A Question with Jach's Reply from an Online Conference
During the Online Conference (March 21, 2012) the following question was asked:
"With the ongoing political threats to women's autonomy from the right, and the death of the young black boy in Florida, Trayvon Martin, it seems like we are revisiting issues we thought/hoped were more resolved. Any ideas on how to be an understanding person with these painful, angering issues?"
Several people requested that this question and my reply be made available. There will be a transcript of the entire Online Conference in the Forum Library, but I decided to also post this reply in the Forum and on the Lazaris ~ Concept: Synergy page of Facebook.
It's an amazing time, isn't it? Shocking, in many ways. I cannot remember when, but many months ago Lazaris said that the male chauvinism of the past, which seemed to be on the decline and that seemed to many to be a non-issue, was returning with "a vengeance." He spoke of the radical extremists in the Muslim world. He spoke of the castration and mutilation of women in Africa. He spoke of the Taliban and their impact in Pakistan and Afghanistan. He didn't speak of the rise of chauvinism in the West, but it seems to be here. Racism and bigotry that were "supposed to be resolved" with the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s, also seem to be increasing. The shooting death of Trayvon Martin speaks to that in a visible way.
How to understand it: What occurs to me is that people, so many people, are dealing with the lower rung of the Tiers of Emotion. So many people are caught up and lost in fear and in hurt. Jealousy seems rampant, as does blame. Unresolved, these constricting emotions, these denied emotions, deteriorate and rot, becoming rage. Rage dips into loneliness and despair. The result: people feel a growing and terrifying sense of alienation. People feel they just don't belong. They don't belong in a world that is "moving too fast."
Alienation, lack of belonging, rage, loneliness, and despair cause people to act out. Some act out with anger. Their anger covers the fear and hurt. Blame covers rage and despair. With alienation, a sense of not belonging, and a world that seems foreign, violence unfolds. Racism, bigotry, and discrimination seem to be a part of that. I think the rise of violent chauvinism is also a major part of that. The term, War on Women, is a political term, a catch phrase. But beyond the rhetoric, there are increased attempts to control women with all the legislation about abortion, contraception, and women's rights, I think it is a function of that alienation and lack of belonging. It leads to a sense of powerlessness. The chauvinism, acting out against women, seems to be a response: an attempt to feel powerful, to be in control, to have impact, to be a part and in a way to "belong." It seems an attempt through control to feel "in control" of a world that has gotten "out of control."
So to understand: It's about comprehending and interpreting along with discerning and assessing. Beyond that, understanding looks to inference -- the emotions that are unspoken and that are "between" the events themselves. Understanding also is about appreciating. That's the hard part here, I think. But I think we can appreciate the pain that the Republican legislators in various states are feeling, and the pain that those who support such oppressive legislation are feeling. I think we can appreciate the sense of alienation and the lack of belonging that I think is behind this new level of chauvinism.
The last step of understanding is valuation. Not to value the violence toward women or the violence to minorities, but to value the desire to belong, the desire to be a part of the world, to be connected, to be included. Under all that, is there a desire, a longing, to be loved? I suspect there is. I can appreciate and value that. I can work my magic to flow love and healing to the perpetrators. I can work my magic to awaken a sense of belonging in those who feel so foreign, so alien, so alienated in this rapidly changing world.
I also think there is shame involved here. I am not sure how it plays exactly. But I think the attempts to corral women (once again) and the acts of violence, are attempts to dump the "sub-human" feelings of powerlessness on to others. Shame: "I feel powerless. If I can make women feel powerless, perhaps I can alleviate my feeling of powerlessness. If I can make others afraid, perhaps my fears will be lessened." Again, I am not clear on this, but as I have been responding to your question, the idea of shame keeps coming up. It's a puzzle piece here, I think, and I don't know where it fits. Anyway, these are my thoughts to your question about how to understand.
I hadn't thought about understanding these situations until this question came up.