"I find ways to trick the trickster!"
I’m beginning to understand that the reason I achieve my goals by not directly attacking political opponents is my creation of what might be called an “energy vacuum” which sucks in my opponents’ energy and uses it against them, as in soft martial arts: “With Tai Chi we never use force against force. We go with the flow of the other person, looking for where the energy is coming from, neutralizing, redirecting, and only then extending our own energy into the situation; never using strength against strength, never using brute force.”
Campaigning for non-retaliation and forgiveness, as I learned in the previous lesson, might be thought of as political Tai Chi. The statement “Forgive them, for they know not what they do,” is undoubtedly a very powerful campaign statement which can be uttered with regard to almost any government program or practice. If an opponent in a debate says something like, “a new government program is needed to...,” I can respond very effectively by making eye contact with the audience and saying, “I urge you to not retaliate against my opponent who would steal your money to pay for his program. I repeat, do not find out where he lives and steal from him. Do not lower yourself to his level.”
Maybe a news reporter asks me, “How do you respond to your opponent’s attack on you?” Without defending myself, I answer: “I hope everyone listening forgives him. He’s a good man. I would actually donate a bit of money if he wants to see a psychiatrist.”
If my political opponents exert energy favoring some government program, I sidestep and turn their energy against them. For example, if a government spending program is being advocated which I don’t approve of, whether or not I agree with the sentiment of the program, in a Tai Chi move I state agreement with the sentiment but question the funding: “What you want to accomplish is good. Are you planning to solicit voluntary donations to pay for it? Or do you have in mind forcing people to turn over their hard-earned money, as you do with so many other government programs.”
Looking at this response carefully, I can see the energy:
“What you want to accomplish is good.” (His punch lands in a vacuum, neutralized.)
“Are you planning to solicit voluntary donations to pay for it?” (I redirect the energy to a moral issue.)
“Or do you have in mind forcing people to turn over their hard-earned money?” (I extend my energy to put him on the defensive.)
But what if I’m only a telephone solicitor for a candidate? Or what if I’m only quickly touching on politics with co-workers at my place of employment?
The same principle applies. Agree, redirect, poke vulnerable spot: “Yeah, I agree with you. But I would like to see this other (moral) alternative. If you are forcing someone against their better judgment, then you’re no better than a dictator, don’t you think?”
But these Tai Chi moves, agreeing with my adversary quickly, redirecting to a different issue, and poking vulnerabilities, are not the only way to “trick the trickster.” I imagine there are many coyote approaches, ways to further my political ideas without ever entering into the self-sabotaging cycle of attack and defense, ways to trick my political opponents into sabotaging themselves.
This week I devote myself to making a list of “coyote tricks.” Each day I ask myself questions like:
“How can I lure my opponents into exposing their own insanity?”
“Is there a way I can respond which shows the death-wish my opponents are REALLY coming from?”
“Can I find ways to show love while my opponent reacts with anger, fear, or guilt?”
At the end of each day I rest with a smile on my face, reflecting on how good it feels to live above attack and defensiveness, enjoying how much fun it is to find ways to trick the trickster.
The device which even more deeply prepares freedom lovers for success, A Course in Miracles , talks about our ultimate need to free ourselves from every kind of slavery:
You have been told to bring the darkness to the light, and guilt to holiness. And you have also been told that error must be corrected at its source. Therefore, it is the tiny part of your self, the little thought that seems split off and separate, that the Holy Spirit needs. The rest is fully in God's keeping, and needs no guide. But this wild and delusional thought needs help, because, in its delusions, it thinks it is the Son of God, whole and omnipotent, sole ruler of the kingdom it set apart to tyrannize by madness into obedience and slavery.
Also available free of charge online:
Course in Relationship Miracles