By Jack Adam Weber L.Ac., Dipl. C.H.
Contributing Writer for Wake Up World
“Many people want to have love, but few are willing to become it.” ~ Rumi
When John Lennon convinced millions that “All you need is love,” I think he was wrong. Unless, of course, he meant love in a more all-encompassing sense than the feeling of love, which I don’t think he did. Maybe this is where the pervasive (and incomplete) meme began that good feelings are enough to change the world. Little could be further from the truth. So, I side with Rumi on this one.
It’s not enough to “love,” as in love the feeling. Love must also be an act, otherwise we can become too woozy and detached, and quite frankly, selfish, always pining for that feeling at any cost without considering that we can have it at any moment, by giving it. When we act lovingly, we become love. We also set in motion the likelihood that more will come back to us, as the other end of love, which we receive — Yang and Yin, respectively.
While all of our good deeds and acts are a form of love, I am calling out for a specific kind of love here — a fierce love — directing love towards our planet by standing up to the forces that are tearing it down. So, it’s not quite enough to work at a non-profit, practice massage, play good music, or for me to practice natural medicine and write articles. It’s not enough to meditate, pray, or get into nifty yoga positions — and call this the end of our healing practice, service, and spirituality. Nor is it enough just to raise awareness. We all are aware enough now to act on what we know for a thousand years to come.
Where Are My Men?
This is a question I find myself asking nowadays. Luckily, I have some male allies who join the fight for justice, but not enough. Not nearly enough.
For myself, activism is the essence of being a man these days, and I exercise it through tenderness and sensitivity, courage and fierceness, Yin and Yang, respectively. This keeps my inner life replenished and renewing itself, water and fire in dynamic flow and mutual support. We need our men at home, not fighting wars that deface the planet and humanity. We need men standing up for children and the ground beneath our feet, which means standing up to the war-makers.
In addition to all the easy blessings we bestow, our times call for love the verb. This means getting directly involved in the fight for justice and collective sanity. This is particularly the job of men, those who can protect the feminine in the form of the body of Mother Earth without smothering and defacing her. Yet, women have done so much of the protecting; they are the majority of the activists I interact with. Why is this? I surmise it’s because too many men have lost their capacity for sensitivity and beauty, have taken their courage and passion and plugged them into too much meaningless work, big-talk, sport and sex. These men need both more feel-good love in the form of deep intimacy and compassion and more fierce love in action. The two are not mutually exclusive, but again represent the interdependence of Yin and Yang.
Women seem to have better preserved their attunement to beauty and protecting our children, and summoned their mama-bear ferocity in the name of love. But they are not bears and therefore have taken on the bulk of what is essentially a man’s job. Unfortunately, too many good men have either become hardened and self-absorbed in ego and what Carolyn Baker calls the cerebrosphere, or become too soft and “spiritualized” and run their warrior nature underground, while an anemic version of it gets acted out in covert violence, perverted pleasures, and unconscious power games.
We need the raw, passionate masculine to turn his attention to the Earth. He needs to know it’s okay to be angry and pissed off — and that this is also loving. He needs to know it’s even more important to be sad and to grieve, to let his heart break open. This way he becomes attuned to beauty, finds his truer care for the things that really matter, which then fuel and renew his love and passion to protect what he loves even more. This way, the Yin and Yang of anger and grief feed and balance one another, so that neither gets the better of the other. This is inner sustainability. This is a cure for our world, where perverted Yang has overtaken wise Yin and is drying up nourishment, the Sacred Feminine.
Yet, just because women are considered Yin doesn’t mean they are immune to perverse Yang, or wrong action. Women, collectively, are simply more Yin than Yang, while men are generally more Yang than Yin. Yet we each finally are a human being and must tend to, be mindful of, and put into action the proper recipe of Yin and Yang to become the right sort of love medicine for our times.
With a dearth of men (and some women too) standing up for what’s right and instead leading the way to more wrong, our women (and some men) have worked overtime doing right. Let’s give the women a break, men, by stepping into our role as tender yet fierce leaders and defenders, which is our inherent nature. And to the women who fit the recipe for this modern-day Yin-Yang imbalance, this message is for you too. You also possess this fierce leadership and protectorship, though it generally plays a lesser role in the female psyche (but not always). While a women’s primary job is to tend to beauty and foster fertility; a man’s primary job is to protect these more vulnerable qualities, which is a different form of beautiful to ensure the balance of life and the fecundity of the biosphere.
We are at a bizarre crossroads in human history where technology has allowed a few to overtake the whole. This comes in the form of corporations overtaking and dismantling what the average person loves. They are not unlike the Roman Empire or Nazi Germany whose goal was to eradicate anything that did not fit their agenda. Big Pharma wants everyone on medication; they lobby for the creation of new (and non-existent) diseases in the DSM-5 in order to sell new (unnecessary) drug inventions. Monsanto and other Biotech corporations want GMO food to be the norm and to control seed distribution, which has always been a basic human right and survival need as original as planting food. Big Oil fights against the implementation of sustainable technologies that could keep oil in the ground, where it belongs, and make huge strides towards reducing carbon pollution that is fueling climate change instead of conscious change.
Evil, disease, and toxicity that disarm basic human integrity must be directly confronted and fought against. I think we all know this in our guts, but it seems we don’t want to be inconvenienced or challenged out of our comfort zone, so we justify not getting active, thinking that “love” — as that blissful, heart-opening feeling — is enough. Feel-good love is great, we need it, but we can’t wallow in it to the point that we stop acting while others are deprived of it. We need everyone to step up with fierce love, especially our men.
Some spiritual teachers encourage simply knowing that we are already “enough.” Great. Now can we put this enoughness to work and give more, like reasonable, responsible adults? We all want to be enough, yet paradoxically, when we truly feel that we are enough, we naturally want to do more, help more, show up more. It’s actually when we don’t feel we are enough, yet try to convince ourselves that we are (through affirmations or consuming things to show how much we care for ourselves), that we secretly take and pursue selfish ends and do not inhabit our greatness by way of helping the greater good.
As adults, “enough” is to heal the wounds of childhood so that we can contribute to the greater good in all the ways we can, as mature adults — with our gifts, talents, passion, and resources. For me, “enough” is marked by periods of satisfaction and fulfillment constantly transforming into the heartfelt and moral drive to do more as the perpetual incompletion of existential longing and service. A radical embrace of this paradox is ultimately as close as I might get to completion and my sense of full-spectrum loving.
Boost Your Immunity
When I treat a patient I can’t just boost their wellness if they have a serious disease. I also have to fight the disease. Similarly, we can’t just resort to loving feelings in the face of greedy, sociopathic disease run amok. We can’t just “love” these folks into order, or think they will disappear because we have a cozy life. This is like relying on sugar to fight an infection; it feeds the festering. We need bitter herbs; we need to embody some nastiness, some fierce love.
This facing of adversity also helps us do without some of the convenience products that keep us complacent, so the makers of them don’t have to deal with our gritty resistance. These folks are not soon going to deal with their painful darkness that causes their violence. This is actually our job, so that we can let our hearts become sensitive, caring, passionate, and pervasively connected to both light and dark again. We have to fight back the effects of corruption, just like we fight the symptoms of disease. We have to embrace the nastiness of our own hurts and stand up to those who don’t, at the same time discerningly loving and being vulnerable to those with whom we can share tender love.
If we just focus on our little circle of comfort, we’re going to get eaten up. Or our children are going be swallowed up. But there’s something more fundamental to it than this. We should stand up and fight because it’s right — fight the good fight. I mean, we don’t eat well because we know we’ll get sick if we don’t. We do it because it’s the right thing to do; it feels right and the results prove it. We don’t pull weeds in the garden only because it looks better and saves our vegetables. We do it also because it feels right.
Sure, it sucks that we have to fight off what seems to be unnatural to begin with. Part of me would rather kick back and just enjoy the ease of each moment of my free time on this planet. But I have also come to recognize that I derive more enjoyment not from lazing about longer than I need to, but pursuing a meaningful life, a life of purpose and courage. Something central to my spirituality calls me not only to love, but to fight for love.
We are the antibodies in the body of the world. I urge you to get active in that body and start fighting back. Protest, vote, starve the corporations of nourishment, testify at council meetings, sign some petitions, get gritty and speak up, get your activist T-cells fired up! This also might even boost your personal immunity.
But if you want to step away from engaging in the good fight, do it consciously, honestly, not just to feel better in your feel-good by justifying all the good loving you are doing (thank you for it, by the way). Know that we need you, at least your honesty, because without your honesty there’s little hope you’ll help us down the way, little hope you’ll grow into something that feels better than a short-sighted frontier of trying to be enough in a personal vacuum. Remember, honesty is the beginning of all healing.
This is a call-out for you for greater love, to the leap of faith from self-perpetuating apathy, from having your foot chained to the post of complacency and not knowing you’re free to make a difference. It’s also a tribute to the too few people, and too many women versus men, fighting the good fight and keeping everyone else a little safer, while the rest enjoy their fun, relatively clean air, and easy love. Thank you for anything you do and thank you for considering to do more. Let’s put love into action and step up to the plate so these warriors, especially the women, are thanked through our activism, and might even be able to take a breather.
Love is not enough, but love in action is. So ladies, and especially the gentlemen, here’s to getting activated for grounded change. So, next time there’s a community meeting, consider going. Next time you see a petition that helps another to joy and liberty, sign it. Next time you see someone spraying herbicide unnecessarily, say something. You know the ropes.
And lastly, a tool . . .
The Nourish Practice is one of the primary ways that I replenish, restore, and relax my body and nervous system. It helps me heal the stresses of fighting the good fight, better deal with everyday challenges, and to feel fulfilled. It is a Yin practice that restores and fuels my Yang — without coffee, drugs, or prescription drugs. Check it out.
The Nourish Practice
Jack Adam Weber’s “The Nourish Practice” is an easy, guided meditation-Qi Gong practice in radical gratitude and self-love. It is an Earth-based, body-centered practice — at once physiological and mythological — that is deeply relaxing and replenishing, especially for modern-day burn-out syndrome, and requires little physical effort.
The Nourish Practice “resets your nervous system” and fosters a rich inner life. You can purchase The Nourish Practice as a CD or Digital Download here.
Previous articles by Jack Adam Weber:
- Relationships: The Costs of Staying When We Should Leave
- Emotional Work
- Choosing a Partner – How to Avoid Relationship Suicide
- Re-Thinking Love: Why Our Hearts Must Also Be Minded
- Spirituality – Reality Check
- 11 Crucial Tips for Better Digestive Health
- Shadow Work: Becoming a Sustainable Light Worker (Part 1)
- Oneness in Action: The GMO Eradication Movement
- After the Hurricane: Lessons from the Heart of Nature
- Relationships: How They Can Make Us Happier
- Heartbreak – Loving Ourselves Through Difficult Times
About the author:
Jack Adam Weber, L.Ac. is a Chinese medicine physician, author, celebrated poet, organic farmer, and activist for body-centered spirituality. His books, artwork, and provocative poems can be found at his website PoeticHealing.com. He is also the creator of The Nourish Practice, an Earth-based rejuvenation meditation. Weber is available by phone for medical consultations and life-coaching.