Having extricated myself from the river of grief (and now on a boat floating on it)* I’ve also noticed its smudge is everywhere. Having done a small bit of work on my relationship to grief I see it now as slightly separate from me. There are few people who are completely free of grief’s smudge, though through denial we like to think that we are. It’s only those who are working on being present that may have overcome grief’s longer-term effects.
In the hierarchical epoch of the patriarchy everyone is in a state of grief or loss
Many become fully immersed in the river of grief and never fully release it, but think that we have done so. It’s more likely that we live it’s smudge without knowing its stuck or smeared on us and we carry it with us everywhere. We’ve resigned ourselves to it, accepted it and cognitively reframed grief as a fact of life to assist in our survival.
In the hierarchical epoch of the patriarchy everyone is in a state of grief or loss throughout the life span. Only those who have achieved a modicum of mastery or a state of transcendental enlightenment may have overcome the savagery of grief’s toll.
Symptoms from the smudge of grief:
Longing for / romanticizing the old days and angry about current life in juxtaposition to the old days. Anger becomes a way of life possibly oscillating between grief (sadness), fear and anger. Attachment to the old romanticized “past” to the point of putting the brakes on politically and a desire to return to the promise of simpler times.
Giving up or trading in on simple happiness in the present for a perfectionist idealized past or future.
Addicted to a substance outside ourselves (not drugs or alcohol per se) that we believe will make us happy and feel secure (more money, better job, etc.). Existential addiction is about filling a hole inside us that has grief as one of its contributing emotions.
Rationalizing and compartmentalization of grief experiences. We often unconsciously model our expressions of grief based on our parents’ behaviors, attitudes and beliefs. The greater the intellectualization / fearfulness of “weaker” emotion states such as vulnerable emotion states – crying when sad, or frustrated then the more shame and constriction may become part of the grief process often truncating the process.
We often have expectations that the stages of grief happen “in-order” one time and “we’re done” with this.
I’ve seen many people in mid-life 40s to 60s (possibly younger) where grief is interrupted – a person shuts down their grief process and gives up on their inner world collapsing into their parents’ belief systems partially or whole-heartedly. It is at this time that they begin to romanticize their past and adopt old-world belief systems to cope with change.
For the people that allow for grief or any emotion such as love or joy to come and go they have loosened their attachment to past and present experiences and can face the fear of change in a less rigid fashion. However due to our ego we are all subject to attachments that grief and/or loss creates to one degree or another.
Loss is an intrinsic part of our lives.
Grief is closely allied with attachment. The very nature of being human is an identification to an idea, a person, a relationship – in short to the “stuff” of life. Attachment is the foundation of identity and memory is its tool. Attachment is at the root of unnecessary suffering. The greater the attachment to a person, wife/husband/partner, a child/son/daughter, a family, a community; a job, to an idea, to a belief and so on the more grief surrounds the loss. As humans we are all programmed to avoid feelings of loss to one degree or another based on our identity and beliefs.
Humans cannot bear loss.
Loss is an intrinsic part of our lives. Some loss we choose, such as quitting a job or relocating, this doesn’t seem so bad because we feel in control of the nature of the loss. Nevertheless, we still feel it. Deciding to move out of a relationship and although this is a loss we control it can break our heart. Other losses go deeper. The loss of a loved one through death is one that immediately comes to mind. When we experience early childhood trauma such as mental, physical, spiritual and/or sexual abuse by a parent or relatives perhaps this is the most pernicious grief of all. A parent with whom we feel love perpetuates an act of sexual abuse or worse. There is the love and there’s the violation, the confusion and the grief. This is loss and grief based on intimate attachments.
Loss and grief have become systemic in an increasingly divisive world of the hierarchical system of the patriarchy. In this kind of world there are winners and losers. The winners appear to be the super-rich and the powerful who sometimes even without knowing it oppress those without money and/or power. Many are driven to become winners through achievement and there is nothing wrong with this. It becomes insular and selfish when “others” who may be termed as losers through attributes of laziness, stupidity and are therefore cast out of the privileges of the winner-loser competition. Those deemed to be unworthy of playing the winner loser game are the invisible people, the poor, the people in prison, the homeless, women, minorities, immigrants, the list goes on; under the heel of racism, sexism, ageism, leftism for example. The class system in the USA has always been apparent to those left out. The struggling middle-classes bear the brunt of the heel of oppression by the rich by accepting less wage parity, while clinging to the myth of “work hard and you’ll succeed”. The winners are also losers because of attachment to and /or the addiction in this situation because of the need for more power, more money, more fame. There is never enough. Slavery to “more” makes the so-called winners, losers on an endless wheel of acquiring “more”.
our birthright is happiness and enlightenment
Humans cannot bear loss. Addiction is a prime example of how loss is unbearable. When therapies focus on what’s in the way of a healthy lifestyle in order to assist with healing an addiction this leads to an inevitable confrontation with loss. Looking at loss in this way is emotionally overwhelming. Healing the addictive process through a focus on obstacles fails. We can’t bear loss. This spans the gambit between addictive substances and relationships. In order to confront loss and the grief we feel from loss, we must replace the loss with something positive. When we focus on the positive replacement of the loss in present time then loss can be slowly ameliorated.
For example: I chose to breath cleaner air when I weaned my way off of smoking cigarettes. The clutching, grabbing neediness in me began to fade. It’s been 37 years since I chose to breathe cleaner air instead of inhaling smoke from cigarettes. That was easy compared to the heartbreaking work of releasing grief from the wounds of incest.
Underneath loss and grief is love. Love holds all other emotions. I also remember the words of Malidoma Somē – grief is the most common human emotion.
Attachment can only be released for a very short time.
Grief is the most common emotion because our lives appear to be about loss. As children of Western Civilization, we a trained to look outside ourselves for happiness. Even in the US The Declaration of Independence we are encouraged to push for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. We don’t necessarily see that our birthright is happiness and enlightenment and that we are peeling away the illusion that prevent us from feeling it. We assume that feelings of fulfillment, peace and enlightenment are “over there” to pursue.
Corporal life is temporary, life of spirit transcends death. There is small love and big love, neither of which can be compared with the other. Small love may feel big when we have a partner with whom we are bonded and they pass away, cheat, or betray us and/or themselves. Big love will always hold a connection with one that has passed that seemingly impenetrable boundary of death. The longing may be excruciating and unbearable, staying present and reaching out to friends and professionals for help is one step in staying present. It’s not the only path.
Emotional maturity (EM) can be characterized as being able to hold contradictory emotions in awareness without a strong attachment to either emotional state and feel okay or neutral about our self. Cultivating a witness self leads to emotional maturity through suspending judgement and observing ourselves and our behaviors.
Attachment can only be released for a very short time. When we think or say “I” ego returns to claim an experience that the witness has observed. That is not a bad thing it is only the way of attachment. The witness may observe our being feeling grief and joy simultaneously. This is a paradox to be sure.
Everybody feels irritated and angry at times. Lately there have been many events outside our control where we have all felt outrage.
I grew up under the threat of terrorism. My father was a rageoholic. In my 20 and 30s I too followed his example automatically. The “normal” expression of anger produces adverse physiological changes in our bodies. Since 99% of anger is expressed ineffectively or acted-out, stress-levels registered in the body and in the prefrontal cortex are adversely affected.
Neurotransmitters known as catecholamines are released causing a kinetic energy surge, akin to the fight instinctual survival response. Psychologically a kind of excitement is fomented. This is often an addictive process that can induce discharges of dopamine, epinephrine and norepinephrine also known as adrenaline and noradrenaline. The rush of adrenaline often induces feelings of strength and invulnerability [see End Note 1 for more].
The American Society of Addiction Medicine describes addictive behaviors as:
“Addiction is characterized by inability to consistently abstain, impairment in behavioral control, craving, diminished recognition of significant problems with one’s behaviors and interpersonal relationships, and a dysfunctional emotional response.”
Men with an addiction to anger and rage may have additional substance abuse problems. Men, particularly white men whose fathers may have had a drinking problem often have anger, rage and violence issues, with or without substance abuse. Anger and rage are more characteristically predominant in males, particularly white males throughout the food chain of the patriarchy in this post-modern age.
Other physiological symptoms of anger may appear as: teeth grinding and/or clenching, flushing, paling, prickly sensations, numbness, sweating, fists clenching, muscle tensions and bodily temperature changes [see End Note 2 for more].
The Function of Anger
Contrary to popular belief anger is not a negative emotion. The expression of anger either stimulated by fear or in defense of a boundary is usually acted-out. However, two constricting factors are in operation here that help prevent acting-out anger from being eliminated: a new evolutionary biology seems unavailable to all acting-out anger impulses; and the world culture dominated by men supporting acting-out anger.
We have come to expect all anger to be expressed through surges of adrenaline and noradrenaline producing temporary feelings of strength, righteousness and invulnerability. In short acting-out anger is what we have all identified as anger and cannot or have not been able to separate the inappropriate and/or ineffectual expression of anger from the actual stated emotion.
Anger — the emotion without the behavior of acting-out is a legitimate emotion that serves to help establish and maintain boundaries. The surges of energy we experience pushes anger to other emotions such as judgement, righteousness, feelings of power-over, oppositional thinking — “I’m right. You’re wrong.” When rage supplants anger; hostile behaviors invariably ensue and may include divisive thinking, foul language, tantrums, character assignation, and other out-of-control intimidating / threatening behaviors. Rage may spill over into violence, throwing items, pushing, domestic violence and even rape. In extreme situations where rage and fear cycle with one another and feelings of powerlessness and hopelessness also coincide the result may be extreme violent incidences such as gun violence deaths, hate crimes, mass shootings — and domestic terrorism (as well as other forms of terrorism).
When I was a young man in my 30s I felt angry and told my partner:
“You make me so mad,” I barked at her.
“I must have great power over you, then?” she queried calmly.
“No… no,” I said taking a breath and calming down to think.
When we act-out our anger we often blame another for the outrage we feel. It’s what we have been taught as men and women in a toxic power-over culture. We blame others rather than take responsibility for our emotions. We often get lost in raging against the trigger of our anger/rage. The rage then perpetuates itself and we get lost in an addictive pattern which only serves to continue the cycle. This may produce mockery, blame and eventual character assignation of the person we believe to be at fault thus triggering our anger or rage. When we begin to use our acting-out anger to purposely and manipulatively attack another then we may be partially responsible for triggering a reaction. Rarely this is done on purpose except by some power-possessors and malignant sociopaths.
I can testify that it’s very difficult to stop acting-out anger once its begun. I remind myself that I alone am responding to a trigger where anger arises in me. The other person is not at fault for triggering this feeling of anger in me. Sometimes the other person — a relative or partner may want to assist me in processing the feeling and other times not. If I can catch myself during feelings of irritation before acting-out anger ensues then I have a chance of resolving the issue by diffusing emotions around the trigger. Most of the time I don’t even know what specifically has triggered me only that I have been triggered.
When I feel anger rising I state in a calm and even voice — without excessive volume that I feel angry and it’s not the other person’s fault. I take responsibility for my anger. I may know what they did that triggered me. I mention the trigger and invite the other to assist me in working through it if they wish. Obviously, this is not a prescription for all acting-out anger problems it is only an example of what could be done.
Another example: In the 1970s I worked night-shift in a computer back-panel circuit board assembly shop. Most of the time I worked alone on a 20-foot-long machine. I was assigned a partner to help make my work load easier. Because he wasn’t paying attention he slowed the work down. I confronted him about this:
“You’re not picking up your end and you’re throwing off my numbers. This is work. I want you to work and that will make our jobs easier for both of us.”
Later in the break room he demanded that I go out into the parking lot to fight him to which I responded:
“No. I don’t want to waste my time,”
I said as I sat to eat my lunch surrounded by the team.
He left and I didn’t see him for a while. Months later he approached me and told me that I had changed his life. I reminded him that I did nothing but avoid violence and that he decided to change his own life.
Men, particularly white formally educated heterosexual men, who are perceived to be in the top echelon of the ruling class set the tone for our culture. All men are under pressure usually inflicted on themselves through role modelling and the patriarchal meta-rules. They have lived so long under this rubric they don’t recognize the burden of undo stress that they carry. By participating in the feminist movement, they can be liberated from these stresses and become partners in a new humanist movement that has been on-going in fits and starts since the 1970s. Backlash from white conservative men and some women have inhibited the movement and forced it into the background until recent years.
Males from boyhood onwards are not encouraged to identify the nuances of emotion. The response of an untrained man with regard to a wide array of emotions could play out like this in the context of a romantic heterosexual relationship depending on the mindset of the parents, peers and schooling:
“What are you thinking?” the woman partner asks.
“Nothing,” he says.
“How are you feeling?”
“Okay,” he responds. Or
“Sad,” he says. Or
“I’m mad at you,” he says forcefully in an accusatory manner.
It’s not that men don’t have feelings. Men have not named many the feelings they do have and are usually overwhelmed by the amount and depth of emotions they experience. Their most excellent ability to compartmentalize and rationalize emotions keeps them at an emotionally regressed developmental stage of childhood, adolescence or young adulthood. It takes a strong and patient woman to partner with her mate, friend, business associate to assist him — if willing — to grow into a mature human. This same training to identify and manage emotions can also come from Men’s Groups and older wise men who have experienced an emotional education and worked to balance this with their intellect. Women are expert in the nuances of emotion as a matter of survival especially in close relationships with men. In some ways the emotional life of a man beginning his journey in life is akin to a woman who feels overwhelmed and names this whereas the man who feels overwhelmed may not even know he is being bombarded by many emotions that are often contradictory and non-logical. The man is in a chasm because the man acts overwhelmed usually without naming it. Men are trained not to integrate their incisive logic with the chasm of unnamed emotions and therein lies the rub.
The romanticized ideal man of rugged individualism that is “Captain of his Ship” and sole ruler of his domain is a glaring flaw based on compartmentalization and illusion. All men are born into systemic indoctrination of patriarchal meta-rules displayed through role-modeling behaviors by fathers, mothers and social strictures. In the 1950s and before “Men were Men” meaning that there was a codified way of behavior that men, mainly white educated men, displayed and was the definition of masculinity.
The hierarchical power-over system of business and work subjugates less powerful men into subservience; capping and curtailing “rugged individualism” into the frustrations of “playing politics” at work or paying a price — the lack of upward mobility within a company or corporation for example. When they return from work to family their desire to be lord of their domain gains full sway. Any frustrations from work are easily displaced into acting-out anger and rage on family members.
The characteristics of early twentieth century masculinity beyond the protect-procreate and provide model endemic to binary genders to varying degrees were men of strength, courage, independence, leadership and a driven assertiveness sometimes bordering on aggressiveness. Even the idea of an independent man is an illusion especially when considering the rugged individualism of traditional masculine roles. This illusion screens out the interdependency of all people in a culture based on the use of services, protections and cooperation within communities, states, and nationalities.
Independence is a glorified term that harkens back to men as hunter-gatherers and not the more cooperative and complex cultures that began with agriculture, was complicated by the industrial revolution and the interconnectivity fostered by computers and the internet.
The rugged individualists may argue that they can live alone in the wilderness in total independence from anyone — returning to the hunter-gatherer time. This is also an illusion, perhaps the biggest one of all. A man living alone in the wilderness outside of human contact is interdependent on his environment, dependent on animals to hunt, water from streams, and materials for a shelter. The rugged individualist has divorced himself from the sacredness of his home — Earth. He exists in a finite system, the patriarchy, believing or pretending that Earth is a thing and her resources are infinite. Clearly oil is a limited resource and many “cheap” resources are unsustainable. The blindness of the patriarchy’s tool — predatory capitalism helps prevent humans from realizing the illusion of their independence. Only the very rich may appear to live independently but under an illusion that they can use resources of the environment without consequences.
Traditional masculinity grounded into those men born in the 1920s and 30s displayed characteristics we now refer to as a hegemonic and/or toxic masculinity. Traits that once belonged to white, educated middle class heterosexual men — mainly those of a Type A Male Personality exhibited characteristics of dominance, strong leadership, self-reliance, emotional suppression or repression with one major exception. The public expression of acting-out anger came to be expected in men. In addition, male A-type personalities exhibit competition, misogyny, homophobia and may also include intimidation, bullying and in the extreme — domestic violence that includes emotional, mental and physical abuse and violation. This was considered Traditional or Hegemonic Masculinity until the 1980s when it came to be seen as Toxic Masculinity. The chauvinism of machismo men could be defined as a power-over mentality with a disregard of consequences and taking responsibility for one’s actions. It’s easy to see how corporations grasping for increasing power has taken a similar route as the reactionary toxic male role. The machismo definition once belonged to men with high status power stations and a disregard for ethical behaviors. Now machismo acting men have become more reactionary as men who long for traditional values have become radicalized amongst all classes in white male communities.
As straight men and women have begun to become more accepting of the LGBTQ communities (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer — or questioning) and women of the MeToo Movement have sought equality with men, the masculine role from a social context has become fluid. The social roles of changing definitions of masculinity has confused and/or angered men who have no internalized sense of a core masculine energy.
The less educated young jobless white heterosexual men who identify with traditional masculinity have transitioned into extreme versions of its toxic form who are simultaneously both terrified and enraged. Unemployed young white males are more likely to display homophobic and misogynistic tendencies because of economic disparities and social awkwardness with women; as such they are more likely to engage in extreme acts of violence such as: domestic abuse, rape, hate crimes and domestic terrorism in the form of mass shootings. When it comes to rape, hate crimes and mass shootings they come from a victim mentality that reacts with frustration, anger and rage turning their victim status into that of a perpetrator from a place of desperation. This is meant as an explanation of the young white males’ behaviors and does not condone their actions in any way.
Many men feel stuck and /or identified with the societal norms of the role called masculinity and while this may be socially acceptable it can be very confusing for many men who identify with and have a strong, rigid attachment to the hierarchical power-over system of our culture. Groups of men who feel their identification with traditional / hegemonic and/or toxic masculinity are threatened on all sides (LGBTQ, MeToo Movement, the Climate Crisis and the changing roles of men since the 70s and 80s). Conflict and divisiveness are being promoted in all arenas of life ranging from politics, social media and the mainstream mass media and as a result Americans are more divided than they have ever been since the US Civil War. This is reflected in the world as well [See End Notes 3 and 6].
The existential Climate Crisis is a trigger for transformation of the fundamental societal cultural structures mainly the patriarchy, which has been failing since the 1950s. This is not rocket science. It has been increasingly obvious in each decade and yet the will to make changes on a societal and personal scale has been ignored and/or denied to varying degrees. However, the Climate Crisis makes this transformation impossible to ignore because to do so will result in the death of the human species. Men who are strong adherents to the rigid traditional / hegemonic masculine roles once on top of the patriarchal food chain feel that they are under threat of annihilation. The typical response of those that lack a connection to Earth can only respond from a place of fear which manifests as anger and rage as a defense against the radical transformation or death of their identity [see End Notes 6 and 7 for more].
Those men who rely solely on a cultural definition of traditional masculinity as modeled by their fathers, mentors and peer groups without questioning the assumptions fall prey to feeling victimized and getting lost in anger/rage cycles. By acknowledging a universal masculinity originating from within, the power of presence emerges. The inner male /yang presence is a core of unshakable strength and knowing. This inner knowing is connected to all life and has an organic intelligence that balances yang or male energy with yin or female energy in its maleness. This personal inner work to discover a universal masculinity within can act as an anchor in addition to traditional and fluid definitions of the male role. Could this inner work to know the masculine be a safe harbor in the changes happening in the balancing act in the world between binary and fluid genders?
Patriarchal Roots of Rage, Violence and War
The patriarchy is defined as: a social organization marked by the supremacy of the father in the clan or family; the legal dependence of wives and children, and the reckoning of descent and inheritance in the male line. Broadly: control by men of a disproportionately large share of power; one example being US Presidents — all male as of this writing are looked to and even worshiped as a father-figure. Because they are a single figure — the executive branch they have been bequeathed to mythic powers akin an omniscient, omnipotent father, king or even a god.
The roots of the patriarchy, mainly the dominance of men over one another, owning those considered to be objects or ostracized and owning women and children has historically allowed rage, violence and war to flourish. The curtailment of women’s rights has been dubbed to be women’s dependence on men by the system rather than calling it a form of slavery or serfdom. It’s quite possible that the patriarchy or a vertical / hierarchical power structure developed as men’s reaction to the horizontal matriarchal system [see End Note 8 for more].
The structure of the patriarchy is men’s power as in power-over reinforced through acting-out anger, rage, verbal and physical violence. The lowest members of this pecking order often have another to “lord-over” for brief times before the heel of the white male oppressor is reasserted. As the European cultures gained prominence — mainly the Greeks and then the Romans, slaves were taken and owned. While it’s true that much older cultures took slaves previous to the “white” Greeks and Romans. These white cultures were the foundation for logical and critical thought and even the prophesy of the West; the Elysian Fields — the final resting place of the heroic and virtuous in the Greek mythos. This was the beginning of widespread white male dominance and privilege within the vertical hierarchy we call the patriarchy.
Women were considered inferior to men and in earlier times needed protection from other dominant men. Women were considered “cows” for breeding sons so the power could be passed on from father to son.
Women were considered the property of men and could be status symbols advancing the regal name of the man or woman “who bought wives” to advance their station, unless of course the man was a commoner or peasant. The courtly men of name could expect a dowry. Wikipedia describes this term: A dowry is a transfer of parental property, gifts, or money at the marriage of a daughter. Conversely Wikipedia defines: Bride price is money, property or other form of wealth paid by a groom or his family to the family of the womanhe will be married to or is just about to marry [see end notes 4 and 5 for more information]. These practices of exchanging money or property still exist in some nations to this day and while in the case of “Bride Price” the family is supposed to bequeath the money or property to the family for the bride, but this rarely happens in practice. The legacies of these traditions are the dark shadows that often linger in the conscious and unconscious misogynistic practices of men [See End Notes 4 and 5].
Women could not own property nor be educated in previous times. But there were exceptions to this “rule” namely wealthy prostitutes or courtesans. These women were “allowed” to be educated and own property and entertain the wealthy or those of the “court” as their clients thus the name “court-esans”. Men taking mistresses and frequenting prostitutes was excused as part of men’s nature whereas women were publicly shamed and/or stoned to death for relations outside marriage. This is an example of the duplicitous nature and the capricious whims of the patriarchy’s improvisation rule-making as it suits men especially powerful men such as Kings, and later dictators, prime ministers, presidents, CEOs, prominent business leaders and eventually all men in today’s culture that aspire to the power-over model. Amongst the power-possessors’ capricious rules and meta rules are blatant but all groups of men have capricious rules and meta-rules. A meta-rule is an unspoken and invisible rule or normative guideline. Even men who are somewhat aware of patriarchal dynamics still fall prey to the meta rules of ole’ boy thinking in any predominantly male gathering. Men in such gatherings who disagree with ole’ boy language and behaviors usually don’t protest for fear of humiliation or ostracism.
Women in the early days of the patriarchy took a passive-aggressive stance to displaying anger with their men and were entirely discounted. Many women still employ albeit unconsciously a passive-aggressive anger towards men as a dysfunction expression and as a defense against rage, intimidation and possible domestic violence. Discounting women by the entrenched patriarchal man exists and flourishes in the current time and throughout society. Misogyny practiced by men to subjugate women and the systemic misogyny world of business exists implicitly and explicitly, while men hold themselves to be “liberated” and “enlightened”. As a result, they continue to deny the oppression of women through the system wide indoctrination of men’s privilege in the patriarchy, which is unseen and unacknowledged by all men to some extent.
All men regardless of their sexual orientation are imprinted unconsciously with the dogma, meta-rules and the privileged rank of the patriarchy. As a gender, men as a whole may not be ready or able to release their acting-out anger. This could be an evolutionary flaw in the development of men as matured human beings or a biological precondition as stated earlier. Women as they have gained more footing with men may have adopted acting-out anger as a coping behavior with men, but women are not in the majority when it comes to expressing anger in this fashion.
Slavery and Genocide
In Europe kings had absolute rule and relegated “the working class” into economic slavery known as serfs [for more see End Note 9].
When the Europeans came to the Americans thousands of indigenous peoples died from disease carried by the white culture to which the native population had no immunity. The indigenous peoples were corralled into concentration encampments or reservations prohibited from speaking their own language, sent into the wilderness on force marches, enslaved and killed almost to extinction. Blacks from Africa were taken as slaves to work in the Americas. Even in the US after the 13th Amendment freed the slaves, loopholes in the amendment allowed the Jim Crow laws to segregate Blacks from Whites, forced Blacks into prisons and chain gangs for minor violations of the law.
Blacks and Indigenous Peoples of the Americas were subjected to inhuman treatment, torture and murders by the racist whites. The systematic white patriarchal male infected with fear, anger/rage, prejudice, bigotry and hatred treated peoples of non-white skin color through segregation, hate crimes and economic slavery that has been proliferated to this day. The US prison system has a disproportionate number of incarcerated blacks as a part of the racist white slave system.
Asian-Americans were incarcerated in internment (read concentration) camps during WWII for fear they would side with the Imperial Japanese. But they were Americans.
Power-possessing men make people of color into things and people then become slaves. Each culture world-wide has made a group into the non-human whether it be Blacks, people of color (other than white) or the “Untouchables” of India or indigenous peoples that have been enslaved or killed in a genocide [see End Note 10].
Besides the obvious injustices, inhumane and murderous treatment of humans as slaves there is a less obvious precept built in to the patriarchy / men and the use of anger. Besides making humans slaves it makes those “owning” slaves subject to a slavery of mind and heart. Acting-out anger is used to divide and conquer. Ordinarily we think of those that are oppressed as the only slaves. The so-called white racist masters are themselves slaves, casting out what would be view as “weakness”, the yin that is in the yang, compassion towards oneself and others are two examples that rise to the surface.
The exclusion of “the other” is an example of rulers who are slaves to the illusion of independence. They are caught in a different way.
Predatory Capitalism — the Zero-Sum Game
A Zero-Sum game in short is where there are an equal number of winners and losers. This kind of game fits in with the competition models of predatory capitalism. Right now, the biggest loser is Earth — our home threatened by the results of human industry and use that produces the Climate Crisis and the economic collapse for the 99 percent. In practice the zero-sum game or thinking is 1% winners plus 99% losers equals total system collapse and the extinct of the human species [see End Notes 11 and 12].
My memory of capitalism in the 1950s and 60s through High School Classes in History and Social Studies portrayed our economic system as a kind of capitalistic materialism. I particularly remember members of the Union that worked for the Big 3 Automakers — namely Ford, GM and Chrysler considered themselves craftsmen and were proud of their work. Cars seemed very solid. My parents bought a General Electric Toaster in the 50s that still works well to this day. Capitalism built products that displayed the care of engineering and craftsmanship in the work.
In the 1980s I became aware that digital cameras that needed repair were often more expensive than buying a new camera. Planned obsolescence was introduced and proliferated. This is especially evident in PCs, iPhones, iPads, and all tablets being introduced every year with new features to wow the trained animal meaning us consumers.
I am not a consumer,
I am a free citizen.
As restrictions were lifted in the 1980s during the Reagan presidency, mainstream media news began a shift to corporate-speak catering to profits instead of truth or even left, right or centrist biased news. Millionaires and billionaires began to appear across the landscape.
Ralph Nader once said that in the 1960s one could request a meeting with a member of The House of Representatives or a Senator and get a same day meeting with them. By the 1980s that was no longer possible because our representatives were beholden to PACs, Political Action Committees or the arms of Big Corporate Dollars. Restrictions were lifted so increasing profits could be made at the expense of quality products and services.
These were the roots of predatory capitalism which fuels greed, power and ownership of the 99% for the most part. It is here that the limited finite game that serves greed and short-term profits of the zero-sum game could be played out in service to money and power. The mainstream media (MSM) services to narrow thinking for the needs of the corporate state and to foment anger to fuel profits at the expense of the truth [see End Note 13],
Products and services could be divided off into pieces and be sold off to other companies and consumers for the purpose of increasing profits. Automation and robotics replacing humans further accelerated profits at the expense of what it means to be a human being. The speed of science and technology is only matched by greed to make enormous amounts of money at the expense of the 99% and the Earth our home which we are destroying via this form of capitalism.
Humans are causing the Climate Crisis through predatory capitalism at the expense of all the people and Earth.
Unless we decide to change it
I will die,
You will die,
We will die.
Humans will go extinct.
Suicide by Greed and insular / xenophobic behaviors.
Or is it too late to make the changes?
Patriarchy Death Throes
In the modern world as evidence suggests; patriarchal practices are breaking down in the face of the climate crisis, the demands of the “Me-Too” movement and populist movements demanding democracy. The recent backlash of patriarchal power-possessing men in fear and terror of the end are re-asserting the mythic past — of poisoning Earth for immediate short-term gain inherent in the tenets of predatory capitalism, demanding greater control over women’s bodies, and blatantly lying in an end justifies the means drive for money and power.
Hate-mongering groups have become more evident of late as many right-wing leaders have been elected worldwide in response to the existential threat of annihilation of the human species due to the climate crisis. Historically, when a massive change confronts a world population and free-floating fears arise many in the population long for an almost mythical past when times seemed better. The operative word is “seemed”; a memory of the past that screens out “extraneous” negative or contradictory information to create a romantic illusion. It’s easier for a frenzied group whipped into hatred by any right-wing leader to long for a mythical past as a refuge and blame a minority or “the other” rather than take responsibility and face the challenges. It’s much more difficult to make changes and take responsibility for the self and for our responsibilities as citizens for past misdeeds and correct these for the good of all poised for the survival of the human species.
Why? Fear of change or an uncertain future of a population can be easily manipulated by a powerful figure into a frenzy of anger and rage at “the designated others”.
A top-heavy patriarchy is currently evident in the USA and in the world. In broader terms the system of the patriarchy is no longer meeting the needs of the majority and is in a state of collapse which began in the 1960s and has reached a crisis point. The power possessors in petroleum-based businesses and in government are fearful of the impending doom of the system and are seeking a power-grab that will cement its power forever and ensure the end of the human species as a by-product.
A Sea Change, a Needed Spirituality and Subsequent Healing
The heyday of the patriarchy represented a time when the natural world was seen as some “thing” to be conquered and tamed. Despite all the criticism heaped on the evils of the patriarchy and the yang force that drove the conquering and expansion is something both to be acknowledged and to bestow our gratefulness. It is through the luxuries of hindsight that we can acknowledge all its shortcomings, its malevolence, benevolence and blessings. We owe a debt to the achievements of the patriarchy. Let us move on to its peaceful end and a new beginning as a cooperative culture of sacredness, equality, justice and fairness for all — not just all human beings but our home and all her animals, plants, water, soil and sky namely — Earth. There is much healing to be done.
Targeting the “other” through vitriolic name calling etc. is not the answer and serves to accomplish a stop to forward moving actions. The 1% and MSM uses anger and hate to divide people so accomplishments for a survivable future are nullified [see End Note 13].
Everyone on Earth wants to survive the perils of Climate Crisis. I believe the most intelligent of the climate deniers are seeking to use the crisis as a way to leverage nations into a one-world government that while appearing to be a democracy, that is in-fact an oligarchy.
Fundamental changes are happening everywhere though they go unreported by the main-stream media and the DNC (Democrat National Committee) or the RNC (Republican National Committee) beholding to corporate power, the Kochs and others. Nevertheless, there is a widespread progressive political movement underway.
My life as a seer into invisible worlds — some call that being a shaman. Whatever one calls it I experienced something unusual in the mid-90s. There was an exodus of the spirits of trees. Yes, the physical tree was visible but the spirit was gone. To my surprise the spirits of these many trees returned indicating that had gone to the spirit world to establish a link for a bigger exodus later on. While it doesn’t matter if you believe me or not, some of these experiences could be seen as metaphors. My male logic is constantly amazed at the accuracy of many of these visions.
Because I didn’t have television I never saw the planes hit the twin towers in NYC until about 6 years later. I considered myself lucky to have been spared. I left the shock and later the fear of people that lived near me — in my community. I had an experience, a vision of the love that surrounds and permeates us from everywhere. The blockage that prevents us from feeling the continue bath of love is our ego or sense of self and the expectation that love has to take a form that we recognize. I realized then that I am was insignificant and inconsequential, just the same as the entire human species. Should we all die our consciousness would live on.
There are two paths for humans to survival of the Climate Crisis and both are intertwined. The resultant actions of both paths will mean the end of the patriarchy, capitalism, acting-out anger, rage and hatred that arises in men, women and fluid genders. They both involve a cultivating a continuing connection to Earth, a renunciation of all that blocks the connection with Earth and her Spirit and in short, a radical change in lifestyle. The first path is the spiritual connection to Earth, a transformation of lifestyle that may prevent the extinction of humans. And it may not at least on face-value.
If all humans die, then like the trees that exited their bodies to enter the world of spirit and return, we may do the same. Our spirit may join with the spirit of Earth in a richness beyond imagination filled with love. We may to return to the corporeal world when Earth becomes hospitable for water, plants, soil, and animals again. Don’t forget that we are animals. [see End Note 14].
The heart with its own neurons produces love and has the capacity to perceive love without form. Other emotions emerge because our cognitive processing center strains love through filters of belief where exclusion is applied or judgement and acting-out anger arises as well as fear, anxiety, rage, hatred, greed and so on.
However, the love that is produced in the heart is a baseline love that has not gone through the filter of ego. This love is not identified with romantic love, love of an object such as — my car etc.
Love in this baseline place cannot be experienced when feeling acting-out anger, fear, hatred and /or greed. As such love can hold fears but fears cannot hold love [see End Note 15].
A simple inner exercise may be done anywhere to affirm your baseline emotional presence [see End Note 16]. It can be an ineffable experience.
A strict patriarchal masculine identity — hegemonic masculinity -seeks to justify male dominance using circular logic. In other words, the logic endemic to the patriarchal rubric is justified without adequate critical thinking: Hegemonic Masculinity
Under the horizontal hierarchy of the matriarchy all members of that community mainly men and women were in service to the Divine Feminine. Children were raised collectively. There was no traditional family. All resources were held in common and there was no thought given to an “outside aggressor” because other communities were the same. There may have seemed to be no hierarchy, but women were considered the representative of the Divine Feminine. In procreation men were thought to be vessels of the Goddess or the Divine Feminine. Men were conduits or a delivery system that made a child in a woman. It took a long time for men to realize that they were not merely vessels for the Goddess. Upon this realization they rebelled with acting out anger / rage and violence. The Huns swept across Asia and into the Mediterranean destroyed matriarchal communities and thus the patriarchy began. Men reacted to women’s power by taking it away through acts of isolation for protection from other men. Women were owned and prized for producing sons so the heritage of the patriarchy could continue in perpetuity. It follows logically. Paraphrased from the writings of Jeffery Wolf Green Pluto_Volume_I
All of the Six Full Moons are listed for Washington, DC below:
11-23-18, 12:39 am EST – Full Moon Gemini at 00 degrees 52 minutes
12-22-18, 12:48 pm EST – Full Moon Cancer at 00 degrees 49 minutes
01-21-19, 12:17 am EST – Full Moon Leo at 00 degrees 52 minutes*^
02-19-19, 10:53 am EST – Full Moon Virgo at 00 degrees 42 minutes*
03-20-19, 9:43 pm EDT – Full Moon Libra at 00 degrees 09 minutes*~’
04-19-19, 7:13 pm EDT – Full Moon Libra at 29 degrees 07 minutes
* Super Full Moons – indicating that the Moon is as close as it will get to Earth when full
^ Lunar Eclipse
~ Spring Equinox
‘ Mercury continues in retrograde
New moons begin a new cycle, while full moons are the peak or fruition of the cycle. Each of the six new moons beginning the day after the US elections on 11-7-18 to the final cycle beginning 04-05-19 each begin at 15 degrees.
What it Means
Each of the New Moon cycles begins in the middle of the six signs giving a weight or solidity to the beginning of the cycle. The first of these cycles 11-7-18 starts with a solid dose of transformation – going to the depths of the darkest oceans to allow secrets to emerge. That cycle is brought to fruition as the moon moves to the full light on 11-23-18 in the fresh and pure innocence of Gemini and air sign representing the intellect. Bringing information from opposite view points to hold a newly form body of oneness together.
The international higher mind and generous spirit of a new beginning of open and sometimes opinionated attitudes of Sagittarius conflicts of action and vision creating growth for nurturing new growth on 12-22-18 while in conflict with past authority.
The next new-full moon cycle begins on January 5th with the New moon in Capricorn with transformations at hand if deception tries to take an upper hand over an array of visionary moves. The cycle ends with a Super Full Moon / Lunar Eclipse in the boldness of Leo poised for revolution with trickster energy. The lunar eclipse is about shadow elements of the full moon coming to light having to so with the following possible issues: excessive pride or hubris; narcissistic love, overly dramatic. We are witness to these elements and we can acknowledge and release them.
The fourth moon cycle of 2019 begins with the February 4th new moon in Aquarius. Revolution and disruption are poised between old guard patriarchal rigidity and a strong urge to push forward despite the potential for enormous conflict. The super full moon ends the cycle on February 19th with an anchor into the past and a volatile stock market. The choice is to nurture our dreams or collapse into our nightmares. Or stay compassionately neutral.
The fifth cycle is the last of the super full moons and runs close to the Spring equinox on March 20th. This cycle begins on march 6th with dreams and compassion for a positive future supported by transformational processes of authority but only if we, as individuals take advantage of the opportunities. However, communication can be challenging with Mercury at a karmic degree of Pisces – sharpen your pencils and remember to listen with care and compassion. The super full moon is about the balance of relationship (full moon in Libra) with great optimism (on a darker note – grandiosity). Mercury (thought, communication – verbal and written ect.) retrograding (intensity) near Neptune (low end: confusion, deception, illusion, drugs and alcohol; high end: compassionate vision, forging exacting communications to a degree of higher consciousness). Action supports transformation which in turn grounds new relationships poised for greater transformation, healing wounds.
[The Spring Equinox Chart for Washington, DC is March 20, 2019 at 5:58:23 pm EDT calls for a transformational time of action. There is disruption/revolution in the Capital with emotions running high especially with regard to the divine feminine. The potential for confusion and misinterpretation / illusion is high. Also, we may see between now and the summer solstice – June 21 2019 the divine feminine paving the way for clear communication and better relationships.]
The final of 6th moon cycle is interesting because sun and moon end at a karmic degree in the last degree of Libra. The New Moon in Aries on April 5, 2019 begins with forging leadership and nurturing international or long-distance relationships. There is a need to stay vigilant around issues of communication – watch for deception on the low end; on the high end communicating with vision and compassion in an air of inclusiveness. On the karmic full moon on April 19, 2019 the Moon is at 29 degrees Libra – allowing us to work through the karma of relationships through truth and thereby find a true working balance. The battle between past and future is exquisitely balanced in conflict and yet it is a conflict that seeks resolution. Revolution may be obscured but it’s there if we open ourselves to it.
A possible way of looking at Solstices and Equinoxes as the function of a patriarchal separation of people from planet earth to a reorientation based on the sun and light.
life was under stewardship
In the matriarchal times the beginning of the Zodiac was Taurus, the sign denoting the womb with the Fallopian tubes on top and not the bull. At the equatorial zones and in the northern latitudes the seasons of planting began after the frost towards the end of April -the beginning of spring for earth. Worship of earth as womb and creator of life was honored and built into an agrarian based culture / civilization. Though women nurtured life and men were thought to be vessels of the Goddess of an earth based deity the culture was communally oriented, nothing was owned. All was shared with the group and life was under stewardship.
honoring the Goddess
It could also have been that the Southern Hemispheres were grounded in a culture where the beginning of the zodiac was Virgo, based on spring there. Jeffrey Wolf Green, astrologer suggests that when men began realizing they contributed sperm and were not just vessels used by the Goddess they rebelled and the patriarchy was born – in reaction. Men owned property, women and children. Male children passed on the ownership and legacy of men etc.
a hierarchy took root
The focus moved away from nurturing earth, honoring the Goddess into worship of a God in the heavens thus the solstices and equinoxes, seasons divided into four quarters by amounts of light. Agriculture continued under the increasingly greater control of men and eventually science (an extension of men) but the focus was shifted from Earth to Sky and a hierarchy took root.
a sky God that meshed with the patriarchal structure of leadership
Goddess as Earth was a bountiful civilization with a nurturing structure of stewardship that maintained a mostly horizontal structure with the exception of the dimishment of the importance of the male. In the European and Tigris-Euphrates Rivers of Turkey, Syria and Iraq the overthrow of the matriarchy though violence was easy, as Attila the Hun swept across Asia – conquering. The matriarchy wasn’t prepared for the sudden change. In the Americas the changes in the indigenous population was more gradual from matriarchy to patriarchy. The patriarchal tribes retained many of the matriarchal transitions before they were albeit destroyed by the Europeans.
pure Goddess / Matriarchy roots
The patriarchal God was a reactionary and vengeful God that came from above – a sky God that meshed with the patriarchal structure of leadership. This seemed to be a rageful reaction to the oppression by the matriarchy and the systemic misogyny based in the newer system. It wasn’t until the patriarchal God sent male saviors that retribution was supplanted by other forms of leadership though that appears to have been largely unsuccessful.
Wicca and Pagan celebrations though influenced by the patriarchy were still rooted in the matriarchy and may have tried to combine Solstice and Equinox traditions with pure Goddess / Matriarchy roots. The patriarchy sought to demonize them on many occasions, early Christians hid their celebrations by blending them with Pagan and Wicca celebrations and later demonized them via the Roman Catholic Church, for example.
Nevertheless, below in figures 1 through 4 are 3 representations of the upcoming Winter Solstice and one of the Summer Solstice:
The gap between the patriarchy and the next epoch of which we are on the cusp is about a balancing and/or healing of the patriarchy with the matriarchy to help co-create an age of cooperative partnership.
The short answer is yes and the United States is leading the charge. Capitalism in its current state drives Climate Change and is facilitating the destruction of the human species in what many have called the last great extinction event.
the human species is driving itself to extinction
Capitalism in its most current incarnation creates increased surplus population, treats natural resources as unlimited raw materials / things, divides the world into makers and takers which in-turn destroys communities and glorifies every individual for themselves, deifies greed, money and power, focuses on quarterly profits, drives moneyed economies at the expense of real growth for all and the destruction of the planet for humans and thousands of other species.
I’m not an economist and it doesn’t take an economist to see that the human species is driving itself to extinction. This is common sense. In order for the system to work there must be a variety of extraneous factors that do not contribute to growth GNP.
Short term / quarterly greed-based profits fuels short shortsightedness of the future of humans on planet Earth
Surplus population does not contribute to capitalism. They are excluded from the statistics of the economy and by design they only matter in two ways: the population excess must be excluded for the capitalistic engine to work and the surplus population can be blamed when capitalism appears to fail.
The incarcerated and prisoners (in the prison system)
Pregnant mothers and stay-at-home mothers
Severely addicted to drugs and / or alcohol
Hospitalized (short term) Mentally Ill
Long term incarcerated mentally ill
Short and long term medically hospitalized
Illegal Immigrants – both seasonally employed or unemployed and unemployable
There are transient members of the surplus groups: higher education, pregnant mothers, short term unemployed, children that become adults and get jobs, soldiers re-entering the job market and prisoners being released from prison that get jobs (far more prisoners are there for life-sentences sometimes for non-violent crime).
The Drivers of Capitalism
All those who have jobs
Investors that make money from investing in businesses
Investors that make money from investing in money
Capitalism and the reductionism of science does not take into account the sacredness of life
The Hidden Assumptions of Capitalism
Short term / quarterly greed-based profits fuels short shortsightedness of the future of humans on planet Earth. Capitalism does not consider raw materials in its equation for profits because raw materials are things that are considered to be in an unlimited supply. Petroleum is sought after through fracking for instance, which is not a cost-effective extraction method for finding oil as well as the damage to land and the poisoning of water supplies. Because profit margins are short sighted/ based on quarterly profits this mindset is applied to the extraction of raw materials from the planet by whatever means necessary. The reverse is also true products are applied to agriculture to speed the harvest that may cause unforeseen health risks and damage to the soil. Health risks are good for the medical and pharmaceutical industries. Damage to the soil may be augmented by more products to enhance the productivity of the soil but may not address the health of the soil and so on. The short-term growth is considered of primary importance so profit is maximized over a short period of time like an addictive high.
Capitalism and the reductionism of science does not take into account the sacredness of life especially the life of the planet and her minerals, ores, soil, trees, animals, plants, oceans and landmasses. Capitalism uses science to augment profit especially short-term profit fueled by unbridled greed to destroy our future especially in the face of climate change.
I grew up inside a Terrorist Regime: in my family of origin where my father was the dictator and his word was law.
When I was a pre-teen he would shout me down into submission when he disagreed with something I said and end with telling me I was being illogical.
This was worse than death, torture of my dog.
He would continue to castigate my mother by telling her she was “irrational”. More often than not she was intuitive and non-rational
Around that time we adopted a stray dog: Peewee. He went everywhere with me – on my walks in the woods and to the reservoir. We never tied him up when we weren’t home. He ran with a pack of dogs that ate sheep. The sheep owner told us we would have to tie him up. We did for a while and then not having the heart to keep him tied up we let him go and he ate sheep again. My father was to take him to the vet to be put down. At dinner that night my father said:
I took Peewee to Yale to be experimented on.
My head sank. This was worse than death, torture of my dog. I was so sad and down.
I thought you liked science – my father said.
Not anymore – I said starting to get angry.
But I couldn’t show my anger otherwise I’d get in-trouble so I stuffed it.
After dinner beginning in my early teens we played Ping-Pong every night after dinner. He’d use psychological tactics on me to goad me to become angry, throw me off balance so he could win. One night, I thought – this is supposed to be fun. I decided not to get angry and started winning games. Once that happened he stopped playing and admitted that I had been a better player than he was and that by using psychological tactics he knew he could win.
he would bait others into Republican ideological arguments and then shout them down when they didn’t agree with them
When I was a teenager my father would bait me into arguments that I was emotionally invested in and then use his premise to make me feel wrong and confused. I’d fall for his debate tactics every time. When I was in my twenties I began to disagree with his premises and all “debate” ended.
My mom came to me and asked: “What am should I do about your father?”
“What do you mean?”
“Well you know how he is.”
My mother’s friends never came over anymore because he would bait others into Republican ideological arguments and then shout them down when they didn’t agree with them.
“You could see a therapist or minster,” I said.
“I couldn’t do that,” she replied.
“You could get a divorce,” I said.
“Oh no, I couldn’t do that,” she replied.
“Well, I don’t know what else to tell you,” I said.
My sister and I would spend all daylight hours outside of the house away from my mother and father and that I supposed was normal. We lived surrounded by bucolic regions of farms, fields and woods. My father would use his booming voice to call us for dinner while we were at least a mile away. He had had a lot of practice bellowing.
He told me once that he promised never to hit us like his father had done to his mother, him and his two sisters. But he broke his promise a few times. However he made up for actually physical violence by terrorizing us with verbal and non-verbal threats.
He often accused and never apologized even when he made a mistake.
He oscillated between sometimes being a looming or threatening boss to be a playful child albeit isolating. He was jealous of my mother having any recognition and acted passive-aggressively to quell her recognition: My mother would play the piano and we would sing folk songs and Christmas Carols after dinner. My mom also painted some. My father decided he could paint too. He painted some squares and a triangle on a canvas and put a mahogany frame around it. He hung it over the piano. When this happened I felt a profound shame and the childish jealousy of my father. My mother’s only visible protest was never to play the piano again. We all knew and my father had won his petty little game.
Our father yelled from the other room to “Stop it,” in his booming voice. We furtively glanced at each other snickering under our breaths and then began bickering again:
“Yes it is,” I fired out.
“No it isn’t,” my sister came back.
And on we went…
Our father appeared in the door of the kitchen his face red with rage, fists clenched he spewed in a vitriolic manner:
You kids cease and desist this instant!
I thought blood would spurt from a vein in his forehead. He glared at us full of fury and rage. I had to bite my tongue so as not to speak or laugh. Many years later my sister told me she was so terrified that she had wet herself.
In my arguments to my father about the Vietnam war – I returned from college and told him I was against the war: he punched me across the face with a 1-2 punch and then in the stomach. He opened the front door of the house and threw me into the bushes and said:
Don’t you ever set foot in this house, again.
I was shaking and crying. A moment later he came out and invited me back inside saying:
I guess I didn’t brainwash you good enough.
I knew my mother had stood up for me in that moment.
I learned to bring emotion into our debate and was able to stop many debates cold such as: The Vietnam war is wrong because killing for any reason is wrong and that’s how I feel.
my father was extremely obnoxious … after drinking in the afternoon
Later when I was going through a very rough time and we were in family therapy without my sister who was in college out west my father agreed to be nice to me. For about a year and a half he was nice. And then he changed back.
When I asked him about the change he said: “I can see that you were okay so I decided to be myself again.”
I offered to do some hands-on healing.
My father would have an occasional beer and an after dinner liquor when his friends came over for dinner. Once I had lunch with him in New Haven in the 1974 when we both worked in the city (it was the summer that Nixon resigned). He had a pitcher of beer with lunch. He seemed the same before as he did afterwards. At that time I wasn’t as aware of the various shades of alcoholism as I became later.
In the 1980s my sister visited with my mother and father. I met them for lunch. I was to meet them later at their Bed and Breakfast and then we were to meet up my woman lover at a restaurant in Glen Ellen. When I met them at the B&B my father was extremely obnoxious: grabbing a magazine article from my hands while I was reading it, ignoring my protest, telling me I had to listen to him etc… Later I learned that he and my sister had gone to a bar after lunch and had been drinking. My mother probably just watched – she didn’t drink due to health issues.
I felt satisfied that I was able to help him and that he had accepted my help.
They moved from Connecticut to North Carolina and I visited them in 2000.
My father said out of the blue:
“They’ve discovered planets in other solar systems.”
“Good for them,” I replied.
“How does astrology explain that?”
‘Oh brother here we go again.’ I thought
“Sounds like your trying to make fun of my profession as an astrologer,” I said going to the end point.
“Ah, no, no I wasn’t,” he said and dropped the whole thing. I was relieved and he seemed relieved as well.
He often accused and never apologized, ever.
By August of 2005 my father was on oxygen from pulmonary fibrosis – a lung disease. Even on O2 he had difficulty breathing, gasping for air. Towards the last hour of my stay I offered to do some hands-on healing. I thought he would refuse since he rarely praised me and denigrated my actions, choices and accomplishments at every turn of my life. I was surprised that he agreed.
For the next 45 minutes while I was there he breathed normally and appeared thankful though he said nothing. I felt satisfied that I was able to help him and that he had accepted my help.
He died in 2006 on my birthday from from pulmonary fibrosis.
END NOTES: I learned much about the frightened Conservative stance towards the world through my father and his strong patriarchal ideals. Underneath all that bluster, anger and rage was a frightened boy who had never recovered from the abuse at the hands of his father. My father acknowledged the beatings that my grandfather had meted out on him his sisters and his mother. I’m sure there was sexual abuse that was repressed and / or supressed by alcohol abuse and acting-out rage, just as my garndfather had sexually abused me in horrific ways.
Beyond the unhealed abuse and fear that caused him to shift from an expansive man who had voted for JFK to one who embraced Nixon, Reagan, and both Bushs. Nixon was elected in 1969 when my father was almost 50. This is sometimes the period that people wither or break free from their parents belief systems. Or they become dissillusioned with the ideals of youth and fall back into what they know. My father embraced conservativism because it was about the past – government unresponsive to the needs of the many and only able to see the needs of the privelged and the elite in which he identified.
Fear is a breeding ground for greed, having enough, believing government stood in the way of making as much money as possible for himself. He was angry at those in civil service work because they made almost as much as he did as an executive for Ma Bell. Manual labor was beneath him. The intellect was all powerful and deserved the best of the elite. The common man – the middle class became superfluous, invisible and therefore inconsequential to him.
He belived in the platitudes and the American Dream and thought that all had access to it through hard work. He was sexist and racist and homeophobic. He was a sad broken man who took out his wounds on others.
I am happy to have survived my childhood with my heart intact though it took me many years to get in-touch with my emotions. I have forgiven my father for all the wounds he had perpertated on me. And I trust that his consciousness is growing in a life beyond his mortal coil.
Intro – I subscribe to the Vedic (Eastern Astrological) interpretation of retrograding planets: the energy of the planet becomes more intense because it’s closer to Earth during retrograde than direct motion.
Since when to we point to an outside force as controlling our destiny?
What retrograde motion really means? —- A planet in retrograde “appears” to go backwards in relationship to Earth and the background of planets, stars and outer space. This is an optical illusion. When a retrograde motion occurs the planet moves into a close orbit with Earth. For more in retrograde motion visit this NASA page: https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap031216.html
Dangers in one-sided Western Astrology Thinking —– Western Astrologers reports that the energy of retrograding planets are turned inward and thus help create a scapegoating mindset. This sets up a victim-think stance during the retrograde period. Blame it on “Mercury Retrograde” for example rather than rise to and overcome challenges.
In the matriarchy Taurus was the beginning of the zodiac
Doesn’t using astrology as a tool help us to overcome crises? Since when to we point to an outside force as controlling our destiny?
Venus and the world beyond the patriarchy —– Venus as Goddess, Venus as relationship, Venus as personal energy, Venus representing women and the feminine in the world are some of the representations of the mythos of Venus.
Venus represents many things, the Goddess, love and relationship, art, drama, beauty and personal power to manifest, and to name a few…
The power of Venus and receptivity for example comes from inclusiveness
Venus is said to rule Taurus and Libra. In the matriarchy Taurus was the beginning of the zodiac, not Aries. Notice figure 1, the symbol for Taurus – not the Bull but the womb with the Fallopian tubes on top – symbol of manifestation and giving birth. The patriarchy usurped the feminine sign of Taurus for a masculine power of the Bull (one step in demonizing the matriarchy).
Astrologically Venus is usually relegated romantic love and relationships, art, beauty and all that is soft and receptive. It would seem that the fierce and unrelenting aspects of Venus as Goddess have been suppressed by the patriarchy much as Taurus, the womb of creation was usurped by a male symbol of the bull. Much of Venus in relationship to Taurus has been suppressed and perhaps denied. The power of Venus and receptivity for example comes from inclusiveness. Making and holding space while leading by example inside the space attracts others to the space or cause. This could be the democratization of the power of inclusivity behind a cause for example. This is not to exclude the role of Mars and the pointed energy of Mars or male energy in case and effect actions: “I see what I want and I take actions to get it.” Both kinds of actions are part of our world. However the Venus, by inclusion way of leading is downplayed and excluded thus denigrating receptive actions and women who could lead us to greatness by celebrating the power of inclusivity.
Ruling comes from the hierarchical structure of the patriarchy
Venus rules Taurus from a point of view of inclusivity would infer that a planet’s ruling a sign is less about ruling and more about co-creation. Ruling comes from the hierarchical structure of the patriarchy. When making and holding space for manifestation or creation both an attribute of Taurus as womb and Venus / Goddess containing the womb then there is a possibility of a paradigm shift. Partnership is the key. There is a partnership between the attributes of Venus and Taurus. When ruling is changed to partnering or co-creation the world of astrology and the world at large become bigger and hold the possibility of greater inclusion. Greater inclusion leads to prosperity for all.
the art of life
Venus is associated with art, beauty and form. In our search for meaning, happiness and success we become artists, creators of our immediate reality to some degree. The structures of language and civilization lead to art forms, stories that have a beginning middle and end, followed by a new beginning. These forms or stories are art and containers where we hold space for our lives to have meaning as in phrases such as “the body of work” etc. Venus as art when joined in a partnership with Taurus becomes a womb or cauldron for creation and this is the art of life.
In traditional Western Astrology the natural sign of the second house is Taurus that co-creates with Venus to exude values, personal energy and personal money. When the second house is looked at from a non-patriarchal or partnership perspective it becomes the space or womb of creation for our values, energy and money in the context of others.
Out of the mystical transformations of re-birth (Scorpio) comes the harmony of partnership
When working with receptivity on a practical level we may create a space that is imagine a space, a box, a living room a place that can hold people, ideas, purpose and objects that can be used to symbolize a goal. Remember to imagine putting yourself in the space. “See” someone next to you in the imaged space you’ve created that you can assist and they can assist you with your goal and then extrapolate others that are helping you and that you are help achieve your goal. And you can just wait and sit around waiting for this to all fall into place you must also do some yang / male/ Mars work of cause and effect – making things happen.
Venus Retrograde and The US Midterm Elections —– The force of Venus as Goddess in Scorpio especially during the upcoming retrograde period of October 6 through 31, 2018; then Venus continues retrograding in Libra from November 1 until November 16 well past the American elections in the closer races [11-16-18 at 2:51 am PST or 11-15-18 11:51 pm EST]. Scorpio represents both the mysteries of transformation from the murky depths of water to the Phoenix Bird consuming itself in fire to die in order to create something new. Out of the mystical transformations of re-birth (Scorpio) comes the harmony of partnership and balance (Libra) of both women voting (and men too supporting women and rebirth through voting) and winning office seats at all levels of government on November 6th as one example of this retrograde Venus time.
solidarity of sisterhood everywhere
As Venus retrogrades from the last of Scorpio (October 31st) into the last degree of Libra on November 1st until Venus goes direct on Friday November 16 2018 at 10:52 UT or 2:52 am PST (or Friday November 16th at 10:52 UT 5:52 am). [Coincidentally Mercury goes retrograde on Friday November 16th in the 5:33 pm PST or 8:33 pm EST.]
Venus after her intense ride through transformational Scorpio settles into a partnership of solidarity of sisterhood everywhere and in the context of the US midterm elections a wave of women voters to heal the patriarchy old guard by voting them out of office. On Election Day at sunrise in Washington DC it’s karmic payback time (Moon in Scorpio at 29 degrees – energy blended with retrograding Venus) as we’re poised between the past and future (south node – Aquarius –north node Leo square Moon and Venus) for a big upset in close races and a wave of women in a progressive blue wave (Uranus at zero degrees Taurus retrograde opposite Moon and Uranus and poised between past and future -. See chart below:
When I was a teenage my father would yell at the television, mock President Johnson and say “Those goddamn Democrats” etc. It’s something he never said to my mother’s liberal friends in face-to-face encounters. One of the meta-rules (unspoken) is a sense of civility between people. That seems to be eroding.
That polarization on behalf of Corporate-Congressional Complex
When Republicans and Conservatives became more vocal they began to make anyone that didn’t share their point of view anti-American. The GOP in order to win has made liberals, the left, moderates, Democrats, Progressives the enemy to be defeated and destroyed. Some of this came from Newt Gingrich and Karl Rove. In some ways I believe that the top tenth of 1 percent of the richest Americans on the planet such as the Koch’s may have germinated this idea of Liberals as enemies so that Congress / or elected representatives would be forced to endless debates without accomplishing any new laws. President Clinton’s abandonment of the people to pursue money interests from Liberal 1 percent donors contributed to the Corporatization of American government and the further eroding of our democracy. That polarization on behalf of Corporate-Congressional Complex has stalled democracy and taken it off the table.
Trump – a poor role model of a President
These examples from the Liberals, Moderates and Conservatives are more evident in light of Trump’s support of misogyny, hate groups, big money, isolationism – it brings out previous examples of oppositional behaviors of Congress as an example to others of acceptable behaviors both by Republicans, Democrats and by Trump – a poor role model of a President. GOP and Democrats are now examples of an entrenched conflict that assists in fanning a flame throughout the internet and this has been supported by Russian hacking of late.
But would we be doing this in a public format?
On the Internet, especially platforms such as Facebook its easy to swear, to call someone you don’t like an “asshole” and have others join us in profanity and negative remarks about the other. But would we be doing this in a public format?
My code for the most part on Facebook
Some would and it’s a spill over of private, semi-private and public comments on Facebook. When civility existed much more before the advent of the Internet and social media there seemed to be more cooperation between people who disagreed.
My code for the most part on Facebook:
Do not engage in swearing and profanity in criticism of Trump or others in their beliefs if possible.
Offer even constructive criticisms of comments if possible
Ignore posts when I feel too angry to respond with civility.
Avoid arguing with Trump supporters about Trump or his policies if possible.
Keep rants to a minimum.
Make a call to my representative about an issue or make a donation even if it’s a small one.
It may take many years to restore our government to a democracy and I commit to this.
When I look back to my childhood things seemed idyllic and I often long for those simpler times. The operative word regarding the simplicity of childhood is seemed. Childhood seems simpler for two reasons – our minds have not developed enough to grasp complex ideas, notions and systems; and two as the population increases with technological advances, climate change not-withstanding the world has become mindbogglingly complex.
a desire for “the good old days”
In my family I have noticed in my sibling that the loss of our father marked a shift in her to embrace the conservative values of my father and the nostalgia of my mother’s romanticisms. She may have thought she had fully processed her grief, but her reversion to a desire for “the good old days” became evident in her insular attitudes and an increased right-wing conservative political stance as well as a refusal to see that the world has changed around her.
These models of individualism while admirable create winners and losers
I suspect that those that embrace the desire for simpler times (of the past) are intellectually and/or emotionally stuck at a variety of childhood ages. They often long for parent-figures that will lead them to the Promised Land . This longing is often expressed in ideologies that emphasize past philosophies of mythological successes such as rugged individualism, rags to riches stories and the like – mirrored in “The American Dream”.
President is a father figure that can solve all our problems
These models of individualism while admirable create winners and losers that in our current world fall apart. Winners either want to assist “losers” or they wish to punish losers for the most part. This is a longer discussion based on the failings of the patriarchy and its new god of consumer capitalism.
Simple answers are not enough for a prosperous people
The childhood longing for simplicity in a complex world leads individuals with antiquated beliefs to vote for Presidents that offer simple solutions to complex problems. Extreme examples of leaders with a simple answers philosophies lead may lead to fascist states. Part of the idea of a President is a father figure that can solve all our problems and make the world safe whether it be simple or complex especially in a failing patriarchal system . (Even a woman president plays by patriarchal rules so that it’s impossible for any of us to escape patriarchal thinking.)
ensure the survival of the human species in the face of climate change
I used to think after President Clinton and President Obama were elected that I could “relax” and that things were taken care of. In hindsight neither of these Presidents did not institute enough nor the right kind of reforms to represent the majority of people economically, to adequately address the role of the military, or aggressively pursue the problems of climate change – though Obama did make some initial strides here.
Simple answers are not enough for a prosperous people. A president alone is not enough. Our representatives are not enough. As a citizen (and not a consumer) it is my responsibility to take an active role beyond merely voting for representatives and a president.
Major issues that need to be addressed and worked towards solutions:
To ensure the survival of the human species in the face of climate change
Superlative secondary education
Corporate / Big Money out of politics
Addressing the future of work especially with regard to automation and robotics
These are complex and inter-related issues that can be solved when communities work together.
The Greeks looked to the Elysium Fields of the west as the promised land of paradise. The west as myth woven with The American Dream was never equally accessible by former slaves. Even for those that felt they have achieved or are on their way of the American Dream they must belong to an educated upper class and have extraordinary luck. Also the Dream is based on the acquisition of “more” money of which there will never be enough.
The patriarch system is a hierarchical structure with the Alpha male on top. It is based on power-over dynamics. There will always be someone over you and someone under you whether you are the most powerful person in the world or someone without any seeming power. The dangers in this kind of system is a focus on its internal criteria to the exclusion of those “objects: that ensure survival – the “object” that is a sacred being and the context of our home – Earth. Even though the patriarchy could be shaped to include earth and her bounty in a capitalistic economy the internal dynamic of winners and losers belies community systems
Or Some Flaws of Capitalism in its Current Incarnation
These ideas are not a new idea or proposition set forward below:
Sixty years ago my family bought a GE toaster that I have and I use regularly. It makes good toast. I have had other toasters and a few toaster ovens that have broken and were eventually too expensive to repair.
a rubric of infinite resources, income and growth in a finite world
Capitalism after WWII was steeped in growth, craftsmanship and materialism. It was a time a massive rebuilding, re-population and expansion. Though mass production reigned, craftsmanship and materialism were the building blocks of capitalism. Labor unions, industry and government were partners in reconstruction after the war and there was a resplendent growth of the middle class and income.
Capitalism in its continual reinvention of itself relies on some major flaws. One of the most obvious flaws are the finite limits of growth. It operates under a rubric of infinite resources, income and growth in a finite world.
The vestiges of citizenship were degraded into “the consumer”
In the 1980s capitalism threw off the last vestiges of materialism in favor of mass consumerism through planned obsolescence. The shift from materialism to accelerated consumer based capitalism accentuated the flaws of the system and produced lemmings running to the sea. Capitalism became the religion of the land and democracy grew more entrenched as a slave to consumer-capitalism.
Corporations have become the new citizens who have delegated individuals as the consumers of goods and services.
The vestiges of citizenship were degraded into “the consumer” as political action committees (PACs) usurped individual citizens’ participation in government and re-election of so-called “representatives”. Congresspersons and Senators have become the servants of corporations in order to streamline government for accelerated capitalism. As citizens have become superfluous they have in-turn been plugged into being consumers of products and services of demagogue type of capitalism.
Corporations have become the new citizens who have delegated individuals as the consumers of goods and services. Products have been redefined into smaller parts designed to wear out swiftly and /or be replaced by newer “improved” models. Services are also degraded by dividing services into smaller portions, employing less qualified people and by outsourcing – language barrier problems (outsourcing is double-speak for layoffs).
The finite world is ignored for immediate quarterly profits
Another PAC strategy for corporate agendas is making “representatives” into divisive enemies so that either nothing is accomplished for individuals. One PAC strategy are “a no-holds barred” attacks against the enemy such as Republicans versus Democrats; Pro-Life versus Pro-Choice, etc. Democracy has been lost in the process and applies more to corporations than individuals. Giant powerful PACs are increasingly controlled by the top tenth of the one percent wealthiest individuals who ascribe to making more money and a consolidation of power.
The finite world is ignored for immediate quarterly profits. The focus of corporate/business and financial leadership is profitability in the next three months that can be extrapolated into a yearly goal. Looking into a future of the limits of growth based on finite resources is not built into consumer-capitalism. As a result the current reiteration of capitalism is systemically handicapped to deny finite resources through faulty cognitive re-framing. Some of this is the momentum of the capitalistic system fueled by greed and a lust for power and some must have a conscious design. At the base of this consolidation of power is an addiction of greed fueled by fear.
(Conservative/GOP) group views consumers below a certain income level and all liberals as potential servants, serfs and those needing manipulation
While consumer-capitalism within a broken patriarchal system has its own momentum that may carry many leaders of this movement along in a short-term gain (that looks long-term in the context in which they flourish) there is another conscious force at work. Some of the top tenth of the one percent of wealth in the world fights for increasing consolidation of power and wealth (call them A) while others fight for a more equitable distribution of wealth (call them Z).
A’s use their money, power and influence to create obstacles in government to further or block the agenda of the other side. When Newt Gingrich came into power he begun to characterize the opposition – the Democrats as “enemies” of the people. Before that time Democrats and Republicans may have vehemently disagreed with one another and their goal was to govern so they compromised to move their agenda forward. The current climate between Liberals and Conservatives is combat. There seems to be less compromise. Conservatives work at blocking Liberals at every turn. The result is no new legislation is adopted. Even in the current Republican block to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act has only left the ACA in shambles and disrepair. Its as if the GOP’s secret wish was (is) to replace the ACA with nothing. The A group is moving towards satisfaction with the ACA being replaced by nothing because they wish to see a world that existed before the implementation of the Income Tax – 1912. When US Congress is deadlocked and new legislation is passed the A Group is generally satisfied. The only times that the A group may be dissatisfied is when legislation that favors their position is not voted into law.
Since 1776 to 2015 the US has been involved in wars 93% of the time
The A Group views consumers below a certain income level and all liberals as potential servants, serfs and those needing manipulation to motivate them towards they’re agenda.
The A Group does not want:
Advancements in public education – (or consumers to think for themselves for then they may become citizens)
Women to have equal rights, equal pay, the right to have control over their bodies (pro-choice), equal protection under the law
Consumers to live in a world without fear
To acknowledge that Climate Change caused by and /or contributed to by humans is real.
Considers the ACA a hand-out and doesn’t want government to support public health for all
All government programs devoted to public welfare as entitlements to be (Social Security, Medicare etc.)
To have peace in the world unless monitored by a strong US military presence in order to have a foothold on remaining limited resources
The Koch brothers (see end note) could be considered the most identifiable humans belonging to the A Group while Libertarians, Conservatives and some Republicans are also A Group members. A notable Z-Group member is George Soros and his organization (see end notes).
FDR President Roosevelt created social nets to assist the US to move out of the Great Depression, but the final impetus that extricated the US from the depression and accelerated growth was the entrée into and winning WWII. Prior to the mid to late 1980s the premise of wars were to stop the spread of Communism as represented by the now former Soviet Union and China while expand US interests. Now wars seem to be oriented towards oil resources.
Earth’s nutrients are the raw materials for corporate products. Some of Earth’s nutrients are renewable – as in agricultural fruits and vegetables, farm animals etc. Some farming techniques although provide greater crop yield may deplete the soil in such a way to make it non-sustainable over the longer term. Other of earth’s resources such as elements – metals and oil are non-renewable and finite.
Capitalism especially in its latest consumeristic reshaping does not consider the resources from the Earth in its cost effect analysis in part to the patriarchal mind-set and in-part to shortsightedness – quarterly profits.
The consumeristic-capitalism has been marked by US Political struggles of almost a constant state of war. Since 1776 to 2015 the US has been involved in wars 93% of the time (see end note). The only period the US was not involved in a war was 1935 to 1940 during an isolationist period during the Great Depression.
The current Trump administration is a characterization of all that elitists members of the GOP and conservatives represent as well as a longing for the good old days before the income tax and in support of isolationist ideals. It represents patriarchal self-interest that contributes to increasing isolationism, mergers, and maximizing profits for the wealthy elite, disregarding any community-based profits based on sustainability, protecting natural resources – environmental protections while marginalizing, discounting and enslaving those that have less by:
keeping their wages fixed and/or lowered
keeping them out of labor unions and making “labor unions” a dirty word
dividing them into factions that war against each other
gutting public education and dumbing down citizen’s ability to reason
providing entertainment that discourages reasoning
providing entertainment that displays the hopeless world that they live and will live in the future (only much worse) and that one common person can be the hero or savior
promotes the “myth of the American Dream”
encourages disempowered citizens to fear so that a limited number of avenues are open to them:
The American Dream
Blaming or scapegoating a group of people based on race or ideology
Providing simple solutions to complex problems often based on “the American Dream mythology”