Avatar 25, May 9, 1968 [The "missing" issue]

What Is The Underground?

What Are YOU?

[M. Preston Burns]

It has been some time since the question of what the underground is has been brought out for discussion. Now it is time again for its reappearance. In the first four issues of the AVATAR I tried to define the actions of people who wander into the intellectual quest and practical studies of universal politics. Such a quest stimulates the concern, reasons, and offers suggestions for change in the governing structure of mankind.

I tried to explain the opinions and interpretations of what this government has taught us and what are thought to be proper methods of action in governmental, social and structural change possible to man. Most was written in the inquiring defense of dissenting factions of society with the hope of clarifying the social extent of expression regarding disillusionments of its functioning elements.

My point was that the foundations of what I termed "underground" was in fact the individual and the associated forms of his social structure based on the nature of discontent which causes stimulation towards his existence.

What it leads to is the study of extremism in the personal and social forms of existence. I hoped that through my definition I could allow each individual to think of the nature of his existence and at least speculate about the activist world of practical effort that can result in changes of those portions of existence which he dislikes without the consequence of feeling guilty.

The middle-of-the-road men have become less defensive and their mass has grown -- people who put themselves into the purest form of critical structure, people who question the nature of existence by experiencing the conditions of the most extreme.

But the extreme factions are also more finely defined: these are the structure of authority and its opposition. By becoming aware and involved with the extremes, you see what knowledge is needed to understand the balanced structure of man's evolution. But extremism is a dangerous area, even when its eventual purpose is an educational one. It magnifies answers to questions of this existence's reality. Question the fact of fact. It questions the effect of past and present action. It questions the validity of projection and most of all, questions all that can be questioned in the unanswerable elements of extremes, trying to draw abstract conclusions in a balance between them, leading to functioning on a practical level for social performance.

The extremes take over or to be taken over will swing constantly between questioning right and wrong for the advancement of enlightened human behavior.

So again, let it be asked....

"What is the Underground?"

In an attempt to secure knowledge

In an attempt to define peace

In an attempt to understand the nature of behavior in as many aspects as possible, the questioning element must be able to relate to as much human experience as possible to perform accurate in each situation as it comes.