Friday, April 23, 2021

Healthy Culture Quotes and Proverbs

 

Water and Earth (A thawing of Frost)
 by I-P

Some say the world will begin with Water
Some say with Earth
From what I know of Compassion's Daughter
I hold with those who wager Water
But if there were to be a Second Birth
I think I know enough of laughter
Of humble, kind, good-natured mirth
To say the for creation Earth
Is of equal worth
If it does come after...
 
 
 
 
So. Long time no posts. I guess I lost faith in the written/virtual word as a medium for finding "Healthy Culture Nerds" to collaborate in a "cultural pilot project", possibly in the form of an intentional community*.Not sure I have really regained it, but I do have the urge to post, in no particular order, the following fairly representative quotes of myself together with some made-up "proverbs" related to Healthy Culture as I understand it these days. I will probably add to, and perhaps modify) them in the future and--if I get really inspired-- elaborate on each one (or just some of them) in future posts.--I-P


 
 
""Science", the faculty of "knowing-apart"; "Conscience", the faculty of knowing-together"...
 
"A culture, just as much as an individual, without a healthy functioning conscience, can be called "Sociopathic" and its form of self-replication (its educational process), "Sociopathogenic"...

 

Against a rapist epistemology:

"If might is right, rapists have the right to rape children because the rapists are presumably “mightier". Might is not Right nor (contra Bacon and Hobbes) is  “Knowledge" (presumably “Right Knowledge”) ,“Power” (presumably “Power-Over”--ie "Might”).  Right Knowledge is not Might: Right Knowledge is Communion, as the majority of cells in your body must know very  well, else you wouldn’t be  alive reading this…"
 
"People seem to think that they are trying to "enjoy Life" but "Life" is not what is happening; what is happening is the rape of the planet. People are trying to enjoy the rape of the planet..."
 
"Local Anesthesia, General Anesthesia, Coma, Death you think will release ya
but Local Wholesthesia, General Wholesthesia, Awakening, and Life is what will ease ya
'cause if the shoe fit, you don't feel it; if ya stomachs working right ya don't think of it:
Wholesthesia is the silence of Health, (check it out, dig it your self)
 
--From the song "Its Not Life" 

Anesthesia is "Nonsense", "Wholesthesia"?, thats "Complete Sense", "Euaesthesia" is "Good Sense", I'm wishing you "Good Sense"...
 
--From the song "Good Sense"


"War is the Denial of Life, "Peace" is the Denial of Death; Justice is not the Denial of Anything..."

"Justice is the situation of people acknowledging and resolving to treat their own individual symptoms of our shared sick culture, rather than projecting them onto each other individually or onto other groups collectively. It is a group of people helping each other do this. Justice is Shared Recovery."

"The context of this Shared Recovery is True Community"
 
 "True community is not just the "human community", (which ecologically speaking is just one population in a given place and not a community at all), but rather the the whole diversity of beings in a given place considered as fellow Individual-Persons with which to share recovery.
 
"If the land does not recover, the people cannot recover"
 
"While the people do not recover, the land cannot recover"
 
 "Justice is "Justice for All"

"Justice begins at Home: Be fair with Yourself...."
 
"Rhetoric, Logic and other forms of argument and persuasion implicitly separate Honesty (subjective reality) from Truth (objective reality), and so tend to involve both Dishonest Truth (misleading "facts") and False Honesty (unconsciously excluded/censored "feeling/sensations/thoughts, etc). This is because in any such argument, the possibility that both parties could be wrong, and that, moreover the whole topic of discussion could be a red herring relative to a much more vital topic which is being ignored, is connived at by both participants, setting the whole discussion on an alienated and dishonest foundation to begin with.."
 
The expression of Righteousness is always an example of both of Dishonest Truth and False Honesty. Of  Dishonest Truth in as much as it is an arbitrary singling out and condemnation of one or another symptom of sick culture in another (while ignoring in ones self and others, the many, perhaps different but equally important symptoms--whether expressed as "crimes of omission" or "crimes of commission"--of that same disease). It is an example of False Honesty in as much as subjective anesthesia/amnesia are behind ones ability of do this ignoring.

At the same time, Shame is always equally an example of this same Dishonest Truth/False Honesty, as such shame implies an equal amnesia and numbness regarding, in this case, ones of own past and present "virtues of omission" and "virtues of commission", ie; the share of healthy culture that is also present, even if unrecognized and cultivated.

Thus, when and wherever there is Righteousness or Shame (or Praise or Blame, or Reward or Punishment) of oneself or others, there is False Honesty/Dishonest Truth (ie; Alienated Phoniness and "Antisocializing"). Of course this is just something to know and try to heal, not to be ashamed about, such Shame just being a sign that the denial process is still the default one...
 
And, what happens in the absence of the dominance of these things in our shared culture? Cultural Recovery, Inner and Outer Healing is what happens, that is, if Coawareness, True Community, and Good Sense have taken their place. For there is a dimension perpendicular to the false dichotomies of Righteousness/Shame etc, a dimension across which there is a (relatively) true dichotomy. That dimension is that of Recovery or Denial which go in opposite directions along the same slanted and usually winding road. In one direction one takes progressively less and less for granted, becoming less and less self important and more and more awake alive and interactive, and in the other...well the opposite.
 
Even so, the reason I say the dichotomy is only relative and not absolute is because people in cultural recovery are always Relapsing (and helping each other to Recover from such relapses). Given the nature of the situation (ie; that we were all born into suffer from and are still surrounded by sick culture) relapses are to be expected (though not courted), as just a part of the Shared Recovery Process. As such, relapses are are just treated as sources of information relevant to improving that process (ideally anyway). Such a relapses, once they are seen, acknowledged as such and collaboratively "treated", are in no way  a part of denial, and Laughing about it afterwards is part of that healing and "good-natured mirth" that I was trying to get as in my poem."

Only from such a Recovery dynamic, and from a Logic that correlates in principle (and cultivates in practice) both Honesty and Truth, can we expect to approach either Honest Truth outwardly expressed or True Honesty inwardly experienced. Such a Logic is 'Life-Logic" ie; Correlative Logic, or the logic of Coawareness, of Recovery as opposed to Denial".

"Everybody has a piece of the Truth; Everybody has a piece of the Lie"

"Basically, the house is on fire and those not being burned alive tend to be stupefied by the smoke."
 
"Evil is just Glamorized Stupidity"
 
 "The opposite of stupidity is not Cleverness; the opposite of stupidity is Awareness ("Coawareness" actually)"
 
Coawareness is the joint awareness of the "fire and smoke" outwardly in the world And equally of their effects inwardly in oneself. It is simultaneously the awareness of the existence also of some necessary degree of "non-fire" and "non-smoke" both inwardly and outwardly (otherwise we and the world would be dead already). This Coawareness results in realization of the necessity to coordinate inner and outer healing.



* This is because the essence of healthy culture is likely to be lost in its translation into the cognitive idiom  of the dominant sick culture. Healthy culture communications are always directed to the Intelligence of the Heart (which is notably closer to the gut and arms and legs--that is to compassionate and courageous interactivity-- then the pseudo intelligence of the head alone). The dissociated left-brained attention of the dominant culture is likely to exclude the essence of what is being said in the very act of isolating,  "mastering", (or even just being able to superficially understand and repeat) the concepts. Such "power-over the letter" being mistaken for true "communion with the spirit" of what one is trying to communicate can only be expected for those unconsciously  infected with a "power-over epistemology"...(I exclude myself from this only to the extent that I am Conscious that I share this infection with  you and everyone else in this culture and so am in ongoing self-imposed treatment for it, which I call Recovery)...


Sunday, May 29, 2016

Walking the Cointeger



{note; I was going to wait to introduce the concept of the Cointeger until I posted my (still in-progress) post about Cointegrative Mathematics (which I intended to post only after posting my other (still in-progress) post, "Life-logic part-2". But It begins to seem a bit phony to be so linear about what I post when everything about healthy culture (as with sick culture) is so entangled with and implied in everything else in such a non-linear way.  At any rate, something has happened recently with regard to what I first conceived as only a more narrowly "mathematical" symbol, that made it as much a part of the ritual aspect of healthy culture as its Cosmology, and this blog being in part about sharing some of the experimental rituals of Healthy Culture, it seems appropriate share at least this--mostly non-mathematical--, aspect of the symbol here as well. The following will thus allude to as well as offer a taste of blog posts yet to come and in these I will elaborate and extend a great deal of what I pass over here very quickly--- I-P}

I try to take at least one good long walk in the woods everyday, so I was out this past winter walking after a big snow in a part of the land we call "Monacan land" (after the native humans of this place) and I saw that someone had used the two trees standing in a small clearing to mark the two epicenters of a infinity sign in the snow as a way of turning around going back the way they came. When I saw this, I couldn't help but walk in a circle around that lazy figure 8 and so make the sign of the Cointeger ().

So what is the cointeger? Well, as I say above, much  more is forthcoming, about the whole topic of Cointegrative Mathematics and the Cointeger than I have the space or time to go into here, but briefly: just as Cointegrative Logic is a kind of Process Logic/"Phenomenologic"*, the mathematics which follows from it is a kind of Phenomenological, Process mathematics, in which the concept of the Mathematical Operation, (ie adding, subtracting etc) is extended and, as it were, subsumed into the larger context of what I suppose Husserl would call the "a Mathematics of and for the "Life World" together with the cognitive "Operations" that (I imagine he would agree) are proper to it. I describe the cognitive Coordinates in the first Life-logic post here: (http://cointegrative.blogspot.com/2014/09/life-logic-part-one-preliminaries.html)

Anyway, in this new inclusive paradigm, these cognitive numerical operations like counting must be Coordinated with and rooted in, the cognitive coordinates as I have described them if they are to be apart of healthy cognition (in which case I suppose you should call them "Co-operations"--rather than operations, if that is not too amusing to take seriously) .

Thus before you have the operations of adding, subtracting etc, you have, in this new, inclusive mathematics the cognitive Operation of Counting (enumeration). Moreover, before the operation of counting comes the operation of Identification (that is you identity entity X by the operations of objectifying it, stereotyping it, dissociating it form both yourself and the rest of its context, and thus reducing it to a discrete, indefinite abstraction). Of course Life-Logic, Being biased in favor of togetherness rather than being biased, like Aristotelian logic,in favor of apartness, has what you might call a Law of Coidentity (as opposed to the law of Non-identity) in which X and Not-X coidentify each other just as the point and the circle coidentify each other in the correspondingly healthy geometrical gestalt. 

Here we have the implication that counting, as it stands (as well as the Mathematics which follows from it), is an uncoordinated dissociated and alienating process, being based as it presently is, on Identity and Identification and thus on what I am calling "Panic Logic", (after the fight/flight dichotomy implied in condition of "Fright" which I claim to be the emotional/cognitive substrate on which this kind of logic is founded), rather than on the phenomenological coidentity and coidentification of Life-Logic. 

Well, just as Life-Logic does not altogether exclude relatively one-sided, either/or, Identity thinking of panic logic, but rather takes the panic out of it by  normatively subordinating its dichotomies to the more inclusive and coordinated Process Logic in represents, so Cointegrative Mathematics subordinates enumeration and the numbers of enumeration to Conumeration and the Co-ordinal rather and merely ordinal numbers of ordinary counting. 

The essence of these Co-ordinal numbers is the Cointeger**  () As you can surmise, the symbol (which unfortunately, on newer computers might look more like the infinity symbol in front of a disk) is more or less intended to comprise/combine the symbol for infinity and that of zero. The Idea here is that there is, after all, no reason that one has to count in a line. Why not also have--and even privilege--the kind of counting that can be Coordinated internally with the other aspects of cognition, in the way relative "itness", is coordinated with relative "Thatness", "Thisness", and "Whatness", as in the Cognitive Coordinates? To do this you would of course have to turn the number line into a number circle/sphere by postulating the Cointeger, which you can regard as the end and beginning of any counting process***.


Well, obviously, lots of things both precede and follow from (and go along with) all of this, which as I said, I will go into further in the a future post, probably on the Cointegrative.blogspot blog.


But getting back, for now, to tracing out the cointeger symbol in the snow. Since I did it that first time, I've started to make a habit of doing it when I got to that clearing in the woods on my daily walk. It became a little Healthy Culture ritual for me after a while. 

Well a few days ago I was "walking the cointeger" in this way and I realized how much the symbol...well "symbolized"... the essence of Life-Logic, the essence of the Logic or Togetherness and its relationship to the Aristotelian Logic of Apartness and Argument which underlies almost all our discourse to this day.

This is what I mean: In a lot of cultural traditions making a clock-wise circle means invoking (inviting something) and a counter clock-wise circle means banishing (or separating from) something. I was thinking this the other day as I started walking the Cointeger, beginning with the infinity part --if you can imagine this; I started at the outside end of the curve which approaches the center crossing point (thus I was starting by walking clockwise) and affirming "I welcome togetherness". Then at the point where the lazy eight figure crosses itself and begins a counter-clock-wise curve, I said; "...And I also welcome Apartness". Continuing along the path to where it crosses itself a second time, (returning to the clock-wise direction) I said "...and I welcome Togetherness And Apartness..." (by this time I had not only returned to where I began but  continued off of the infinity part of the figure (still going clockwise, to the circular or "zero" part of the cointeger symbol(which looks like this remember), thus tracing out the symbol in a single line "cursive" line. Finally, as I began returning (still walking clockwise now) to the place where I started I said ..."in the spirit of Living Togetherness...Inwardly and Outwardly...", and, (as I recall), closed with some such affirmation as "ashe" or "so be it"

This is the whole sentence. "I welcome Togetherness, and I welcome Apartness and I welcome Togetherness and Apartness in the spirit of Living Togetherness, Inwardly and Outwardly, Ashe" (or "Amen" or whatever you want).

Well that is pretty much the spirit of Life-logic in a Nutshell. As a logic of, Inclusion, Togetherness, and Recovery, it must (to even be consistent with itself) include, (so as to coordinate and heal) its opposite, that is the Aristotalian logic of Apartness, Denial etc. 

Hopefully, if I have described this ritual right, you can try it for yourself (just make sure you start with the infinity figure and on a clock-wise "sun-wise" curve of that figure.

Now its one of the hazards of this blog that I must understand myself to be (no offence) posting this to what is in large part a collective unconsciousness in which the default is the dissociated, reductionist logic of "Identification" so that the average person must necessarily view in isolation (and therefore completely misunderstand)...well everything in any of my blogs really, including all of the above. I mean my whole thesis is that we live in, what is for the most part, a confused, alienated and phony culture in which the mind,heart, body, and intuition are chronically dissociated from each other and sustained in such dissociation by the competitive conditions of the "home invasion" described in previous posts. Under such circumstances its pretty inevitable that those who don't dismiss the intellectual parts of these posts as too abstract or whatever will dismiss the experimental rituals involved as too simplistic or perhaps even too "new agey" (what ever that is supposed to mean). Even worse, most of those who think there is something to all of this will proceed (probably purely by habit) to try to pick out (dissociate) the parts that they think can be altered so as to be (unintentionally) "co-optable" by sick culture itself in some modified form. 

All of which helps to explain why I post things so rarely.

Nevertheless, its not as though any of this is really very complicated although some of it can be rather involved when you try to put into words. What I am trying do with these blogs (in a balanced way, so that I don't permanently lose coordination with other aspects of my own recovery process--and so bring the process to an end) is to the show, directly and indirectly, the various ways the we have all been "initiated" into a Culture of denial and alienation and how this effects not only our cosmologies, identity-politics, rituals and infrastructure inclusively but the very logic by which we assess, understand and communicate to ourselves and others about what is going on. What you have before you in these posts are just virtual and fragmentary glimpses of a relatively non-virtual process of cultural recovery and I make the posts that I do mostly in the hopes of flushing out the few hard core "healthy culture nerds" (this is the description that I think is least likely to provoke the interest of elitists) , who see that the enterprise of inner and outer healing and cultural recovery that I am calling Cointegrative Science could also just be described as the enterprise of Living with Heart, as opposed just "surviving in denial".  Such people will recognize the extent to which these infrequent posts represent a very small but nevertheless real fire of recovery in what is otherwise a blizzard of denial and so will be willing to join me in the focused (and mostly non-virtual) work and play of sustaining this fire by bringing to it the tinder of their own good will, creativity, sense of humor, courage, conscience, and coawareness, along with the focused resolve necessary to foster the cultivation and growth of any such flame in such an extremely adverse environment as exists today****. 

It seems worth the inevitable dismissals, dissociations, and misunderstandings, if I flush out even one such potential colleague. 

Actually, even that is not really necessary; making posts like this every once in a while is just the civil "step" in a "Life-Dance" that is its own reward, whether anything else comes of it or not (as long as I don't end up sitting down and staring at a screen for too long!)



  
*with the difference that, unlike normal Phenomenology, the phenomenology of Healthy Culture postulates the states of Phenomenaesthesia, and Noumenaesthesia ("Life") etc...of which Husserl and Heidegger et al were evidently no more aware than anyone else (see the post "Good Sense and the meaning of Life here:
 http://cointegrative.blogspot.com/2012/04/good-sense-and-meaning-of-life.html

**The association of the Cointeger with what we call the "Integers", (and also with the "Cointegrative" of Cointegrative Science) is of course not accidental. Coordinal Numbers might also be called "Cointegers". I consider these numbers (this conception of number) to be more basic then then even the Natural Numbers since it transforms the infinity (actually the world "infinity" is replaced by the phrase "the Indefinite" in cointegrative math), as much a zero, and involves a more consciously "rhythmic" and coordinated interweaving of the more abstract with the less abstract cognitive functions. It probably represents a pre-"civilized" (and there-for a less alienated) way of coordinating time and space. Perhaps you could also call the the coordinals SelfNatural Numbers in accordance with the  Shared Self-Nature posited by Cointegrative Science (as opposed to the "Nature" postulated by the dominant kind of Science). As such it is useful for outer (that is infrastructural) healing as well is being conducive to the sanity that seems to have evaded, not only the "great" mathematicians, but the rest of us (perhaps to a lesser extent) as well. I will be showing some examples of the uses of Cointegrative Mathematics vis a vis technology and infrastructure in future posts.



***there always have been problems with both zero and infinity in both mathematics and Logic--even the Aristotelian kind. Besides the more familiar paradoxes of infinity, and attending the project of unifying math and Logic which Godel put and end to, there are things like multiplying with zero, in which you can get the conclusion 6 = 2 thusly : 6 * 0= 0, 2 * 0 = 0, which must mean that 6 * 0 =2 * 0. In which case we can cancel out the zeros, leaving 6=2! (I got this example from the book "Mathematics a Graphic Guide"). Yes I know this involves breaking the taboo against dividing by zero, but my point is that such taboos exist only to disguise the limitations of the dissociated, alienated, and not fully rational form of mathematics and logic being employed. As I will show in future post, disobeying such arbitrary prohibitions, even if only in the interest of conscientious consistency and rigor, leads to just the kind of implications that facilitate the needed reform and "sublation" of our present maths into a truly coordinated and cointegrative "Art of Learning" 


****This list of implied desiderata is accurate as far as it goes though it is incomplete and in need of a fair amount of qualification; for example, "Courage" in our culture is too easily confused with "Bravery". Moreover Coawareness--which is actually central to this whole business--has not even been formally introduced (at least not as such). I'll let the above do for now though, and make further clarification the work of another post... 



as always, I'll tidy this up soon....



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Wednesday, February 24, 2016

No Contest



So I was checking out Alfie Kohn on Youtube (Alfie Kohn, the educator, author and advocate of progressive, "intrinsically" rather than "extrinsically" oriented Learning and child rearing), when I decided to check out the reviews of "No Contest; The Case against Competition" on Amazon. In the process I read some reviews that annoyed me so I decided to write one of my own under my nom de plume there (nom de pixel?) of T. Community.

here it is--spiffed up a little bit and minus a few typos;

*****Really Essential!

I read this book many years ago and it was such a heartening experience. The truths in it were obvious to me and always had been even without all of the copious documentation (which more than adequately addresses all of the objections of the negative reviews I have read here). I think people's defense of competition (and of rewards and Punishment as well) is irrational--a form of denial really. I think this denial has to do with the ubiquity of child abuse and the kind of "Stockholm Syndrome" that can be involved with it. It might be easy for some to see that they were unjustly punished as children, but it seems to be much harder to separate the concept of punishment itself from that of justice itself, and so recover completely from the experience. Once one accepts punishment as even potentially justice, one implicitly accepts Reward as such also and equally the necessity of Competition to acquire the latter and and avoid the former (failure being a variety of punishment as "success" is of reward). The result is just a bunch of alienation and phoniness which over time we begin to mistake for "human nature" if not for our own true selves.

I think education itself (as it has been historically) is really a form of impressment; a kind of forced draft into an alienated state of competition against one peers (Just like with the navy and other military in the old days, and with child soldiers even today). Think of it: in both cases young people are forced (initially against their will) to compete against each other both as individuals and as members of various teams (nation states among them) all to the ultimate "profit" only of the Bank which loans money to both (all) sides.

 I guess in the global economy everyone is more or less supposed to be their own sovereign state (notwithstanding nationalist rhetoric about "American jobs"), but you can ask just about any college graduate with outstanding student loans for confirmation about the Bank part of my thesis. (I suppose an exception would be ifthe "Stockholm" thing has kicked in that is, which does seem to do, especially if one manages to land a well paying job).

If anything, Kohn doesn't go far or deep enough. But I still give it five stars (even though such a "reward" is as stupid as any other). After all I had to rate it somehow or else they wouldn't let me write this review! And if 5 stars and this review will get someone else to read this really essential book, the decision between not writing the review and to compromising by rating it at is...well...no contest...

{end of review}


Well, besides wishing I had edited the above better before posting it on amazon (I especially dislike the title, though haven't come up with anything else so far), it occurs to me to see if I can extend and elaborate on, some of what I wrote in the above review.

Punishment (and Child Abuse)

Briefly and somewhat oversimplified, this is my theory about punishment; I think it has to do with bullying, and specifically with being bullied by a parent or parental figure at an early age (ie; with some kind of child abuse). I think that, being mammals (I don't mean this in a reductive sense--that we are only mammals) we all have that mammal thing in which we are more or less programmed to bond with and trust, whoever happens to be the parental figure in our lives.  Now if we, as human mammals,  instinctively do that with our parents or care givers, and one of these physically (or emotionally) hits us (for, lets say... doing something at 7 that only a 10-year old might have been expected to know better than to do), we must, at least in part, internalize that violence, not only as punishment, but as just punishment since we as children are not old enough to fully distinguish feeling bad, from being bad and, as I said, are sort of programmed to take the adult as an authority. Given then that, to some extent, the child necessarily internalizes the message that it is bad, that it is guilty of something, what, really can it possibly understand itself to be guilty of? I think its ends up accepting as bad simply the state of being younger, weaker, and inexperienced relative to the parental abuser. The child has thus received  the transmission that being younger and weaker etc is itself a punishable offense; that it is even a kind of righteous moral duty to punish anyone showing such qualities. Thus, when this abused kid hits the playground and runs across someone who seems to be weaker etc.., this internalized lesson will be triggered in the form of the urge to violently punish that individual for the crime of being so. This of course is just the same complex that, more or less, was originally triggered in the abusing parent--who was evidently just transmitting to the child what someone had transmitted to him or her at some earlier point in their lives. Of course this is, like I said, a bit of an oversimplification, but I think the gist of it is valid as a general rule of thumb.

I think that a lot of people who have experienced something like this (whether the bullying was physically or emotionally violent is immaterial here) eventually do learn that the treatment they received was unjust punishment, but, like I suggest in the review, the essence of what was transmitted was not so much the justice or unjustness of this or that particular punishment, but that justice involves some kind of punishment at all. This aspect of what has been transmitted through violence seems to be much more rarely made conscious and healed. Thus one is likely to believe that, rather than oneself, it is ones bullying parent that deserves punishment (rather than just restraint and some kind of effective healing) and the thought that "Punishment itself is unjust or stupid is not likely to stick as a realization even if occurs to one.

I think there are a lot of reasons for this, one of which is that our culture does not offer really much of an alternative model of what Justice actually is if not punishment. The idea that Justice involves everyone "getting what they deserve" certainly does not transcend the idea of punishment, though it does seem to more explicitly include the complementary Idea of Reward as well.


Justice as "Right"


"Justice begins at home: be fair with yourself"--healthy culture proverb

Come to think of it, the idea of "getting what you deserve" as a conception of justice seems to imply some kind of acquisitional metaphor, as though Life or the World itself is essentially a kind of plunder, and the only consideration being that each person receive that part of the plunder that is theirs by "right" (this usually being decided by some kind of competition). This makes sense given the war-and-plunder generated culture that currently exists (what would the modern world be without the plunder of the new world and the third world--and even of the old world, after all?--well a lot healthier I think but that's another blog post). 

Anyway, its clear that the conception of "right" and "rights" implied above is closely associated with the general association of the idea of right with that of "might" (as in "Might is Right") , which also sort of goes along with an order of things established by a culture of war and plunder--and with the inevitable competition for plunder known as our economic system.

The problem is of course that if might is right, then rapists have the right to rape, and child molesters and abusers have the right to molest and abuse, any child or other person they happen to be "mightier" than. I don't know about you, but this implication has always been enough for me to reject the whole premise (though if this doesn't settle things for you, there are a lot of other reasons to reject the idea which I will I am sure I will go into elsewhere). 

But you can see how such a point of view is very similar to "punishment is just" conclusion that is inculcated in a child by parental child abuse. Its really  the same "conclusion" (though the word "conclusion" clearly implies more choice and volition than existed at the time; perhaps I should say the same "compulsion"). It makes sense then that the reason people are willing to swallow the "might is right" implication publicly (explicitly in Fascist States, more implicitly everywhere else) is that they have been forced to swallow it privately as children.

Justice as Relationship and (inner/outer) Responsibility

I think a good alternative for what justice is is this: that justice is nothing more or less than a situation in which everyone is in recovery from there own particular version of sick culture (they way I usually say it in person is that "Justice is a situation in which everybody is acknowledging and dealing with their own sh*t").

When you think about it, an unjust situation exists between person A and person B when B has to Deal with A's ...sick culture...but not visa versa. This is your typical "Power-over" situation of heirarchy structurally and though it doesn't have to be taken advantage of, power tends to corrupt as they say. When it does, this means that person B has to deal (if they are not going to be just like Person A) with there own sick culture (my contention is that everybody born in to a sick culture suffers from it in some way) as well as A's sick culture, and the likelihood is that sooner or later this will seem to be too much and that the "B's" in such a situation will (consciously or unconsciously) pass things along to someone "weaker" than themselves (becoming the A's this new situation") .

Now there is more to Injustice  than this, because people are habitually unjust to parts of themselves, and the outer injustices they enact and participate in when they have the power over others to do so are generally proportional to this ongoing inner state of injustice and self betrayal. This, (as I show in my current post on the other blog using there the example of "education", of formal, rather than informal, child abuse), has to do with the inner state of denial and dissociation that a culture of coercion and competition (and coerced competition) inculcates and makes it necessary maintain.  In fact, ones ongoing attempts at dealing with  ones own sick culture are the same thing as being fair (being Just) with oneself; of protecting the "B" parts of ourselves from the "A" part of ourselves, but also of trying to heal--rather than punish--the "A" parts. This cultivation of inner as well as outer justice is what it means to be in recovery rather than in denial and the conception of justice implied is essentially "Responsibility-based" rather than Rights based. 

Though its possible to say that, for example ones inner animal (ones body) has the "right" not to be abused, and indeed has an equal right to be respected and well nourished, just as much as ones Inner Child, Inner Adult, and Inner Elder, It makes more sense to me to say that as an Individual-Person (and a recovering alienated-phony), I have the responsibility to do what I can to see that all of these aspects of my individuality, are well nourished, since, among other things, my Individual self-betrayal must immediately be reflected in my Personal betrayal of all of four social venues (Familial, Local, Civil, and Religio-Philosopical) which constitute the "objective" aspect of my coexistence. (see my current blog post at cointegrative.blogspot.com for a clarifying chart illustrating this). There are other things that justify accenting the responsibility aspect of justice over the rights aspect, but I'll save going any further into that subject for another post.  

Denial, Projection and Unconsciousness

"Sick culture is like a building on fire in which those who are not yet being burned alive are stupefied by the smoke..."--Healthy Culture Proverb

Of course this conception of justice in terms of inner and out responsibility is potentially neutralized in a situation in which I don't have to be confronted with the reality of the existence of my own sick culture (and so with the responsibility of dealing with it), because I have the power to keep others from reminding me of it, or to separate myself from anyone who might do so. Not only does my sh*t  get worse in this case (the reality of entropy as well as of the extant conditions of sick culture will see to this), but  ultimately I will begin to think that it (my sh*t) doesn't even exist--or at least that it's nothing to speak of. At which point--to paraphrase Jung about the denial of the existence of Evil--, my sick culture will then have me securely" in its grip".*

Once this happens the chronic Projection of my own sick culture on to others--and usually also the corresponding need to punish these others-- is pretty much inevitable. To be clear though, its its not like those others do not have sick culture and are not (very likely) in what amounts to denial about it to a large extent, it is that the reason they are in denial is that they are doing the same thing I am (or you are) doing--namely projecting their own sh*t on "others".

Ironically enough, denial and its attendant projection is often maintained by doing what are called "good deeds" as a way maintaining a sense of "righteousness"  and so of staving off  awareness of ones own alienated phoniness and of the urgent need to begin ones own individual and personal recovery process. I think of the various "charitable" actions of the "upper crust" as they indulge in their "pet virtues" and charities in evident self-righteous obliviousness  to the way in which their (usually presumptuous and selective) attempts to treat certain outer symptoms of sick culture is actually only helping to delay indefinitely our collective diagnosis and the effective treatment of the real underlying (and shared) disease.  Since the disease (as opposed to this or that symptom) is both inside and outside ourselves, the result of such gestures will necessarily be new symptoms or, (after a while the same ones as before only worse), if it goes untreated. Certain kinds of Activists do the same thing but in a different way and with a different feel to their denial and self-righteousness.  Of course, no real sustainable changes happen either inwardly or outwardly as a result such attempts at bribing, drowning out,(or just confusing), ones conscience. At best things may seem to go a little more slowly--or by a slightly different route--in the wrong direction. It does seem to be a way for certain people to get to pretend for a little longer that they don't (like everybody else), have serious "sh*t" to deal with.**


But having said that, I have to disabuse the reader of any implied advocacy of political or economic quietism on my part (its the self-righteousness and factionalism of politics I am objecting to, not the part about concern for the present and future state of things in the world beyond ones neighborhood or doorstep). Narcissistically focusing on "private" problems in private (especially when feeling righteous, or "sensitive" or "spiritual" about it) is as much a form of denial as the forms of denial that manifest more publicly. The dichotomy of the Public and Private, (or of the "Worldly" vs Spiritual), healing is itself a false and unhealthy dichotomy (a form of "unwhole" and uncoordinated thinking) without which I imagine Denial itself could not long survive. You might actually say that the essence of our Shared Sick Culture is Shared Denial of its own existence and nature (by the means discussed above or by many another one), just as the essence of Recovery is in the (responsible, resolute, and unashamed) acceptance of this shared situation.

But why (to bring things back for a second to the inciting reason for this post) is there the need for this alienated and phony pretense? This public and private "Denial of Denial"? At least in part,  because of the ubiquitous presence of Competition in a sick culture and its way of encouraging phoniness by forcing use to conceal, ignore, deny and eventually dissociate all together any aspect of our experience of ourselves not consistent with "competence" in terms of whatever "Identity Uniform" we are wearing. Competition also hurries us along, giving us no time and no inclination to check-in with our inner adult, child, elder or animal as to the value, nourishment, meaning, or lack thereof, of any given action,  whether for it and for our individual-personhood as a whole. Competition is essentially a phenomenon of shared self-betrayal that keeps us so busy playing the game, distracting ourselves from and numbing ourselves to, the pain of its meaningless destructiveness, that we lose both the time and the sensitivity necessary to really be aware of and appreciate the insanity and stupidity of both the game and out own role in it.

This mention of lack of awareness, of  insanity and stupidity, points out the way in which the word "denial" can be a bit misleading in this context, in that it makes it sound like something fully conscious and truly deliberate is going on when the denial I am talking about its based on relative unconsciousness, "unawareness" and a in kind of ignorance. Its like the attitude of a person who has been too long in a room with a gas leak; you yourself can come into the room, notice the situation immediately and with the appropriate sense of urgency and, in telling this person, find that, though they seem to understand and can repeat what you have just told them, are already too far gone to really understand or care about what is happening (care is itself a sign of understanding and consciousness awareness). Even in such a situation, though, since consciousness is latent in everybody who is not literally dead, it not always a waste of time and energy to try to reach the core of consciousness in someone, especially if for some reason directly solving the problem oneself or with some other, more coaware person, is not an option (and if the effort does not result in ones becoming ever less conscious oneself; the "gas" is still presumably flooding into the room after all).

It still needs to be said that as a definition of Justice; "each person dealing with his own sh*t" needs to be qualified a little bit more. For one thing, sick culture is really shared sick culture, and any idea that we each have to deal with it in some kind of private isolation is the wrong idea. Thus, real justice involves am inclusive and shared recovery process in which people use their diversity--the fact that they have different symptoms, different blind spots, different patterns of denial--as way of helping each other stay on the path to recovery. And it is a (non-rectilinear) path or process, and not any kind of permanent or pure state anyone is ever going to be able to  constantly maintain or take for granted. Any complacency from such a false assumption is just as much a threat to the progressive process of inner/outer recovery-- which is conscious coevolution really...as despair and shame are.  After all new and improved kinds of "sh*t" are coming at us all the time from the dominant culture we all still have to live in, triggering and revealing previously unmanifest and unconscious symptoms of our own sh*t in the process. Ultimately the cultural recovery process is the ongoing process of continuously "recovering" Balanced, Coordinated, and Resilient Coevolution inwardly and outwardly; because inner/outer conditions are always changing such a culture will always be necessary with complacency as well as shame always and equally being signs that one losing ones balance and dynamism and falling into denial and dissociation.. 

The R.A.P.-Group and the Check-in/Life-Dance Walk

Finally, since this is the blog in which I am supposed to be describing experimental rituals of healthy culture, I think I''ll end this post with the briefest of outlines of one that seems most relevant to the above.


So one healthy culture ritual I do is called The "Check-in" or R.A.P. session. (R.A.P. stands for Recovering Alienated Phonies"), which sometimes takes place around a table and sometimes in the form of a Life-Dance Walk.

Basically it is sort of like a AA or twelve-step meeting in which people who have already admitted to suffering from sick culture and alienated phoniness get together to check-in about their progress (or lack of same) in facilitating healthy culture and "Justice" in each of the 4 venues of Personhood and in the "vertical" dimension of individual "cointegrity".  This includes things like how often we fall into the phoniness of factional Identity-politics of Race or Gender or Species, or what have you.

This last mention of the "Individual Cointegrity" check-in topic is about checking in on how one has been able to counter, (resist, reverse), the effects of the inner and on-going "Home invasion" that is imposed by the coercive nature of our present culture (see the current post in my other blog). It is about how we are progression (or not) in being fair to ourselves about how we have (or haven't) been able to progress in the conspiracy against the "invader", that is comprised in the secret inner "family meeting" which I call Inner Conference, and which has as its goal inner consensus as to how to challenge and begin to heal the very sick culture which presently has us all held captive. As a part of all this it's also a check-in on how we are or are not making any progress in the coordinated, quality nourishment of the Inner Elder, Inner Adult, Inner Child, and Inner Animal over our tendency to either starve or feed "junk food" to, one or another (or all) of these aspects of our subjective selves.


The overall point (and effect) of this these "R.A.P.--Sessions" is of course mutual support in our shared recovery process,  the ritual being itself a conscious ritual of recovery meant to acknowledge and address the unconscious default rituals of denial and dissociation, that otherwise go unacknowledged (as unhealthy) and at the same time encouraged in a sick culture. Since the rituals are meant to happen regularly, the idea is also to brainstorm in between time more specific ways to support our own and each others (inner and outer) healing process via experiments based on the details of what we hear in the check-in.

Its important to understand that the idea with all of this is not any level of "achievement" on the part of the participants; as I have implied above, besides complacency and shame, nothing ends the process of recovery quicker than a spirit of competition, either with others or with ones past self.
The bottom line with all of this is never a noun; a fixed, finished and fundamentally separate state or image of being but rather a verb; a fluid, unfinished, and fundamentally shared process and experience of becoming which, at any given moment is a process of denial or recovery inwardly and outwardly ( this process of  shared recovery being sustained only to the extent that,(and for as long as), the process of  shared denial is being acknowledged and addressed.  The dynamic then, is rather one of inner and outer friendship which is meant to have a cumulative nonlinear (and at a certain tipping point hopefully exponential "field  resonant effect" inwardly as well as outwardly (about which more later).

Now when this check-in takes place sitting down, it is with the use of a kind of tray divided into 5 parts (the 5th part in the center) which (in conjunction with a of 5 pieces/objects for each participant, acts as a kind of fancy "talking stick" in which each person marks their (lets say 10 Minuit) check-in on the topic of the signified by each of the trays 5 sections (the central section representing the status of ones "coming-together as an Individual and the outer 4 sections representing each of the four "Personal/Social" venues. Doing the Check-in this way has a lot of aesthetic potential (the tray I have for it is pretty beautifully carved, though the sets of pieces have been just random objects chosen on the spur of the moment in the few times I've used it with others). There is also the possibility of doing such a ritual in"public" (though not in a "public" mindset)--at a coffee house for example, as a piece of civil healthy culture activism.

The other way of doing this check-in is via the Life-Dance Walk, in which the land on lives on is divided into places that are symbolic of the 5 check-in topics. One then goes on a walk with ones "fellow RAP-ers" and takes turns checking in at each of the different spots. Where I live the Grave Yard represents the Soul/Religious Venue, the house where I live--including the yard outside--symbolizes the Familial Venue,
The Communities Conference Center (or sometimes the road) symbolizes the Civil Venues, the "Court Yard" (oldest part of the community) symbolizes the Neighborly Venue of Twin Oaks, where I live and The Individual Venue is symbolize by a place in the woods where I have done most of the Vision Quests that I have done here.

This way a doing it is cool because, since it takes place out of doors, it underlines the fact that none of the venues of healthy culture we are checking-in about are exclusively Human venues; that, for example, our Familial venue includes All the Beings--all the individual-persons--we generally see everyday, human and otherwise.  The ritual also foreshadows a process which I think of as "Shared-SelfNaturalization", which  I'll explain more in a future post. 

Now there are a lot of details to the Check-in that I haven't mentioned. Also, while I am making disclaimers; lest you get the wrong impression and think that all of this Recovery business is a thriving collective process shared among the (human) people I live with, the truth is that only very very occasionally over the past 12 years, I have done this ritual with another human being who was living here (or visiting) at the time, and none of them were committed to any of the ideas in the blogs (I think they were mostly just curious). This ritual--and all the others I will describe in this blog--are currently just things that I (for lack of any fellow "Healthy Culture Nerds/ Cointegrative Science Colleagues/Recovering Alienated Phonies) experiment with and do myself of the sake of my own "cultural sobriety".

That's it for now, I'll try to give a more detailed account of this and other rituals (with pictures perhaps), in future posts. This little description will have to do till then.

 
*Lest I be responsible for reinfecting the reader with certain prevailing delusions around the concept of Evil, I think it is appropriate to quote the "Healthy Culture proverb which says that "Evil is just Glamorized Stupidity."

**This is an example of one of many "life-logical fallacies" that people reduced to such "creativity abuse" will come up with to remain in denial about the need to be in cultural recovery. I describe a related fallacy the latter part of my "myopia" post on my other blog here:
 http://cointegrative.blogspot.com/2014/12/myopia-and-technologies-of-denial.html
There are many more such fallacies which I intend to discuss in future posts

 I am going to post this now but I don't think I am done with it yet. I'll be editing and adding stuff in the near future..

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Thursday, October 2, 2014

Public Phoniness and True Modernism


The effects of having a "public" blog--or rather a blog that is trying to be a challenge to "Public/Private" sick culture---are not as clear for me as they would probably be if I got out more. Judging from the few times I have been into town or elsewhere outside my neighborhood (or even in the social whirl inside my neighborhood), the few things that have happened to me that seem to have been blog related are interesting in but at the same time not exactly encouraging. Basically, what publishing this blog seems to have done socially vis a vis myself and my civil venue (to the extent that it has done anything) is just made me occasionally vulnerable to psychological ambushes, pot shots, unexplained rudenesses, treacherous kindnesses, and a few come-ons.  Just as no one ever seems to comment on my blog post though I know I have readers, no one ever just comes up to me on the street and introduces themselves and says: "I've read your blog and I think such and such about it" positive or negative. Usually, there is just the occasional, weird indirect social gesture that seems to alternate between being mostly private (alienated) or mostly public (phony) in spirit but seems anything but forthright.

The whole thing makes me think of George Soro's Idea of "reflexivity" which I understand as a kind of social feedback model exploring the ways in which what is said and believed about social reality effects social reality in a way that (barring the probably overused and distorted example of quantum physics) one doesn't find in "objective" world. Its a pretty obvious thing really but, it turns out you can make a kind of science out of the principle and (if you know a lot about Mutual Funds and stuff), make billions of dollars. At least it worked for Soros. Of course, not particularly caring about such things,  I can't help but tweak the idea so that it makes sense in terms of my "healthy culture" world view. I would like the things that I say in my blogs to have a "Sociatric" effect; to work like some kind of homeopathic "media pill" which begins to heal Public/Private (Phony/Alienated) world inside as well outside me (since I am  a recovering alienated phony myself, "allopathy", as opposed to "homeopathy" seems pretty much out of the question even If I believed in it). However there is the little problem that I don't completely know what I am doing with these blogs (other than trying to stay in recovery) and don't have much real feed back coming my way so as to be able gauge what little outer effect this blog is having one way or the other. I guess Its a good thing that I am almost a complete nonentity in the blogosphere at this stage at least: experience is beginning to teach that passive alienation is a lot less draining to deal with than aggressive phoniness...


For example the last time I was in town I was checking out Thomas Cleary's translation of "The Flower Ornament Scripture" (the Avatamsaka Sutra) at the University library, on the the strength of the public recommendation of my favorite architect Christopher Alexander in his last book, when the Librarian (a Person who's name I do that know) exclaimed very loudly and with a kind of aggressive geniality "A Buddhist!".  This exclamation (actually mostly the loudness of it) really quite surprised me, (it also seemed to surprise others whose heads I saw turn in the rather large room). This was so much so that without contradicting him (I might have even nodded stupidly and meaninglessly out of some kind of reflex politeness), I just said the books were highly recommended and a few other innocuous things and checked them out and left.

But the whole incident began to bother me afterwards (I was mostly annoyed with myself), and later that day I began to come up with various theories about what had happened. My guess is that that person had read my blog and, not really wanting to deal with the relative originality of the contents--or maybe just the contents themselves--decided that labeling me a Buddhist would somehow absolve him of...I don't know, having to be bothered by it or something. Or maybe somebody praised the blog to him and (as often happens in "public" life) he felt the need to label and so dismiss it in that way.  Whatever (if anything) was going on, with my unthinkingly obliging response, I felt that I had fallen into what I imagine will be the first of many "public" traps by allowing myself to be labeled as a "Buddhist" which,  like any other religion in our sick culture tends to act, even against its will, as much as a kind of factional identity like any other.

By "trap", I don't mean to assume any specific ill will towards me by the public sector, its just that; to the extent that it is a "Public" sector, it is a "Phoniness Sector" from the point of view of Individual-Personhood and as such it's a realm in which being praised is just much a lie (and a set up) as being blamed. (see my post on Shame at cointegrative.blogspot.com for more about this dynamic). This is because, among other things, the only response that makes sense in terms of  actually understanding what I am saying in these blogs--the response I am seeking--is some kind of core realization of our shared sick culture and alienated phoniness, leading ultimately, to some kind of collaborative experiments in recovery between us (between you the reader and myself). In other words, I would like us to be in cahoots, helping each other recover from sick culture and alienated phoniness, which event would, of course, require that you, as well as me, stop being in denial about this shared sickness  and suffering, its causes, and the completely unacceptable implications of its continuing untreated (unacceptable for ourselves as well as for the world). The Public/Private manifestation of such Denial includes, as I have said, praise and "popularity",  just as much as blame, as both tend to be only good for suppressing Good Sense, true Comprehension, and True Friendship, mostly by facilitating our projection of our own possibilities and responsibilities (or alternatively--or even successively--our own shit) on to others.  And both kinds of phoniness seem to be impossible without the kind of one-sided and dismissive Labeling, (whether of a given Individual-Person, a given set of practices and ideas, or of anything else), that seems to be the essential lingua franca of the "Public/Private" discourse.

So, getting back to the library story, what I was supposed to do was to clearly demur regarding the Buddhist label and (if there was time) explain that I consider myself to be an Individual-Person and Recovering Alienated Phony etc etc. I have done as much at various times before, but in this case  I guess I was sort of stunned into phoniness by the surprise of the whole thing and so was unable to defend myself against such labeling in a timely manner.   If I was a recovering alcoholic rather than a recovering alienated phony, an approximate analogy would be one of me thoughtlessly letting someone hand me a drink on the way out of a room (out of habit perhaps) and, while dumping it out immediately, beginning to worry about the possibility of a bigger relapse and so wondering whether or not I should go back and announce to everyone that I am still in recovery in order to avoid attracting similar events from the same person or others. I didn't go back in the Library and Loudly declare my Individual-Personhood (besides being inhibited by the thought of how silly that would look, I processed the whole thing much too slowly for that anyway) and so was left with just a sort of annoying feeling that I had let myself down or something. Well, whatever; you live and learn. Anyhow I am hoping that writing in this blog will end up making me feel better about, and learn something from, the whole experience.

I want to be clear that I don't have anything against Buddhism (or any of the various Buddhism's) per se: I am sure it has its piece of the Truth and piece of the Lie like every thing and everybody else under the sun.  And there certainly seem to be a lot of things in healthy culture that sound Buddhist  (and Taoist, and Christian, and Tantric, and Confucian, and Atheist and, Phenomenological, Postmodern, Modern, Traditional, Native American, Native African, Wiccan etc etc). But that is more less the point; just calling it Buddhism would exclude everything else and hide all the explicit and implicit divergences from Buddhism in what I have to say. Same with calling it Taoist, Tantric, etc).  I mean, if I thought healthy culture was equivalent to any of these things that already exist, I'd just go where they are doing that and do it with whoever  else was doing it. As it stands, every institution or practice I know about seems just as much in need of recovery as the culture as a with which it has become codependant.

I mean if: A) as I have said above, every Institution, Movement as well as Individual has its piece of the Lie as well as its piece of the Truth, and B) there is Entropy at work in the world such that the former is overwhelmingly likely to increase at the expense of the Latter unless the Former is Acknowledged and Treated and Monitored, if C), these pieces of the Lie, these "leaks" in the cultural boat, can change in nature and location in a given institution over time, and if D) much of all this is likely to be happening in, (as well as working to obscure existence of)  the Blind Spot of the Institution or Individual in question, Then E);nothing is going to bring about sustainable healing except the establishment of ongoing formal and informal conditions of "Conscience" (of Inner and outer "Knowing Together") in which diverse institutions and individuals keep themselves and each other on the road of cultural recovery, aided by their very diversity (in the sense that, groups and individuals with wildly different blind spots are well situated to remind each other of the presence of a species of sick culture that any given one is blind to).

Of course this manifestation or flourishing of "Conscience" would constitute the normalization of Cointegrative Co-inference  (which happens to involve that Life-Logic that I am in the process of introducing in my other blog) on what one might call the"Global" Level. It would probably also mean a great deal of progress in a general process of inner/outer recovery from sick culture which I feel quite safe in saying has not yet occurred. Actually, outside of my own, (perhaps somewhat pathetic and bumbling), project, it is difficult to say that such a process has even begun. And at least until such a level of general progress in cultural recovery happens, my  identifying as a member of any group or institution which is not explicitly in recovery from Alienated-Phoniness would only strengthen that general status quo, it seems to me. Actually such an identification would be problematic even then, but no time to explain that now.

Maybe this is a digression that should be its own post, but if I was going to label my thing anything besides "Healthy Culture-ism" or  myself as anything other than a Recovering Alienated Phony, I would probably call it "True Modernism" and myself an  "True Modern". At least thats what I have being thinking recently.

 I think that what has been, and what was is currently being called Modernism was/is ersatz modernism and not a true modernism. A True "Modus" or "Way" would never run so blindly from the past  but, like the "Way" of Life,  the "Tao"of the Taoists (or my version of it), manifest Legba-like at the crossroads or nexus of Past, Present, Future and Eternity in the service of all that is healthy in each.  For such a Cointegrative Modernism, "progress" is not something to be understood as an indefinite transcending of the past, or of anything else, but more like a kind of progressive recovery, a progressive recovery of, coordination, dynamic balance and of Good Sense.

I'll give this idea another paragraph for clarity. The uncontroversial understanding of culture is as a "way of life" and what I want to say is that healthy culture is a "Way" (a "Mode", "Modus") of "Life" in the best meaning of both those words; a balanced, inclusive, and coordinated Way of inner and outer healing and inner/outer recovery.  Such a "modus" or culture, or "Way" can be followed by an individual-person or a group of them and indeed would be followed (as much as possible), by individuals and collectives if they are not suffering unconsciously so much of the time) from factional identity politics or some other form of sick culture. So it seems possible to talk about True or healthy "Modernism", not in a reactionary way vis a vis the historical past  (as was the case with the false Modernism) but in the sense of a sophisticated inclusive Way of Life that can creatively "coordinates" what is healthy from the past, with whatever seems healthy in the present, desirable and possible in the future while remaining in harmony with "timeless" (if not yet formally agreed to) , Eternal truths/realities. Of course I don't think that such an explicit thing as I have in mind (for further explicitness you will have to wait for the Manifesto of which this and the preceding paragraph is a prototype) actually exists anywhere, though I could make a list of people I think I would describe as "Proto-True Moderns (I think I will wait and put that list in the future manifesto too, if I end up writing one; It might turn out that the word "Modern", even with the new adjective and the explicit disclaimer,  has too much baggage to be  useful).


Anyway, at the library that day I was certainly not up to explaining any of this "True Modern" stuff, or even just making my usual affirmation of Individual-Personhood. Being so long out of "polite society" just made me too unsuspecting and slow on my feet I guess.  Moreover, since I am in recovery for the foreseeable future and beyond and so have no expectations of ever being "recovered", I  imagine I will make the same kind of mistake again sometime. I do think though, that one can, in a relative or conditional sense, progress in ones recovery, so that I expect that the times when I have the awareness and energy to challenge Public Phoniness with authentic Individuality and Private Alienation with conscientious Personhood, will increase rather than decrease (though I know I can't count on this). The way I see it, such progress in recovery is intrinsically paradoxical, being the opposite of any kind of cocky or complacent reliance on some fait accompli status of recovery, it  is rather more like the progress involved in going from "one day at a time" to "one hour at a time" to "one second' etc.  In other words progress in such recovery means taking both ones "righteousness" and ones "un-righteousness" less and less for granted rather than more and more so....




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Monday, February 11, 2013

Sex and Healthy Culture 1 (Poetic Posts)

{Note: every once in a while I'll visit a site that interests me and invariably make some posts relating whatever the topic is to healthy culture. Sometimes interesting exchanges ensue. I find myself more inspired to write when I am conversion with actual people than in making unilateral reports to a relatively unknown "public", which I guess explains the relative lack of posts on this page. What follows is mostly my part in various online discussions and correspondences mostly on the general topic of healthy culture (what is published here is mostly my responses because) I don't always feel right quoting the other party without their permission. Most of the discussion happened a "Reuniting; Healing with Sexual Rhttp://www.reuniting.info/elationships" (http://www.reuniting.info/). The Site is about Kerrezza mostly but there is also discussion of Tantra and similar nonejaculatory sexual practices.}

My first post to the site was called "poetic confirmation" in which a share a poem by Edna St. Vincent Millay which I thought captured a lot of the point of the site (which has a lot to do with the idea the orgamic sex is our brains way of tricking us into unsustainable (or at least unsustained) relationships in the service of spreading genes. Here is the poem and the subsequent exchange:

Poetic Confirmation:

I Shall Forget You Presently, My Dear (by Edna St Vincent Millay)

I shall forget you presently, my dear,

So make the most of this, your little day,

Your little month, your little half a year,

Ere I forget, or die, or move away,

And we are done forever; by and by

I shall forget you, as I said, but now,

If you entreat me with your loveliest lie

I will protest you with my favorite vow.



I would indeed that love were longer-lived,

And oaths were not so brittle as they are,

But so it is, and nature has contrived

To struggle on without a break thus far,—

Whether or not we find what we are seeking

Is idle, biologically speaking.

This was the Reply:

"Ole Edna nailed it. Isn't it about time humans learned to outsmart biology??? It's challenging, but actually quite enjoyable to do so."

To which I replied with a post entitled:

dualism, specialization & solution addiction (I digress a bit)

well, I am somewhat uncomfortable with the dualism implied in the Idea of out "out-smarting biology". I am big in to the "Mind-Body" thing which, when you think about it (at least when I think about it) translates into a view of Nature itself (as a kind of "Shared" Body) being inseparable of some kind of greater Shared Mind, or "Shared Self"; I am not sure what this implies for your and Edna's thesis, but even in term of the the "biology" paradigm, the so called higher brain and fore brain are just as much "biology" as the limbic and reward systems so the problem really seems to be one of poor coordination or integration of the various functions and aspects of the brain/mind as a whole such that the problem can be seen as just a much with the forebrain as with the limbic/reward system.

Of course one of the misuses of the fore brain is a failure to coordinate problems, with the result that a solution to one problem leads to other, sometimes even bigger problems in other unconsidered areas of life. For example many people lose weight and then become smokers, finally become clean of drugs by becoming workaholics, overcome "sex addiction" through what Anne Wilson Shaefe ("Fear of Intimacy") would call "Relationship Addiction" etc. The "Self Help" market itself might be understood as fostering a kind of "addiction to specialized solutions", each "solution" giving a kind of dopamine high while it lasts while ones life as a whole, (and the world and society as a whole) continue to disintegrate regardless of the short term spikes in the graph. Actually Science and technology themselves also tend to do this...
I think addictions of any kind have a deeper and bigger cause and that ultimately a real sustainable solution requires recourse to broader and deeper diagnosis and prescription (Bruce Alexanders "The Globalization of Addiction" as well as Gabor Mate's "In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts" gesture at this need to some degree, especially the former book).

Anyway, none of this is meant to totally dismiss the thesis of your books (I've only read the "Peace between the sheets one"); There is definitely something to what you and Edna are saying and I do plan to read your newest book soon...I guess I'm Just trying to stay in "Recovery" myself (what I see myself as "recovering from" exactly is a long story but suffice to say that this "specialized solution" thing is certainly a part of it...).
take care,

--I-P

{The site owner (who is the person responding in this case) replied with longer response which was mostly in agreement I guess. (you can find the exchange by going to the "Humor" section of the site)}.

Later I posted the following in the "Inspiration" part of the site:

CONSENSUALITY SONGS

{note:I thought I coined the word "consensuality" but I just googled it and it turned up, though in a rather different sense than I mean it. What I am
referring to is the coming together of Inner and Outer Consensus
between (and within) Individual-Persons. Anyway, being a "Consensualist"
is by no means something exclusively related to Intimate
"relationships", but here are some old songs of mine that deal with in
that sense to some extent. There are Hindu (-esque), Chinese (-ish),
and Folk-Blues and Soul Ballad melodies and arrangements to the songs
respectively. The quotation is there to set the tone I guess. Its from
an old essay of mine. Like most statements of my ideals, its meant as a
clarifying and orienting statement; something to point a direction to
work toward rather than as a council of perfection. I am currently
working on an another essay on the subject. I'm sharing all this old stuff here
'cause I thought maybe it might inspire somebody –I-P}



"The body is the part of nature that we are most concretely. And the sexual
energy that is expressed through the body is not, anymore than nature
is, something to be exploited for the pleasure of a dissociated ego. As
Taoists, Tantrics, and other have long known, the purpose of sexual
energy is to create Life. That Life can be in the form of another being
or it can be in the form of greater Life and wholeness within and
between the individuals who are generating it. To put it in more modern
terms, sexual energy is the energy of evolution. We can evolve as a
species via reproduction and/or we can use that same energy to evolve
as Individuals. "
--from the Essay "Sex, Gender and Healthy Culture  by I-P Kerren Odori

SERPENT IN THE SKY No. 1


Jasmine smoke unraveling there
Thickening ages to hours
We’ve been waiting calmly aware
Feeling the presence of powers here and
Slowly to the rhythm of Life
So slowly as to leave us shaken
We espy in each others eyes
The Serpent has awakened and the
Serpent is rising...


Tantra Deva enter my night
Let me feel your Kundalini rise
Nothing false and nothing so bright
As the Light in my Yoginis eyes and
Sultry sunset smoldering skies
Mystery into the bargain;
Will we die or will we deny
The Serpent in the Garden of His
Sad satisfaction...


Dawn Creeps to the window again
Incense long since turned to ashes
Where two Lingered neither remain
But ecstasy silently flashes there and
There’ll be no uncoupling though
Neither hot passion and sighing;
Heaven above Heaven below:
The Serpents in the Sky and flying
Into the morning....


SERPENT IN THE SKY No. 2


Here where the Cherry Blooms
Although the summer days end
the Maiden, though with her Groom
Will always be a Maiden
The moon in the dewdrop lives
the Goddess in Our Lady
The Jade Gate receives and Gives;
A Goddess or a Baby..


And brave is she
for the dragons gone
(the red dragon)
wise is she
for the dragons gone
And she is a Person
Now Dragon is
Now Dragon is
The
Serpent in the Sky...


The Stalk rises in the spring
and stays on through the winter
The Bridegroom to become a King
The Jade Palace does enter
And may they Eternal lie
in Happiness together
May Phoenix and Serpent Fly
In blessedness and pleasure


And brave is He
For the Tigers gone
(The White Tiger)
Wise is He
For the Tigers Dead
And he is a Person
Now Tiger is
Now Tiger is
The
Serpent in the Sky...


TINKERS


Don’t expect me to connive
like every love song does
at the misery that turns your heart to me
or the desperation or the settling of old scores
with the father I will never be...


There’s a wound that you’ve been hiding from
I have one too
and it hurts to feel the sun shine down on it
It is ugly but it is apart of me and you
And that's not the part of friendship to forget


‘Cause the Devils not the only one who smiles at Sin
God does too, but its a different kind of Smile...
Theres a hole in both our buckets
Will we put more water in
Or practice bein’ tinkers for a while?


I will never just ignore the wino of the world
distracted by your conversation and your grace
theres no market for distractions here, no "guys and girls";
that kind'a money never was green in this place


Well you might think I am ruining the feeling tone
and all the magic of our incipient romance
but its not me who’s the wallflower here I’ll have you know
and this is just my way of asking you to dance..


‘Cause the Devils not the only one who smiles at Sin
God does too, but its a different kind of Smile...
There’s a hole in both our buckets
Will we put more water in
Or practice bein’ tinkers for a while?


ARE YOU SURE?


I am waiting for the question
that I ask of you
I am waiting for the question;
"Are you sure?"
"Are you sure you want to do this?
Is it in our highest purpose?
I am waiting for the question
"are you sure?"


"Are you asking heart and body?
Is it clear within your mind?
Are you checking intuition?
Are you sure?"
"Is there something you're gainsaying,
hiding, censoring, betraying,
Are you sincere or only playing?
Are you Sure?"


Bridge:
"Stop, in the name of Love"
Don't let us betray our love
for all of each other
for all of ourselves (repeat)


I have waited, taken careful aim
and still missed by a mile;
I'm not expecting something perfect
something pure
But If we dream will we awaken
if not well then well mistaken
well intended, undertaken?
Are you sure?


--BY I-P Kerren Odori
 
 
In response to this I was invited to start a blog on the site. My next post here will share some highlights from that blog.