Original article published in transform. June 2009.
When we’re moving ahead some obstacles are more stubborn than others. The Four Actions offer a way through those obstacles, whether they are quietly defiant or outright difficult. These are actions we’re meant to go through to reach the other side of something, not stay stuck, not look back.
For our issue on conflict and union we have included talks in a four-part series on the Four Actions. These are the actions that are often best to take to not just meet the conflict, but to get to know it well. They are: Pacify, Enrich, Magnetize, and Destroy. Unlike our usual attempts to avoid, confront, or delay conflict, the Four Actions–when followed in order and with intention–actually allow us to be in relationship to conflict. We get to claim our part in it and because of that enter into, go through, and come out the other side of what conflict is with more wholeness of self and a better connection (or letting go) of whomever or whatever we are at odds with, giving room for more harmonious relations all around.
“Gandhi was fond of speaking about the fact that there was always truth in the other’s story and that it was our job to look for the truth that existed on the so-called other side… magnetizing is like the hyper version of that because not only do we look for the truth we actually claim all of the hard challenging things as our own so that there’s nothing left of blame so that there’s nothing left for us to push away from ourselves and say, ‘Well that part I don’t have to take responsibility for, that’s not mine that’s their fault they should do something about that.’ In magnetizing we are beyond that.”
— angel Kyodo williams
Download PDF Read a Transcript of the Four Actions: Destroy