Global Research Assembly


July, 1978


I first saw this chart a year ago. We were all so scared of it, we didn't let anybody else see it and a lot of us are still scared of it. It deals with Maneuver and comes from a book by a Chinese fellow, Sun Tsu, called The Art of War. I want to read from another book, Five Rings, by Miyamoto Musashi. It is profound insight on strategy. This is the introduction. The character was a swordsman, and he wrote a book on how to be a good swordsman.

I have been in training many years in the way of strategy and now I think I will explain it in writing for the first time. It is now during the first ten days of the tenth month in the 20th year of Kane (which is 1645). I have climbed Mount Hiwato, Ovigu and Kioshu, to pay homage to heaven, pray to Kwana and kneel before Buddha. I am a warrior of Harima province, Shin Men Musashi Nokami Fujawara Ogenshen, age 60 years. From youth, my art has been inclined toward the way of strategy. My first duel was when I was 13. I struck down a strategist of the Shinto school, one Arima Kihi. When I was 16, I struck down an able strategist, Parashima Akiyama. When I was 27, I went up to the capital and met all manner of strategists, never once failing to win in many contests. After that, I went from province to province dueling with strategists of various schools and not once failed to win even though I had as many as 60 encounters. This was between the ages of 13 and 28. When I reached 30, I looked back on my past. The previous victories were not due to my having mastered strategy. Perhaps it was natural ability, or the order of heaven, or that other school strategy was inferior. After that, I studied morning and evening searching for the principle and came to realize the way of strategy when I was 50. Since then I have lived without following any particular way. Thus, with the virtue of strategy, I practice many arts and abilities, all things with no teacher. To write this book, I did not use a log, Buddha or the teachings of Confucius. either old war chronicles nor books on martial tactics. I take up my brush to explain the true spirit of this as it is mirrored in the way of Heaven. This time is the night of the 20th day of the 19th month of the hour of the Tiger.

Someone said yesterday that it had been four years since the first Town Meeting in 1974. That is not true. The first Town Meeting was held in July, 1971 and lasted one month. We didn't have a workbook and 1,000 people participated, but we got the document printed for people to take with them before the end. The year 1971 changed my life. In 1971,1 was immersed in something we named sociality several years later in the LENS course. Slicker talked about sociality in relation to replication. Sociality reveals to people that they have to shove into the social process, step outside of themselves and believe they can trust living in the whirlwind of our century in order to do replication, social demonstration and in order to create a new world. In 1971, we worked on a 432 page document relating to sociality. We also delineated the several, pressure points, later expanded to nine, and the nine whistlepoints. Using this thick, complex document as a guide, 1,000 people examined 77 different arenas of society, looked at trends and ideologies, and tried to articulate the blocks and the need;. When we drew that together, we named nine fundamental arenas where action was needed. We asked another 1,000 people what action should be taken. They produced a voluminous amount of work. We drew that together and invented the nine whistlepoints. At that point we saw the need for a system called demonstration which posited visible signs in different places around the world. We also needed a system of impact, now called development, which would let people see that a new world was coming into being. There was a system of training, or formation as it is called on the 1978 summer symbol, where we give people skill in operating in this new world. What we now call interchange was the repository. In the middle were three things. One was the Global Servant Force. If you didn't have a bunch of people who would go anywhere in the world, you weren't going to win. Second was the Cell Force. That was a disciplined core in a community. The third part was the Guild Force, and that was local people moving.

One element of the whistlepoints was the Myth Factor. People had lost their direction in the world in terms of consciousness and symbolism. There was no way to grasp the profound significance of being a human being, and spirit, piety, meaning or mythology had to be re­invented. Another element of the whistlepoints was the Action factor. In the midst of the transitions of our age, people had lost the capacity to do what they said they were going to do. If you are willing to do what society will let you do, you can win. But this doesn't have anything to do with what is needed in the world. People weren't responding to the needs. The Art of the Maneuver Chart is a first attempt to draw together six years of research on the action factor. Three years ago we produced the Superweb, the result of efforts to get more clarity on the Action Factor. The Superweb drew 9,386 miscellaneous actions into 17 distinct components.

Before Summer 1974 we were smart enough just to do 39 Local Community Convocations. We didn't realize they were Town Meetings at that time. The 2,543 people involved in these were amazed at what happened. In September, 1974, some of us flew to Majuro to do something called a "consult." We didn't know what a consult was, but we gathered some people knowledgeable in construction, medicine and education and we figured out what to do in Majuro. It wasn't until a year and a half later that we discovered it was possible to write the document right at the consult. We brought the Majuro document back to Chicago, compiled it and sent it back to Majuro. A week later, we said, "Now on page, 93, is this done or not? What about this action on page 98?" Through this events, we discovered that the time of doing had arrived. One of our earliest struggles was the decision to name these places around the world social demonstration projects. We realized that the word "demonstration," after the turmoil of the sixties, was no longer relevant. People needed solutions demonstrated. What do you do? We began with eight social demonstrations. Next we said we were going to do 5,000 Town Meetings in the United States. Today we have completed more than 6,200 around the world.

As I travel around the world, I have heard many people who work with us ask the question "Who are these people? Why do you let them do the crazy things they do?" They always have one answer: 'These people do what they say they are going to do." It is that simple.

It was a treat for me this evening to look at the document from the Sudtonggan Human Development consult, held in May, 1976. Hidden in the back of these documents, is a section called "Anticipated Benefits." It opens with a brief statement: "Sudtonggan intends to be a signal village which people will visit as a demonstration of what can be done in any community. It is important, therefore, that an imaginal picture be drawn that describes some of the anticipated results of the project. The variety of things that a visitor might see on a Sudtonggan tour in three to six months time from the time of the consult are presented in a series of six sketches." The people in Sudtonggan took their "Anticipated Benefits" section and rewrote it. In case anybody had a question, they put a map on the front. They did what they said they were going to do.

I avoided this chart for a long time because the last thing I am interested in is another nifty way for us to do battleplanning. In the past, we brainstormed and gestalted problems, and turned them from negative to positive statements which became our goals. We listed four strategies, four tactics for each strategy, timelined them, then did them. When maneuvers came into being, I wasn't interested. But as I studied this chart, I began to see. We have done something in the world with Town Meeting. We have done something with Social Demonstration. But far more important than the residue remaining from these is that a body of people stood up in the 20th Century, said they were going to do something, and they did it. That is significant. Anwar Sadat said, "We are going to have peace with Israel." But he hasn't succeeded. Jimmy Carter, who is in a fairly powerful position, said a lot of fine things about balancing budgets, trimming bureaucracy and listening to local people. His track record hasn't measured up either. He is not doing those things. Youth in the sixties promised to change many things but they haven't accomplished much of what they said. Something happened around the world this year. Some people stated what they were going to do and they got it done. This is an important moment in history. This chart is important because the job we have now is to spell out and draw together the Art of Maneuver, the art of absolute creativity, of radical effectivity, of significant action, the science of historical action, the transparentization of do­ment. I like that best because I don t know what it means.

We have maneuvered. Something has happened that released us to action and allowed us to focus our corporate style towards a Job that had to be done We were able to bracket excuses and reasons for not doing anything in this life. Maneuver has given us the resolution to win. It is a joke to start a Human Development Project because everybody already knows what is going to happen. There is no surprise left. You have the consult, publish a document, and people are going to do what is in the document. In two years, you have a glorious place. There is no doubt in people s minds. They can do consults in India in three days simply because they already know they will do it in Mill Shoals, Illinois, we had trouble with our tactics. The mayor had his people 1isten to the team meetings. We would say the bridge needed repair, and they would fix the bridge while we wrote the tactics. The fire station needed a sign, so he had someone put one up. It was unbelievable.

This chart is about radical effectivity, not busyness. It does not tell you how to do all 700 tactics in a week. In fact, quite the opposite. Those of us who spend a lot of time intellectualizing think you can take action and gestalt it. Have you ever tried gestalting how long it takes to paint a house? Or gestalting painting four houses into house painting? All you have is the category of house painting. This chart is designed to guide and direct your thinking. Your busyness is not important. What is important is whether you change the situation. That's my first point.

My second point is that the chart does not tell you how to accomplish everything. It does tell you how to figure out the thing you have to do. The most successful maneuver in Vaviharsh this year was planting papaya trees. There were six other maneuvers more complicated than this. At first, planting papaya trees was too complicated because there were 50 trees. They reduced it to ten, but they planted those trees and it changed the whole village. When I heard this story I remarked, "It is humiliating to realize how competent, trained people like us can be consumed the whole quarter with planting ten papaya trees." And the person who had been so consumed in this way, agreed this was true. A maneuver is out to find some way to bring something off within the limitations of human energy and time to think through what is needed. It is a gift to our age in terms of the comprehensive demand.

The ground of maneuver is related to THE ENEMY. It has to do with THE VOID; it is related to THE GENERAL. It is action, not in the context of your company, your family, or your town. It is related to the context of history and what is happening in our age.

Universe II, The Theoretics of Maneuver, is what you say you can do. The world today does not need another good idea or another idealistic "maybe." The world needs to see the things you can do. The morning goes extremely well in the Global Women's Forum. In the afternoon, when the question of engagement is raised, everything goes fine until they reach the nitty gritty of "What should I do?" Suddenly it isn't very clear. The same thing happens in Town Meetings and Youth Forums. It is difficult to become clear on what you can do. The Practics of Maneuver is concerned with doing . What you say.

I call those categories three universes. One universe is the universe of ambiguity, of relativity in which you and I live. That has to do with the void, with your selfhood and your being in the midst of knowing there is nothing to hold onto. It is related to the enemy or the protagonist that prevents humanness from happening and the void is the way. Creative Tension is life at the bottom. If you don't live in the midst of creative tension, you are not living as a human being. It is that simple. It is Historical Necessity. I like the expression "savage justice." This is similar to the poetry of Kazantzakis who says. "My God is not all­holy. 'That means he isn't nice. He picks, chooses, beats and shoves. I appreciated the pictures of the massacre in Zaire. It reminded me anew that life for most people on this planet is a vicious thing, very directly vicious. Life is vicious to the little kids in India and Africa who were born without a chance. It is vicious to local people in the United States and Canada who have lived their lives without a chance to think, to know the world that you and I know, to get out and see places. If you are going to live, it will be in a vicious world. We live in a world of historical necessity where the only : issue is what is needed. However politely you say that, the world and history is not run, in the first instance, by human values. Humans are put here to put human values into it.

Radical Xavierism: the void means knowing there are no boundaries. What you do has no limits in terms of space, time, or your being. Inclusive Unity: I am tired of hearing about people who want to do things. You know that is true. Here we all are, sitting on this dinky little planet, and from the perspective of anywhere but here, it is all one thing. We are the ones who divide it up. But the void is an Unknown companion. Being human is knowing the mystery in life, knowing the presence of that which is not the same as you, the other worldliness that you can trust is present.

Formal Reductionism is an enemy and you reed to watch out for it. The broadest definition of the 85% of the world would include the statement that they are the people who don't belong to anything. The Lutherans of the world take care of the Lutherans They do a tremendous job of feeding the hungry, preaching the good news and taking intermediate technology to other Lutherans. The problem is that many people aren't Lutherans. The Methodists, I've noticed, do a good job of taking care of other Methodists. The Philbrooks take care of Philbrooks, Wiegels take care of Wiegels and Indians take good care of Indians. But if you happen to belong to something that doesn't belong to anything you are left out and forgotten; this is the 85%. Because of formal reductionism, you are overagainst an eternal contradiction. If you are in the realm of profound action, you encounter something related to more than our movement in history. At a Town Meeting you suddenly discover that you did something related not only to our time. It was a happening that in some way related to all space and all time I'll never forget the first Human Development Training School. Most of the faculty was Christian and most of the students were Muslim or Hindu. We saw people's lives being changed by Maliwada everywhere and all the time. Our only way to interpret what was happening was to sneak off and share stories from our sacred literature. We whispered because we didn't want people to hear us; we were trying to pretend we weren't Christians. One day I was walking behind the school building and found a group of young students together. I asked somebody what they were talking about. They were telling ancient Hindu stories, trying to explain what had happened to them in the school.

Then, THE GENERAL. The general is the Historical Nobody. He is the elected self, the one who maneuvers. He is the being of profound action. Detached Creativity: by maneuver, we don't mean doing something that you are attached it. it is good to use military terminology. There are stories of generals who were yanked out and sent somewhere else right before the battle. Then they are thrown back into generalling. Profound action involves Detached Creativity and Fanatical Do­ment. It is always being on the road, going for broke-moving, moving. moving-involving a Transparent Posture.

Sun Tzu says that the general is a man of the Tao. If a person doesn't care profoundly, he is not going to act effectively. This is obvious in my being but I can't explain it philosophically. You see somebody who cares just a tiny bit and that's how effective they are. You see somebody who allows himself not to care about anything and, finally, he s not effective. However. a man of the Tao is a disciplined servant and he is willing to be the Rational Intrusion. He is the one filled with victorious resolve which is related to that other worldliness.

Somebody asked me yesterday if it would be wise to do replication in his country? My first response was "How can anybody want to be in the same situation as the people in the State of Maharashtra?" On second reflection, I'd say, 'Sure. if you are willing to spend the rest of your life with no money, until replication is done. Go ahead." The issue of replication in India right now is very simple: something is going to happen in every village in the State of Maharashtra, period. All the rest is details. When you fall into the realm of profound action you realize your life is on the line. When you say you are going to do something, you take the first step towards accomplishing it. You become aware that it will be completed. It will be done because you are going to be there as long as necessary.

I attended the Local Convocation in Rapid City, South Dakota several years ago. There were no other Town Meetings in South Dakota until this past spring, when everybody went in and did them despite all of our troubles there in the past. One colleague who insisted that a certain town be done said, "I just wanted to go to make sure that Town Meeting came off.." In the realm of profound doing, you experience your being as the guarantee that what you say is going to happen. When you fall into the realm of transparent do­meet or radical effectivity, this awareness comes to you.

Sun Tzu says that both advantage and danger are in the realm of maneuver. Whenever you act you take a risk. At the bottom, that means you risk when you go to Maliwada, do a Town Meeting, engage in replication or go on a development call. You know you can win in terms of advantage. I like Don Clark's category of "flim­flam." You know you can operate like the rest of society and flim­flam the situation to arrive where you want to go. Advantage and danger in the void means daring to take upon yourself responsibility for history by entering a town and holding a Town Meeting. In that town, you take upon yourself whatever happens. knowing that something will happen and knowing that the situation will change. We knew before we went to each of the 24 social demonstrations, including Fifth City, that we would encounter all of the ambiguities of history. We knew, and yet we said we were going to do it. That is the problem with pulling out of projects. How could we ever leave Kelapa Dua? What would be the meaning of leaving Kelapa Dua? The people there have walked a whole new world with us which most people don't understand. That is the void of historical action.

The second universe is about estimates Sun Tzu talks about temple deliberations. This relates to the last 25 years of our work, trying to build a consciousness which would allow effective action to take place in the world. As you know, the pitfalls of that consciousness are many It is not intellectual knowing or abstract philosophy. It's consciousness. it is knowing that effective human development happens when you deal with the delimited geography. You can't explain that philosophy to somebody. All you can say is that we have found in 29 nations that when you delimit the geography, something will happen. You have to deal with all of the problems and all ages. You have to deal with the depth human problem and the key is symbol. You can illustrate those as much as you like. You can try to justify them as much 25 you want. That is not the kind of knowing they represent. They are just fact. If you walk out that door, take a few steps and go left, you will find a stairway. That is just fact. The theoretics of maneuver is about fact. It is not theory in terms of putting abstractions together or gestalting. It is the residue of what we have learned from our doing.

THE CONTEXTUAL LEVELS: the appropriate military term for this would be intelligence. You have to have an intelligence system. If I were redoing this chart, I would flip the column so that primal consciousness was at the top. You must tap the primal consciousness of an age to deal with the total aspects. Understand the Historical Trends. you need global maneuvers that tell you what needs to happen in the whole world. We used to say they should be printed on the front of your forehead. This is old wisdom. If you ever plan theatre maneuvers across an area or a state, or do battlefront maneuvers, you need to do this. Now, the reason for all those levels is more related to Universe 111 because radical effectivity is not based in philosophical thinking. It is not based on thinking in terms of problems or anxieties you might run into. It is based on focusing on the job that has to be done and bracketing everything else. You deal with Primal Consciousness, Tonal Aspects, Historical Trends, Global Maneuvers and Theatre Maneuvers so that you can put all those things aside. Only then can you see the garden you need to dig this afternoon as the thing you have to do, which is the only way to do almost anything. Even then, you need to trick yourself and flim flam yourself with symbols to force yourself to do something as direct as that. We need to spell these out in more detail, obviously, from the blank spaces on the chart.

The next one, CALCULATED DEFINITUDES, gives practicality to our work. We painted all these countries gold because five years were spent developing an instrument, a weapon called Town Meeting. We know how it works, what it does, we can do it in any language, with paper, without paper, backwards, forwards, in three hours, ten minutes, twenty minutes, in a store, in a school. walking down the street with young kids. Weapons like that don't come out of the sky. Yet, we have these kinds of weapons.

The most important weapon we invented last summer was a yellow magic marker. Five years ago, we targeted 5,000 towns for Town Meetings. We wrote maneuvers, battleplans, manuals and workbooks in every language. Then someone thought of using a yellow magic market, and things really took off! That's weaponry! It is not something abstract, like brainstorming and gestalting the set of weapons you need and building them. A lot of us have tried that. Our weapons are related to our social philosophy, our disciplined methods, our public prowess, our profound humanness, and our ability to move in the midst of society. Timing is when; weaponry is the how and forces is the who. This is the tenth year anniversary of our houses but we have been deploying forces a lot longer than that. We know a lot about this.

We have become familiar with the terrain. Everyone thinks that Ray Spencer and Neil Vance are two of the experts on maneuver in our group. They go on crazy trips and talk to important people. They write up what they are going to do and don't. Therefore, they must know a lot about the maneuver method. They know a lot more than the maneuver method. For ten years they have been visiting important people. They have had some wins, made some mistakes and they have done a lot. That way of knowing the terrain is necessary if you are going to write maneuvers. After you do one Town Meeting, you are trained. Someone trained in social demonstration is someone that has done one. That's where the gap in training lies in Maharashtra. When more people have done social demonstrations, and this will take time, more leadership will be available. The enemy must be pinpointed. The enemy is not all the left side of the chart. This is an analysis of any time and place in history. It is as present in you as anything else. You have to locate what you are aiming for and you are determined to win them, not kill them. You are out to be indirect and to look for vulnerability.

Then the Self: you need to know yourself. You need to know what you have decided to do. It was helpful when someone told me I probably would not like Development. That kept me going because I wasn't surprised that I didn't like it. You must know what you can and can't do and what you will do and won't do. You operate out of that. This allows you to decide your spirit mood. Only in recognizing your capabilities can you decide to bracket them and do what you need to do. If you are not clear, you cannot do this.

Universe III is fundamentally concerned with deployment of troops-The Practics of Maneuver. If the Theoretics of Maneuver is the invisible consciousness that gives you direction, allowing you to walk into a situation and see it differently, then the Practics of Maneuver are the invisible visible. It is the interior nobody sees that allows a sucre factory to happen. SITUATIONAL DISCERNMENT is the first of its two parts. This is reconnaissance or thinking in relation to the situation. That is dealing with the indicative. It is not dealing with what you want to happen, but with what is there. The purpose of a consult is to focus trained eyes on seeing what is in the community and what is possible with the givenness there.

Radical Empiricism is articulating the actual situation, knowing the battlefield, continuous homework and simple charts. Tactical Obsession: What would I do? At a consult you notice that there are two different kinds of people. One group says things like, "Boy, this is a nice place. I really like all those great people!" and "Hey, do you know what we could do? We could level that whole mountain and put in an airport-turn this into a great tourist attraction-after I leave. The day after tomorrow." The second group of people doesn't say much. They walk around and look, taking in all they see. They make phone calls, they frown and gulp and then come up with a list of ten things they would do if they were going to live there. Tactical Obsession is a way you discern the situation by asking yourself what you can do. Transrational Schemes: you keep thinking, multiplying, dividing, subtracting and adding until you come up with a number of things that you can do-what must be done.

I call Box 34 Futuric Reflection Backwards. In other words, you go to Anticipated Benefits and think back through the situation from the end to the beginning. You see the steps clearly. That does not happen automatically by programming your mind. It takes work every time it is done. Imposted Finality: It is easy to do replication in Kenya or the Philippines as long as you decide you are not going to leave until it is done. If everybody else quits, you will do it. After that, it is simple. To do it, you must put yourself on death ground and be willing to give your life. Intuitional Confidence. Again, that's returning to that victorious resolve next door. You know when you fall into the realm of maneuver that there is nothing standing in the way of victory though everything stands in its way. When you fall through the realm of your own action into the Way, into the realm of profound action, you know what will get done is what will get done. It doesn't make any sense. You know that you bet your life on history.

That word on the chart should be a­n­t­s. When you realize you have a situation that you cannot solve, ants means you don't worry about solving it. A lot of us could be awfully consumed with how we are going to do 10,000 Town Meetings next year. No ants means that you put into brackets something like this which you can't deal with. You don't let it eat you up while you do what you can. You wait until there is a way to move and then move.

As you look at the chart, where would you fill holes to make it usable as a practical tool?

There's a question about the void. I'll illustrate this with a story. Many years ago, a man was walking through the desert one day and saw a bush on fire. But what appeared to him in the bush was not exactly a fire, because the bush wasn't consumed. After that encounter, he went out to do great things in history. His experience there is what I mean by the void. People in theological circles use G­O­D. The experience of the final mystery of the almighty, is the void, Now, where did you learn something about maneuver this year? What are the names of some of the maneuvers?