I am reminded of when I first cultivated a place for peace in my belly. Ridiculously enough it was when I danced with a vacuum cleaner in a house cleaning practice that grew as a front for spreading light and peace while removing chaos, disorganization and dirt.
I would ask myself:
“What is peace?” while doing aikido moves with a vacuum cleaner.
I won’t bore you with all the logical common-sense notions of peace that my recycled thoughts regurgitated into my overly crowded brain. Instead I will try to describe the feelings of peace that arose after my mind made-up the mundane answers for it. After all I was cultivating a place for peace in my belly, but what does this really mean?
I guess you could say that I was looking to find a personal meaning for peace without using words to describe it. And I was dancing with my vacuum cleaner which could be an obscure hint that my belly was merely a metaphorical place for the cultivation of peace. Before I completely lose you and go woo-woo, I was cultivating peace in my chi or 2nd chakra — the brain or center of the physical body or moving center.
Peace that doesn’t move stagnates and dies. I can’t tell you what feelings arose in me about peace in my belly / chi / brain of my physical body/ moving center because there were never any words to for these personal emotive sensations.
Years later a boss of mine said that peace is the positive flip-side of boredom. Imagine it. Imagine thousands of bored people, maybe slightly depressed who are nanoseconds away from the elation of peace. Like flipping a switch.
So, then, what is peace? But if one more person tells me that peace is the absence of war, well then, I might have to revert to sarcasm. Of course, it’s easier to describe war and conflict than it is to describe peace. War is a violent conflict where people use weapons to kill each other. Conflict is a disagreement. Peace arises from a kind of creative inactivity that is not observable from outward obvious phenomena.
Outward conflict may arise between two or more people that voice disagreement based on different perceptual stances. Conflict intensifies when the battle between “yes” and “no” is personalized, anger and rage become evident, rules may be broken, twisted, bent or narrowed to insist on an outcome favorable for an oppressor who currently holds more sway. In an intractable conflict between “yes” and “no” there is no middle ground — no peace.
This morning during a meditation while making a space within and feeling peace enter I thought of all those poor United States Senators in that impeachment trial in Washington DC. What if they had an opportunity to feel peaceful in that space of contentiousness? I decided to project myself to sit by one GOP Senator and emanate the peace that had been cultivated within me. I made an offering of peace to eight GOP Senators in total. Then I made an offer of the feelings of peace engendered in me to the entire body of Senators and others in the Senate chamber.
Could the spaciousness of peace provide relief in the midst of all that bipartisan contentiousness? When peace is allowed to enter into one’s consciousness, not by force but by choice, then options for resolution of conflict could more easily present themselves.
If you find it in your heart and feel peaceful please send your over-flowing peace consciousness as a gift to share with others in conflict. Will they accept the gift of peace and dwell in that peace a while? It’s a choice that I might make surrounded by Senators in conflict.
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.
Trying to explain consciousness from a neurobiological frame is one of reductionistic directionality. This discipline and ordinary thought looks to the brain as the seat of consciousness. A human perspective quite naturally seeks to reduce in order to explain and this is natural from the ego perspective. Ego and its physical counterpart – the brain is viewed as 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.
Language reflects and channels the desire to reduce to explain. Our basic language structure is based on concepts of nouns or subjects / objects and verbs or actions. Every sentence has a beginning, middle and end denoting linear space-time. In short language works with separateness and togetherness in a dialectic frame. It’s difficult to think of a whole without the frame of its opposite the parts. In other words, we most often think of ourselves and the world outside ourselves as separate in order to establish an identity. Identity is based on a dyad or the “me” and the “not me”. Dualistic thinking creates separateness within the larger consciousness. However, from a perspective of Oneness consciousness is everywhere and permeates everything and the spaces between everything, and therein lies the rub [see end note 1]. Consciousness is space-time. It’s impossible to grasp this from an ego or ordinary level of consciousness. This concept of consciousness is bigger than any concept. To begin to understand the locus of consciousness we must surrender to mystery.
Human Life as a Transceiver
The human brain is a transceiver of consciousness. We receive and process information from a larger vibration gestalt. We send information within our brains and outside ourselves to our perceived reality to grow within the gestalt. Sometimes we are able to transcend the boundaries of the gestalt beyond the epoch in which we find ourselves within.
Think larger / bigger:
Suppose you thought of yourself as a consciousness with a multiple-lives in which to express yourself and grow over millennium. The body you’re wearing now along with an ego shaped to fit the current world is only a costume that your spirit is using to grow and increase your level of consciousness as well as a Larger Consciousness belonging to all. Of course, my view point expresses the larger in terms of a separateness / oneness duality because this is where my ego sits [See end note 2].
This life over many millions of years and across many worlds is a linear space-time conception of an evolving consciousness growing towards transcendental enlightenment. However, when we come from the present – an extremely large expanded present moment that includes all of space-time, then past and future lives are happening simultaneously and we are accessing them as needed for our evolution into higher consciousness. These two viewpoints are ways of looking at reality, the latter being more easily understood because it corresponds with a linear space-time. The second proposition is more difficult to comprehend because we are unfamiliar with “remembering a future”.
Epochal Time Cycles
When we factor in a spiraling method of conscious evolution with various cosmologies such as the Mayan, Hopi, Aztec or the Yugas (from Veda texts) then time repeats itself in an effort of inclusiveness to bring everyone to the doorstep of higher consciousness.
Yuga Time Cycles appear below under corrected mathematical computations. Tradition Yuga representations and updated Yuga time cycles is annotated in the notes. Each of the Ascending and Descending Yugas is 2,700 years long with a 300-year transition or cusp period between each Yuga – at the beginning and end of each Yuga [see end note 3]:
The Ascending and Descending Satya Yugas – 3,000 including the 300-year transitional period or cusp years each or 6,000 years combined. These two Yugas are the top of the evolutionary cycle. The Ascending Satya Yuga began in 15676 BC, the transition period began in 12976 BC and the Descending Satya Yuga began in 12676 BC
The Descending Treta Yuga follows the Satya Yuga in its descent cycle plus transition/cusp years beginning at 9676 BC and 300 years.
The Descending Dwapara Yuga follows the Treta Yuga in its descent cycle plus transition/cusp years beginning at 6676 BC and 300 years.
The Descending Kali Yuga follows the Dwapara Yuga in its descent cycle plus transition/cusp years are at the bottom of the cycle beginning on 3676 BC and 300 years. The Ascending Kali Yuga begins at 676 BC and ends 2025 CE followed by 300 years of transition;
The Ascending Dwapara Yuga follows the Ascending Kali Yuga on 2325 CE followed by 300 years transition / cusp
The Ascending Treta Yuga follows the Ascending Dwapara Yuga beginning on 2325 CE ending in 5025 CE followed by 300 years transition / cusp
The cycle begins again with the Ascending Satya Yugas in 5325 CE. The cycle doesn’t start over from the old beginning; it goes in an upward cycle in increments. When we add Spirit Ages to the cycles from Baby or Infant Spirits to The Oldest of souls (Spirit Ages) then cycles become much more complex [see end note 4].
At the levels of the Satya Yugas there is no government, no crime, no money, no ownership of property, men, women and peoples of all genders are equal. The planet operates from a place of oneness whose chief emotions are kindness, compassion and love.
Vegetables, fruits and nuts in the most abundant variations can be picked from plants and trees and eaten. There is no need for the preparation of food or the cooking of foods. Emotions, thoughts and bodily sensations are able to be completed because they arise from a state of oneness and reflect the oneness back to itself so that individuals can leave the Yuga cycle all together and attain transcendent enlightenment without the need for the death of the body and instead be eaten by light.
Choice, decision and will are free, meaning that they are not based on systems of divisiveness or dysfunction (as it is now) so all acts spring from a creative consciousness that permeates all beings. [We often think of beings as biological but in this frame all that is non-biological are also beings.] The persons making acts of choice, decision or will do so from a creative place based on nothing. Negative emotions may exist and are expressed without judgement, blame or projection; they are expressed by persons in a way where responsibility is assumed within the expression and not acted-out as it may be in the world we know now.
Empathy is the norm and telepathy flourishes.
In each of the other Yugas; Treta, Dwapara and Kali, separation from the oneness is experienced with greater frequency. The Kali Yuga is the opposite of the Satya Yuga. Kali is the female / male goddess / god of death and destruction. In the Kali cycle negative emotions are expressed negativity. They enter into the consciousness at large and are manifested in lower planetary vibrational locales as death by violence, murder and wars. People do not take responsibility for themselves or one another through the ways of compassion and love. They see themselves as separate. Their systems of government, hierarchies of social organization, education, money, commerce, science, religion are based on fears, separateness, oppression and objectification. Its peoples are identified or attached to the outer world of appearances and they have ignored the inner world that is connected to Spirit (spirit that is linked in all beings).
While there is a possibility of free will in a Kali Yuga cycle it is highly unlikely that true freedom will be achieved for the majority of the people. Vague trace memories of the Satya Yuga exist and are translated into illusory states of being where separateness and oneness are believed to exist harmoniously, but from a state of separateness. This creates a fragmented existence where ego reigns supreme and madness (mental illness) abounds out of which violence, war, death and destruction happen continuously. The longevity of life in the Satya Yugas are drastically shortened in the Kali Yugas.
Secret or hidden knowing (different from knowledge gleaned from books and non-Masters often called secondary sources) is passed down through each epoch through an oral tradition replete within indigenous cultures and in the Master-Student relationship. It is through initiation rites of passage and/or within Master-student relationships where elements of the Satya Yuga or transcendent enlightenment may be worked towards and achieved by older souls (Older Spirit Ages).
The Kali Yuga Opportunity
Many people who have inhabited all the epochs from Satya to Kali Yugas feel blessed to have reincarnated to this current cycle of the Ascending Kali Yuga and its cusp or transitionary period. Those born between 1931 and the present may be part of the movement between epochs, change agents reincarnated from the any one of the last transformational times of:
12676 BC beginning of the Descending Satya Yuga
9676 BC beginning of the Descending Treta Yuga
6676 BC beginning of the Descending Dwapara Yuga
3676 BC beginning of the Descending Kali Yuga and
976 BC to the end of the Ascending Kali Yuga 6 years from now
2025 CE beginning of the cusp period before the Ascending Dwapara Yuga (300 years)
When a summer solstice occurs, there is a cusp period on either side of the change where daylight is increasing by only seconds leading up to the change and is decreasing only by seconds after the change. The 300 year cusp or transition between Yugas is analogous.
The opportunity for individual spiritual growth and the growth of Cosmic Consciousness is greater in the face of this kind of adversity. Working with releasing attachment and identification helps to create energy and the transformation of suffering into energy /light.
More later on the transformation of suffering into light…
The locus of consciousness is the energy that is everywhere. The human brain is a transceiver of consciousness both in building new neural pathways within the physical structures of the brain and body while sending mediated communications to other humans. We receive information from the multiverse and send variations of the information to other humans.
The nature of how our transceiver brains operates is dependent on the vibration of the current epoch of time. The Descending and Ascending Kali Yugas are kind of death that is happening to the human species. We – as a species – are separate from ourselves focused on happiness based on achievement along a linear time line. We have forgotten that we are beings of light wearing the costume of this era. The focus of the Kali Yuga is separation from our divinity. The light is us – resides at our central core – transcends all nationalities, religions, race, gender, economic and social hierarchies and so on… But our focus has been on our differences. The nature of thought which is – for the most part recycled based on separation and divisiveness is not original thought.
The good news is that many of us are awakening to the light within us, quieting our minds from the stream of consciousness that belongs to the Kali Yuga of garbage-in and garbage-out to make sacred space within us to access a kind of consciousness based on nothingness. When the mind is freed of the garbage of our continuous stream of consciousness there is the miracle of creativity arising that emerges from the seeming nothingness.
A walk in the forest assists us in clearing the recycled thinking we carry with us always. Sitting meditation and its practice in daily life is one way our essential self (the light) can break through ego into a world we co-create.
In quantum realities there is no space between objects that isn’t already connected via electromagnetic energy, light (photons), atoms, sub-atomic particles, quantum phenomena, gravity, or by some other force. The “space” between our out-spread arms for example is packed with sub-atomic particles and energies which can be perceived as particles or waves depending how our point-of-view. We are both observers and participants in the quantum world implied from an ego perspective where we co-create reality within an infinite consciousness and/or multiverse. This all pervasive and inclusive phenomena is a cosmic consciousness that is reflected into human beings and realized by them in smaller or larger frames.
How do I know this – or How have I come to know this? I have passed through initiation cycles. I have been and am in Master-Student relationships. Full-bodied experiences of body, mind and emotion (or 3rd eye – thought, heart chakra – emotion / love and 2nd chakra or chi – the locus of the brain of the physical body) all combined as well as a proclivity based on a rent in time/space when I was four years old where I was exposed to inter- and multi-dimensional worlds. Much later in life I gained access to the worlds outside time. Early wounding is only one possible way of gaining access to the “other” worlds. The quest for truth and a drive towards discovering destiny creates pathways to initiation and developing skills from talents. Science is scarcely catching up to those with “knowing”.
Most people familiar with reincarnation and the age of spirits within a lifetime refer to infant/ baby, young, mature and old spirits as souls. While for the sake of familiarity I have included both soul and spirit interchangeably. Most people believe they have souls. However, the majority of people on the planet save for some Masters and Bodhisattvas do not have completed souls. We have temporary light bodies. When our physical bodies pass – die, the light we carry within us, our temporary light bodies are deposited into the soul body. When the soul’s body is filled with enough light we have free choice. We are free to release ourselves from the wheel of reincarnation or voluntarily return to planet earth as an old soul. Old souls can choose any path; however, all choices arise from love, compassion and a service to humanity to relieve suffering and a greater possibility for transcendental enlightenment for the individual and for all.
Having extricated myself from the river of grief (and now on a boat floating on it)* I’ve also noticed its smudge is everywhere. Having done a small bit of work on my relationship to grief I see it now as slightly separate from me. There are few people who are completely free of grief’s smudge, though through denial we like to think that we are. It’s only those who are working on being present that may have overcome grief’s longer-term effects.
In the hierarchical epoch of the patriarchy everyone is in a state of grief or loss
Many become fully immersed in the river of grief and never fully release it, but think that we have done so. It’s more likely that we live it’s smudge without knowing its stuck or smeared on us and we carry it with us everywhere. We’ve resigned ourselves to it, accepted it and cognitively reframed grief as a fact of life to assist in our survival.
In the hierarchical epoch of the patriarchy everyone is in a state of grief or loss throughout the life span. Only those who have achieved a modicum of mastery or a state of transcendental enlightenment may have overcome the savagery of grief’s toll.
Symptoms from the smudge of grief:
Longing for / romanticizing the old days and angry about current life in juxtaposition to the old days. Anger becomes a way of life possibly oscillating between grief (sadness), fear and anger. Attachment to the old romanticized “past” to the point of putting the brakes on politically and a desire to return to the promise of simpler times.
Giving up or trading in on simple happiness in the present for a perfectionist idealized past or future.
Addicted to a substance outside ourselves (not drugs or alcohol per se) that we believe will make us happy and feel secure (more money, better job, etc.). Existential addiction is about filling a hole inside us that has grief as one of its contributing emotions.
Rationalizing and compartmentalization of grief experiences. We often unconsciously model our expressions of grief based on our parents’ behaviors, attitudes and beliefs. The greater the intellectualization / fearfulness of “weaker” emotion states such as vulnerable emotion states – crying when sad, or frustrated then the more shame and constriction may become part of the grief process often truncating the process.
We often have expectations that the stages of grief happen “in-order” one time and “we’re done” with this.
I’ve seen many people in mid-life 40s to 60s (possibly younger) where grief is interrupted – a person shuts down their grief process and gives up on their inner world collapsing into their parents’ belief systems partially or whole-heartedly. It is at this time that they begin to romanticize their past and adopt old-world belief systems to cope with change.
For the people that allow for grief or any emotion such as love or joy to come and go they have loosened their attachment to past and present experiences and can face the fear of change in a less rigid fashion. However due to our ego we are all subject to attachments that grief and/or loss creates to one degree or another.
Loss is an intrinsic part of our lives.
Grief is closely allied with attachment. The very nature of being human is an identification to an idea, a person, a relationship – in short to the “stuff” of life. Attachment is the foundation of identity and memory is its tool. Attachment is at the root of unnecessary suffering. The greater the attachment to a person, wife/husband/partner, a child/son/daughter, a family, a community; a job, to an idea, to a belief and so on the more grief surrounds the loss. As humans we are all programmed to avoid feelings of loss to one degree or another based on our identity and beliefs.
Humans cannot bear loss.
Loss is an intrinsic part of our lives. Some loss we choose, such as quitting a job or relocating, this doesn’t seem so bad because we feel in control of the nature of the loss. Nevertheless, we still feel it. Deciding to move out of a relationship and although this is a loss we control it can break our heart. Other losses go deeper. The loss of a loved one through death is one that immediately comes to mind. When we experience early childhood trauma such as mental, physical, spiritual and/or sexual abuse by a parent or relatives perhaps this is the most pernicious grief of all. A parent with whom we feel love perpetuates an act of sexual abuse or worse. There is the love and there’s the violation, the confusion and the grief. This is loss and grief based on intimate attachments.
Loss and grief have become systemic in an increasingly divisive world of the hierarchical system of the patriarchy. In this kind of world there are winners and losers. The winners appear to be the super-rich and the powerful who sometimes even without knowing it oppress those without money and/or power. Many are driven to become winners through achievement and there is nothing wrong with this. It becomes insular and selfish when “others” who may be termed as losers through attributes of laziness, stupidity and are therefore cast out of the privileges of the winner-loser competition. Those deemed to be unworthy of playing the winner loser game are the invisible people, the poor, the people in prison, the homeless, women, minorities, immigrants, the list goes on; under the heel of racism, sexism, ageism, leftism for example. The class system in the USA has always been apparent to those left out. The struggling middle-classes bear the brunt of the heel of oppression by the rich by accepting less wage parity, while clinging to the myth of “work hard and you’ll succeed”. The winners are also losers because of attachment to and /or the addiction in this situation because of the need for more power, more money, more fame. There is never enough. Slavery to “more” makes the so-called winners, losers on an endless wheel of acquiring “more”.
our birthright is happiness and enlightenment
Humans cannot bear loss. Addiction is a prime example of how loss is unbearable. When therapies focus on what’s in the way of a healthy lifestyle in order to assist with healing an addiction this leads to an inevitable confrontation with loss. Looking at loss in this way is emotionally overwhelming. Healing the addictive process through a focus on obstacles fails. We can’t bear loss. This spans the gambit between addictive substances and relationships. In order to confront loss and the grief we feel from loss, we must replace the loss with something positive. When we focus on the positive replacement of the loss in present time then loss can be slowly ameliorated.
For example: I chose to breath cleaner air when I weaned my way off of smoking cigarettes. The clutching, grabbing neediness in me began to fade. It’s been 37 years since I chose to breathe cleaner air instead of inhaling smoke from cigarettes. That was easy compared to the heartbreaking work of releasing grief from the wounds of incest.
Underneath loss and grief is love. Love holds all other emotions. I also remember the words of Malidoma Somē – grief is the most common human emotion.
Attachment can only be released for a very short time.
Grief is the most common emotion because our lives appear to be about loss. As children of Western Civilization, we a trained to look outside ourselves for happiness. Even in the US The Declaration of Independence we are encouraged to push for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. We don’t necessarily see that our birthright is happiness and enlightenment and that we are peeling away the illusion that prevent us from feeling it. We assume that feelings of fulfillment, peace and enlightenment are “over there” to pursue.
Corporal life is temporary, life of spirit transcends death. There is small love and big love, neither of which can be compared with the other. Small love may feel big when we have a partner with whom we are bonded and they pass away, cheat, or betray us and/or themselves. Big love will always hold a connection with one that has passed that seemingly impenetrable boundary of death. The longing may be excruciating and unbearable, staying present and reaching out to friends and professionals for help is one step in staying present. It’s not the only path.
Emotional maturity (EM) can be characterized as being able to hold contradictory emotions in awareness without a strong attachment to either emotional state and feel okay or neutral about our self. Cultivating a witness self leads to emotional maturity through suspending judgement and observing ourselves and our behaviors.
Attachment can only be released for a very short time. When we think or say “I” ego returns to claim an experience that the witness has observed. That is not a bad thing it is only the way of attachment. The witness may observe our being feeling grief and joy simultaneously. This is a paradox to be sure.
In my late 30s I experienced an epiphany. I transformed my life because I surrendered into it. There was a lot of work before that preceded that opening. Up to that point my life was analogous to the life of a flower. A sprout pushed its way up through the soil, stems and leaves unfurled and buds formed straining to open. When the bud burst open resounding at long last to the light a transformation occurred filled with joy and the relief of surrender into a greater multiverse.
This epiphany allowed a choice point: continue to follow the whims of ego, in other words pursue the momentary desires, interests, likes or dislikes or accept destiny. I chose to surrender into the undiscovered country of a strange inter and multi-dimensional universe of great depth and wonder; into the rarely glimpsed book of destiny. It required patience. It required a path to healing of my core being.
The next step in this journey was the “accidental” uncovering of horrendous wounds of early childhood. There was an intense obsessional compulsion to know everything that had happened back then. The world of PTSD, flashbacks, body memories, blackouts, freeze-frames of trauma intruding into what I ordinarily expected as my contiguous life that did not (does not) have the same connectedness of ordinary memories because love was shattered. Diving deeply into it with the tools of spiritual practices, therapeutic techniques of hypnotherapy, EMDR, emotional release and reintegration as well as “traveling” into the past utilizing shamanic practices only works to a degree before traumatization reoccurs. My desire to know everything about the trauma in the way I’ve remembered my ordinary life never happened. I felt disappointed and I was also relieved once I accepted the different paths within myself.
My friends didn’t want to hear about my traumatic past and began to shun me so I contained the bleeding and confined my explorations with my therapist for a time. Other healers and seers saw clearly into my woundedness but I did not see as clearly as they were experiencing me. I had reached a plateau and I decided to shelve the wounded experiences and only focus on what was presented in the moment and not dig for stuff.
I had remained clean and sober from pot for 19 years (1985 to 2004) when I slipped with my much younger partner. The only insight that I was afforded was that in 1985 and the times before pot served to fragment my already fragmented self. In 2004 I saw that the fragmented parts of myself and though still fragmented were held together cohesively by me congealed with my attention and care.
From 1991 when the first memories of trauma began revealing themselves to 2001 I worked intensely on myself and then reached a plateau (’01 was the year my therapist retired).
Earlier this year there was a shift in my physical body and I began to open myself for a change. The universe provided an opportunity presented to me from my spiritual soul partner, colleague and mentor. When she presented me with the opportunity I had been waiting for it took only moments to accept.
She offered a homeopathic formula to help bring buried and stuck grief to the surface for processing. It has been a difficult and immensely rewarding process so far. Of the people I have shared some of this process with have misunderstood the position I take within the flow of emotions.
Maladoma Somē (see end notes) reported that grief is the most common emotion that all humans share. Grief is the process when it is not resisted or prematurely stopped via cognitive processes of compartmentalization and the subsequent emotions of judgement, self-criticism or condemnation on the one hand and stoic determination, anger and rational suppression or repression of grief into a lifestyle of condemning the self and / or others on the other can be released to then convey what is underneath.
When I began taking the formula it was in the evening when I first began — result: I slept for three hours and was awake working on a path to exposing the grief as the emotional connective tissue to the wounds. Release the grief and the horrendous memories shift and become multifaceted revealing the blessings while releasing my attachment to the intensities of the horror.
There was something blocking the work, something in the back of my neck on my left side that was the part of blockage or resistance. Something I could not see clearly enough to find and remove. I called out for help. Help arrived in the person that I once was in my most previous past life: a Polish Jew working for The Resistance and constantly hiding from the Nazis. He was trained as an engraver and was employed by the Polish Mint. He pulled something out of my neck which was simultaneously released from his neck in the same area. It went back to source where it disintegrated into ash.
The next morning, I was looking at a friend’s Facebook post when all my chakras opened and a profound compassion, love and understanding poured out of me to him (not that he necessarily needed it). I was surprised that this open feeling of compassion continued to branch out to many more who may have needed it to feel included since compassion is an emotion of inclusion. (The funny thing is that the content of his post was not of a personal nature at least on the surface and remembering the content was not important.)
Though some of the subsequent work of releasing grief has been filled with anguish and intense physical pain — such as a lava-like substance that was hot and filled with the bile of anger and hatred flowed out of the joints of my left hand and fingers. So far, the arthritic pain that has felt trapped in my body has decreased by as much as fifty percent.
These pockets of grief within me are spread like butter over toast throughout my body, persona and into the depths of me. The emotion is not me as it once was when I had first uncovered the trauma. I am above the feelings of grief and not immersed in them as I once was in the beginning.
I debated about putting this account due to its highly personal nature. I meditated on what to do and have decided to enter it here. In the midst of the on-going grieving process I discovered that part of my mother’s being was trapped in my body. It was only when I freed her did I realize that part of her had merged with me when I was a baby.
The “Ah-ha” moment arrived.
My mother was a difficult parent to live around. My sister concurred that she had been very critical towards both of us; very true. She was never happy with either of us.
My mom had poor boundaries with me and later as an adult I chose to establish and maintain better boundaries with her. She would burst into my bedroom door without ever knocking. She did what she called: “snooping” in my closet rifling through my stuff. I asked my dad if I could have a lock on my door. Before I could tell him why he said “no,” and walked away. In order to have privacy I took long 4-hour baths locked in one of our two bathrooms on a Saturday night. I took to burying time capsules in the backyard where I knew she would never look to have private secret things — for my eyes only. She wanted me to take French in High School so I could speak romantic French phrases to her. I failed French in my passive-aggressive style so I wouldn’t have to do it. And the list of behaviors bordering on the inappropriate and at times crossing the line went on.
My mother passed in March of 2015 from dementia. I had very little contact with her after the death of her body. My father had contacted me many times after his death.
In a session that lasted half the night I was able to extricate my mom’s spirit from my body and keep her from coming back in. She greeted me five or six times after I had freed her in her child-like manner and appeared to have said thank-you without actually coming out and saying it.
It was a relief to reclaim my body as my own and to begin to have a relationship with my mother as an individual to an individual, which continues to evolve.
I am not the grief and conversely, I am not the joy. I sometimes feel grief and I sometimes feel joy as well as all the emotions of the rainbow and the darker shadow.
Malidoma Somē author Of Water and Spirit. The author came to our community to speak about his book, drum at our community center. At one point he looked out at all of us and said:
“I see that many of you you have been initiated many times
but because there was no community to support and accept your initiation
I awoke letting the convoluted dreams from sleep dissolve without pressing my intellect for possible meanings.
A short time later I began breakfast preparations. I felt the warm swathe of sunshine permeate my small abode – across the kitchen floor and into the bedroom. I gazed at the off-white stone tiled floor and felt a profound peace and happiness in the smallest of details.
I smiled to myself and thought / felt:
I am here.
My heart is full.
Happiness in the stillness of
A morning in sunlight.
It wasn’t an “overnight success”. It took 15 years to live, skirting a mess of miserable emotions; 6 months to jockey for position; 3 months of letting go of everything including my life in preparation for the death of my body* and 6 days of resurrection into that which continues to unfold.
During the 15 years I wasn’t such a dire mess as described above. I was floating in a boat in a becalmed ocean of slime feeding on the fleeting happiness of rarefied airs. In other words, I was an expert at compartmentalization and was kept alive on the higher aspects of my work. Intellectually its difficult to fathom how excruciating physical pain was (is) held in place by unresolved – stuck grief. Emotionally easy.
*I had to die to be reborn. This was not suicide, but it was a relinquishing of everything without hope of a solution,
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.
From our present moral perspective Columbus Day seems like a day of shame mainly because we committed genocide on indigenous peoples of the New World / Americas. Some cities and states Alaska and Maine have renamed Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples Day.
Decree and sign into law:
Columbus Day as a Federal Holiday unless Indigenous Peoples Days is included as a Federal Holiday as well. Think of Columbus Day as a transitional holiday – a day or mourning and shame to remind us that the stain of genocide is with us every time we attack or undermine a foreign power. Of course, Italian-Americans and Italians world-wide can still celebrate Columbus as an explorer of the new world who also took slaves.
By taking Columbus Day off the Federal registry of holidays and making Indigenous Peoples Day the holiday instead we honor the people we killed and enslaved even to this day. The shame of Columbus Day can be honored instead by the indigenous peoples of the United States of America. By allowing states to keep Columbus Day and making Indigenous Peoples Day as a Federal holiday we begin to acknowledge our shame and mourn the losses of the genocide we committed as a nation against indigenous peoples and acknowledge and honor their heritage and traditions.
Continuing to honor Columbus Day which is a symbol of conquest and war over the native population and honors a heritage of continuous wars that the United States has been engaged in since.
Notable wars have been The American Revolutionary War, The 1812 War, and the Mexican- American War. Many people can name the wars we have been involved in in the 20th and 21st centuries: WWI, WWII, The Korean War, The Vietnam War, The Bay of Pigs Invasion, The Vietnam War, The Gulf War, The Bosnian War, Iraq War, and War in Afghanistan. Yet the United States of America has been continuously at war since 1775 except for a period of 4 years when we had an isolationist president (see Wikipedia link –List_of_wars_involving_the_United_States).
Due to the current non-strategy of foreign policy as directed by the Trump administration and his xenophobia we are becoming a third world power (China Trade Wars). Trump is an example of the most wildly capricious patriarchy that has become chaos and is dangerous. Perhaps it’s time to end the constant resource wars and engage in diplomacy instead. Adding Indigenous Peoples Day as a Federal holiday while retaining Columbus Day as a day of shame, mourning and grief is more accurate with regard to the many resource (oil) wars the US has been engaged with in the late 20th century and currently.
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