The Knot of Being Against
By Nicole Lawrence
“Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win.” – Sun Tzu
There is much in the world right now that is troubling and the natural inclination is to push against those things. It’s important to know when to fight and when not to fight. More important is to know when fighting may escalate a problem making it worse.
A lot of people want to fight against; to take a stand and fight. This shows up in the “occupy” movements and among the many forms of protest that occur. A lot of energy is being expended in the “fight against.” I’m not saying that we should be compliant with what’s happening. What I am addressing is the need to pay attention to the use of our energies in these situations.
All of this “fighting against” may be doing more harm than good in the long run. What if there was another way? What if the way lay not in fighting against but in “reaching for?”
One of the principles of metaphysics, reality creation – and Hawaiian Huna, as taught by Serge King – is that, “Energy flows where attention goes.” What we oppose we feed with our energy and it grows stronger. Often, in fighting against something, we inadvertently strengthen it without realizing it – making it more real, more solid and harder to change.
Being in “opposition to” can, though not always, be motivated from a feeling like a victim. Anger at feeling it’s being done to us makes us want to lash out and force it to stop. In a subtle way, coming from this reaction, reaffirms the position of victimhood.
Taking a stand of opposition has within it the inherent goal of eliminating what it opposes. It engages “us” and “them” thinking – the “them” being the enemy. This dynamic allows for only two points of view and those with a different perspective – perhaps even a more neutral one – often get lumped in with the “other side.” A posture of two opposing sides tends to reduce listening and eliminate other options for solution. With so much energy focused on the fight we sometimes overlook the chance to think “outside the box” and find new results.
In addition, there are a couple of ideas that one of my teachers, Lazaris, refers to: paradox and paradigm. A paradox is when there are opposites and seemingly no answer. By resolving the paradox – a process, not of blending them, but of going through the opposites to the other side – answers can be found, often unthought-of ones. These oppositions can be opportunities to move beyond limitation to new discoveries.
In the New Age there is the concept of paradigm, old and new, which represent the values and beliefs society operates under. The old paradigm, sometimes called the chauvinistic paradigm, is one of hierarchy, win/lose, power over, us/them, and get ahead at the other’s expense. Over the past few years many are seeing a shift and movement to a new paradigm. This new paradigm speaks to win-win, we’re all one, and a sense that everyone is connected, yet individual too. We can’t use the old paradigm to fight our way free from the old paradigm. We have to embrace a new way of being and move forward.
“The general who wins the battle makes many calculations in his temple before the battle is fought. The general who loses makes but few calculations beforehand.” – Sun Tzu
Solutions – the YES as opposed to the NO
We can approach these challenges from the old paradigm of “fighting against” and hope to win. Or we can see these challenges as opportunities to reach beyond our limitations and seek new and inventive solutions.
Most, if not all people involved in the New Age movement have heard of the Law of Attraction. While it is important to acknowledge what is “not working” – what may pose a threat to our health and well being – it is vital to focus on solutions. To put attention on the fight to the exclusion of seeking solutions strengthens the problems.
In positive outcomes, where there was conflict, there was a “Yes,” a solution, that stood as an alternative to fighting against. When more energy flowed into the solution than went into the struggle to stop, the resolution began to unfold. Without a clearly defined “Yes,” the “No” is what gets energized. It is enticing to continue to push against what we don’t want, but it is important to reach for solutions to pull ourselves into the new future.
Is there something your life or your world you’d like to shift? What possible solution is being abandoned in the focus on the fight? What “No” is getting the attention and energy that could be given to a “Yes.” I’m not suggesting that the “No” be ignored.
Acknowledge it, and if you have attachments to the fight do whatever personal processing you need to on it. These challenges are also opportunities for us to do our inner work. When you are ready, turn and clearly define your “Yes” and begin to energize that.
What solution can you uncover in your personal challenges that you can say “Yes” to? Is there a “Yes” you can find that will help your community? And what is the greater “Yes” for humanity and the world?
For more information on Huna & Serge King –
For more information on Lazaris –
The Website for Sun Tzu Quotes –
Very well written. I’m going to enjoy reading more.
“The Committee against Racism.” What are you for? “I don’t understand your question.”
I’m not sure what you’re referring to. The article doesn’t have anything about racism in it.
It’s about being for something, not fighting against. Back a good number of years, in our very “liberal,” university town, To step forward as “superliberal,” a group called themselves the Committee against racism. And of course, invited my husband (of color) as an honorary member. They little knew that he had made a personal life of challenging and bringing down boundaries by his own efforts, and by just being himself. He didn’t fight. He was just himself, expressing himself, and that was enough.
So, the Committee began their discussion with how they might fight racism, locally and nationally. Jim just suggested that they change the norms by walking their talk. Not fighting anything, but making change in a positive way. Fighting leads to war, and that accomplishes only more war.
He was not invited back to the Committee.
Just affirming what you have written, but relating in a positive way, in a personal example.
Thanks for clarifying, Rachel.
Yes, I agree. Pushing against something only strengthens it. I’m speaking metaphysically. I wrote this originally in response to a group on the island which had “rising” in their title – meaning “rising up to fight against,” and some other organizations on other islands. They were protesting against the GMO and pesticide industry. (Which is big here and does need to be addressed.) Every time they held a “march against” these companies, the government gave those industries more power and latitude.
I sent the article out to some of the group leaders and was met with, “That’s airy-fairy thinking.” Some of it must have sunk in because now they protest and march to bring awareness to the issue so people can be educated.