As we are sitting here and looking at this chart of the Global Priorities, I was aware that this weekend we touched on every one of them, either by direct work or by an up­to­date contexting on them. After hearing what went on this weekend I decided that if I had it to do over again I would do the packet cover differently. I wouldn't have just the map of Area New York, but superimposed over it would be the ''Those Who Care" symbol of the 24 initial Human Development Projects. Also I' would not have the Area New York Guardians Meeting on the cover, but rather The Meeting Of the Global Guardians from Area New York. I want to read you something:

"Within history, in concrete, objective contexts, both humanization and dehumanization are possibilities for man as an uncompleted being conscious of his incompletion.

But while both humanization and dehumanization are real alternatives, only the first is man's vocation. This vocation is constantly negated, yet it is affirmed by that very negation. It is thwarted by injustice, exploitation, oppression, and the violence of the oppressors; it is affirmed by the yearning of the oppressed for freedom and justice, and by their struggle to recover their lost humanity.

Dehumanization, which marks not only those whose humanity has been stolen, but also (though in different way) those who have stolen it, is a distortion of the vocation of becoming more fully human.. This distortion occurs within history; but it is not an historical vocation. Indeed, to admit of dehumanization as an historical vocation would lead either to cynicism or to total despair. The struggle for humanization, for the emancipation of labor, for the overcoming of alienation, for the affirmation of men as persons would be meaningless.. This struggle is possible only because dehumanization. although a concrete historical fact, is not a given­destiny, but the result of an unjust order that engenders violence in the oppressors; which in turn dehumanizes the oppressed."


Although it may seem disguised at times in this talk, I want to talk about only one thing, "What is a Guardian?"

We have, as you know, made a lot out of the word "Maneuver" this past year. I think we've gained a great deal of prowess in waging a war, discerning victory and all that. But for us who are Guardians and, therefore, the Movement, we need to continually remember that fundamentally Maneuvering for us is none of these things, unless maneuvering is something else first. I find that "something else" hard to talk about articulately but it is of fundamental importance. Do you recall those old "Trend" conversations we tried once? Sometimes they were called "Waves of History" conversations. I always thought they went badly, but our intuitions were right about the fundamental task of the Movement for human society. They were right about trying to grasp the present creative turn that history is in. That's why they were so hard. They were about timing not the timing of this force or that, this approach or that -- they were about the timing of the Way. We've talked about it in many ways the activity of the Mystery. Katzanzakis has talked about it as the ascending spiral. Some have talked about it as the void. I suppose in the Christian Poetry and literature it is the sets of the prophets o£ the Old Testament uttering before anyone could see it, what God was doing in History. Or it is "having the mind of God."

Any of you who have been around long enough to have had RS­I recall that Richard Neibuhr talks about it as discerning the new will of God. This is absolutely fundamental to everything else we do -- obedience and responsiveness to the great and fundamental turn that the Mystery is making manifest in history. It makes no difference if you do 50 million Town Meetings ­ if they are not in accord with the creative turn of the Way, then they are not participating in the continued creative birthing of the human and humanizing experiment on earth. That is why spirit prowess is absolutely a life and death issue for us -- not for shoring up our twisted psyches, hut that we individually sad corporately become those who have a feel for, a sensitivity to, and know the Way.

Now there is one other aspect to this, although I have already implied it, the Guardians of Humanness know that each monumental, vast eon of the turns of time is creative -- or as we might say "good". They are for the continuation of the human experiment. I like the way the Journal Reading at lunch came at this when it said, "It need not astonish us that for some minds the world appears to be full of light, while for others it seems to be plunged in darkness. The difference is due not so much to power of intellect as to purity and integrity of will." Or put another way, only those of the Way can discern the great historic timing.

Next comes trends -- that is not the same really as the Timing of the Way. Don't ask me to explain that yet -- I don't know how right now. Trends are critical to right action -- by which I mean action pointed at the contradiction of the time and in accord with the creative momentum of the era. Going back to these "wave" conversations again, what was frustrating about them was that we would use as data what we'd seen in Newsweek or a movie, or the paper, but whether we got it articulated or not, what you knew wee that once it had hit those spots it was already a wave crashing on the shore and another new one was forming -- and it wee the unformed one we needed to discern It is discerned from seeing and hearing and smelling -- it is from casual conversations, from fledgling groups and coalitions that are forming, it's from the feel of the streets, the sounds of the music, from the spirit of the times. It's the hints - unnewsworthy, not seen nor beard, nor remembered by most. It's a strange pair of eyeglasses no one else wears. Some of our poetry to talk about it would be visiting this world from the other world. It is profound spirit and detachment and at the same time passionate love for the creation -- that's what it takes. But whoever sells his soul to this or that, to this community or that program id blinded; they cannot discern the trends for they no longer stand in the Way. It's a trick to remain in that posture. Herein lies the value of the acceleration treks -- new eyes. It is inevitable that people in passionate identification with a community go blind -- for the moment. We send them new eyes of the way, and since they are of the Way their sight is restored.

One more word on trends. We are concerned fundamentally with the trends that are the means of furthering humanization. It is this that we are about. I don't care about Ivy City, or Kelapa Duas I don't care about Brockton or Harlem, I don't care about literacy programs or stakes, health advocates or Local Economic Vehicles. I don't care about people leaving the order or movement; pouting Guardians or disgruntled priors. I don't care if the Order goes out of existence except as it frustrates or furthers the vast vocation of humanization. Unless I keep clear on this, I will not be of the Way and will where after a thousand worries and be useless to the Mystery.

Now another aspect of this whole thing is readiness; the world's and ours. It's related to the trends and it's related to the great creative turns, but it's within a smaller time frame I think. Our action rides on the crest of the world's receptivity -- don't get me wrong; we are not controlled by it, but use it. We knew of the Women's Forum in 1970 -- you couldn't give it away, let alone market it. That's what I'm pointing to with readiness. There is today a readiness for what we have called "local engagement". I won't rehearse all of the signs, et cetera, but I want to add that this is not really the readiness, this is but the overt sellable manifestation -- the real readiness is for spiritual rebirth, ethics, care, vocation.

Then there is our readiness to participate in the Way of humanization. That has first of all to do with articulating the contradiction currently manifest in the social fabric. Remember in PLC's how we used always to start with the G1obal? Well, that has not changed! In the first instance we are concerned only with the global contradiction -- that which in this time is fundamentally blocking the effective thrust of the trends toward humanness in the light of the societal readiness. Only in the light of this clear statement of contradiction can their manifestations in more limited geographical configurations make sense. In the movement we spent really from 1968 to 1974 discerning with radical clarity these global contradictions and in response to them have come the three campaigns: the Town Meeting and The Global Social Demonstration are the proposed responses to the contradictions.

Now the question is delivery, not contradiction. That is to say, if Town Meeting and Global Social Demonstration are not responses to the other side of the articulation of the contradiction, then we need to begin again. There is no contradiction in Town Meeting or Global Social Demonstration, rather the question is, how to maneuver in order that they are victoriously delivered where they need to land, with the right force, on time -- something like that. What I'm trying to say is that this is a time of theatre and field maneuvers, not contradictions.

I'm not going into all the details of maneuvering. I'm still talking about what it means to be a Guardian in case you got lost in all this. I just want to point out what I think it means to be a Maneuverer of the Way. It means that you begin with victory -- that is the starting point. If I can be a little theological here -- you start with victory because you are a person of the Way and the Way has already won and therefore you have no other starting place. Anyone who starts a campaign or war with the question, "do you think we can win?" won't. You start with a vision of the victory as your standing ground. That's what the book of Revelation is about, I think, envisioning the victory of the Way, discerning the war chat will be fought, and then clarifying the battles that must be done. Then it is that you know how to start. At every moment of the war and battles it is critical to re­envision the victory -- it alone keeps the maneuvers on target.

Now I want to spend a little time on that victory. It has to do with Awakenment and Engagement -- that won't surprise anyone, I guess. But I don't think they are finally two things, but one -- Awakenment. I remember ~ used to try to get my daughter out of bed and I'd say, "Are you awake?" She'd say, "Yes" but then I didn't hear anything -- no water running, no footsteps, no closet doors -- nothing! Anyone really awake is engaged or else they are lying about being awake. But let's talk about them separately for the moment.

The Awakenment of the way know that: this is a never ending and continuing teak for their whole life. I wee thinking of the man who came to our meeting yesterday. He almost got burned out in the sixties working in urban Boston, partly because he didn't see the fruit of the labor, but partly because, like most of us, he thought it would be completed. You can't be a guardian long without knowing the relief that comes, knowing that that is not so. We are about the awakening of every town, every social structure, every social institution, awakening them to the next creative leap in humanization. "Golding­in" does not mean being "done". There are thousands of more towns. "Golding in" is but a minuscule tactic ­ a gimmick on the long march - don't be fooled.

And the Engagement -- those Human Development Projects. Their function is a "look and see" task. How many of those does it take? I hope you don't mind my using a little scripture, but remember when John the Baptist's disciples came to Jesus to check him out? He said, "Look and see!" And when the awakenment happens, you take your finger and point and say, "Look", and see what profound community can be. And then maybe you whisper in their ear, just like Jesus did, "Greater things than this will you do!"

But really, this is not the victory; the one of the Way envisions at all, finally. Rather, it is profound human and humanizing community. It is primal community. That's the old word that is rapidly coming back. Primal Community and Global Servant Force are in my mind one scene of the victory -- they are one thing, for Primal Community is not painted store fronts and parks, in the first instance; rather it is the presence of the spirit of the Way actively alive across the globe in every place, profounding the meaning of life and the forms of social care. Remember, I'm still answering the question, "What is a Guardian?"

When I get all that said to myself, then those Global Priorities blaze. Then "golding" the counties is absolutely critical because it is a strategy for honoring the Way of humanization. Then it is that I know that the fate of the great leap is related to every place. If a corner of California isn't done, all our work in New York is for nothing. If Vogar doesn't come off, Joyce Ollison might as well go to bed in Ivy City. It is not just cleverness to call ourselves the Global Guardians. The work of our task farces was about the Globe. We have to figure out how to do all of this faster, not because we need to keep up our motivity, but because the timing is right -- the opening in the line is before us and we don't know for how long.

We are called to be guardians of the Way. Guardians of the movement of the spirit in history -- not the guardians of any particular thing, but of no thing. Katzanzakia talked about this as being the Saviors of Gad -- I like guardians of the Way better myself. We are first of all to be a sign of that way; the embodiment of it. Jesus said, "I AM the Way..." shocking isn't it? I guess that is why Human Development and Town Meeting work is not manipulative mechanical tactical action, nor even artistic secular warfare, but rather is prayerful tactics and spiritual warfare.

In other words, we are called to be the Yes. We are the advocates of the way. Our primary insight of the quarter in Town Meeting set­up is that if you go looking for a Yes in the community you will not find it, unless you are the Yes in that community that requires no responding yes for sustenance. Put another way, we are the miracle in the community, we are not sustained by the miracles in the community.

As Guardians of the Way, we are at the same time the guardians of the forms through which that way is made known. It is in that context that we can talk about being Guardians on the Movement. That way is made manifest in all ages through forms -- enfleshment. If you cannot guard this form now in being, then be a guardian of something else. Or in deep prayer and meditation determine the ways in which this form must change. And mind you -- only for the sake of human society -- and then put your spiritual life behind it. We cannot be a guardian of the Way if we forever bitch about the form it is in.

We are also called to guard the War itself: the War for humanization -- and it is a War. This means for me, Guarding the Global Priorities, guarding the supply lines. For some of you it means authenticating and lending creditability and advocacy so that the awakenment and engagement programs and maneuvers can be delivered effectively. Guarding the Way means constantly seeing that the war remains on target. On target, not first of all in relationship to the Movement Priorities, but in terms of the Way's creative turn itself.

Guardianship of the Way is a continual Journey in prowess. The number one priority seems to me is not the expertise in this or that no matter how valuable ant crucial these skills may be, but in secular -- spiritual gianthood.

Meeting of the Global Guardians of Area New York

December 2­4, 1977