While having a soak in the tub this morning listening to a podcast with Desmond Tutu and Krista Tippet on her program, On Being, on NPR Radio–I listened in as Desmond Tutu wondered in sadness at the many angry, vocal Christians, who side-by-side with their fear mongering brothers-in-arms, seem presently possessed by a kind of mad ideology these days. He observed that having strayed so far from their original call to love “even the least of these”, they now appear to be singularly focused on the sexual orientation of others while at the same time painting “the least of these” with the brush of “not quite human”.
To be fair, however, I will add there is a silent majority of caring and compassionate individuals who do practice their faith in accordance with the original tenets of their faith. I am not talking about them.
The world is changing quickly. This we know. It is natural to resist change, to step outside the safety of our comfort zones. This is also known. Yet I cannot help but believe these same angry individuals act and believe as they do out of a deep fear of “the other”, those whom they perceive as different from themselves. Obviously, someone has to be at fault for the troubled world they see reflected back at them. Someone has to take the blame for the mess they think they are in. The fact is, the genie is out of the bottle, and they are working feverishly to stuff her back into that bottle. Their once secure landscape has changed, and they want it back.
Happily though, for many, the genie will never crawl back into her bottle. She has awoken from a long sleep and isn’t about to let anyone put her back in her place. She is finding her voice after being silenced for so long, and has she got a story to tell! The planet over, the genie is out. The time of secret holding and power mongering is being outed. Life everywhere is outing itself on streets and in homes in every nation, resisting the old ways of power gobbling systems that ultimately kill and keep people in shackles. People are talking to one another the world over, telling their stories, rising up, bringing in something new–a new way of showing up in the world, taking their power and dignity back along with their ability to think and decide for themselves what their lives should look like.
No one knows yet exactly what it will look like. We are making it up as we go. For sure, everything is made up in this life by someone or a committee of someones.
So while one system is being born, another is dying at the same time. It is most true that in order for something to live, something else has to die. This is the way of life, the natural order of how it is–but I’ll save that for another blog entry. Presently, chaos is at the helm while the adherents of fear in last stand attempt to stamp out anything they don’t yet understand.
Yet forces bigger than all of us–Life itself, is reworking itself into a higher order, and chaos is absolutely necessary at the same time while something else is arising, while the old system dies–and it will die. Here’s the thing–they might win some skirmishes, but eventually they will lose the war. A critical mass has been formed, and there is no stopping it now. And maybe, just maybe some of these same frightened individuals will discover love for the first time in the process with the realization you can’t authentically fix anything with hate, even if you believe God gave you license.
No matter how it looks, in the beginning, middle and end, love always has her way.
March 30, 2014 at 2:20 am
I see your point, Yvette. Aberrant behavior due to narcissism and sociopathy are in a class by themselves. I have been caught up unwittingly with what I deem to be (without being an expert) deeply entrenched narcissism–and it is not something that is easily addressed because the individual inflicted with it never recognizes that they have a problem. It is everyone else, and people are merely commodities to be used and trashed when they are no longer useful. I had a neighbor awhile back that I am sure was one. She had been a Holocaust victim in WWII and seen a lot of her family killed. She would never have sought help because she wasn’t the one with the problem–or so she believed.
I listened to an NPR broadcast the other day about psychopathy–a research Neuro Scientist was running brain scans on his family to make sure there were no signs of disease or Alzheimer’s, including one of his own. The end result was that he discovered via his own scans that he, himself, had the brain markers on psychopathy. As such, he realized that he was capable of committing horrific crimes, although he had never done so, had excelled in his profession, had a family and a successful life. He could see certain characteristics in himself that this could certainly be true–he just didn’t allow himself to go there, and hoped that he would never resort to such behavior. Turns out he had genetically inherited it. He was related to Lizzie Borden. And there had been other family members murdered by fellow family members in distant times past. He was privately concerned that at some point in the future he could also act out on his discovery, and several close friends upon learning of it, pulled away from him.
The thing I realize is that we probably encounter people who are wired this way whether through genetics (nature) or nurture far more often than we realize in our everyday lives. I am convinced that this is an issue that is not just confined to certain individuals. I believe that also can encompass nations, cultures, religion and corporations run amok–in it for what they can get for themselves regardless of who has to be killed or die. (Monsanto comes to mind.) We have an insane operating system on this planet.
However, as I staIted in my original blog, there is a new system arising to replace the insanity currently in place. It is so easy to be overwhelmed, to get angry at the injustice of it all. I am not immune to that. There are no easy answers, and yes, these perpetrators need to be held accountable, whether they are serial killers or bank CEO’s or presidents of nations or corporations.
March 30, 2014 at 7:43 pm
Psychiatrist and author M. Scott Peck wrote a book on narcissism called People of the Lie. When i read it, i recognized why my mother was incapable of loving anyone, but then rejected M. Scott peck’s premise as too easy an explanation. I had been taught to honor my father and mother, so I still believed that lack of relationship with my mother and her “mother church” religion must be based on my failings.
Twenty-five years later, I now believe that M. Scott Peck was correct; narcissism is the true standard of human evil. (Sociopath is probably simply another, less psychological, name for the same thing.)
It seems that humans have always “seen” gods as explanations for mysteries. The identification of the gods as similar to themselves brought the mysteries under the control of humans. Unfortunately, humans accepted that there were only an anointed few capable of understand and relating to the gods. The monarchs, shamans, priests, witches, etc. eventually came to be revered as gods. As a friend involved in PR for a major hospital said to me, “The problem is that those I make look good begin to believe the press releases.”
We have now been duped by the psychiatrists and psychologists that they have the answers for healing evil with their incantations and medications. They are really no different than the religious gurus.
Humans are purported to have the ability to freely choose our actions. While there are some with brain injury and/or disease that cannot do so, we now make excuses for those who choose evil as their ways of life. We have scientifically proven medical brain scans to separate those incapable from those who simply choose to be less than responsibly human.
It seems to me that those who cannot control their instincts must be kept away from those who use their self-control, much as we separate wild animals from domestic animals and human populations. Those who choose evil as their way of life should be made to pay restitution, and kept away from hurting others until they make right, in the eyes of the victims, what they made wrong. this seems to me to be true justice in a fully human society.
March 28, 2014 at 8:44 pm
I believe that sacred scripture continues to be written. That is why women must stop simply speaking and write what we know. You are a miracle to me, Shoshana.
“So while one system is being born, another is dying at the same time. It is most true that in order for something to live, something else has to die. This is the way of life, the natural order of how it is…”
“Presently, chaos is at the helm while the adherents of fear in last stand attempt to stamp out anything they don’t yet understand.”
“Life itself, is reworking itself into a higher order, and chaos is absolutely necessary at the same time while something else is arising, while the old system dies–and it will die. Here’s the thing–they might win some skirmishes, but eventually they will lose the war. A critical mass has been formed, and there is no stopping it now. And maybe, just maybe some of these same frightened individuals will discover love for the first time in the process with the realization you can’t authentically fix anything with hate, even if you believe God gave you license.”
yes! Yes! YEs! YES!
This is the hope I have held onto since reading “A World Waiting to Be Born” by M. Scott Peck. You are saying so many of the same things! Thank you.
March 29, 2014 at 2:20 am
Thank you so much, Yvette! And you are a miracle, too! Yes, we need to realize that there is a higher way and we must focus on that if we are to evolve beyond the small mindedness and suspicion that keeps us all separated from on another. As we realize the value of our own soul, our own precious lives, we begin to see it in one another, as well, rather than projecting all our own fear out onto our brothers and sisters and the planet itself. The same life that holds us up, enlivens us, keeps us alive is the same energetic force that runs through every single thing sentient being and life form that exists both here on Planet Earth and the entire mulit-verse, tying us intimately to everything that is. So when we hate the other, it is merely confirmation of our devaluing of ourselves.
March 29, 2014 at 12:31 pm
“So when we hate the other, it is merely confirmation of our devaluing of ourselves.”
I used to buy into this belief, but I have come to realize that many hate because of arrogance, which is overvaluing of themselves. Religions and class systems are full of this type of example.
March 29, 2014 at 4:29 pm
I want to agree with you, and what you are saying certainly sounds reasonable. Arrogance is definitely a factor. Yet I wonder why a person would be arrogant if it were not a cover for some other more deeply hidden fears about themselves, that somewhere inside they might feel they are not enough. I think the core root of our fears so much of the time is that we are not good enough or not enough, and that if we are not that, then below that is the fear of death–and loss and change can feel like death sometimes. Facing our own darker natures is not something the vast majority of humans are comfortable doing–nor do they actually face but for the excepted minority. Letting the monsters out of the closet, letting go of who we think we are–our ideologies and identities based upon a man made system, and exposing our vulnerability, our underbelly to ourselves, let alone the world, can feel like death. We know that when let go, it can be extremely liberating, however. Having gone to the brink of physical death myself, I am loathe to go through that again. I am not afraid of death, I just don’t want to be there in the lead up to that point. Death is liberating once you get past the dying process–however that might look in a life through loss, illness or change. In the meantime, we make up all kind of stories to fool ourselves and each other. Arrogance, I think, is just the flip side of the coin of an outward display of self-devaluation, both, in my estimation, coming from the same root of fear of not enough and death. Just some thoughts here, my friend. 🙂
March 29, 2014 at 8:43 pm
Many are handed a birthright of being better than everyone else. We know that these people are narcissists. Narcissism is not a disease; it’s an evil. There is a distinct difference.
A disease puts the sufferer ill at ease; an evil puts others ill at ease without causing discomfort to the evildoer. Narcissists, like sociopaths have no compassion, many because they have never been taught how to have such a thing.
Humans have created religions and methods of management and rule that encourage narcissism. “Nice guys finish last;” “The early bird gets the worm;” “Get them before they get you;” “Survival of the fittest.” All are methods touted for bringing up successful children.
I am so tired of excusing evil by promoting guilt over feeling damaged by the evil that narcissists and sociopaths commit. Adult humans are supposed to be held accountable for their actions because they are able to make choices. We are twice harmed when we are told that we are wrong for holding our perpetrators accountable for their choices and actions.
March 28, 2014 at 4:14 pm
I agree with you completely. I’ve just ordered a book entitled “The Turning Point” by Gregg Braden. He addresses this same situation. The world is indeed changing and we must be open to love and change. ~ Dennis
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March 28, 2014 at 4:39 pm
Yes, Dennis, and that is why, on an evolutionary scale, it helps to take the long view here and realize that humanity is turning a corner, no matter how awkward and painful it feels in the moment. We make a choice to keep our heart open to love. That is the only way we are going to evolve individually and collectively.