Friday, 28 August 2009

Undercover Dictatorship in an Affluent Society

Consider this scenario:

A person is quite clear on the concepts behind new spiritual thinking (be it New Age, integral or whatever that works along similar esoteric lines) and wishes to contribute to the world. She has plenty of intuition and understanding and doesn't feel that the new spiritual fads really add anything to what she already knows. But she has contracted an illness as a child and it's irreversible, so it causes major issues with insomnia, pain and chronic fatigue. She has been granted disability, but once she has accepted this position in society, she's robbed of most of rights to decide about her own right. Because she is very sensitive, the input from society and society's attitude that if you don't fit the norm, you have no right to exist, becomes a major drainer. She's always being treated as a second rate citizen, although she consumes as much as many others. She feels that she's fighting the wind, as sending love is not going to change how power hungry authorities operate (whenever she tries to stay positive and smiling when she meets with authorities, she gets stabbed in the back).

This person is locked in the disability system and thus dependent on humiliating social aid. The only way for this person to take some power back from these social people (who happen to be the worst kind in the small town where this person lives, and so there is plenty of patronizing and personal attacks going on) is to break loose; she'd have to survive on the basic pension alone, pay the bills but have nothing left to eat. This person is disabled because she's too ill to work so it is not a option. All she can do is write, and if she could arrive at a point where she felt less bothered by the inhuman pressure the social people exert on her she might be able to pull herself together and focus on writing something that could make a difference. She wishes to uncover a sort of undercover dictatorship that the authorities in affluent societies practice. Of course no one cares about the poor, because they are seemingly unproductive members of the society and are only holding economic evolution back. No one considers that those who don't fit the norms may have other values to express and share that might enrich society and help it evolve vertically rather than just horisontally. But of course, there are not many avenues for complaints because it is precisely that; a dictatorship dressed to look like something else.

She tries to do some energy work and keep reasonably fit, but as with all people in similar situations she tends to get apathetic. She also tries to have trust and faith in spirit because she can't really "manifest" anything as her hands are tied (she's not allowed to earn money either). She wants to evolve spiritually and tries very hard to stay positive, but she has trouble even wanting to get out of bed every day, let alone surf the net for other suggestions than the repetitive and rather trite "you get what you already have inside" (the blasted law of attraction that only instigates feelings of guilt and fear of fear); "try this revolutionary method..." or "just go inside", etc.

She lives alone and has only one family member to lean on a bit but this person is in a similar situation. There is no social network that could support her. She's been focusing on finding a partner but it hasn't worked out, as she's not someone who fits the norm (ordinary, wealthy, and the rest of the clichés that are out there in this narcissistic era) and a soul mate hasn't appeared despite her various approaches and experiments with changes of attitude. She quickly sees through people's acts and realizes, that most people are not really in touch with themselves and therefore unable to feel anything but feigned empathy and hypocritical altruism. Disenchantment also bugs her, because even though she knows that all the phoneyness is an illusion, a human being has to live with it. She also feels that she's possibly not meant to truly bond with people if this is her last existance, because there seems to be no other reasonable explanation since she has not wished to isolate herself. She also feels she needs to be a spokesperson for the poor and weak in society, but enough is enough.

How can she break loose and have some hope that she will also find some greater ease and contentment in her life soon? Is hope just a phrase, or is there any real basis for thinking that the future might hold something better even if you're not actively trying to manipulate and control your life through the fashionable "manifestations". Will she survive, or will she perish? What's your bet?

Artwork: "Elegy on the Eternal Dilemma", handmade collage by author, all rights reserved 2009

Monday, 17 August 2009

Chaos and extreme Polarization Precede New Order and Harmony

I don't feel too bright at the moment but felt like getting a few things off my chest so to speak. Well, I am trying not to care too much about what others say about the energies at the moment, as it's really all just very confusing. What I do know is that I'm in some process of my own simply because I feel different from the way I've felt in the past. And really, that should be enough but our minds are always busy asking why, when and how. Of course, if the process was all happy and joyful it would be quite a different thing that would elicit a very different attitude from myself. But the tough parts... well, of course you can't help questioning the feeling of such extreme vulnerability. Yet surely increasing sensitivity is not always just a result of disruptive encounters and external energies that encrouch on one's physical and emotional well being? Surely increasing sensitivity makes many of those issues feel all the more unbearable, to the point where you think you are completely trashed on the inside. I have no clear answer but it seems to me that a bit of everything is true. You just cannot have new order unless you've been through chaos, and when chaos prevails on all the different levels of our being at different points in time... well there just may not be that many moments when you feel happy and complete. Yet I'm not saying there aren't some moments that allow you a peep into a more harmonious state of being... sometimes when I feel really hopeless a feeling of hope shoots up and helps me continue. And I didn't force it.

Some discussion on a forum whether Obama is an agent of the light or the dark elicited a response from me about what I perceive as the polarized nature of American mentality. The USA is a funny sort of place because of its contrasts. It's also a society that is very much at the forefront everywhere - for better and for worse. Sometimes we get so much of American culture and American issues we don't know what to do with ourselves! On the one hand Americans have so much personal freedom to be what you want to be and speak your mind, and that fosters a very lucrative market for self-help and positive thinking. On the other there's a lot of competition and many sensitive people are under a lot of pressure to keep up with the Jones's or to simply survive. Religion is also very strong and tends to colour people's perceptions to a very high degree. You often hear comments and arguments of a social nature that refer to religious sentiments. Of course, this makes for a great growing ground for any form of spiritual belief system. The influx of spiritual literature into Europe is immense. Well, in short I feel that these factors tend to create an abnormal sense of division in people's minds, and so polarities are highly accentuated. Positive versus negative, good versus bad, black versus white, light versus dark, beautiful versus ugly, and so forth. Money, success and good looks are being stressed to the extreme. Of course, this is my personal perception albeit shared with many others, but obviously anyone is free to disagree. But the point is... why do I care about the deeper workings of the American mind in the first place?

Well, on the one hand I feel very attracted to a society that encourages quite a lot of open dialogue in a language that I can understand. It may be hard to make friends but social interaction on a superficial level is certainly a lot easier over there and I find that a sort of bonus in every day life. On the other hand what I perceive as division puzzles and disturbs me. However, it's clear that it's something I need to come to terms with within myself. I need to find some sort of peace regarding the fact that reality here on Earth can be very extreme. The way things sometimes stretch very far on the polarity axis almost causes me to feel physical pain. Is it any wonder that I started my esoteric journey 15 years ago by investigating into dualism and the role of paradoxes as a way of uniting and transcending polarities? By attempting to see the reality and the truth of the two sides of a story as well as thinking in terms of "both-and" instead of "either-or" we can get quite far in changing the way we are conditioned to look at reality. I don't think it's possible to transcend polarities entirely but one can see them for what they are; two sides of one coin. Despite being somewhat skilled in this sort of thinking, I still find it hard to apply this to some of life's conditions on a practical level. Some things are just very hard and overwhelming to deal with when you're emotionally involved, and sometimes the process calls for quite a lot of patience. Anything that represents very strong positive and negative currents still stirs me...

Something quite funny happened the other day. I was in the big city when a lady called and so it was hard to hear what she was trying to say. She was disappointed that my exhibition in my home town was not on anymore and was wondering if she might see my artwork elsewhere. She said she was with a "mystic group" who were doing an excursion to my town, but she was worried about finding things to do there (no wonder!). I spontaneously invited them to my house. She was thrilled. I said, well as an artist I'm only very happy that people want to come to see my art, so really the pleasure was on my side! I couldn't quite make out what she was saying about food so I offered to serve them some coffee and tea. She was even more thrilled. She didn't think something like this might be possible. I was very happy to be the agent of such a positive occurrence in these people's lives!

Well, I cleaned my house and rearranged bits and pieces that I had meant to deal with for a long time. I made an apple pie and small sandwhiches, realizing I missed having a tea party but also feeling terribly out of practice. Everything went fine and took exactly two hours as I had anticipated. Still I talked a lot about my art but not nearly as much as I could have... I understand that people have a very limited ability to digest new information and it didn't seem to me as these people were quite as much into esoteric thinking as I had initially thought. The leader of the group was a real darling and very perceptive about my artwork, so I got a lot from hearing her comments. Contrary to people's beliefs, I don't mind hearing alternative interpretations of my artwork. The point is not to get across a specific idea, but to awaken a response in the other person. This is how life works; we can never communicate an exact thought or feeling but only hint at them and hope that another person responds to our signals in some way or another. Their experience is just as valid as mine, regardless of the source. This lady said she felt comfortable expressing her views because of the allowing atmosphere, and I was more than happy about that.

However, I could easily have found myself in a very vulnerable position. If no one had shown genuine interest I would have felt devastated. So my desire to have some kind of in-home gallery in the future might have to be revised. Of course, I don't know about the future but at the moment all the inner processes and emotional havoc in regards to online dating has left me even more sensitive than before. There are moments when I feel completely trashed on the inside and don't have a very strong feeling of self-esteem.

I was thinking the other day, that I sometimes feel a bit inferior because I'm not a healer like so many other spiritual people. But the truth is, you don't have to be a healer just because you trod a spiritual path that means the world to you. There are other things you can do that stimulate change (and maybe even forms of healing) in yourself and your environment. Also - some things you learn about in this life may be used in the next. You just don't always know where your life is heading, all you can do is try and stay in touch with your sense of purpose and do whatever feels meaningful even if it presents you with a lot of challenges. Not everything is always easy. Some things that used to be easy can become very arduous because the level of your learning is much higher. Do not despair if you're not quite like anyone else.
Artwork: "Emotions 2/6", handmade collage by author, all rights reserved 2003