Questioning The Known

What is the direct outcome of a war? After the smoke has cleared and the seize is over. The goal has turned from destroying to reconstructing, with what are you left? A conqueror and a conquered. One is clearly superior to the other in some form or another, either by better skill, training, numbers, resources, or natural favor, there was a discrepancy in a quantifiable fashion in order to determine one loser and one winner. There was something that broke the stalemate in which a victor protruded.

All of worldly existence is held together because opposing forces in equilibrium. But what holds these forces in equilibrium? Tension. When in equilibrium, the tension is equal; but, when it is broken, such as the case of the aftermath of a war, the tension is unequally distributed.

But, where is the tension being skewed; where is this new unequal tension being held? In the minds, hearts and spirts of humans. Therefore, it was being held in psychic space. Psychic space is different than physical space in that it does not, to the best of our knowledge, consist of physical space; that is, in the means that it can be measured and said to be in ‘this’ place or ‘that’ one. Physical space is left to the quantifiable, the observable, and the seen (aside from dark energy, and dark matter that are, at the least, accounted for through negative derivation).

Many pathologies arise from the fact that due to the unobservable nature of the psychic realm it is somehow less real than the physical. This distortion is being further augmented as we continue to place more faith in material science (including neuroscience) because it implicitly is discrediting the invisible, and intangible and somehow imaginative. However, the truth is the psychic frontier is one we know quite little about and are therefore afraid to be faced by our own intellectual inferiority in the face of a virtually untapped knowledge domain.

Session: 4

I was running into pure darkness – a palpable force, which resists against you. The darkness—an all encompassing pressure that is inescapable.

I awoke to a small room, but the dark gravity of my environment persisted. It’s presence emanated from the aberrant noises of passersby wandering the dimly lit city streets.

They were animals, ruled by base desires and blissfully ignorant of their true condition. And, like animals, they could turn at any moment. Suddenly, their unyielding blind passions and desires might be unleashed upon you; but, this usually required some sort of provocation. However, sometimes even small transgressions would be sufficient in triggering a hostile reaction. The only true requirement was the perception of a threat by the animal. When this occurred, the response was always defensive and hostile out of fear for self-preservation.

Session: 2

Society filtered propaganda. I am being torn between polarities. Gravitating towards one end, intensifies the resistance of the opposing side; this forces my retreat toward moderation. Is it the voyage of a coward, or the journey of a hero? What is moderation when in terms of light and darkness, or good and evil? There is no place for these binary oppositions to have a place of refuge found in such a sanctuary as a place labeled “moderate.” Extremists take this maxim to the extreme and apply it in all circumstances. However, they do not know the maxim operates on an inverted principle.

Missing The Point

If religious laws and piety produce nothing more than judgement and elitism, then they are not from the spirit but rather the ego. They are societal parameters to regulate appropriate decorum determined by individuals crudely attempting to construct their ideal reality.

Aspects of the true spirit will produce fruit that manifests in forms of love, freedom and peace, not judgement, rigidity and angst. No man made laws, institutions or religious righteousness will bring you to God, but they certainly can distance you.

When you find your religious perspective is one from a high vantage, you should reevaluate what it is that you believe and what it is that you want from others. We are all equal in the eyes of God. We are all imperfect in our own ways, and to judge others for their specific imperfections, only deepens our own. And, deepening our own imperfections, deepens the chasm that divides us from God’s absolute perfection.

We should shift our eyes from societal things and the eqoic mind which feeds off of comparison and judgement, and instead turn inwards to gaze upon ourselves. Not from the point of view of judgement, but simply from the perspective of an impassive observer.

We should focus more on who we are and what we are becoming in relation to the absolute source that is God, and less about the faults of others in an attempt to falsely build ourselves up.

A Man’s Role in Social Change

Tony Porter references “the man box” as a list of assumed characteristics of a man that are imposed upon men through socialization. He talks throughout the video about this stereotype of men that they cannot show weakness because this shows vulnerability, and this leaves the individual’s identity susceptible to attack. Therefore, the remedy provided by this stereotype is to stuff down emotions repress them, and the repression of emotion is a prized characteristic among men; it illustrates what means to be a ‘man’ because it is supposed to illustrate strength. However, I believe it does quite the opposite.

Suppressing emotion does not show strength, it shows cowardice. The acceptance of emotions and walking out into the uncharted waters of vulnerability show courage and bravery. Real strength lies in the ability to be comfortable and secure, while simultaneously being vulnerable. I believe we should be fostering the traits of resiliency, sensitivity, hardiness and adaptive self-regulation in both men and women. However, the dominant narrative self-perpetuates through culture.

My mom was the strongest caregiver of my life and my most influential role model. She encouraged the idea that there are times to be tough and there are times to sensitive. But toughness was not strength and sensitivity was not weakness. Instead, she prized perseverance as strength. It was not about never having problems or being invincible to struggles; it was about addressing them and handling them properly. It was not about not having fear; it was about handling fear with courage.

However, I still have to work to overcome what feels like a built in script of this “man box.” It serves as a point of reference – a template for ‘manliness.’ A template that I believe has largely been impressed upon me through a combination of cultural influence and socialization. I think much of this idea of “manhood” is transmitted unconsciously and, therefore, only resolved through awareness. However, awareness alone is not enough to uproot erroneous world views. It also requires action. Tony Porter’s uses his horrific anecdote to demonstrate how all men take part in this “collective socialization” which allows for violence against women. Therefore, it is the impetus of all men to change this social paradigm.

Reference: https://www.ted.com/talks/tony_porter_a_call_to_men

Binary Oppositions

“You are an expression of your culture.” – Stephen West

Binary oppositions help us navigate the world but breakdown when forced to interpret the signified or thing referenced. If you say is this shirt clean or dirty? We know but if we say is mars clean or dirty we don’t know what to do with it. The binary opposition of clean or dirty are still there but the signified object has changed from shirt to mars. The meaning then does not lie in the terms or the rule but in the relation between the terms and their governing rules.

How does the term operate under those perimeters? Can it be answered? Or does it need further inquire? Better yet, how many signified objects do we use daily that more than likely need further analysis? We need to first understand both the operator and operated upon before we can understand their byproduct of meaning.

“What You Resist Persists”

Today’s social and political climate is polarizing. It is times like these that we need to remember what we are fighting for.

A cause may start as a righteous one, but it quickly descends into treachery the moment the fight itself becomes pleasurable: when we derive joy from the suffering of others, even those most heinous; we have lost the way.

It is easy to loathe and idea, a cause, or someone that embodies them; but, if we fine tune our focus on the feelings of hatred, then our minds are shifted from the change that we want to bring and consumed by the flames of hatred that we are fueling within ourselves.

Remember that any battle should not be about the battle nor the opponent; it is about the outcome. And if the desired outcome be peace, then it cannot be manifested by those who are consumed by even a seemingly “righteous” hate.

Resistance is necessary. Enjoyment is not. The eye’s gaze should never  leave the vision of beauty. If you are consumed by your enemy, you will never win. If you are consumed by your vision, you cannot lose.