“Fighting Or Submitting, Is There Another Way?” by Nev Sagiba

The “war on drugs” multiplied both the illegal drug trade as well as the legalized drug trade together with the ill heath that follows all unnatural interference with peak maintenance of biochemistry.

The “war on terror” turned out to be a war of terror for many hundreds of thousands and has, hopefully not, resulted as a recruitment drive for angry people at risk of multiplying the previously five or so dangerous individuals, to frightening numbers of vengeful.

“War on poverty” has resulted in a global financial crisis extant right now, this moment. A serious one.

And now for the curtain act, having learned nothing at all, we hear numerous politicians’ rhetoric about their intent to wage a “war against climate change.”

And that is a cause for concern. We’ve already attacked nature, our supporting infrastructure to which we are inextricably bound. That has placed our existence at risk. Whatever we do, nature will adapt and continue. A few green bumper stickers or other meaningless gestures are not going to undo the harm done. Politicians arbitrarily set dates for goals where we one day maybe hope to adjust our behaviours, but this without consulting nature’s concatenated cause and effect timing. We risk extinction or at best major cataclysms. Not because of nature but our own hand. Somehow I don’t feel that a war against nature, which is the visible end of the immensity of the universe itself will gain us. If indeed the climate change we now see is the defective child of our efforts, warring against it may not be helpful.

What was previously imprinted into our very genes, the reactions of the reptilian brain, fear, greed, reinterpreting fact to match our delusions, dreams and imaginings, and to fight, flee, feed and sexual impulses as survival assets; have flipped over and become liabilities.


What has changed?

Whilst lying down and just taking it can never be the solution to anything, perhaps war is not the answer either.

To “fight” presumes superior strength and not much wisdom, but when fighting immense odds maybe, just maybe, another paradigm has to be discovered if we are to somewhat gain enough to at least survive.

I recall the seventies when Sensei would take us to Coogee beach for “ki training.” He would implore us to, “Stand your ground, root your ki and don’t let the waves move you!”

Perhaps it was his revenge for our ruthless attacks during embu, or simply giving himself a reprieve from all those youthful male egos. I guess I’ll never know.

Needless to say, without any effort, the big breakers would come in and smash us, hold us under, catapult us and totally dominate our delusions. Being young males we would keep trying, again and again. And again and again we would fail until exhausted, our egos simply burned out temporarily. Although nobody would admit it.

After demonstrating on a small wave he would let us loose on the great Pacific Ocean. We would then compete to who would be the first male person on the planet to change the laws of gravity and the universe, by taking on lager and larger waves and all along proving nothing.


After an hour or sometimes two of wearing ourselves out, Sensei would bow us out and relax and most of us would then body-surf. Sensei would sit on the shore and smile quietly to himself, watching us.

He never voiced what was in his mind.

It took me years to wake up to the fact that the real training was not willful ki against the vast power of the ancient ocean. But aiki after the formal class. The AIKI that followed when, too tired to fight anything at all, instead of fighting the superior force of the waves, just for fun and relaxation, we would capture that power instead and ride those big breakers in to the shore, USING the greater energy and power of the waves to our advantage.

Thank you Sensei, the lesson has finally sunk in for this fool. But you had to wear us out first, before it could activate.

Now we have a whole planet to go.

Perhaps there is hope for humanity. Just maybe, there is a new paradigm at hand; not surrender, nor contention; but harmonising or Aiki.

What would this take? A shift of attitudes? A shift of relationship? A shift in the way we choose to see things? The courage to let go and surrender some of our ingrained and casehardened prejudices and notions?

Perhaps doing things the hardest possible way, then struggling against everything is not the only way.

Perhaps there is no need to wear ourselves out doing it all wrong, but just a matter of stopping and looking up just long enough to notice other ways.

Perhaps life can be easier.

Perhaps nature is a reflection of a universe which is a great ocean of multifarious energies where the waves of time and energy are easier surfed than fought.

Perhaps the power of possibility is at hand.

Just perhaps…

Nev Sagiba

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