Global Priors Council


July, 1978


Grace be unto you and peace. from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen

I want to read you a bit of poetry. It's strange poetry. yet I suggest we will all be finding ways to live out of it in our near future:

I need do nothing at all in the three worlds nor is there any gold that I have not attained and yet I am engaged in doing of works, for were I not to engage in works tirelessly all men would follow my example and these worlds would fall into ruin. Were I not to perform these works, then would I be a worker of confusion and a destroyer of these my creatures. The system of the four great classes was generated by me together with the virtues and works attached to each. worker of all this though 1 be, know that in eternity I do no work at all. Works do not defile me, nor have 1 any desire for their fruits. He who knows that such is my nature is not bound by any work he may perform.. You must know that works were performed even by the ancients, engaged though they were in the quest for liberation. So do you perform works even as did the ancients in time long past. You must sec inaction in the contexts of work and action and work in the past. You must see inaction in the context of work and action and work in the context of inaction.. The man who does this is wise, integrated. the worker of all works and besides all that he does nothing less than create the world itself.

from the Bhagavadgita

I prepared ten great lectures to give in this council, in the Research Assembly or someplace this summer. So far I have not been assigned to give any of them, but they were great lectures. One was on the life in the village or the Primal Community as it is emerging anew. Another was on circuiting and how spending nights in bus stands and doing two days per village is something you should really have pity for. Another lecture was on the Transparency of Hinduism and I can't avoid talking on that occasionally. One was on finances as spirit discipline for local man. Another is on village industry and how you gel them started; everybody would like to hear that one. It wasn't a very good one but it was one I needed to give. Another was on Authorization. And the six steps to company adoption and another on the urban situation. and it's

subtitled two subcultures: "10 good reasons why we should do more urban projects" and "13 good reasons why we have to wait." And both of them are very convincing. Another lecture is on the regionalis and training as one of the basic elements in doing a Human Development Project. Another is on maneuvering replication, the team and how commonality has to be there or you are lost. The last one is on the legacy of fulfilled living. You gave me still another one in your comments here tonight and that's on the Village Panchayat in India and how it's doing these days. I wanted to say those so that I could bracket them long enough to give my assigned lecture.

My first topic is the new boundaries of our situation. I counted 13 nations that have turned gold. One is Luxembourg where they did one nation with one Town Meeting. Another is Belgium and they did 9 provinces with 33 Town Meetings. France did 21 regions with 22 Town Meetings.. Western Germany did 10 Lands with 38 Town Meetings. The United Kingdom did 9 regions with 33 Town .Meetings. Italy did 18 with 18 Town Meetings. Netherlands did 11 with 11 Town Meetings. Zambia did 9.provinces with 12 Town Meetings. The Philippines covered 66 provinces with 128 Town Meetings. The Marshall Islands did 26 atolls with 52 Town Meetings. Canada did 256 districts and counties with 343 Town Meetings. The United States clain1s they've done 3083 counties with 4019 Town Meetings. We have learned how to do Town Meetings and that's the first state of our new boundaries.

The second one is that we have 24 showpiece Human Development Projects around the world, like 5th City and Termine and all those that we did a year ago. Then there are the projects we added this year. I counted 12 in the United States, 4 in Latin America, one each in the Philippines, Korea, Australia, Kenya, Wales, and Andra Pradesh, and I've added Apia. It seems to me that if we have people on site to do a project that's all the criteria we need for claiming Apia and that makes the 24th one. Now in India, if you subtract Maliwada from the 24 show pieces because that's already counted once, and subtract the one from Andra Pradesh and Nadlapur which is already counted that gives you 63 that are now started. This means there are 63 with sites selected. They've sent people to the Human Development Training School and several of them have had Town Meetings so they're on the road. That makes 111 fights and I never took a dive. We're a little bit different from Mountain in Requiem for a Heavyweight. After his 111 fights he didn't go much further. We have 169 in Maharastra yet to do, at least, 24 other places around the world and I suspect it's more like 48. In any case that's a new boundary for our situation as the Order.

The third new boundary is in the area of funding, We keep hearing about a whole new orbit of Development. I want to recite some of these I.T. & T. recently gave us $600,000. One hundred corporations in Asia have given $10,000 or more A Town Meeting son1e\\here in Texas cut loose 87 rnillionaires in one town. The European Economic Community and UNICEF have given to us in India. Today Neil Vance told me that there is an Inter­American Development Bank, tl1rougil which very likely in the near future, we will be able to do all of our funding and there will be no question about our credibility anywhere in the world. The only thing that's not new in the area of funding is that we still manage to spend everything that is brought in before it gets to the bank.

With this also comes a new visibility. George Thompson, the Speaker of the House of Commons in England, recently dropped by Tair'gwaith in Wales, and spent four hours which is a long time for a speaker of a House of Commons to spend ar1y place other than the House of Commons. That's just one example of our new visibility. We've met more public officials in higher places than we have in any other year of our history. And this is a new visibility.

With this visibility has come a new vulnerability. I vvouldr1't like to say that we are in deep trouble any place around the world because I don't think we really are. Yet there are bullets flying in several corners of the world. This is because we happen to be out there doing something and doing it in local communities. We have learned this summer that the bullets aimed at us are not aimed at us, really, but are aimed at local man. The critics are saying, "You ought not be doing that." They're not talking to us, they're talking to the people in the villages and the neighborhoods that are doing things. They don't believe they ought to be doing it. I have some pretty good illustrations on that. In Puna, a donor of some standing had given us 10,000 rupees, ordered a couple of motorcycles for us and a few other things. We were discussing how you would market onions, potatoes and other vegetables directly from the villages to the industrial community near Puna. He seemed to be all for it until, suddenly, he said, "But, now, what would that do to the urban market in Puna?" I said several things under my breath like: "That's the most corrupt thing going I know and it ought to be avoided," and "I don't care what's happening in the urban markets in Puna; I'm concerned about rural development right now." His remark indicated that the village people around the world do not deserve and do not need equal opportunity afforded the people in other places in the world, mainly in the city. That's hatred of local man. That's not just dislike or distrust. That is an overt act to destroy.

The sixth new boundary, is the New Order. In Latin America there's around 75 auxiliaries in all those new projects. In other HDP's there are auxiliaries who have just come in from the village or the neighborhood. In Maharashtra I've been very much overwhelmed. In May, when we gathered for our council, 750 Maharashtrans were under assignment and they're wearing the blue. There's a footnote on that since we don't often have the rupees to buy all the blue we need, but they are wearing the blue none­the­less. You can say that they're not really us, or any other thing you wish about these young ones, who are under 20 and literally barefoot, for the most part, but I'll match their commitment with anybody in the room in terms of deciding to care for their local villages which is all I require. Furthermore they're doing their "do" in their local village over against far greater obstacles than most of us are doing it in other places in the world. They don't believe in our theology but it wasn't theology or our knowing this, that, or the other that got them. What got them there was our doing and what we're about in Maharashtra. That is the New Order and something that we have to find ways of coming to terms with and dealing with.

The second area of the state of the Order is what I call the new facets of consciousness that have begun to emerge among us. Some of them are rather obvious and on the surface, but still facets of consciousness. Methodological prowess is obviously very much increased all around the world. I don't know how I missed it but three hour Town Meetings began this time last year and they claim awakenment is going on in those Town Meetings. That's a new methodological prowess. What I do know about, is doing three­day consults. I have been coached in all the legalities and illegalities of doing consults but we've been doing them in three days in India. We start with the vision on Monday morning. That is drawn together from the data of the Gram Saba which was held in the village a few weeks before. A vision chart using that data is put up, discussed and changed. Then assignments are made, we go out in the field and look for contradictions. At noon we have the plenary and in the afternoon we do the field work on proposals. The next morning we have the plenary on proposals, and in the afternoon write tactics. The third morning we have a plenary on the tactics and in the afternoon, a Shramdan (that is a work day in which we do the first miracle in the project). We also do the usual opening and closing at the beginning and the end. Well, those have come off; those projects are launched, and they have programs and tactics that will keep them in being for two years.

In the area of new consciousness we have a courageous confidence. It is astounding, that we sent out eight people to do four projects in Latin America and now they have 75 auxiliaries with them. Those projects are launched and everything is going fine. In fact it's going more than fine, and they are trying to stretch the nun1ber of projects that we start next jeer. There's no end to the number of projects we can start if what we've learned is so. Two people from our midst going out to start projects is no easy situation yet they report that the whole Latin American continent is responsible. While we went in from the top, the grass roots responded like they were glad to see us. That's a new facet of our consciousness.

We're also experiencing grassroots ecumenism. In 1970 we went for broke on Primal Community. We called it something like the local church then, but it \vas primal community and now we can say that we have participated in it. We have gone about the job of living in communities, of setting up stakes and guilds, and what I'm doing in Kendur is the local church. Only our Christian bigotry that sneaks into us prevents us from seeing it. The local Christian churches, by the way, are getting behind that effort, and a large number are contributing to what we are doing around the world. I like to think that sooner or later that's going to catch up with them and they're going to get renewed and they're going to wonder how it happened and ·he did it.

The fourth facet of our consciousness that is new for me is local man colleagues. I have struggled through this year witl1 these young ones that are our auxiliaries, and I've decided not too late in the game, but later than I would like to confess, that I m a defender of the local barefoot young ones. They probably don't know that l m their defender, but I am. I hope I'm learning indirection. They are the glory of Nava Gram Pravas in India. Without them we cannot do these projects. Some in our midst think we are going to get people out of companies to live in a village and do the job. I haven't seen one step out for longer than a week or two at a time to live in a village and do the job. Some are thinking that we can find auxiliaries in the cities and we're setting out to recruit them. I don't mean to diminish our maneuver, but people doing the project so far are barefoot young men, who if they lived in a country with hay, would have hay seed in their hair. They're rough and they're wild plus they happened to have grown up on the sub­continent which is wilder than most rural areas. But when they do a miracle in the village, they rock that village to the core of its being just because they have done something. Now mark me, you know that the ones we get from villages to be the auxiliaries are the last ten guys that they do not want in that village. We get the scrapings. Some of you saw the three guys that are here. They don't look like scrapings now, but you ought to see the photographs of those guys when they arrived at the HDTS a little over two years ago. The change that happened in their lives in a few months is astonishing. Those local men are our colleagues. When some white, westerner does these things no one is surprised. They're only surprised when local auxiliaries do those projects and that's why they are the heart of what we are doing. I'm sure that you could give illustrations from other places in the same way.

The fifth facet of our consciousness is the doing of our do­ment. I have to pause here to make a confession. I stopped thinking last year. In fact, in replication you re forced to stop thinking. But l \e gone further than that. Reflection is for the birds, or at least for somebody other than myself. I am not going to reflect anymore-I am just going to do. Guess what happened when I started just doing? Being responded. I didn't think I could, and I knew darn well at this time last year that I couldn't. but I did. Now may not like what I did, but I did it, and Being loved my creation. Now, I did keep a journal. I gave speeches and prepared all those speeches that I didn't give, and I've given witnesses but \`hen I think back on how much time I actually spent preparing something I can't count up more than sixty minutes. The number one problem in the world today is that people don't think that they can; and that is the problem-the! thought. After I say that. I have to justify myself a bit. I thought harder last year than I've ever thought in ms life. but I thought about things like how to start a village industry and how do you find a guaranteed market for villages when there is no such market available? How do you get five villages and care for them. Develop the projects and then go to ten or 11 villages and next year, 90 villages, and care for those? How do you keep a circuit going and keep the circuiter on the circuit so he does it? I did a lot of thinking but it wasn't reflection.

The third area of the state of our being is the new resolve in our posture. In this. I m trying as hard as I can simply to observe what I see going on and at the same time to speak confessionally in order to ground it. The first thing I see is that we are one body. There's a kind of unity here today that I never anticipated we could have with all our diversity. People show up here in July with the same concerns I have, and name some of the same things I have just named. They've had breakthroughs in the same areas in which I have experienced breakthroughs. I thought I was the only one thinking about regionalis and it turned up as a topic in the assembly. The happenings in all of the projects seem to be the same, and you could continue to point out examples of that kind of oneness.

It is more than unity. I see a deep understanding of corporateness happenir1g an1or1g us. Everybody knows ­ that I'm a loner, have been all my life and probably always will be. In India, I had my "lonerhood" called into question while trying to be an individual in a room with 750 newly trained Indians. They walked off with m; thongs at least twice and their attitude is. If it s available and I need it, then I'll take it." I thought about that for a long time. Some were offended by this. They call it stealing. But I decided it wasr1't really stealing. It is contextual ethics at the most immediate level-no guilt, no remorse, just take it. I am still an avowed loner and I am not about to change, but I have decided that there are no colleagues that I will not bring off as far as I'm able, and that for me is corporateness. Colleagues are more valuable thar1 any theology. moral village opinions, or most anything else that you can attach to your own being. You ought to see those young guys doing corporate accountability. You have three or four teams in your project. You call them all and each tin1o there is a loud answer . . . TEAM A . . . accountable, TEAM B . . . accountable, TEAM C . . . accountable. You notice that the team leader is not present. In fact, half of the time he is not there and sometimes they're all gone, but somebody is answering for them. Nobody taught them that. 1hey just know it. They are the most deeply corporate people that I have ever lived among.

The second part of the new resolve is our posture is forgiveness. This year we have learned to forgive one another, although you ought to know that while you stand in the need of forgiveness you can't presume it. Forgiveness may not be given, and I don't mean something subjective or psychological. Objectively, you may not be forgiven for some time, but it is happening

The number of colleagues, particularly those of the cloth, who have had to battle and climb their way into the secular is astounding. They still tend to think that everyone needs more training. When you arc in the midst of do­ment, you automatically feel incompetent, but objectively we've made it, and I count that in the area of learning to forgive. I'm leery of all the talk about trainir1g in the Research Assembly. I kept barking at it, not knowing what to say because it's right. We need to train people but I also sniff a hint of spirit malaise that says, "If I am frustrated in the midst of do­meet then, obviously. what i need is a little more awareness, another new idea, a few more skills and certainly some kind of practical kr1o\\­llo\v.'' That is nonsense. Anyone who wants to turn these young barefoots into intellectuals is going to have to go through me to do it. If you turn them into intellectuals, you'll find yourself looking for more project directors tomorrow. I'm convinced that the Advanced Command School we arc thinking about has to be utterly changed. Maybe other people have a better image of it, but my image is not adequate. I'm bc~innir1g to think that for training now, we need a strike force attached to a repository to go out and do. In the midst of doing they get trained. It has to be training on the road, not sitting around a table.

The new appreciation for local man is another new resolve in our posture. It is not new in our ideology. but it certainly is ne\v in our direct experience. Local mar1 is the source of all creativity and I've matte that an absolute statement. I don't believe any creativity in the last 50 years has come out of an art institute. Creativity occurs only when local people deal with their situation. Later they may paint all kinds of pictures, but the creativity comes from local man and I have a deep appreciation for him. We are people who have said we identify with the poor. Up to now, I thought this really mcar1t that we who really know about things would live among some poor people for awhile so that we could get them to be more like us. We did a little ethical fabrication upon ourselves when we created the image of the 15%. and the 85%.. I want to change it a little now. I am part of the 85%, and intend to stay there forever. I have never been part of the 15%... I have no attachment to being the 15% and if tomorrow I inherit a million dollars. I would still be part of the 85%, because I would spend that money like a poor man.

It's a joke to think that you can leave the Order and become a guardian. When I look at the guardians I discover that they are, in fact, poor people. What does this mean? I'm not sure, but the relationship to money and the good life will always be, for us, the life of detachment, unless we go so far into our pretensions that we forget that we are pretending. We are marked people in this area because we have decided to identify with the 85%, and identify does not mean "I like you a little bit." I'm delighted that we are marked because the world is being created among local man. That's a new appreciation of local man.

The fourth aspect of our new resolve is that we are only after changed lives and that is all we are after. I'm so far from wanting to convert anyone to my ideology or thinking I don't even know myself anymore. None of my beliefs, Christian or otherwise, contain all that I know about humanness. Every time I create a 4x4, something new happens in my life and says, "That's not adequate." In fact, no theology can contain what there is to kr1ou about humanness and the world. The poetry does not provide adequate containers for the wisdom of Gautauma. the Buddha. It does not contain adequate images and categories to hold Mohammed's great knowledge about the

brotherhood of mankind or the Bhagavadgita's profundity on the way the world is created an`' inaction. Beliefs are beside the point, although you have to have them and you have to know what they are. My best illustration for that is the ritual we did these last two days. One line is "Let me not look for allies in life's battlefield." The response is "but to mine own strength. Every time I say that, I choke because my theology says that one can never rely on his own strength. Then I stopped and thought about it for a awhile, I knew that when Tagore wrote that, it was exactly what the people of India needed to hear. Those people are so corporate that they have to be individuals before they can be human. I thought about it a little more and decided that not only do the people of India need to hear that but there are others who need to hear that we have to do our own thinking, our own living and our own dying and therefore, we look only to our own strength. Now, I don't mean any of that. I am going to try to change that ritual if I go back to India, but it is still true that my theology does not matter. What matters is the humanness that comes out of life itself. somehow. I'd like every auxiliary in India to know all that I know and all that Tagore knows.

The fifth part of the new resolve in our posture is dealing with our cultural parochialism. I've been assigned outside the United States for six of the last eight years. I suppose that was in order to do something about my parochialism, among other things, but I got caught again this year in cultural parochialism. It came out in anger. I got angry at those auxiliaries because they don't eat like I eat, they don't think like I think and they don't act like i act. Sometimes my anger got out of hand. 1 even got caught in saving aloud, l know hoe and you don't." I was a little bit pleased that it was not my Texas parochialism that was called into question, nor my Baptist parochialism. It was good old white, Western, ethical, rationa1 parochialism. Life has to go in a straight line; it should not go around in all these circles. Integrity means that if you build a timeline, you stick with it. One of my colleagues suggested that this methodology may not work in India. I stayed puffed up for weeks after that until I realized what I was doing. I \vent about integrity different!) after that. This does not mean that Indians don't need to learn to do timelines and stick with them. What I am talking about is that "getting puffed up" occurrence.

Another cultural parochialism occurs in relation to tin1e, or you can call it gently "pauses that happen in India." After I've waited for three hours outside of a government official's office for him to finish his tea, I'm convinced that the attitude toward time is part of the social paralysis of that country, and I have many good ways to document it. I was caught several times in cultural parochialism. The new posture is globality, in which one is out to see changed lives with nothing presupposed. It is being at one with local man and continually spreading forgiveness to every other human being as one body of people in history.

My last topic is the new profundity of the task. Joe Mathews died this year and many of you bore the brunt of that trauma. I call it a trauma because it shows on you. I see in some of you the desire to pull back a little bit. It would be very good after being in a Human Development Project to teach in the Acaclen1v for a change. It would be very good to be in Development, where there are not so mar1y bullets flying around the room at you. The trauma probably shows on all of us but not as much as I would have anticipated a few years ago. It was a victorious death and I stand witness to that. But I miss Joseph. Any fool can create a Global Research Assembly, but how in the world do you hammer out a consensus in a council with this bunch of people? I miss Joseph in that area.

I'm reminded of the Old Testament. In the days of the Judges everything went fine as long as the judge was alive. When he died, every man did what was right in his own eyes. When Joseph died, I experienced a bit of relief. There was grief but also the thought that "Now I can do things the way I really want to and I won't have any old man coming around to upset my models." There's no sentiment in this. Very objectively, I miss Joseph. Joseph has appeared to me several times since his death. probably more so than before his death. He wasn't exactly on a pink cloud, but it was something like that. Most of the time he was laughing, and the way he laughed always infuriated me. Sometimes he was weeping over something, I. or someone else, was doing or not doing, and I usually wept along with him on those occasions.

But Joseph's loss is not our problem. The situation in terms of the profundity of the task is that we have done our do­ment. We have done what we set out to do like no other year in our history. ad we have fulfilled our priorities. So it behooves all of us to state where that puts us in terms of the future.

Learning to do Town Meetings, Human Development Projects and impact courses this year has put us in the position in which we can do awakenment; not just Town Meetings. but awakenment. It also puts us in the position in which we can do engagement, or demonstration. JS we are calling it now. In Summer '71 we talked about whistlepoints and the avalanche. That's coming back to me with power. In India we're asking when it is that replication starts happening? I'm not just talking about choosing projects in the talukas, but when does replication in the villages happen? And what would it mean for intentional people to decide when that's going to happen. That s what I m trying to say. It's like being a mile racer You're somewhere around the half­mile mark and you've run enough races to know that you're under two minutes. You're question is, "Now, haven t I run the race?, Isn't our do­meet done? Isn't the vision accomplished?" We tend to think we've won when we have a long ways yet to go. That means we are doing the awakenment of every last local man around the globe and the engagement of every village and neighborhood in the the new society. That's more than half way to go. This does not mean that everythir1g is "up for grabs" or that we can now decide some other three campaigns. Those three campaigns meet the contradictions of history that we articulated in 71 and they re going to be those for some time yet. That's the profundity of the task ahead.

There is also the maneuvering that we've broken through on together in this Research Assembly. That maneuvering is the key. I must have been maneuvering in my sleep the other morning. As I woke up, those oid music forms-the march, the waltz, the folk and the pop-began to come back to me. We wouldn't have done the 250 if we hadn't marched, marched, marched . . . two villages, two villages, two villages. We wouldn't be where we are today if we hadn't learned how to waltz which is the only way you can do authorization. You find a partner and with dignity, control and effort you go about the job of getting him to say "Yes" to whatever it is you have proposed. You do all that with utter nonchalance as though you've done it all your life. If you don't do it with utter nonchalance, he knows it and you're finished. We had a picnic during the Research Assembly-just sheer fun comes out of the folk for me. Some of us were reflecting the other day that resurgence songs are brand new again and sustaining us in our spirit life. And yet what's happened to them is that every day it's march, waltz, folk, pop, march, waltz, folk, pop, march. You have to do all of them all at once, because every new auxiliary that shows up in the villages has entered the Dark Night the moment he puts his foot off the bus and has started the Long March. If he doesn't get a march and a waltz, a folk and a pop, he's not going to make it. Maneuvering is what I'm trying to point to behind that and that is the profundity of the task before us.

The last point is simply that what we're doing is nothing less than building the shape of the church, the People of God in history. There is nothing Christian about that. It has nothing to do with ideologies of the past. It simply has to do with the fact that out of the hiddenness and the darkness that has been over humankind for the last how ever many years, forms are emerging that sustain people in the depth and profundity of their lives. You only know that when you are standing in relationship to the profound trend of history and riding on the back of the contradictions. Visible signs are occurring and a new profound sustenance of humanness is happening within them. In fact, we are already living those forms. We haven't named them yet, and maybe we shouldn't for some time to come. But, we're in that time of history in which the hidden Kingdom of God is becoming manifest.

A few years ago some packed their bags because we were becoming too secular. Town Meetings: there is no mention of the things that I know in terms of humanness there. Human Development Projects: What is Human development, anyway? How does this fit in? I predict that tomorrow morning or soon thereafter those who pack their bags will be doing so not because we're too secular, but because we're too related to the depth of life itself, which has usually been referred to as the religious. It was a victorious year and here we are at council. "The task before us now, if we would not perish, is to cast off our ancient prejudices and to build the earth."

David McCleskey