw it in the
counter-culture experiment here in North America and Western Europe
especially. We saw it in something called the sexual revolutions
where if all you did was sleep with your wife, you were behind
the times. We saw it in the women's revolution, the black revolution,
the red revolution, and the youth revolution, and on and on and
on. The rejection ultimately of the values, myths and images of
the old world.
At the same time this old world of hope was expressed
as a resurgence of spirit, a renewed interest in the self and
its relations, and the potential of human beings. This resurgence
gave rise to what was later to be called things like the Human
Potential Movement, by renewed interest in evangelical Christianity,
renewed interest in orthodoxy and many other faiths, and of course,
in the occult. These hopes were manifest in a fierce search for
sustaining communities which gave rise to communes, experimental
communities organized around one particular issue: sex, social
service, sensitivity, given expression by cults, and by experimentation
within established religious orders. I'm not sure what event historians
in the future will point to as the landmark event that marked
the beginning of the decline of the old world of hope. Maybe some
will say the assassination of Martin Luther King or maybe the
OPEC oil embargo, maybe Pope Paul's pronouncement on abortion
and human life that sort of put a chill on Vatican II, maybe the
fall of Allende.
I think I mark the beginning of the death of the
old world with Jonestown. For those who may not be familiar, Jonestown
is a place in Guyana, Latin America, where a group of people from
the United States moved in search for a more just society, I suppose.
They were looking for some kind of new alternative to life. But
what finally happened out there was close to a thousand people
annihilated themselves one day. Close to a thousand people just
killed themselves or each other in one day. It took a couple of
days for the final collapse to happen for me. It came around the
kind of shocking discovery that the vast majority of that group
of people were black, not just black, but supposedly streetwise,
con-proof, cynical, down to earth black. It was sort of like the
immortal puppy when that kind of people can walk off into the
jungle and through the preaching of a mad visionary annihilate
themselves. Then you can see how deeply the despair had gone and
how easy it was to grasp at any hope, any ghost. I saw how fanatically
local man wanted to believe in spite of what he knew. When I saw
that, I began to see that sort of yearning everywhere.
Maybe this reading might serve to hold the broader
experience I'm talking about. It comes from Christopher Lash's
book called The Culture of Narcissism. And he writes:
"In an age of diminishing expectations, the
Protestant virtues no longer excite enthusiasm. Inflation erodes
investments and savings. Advertising undermines the horror of
indebtedness exhorting the consumer to buy now and pay later.
As the future becomes menacing and uncertain, only fools put off
until tomorrow the fun they can have today. A profound shift in
our sense of time has transformed work habits, values, and the
definition of success. Self-preservation has replaced self-improvement
as the goal of earthly existence. When a lawless, violent unpredictable
society in which the normal conditions of everyday life come to
resemble those formerly confined to the underworld, men live by
their wits. They hope not so much to profit as simply to survive.
Although survival itself increasingly demands a large income.
In earlier times, the sel-made man took pride in his judgment
of character and probity. Today he anxiously scans the faces of
his fellow, not so as to evaluate their credit but in order to
gauge their susceptibility to his own blandishments. He practices
the classic arts of seduction and with the same indifference to
moral niceties, hoping to win your heart while picking your pocket.
The "happy hooker" stands in place of Horatio Alger
as the prototype of personal success."'
He seems to be talking about the society largely
found in the United States, and yet it may well be far broader
The lectures we have presented have come into four
categories. They were on the New World, the New Mood, the New
Style and the New Form. The lectures on the New World pointed
to the Resurgent Earth in the first lecture as the given situation
and the rise of local man in every village and local community,
the local level permeation of the wild upheaval that we know as
the twentieth century. The Third Campaign was the focus of the
second lecture, grounded in the whistlepoints, and pointed toward
the new direction for our work.
The second group of lectures focused on the New Mood.
You and I need to remember that mood is not simply your emotional
tone but that mood points to a combination of things, including
your operating image, as well as your emotional tone and most
importantly the life question you find yourself asking at any
given time. In this section on the New Mood we talked about the
New World of Hope. It is a New World. The hopes of the old world
died, a tragic death, just like an immortal puppy, just like the
hopes of people in Jonestown. This New World of Hope is a world
of hope beyond hope. It is only arrived at when every vestige
of simply patching up the old hope dies. The Corporate Life was
the lecture following. It laid out the new images, questions which
were thrust at us by the New World of Hope. In this new world
of hope what do we hope for? That is an old world question. That
is a question from the old world of hope which was simply an old
world of anxiety.
Perhaps I can illustrate this way. When I joined
this organization, this order, I believed two things about what
we were doing. One, I believed that the task to be done, the task
that we were doing would be done in my children's lifetime. In
fact if I'm honest with you and with myself one of my primary
hopes was to make a better world for my children who were yet
unborn at the time, but I was convinced were soon to appear, though
never in the numbers that they finally appeared in. But the second
thing I believed was that we probably wouldn't be able to do it.
I figured it was something that could be done in my children's
lifetime but in my heart I never believed that we could actually
do it. It was too unreal, too idealistic, the thought of teaching
some course to everybody on the globe. I knew lots of people who
wouldn't sit still for that context for twenty minutes. much less
forty four hours. I just never believed it could happen.
This death of the old world, of the old hope, transformed
my picture. The picture I began to operate out of was very clearly
that this task was beyond my children's lifetime. In fact it was
not even a task that was ever going to be completed, for the decision
to answer the call of history goes on and on and on. At the same
time, the answer or the call that we experience as that particular
form that we call the rise of local man, the task to enable, deepen,
give form to that rise, I've discovered is not only do-able, but
is well along the road. That's what I mean by the New World of
Hope, hope beyond hope. This hope beyond hope is not hope for
anything. That is the old world of hope. This is hope in
-- hope in the unknown future as being shaped now, hope in local
man, hope in Those Who Care.
This brings us to the two talks today and tomorrow.
These are talks on the New Style, still under the image of getting
on top of the Third Campaign. This quarter, this whole year I
was assigned to training. But this quarter I had a unique experience.
This quarter I was in the Student House. Now the Student House
is a collection of 1113 year old, junior high age, and they
are the children of the staff of the Institute of Cultural Affairs,
the Order. This was a unique experience. I came out of being in
the Academy and being in the HDTS. I experienced it as a promotion.
I know we don't have promotions, but it was a promotion, for it
was a position of trust as I experienced it. Those students, lovable
as they are, were lewd, rude, and crude. That was sort of the
first encounter I had. It was one girl going on and on and forcing
me to ask her, "Do you eat with that mouth as well?"
But the second thing that I encountered there, more than anything
else -- well there was a song by a man called Billy Joe called
"The Stranger." That's the song I found myself humming
all quarter long up there, "The Stranger." A lot of
parents have the strange impression that they knew their children,
when, in fact, they were strangers. They were strangers because
they wore at least three faces: one face before their peers, one
before the staff, one before their parents, and maybe even a fourth
before the other adults here. They were strangers. They were strangers
to themselves because behind those personas was just an emerging
self, unformed. They were strangers. I was shocked by the strangers.
One of them who shocked me deeply was my nephew, who is sort of
a foster son. He was a stranger. I thought I knew him. He put
on a whole different self just four floors down.
The third thing I encounter is no heroes, no heroes,
no one that they looked up to. There's also a kind of frantic
cool, an attempt to tame life down to a dull ho-hum; no passion.
They would not allow themselves to be caught up in passion. Most
of all I encountered a disbelief in their own significance, a
disbelief in the historicity of their deeds. That came down mostly
in the disbelief that consequences are the natural result of decisions
and actions, a profound disbelief that if you do something over
here, something over there will result from it. Further more,
that something that resulted had something directly to do with
the decisions that you had made. I say this; I believe this to
be significant. Because lest I be accused of airing dirty linen,
let me say that our whole society is like that, and in my experience,
a good portion of the whole globe. You could tell the same sort
of story with some changes about other places I've been and other
people I've encountered.
What I'm leading up to is this. The third campaign
or the new edge is focused on style, not finally on knowing, though
there will be of necessity a knowing related to it, and finally
not on doing, though of course all style has some action that
gives it form, but sheer style is the focus of the third campaign.
The image we have to point to for this style is one we've had
for a long time, but until recently I never thought of it as a
description of a style. That image is the image of primal community.
I always thought primal community was a social category
that had something to do with a social thing you were trying to
bring into being. But now I believe that primal community is a
style. It has nothing to do first and primarily with some social
category. I thought that primal community was the ultimate Human
Development Project. That is, when everything got right and all
the critics were put away or converted, when the money started
to flow and the jobs started to be there, when everybody came
to the community and participated, when the women got to sit up
in the front, and when the auxiliary could take weekends off at
the beach, there you had primal community going on. I thought
that primal community was a really good town or village meeting,
where they really made up a good song, where they even talked
about actualizing some of the proposals, where somebody actually
did something like clean up the street even if it wasn't a proposal.
I thought that was primal community.
In those moments there may have been flashes of primal
community. But, it always pointed to something, to a way in which
things were done, to the style, not to the content of the deeds
themselves. I heard people describing primal community breaking
loose in a community. It was never some thing. It was some way
- some mode of participation. It was some way that people got
themselves engaged. It is this style, I believe, that we point
to as primal community. It is not that this is some fine ideal.
The Student House is a great illustration. Or the school we had
where the roof collapsed was an illustration where primal community
The style that is primal community encompasses what
for me was a second revelation. That is, on the chart on the table
before you is a thing called the profound humanness chart. For
a long time, I thought that chart had something to do with becoming
a great individual, that this is what you did to become a profoundly
human individual. I don't mean a great individual as in self-aggrandizement.
I mean a genuinely great individual. I think now for me that whole
chart points to the style that is primal community. It is for
me the marks of profoundly human communities, the marks of human
community as a style.
The diagram may help you to see what I am pointing
to. The categories are somewhat rearranged. This is not a substitute
for the profound humanness chart, but I found it helpful in trying
to get a hold of what I mean by profoundly human community as
a style, an aid to seeing that. When you encounter profoundly
human community, what you encounter is presence, just presence,
just presence. This chart does not represent the ideal community?
because the ideal community is part of the old world of hope.
If we haven't learned anything in the years we've been doing Human
Development Projects and Schools, and Town Meetings, etc. we know
at least that no amount of social reconstruction will ever make
these communities ideal communities. It will never repair the
fundamental fragmentation and brokenness of human existence. No
amount of jobs, no amount of great structures, no amount of great
contexts, or symbols or tremendous celebration will finally ever
render these communities ideal. They will always be broken. They
will always be struggling. They will always be pain-filled, not
because they're poor but because they're full of human beings.
Unless we want to populate them with soulless robots, then we
have to expect suffering, struggle, pain, brokenness, broken promises,
missed meetings, and people who get up in front and don't know
what they're doing and don't care and call themselves community
leaders and get government grants. These communities are broken
and will always be broken, but profoundly human community bubbles
up in the midst of broken communities.
I'm using community here in its widest sense. I don't
mean just the village. By profoundly human community, I mean the
Order. I mean the family. I mean the guild. In the midst of the
guild, finally human community bubbles up. In the midst of the
family, profoundly human community bubbles up. Yes, in the midst
of the broken village, profoundly human community bubbles up and
makes its presence known. It is like wherever two or three are
joined together then the presence of profoundly human community
can and does bubble to the surface. Profoundly human community
is at its center -- sheer presence, sheer style, way, mode. It
can not be reduced to social structures. Profoundly human community
is a happening that happens in the midst of broken, imperfect
communities. It is not an ideal to be achieved, not a process
to start a community on the road to. This presence is always given
form. It is not some ethereal voodoo.
The presence of profoundly human community is always
manifest in its witness, its declaration. That's why I put declaration
around the outside of the circle. Declaration and action are the
expressions of profound human community. That is where the presence
has made itself known, made itself felt. The witness that profoundly
human community always makes to life is about the fact that life
is mystery, just mystery. Maybe this witness isn't formulated.
Maybe it isn't a speech. But profoundly human community, when
it is asked what life is about, when that question is put to it
by history or an individual, always says life is sheer mystery.
It is awe and wonder. Profoundly human community screams over
against the attempt to make life bland, jaded, ho-hum and humdrum,
to wrap it up. Profoundly human community knows that life is terrifying.
It is the scariest thing there is. If you've never been terrified
by life, you have never lived. Life is wild.
Profoundly human community always witnesses to the
fact that life is consciousness. It is sheer deeps. What you see
is not what you get, is not even close to what you get. What you
see is a very little of what you get. Most of what you get you
never saw and when it happens, it is a surprise. Life is deeps,
deeps. An individual man, an individual woman, an individual little
preschooler is just as much mystery as the entire universe itself.
There are not two kinds of mystery, little mystery and big mystery,
medium-size mystery and bargain basement mystery. There is mystery,
unknown. Profoundly human community is conscious about the deeps
of life. It says there are no unimportant people, no insignificant
moments, no stupid or meaningless relationships. Just sheer deeps.
Profoundly human community witnesses to care, the
fact that life is care, that people are concerned about little
things and big things and deep things and shallow things. But
these things eat up their lives no matter how small. Somebody
can pour out and have their life eaten up as much by trying to
keep their mantleplace clean as somebody can by serving the globe.
Hours tick away never to return, whether you spent them taking
back soda pop bottles for deposit or whether you were building
the new social vehicle. Those hours are still just as gone. You're
just as much older. Life is poured out. Care eats people up. What
people care about is what they're doing, not what they're saying.
I don't believe anything about what anybody says anymore. I just
watch what they do. What they do is what they care about. That's
where their lives are eaten up. That's where the hours tick away.
Life is care. Profoundly human community witnesses to that. By
witness I don't mean talk about it. I mean celebrate it. I mean
throw it out there and encounter people with it. It becomes part
and parcel of that community's story about the way life is for
that hour, for that moment, for the time that profoundly human
community is present in its midst.
Profoundly human community witnesses to the fact
that life is fulfilled. Probably that is the thing that is most
familiar to us, to tell the truth. How many villages do we have
that don't have at least one sign saying, "XXX is a great
place to live." If you aren't witnessing to life and to the
fact that life is fulfilled, those signs have gone beyond the
comic into the realm of profound tragedy. Some of these places,
most of these places are only great places to live as life is,
in fact, fulfilled. Profoundly human community witnesses to that
fact, incorporates that fact into who it is and what it does.
Profoundly human community is manifest in its action.
Profoundly human community knows and operates and acts. Action
is the other way that a profoundly human community is exposed.
It's exposed in a community that senses that life is eventfulness.
I've always felt that the word "event" should have a
"fullness" on it. It is eventfulness, not event. Carlos
Castaneda in Journey to Ixtlan talks about eventfulness.
He calls it, "stopping the world." A community then
can stop the world with its eventfulness. In a community when
world-stopping takes place, literally, time goes timeless. It
happens in celebrations. It happens in profound moments in the
village. I'll never forget working on the foundations of the Cano
Negro Community Center and how that turned into eventfulness and
how profoundly human community was present there. Or I suppose
the greatest, most recent experience of that was after that building
collapsed up there in the school in Kenya. In fact, that event
did more to transform those young men from people who hoped that
this was a job with a salary and maybe a secretary,even a car
--transformed those guys from that kind of hope into people who
saw the possibility of laboring their whole lives in dusty remote
villages. They became colleagues. You had moments when the collapse
of that building transformed us into a profoundly human community
because, for a moment, cultural differences, religious differences,
were erased as we stood there and watched our hopes collapse.
They had hoped to live in one of those buildings and get out of
those muddy tents. Our hopes crumbled into the dust. As we rebuilt
our hopes, as we rebuilt the building, we became a profoundly
human community. For a moment, it happened for us.
Profoundly human community acts out its integrity.
Profoundly human community acts out its resolve to meet historical
necessity, to meet the demand of history. Many communities do
not, finally, make that resolve. Many families do not; many posts
do not; many centrums do not make that resolve. Making that resolve
is a profound action. We used to talk about that as the action
behind the action. We used to have other words for it. This resolve
to meet historical necessity is one of the hallmarks of the doing
of a profoundly human community.
Profoundly human community does creativity. Profoundly
human community is marked by demonstration of possibility. It
is within profoundly human community that the individual can finally
"rise above." My father lived his whole life trying
to rise above. My father's father lived his whole life trying
to rise above. Their whole lives were poured out so that in succession
their children could rise above. Do you know what? Their children
never rose above -- until they participated in profoundly human
community. That rising above was not economic, it was not status.
It was simply becoming and participating in the depth of your
own creativity. I think beyond economic, beyond political, that
is what local people want for their children and their children's
children and themselves. When they were talking about "rising
above," what they meant was the opportunity to plumb their
own creativity to the bottom for something worthwhile. That is
an option and a necessity thrust at you in the midst of profoundly
Part of human community's action is expressed in
totality. A profoundly human community is not an idea to do the
globe in that place. It becomes real. Mission to the world becomes,
not a catch phrase, but a reality. I still reel over the testimony
of the village of Woburn Lawn in Jamaica, how suddenly the village
across the mountains began to be a demand on the people of Woburn
Lawn. Suddenly the people of Woburn Lawn weren't a mission any
more. They weren't some place somebody came to help. They were
mission to the world. It made demands on their action.
Finally, human community is manifest in action's
corporateness as a community of covenant around a common task.
It is a lot harder to see with a whole village than with a discreet
group. But I still believe that profoundly human community is
manifest in action when that community for a moment or for a lifetime
forges out a covenant and around a common task they act out their
Profoundly human community is radical action in this
world. It is not an ideal. It is a happening that comes up. This
year profoundly human community has bubbled up in my family. I
would witness to the fact that that is exactly what's happened.
But if that's the case I want to warn you that profoundly human
community is no birthday party. It is not particularly a grand
old time. It's not something you would necessarily say, "Hey,
let's have profoundly human community today!" It's something
you probably learn to fear as much as you learn to seek. It makes
demands and tears out of being the old. It demands a response
before the new. The key to catalyzing profoundly human community
has always been, from the beginning of time, one thing and one
thing only. There has always been a common factor, that has gone
by many names throughout history, but always this one thing has
catalyzed profoundly human community. Sometimes we called this
thing the Messiah, sometimes the Anointed, sometimes the Mahdi,
sometimes the Illuminated One, sometimes the Avatar, sometimes
the Ancestor. Today we call it the Exemplar. These exemplars are
the key to the catalyzation of profoundly human community. These
exemplars have always ultimately seen, and always ultimately been,
finally, style. They have promulgated truths but it is not finally
their truths that have broken loose profoundly human community.
They have done deeds, but their deeds are not what have broken
loose profoundly human community. It has been their style, their
mode, their way. This way of the Exemplar is the subject of the
If I can, for a moment, I would like to conclude
with just a word about the relationship between this and the Third
Campaign. I deeply believe this exemplarhood is the key to the
Third Campaign. The Third Campaign is the breakloose of primal
community throughout the globe, not as an intensification of human
development nor of town and village meeting, but as a radical
turning of them inside out. From doing the other two campaigns
we have picked up and developed some incredible wisdom about profoundly
human community. We cannot do the Third Campaign unless we continue
the other two. But we must begin to give the globe what we know
in the form of methods of catalyzing and sustaining human community.
We must develop and push myths and rituals: no longer for our
own sustenance but in order to give them to the world. We need
to create our own comprehensive training scheme to train exemplars.
We need to document the Order experiment itself and then blow
the bottom out of it by raising the question, without arrogance
or self-depreciation, "What have we broken loose in our 28-year
experiment that every person and every village needs in order
to catalyze profoundly human community?" The world needs
more than anything else to recover the sacred. By the sacred I
do not mean the pious; I do not mean necessarily the religious
or religion. We have gone a long way in recovering the sacred
in time and in space. We have learned how to create space that
honors humanness and that itself begins to catalyze profoundly
human community. It breaks loose creativity. It demonstrates mystery.
It calls forth integrity. We have done the same thing with time
rhythm and time designs. We need now to create, in an age of casualness
and radical intimacy, in the midst of the fact there are no longer
any heroes left, the kind of distance or human relatedness that
creates heroes, that creates exemplars. It is only through distance
that heroes are created and sustained. Only with heroes or with
exemplars is profoundly human community possible.
This year I have been convinced that the truth about life is held by a television program called, "The Incredible Hulk." "The Incredible Hulk" is a story about this man who is sort of a reasonable, quiet, rational man. He's always trying to reason with these people, to convince them to do right, to turn from evil and to participate in good. He tries to convince them through logic. He tries to appeal to their emotions. He tries to appeal to their better judgment and their good nature. They beat him to death. For thirty minutes, this man is trying the same thing every week, just like us, the same thing every week, trying once again to use this method or that method and the other method; this model, that construct, this team format, to try to turn these people from the dark ways to the right. And they don't listen. Finally, thirty minutes into the show, he wakes up, once again, and this awakenment is through anger. He becomes angry. When he becomes angry he turns green, real green, like that plant is green. As he is turning green he grows these huge muscles, big, huge muscles that break apart his shirt, that break loose his pants. His shoes pop off. His hair grows on his head. He becomes this big, green, ferocious, angry thing. This big, green, ferocious angry creature comes to the same people that logic has failed, reason has failed, appeals to sympathy and good nature have failed, and he walks over to those people and just says, AAAAAAHHHHHHHH!" He turns over tables; he breaks apart things. He doesn't kill them. He doesn't actually beat them. But they think he is about to. And he transforms their entire lives. They do not feel casual with this man. They do not feel they can slap him on the back and say, "How are you doing, friend?" They do not feel intimate with him, like he's really a fine person and with a little understanding he could be his full potential. They are SCARED TO DEATH. They are TERRIFIED. And terror is a great start for profound humanness. A healthy fear of the nature of the universe itself goes a long way. The sacred is one way to remind us all that the universe is full of people who will not listen to reason, nor to logic, nor to a great construct. What they have to have happen to them is some huge, hairy, green thing that will grab them by the throat and convince them to turn around and pick up their lives. That is what has to happen. That is the role of the exemplars. The exemplars are sort of like the Incredible Hulk. They are not nice. The saint is not nice. The poet is not nice. These people are not nice. The poet writes heartrending tales about how empty and pitiful your life is. You read it and cry in the night. The sage is somebody who says, "That was a stupid decision. And if you continue to make such stupid decisions something terrible is going to happen to you." The general is one who says, "If you don't move, I'll proceed to walk all over you with these great big boots and send you to be permanent latrine duty for the rest of eternity." These are not nice people. But I think the time has come for sheer style that is awakenment to the deeps, to the terror, to the profundity of profoundly human community.