The Inner Game: Finding One’s Authentic Swing
Years ago, when I was just starting out as a cause-oriented sort of fellow, I wish someone had exposed me to a brief lesson such as what I’m about to try to impart. It may have saved me—and those around me—a lot of ‘Sturm und Drang’ accomplishing very little positive, healing, or lasting.
It’s not a radical discovery by any means, but one seldom appreciated by those setting out to slay dragons: Namely, to be most effective in the pursuit of noble deeds for ‘all of society,’ one must first expel the internal demons that limit our own fulfillment. Eckhart Tolle puts it as follows:
All evils are the effect of unconsciousness. You can alleviate the effects of unconsciousness but you cannot eliminate them unless you eliminate their cause. True change happens within, not without. The Power of Now, p: 168
… and further:
Remember: Just as you cannot fight the darkness, you cannot fight unconsciousness [because you are drawn into them.] If you try to do so… you will become identified with one of the [negatives]…. Instead, raise awareness… carry no resistance within, no hatred, no negativity.
No, I’m not proposing that each of us undergo a complete spiritual makeover to get cracking on the TLC campaign—though I’m a huge fan of the Power of Now… and I recommend its reading—but, in reference to the above deep thawts, our odds improve dramatically if we start to:
- let go of addictions that weaken us physically, mentally
- learn to center ourselves and dispel ‘compulsive mind’
- be the peace (and truth) we want to see in the world
- put in the steady, yet assertive, effort it takes to win
In other words, embrace as best we can (resolving continuous improvement) “the positive and unimpeded flow of living energy within us.” Then share that peace and energy forward. I’m calling this little bundle of joyous flow our personal-level Satyagraha or ‘Inner Game’—integral to the truth movement and to the creative, productive ‘me-in-general’ movement. And to the Outer Game.
You may wonder what’s with this chapter’s opening image—of legendary golf competitor Fred Couples striping a 300-yard drive down the fairway. What does golf have to do with the Inner Game? A lot, as it turns out: Freddie’s swing is the quintessence of letting the club, and gravity, do all the work.
The phrase ‘effortless power’ emerged from the ranks of golf teachers and professionals to describe swings such as Couples’. In particular, a former touring pro and instructor, David Lee, developed a theory and method of the swing—which he calls Gravity Golf®—that Fred Couples’ motion epitomizes.
Being a 10(ish)-handicap player of golf myself, and always trying to improve—also now in my 60s—I latched on to Gravity Golf as a promise of doing more with less. It works! Further, I tend to draw analogies: I came to see that a Gravity, ‘effortless’ swing is a wonderful metaphor for accomplishing other goals and tasks, from career moves to relationships and, yes, to social causes.
Just as David Lee holds that applying arm tension or violence during the golf swing interferes with the free flow of (natural gravitational) energy through our bodies and the club to the ball—producing our unique ‘authentic’ swing—so, too, does Eckhart Tolle hold that compulsive (violent, angry, fearful) mind—he calls it egoic mind—interferes with the power of Being.
Authentic Swing for a Cause-Oriented Life
The lesson of the analogy: real, positive, transformative change requires that we do not apply violence either a) externally through using force upon others or b) internally through compulsive, reactive ‘egoic’ thinking and feeling in ourselves.
What produces that compulsive, reactive thinking? Preoccupation with things, with stuff, with the concretes of everyday life as they are—especially the negative ones. Why? Because the emotions, the outrage, the sadness, the fear, the pain send our minds and our bodies into a tizzy. Like a pinball machine; where’s the peace or progress when you’re battered pillar to post?
And I haven’t mentioned other people calling you nuts!
So to rise above the compulsive mind?
Spiritually, it’s a process, and doesn’t happen overnight. Almost every real human being is dealing with some major stresses from the outside already. From our work, relationships, family crises, tragedies, health issues, and so on—not to mention the Threat Matrix and persistent high-crime assaults from the whackmaster elites. Even I’m not there yet… but I’m closing in. [By the way, another cause lies in the conceptual faculty itself: by virtue of its unique abilities it tends to resent its role as servant to the breathing, living soul, and instead seeks to become master. Like an overwrought tail wagging the dog.]
And I can tell you how to make steady progress. The fact is, following the action plans and steps in this book will be a big step forward for many: we propose simple, risk-free actions that break the pattern of bemoaning 9/11 he-said/she-said amongst ourselves, leaving the world of talk for the world of walk, laying out plans, learning skills, achieving milestones.
These concepts of developing our own Authentic Swings in life are tricky little buggers, I certainly can’t give you the full blueprint in a short chapter. You can start by picking up the Power of Now, also watching the Thrive video—which is more a political manifestation, and highly pertinent to our project. (And I do plan to do more work soon toward my FLOW philosophy.) Authentic Swing development will also be a priority on the http://after911truth.org Website.
Here’s a Tip
If you accept zero-violence Authentic Swing actions as the most effective way to accomplish your goals, then, just like a golf swing, if when you perform these actions you feel any tension, stress, anger, craving—lack of peace, love, confidence, flow—use that feeling as feedback to try again… this time feeling less, eventually no, resistance to movement of your living energy.
The basic equation of electric flow is I=V/R, where I is current, V represents voltage or energy available and R is resistance. For a constant energy source, to increase your ‘flow’—let’s call it ‘ease’—reduce your internal resistance. Let go of addictions, stresses, tension. This ability will aid you mightily on the campaign.
Another quick tip: Adopt a daily ‘cultivation practice.’
Be the Peace—“Sit, Walk, Stand”
As we walk to bear testimony and share the truth think of ourselves as warm and kind teachers, like Jesus or Gandhi, “fishers of men,’ drawing people to our peace. To adapt Watchman Nee’s ‘sit, walk, stand’ prescription:
First we must sit and learn just where we are with Satyagraha. Next we must then walk with integrity of a person devoted to Satyagraha (our actions must reflect our beliefs). Finally, we must stand our ground against those who would destroy Truth and Justice.
 Literary expression from the German, literally, “storm and stress,” or I’ve been told by a reader that Drang translates better into ‘compulsive force,’ along those lines. Colloquially, in America when someone says Sturm und Drang, many of us say ‘storm and fury.’
 In homage to motivational and sports’ guru Timothy Gallwey’s books and insights.
 There is effort at the beginning to set the club in motion, but there is no tension force.
 Yoga is good. But I have come to use Falun Dafa… or my own simple incarnation of it.
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