Anger serves a purpose as a defense against immediate threats in present time. The emotion is often produced in conjunction with fear. Fear is experienced and is often followed directly by an acting-out anger response. Boys and men are more accustomed to this way of behaving because it is condoned and often encouraged by the fabric of society – namely patriarchal norms.
The way many children were raised in the 1950s and early sixties by fathers’ who had returned from WWII with undiagnosed PTSD was through a reign of terror often accompanied by addictive problems to alcohol, drugs and anger/rage. The children of those parents were subjected to constant anger and as adults have often adopted maladaptive patterns of chronic anger.
When terror is unleashed on a woman or on children repeatedly over long periods of time – fear, anger and depression may be the result. In addition to an emotional stance in the world many of these women and children many somaticize some or all of these emotions. The emotions become tensions in the musculature and skeletal structure of the body and are sequestered from the conscious mind.
The nature of most humans is to avoid discomfort whether it manifests as physical, emotional, mental and/or spiritual pain. In so-called developing and developed nations an immediate response to pain is to take a pill for it. “Make it go away.” “Fix me.” “Stop this now!” “I can’t stand this any longer” are some of the responses to physical and emotional pain or discomfort. Pill popping, alcohol consumption, marijuana smoking, crack/cocaine use, and any kind of addictive process is an effort to escape the effects of immediate pain. I am not advocating the non-use of responsible herbal or pharmacological methods of reducing or managing extremes of pain I am only pointing out a pattern to behavior regarding pain.
Some cultures especially indigenous peoples treat pain in a different manner than in the “Western Post-Modern” cultures. Explorations into pain can sometimes produce a release of it that can be freeing as well as act as a release from immediate pain.
I followed the role-model of my father’s rageful behavior while being terrorized by it simultaneously. I vented rage at my sisters’ cats by chasing them under the couch and hissing at them; I felt so angry. It was the only safe place I could vent the rage I felt. For many years I clenched my jaw because “I felt determined” as other people were to reach their goals. I incorrectly assumed that because other people had their mouths closed that they were clenching their jaws too, and were also determined. It wasn’t until the mid 1980s that I realized that these were incorrect assumptions and that I felt extremely angry all the time.
Like any addict the rage would go underground until it erupted into a tantrum usually against a significant love relationship with whoever I was with at the time. I began to work with these feelings and worked to let them go as they arose. As I worked traumas from my childhood were revealed to me. I worked through these too as best I could until I reached a plateau.
Recently I have come to see that triggered anger/rage that arises both from awareness of injustices and from chronic anger has served to keep me isolated from others. As a child I was extremely isolated. And now I have been isolated (and stuck) in part by choice. However I have started to work with the chronic anger anchored in my body in order to uncover and release the profound grief of past traumas.
I have been preparing for this voyage into the release where I have kept myself separate from others and as a result have been stuck in a place of miserable safety.
Part of the preparation for this deep grief release work was a letting go of a reflexive need to comment on every post where my friends were venting their anger and frustrations on our so-called “president”. I didn’t want to participate in my addictive anger /rage venting that felt fruitless to make any real changes. The eliciting of the anger/frustration/rage and grief due to the actions of the president felt like I was allowing myself to be:
Pulled down to his level of nastiness
Giving him attention on an emotional level that feels like time not well spent (even though he is not witness to my outrage).
Feeding my addictive behaviors including a need to be right at the expense of making others wrong
Isolating myself from those that – mildly disagree with me to the extreme of people who vehemently disagree and maybe even hate me.
Isolating myself from feelings that bridge a gap between peoples
Stuck in a familiar cycle of known misery.
Choosing not to participate in “president” bashing is one way to look for more effect means of protest and there are many ways in the nuts and bolts world of emails to representatives, supporting candidate campaigns and so on… I try to funnel my outrage into useful means of action, and I am human I sometimes succumb to bashing and raging.
On Saturday evening November 16, 2019 while working on releasing anger and grief something happened. I welcomed the memory of a physically healthy emotionally fractured seven-year-old me back into my body where I could protect him and he could help me heal metaphorically. There was much tenderness love and connectedness in the healing metaphor. I felt my body open spontaneously and released compassion towards a friend on social media and then go beyond towards others in pain and suffering. Love was breathed in and out.
I didn’t know whether my friend received the compassion but to release it felt good to me and hopefully good for him. And hope it was good for all the others it may have reached. The connection was strong and solid. The act of connecting on many levels was wondrous and highly recommended.
In the 1994 one of my clients – a multi-millionaire invited me to a Success Group. I had a part-time business, though technically what I do is not a business but a service.
My services were starting to become attractive to people; I was becoming known. starting to become known. But at the time I was marking my success as the amount of money I was making. It wasn’t that much in the beginning.
I didn’t feel successful, so what was I doing in a success group?
The other people in the group seemed more successful than me so I continued to wonder why I was there. It wasn’t until my client relayed to me that he observed me as a “man with a purpose” that I realized success wasn’t about the money.
The purpose came on February 6, 1990 when I was called to ask a question: “God, what am I supposed to do with my life?”I did not know why I asked the question. In retrospect I can see that I was stable enough on the path of my inner work so I was ready to take a next step. I thought that I might have a dream about my purpose.
There had been no dream upon awakening. I felt groggy and not ready to leave my bed.
A being entered through my groin and curled up into a ball in my stomach. Then a full name came to me. It was the name of a woman whom I had met about a month earlier that I had instantly disliked. She was a prominent woman in the community so I thought she would have an unlisted and/or unpublished telephone number.
I went to the phone book thinking I would be let off the hook and not be able to call her. But I found her phone number. I dialed the number. She answered and I identified myself.
“I know what I’m about to say sounds crazy, but…”
I relayed the experience that had just happened.
She said: “I’ve been curled up in the fetal position and I have been thinking about killing myself.”
At that point I made her promise that she would not harm herself in any way until we could meet two days later and work on something life affirming – or something like that.
We met, she told me what had happened to her over the holidays. I had gathered the names of therapists and groups in town from my friends at work (the crisis resident treatment house) as resources for her. I spent four hours at her home listening and responding.
At the end of my stay I handed her the resource list and she said after declining the resources: “The universe put you out there to hear my call. That’s what I needed to start going again.”
We became friends and colleagues.
I began a healing practice.
Making money is a side effect of what I do and not the main goal of the service. I would venture to write: I live modestly, rent my home and having been raised as a Connecticut Yankee I have learned to live frugally.
I was learning to unplug from patriarchal practices and capitalism into a new kind of living and work. It was (is) work that sustains me and works in part through the principles of quantum entanglement. The problems are challenging and the work for me is as easy as breathing. I feel so blessed to be able to blend heart knowing with body knowing and with mind knowing as a single force for healing.
Success is not about money, though it’s good to receive money for the services I provide. Success has come through my purpose of assisting people to heal and to relieve suffering. Being aligned with this practice of healing completes me and reveals to me a future without money — in a truly new world of cooperation where fear and greed have been overcome. This is success.
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
I have found that turning off lights in the day time when temperatures soar over 100 degrees outside makes a room seem cooler. There is still some light that leaks in from outside so it’s not completely dark.
While there is the mundane of light bulbs radiating heat it’s not the psychological effect that I write to herein.
There’s something about the dark that’s ineffable. It’s mysterious because we can’t see so well into it. The dark of the night can be comforting when we embrace the mysteries with our hearts.
When I read The Night Country by Loren Eiseley (see end notes) I fell into his contemplative prose and was enveloped by the mysteries of his night journey. Night and darkness were never the same again.
Darkness became mystery of infinite worlds… Perhaps this is the psychology of a darkened room in the daytime and at night as well…
Recently I began writing about male rage and violence in smaller and the largest of contexts. That piece has yet to be finished. I began reading the literature about masculinity in our culture – in the very narrow channel of the white male of which I am one of them. Masculinity amongst some males has been an issue.
unwitting victims and /or perpetrators of the parameters of their maleness as prescribed by beliefs…
None of us can escape the social order – the culture of men in which we were raised. It shapes us without our permission or awareness unless we attend to it and examine it on mental, emotional, physical and spiritual levels. Some individuals due to their circumstances are unwitting victims and /or perpetrators of the parameters of their maleness as prescribed by beliefs, environment and the strictures of the larger culture. Other men have an inner compass or identity that while not separate from culture has an eternal or spiritual masculine core that balances elements of femininity with it.
Once mystery is explained and the spirit is defined the magic and mystery are gone.
I survived an extended family of secretive severe abuse and an immediate family of intimidation and terrorism to emerge as an invisible male gripped by rage for a time. I was able to work through the rage and anger. I was able to see that I was a survivor of having been a victim and a perpetrator on some levels to emerge with a solid core of inner masculinity that I chose within myself to become visible.
It is difficult to describe my inner core of masculinity because it is something very personal. It is a flexible energy of strength that includes feminine energy when needed. It is adaptable and corresponds to a world larger than the patriarchy. It is spiritual and is immerse I mystery. Once mystery is explained and the spirit is defined the magic and mystery are gone.
Without inner work of a spiritual nature men are slaves to their belief systems unable to be flexible allowing the outer world of work, marriage, formal education and the larger community to dictate their identity as men. Even the literature describing the Type A male personality as part of a hegemonic masculinity which classifies males into three groups: Type A – dominant males over other males, women and ethnic minorities, people of color and LGBTQ persons, Type B – a more submissive male and a third group of “feminine” males. Hegemonic masculinity stems from early 20th century forms of male dominance over women, misogyny and homophobia that can easily become toxic. This type of masculinity is based sole on a hierarchy social system within the collapsing patriarchy and could be antithetical to a spiritual core sense of what it means to feel male energy.
When men begin to recognize the core of their esoteric masculinity it may be easier to identify the toxic elements of social and cultural masculinity and grow through them without falling prey to become slaves to the outer flux of who and what defines men.
What did we all do when we didn’t see the negative, downside of thinking and communicating on Mercury Retrograde? I got a second-hand report that Mercury Retrograde starts affecting everyone 3 days before it actually goes retrograde. There is a phenomenon in astrology and astronomy where a planet appears to stand still in relation to Earth. This is called stationing. That three-day period has nothing to do with Mercury stationing. It has more to do with fueling the Chicken-Little hysteria and “The Blame Mercury Retrograde Game”. You too can play so you can go wild and crazy and up your stress levels. Sounds like fun, right? NOT! The three-day period before Mercury retrograde is usually less than half a day when stationing is in play.
Stationing Explained —– During the summer solstice the amount of daylight around June 21st only changes by seconds leading up to 6/21 and the same in the days following. It could be up to 20 days of only changes in seconds in the amount of daylight. This is an example of stationing in the Northern Hemisphere near or above the Tropic of Cancer in the continental US and other countries that fall near the Tropic of Cancer. Move further from Earth and stationing becomes longer and seconds moves to minutes and degrees.
Pluto (non-planet, though still considered a planet in astrology) takes a longer time to station than Mercury. Mercury going retrograde on July 7th took 10 hours 7 minutes of stationing before retrograding at 4:15 pm PDT. Pluto stations (appears to stand still beginning on 9/28/19 goes direct – out of retrograde on 10/2 and continues to station until 10/8/19 for eleven days of stationing.
Retrograde Mercury has gotten more bad press than any other retrograding planets. Mercury goes retrograde 3 times a year for 3 weeks.
Pluto and Mercury in retrograde —– Pluto an outer planet is the transformational planet. Pluto destroys in order to create something new from the ashes. When it transits a planet, a house – such as the ascendant read: personality presented to the world; or mid-heaven read: meaning of life and / or career – work, it wreaks havoc. But, since no one pays much attention this challenge is squandered by most. Pluto has been in retrograde since April 24 and will go direct on October 2, it will affect the greater population and world more intensely and those born in January, November, August and April in the most challenging ways on these dates: 10th through the 16th approximately. Pluto will have been retrograding 5 months, 1 week and 2 days. But, oh yeah, blame all of Pluto retrograding on Mercury. Just kidding.
Part of Being a Change Agent —– People who know a little folklore about Mercury Retrograde and not much about astrology or other retrograding planets load more importance on Mercury Retrograde rather than take responsibility for their feelings, behaviors and decisively act. Other Western Astrologers get into the fear game too, in my opinion, and many don’t as well. Many Western Astrologers talk about the shadow period after a planet retrogrades and goes direct it covers the degrees it went over while retrograding and this has significance. This is astrologers being influenced by predatory capitalism and sloppy thinking after all a retrograde “motion” is an optical illusion. The only “shadow” experience doesn’t have to do with a shadow at all. When a planet retrogrades, our experiences are one of increased intensity due to the planet’s proximity to Earth. Retrograde is indicative of two factors astronomically: 1. It “appears” to go backwards across the zodiac in relationship to our point of view on Earth (Animation Gif of Retrograding Mars); and 2. The retrograding planet is as close to Earth as it will be in the course of its orbit around our star, the Sun.
Retrogrades are About Intensity —–Vedic or Jyotish Astrologers interpret retrograde motion as an increase of intensity of the attributes of the retrograde planet due to its proximity to Earth (as close as it will be in its orbit). Western Astrologers believe that the energies of the planet are turned inward making life difficult and, in my opinion, setting up a victim mind-set. When it goes direct its orbit is farther away from earth, so less intense.
Taking Command during Mercury Retrogrades —– Once a belief has been created, perceptual filters formed where like-others and/or community shares a belief then free-floating fears and anxieties become attached to the belief and it is re-enforced. This can be said of any belief.
One example of a Change-Agent is a willingness to examine beliefs especially ones based on fears and anxieties even if they are mild.
Possible steps to overcoming beliefs that block our path towards personal truth:
Observing oneself dispassionately with regard to gathering information. If judgments arise suspend them, differ them and/or soften them. Don’t go into fix-it mode. Observing is the first step. You are gathering information about yourself. (see also Autogenic Training);
Once you have enough data – say for example 9 weeks of periodic observations you made during 3 weeks before, during and after a Mercury Retrograde period. During the next Mercury retrograde period (approximately every 4 months) put in an experiment with actions that counter your normal (9 weeks – 3weeks before, during and after) Mercury Retrograde behaviors with the rubric that the attributes of Mercury are more intense. (the next Mercury Retrograde period is October 31, 2019 and ends on November 20, 2019).
The object of the experiment isn’t necessarily to make your fears associated with Mercury Retrograde “go away”. It is to “test” that if a different way of thinking or acting has any overall effect on your state during Mercury Retrograde. One way of implementing this test could be the following: Anxiety goes up or a fear appears and an immediate thought is Mercury Retrograde. When you catch yourself thinking it’s because of Mercury Retrograde ask yourself – “Is the intensity of the situation right now influencing my feelings, thoughts and actions in any way?” If yes then ask yourself – “What are the challenges I am being presented with right now.” Choose one challenge and with your mind’s eye confront the challenge and overcome it, or soften the challenge with you mind so it doesn’t appear so daunting.
This has been an experiment and is by no-means complete.
A final note: “I get sensitive to Mercury Retrograde” —– Inherent in this quote is that sensitivity is not desirable especially during Mercury Retrograde. More likely Person A is feels more sensitive due to the fear’s others have and is sensitive to those fears. Sensitivity has been given a bad rap in our culture.
Once one identifies that sensitivity isn’t a bad thing where one is made to feel a victim for being “too sensitive”. My mother used to project her feelings of upset onto me and I would burst into tears. She would admonish me for being too sensitive and tell me to “act like a man” and be angry with me. Really, I was expressing/acting-out her suppressed feelings of frustration and grief without realizing it. Practice is needed in identifying the emotions of others and building a strong sense of self in dealing with others emotions and my emotion response. Sensitivity is actually a strength when we’re (the sensitive empaths) are not being overcome by others emotions.
This requires skill building and a new mindset to see that sensitivity is a good thing.
In the 1990s a client living in a part of Mill Valley known as Tam Junction told me this story and asked me what it meant:
They were awakened in the wee hours of the morning by a thundering sound and all the dogs in the neighborhood barking fiercely. They said it sounded like tanks grinding up the street. The whole house was shaking and rattling. They went outside to see what was happening.
“An object – flat on the bottom about the size of three football fields glided above the house and ‘went through trees’ as if they didn’t exist.”
“Why didn’t anyone else wake up?” (clearly they were more sensitive than the others)
“Well what do you suppose it means?”
I “looked”. In their auric field I saw that the object was a giant space craft whose dimensional cloaking device was intermittently malfunctioning. The beings I saw in the space craft were three humans and two aliens. The craft was not totally in our dimension and so appeared to “pass-through” trees. It’s faster than light drive was partially damaged. It flew around Mt Tam over the Pacific Ocean several miles turned and using the powers of the crystalline mountain Mount Tamalpais opened a portal.
It jumped through the portal which bent light and time over Mill Valley, and dumped waste material over Belvedere and Tiburon before completely disappearing.
Coincidentally the county weekly newspaper The Pacific Sun reported that the incidence of breast cancer was higher than any place in the nation in the Belvedere and Tiburon areas about a year later.
In other words don’t play the Mercury retrograde blame game
[This a reprint of an article from 2015 with current events added]
Mercury is retrograde from July 7th through July 31st 2019
As an astrological practitioner I used to think that astrology was a correlative system developed by the ancients to match astronomical phenomena to current Mythos. According to an article by a physicist, astrology is the study of the relationships of electromagnetic fields around planets, stars, solar systems and galaxies. It feels that both are true. However since astrology is a tool, I don’t want to be thought of as just an Astrologer. I work as a Shaman with the tool of astrology in my bag.
Astrology is a tool to help us take charge and be a change-agent especially during the intensity of retrograding planets. Now’s the time, so take charge!
An astrology teacher once advised me not to go backpacking into Desolation Wilderness in the High Sierra of Northern California because of a Saturn transit which indicated a possible fall and broken bones. I told her: “I’ll be careful.” I didn’t fall nor did I break any bones.
I know people that use astrology to justify their fears and stop them selves from doing this or that because of what planet is this way or that way. I call this Victim-Astrology, the use of astrology as a way to curb behaviors as if there were a giant code in the sky that could tell us the right or wrong way to do something. This could be an example of becoming a tool of astrology rather than using astrology as a tool.
Retrogrades and Mercury Retrograde
The term retrograde is applied to all planetary bodies in our solar system except Earth, the Moon and the Sun. Retrograde is the apparent motion of a planet that appears to go backwards against the zodiac from the point of view of being on planet Earth. A retrograding planet is an optical illusion. The planet is not going backwards in the sky (see the link at the end of this report for a visual demonstration and a second link for more information on retrograde motion). During a retrograde motion the planet is as close to the Earth as it will get during its orbit.
Western Astrologers claim that during Mercury retrograding communications become more difficult as if they weren’t already difficult enough. In addition to that thinking, contracts, machinery breakdowns (especially computers and automobiles), and travel snafus are more common during this time. Often times clients will call me to ask if Mercury is in retrograde because communications are off in their lives and more often than not the retrograde is not happening.
The complexity of our culture, the speed in which technology and change occur and the institutions that we once relied on for stability have been for many years have been destabilizing. Climate-change, growth of the power of Corporations, failures of governments are examples of the destabilizing factors. Looking to a phenomena beyond our control is a good way to – at the very least – explain what is happening and at worst is a way to abdicate our sense of responsibility and put the blame on Mercury retrograde.
Are we making a self-fulfilling prophecy when we blame Mercury Retrograde for our problems? Probably. If so this is an error in judgment when we blame Mercury retrograde for problems that could happen at any time. What about all the events that go right during the Mercury retrograde period? When you look for problems through the filter of Mercury retrograding are you not more likely to find them? Western Astrologers make the problems of Mercury Retrograde worse by playing on our fears. They write about adversity and those wishing to know more feed into these fears and make matter worse. Western Astrology assumes that the energies of a planet in retrograde make the energies go inward. This is deductive logic at work. Communications are difficult as I look for all the examples that make my case. But logic is does not always reveal truth, for example – if all cops wear blue than if I am wear blue I must be a cop. When we fall victim to astrology, mainly Mercury Retrograde we may unwittingly fall into victim-think. Is it not better to rise to a challenge by meeting it when we feel able to do so, than running away because we are afraid?
Since Mercury is the closest planet to Earth and it is closer still during a retrograde period (usually 3 weeks 3 times per year) it follows that the electromagnetic influences may be more intense than when Mercury appears in direct motion (going forward against the background planets and stars). There seem to be three choices that could be made with regard to Mercury retrograding.
Engage in the intensity
Remain neutral, observing oneself and acting from a neutral base
Retreat, and meditate
I have come to see this as an empowering choice for clients and myself instead of a way to limit our actions due to a certain point of view. And in fact Vedic or Jyotish Astrology interprets retrogrades in the much the same way.
Other Planets Retrograding or going Retrograde / Direct in 2019
Mercury retrogrades on October 31 at 8:41am PDT at 27 degrees 58 seconds Scorpio
Mercury goes direct on November 20 at 11:12 am PST at 11 degrees 38 minutes Scorpio
Both learning and struggle as discussed in the previous two parts belong to the mundane world in as much as everyone learns and struggles. Most mundane learning and struggling is fruitless because the state of humans are more interested in comfort than truth, although any healthy ego might say “I want both.”
Learning and struggling when applied with the aim of truth for expanded consciousness, for example involve years of hard work.
Sacrifice and Help
The second two of the four sources belong to the principles of mystery and the divine. Mystery is unfathomable and cannot be explained. Attempts to explain mystery destroys it. In our current epoch the divine is thought of in a parental manner where God bestows grace and divinity upon us as children. The notion of receiving the grace of the divine as children means that we feel we owe no payment in return. Out of this attitude notions of getting something for nothing out of entitlement arises. Nothing need be done to sacrifice or ask for help from the divine without payment. The divine aspects of sacrifice and help will become more evident in this piece and in part four.
Part of the mindset of much modern spiritual nomenclature rejects the word and idea of sacrifice as too harsh and “old world”. It would rather replace the word with “surrender” which implies a process of gracefulness, softness so that it eschews the edges of sacrifice and thereby misses the point.
Sacrifice in most ways is the opposite of struggle. In struggle separation occurs first followed by choice. In other words: I am confronted by something I don’t like doing, I do it and the friction of choosing to do it creates energy. Sacrifice is an act of will or choice from which separation comes and one relinquishes control in the moment regardless of consequences. Sacrifice is a payment without a transaction. A transaction is a payment for goods or services. A sacrifice is payment without expectation for goods, services or anything. A sacrifice once completed is not talked, written or broadcast in any way.
A Partial Example of Sacrifice
The following would have been a sacrifice were it not foolishly reported here:
I was fairly new to California and systems of parking. I lived in an apartment building, that did not have off street parking. I would park as close to the car in-front of me, lock and walk away.
A man started yelling at me from across the street:
“You’re parking wrong.” I told him I was not.
“You’re supposed to park in-between the lines.”
“What lines?” He pointed vigorously at the street:
“Other cars aren’t that way,” I pointed out starting to get more entitled.
“Can you even see the lines?” his face was turning red.
I looked at the lines and saw that he was right and I said:
“You’re right. I’ll move my car.” I moved my car to between the lines.
After that he wanted to be my best friend – he couldn’t stop talking, invited me to Golds’ Gym (underneath the apartment building). I thanked him and politely said no and went inside never to see him again.
In the moment I chose to move my car and park it correctly between the lines on the street I sacrificed my position. I was at peace with myself, contained and present. All the force had gone out of the argument. He didn’t know what to do with the energy so he spent it talking and offering me a gift.
Sacrifices when claimed by ego are no longer sacrifices. In my example my ego was saying aren’t I just great for sacrificing my righteousness and allowing myself to look weak in front of this guy. I abdicated the sacrifice by broadcasting it and implicitly pointing to my “greatness”.
Sacrifice and Decision
When sacrifice is carried out by choice or decision without expectation of result the most common result is freedom. With enough practice with all the four sources [learning, struggle, sacrifice and help] within the context of autogenic training the freedom experienced after most sacrifices does not have to be frittered away; it can be used for more inner work.
Most sacrifice comes as a result of choice or decision. Sacrifices by choice occur in the moment at a precise time when it feels right, when the timing is right. A sacrifice by decision comes before we are confronted with an argument. This is an act of will. The suspension of ego by decision allows will to flow through us and this is experienced as a force or a divine force.
Some sacrifice is not voluntary. This usually happens after the death of a loved one. One can rebel against the death through denial, suppression of feelings reproach and so one that keeps us stuck in the moments before or at the moment of death. If we renunciate our feelings we sacrifice the grief and sadness and begin to move on. And without expecting it we are able to maintain connection with the one that has passed as an unexpected result.
Guidelines for sacrifice:
A desire for reward destroys sacrifice.
Bargaining does not enter into sacrifice.
Do or do not: sacrifice is all or should not be done because it is not a true sacrifice.
Sacrifice must be something you consider precious.
Search yourself for attachments and ask if you can sacrifice them.
Sacrifice can be made for a good reason, but never for a result.
Sacrifice is never about struggle, it is decision
Keep your sacrifices to yourself.
*Transformation by J.G Bennett p. 39-45, published by The Claymont Society for Continuous Education copyright 1978.
Inevitable Reductionistic Thinking Trying to explain consciousness from a neurobiological and / or a quantum physics frame is one of reductionistic directionality. Each discipline looks to the brain as the origin of consciousness. A human perspective quite naturally seeks to reduce in order to explain and this is natural from the ego perspective of control. Ego is the center of consciousness just as it was once thought that Earth was the center of the solar system – all planets and the sun revolved around Earth.
Consciousness is everywhere and permeates everything and the spaces between everything [see end note 1]. And therein lies the rub. Consciousness is space-time. It’s impossible to grasp from an ego or ordinary level of consciousness. This concept of consciousness is bigger than any concept. Even if consciousness was only a finite substance it would be impossible to jam it into something as small as a human brain.
Human Life as a Transceiver The human brain is a transceiver of consciousness in the current form of recycled thinking and memories that make a core attachment to a self in one lifetime. Short-term memory and habits built from long-term memory create attachment built on illusion of time and ego/self and are thought to be “real”.
When people die and leave their bodies they become a part of a larger consciousness but often do not directly perceive the larger consciousness due to their attachment to their most recent incarnate self. They live and function within this higher consciousness state that exists outside of time and space and yet has a relationship to time and space through the process of reincarnation. It’s very difficult for us as humans to perceive a level of functioning without time or space. Corporeal existence is predicated on the boundaries of space-time in a finite reality at least with immediate perceptions.
Evidence of evolving consciousness in the finite world may be impossible to measure, but it may be known in the consciousness state after death. In space-time we eat food to survive and maintain our bodies through digesting food and making energy. Where is the consciousness that is aware of the energy-making process from the digestion of food? It doesn’t ordinarily exist. The analogy here is the same as the absorption of energy into the state of “life-after-death”.
Conscious suffering (without attachment) creates energy
With work energy may be stored for a continued creation of energy
The energy is light.
Upon death energy or light is absorbed into the consciousness
Almost 100 percent of suffering is unconscious and is wasted. Attachment to suffering whether noble or ignoble (positive or negative) is nearly inconsequential with regard to making energy. Some individuals through fear and/or anger use up the energy needed to “cross” to “the other side” and so remain here as ghosts. Much of the love – light – energy created can be cancelled out by negative emotions preventing passage, but if enough light-energy remains a passage may occur to “the other side” [see end note 2]. Releasing attachment to suffering doesn’t mean that the suffering will not cause pain, anguish and grief to name a few. Also, there is no automatic release of energy from a release of attachment that floats into higher consciousness. If attachment is released and the ego gets hold of the sensation then talk about it inevitably follows (a different sort of attachment) and the energy is wasted.
Humans, Memory, Consciousness and Attachment Attachment is the block to enlightenment and is needed for enlightenment.
Attachment to thoughts and feelings that compose the consciousness of the core self may be the definition of the human self in corporeal form. Memory plays a key role in assisting and reinforcing attachment to a core self and / or ego. Formation of memories and our attachment to them give our identity a place in space-time. Memory is the foundation of linear time as our existence. Without attachment and memory there would be no sense of self and no time, at least as we currently define it. Attachment may not exist without memory, and consciousness is also bound by memory in our corporeal state.
Incarnation from one life to another is often an interruption of memory of a previous life or lives and those memories that immediately preceded birth. During the “life after death” process it could be that the attachment to the previous life is released enough so that an individual consciousness can separate from the whole and be reborn. It could be that no identity or a sketchy identity exists so that when conception occurs life before is either forgotten or obliterated. Or it could be that there may be conception trauma: a formless consciousness is suddenly attached to a fertilized egg and the resulting trauma severs the connection to all that happened before and to the larger formless consciousness.
Forgetting could serve a purpose of creating a new self not entirely based on old attachments and allowing an opportunity for energy to be created for higher consciousness.
The separation from a possible oneness sensation in higher consciousness in order to return to it after death allows spaces for energy to be formed and stored to be “eaten” by higher consciousness.
Humans are currently attached to the idea that we are humans and therefore the importance in being a human. Higher Consciousness allows humans to be created repeatedly through reincarnation with a hope that an awareness will grow into a force of consciousness while in human form to feed the higher and perhaps achieve enlightenment.
The nature of being human is to be attached. This is neither bad nor good. When we begin to become aware of our attachment and work on releasing it in the moment, knowing it will come back to us when we think or know ourselves – our ego – when we think or say: “I”, “me” “mine”. When repeated actions to release attachment occur through our work a greater awareness becomes available and eventually states of, or a continuum of enlightenment may manifest.
As humans in the current vibrational cycle on the low side in the chaos pattern of transformation the common belief is that we are all separate. The world right now is straining and breaking the concept of separateness so clues of unity are emerging and becoming evident. The reactions vary between optimism of the unknown and pessimism of the unknown thus the schisms in early 21st century culture and increases in separateness. Pessimism, unexamined or repressed/rationalized grief and disillusionment bring many fearful peoples cling to the illusion of separateness an every person for themselves ideology. While that is true from a limited finite mindset, the ideas of quantum mechanics are emerging from the background. One tenet of the quantum world is that consciousness creates the world around us and that matter and energy are connected. Knowing that we are not separate many save us from the existential world threat – or the extinction of the human and many other species.
Examining memory related illnesses can reveal how consciousness, memory and time are connected. Dementia and Alzheimer’s are clear examples of how persons with this disease lose their sense of self and time through savage memory losses. Dementia appears to be less savage than Alzheimer’s because a sense of self is maintained over a longer period in a variety of age regressive memories or sub-personalities. Alzheimer’s seems more aggressive because it destroys the memory of self much more quickly than dementia.
I had an opportunity to have lunch with a family where an elder male was in the middle to late stages of Alzheimer’s. At the time it didn’t feel like an opportunity but a battle for survival: mine. His personality was confused and frantic partially because there was no place in his body while in a crowded restaurant to find home. He repeatedly attacked my body’s perimeter. I had to coax him back into his own body. When we finally left the restaurant, he returned to near his own body and was lightly tethered there like a horse outside a saloon in an old western tv show. The attack was persistent, wild, chaotic, confused and desperate but not personal. I was firm in protecting my space and not letting him in and insistent on him going back to his body with some healing to help him stay.
The opportunity came after the incident in as much as there is an electromagnetic field that supports our neural net outside the brain. It is social and identifies with the safety of friends and family. His neural net was looking for home. He could not find it in his own family because they were emotionally chaotic within themselves due to his disease in the midst the chaos of the general business of the restaurant. He found it (home) in my calm demeanor as a healer and shaman.
Some end notes
Consciousness is everywhere.
Our brains and the perceptual facilities our brains, egos, memory and space-time affords us are the synaptic hubs where consciousness is processed through a biological human self.
From a larger perspective we sample each life from a large and formless consciousness that is infinite and feeds the individual in a finite context. This limited context is life as we ordinarily know it. When we can release our attachments to suffering and allow the friction of approach-avoidance conflicts inherent in all suffering to be released energy can be created and stored. It can be stored for the honing of consciousness within our biological human life form to be carried with us into the afterlife.
When we have created enough energy throughout many incarnations we then have a choice whether to return to life on Earth or continue the adventure of consciousness in the largest of venues – in the infinite.
In reality there is no space between objects that isn’t already connected via electromagnetic energy or by some other force to something else. The “space” within our arms for example is the space in atoms which can be perceived as a particle or wave depending how one perceives it.
Humanoid Consciousness expresses itself repeatedly through many lives in an effort to release the attachment to suffering and work to create energy. If the energy created is stored then its release happens upon death into a greater consciousness. If a person had stored a vast amount of light from the next to last or previous lives but had squandered energy in the most recent life – upon death they might have access to the deposits of light made in previous lifetimes. If that is the case they not only are able to cross over but may be released from “having to return” in another incarnation. Those that return by choice are often referred to as bodhisattvas.