“Civilize the mind but make Savage the body.”
Pretty dope quote from a pretty bad dude. Dope enough for me to write twice about it. I’m sure Chairman Mao was likely talking about how to make an ideal soldier, or leader, or generate some type of military might. I have no idea, as I did zero research for this post.
The way I look at it, “civilizing the mind” means developing a cultured, educated view of the world. Achieving a civil mind would involve familiarity with a history book coupled with awareness of current events. One would need the skill of learning how to think, as in the ability to maintain a view of the world that is reasonable and based on evidence. A civilized mind implies the capacity for keeping your shit together during stressful events, and acting in a manner that increases the chances of being accepted and admired by your social group. It also involves the wherewithal to know how to navigate complex hierarchies within business and culture, while maintaining personal integrity and not compromising personal values.
To make the body savage, one must be able to navigate their physical environment, and be able to adapt to the ever-changing situations that might, in one moment, call for the ability to pick something enormously heavy off the ground, and the next moment, sprint for a short burst. Or run much longer if the situation calls for it. One would also need some general flexibility, agility, and of course, in order to make the body truly savage, one must have a general sense of how to choke a fool.
Some might call this approach “toxic masculinity.” If so, please understand I am not calling for, or advocating aggression. The opposite, in fact. Rather, I’m suggesting we collectively expand and evolve the way we interface with the world. #lovewins, and stuff like that. In so doing, we simply need to recognize that we must also develop the capacity for savagery. That is, after all, what keeps us civil.