Posted: 2017-10-12 19:04
Now of course doing this involves challenging some very deep-seated cultural imperatives. It’s one of the basic presuppositions of our culture that we’re supposed to become perfect, and the way to become perfect, we’re told, is to amputate whatever part of ourselves keeps us from being perfect. The last sixteen hundred years or so of moral philosophy in the Western world have been devoted to this theme: find the thing that’s causing us to be evil, find some way to chop it off, and then we’ll all behave like plaster saints. The mere fact that it never works hasn’t yet slowed down the endless profusion of attempts to try it again.
It occurred to me the other day that there’s a curious disconnect between one of the most common assumptions most of us make about how to make the world better, on the one hand, and the results that this assumption has had when put into practice, on the other. It’s reminiscent of the realization that led James Hillman and Michael Ventura to title a once-notorious book of theirs We’ve Had A Hundred Years Of Psychotherapy And The World’s Getting Worse. In this case as in that one, something that’s supposed to make things better doesn’t seem to be doing the trick—in fact, quite the opposite—and it’s time that we talked about that.
I would suggest that political hate is not as widespread as the media would have it. I cannot speak for other parts of the US but in New England all but a few people I talk to are confused, disappointed, depressed about the dysfunctional government and about being distracted with a new soap opera with Trump as the star every day, while so many real threats are closing in on us. Almost everyone I talk to wants a functional government. Although I am not a Trump supporter it would not make me happy to see him impeached because the turmoil would hurt all of us, for many years.
Bumblebee, I 8767 m far from sure I agree that things go more smoothly. Our politics are a complete mess just now, and that 8767 s largely because all sides insist that they 8767 re pure sweetness and light, and all the negativity is the other side 8767 s fault. Some willingness on all sides to own up to their own nastiness, and a collective descent from various imaginary pedestals of moral virtue, would improve things all around.
Will, hmm. If I were to discuss UFOs, it would be along the lines of my book The UFO Phenomenon , which argues on grounds that have stood up very well in the light of recent revelations that the UFO phenomenon was largely invented by Air Force intelligence to distract attention from aerial tests of classified technology, from the late 6995s through stealth technology and beyond. (Funny how UFOs shaped like black triangles suddenly popped up all over the place around the time that those first stealth testbeds were making their initial test flights ) I 8767 ll consider it, though.
Nor are you correct in claiming that hate by definition insists that the object of hate shouldn 8767 t exist. I 8767 ll use myself as an example here. I took a lot of bullying when I was a child, and one consequence is that I hate bullies. That doesn 8767 t mean I want them not to exist. The specific form my hate takes is that I want to hurt them I want to cause them so much pain that if they ever think of bullying anybody ever again, the memory of what I did to them will make them wet themselves in sheer terror. I don 8767 t act on that emotion, for obvious reasons, but that 8767 s the emotion I have. It 8767 s not anger, or anything else but itself and it 8767 s a kind of emotion that many other people also share, btw.
This was one of the most helpful guides I have ever come across when it has come to asexuality. And thank you, so much, for putting in comments about not everyone being the same and just because you don 8767 t find yourself agreeing with some of these, doesn 8767 t mean you 8767 re automatically ruled out as not asexual. I get extremely anxietized when I don 8767 t relate to some of the things and assume I 8767 m not asexual and it leads me to asking questions, 8775 Oh my god, what am I then? 8776 , 8775 I must be a freak that can 8767 t fit in? 8776
For us to become a society that seeks wholeness and not perfection, we need to shed our deep puritanical roots, our ideology of salvation/damnation, and even our notions of good and evil. We need to acknowledge that each of us is capable of good and evil (evil is not just done by 8775 others 8776 ). Whether it 8767 s our ideas of community (foreigners vs. neighbors), sexuality (straight, gay, trans, bi), class (rich, poor), and even terrorism (suicide bombers, drone bombings foreign terrorist, domestic terrorist). Even to think less of Genesis and Revelations, and more about the Sermon in the Mount.
Hi JMG, thanks as always for your wonderful insights.
A few related questions:
Do you think that this has been a shift in egregor?
On a similar note, do you think that it is possible to negatively leverage (take advantage of) an egregor with it 8767 s opposite (., the Church of Satan, or perhaps Atheistis, versus Christianity)?
Since there are more humans now than at any other time in history, do you think that the collective psychic impact of humanity on our planet may be a factor in our current situation of mass extinctions/climate change?
All the best to you.
Fred, I don 8767 t think it 8767 s evolutionary biology that drives that quest for melodrama if that were the case, it would be universal, and it 8767 s not. (There are plenty of people who get by without needing the feeling of imminent apocalypse.) I 8767 ve long thought that in many cases, at least, people who long for apocalypse lead boring, frustrating, unfulfilling lives, but don 8767 t have the courage to chuck it all and go do something else. Hoping that Jesus or somebody will show up and change their lives for them is a useful emotional crutch in such situations.
In addition to hate, or perhaps parallel with it, have you noticed also how anger (which I suppose could be a kind of hate-lite) has become the left 8767 s new default justification for dismissal of other people 8767 s concerns, kind of like they way that women a hundred years ago who showed signs of buckling under the enormous psychological strain of keeping up with the pretenses of that era were dismissed as hysterical (and thus not worthy of consideration). Whenever someone expresses anger regarding some dysfunctional set of affairs, the logic goes, they are not worthy of consideration because they are angry and thus the dysfunctional set of affairs must not be addressed. This is particularly true if the dysfunctional set of affairs benefit left wing liberals, and if said someone expressing anger is a) white b) male c) does something productive for a living d) is actually justified in being angry, or e) any combination of the above.
On transsexuals and the gender wars in general: some observations from my 57 years on the planet. [Disclosure: I am pretty far to the left on most issues, though I am about equally perturbed by the resurgent biological essentialism on the right and by the identity politics that seem to have taken over the left (JMG, I think that you are absolutely right that the latter is a convenient distraction from dealing with real issues).]
A fascinating discussion. I have most certainly felt hate towards others and very occasionally I have been so outraged by a member of my fellow species actions which have inadvertently involved myself in some way which could be described as a violating experience that I have felt rage. We can occasionally be not very nice creatures from my experience and knowing who is who in the is a useful tool to wield.
I 8767 ve been thinking for a while about my sexuality, and I 8767 ve sort of known for a long time that I wasn 8767 t exactly the straightest person around, because I never really felt any sort of inclination towards women. I just assumed that I was homosexual, because I had to fit somewhere on that spectrum, even if I did have feelings for a girl for a long time. I never really felt sexual desire for anyone, real or imagined, and only ever pretended to like so-and-so because I wanted to be liked by my friends.
8775 Then an experience that perhaps no good man can ever have in our world came over him a torrent of perfectly unmixed and lawful hatred. The energy of hating, never before felt without some guilt, without some dim knowledge that he was failing fully to distinguish the sinner from the sin, rose into his arms and legs till he felt that they were pillars of burning blood… It is perhaps difficult to understand why this filled Ransom not with horror but with a kind of joy, The joy came from finding at last what hatred was made for. As a boy wit an axe rejoices on finding a tree, or boy with a box of coloured chalks rejoices on finding a pile of perfectly white paper, so he rejoiced in the perfect congruity between his emotion and his object. 8776
Asexuality is the worst thing ever. I cannot keep any girl around because of this, not even those with low libido. It sucks because I do get emotionally attached to women, which always causes me to end up broken hearted and them to break up with me and hate me forever, as if I had done something terrible I guess that for sexual people it must feel like an insult to not be sexually satisfied
The same logic gets applies in fields far removed from about the way that people in America think about food, to cite only one example. Every fad diet for the last thirty years has fixated on identifying some specific food or food group as evil incarnate, and insisted that if you amputate it from your diet, why, then you could count on perfect health and whatever body shape happens to be fashionable at the moment. Again, the mere fact that it never works does nothing to keep people from chasing after the next example, because the blind faith that goodness requires amputation is so unquestioned in our time.
By and large, it appears driven by class, well-to-do middle classes seem to despise the boorish and sheer crassness of the Trump persona over and above any legitimate concerns about his policies. I have a theory that Trump is the first wave a a new era of politicians who will re craft Trumpian politics, . nationalistic, protectionist and hawkish on borders/refugees but packaged in a more sober, respectful and 8775 establishment 8776 manner.
Reading this post, you could be talking about Buddhist thought. As you know, one of the underlying assumptions in classical Buddhist thought (and one that permeates basically all traditions of Buddhism) is that one can purify the mind of all afflictions and achieve a sort of moral perfection, which is additionally free from all suffering. I used to think this was possible, and a goal worth pursuing, but after around two years in robes with a shaved head in India, I realized that even the most learned practitioners display all the same human feelings, failings and desires. Some have clearly benefited from their practice, and are much more compassionate as a result, but jealousy, ambition and greed are still obviously present. Nowadays I feel that accepting the human condition in all its facets is a lot more realistic and healthier.
I felt this way for years before I discovered asexuality. I 8767 d had a girlfriend, and the occasional persons of vague interest had all been women, so clearly that means I 8767 m straight, right? But at the same time, I never really thought about sex. I never went looking for it, I never felt like I needed it. Whenever I thought about these women, I thought about things like going on vacation or scouring the local thrift stores for retro video games with them, but I never really thought about taking them to bed. One day, I decided that meant that I was straight, but I just wasn 8767 t very good at it.