The Pyramid of Virtue

(This was originally composed on Friday November 7th, 2003, while living in the Black Forest and studying Philosophy & Science at Albert Lüdwigs Universität, in Freiburg am Breisgau, Germany. It has been slightly edited and updated to better reflect my beliefs and goals on Sunday January 17th, 2010, while living in the Thar Desert and working as the international program coordinator of the Foundation for Sustainable Development in Jodhpur, Rajasthan, India.)

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The Pyramid of Virtue

The N.R.G.--The Next Reign Group

"We're not trying to take over the world…just change it."

We are building an army of intellectual guerrilla warriors and such patriots of freedom and justice are not in short supply. Nevertheless, there is need for more and All are welcome. We, those who strive to spread this positive energy through time and space, are bent on helping every person -- man and woman, young and old, light and dark, slow and smart -- in summoning them to open their minds, hearts and eyes. We are eager to embrace the madness that surrounds us and even to add fuel to the fires of change -- cultivate a constructive cultural chaos and from it mold a better future, not for us, but for the myriad to come. (This does not imply a disruption of the lives of those involved, whether revolutionary or revolutionized; On the contrary, our aim is only to lighten the unbearable load of being and show that the "open-society"-- place of light, laughter and love--is within our grasp.)

We are not locked in a conflict, nor are we struggling to force change on those who do not welcome it. Our aim is to create a new foundation, the pyramid of Virtue. The pyramid is a structure of unparalleled greatness and stability, which has proven around the world that it can hold strong through the test of time. The four bases, which represent the four elements of the human world-- Philosophy, Politics, Pedagogy, and Production– we aim to open a dialogue that will serve as a road map to the open society. When ready and able we will turn our theory into practice – into movement toward the light – then we will see the elevation from the foundation to a higher, fifth point of this new foundation--the fifth element--the poet, the voice.
The establishment of this 3-dimensional paradigm for socio-political and socio-economic change will be the beginning of the end for the status quo. The climate of chaos, this atmosphere of apathy, is approaching its end, and the rise of this new energy will be kindling of the fires of change. This will not be the end of history — far from it! — but the beginning of a new chapter, the next reign. There there is no inevitability here--we are not bound to victory and the path will be long and hard. Simply finding those to make up the four basic elements, to take up the call of cultivated change, need not happen. The fifth and all important facet of our group, the voice of reason in a time of regression, will be even more difficult to manage. We may never succeed in opening the pathways of progress to the masses, but that is never a reason to give up, especially not when the campaign is only just begining...

The Pyramid of Virtue will be structured around its 5 (i.e., Philosophy, Politics, Pedagogy, Production and Poetry ) but there will be still more encompassing the whole: the inner workings of this cultivation, the mechanism of our march, must eventually be comprised of every element of society: laborers – lovers --intelligentsia -- artists -- activists -- mainstream -- underground -- EVERYONE WHO IS WILLING!! -- and we will all share the two specific points that bind us -- love and light, both of which are manifestations of the unspeakable, which, to some, is commonly referred to as "the divine." With these seven points -- those that make up the symbol of The N.R.G. -- the intellectual guerrillas will strive to expose all those who come in contact with our work. Some will refuse, and those who are shown our light and choose not to join, with a smile shall they continue on their chosen paths, where ever they lead. However, those who are shown the light and choose to obstruct our purpose of progress, who choose to create division, opposition, and struggle — which we, The N.R.G., do not commit or condone — with mental thrashing they will feel our wrath. Those who have accepted liberty and love, those who choose to join our movement toward the open society, they have always had a spot amongst us and will be received with open arms.

We do not shy from difficulty, it only serves to make us stronger;
We do not shy from defeat, it makes us all the more resilient;
We do not fear hatred, something change is always faced with, it only serves to prove the existence of love.
This campaign for hearts and minds is a long and laborious one--do not back down in this time of darkness.

The ranks are steady swelling, and the time will one day be upon us--let us be ready and able.

Train hard.

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(In response to questions and comments from friends and fellow members this shorter commentary on the nature of the neural guerrilla revolution was formulated.)

Subject: ranting
Date: Sat, 08 Nov 2003

There is no formal membership in terms of simply working toward the improvement of social relations, but there is a framework we could follow in terms of policy planning, methodology, analysis of results, moral-ethical questioning, and other such administrative necessities.

What we are really trying to do here is wage an intellectual guerilla campaign against normalcy and conformity. We want to wake people up through basic shocks to their social system: random acts of silliness, kindness and even simple insanity can serve as the basis of that, but the method is up to the maker. Making people do a "double take," give further thought to any single thing, even if it's just for a second, breaks their train of thought and allows for the introduction and absorption of new and sometimes strange concepts. The transitional time between thoughts allows for a brief but all important recognition and heightened awareness of what is going on in the world around you. (This has been fought by the culture industry with the introduction of everything from i-pods, to outdoor advertisements) and the period of reflection and enjoyment created by a surprise is very important in enabling people to see our message, “our light.” Eventually such acts of "shock therapy" will be accompanied by intellectual stimulation in the direction of openness and liberty and this step is an important evolution for our campaign and will be developed and deepened by those 5 elements of the pyramid and the people who stand alongside them, supporting them in their effort to support the campaign.

Until my next communiqué all you ought to do is recruit new members, always bearing in mind that this is a low profile engagement of the enemy* (normalcy, conformity, and the status quo) and it MUST be done anonymously—there is no place for ego in this effort. Find those who are with us and bring them into the fold of intellectual guerrilla warfare (i.e., leaving GOOD quotes in interesting places—like on the bottom side of tables, on crumpled pieces of paper, or on toilet paper that has been re-rolled in a public restroom; acting strangely in public and then doing nice things (picking up trash, helping someone, laughing expressing thanks) once people have started noticing your craziness; being good for the sake of it being good; saying random, albeit nice, things to random people; smiling A LOT; “madlib theater/comedy/music/” with a message; street corner philosophy; writing graffiti with quotes from Kafka, Kierkegaard of the Koran/ Bhagavad-Gita/ Bible/ or, better still, all of the above; asking someone for a favor and saying “have a wonderful day” and giving them a flower to show them how appreciative you are of them being them; etc. etc. etc.)

train hard and practice what you preach.

*- The original conception of this campaign as a “war” has been changed because this is not a time for struggle, for “us vs. them.” This is a time to come together, for everyone to join in achieving an open society. To assign positions like “enemies” or “opponents” only further divides the society that we want to bring together.

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