Since November of 2019 I have been engaged in a journey through the layers of grief and release.
Lately it’s been tough:
I realized that an old anger has returned – but maybe it’s been there all along and I hadn’t wanted to see it until now. It’s somatic anger, a clenched jaw. Okay not only anger resides there, fear too, tension, anxiety and oceans of sadness and grief. I can easily see the locus of it all – originating in an oppressive family system, wounding from childhood sexual abuse.
In my work as a healer I was assisted in temporarily shunting the anger aside which meant relaxing my jaw and releasing the tension. The fear also jetted away. I held the sadness behind a dam in a distant neutral land while I filled my body with light.
What remained was love. Such an abundance of sweet love. Impossible to describe I was able to fall back asleep sometime after six am.
A Dream Came:
The headlines read:
300 billion automatic weapons worldwide have been turned into the UN
and melted down into scrap
People from everywhere the Americas to Asia joyously turned in their automatic weapons to UN Stations throughout the world where they are now being melted down into scrap.
The above was in the headlines of all the papers, all over the internet and on television. All the people bringing in the guns were doing so spontaneously of their own volition. They reported they were no longer as afraid and didn’t need automatic weapons. They still had shotguns for hunting.
Some Meanings for the dream:
On the surface a sweet vision.
Given the work I did of letting go of anger/fear/anxiety to immerse myself and my body in love – the love that was already there
And mix it with Light
It removed the fear and anger that had sequestered the Love and let it out and manifested as a dream of peace
I look at the dream as being a remedy to my thought-forms of exclusion and how my anger / fear and anxiety – as well as sadness / grief has contributed to a violent world (thoughtforms).
The dream, then was a manifestation of love healing angers, fears, anxiety and sadness in me and the turning in of the automatic weapons (with joy) [weapons as random angry thoughts – perhaps] into a world of love and inclusiveness.
The Trees are my friends who speak in a language (not English, nor a human language) that is too slow for us fast moving humans to perceive. It’s more than likely that we have all had opportunities and may have felt the presence of trees.
reconnecting with the sacred inside us through a personal relationship with a tree
The Japanese practice of “forest bathing” an immersion in the woods or forest is a cleansing experience. Certainly, I have noticed the peace that the forest affords. I have experienced it in myself and observed the outward manifestation in others in the forest. [Amongst others there is a stream of conversation that goes on and on. The talk abrupt stops as they have detoxed enough and notice the trees and are quiet much like the quiet of a church service.]
Upon entering the forest or woods I automatically dip into the stream of consciousness that many carry with us whether that comes in the form of an inner dialogue, music and/or visual images. For me it’s mostly visual images sometimes with dialogue or narration that is the streaming junk of my daily life. Then it stops.
Wow, there are Trees Here!
When it does stop I notice my surroundings. Peace emerges and pervades my being as I stand near a copse of trees on the path in the woods. Sometimes when I stop moving and the stream of conscious ceases I feel the presence of large boulders, tall trees, a stream or brook, maybe a small waterfall. I feel washed clean by the powers of nature.
feeling of being grounded and connected to Earth; our shared home.
There they are – these standing ones whether they be Douglas firs, pines, redwoods, the deciduous aspens, the Japanese maples, and some oaks. They stand and wait for a human to make contact. Once contact is made and we allow ourselves – mostly our minds to slow to the patient levels of the trees we can begin the feel the peace trees exude. As I slow further I may merge my spirit with the spirit that the tree surrounds its body and we share a space together. In that space there are many non-verbal answers and somatic emotional states. One is a feeling of being grounded and connected to Earth; our shared home.
peace becomes evident and the love slows me down into a being state
As I continue to open my senses of touch, directionality, groundedness, sight and heart-centered emotion I feel embraced and accepted by my friend and friends – tree(s). Deeper – even before “the hug” there can be a singular song of a tree or a choir of song by a family of trees. The peace becomes evident and the love slows me down into a being state. I may temporarily slip out of ego into being and experience my place amongst the animals and trees in that local community of nature in which I have chosen to be a member. Ah such sweetness…
we can begin to become a co-equal member of a forest
I have made a bond with the Redwood species; and deciduous Sycamores and Maples both individually and as species. In these bonds I have asked the trees to hold spiritual or plasma energy for me. This is a technique for inner – spiritual work. Often, we receive an epiphany or a “high” when engaging in spiritual work there is an automatic tendency in us as humans to blow off the energy by “ego-talking” to others about our experiences. The use of accumulators becomes important in spiritual / inner work as a way to deposit some of our energy in a tree or group of trees. Later we can make a “withdrawal” on the “interest accrued” as long as we don’t withdraw all the energy we have “deposited” in the tree. It’s one way to stay silent about on-going inner work without blowing it off by talking with others about it. Another way to stay silent in addition to asking a tree to deposit or give energy to him/her/it is to make an agreement with oneself to pay attention to our breath instead of talking (and blowing off energy).
Its so easy to forget that trees are beings too
In asking a tree to participate in acting as an “accumulator” we can begin to become a co-equal member of a forest and /or woodland community. We become members of an ecological local community and remember our roots to help cultivate an intimate relationship with Earth on a local level. Its so easy to forget that trees are beings too and treat them as objects for use in a soulless society of use and waste that’s disconnected from the sacred.
Here is the beginning of reconnecting with the sacred inside us through a personal relationship with a tree or a community of trees in the context of a larger local community in which each member plays a part.
What a wondrous world to uncover and honor the sacred.
I thought of calling this dictionary the FKO Social Commentary Dictionary – after my initials, but would that give a flippant and a wrong message. You get the idea.
So, I thought “O”
As in Oh or “O”MG.
“O” is the first and last letter of my last name letters and could signify – “what goes around – comes around.” Maybe it is an endless cycle of karma or in a higher realm dharma.
This is the second installment:
It’s the attack of the “B”s with an E. (three B or not to Be, that is the question, right? Right?)
Bloviate – sounds like a dirty word from the 50s. from the Online Etymology Dictionary (see link below) – 1857, American English, a Midwestern word for “to talk aimlessly and boastingly; to indulge in ‘high falutin’,” according to Farmer (1890), who seems to have been the only British lexicographer to notice it (see end note 2). He says it was based on blow … I’m reminded of the 1971 film “Johnny Got His Gun” penned and directed by Dalton Trumbo – a searing satirical anti-war film that devastates the soul. The scene is about 20 minutes before the end of a bloviating boss repeating the same line over and over:
The modern definition from the Merriam-Webster Dictionary: “to speak verbosely and windily” (see end note 1).
This reminds me of… well you know.
Behemoth – meaning a huge monster (see end note 1). Originates from a folk etymology of Egyptian pehemau, literally “water-ox,” the name for the hippopotamus (see end note 2). The Monster Trucks are often referred to as a behemoth. In short the modern definition “something of monstrous size or appearance.” The behemoth waddled through the rhetoric the sound of his own voice in the grotesque melodrama of his disastrous making.
Bailiwick – he put it in his bailiwick – sounds like a British bicycle with a wicker basket you can put useless items you’ll never need on a trip, like a protractor without a map. Seriously though – used in a sentence: “He shrunk his bailiwick so as not to disturb any of the nefarious projects he had going on the sly.” Bailiwick falls under the domain of a bailiff or is superior knowledge or authority within a domain (see end note 1). With a narrower bailiwick he could use the favors (also known as emoluments) from foreign governments as assets in his war chest. from the Online Etymology Dictionary “Figurative sense of “one’s natural or proper sphere” recorded by 1843.” (see end note 2).
Expunge – used in a sentence: He expunged the official record without setting off the smoke detectors in a toilet bowl with a plunger. However, many people (especially of my ilk) would like to see him expunged from all history. Expunge to strike out, obliterate, mark for deletion or eliminate (see end note 1). And this gets better from the Online Etymology Dictionary (see end note 2)– I couldn’t have made this up for a more perfect fit: taken by early lexicographers in English to “denote actual obliteration by pricking“
All of the words used in a sentence:
The bloviating pink-skinned, orange-haired behemoth stood in the center of his self-aggrandizing bailiwick and was expunged by a mob of a million French Fries from the Deep-State Grill behind bars.
I thought of calling this dictionary the FKO Social Commentary Dictionary – after my initials, but would that give a flippant and a wrong message. You get the idea.
So, I thought “O”
As in Oh or “O”MG.
“O” is the first and last letter of my last name letters and could signify – “what goes around – comes around.” Maybe it is an endless cycle of karma or in a higher realm dharma.
Stupid– as in stupor – could be a zombie-like absence operating as if conscious from a place of shock and emotional regression. In short, a dissociative state brought on by triggers. It was once thought of as being struck by too much of “something” – like information and then by fear choosing a non-rational or irrational answer. Cognitively operating from this place empowers the user via the uses of anger, rage and righteousness that arising from being overwhelmed superseding logic based on faulty premises. When this happens, the person falls into the ocean of stupidity.
Another nation, Torpor is where the block of non-voters live & who can blame them?
Then there’s Stupid’s cousin and sometimes spouse Ignorance. There may be a lot of inbreeding between Stupid and Ignorance, but not always. This is a common disease amongst the moderns – probably originated in the autoimmune cue. Stereotypes come to mind, but to repeat them is to dip into elitism where ignorance also breeds and may fall into the stupor.
Ignorance – to turn away or not pay attention as in ignore. Unlike stupor ignorance arises from increasingly narrowed states or focused frames of reference brought on by fears and anxiety of the other especially when the other is unfamiliar or strange. Everyone shares ignorance to some degree except perhaps those that are enlightened. When ignorance begins to feed their spouse/cousin information then Ignorance and Stupid are super-glued together dance partners headed towards the flat edge of the earth and fall off into the sluggishness of torpor. Another nation, Torpor is where the block of non-voters live and who can blame them? Sometimes seeming non-voters might be suppressed voters by those noble Night Riders the GOP protecting us from those minority illegal voters, right? Wrong!
In fairness haven’t we all been falling into occasional stupor and ignored some things out of fear? (To be dealt with in another installation of An O Social Commentary Dictionary.)
Entrenched Ignorance and Stupidity often produces children of Prejudice, Bigotry, Racism, Misogyny, Homophobia and some more I’m not recalling in this instance. They huddle in camps, groups, communities maybe smoke too many cigarettes, vape, drink or do opioids in nations named Xenophobia – A Nation set out to blame the strangers.
Pointing out the ignorance and stupidity in others by identifying their logic is a fruitless endeavor, they are too much inside to see that the macro ideals are arising from a fear/anger base. For instance, I have a relative that rarely listens to me, talks non-stop and told me that we wouldn’t have to worry about climate change because we’d be dead by the time the worst comes (each of us has no spouse or children BTW). Mischievous me interjected: “What about reincarnation?” The next time we talked – or they talked, they told me “I don’t want to be reincarnated as an Indian.”; meaning a person residing in India – and from the tone of their voice they meant a poor person or an untouchable. I said “It’s highly unlikely that you’ll remember this life (meaning their current life). And, wow, you’re a racist.” Oops – didn’t follow my own advice. They denied it, said they were friendly with Indians living nearby on the same street in the USA. Nevertheless, they were friendly in-person but had a racist bias towards a group but denied this. Then they segue-wayed into their disgust of younger people that expressed themselves with ink, said that tattoos were unhealthy for the skin – I interjected that tattoo artists had to have licenses from the board of health. But their anger / fear found its mark and would not have stopped save I had an upcoming appointment. All that anger feels so sad.
The Rise of the Stupid from the Swirl of Ignorance
Part of the problem is that the education system (now more than ever is a training system and does not care about education) has thrown out critical thinking and compassionate self-examination. Other than elite private secondary education and some higher educational institutions the focus of learning is to learn how to do a skill etc. that is solely oriented towards tech, finance, or sciences with the emphasis on money, profit and whose vehicles are conquering mentalities.
Critical thinking be gone!
A good attribute of ignorance is a way of screening out the glut of weaponized commercialism thrown at people through media – including the internet. If we didn’t have a perceptual filter to ignore the barrage of information that assaults us daily we wouldn’t enter into zombie dissociative states and file mindlessly into massive stores and buy massive stuff. Right? Right? R-i-g-h-t… (Not a stutter). Although we could use critical thinking to screen out weaponized data – but OMG that might require some work, aghast!
Critical thinking be gone!
It’s all about me and carving my place out in the American Dream with as much money as possible so I can have a buffer from those in-control and blah, blah, blah…. I imagine some people think critical thinking is having mean thoughts about someone else.
Finally, there is so much loss – humans find loss unbearable – and loss begets grief. Rather than face the unbearable, grief gets rationalized, filed away, goes underground and becomes fear of change masked by anger and ignorance. We as a people – in general ignore our losses, act as if it was better in the past – pretense on some level and justify a steady state of rolling back progress or trying to keep things normal, while an existential crisis brews.
Ordinary waking consciousness emanates from ego and attachment. Ego – the “I” that is oneself is attached to everything. This is the way of the outer world. We forget about our “inner world” and come to believe that ego and attachment are all that is. In other words, ego, language and thought is caught up in attachment.
I’m sure you have heard or read that meditation is about quieting the mind. I can only write to the meditation that I know: Vipassanā Meditation or Insight Meditation. This kind of meditation works with the breath and helps to quiet the mind. It takes practice to quiet the mind as many who practice meditation already know.
The mind creates what is known as a stream of consciousness which includes all matter of attachments – thoughts, memories, ideas, fantasies and so on. Anyone who has daydreamed in a classroom, or in boring business meetings falls into the stream of consciousness. The stream is constantly flowing so that when we stop being present our attention falls into it and is taken away by the stream. The draw of the stream is one of attachment – a kind of addiction so common that it is not referred to as an addiction. We have accepted that attachment / addiction to thoughts, language, fantasies, identity, status and so on is all there is, so we never come to realize that all attachments are distractions that form a recycling whirlpool that eats itself. The distraction is one that leads away from peace and happiness. On a deeper level attachment is the distraction from oneness with all beings.
On my first Vipassanā Meditation retreat over 35 years ago the facilitator, Bhante aka the Venerable Dharmawara Mathahera, a 92-year-old Cambodian Buddhist monk sent us to meditate on our own. We had spent four days in group meditation.
It was a muggy and overcast day. I spread my blanket on the ground and sat. I began to notice my breath, in and out. Flies landed on my bare skin, tickling the hairs of my arms, and I laughed aloud. Mosquitoes landed on me and did not bite me. Deeper into the meditation, with my eyes closed, I felt presences near me. I opened my eyes a slit and saw a squirrel, a rabbit and a skunk sitting in a semicircle in front of me. My thought was, “this is normal.” I continued to meditate.
When it was done I felt at peace with the world.
The Current World
The world of attachment is filled with divisiveness and antagonistic rivalries; as you may have noticed. This is to be expected in the cycle of history we find ourselves within.
According to the scholar – Bidhu Dev Misra we are near the end of the Ascending Kali Yuga. It’s ends in 2025 and is followed by a 300-year transition period before the Ascending Dwapara Yuga begins (seen End Notes for more information about the Yugas).
Kali is the goddess/god of destruction – a phoenix that destroys itself to rise from the ashes. Opposite the 6,000 years of the Descending and Ascending Kali Yugas are the 6,000 years of the Satya Yugas – an age of oneness where there is no ego, no religion, no money… only peace, harmony and oneness.
Characteristic of the age of destruction is both a fear of “the end” as characterized by rabid divisive thoughts and actions as a way to obliterate the end by hanging on to a short-term power, a short-term quarterly dividend – in short, the greed and lust for power. Ego, attachment and thinking are in a whirlpool of oppositional thinking that seeks its own destruction. This might be funny except for a denial and resistance to the existential threat of the climate crisis.
The Inner World
Through Vipassanā Meditation a quieting of the mind can begin to manifest. Ego is surrendered in the moment and attachment is sometimes released in the space between an inhalation of breath and its exhalation. A regular practice of meditation can allow the ego to float and attachment’s roots to be loosened.
A wondrous aspect of the inner world is revealed as ego and attachment are released. A profound peace and simple happiness become apparent. Thought clears, consciousness expands, and time ceases to exist.
This “world” beyond ego and attachment is the beginning of the continuum of enlightenment. It lasts all too briefly as the worlds of ego, linear time and attachment come into claim the vestiges of enlightenment scantily clad through memory.
The Current World as seen from the Inner World
By freeing ourselves from time and attachment, the world of the Kali Yuga – the current world becomes evident. All thought in this epoch arises from attachment and as a result is not original thought. Attached thoughts swirl from a stream (as in the stream of consciousness) into a whirlpool (or black hole) to obliterate thought for the increasing enslavement of humankind.
There is no “we”. All are separate, divided into smaller camps of “us” and “them” living in the houses of anger, rage, hatred, envy and greed as reflected in:
statistical studies measuring a nation divided as much as in the times of the US Civil War,
science and technology as in reducing to understand, and
predatory capitalism as in dividing goods and services into smaller amounts – conquering and destroying smaller businesses in favor of the most profit, the most money and the least or no taxes.
Thought and action is divided into the dyad of good versus evil, right versus wrong and so on with no middle ground of reconciliation, governance and/or compromise.
The action of the dyad is choking itself and headed towards self-destruction characteristic of the Kali Yuga time cycle.
If we are to survive climate crisis as a species then as individuals we could choose:
Beginning the day with a 30 to 50-minute mediation.
Using the meditation as an anchor throughout the day to remind us to choose kindness, compassion and right (no-acting out) anger to right wrongs for the good of all.
Political Actions whether that be donating / volunteering time, money as a protest against excluding people from equal participation in a democratic process
Due to the enormous amounts of money contributed by billionaires and corporations to co-op the government (US) we as a people must take back our government to save it from dictatorial types and re-establish a democracy.
This can be done from a compassion stance where neutral ground can be established – once again – to govern as opposed to rule.
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.