Mistaken Identity

mistaken identity

We are not what we think we are, of that I am sure. And yet, what we think we are shapes our behavior, the quality of our relationships, our values, feelings of right and wrong, justice, and compassion. The key to personal and social transformation, which as we will see, are the same thing, is ‘identity.’

A breathtaking scientist, author and friend, Howard Bloom, writes about social biology, how independent particles, molecules, simple organisms team up to form super-organisms, how they share information, act in unison, form even bigger networks or gangs called species, on and on. Zooming back these appear as continents, oceans, planets, solar systems and galaxies, all moving, changing, forever.

Where do we draw the line that separates ‘me’ from everything else? The sieve-like membrane we call skin is so full of holes it forms no boundary at all. 30% to 40% of our body weight is bacteria and other parasite-guests hitching a ride. Without these micro-beasts we would not be. Is the bacteria living inside each of us – us? If not, we are a little more than half of what we think we are.

Perhaps we are defined by our thoughts which seem to emanate from nowhere between our ears, in the black hole just behind eyes. But thoughts just don’t happen, nor do feelings. Thoughts and feelings are shadows first cast by sensations coming from out there and then bouncing around like pinballs inside, triggering feeling and thinking bells along the way. Take away out there and in here disappears too. Inner and outer give rise to each other, and I am both.

Every now and then something new appears, a fresh perception. Musing about the reciprocal nature of what we are – suddenly, after reading a particularly explosive paragraph Howard had written, there it was. What I call me, my social-cultural identity, my personal ego or image of self-inside and the outer images that make up the culture-outside are the same. Looking through different ends of a toy telescope the inner and outer appear completely different – but they are, in fact, the same process, both are images.

Right, wrong, do this, not this, good boy, bad girl, language, the names we give things are all embodied reflections of the collective super-ego we call culture. Growing up, needing to belong, we personify these collective images as a self-image, and that’s what I think I am, but am not.

Themes: 
brain
culture
freedom
imagination

The Importance of Hugging

violence
Compassion? Wisdom?
Sorry, no one by that name lives here...

My son recently graduated from college. He could have been one of these UC Davis students. The well fed skin-head on the right is the riot clad officer hosing our children with pepper spray as they sit, Gandhi style, arm in arm, nonviolently. This act, not by students but by our friend the civil mercenary, and others like it around the world (see below), rips the thin skin of civility off our eyes. Serving and protecting, yes, but who and what? Watching his unaffected cruelty, like food poisoning, vomits up the question, How could he do such a thing?

In 1981 when a friend was nearly raped and murdered by a stalking stranger I asked the same question, Why would a man do such a thing? How can a man who supposedly loves his wife beat her so violently it caused brain damage? Or a coach, scream at an eight year old for dropping a ball? Violence is so easy, so natural. Or is it?

Themes: 
bonding
brain
culture
democracy
freedom
media
television-computers

The emanate loss of parent consent in the care, treatment and education of their children – and our recent newsletter…

I love social media (sometimes) because it helps us see that we are not alone and crazy. Others are as concerned as we are. What we need to do, each and every one is to pick a cause, get upset and get involved. Each of us must become pro-activists, passionate and skilled at creating nonviolently the world we know is possible, one driven not by books, religious-political propaganda and dogma, not by fear and greed, by the flowering of innate human kindness, creativity and values.

Regarding our recient newsletter:

Themes: 
culture
democracy
freedom
media
communication
television-computers

It Takes Both - More on Patriotism

flag

Given the ‘state of the nation’ our founding fathers, those who authored the constitution and signed the declaration of independence, would be called rebels, unpatriotic, terrorists. The police state, FBI and CIA would have them under surveillance. There is no doubt about that. The men who pined their names to the declaration of independence were hunted down, many hanged, their homes and families ruined.

Some say, don’t’ be negative, don’t be cynical, color between the lines, accept it – this is the way the world is and has always been. Don’t cause trouble. Smell the flowers. Pet the cat.

Themes: 
democracy
education
freedom

Education Reform?

school reform

The costs of so called higher education pimped with false promises of ‘the good job and better life’ keep going up, funded by the same predator banking schemes that caused the housing bubble and well-crafted depression. Student debt is larger than credit card debit. Education is big business. The truth is, many PhD’s are flipping hamburgers. We each have a choice, freedom or trying to reform the system.

The forces that created NCLB (no child left behind) are larger than education. 9/11, as controversial as JFK’s regime change, was a prelude for increasing Fascist policies in the US, (Fascism being corporate-government). Habeas Corpus, the right of every prisoner to challenge the terms of his or her incarceration in court before a judge, has been tossed out. The US engages in routine torture. Police forces throughout the country have been militarized.

The Orwellian-Double-Speak-Patriot-Act allows corporate-government, against, not for the people, search without warrant or probable cause, not just ‘hypothetical’ terrorists but every US citizen. Surveillance, metal detectors, routine searches, police presence are common schools. There has been a systematic dumbing down of curriculum with a pretext of improving education, more Orwellian rap. Articles and essays have been written about our schools becoming more detention camps and prisons than sanctuaries for learning.

Themes: 
creativity
democracy
education
freedom

Patriotism Is An Act Of Violence

memorial day 2011

 

For my sons, Memorial Day 2011

God Bless America blared from the flag waving Harley as boy scouts, soon to be men, marched between white lines. Memorial Day, a national glance inward to mourn the lives mangled and lost ‘serving’ freedom and civic liberty. I almost wept, not out of patriotic duty and honor but for the deep feeling of shame and betrayal that this and past pageants endure.

While I honor the ultimate sacrifice brothers and sisters have made through the ages, some urgent, some heroic and necessary, so many lives, however, have been mangled for reasons – that had they known – they would have wept too.

Themes: 
culture
education
freedom
parenting
violence

Over Protective Parenting

After viewing our interview with Jean Liedloff a parent said, ‘Jean talks about the effects of over protective parenting. I am so guilty of this. My son is much more capable when he is on his own than when he knows I am looking. I am wondering how I could undo this?

Great question, join the club.

As Jean pointed out in the swimming pool example, when the child does not know the parent was looking, the child demonstrated their true capacity. When the child feels a parent is watching – they express the adult’s helpless expectations. And this pattern is established very early. It becomes a reflex.

The guiding principal is to ‘assume competence’ from the beginning. Then the child’s innate capacity and the adult’s expectation are in sync instead of being in conflict. Imaging what this means lifelong!

Themes: 
bonding
childhood
freedom
intelligence
parenting
praise/rewards

Creative Play, Social-Political Freedom And Liberty Not Possible

Responding to Touch the Future and National Institute for PLAY’s important PLAY SCIENCE DVD:

Creative play is the foundation for social-political freedom and liberty which is not possible when abnormal brain development is induces by a failure of affectional bonding in the maternal-infant –child relationship.

Depression, stereotypical rocking behaviors and compulsive stimulus-seeking behaviors, all produced by sensory deprivation to the developing brain

Themes: 
abuse-neglect
bonding
brain
breastfeeding
culture
freedom
pleasure
shame
violence

Mentoring A Real Man In Today's World

Hi Lisa…
Interesting and common challenge.
Mentoring a real man in today's world.
 
Every young man is unique. One shoe definitely does not fit all.

I do not know of a rite of passage group that might fit the need.

What does it mean to be a man in today’s world?

I think we need to know where we are pointing before drawing a map.

What are the skills, wisdom and capacities needed to be such a thing?

The Way of the Superior Man : A Spiritual Guide to Mastering the Challenges of Women, Work, and Sexual Desire by David Didea
And
Fire in the Belly by Sam Keen
Would be good reading for you and your partner to help you formulate your own views.

How can you draw a map if you don’t know where you are going?

Themes: 
adolescence
culture
freedom
homeschooling
parenting

Sarah Palin Stokes The Fire Of The U.S. Culture Of Violence

America is a Culture of Violence. Assassination of our political leaders has a long
history in this nation. Abraham Lincoln, John F. Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy, Martin
Luther King, Jr. are in recent memory of this history and now we must add liberal
Democratic Representative Gabrielle Gifford, 8th District, Arizona, as a potential victim.
It is of more than passing interest that the victims of these assassinations represent the
liberal wing of America political thought and action. Questions must be raised as to the
origins of political/social conservatism in the genesis of these assassinations.

Themes: 
culture
democracy
freedom
pleasure
television-computers
violence

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