Opportunities to improve yourself are limited if you insist on continuing to do exactly what you've always done even if you're not happy with the outcomes. As the clever, tongue-in-cheek but accurate definition of "crazy" goes, "crazy" is when you expect the outcomes to be different even though the action you take remains exactly the same.
While I was in the middle of contemplating this aspect of my own bull-headed self, I was intrigued to learn that the martial art of Aikido is now in its third generation, just as the psychological craft of sandplay is. That historical discovery hit me square in an under-exercised area of my brain, one which in the past had done some looking into the martial arts but had not stayed steadily concentrated on them.
My loss of condition, I can freely attribute, is due to a lack of focus on my part, to my not keeping that area of my Self stimulated by practice. But experiencing the neat instance of symmetry in those two pursuits was a pure Eureka! moment for me, and I saw immediately several other parallels. Both practices are:
- intimate, complex disciplines;
- pursuits which impel greater self-awareness;
- physical demonstrations of the Self;
- responses to behavioral questions;
- validations of the existence of opposites;
- methods for exploring conflict safely;
- forms of preparation for unsafe encounters.
Leaping out at me as it did, the thought Beamed Me Up, landed me square in the middle of Arcosanti, under the Vaults which are meant to serve as the "Commons" area of what Paolo called the "Old Town" - the "Town Center" meant to afford one of the most spectacular desert views imaginable to visitors and residents alike, yet undervalued and under-used since it cannot be reached through the Lab Building because the Maintenance teams haven't all got their own proper quarters.
Objectively, by normal world reckoning, the situation looks like what would be the inescapable consequence of any not-for-profit's indifferent relationship with development and fund-raising. In Arcosanti's case, I grant you it's a hangover consequent to Paolo' Soleri's personal relationship with the marketplace.
But despite the burden of that history, the fact is that fund-raising is a non-profit's Board's core responsibility. Continuing to maintain an evasive relationship with fund-raising serves to enable Cosanti Foundation's Board of Trustees to limit the growth and development of Arcosanti.
If that is a desired outcome, it is quite remarkable and should be taken notice of, since Arcosanti is, according to Cosanti Foundation's 501-C3 incorporation statement, Cosanti Foundation's sole project.
How does this bear on Aikido and sandplay? Stay tuned, gentle readers...