The Power We Seek

A Picture And Its Story: Taking A Stand In Baton Rouge

The Power We Seek

Jim Freda


Here, amidst the US Coronavirus crisis, being led by this very particular administration, we are watching the breakdown of civility and our social contract.   Our job then is to assume our own role of peaceful leadership, recreating social safety for all. It starts with us.  It requires wisdom, and ability to stand both strong and firm in it.  To do this we must be able to reclaim our bodies from a lifetime of passive, unconscious neglect.

We have known since Confucius that we must put our own house in order before we attempt to bring order to the kingdom.The time has come when we are able to do this.

It is the body that has been made to pay the price for our progress, where science and capitalism turned the body into a disposable tool. But in our collective wisdom and collective, distributed effort, we have worked hard in the last 50-70 years to understand what is different about the body in modern society.

We have more knowledge now than at any time in history. But we have no power. Without power wisdom remains a passive, finger-pointing abstraction.

At this stage of modern, industrial society, social power remains heavily institutionalized and impersonal. We allow ourselves to be used and abused not in direct relationships but by willingly internalized norms and expectations, whether racist, classist, or many other more subtle forms of repressive social power that we reproduce daily even as victims.

This is in the end the dominance only of certain beliefs and attitudes. And we are many of us mainly beyond them psychologically and emotionally. Yet they persist in affecting us and we reproduce them in the form of an ocean of shared culture, language, and tacit beliefs. And because we allow these beliefs to be written into the body, in its feelings, behaviors and reactions, that abstract system becomes very real and material.

However, we can change this very easily. This is the essence of the current paradigm shift. We can see a good academic example of it in Stephen Porges’ neuroscience, among many others.

The power we seek is in our muscles. The wisdom and moral ground we seek is in our body. We have never had a better understanding of the body in modernity than at this time in history

This is a revolution of self, backed by science as much by personal and social necessity at this time in history. We have not yet grasped the significance of all we have learned in the recent internet era. But these advances, in so many fields including neuroscience, anatomy and exercise science, somatic psychology, the epidemiology of the sitting disease epidemic and more. It is a massive distributed effort by all those like you and me who share a vision of a more democratic and peaceful world. At this time more than ever before we see tools and resources to complete the quest. We understand it to be not economic, political, or religious. This revolution begins in our bones.  It comes from the sector that is seeking things like health, fulfillment, empowerment, the repossession of the primal, animal body. It is converging in many exciting ways, among therapists, trainers, educators, scholars and body enthusiasts. It is emerging not from the intelligentsia, students, labor and political activists, or by elites and their brownshirts. Rather it comes from healers and body specialists, from meditation and yoga teachers to clinical scholars and conscientious moms.

We can do it. We are doing it already.

Join the Movement Movement! Welcome to the era of the body.

Love your own with wisdom and build safety for all.

Train like a Bodhisattva.


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