Global Priors Council July 29, 1977
I want to talk about corporateness. I found these profound
humanness spins very interesting and as I sat through this week,
I become clear that the categories we were assigned were nothing
more than portholes into the Other World. If you look into any
one of the portholes you would see exactly the same thing. You
would see profound humanness. So I was not at all surprised when
my lecture on profound humanness as corporateness kept getting
given six, seven, eight or nine times.
I always come in here feeling that I am just a little bigger,
a little taller and a little better than anybody else here. Therefore
I'm never surprised when I have to do something like this. This
time I was surprised and I tried to figure out why in the world
am I supposed to be speaking up here? Did I do something that
someone would want me to witness to this time? Actually, we have
no particular corner on profound humanness. Any of us or perhaps
a1l of us this week, have created our own spins and reflections
on when we have touched the touchstone and have been transformed
from creatures into profound human beings.
When Jesus left he said one thing. He gave one rule to the
world and that was "Love one another." So that no one
got confused, he followed this by saying, "As I have loved
you." That was his rule for profound humanness. That was
his foundation for corporateness. After seeing the movie, "The
Gospel According to St. Matthew," you cannot possibly be
left with any romantic misconceptions about what Jesus meant by
"Love one another as I have loved you." Jesus was talking
about corporateness, the one absolute for the man of faith. There
is no way to exist as a man of faith except through corporateness.
You have no choice. God said, be corporate. The universe was immediately
corporate. He said, if you don't be corporate, where are the rats.
All of them are corporate, you know, and a lot less quarrelsome
about their global assignments.
Let's move from the enigmatic. I don't want anybody thinking
that I'm taking this too seriously and that I know what I'm talking
about up here because all I know is what happened to me this year.
That's all I know. I didn't read anything on profound humanness
this year. I couldn't find anything to read on profound humanness.
I didn't read anything on corporateness. I experienced
A few years ago we talked about resurgence. One image for
resurgence was a white elephant. You step out around a corner
and this white elephant runs you down. You lie there on the ground,
broken up and dazed, but you are wet all over because this elephant
was wet. You discovered that the elephant was resurgence and the
wetness on you was the residue of resurgence.
Somehow, we knew that wasn't enough. Later we got hold of
care. We found that on the other side of resurgence, everyman
was showing up as a caring human being. Every man was caring for
the dying in Vietnam, for the genocide and dehumanization in South
Africa or caring for the inhuman waste of North America. Every
human being just showed up caring. I still wake up nights hearing
the screaming babies; crying, babies that don't have enough to
I was walking down the street between Stake 3 and Stake 4
in Ivy City one day. Mr. Swenson, the stake captain, called to
me, "Carlos, come over here. I want to show you something."
I went over to an apartment building across the street from his
house and as I got closer, I could see that he had a baby in his
arms. When I got closer I could see that the baby was oozing and
bleeding all over. He said, "Carlos, this baby is beaten."
When the police came, of course the parents said the baby had
fallen down the stairs. The force of the care that was reawakened
in me within that moment! It was not a soft, compassionate care.
It was anger. It was frustration, not because that baby had been
beaten but because I still had to care. I was not released from
care. This is profound humanness.
I remember my second little dog, a cocker spaniel. You know
cocker spaniels with the curly wavy hair, and this was a little
red one. One summer we were going down to my grandfather's in
Mt. Eden, Texas, the old homestead. As soon as we opened the door,
this dog jumped out of the door and zoom, was off into the woods.
We hollered and whistled and he wasn't coming back. We forgot
about him, and a few hours went by. I was looking out the window
and all of a sudden, I could see my dog coming through the brush.
I mean he was really coming through the brush. His tail was wagging
and he was grinning.
I wondered, "Now, what in the world has gone on with
Wuffy?" I got a little closer and I could see he was all
wet and slimy. I thought, "He must have jumped into the water."
When he got a little closer I could smell something. When he started
into the yard my grandfather jumped off the porch and grandmother
jumped off the porch, and everybody jumped and said, "Oh
my God, he's been in a stump!" But I swear I have never seen
an expression on that dog's face like this one! That dog was profoundly
dog! I remember we had to stay at my grandfather's an extra week.
I am so tired of being ineffective, uncreative and I'm tired
of failing. This has been a very painful year. I am tired of being
ineffective in my priorship, my role as a male and in modelbuilding
only to come up with the same old answers, models and procedures.
Lord knows, I need some victories. I'm scared to death of corporateness.
You know, I have scars 400 years deep. My psyche is like a spaghetti
bowl. You have to understand that my generation is the first on
this planet to get enough education, health and technology to
be an independent son of a bitch, and I thoroughly enjoy it. The
last thing that I want is to be corporate. If you want to see
me blush red, run up to me with some corporateness -- although
you might have to look into my eyes to see that I'm blushing.
This year I ran into corporateness, my family ran into corporateness,
the auxiliary ran into corporateness and Ivy City ran into corporateness.
What we discovered is that's the only enemy. The only block to
experiencing your life and your expenditure as profound humanness
is noncorporateness. I have refused my birthright this year;
I have refused corporateness. I refused to drink from the cup
and I have been the heretic. I have been ruined by one command.
I decided after I discovered how crummy our auxiliary was
and how broken down Ivy City was, that I was going to trust nobody,
just me. I don't want to trust anybody's wisdom. Just mine. I
wouldn't want to trust Ivy City, a bunch of thieves, dope smokers,
women molesters, quitters, beat up people. I wasn't trusting them.
I was going to trust myself. The only person that I could trust
to do the project was me. I even got that theologically grounded.
I said "Now, if you want to see what profound humanness is,
that's me. Keep up with me. Here's profound humanness, right here."
I was up every morning. I was up for Daily Office. I went through
the day -- zing! I didn't eat any lunch, stayed up late at night
and got up the next day. I went through life -- bang, bang, bang.
I fooled my death or fooled that I was going to die to being a
corporate boy. Lord knows, I fear corporateness.
Then I received an assignment. I had been sliding around Town
Meetings all year and getting around anything that took me out
of my situation all year. Finally, there was a Town Meeting in
New Jersey, the first in the campaign down there, in a county
jail. Everyone thought, "Who can do this county jail Town
Meeting," and they decided, "The only one with the experience
is Carlos." So I did a Town Meeting in a county jail and
the three campaigns came back to me. It came back to me with such
a force and so much pain that all of a sudden I had my life back.
I tell you, in that instant I was cared for. I overcame fear and
frustration and I discovered a profound humanness.
Someone asked me yesterday how I will know when Ivy City is
done. All I could say was corporateness. But I've come up with
four ways. I will know Ivy City is done when there is focused
power, covenanted collegiality, profound fellowhood, and decisional
obedience. Those are my four pillars for knowing when that project
is done. I can move on when I see these four things going on.
This does not mean that those programs -- commerce, industry,
preschools, housing, jobs, health -- are not important. They are
just proofs or evidence that those four pillars are firmly implanted
in that community.
Our maneuver for the month of July was environmental beautification
and I had this great idea that before Joe Mathews came back to
Ivy City again, they're going to clean it up. We battleplanned
and we planned a fantastic maneuver. Each Week II we were going
to take the worst block in one stake and we were going to transform
it. We didn't call it a miracle. We were going to have victory
on that block. We set out to organize those blocks. The first
block, Dadulet Street, runs right across the front of the Community
Center and is one of the most horrible looking streets you have
ever seen in your life. There are row apartments, all dull and
red, with no doors on them.
The first Week II, we took the whole auxiliary and metro troops
to Daudulet Street. We dug up all the yards, put dirt in there
and planted grass, put shrubbery in, cleaned the streets, sidewalks,
the gutters, cut out all the weeds, repainted all the boards,
put in flower boxes and fantastic, shiny numbers on each apartment
so you could see where they were. We transformed that block and
the people on that block were so proud that by noontime almost
everybody in their apartment had come out and were trying to find
something to do to participate in that block beautification.
We had victory and all this was done in the rain. It was raining
hard. You tie a scarf around your head so the rain doesn't come
down in your eyes and you keep digging. I tell you, that victory
scared the hell out of Ivy City. The next week was supposed to
be Providence Week. Providence Street is the
worst street in Ivy City in terms of care.
Their stake captain called them together and was trying to
plan for the Week II. I sat in on the meeting and just as it started,
a little lady stood up and said, "What have I done to you?
I've done nothing to you. What are you trying to get us kicked
out of this community for? I can't afford to have my rent go up
anymore. I got seven children and I'm on welfare!" Then one
after another after another said, "Why don't we leave Ivy
City like it is? "It's never been clean!" "We don't
have to clean it up." One man got up and said, "As soon
as the landlord sees the improvement, he's gonna jump up our rent
and I want to know if you can guarantee us that we are not going
to get moved?" I said, "Well, I can guarantee you that
we can fight." But that wasn't enough.
In the midst of that kind of melee and that kind of excitement,
I knew that we were right. I knew that we had somehow gotten hold
of the enemy. I didn't know whether we had him by the big tall
now, but we had him. So I said, "Do you want me to believe
that the only security that you have is to live in filth? Is that
what you're trying to tell me? That you have to live with garbage
up to your front door, up to your windows, before you have any
security about where you are going to live?"
The fear in that situation meant awakenment to a new possibility.
These people who were asleep knew that on the other side of Daudulet
Street, the people were alive. Provident Street was fearful. They
didn't know what they feared but they knew something new was fixing
to happen in their lives and they were going to stop it if they
could. These people were excited and the Swanson House didn't
even hold them all. People were hanging out all the doors. I kept
thinking, "We have something here." Covenanted collegiality
was in focus and the form was coming into being here.
Finally, I stood up and said, "Tomorrow morning at 8:30
I'll be down here with six people. Mrs. Swenson will be there
and we are going to start at the end of the block on Capital Street
and we are going to clean up all the public space on this street.
You are all welcome to participate." Well, some of them weren't
quite sure I was right and the auxiliary wasn't sure I was right
but nevertheless, Saturday morning, we got up and loaded up all
We took enough cleaning materials for sixty people. It was
hot. We started on the far end of the street. In one hour we had
about ten people out. They joined in, and by lunch time 50 people
from that block were working. We had to get more materials. We
filled about 12 dumpsters full of trash and garbage. A man down
the street asked how far along we were going to get down the street.
"We intend to get all the way," I said. He said, "I'm
so tired but I can't stand to see you all cleaning without me
getting up and helping you."
Profound fellowhood and profound collegiality happened in
that victory and profound focused power was realized in that block.
Decisional obedience was a reality. We went through the fear and
on the other side we found corporateness; unbelievable corporateness!
And in doing so, we discovered profound humanness ourselves. Corporateness
or profound humanness is the Other World. When Jesus said, "I
go to the far place for you and where I go ye may go also,"
he was talking about the Other World. He was talking about profound
humanness in the Other World sense.
There is one stipulation. You must be corporate. t is as simple
as that. The rich must give up their wealth. That's what corporateness
means. The professionals must give up their professionalism. Lord
knows, we had some struggle with our professions this year. Individuals
in this individual universe, must give up their individualism.
If you can't do that, then you can't enter the Other World right
here in the midst of this world. Nobody ever heard of a camel
going through the eye of a needle without unloading. But if you
can't do that, you can't enter the Other World.
My life has been so painfilled this quarter. The horror has been so explicit and the victories have been so many that I hardly know how to contain them all. I found that the greatest fear I ever had in my life was when I contemplated the two suitcases. The greatest terror was when someone in my house contemplated the two suitcases because I knew in doing that, they were giving up the Other World.