Rape Culture.

I was raised a White Supremacist in Africa. I didn’t know that’s what I was when I was little. We simply lived apart from everyone else because we were better than them. Daddy carried shiny guns. Once, when I was eight, I met the children from the mud and corrugated compound nearby. I saw them from the tower window playing in our tennis court and went fuming down, the breaking of bounds half justified by my indignation. How dare they!

The boys were taking turns at rolling around inside old car tyres, all laughter and joy. A clear faced child of six, beaming and bright despite her rags, came towards me holding out something for me to see, her treasure. In her hand was a matchbox and inside that was a penny, protected in cotton wool. Her eyes sparkled, she was rich.

Troubled, I ran home.

A few days later, emboldened by this foray, I went all the way to the bottom of the garden and climbed the fence. Beyond was endless virgin savannah, amazing rocky outcrops, thorn trees and yellow grasses stretching infinitely to the horizon. I walked into the singing wilderness, half dazed with it’s immensity until I lost sight of the house.  I found a great termite mound, as big as a dinosaur. It was awesome.

Then, as I walked around this ancient beast, I saw in horrified amazement that some contractor had dug a trench straight through the middle of it, cutting it in half and killing it. I jumped down into the deep ditch and walked softly into the heart of the Great Mound, deeper and deeper into its Earth until even the African sun grew dim.

In the cool dark ground I found its beautiful central halls, its endless myriad passageways, its intricate chambers. It was a creature so ancient that it was made of Earth and I wept for its destruction. And then I realised that the reason we lived in such a big house and carried guns was because we pumped up white folks did this kind of thing.

What I was to discover was that we also did it to one another. Wanton humiliation and violation of one another were institutionalised in boarding schools like the one I was imminently about to be sent to. The masters carried semi-automatics and birchrods. Ritualised sexual shaming was part and parcel of the culture where boys were given the utmost power to threaten one another’s ontological security.

The masters felt that the only way to contain such collective feelings of being above the law, fostered and nurtured by themselves, was for these special boys to be debased on a regular, on-going and arbitrary basis. So they turned a blind eye to sexual violence because it was good for us. It was a kind of lottery for keeping folk in line with the Gulag understanding of, ‘you today, me tomorrow.’

The Dice fell against me one day. Twenty boys poured into my dorm, shouting and jeering, grabbing and pulling, yanking and tearing, making me strip and forcing me do whatever perverse thing they could dream up whilst they cheered and stamped and chanted.

And it had all been done to them. And would be again. It was normal. It had to be normal in order to equip them with a thick enough hide to strip the planet and its indigenous cultures of its value once they’d been spat out and fast tracked to positions of power in the world.

The end game of  Narcisisstic Sexuality is to wrestle the other’s humanity away from them. It’s done to strengthen inner defences against feelings of incipient, lurking inferiority and self-doubt. It takes the form of compulsively repeated denigration of others, best and most comprehensively expressed as sexual acts of contempt or humiliation.

Failing internal cohesion in the Narcissist is forestalled from disaster by appropriation of the other’s integrity. Its not such an alien concept. The Massai once hunted lion and ate their hearts to give them the strength of lions. Modern day spearing of others is done for the same reason, to magically fill oneself up with someone else’s manna.

You were supposed to be grateful and thank them for it afterwards, relinquishing your true self to the Hive forever in the process. It was about more than submission. It was about colluding with the utter loss of your humanity so that you were primed to do the same to others in a compulsively repeated enactment set to roll through centuries.

But I was saved…

strangely saved, by the Anthill I’d wept for years before as a young boy.

While they tried to extract my treasure, I somehow found myself magically returned to the Great Mound, was once more enfolded in its cool, secret chambers, its hidden protective halls, still and dry in the embrace of dark earth while the hounds snarled, unable to get in from above. It was not dead, after all. And nor would I be.

Rape culture is of more than the vulnerable or the unlucky. The West’s plunder of the third world and of Nature is a commercial form of rape culture. The more obvious motives of greed and aggression get the limelight because we normally stop at moral outrage and something having to be done. We fall short of imagining our need to demean entire nations, harvesting not only their material resources, but their stories, their gods, their connection to the ancestors, their pride and dignity.

Failed nations are named and shamed without reference to the context of that failure which is invariably white supremacist incursion and the sponsorship of internicene conflict. They are shamed in the same way rape victims are shamed. What were you wearing? What were you doing in the path of danger?

Rape culture is not about sex. Its about Supremacy. Its about the need to depersonalise, to demean, to siphon off a person’s qualities like stock, to enviously attack that which is not-me, to accrue that other’s humanity to oneself, which is why being around Narcissism for any length of time is draining and leaves you feeling in need of a hot bath.

Yet there’s something so compelling and charismatic about the suave demagogue, the self confessed pussy grabbers of this world. And what is that? They let us take the route of least resistance. We too can be pussy grabbers, have power over others, take a regressive holiday from our own suffering humanity,  and become perpertrators for a day. Someone to be reckoned with after all, tolerant now of the humiliations meted out from above, by meting them out on those below.

Much of the election aftermath has been about ‘angry voters marginalised by Washington elite” voicing their disatissfaction at being ”forgotten and ignored”.

I  see the proliferation of Rape Culture,…

I see the narcissistic end game of  ‘take what you can, give nothing back’, better suited to pirates and thieves than the land of the free.

”You should have more… and better, whatever you want..”

My mate Boz sports a T-shirt that says, ”Eat the Rich”. I pointed out that to 90% 0f the world he was ‘The Rich’. ”What will you do”, I asked, ”when they come banging on your door with their begging bowls?”

kick their frikkin’ heads in…

yep, that’s what I figgered.

 

 

Narcissism, Compulsion and the Soul.

There were once two psychiatrists. The one invites the other for dinner. The guest arrives, asks to use the bathroom and disappears for an hour. Eventually he emerges with a knowing look.

”You have a serious obsessive compulsion,’ he says to his collegue, ”there are 542 bars of soap in your bathroom. I know, I counted every last one.”

Of course psychological conditions are bound to overlap but Narcissism and OCD seem to have a special relationship.

Why?

I was watching a Ted Talk, Elizabeth Gilbert, author of ‘ Eat, Pray, Love’. She made the point that people who became very successful had a tendency to go mad and top themselves because they confuse themselves with the ‘Genius Loci’ who served as their muse.

The solution, she said, is to remember that ‘genius’, is its own thing. Not-me.

Very Interesting, but what is your point?

The psychological rule says that when an inner situation is not made conscious, it happens outside, as fate. That is to say, when the individual remains undivided and does not become conscious of his inner opposite, the world must perforce act out the conflict and be torn into opposing halves. ~Carl Jung.

Narcissism notoriously lives out only one corner of (an idealised) life. Both the dark Brother, the less than salubrious aspects of himself, and the unlived potential, The Self, have to be projected…

and then come banging at the castle gates again and again.

And because the contents projected are always the same…

the banging is also the same…

and so interpersonal scenarios are endlessly repeated..

as are ritualised patterns of behaviour behind closed doors.

We live in a time of relative spiritual malaise. We also live in a time of marked obsessiveness and compulsive behaviour.

Could there be a connection?

Its curious that the definition and symptoms listed by DSM5 for a diagnosis of OCD (which includes praying!) sound distinctly like the ritual contents of religious ceremony. These include,

”repetitive behaviours, according to rules that must be rigidly applied.”DSM5

like a church service….

Precisely. Sacramental acts are also, ‘aimed at preventing or reducing distress or preventing some dread event.’

What’s the connection with Narcissism?

Waaal, Narcissism is particularily prone to OCD not just because the dark brother is eternally projected, but because the ego is identified with the Self. This means that there is no real spiritual life.

I don’t get it.

Spiritual life necessitates a relationship with God..

yeees…

but if you are identified with God then there is no relationship. Instead of having a religion, the religion has you…

By the scruff…

And marches its children off to war….

or down to the supermarket for a dozen bottles of bleach and a pack of toothbrushes so you can purify the pelmets of your appartment at 4 in the morning…

or out in the rain to buy cigarretes while every bone in your body is screaming, ‘DON’T DO IT!!’.

or muttering shameful babble to appease the fates whilst not realising that the person next to you on the bus is lookin’ at you strangely…

or washing endlessly in lieu of a genuine cleansing.

”It is not a matter of indifference if one calls something a ‘mania’ or a ‘god’. To serve a mania is detestable and undignified. But to serve a god is full of meaning and promise.” CG Jung

Narcissism won’t share, has no story, nothing to be a part off…

because there is no relatedness or participation in that which transcends it.

And for the want of partness in the greater whole we have compulsive patterning instead.

Like a stuck gramaphone record doing the same thing over and over. Round and round. Instead of meaningful sacrament we have chaotic excrement.

Instead of being drawn we are driven.

The fantasy that we are the captains of our own ships beckons the raven’s claw.

”Whoever sets himself up as judge of truth and knowledge is shipwrecked by the laughter of the Gods.” A Einstein.

For want of having a story to belong in we are caught eternally on the same page.

And more than that, for want of the Principle of Relatedness that gifts us with both belonging and the internal flexibility of a conversation between I and me, we are robbed not just of meaningful context but of our own humanity..

which is perhaps why the DSM5 definition of OCD uses the language of automation, describing the phenomenon as ‘the brain’s junk mail.” Though it significantly acknowledges that OCD is responsible for, ”communication errors among different parts of the brain.” Ie. there’s a problem with internal dialogue.

meaning…?

That without the capacity for self-reflection we are driven along like leaves in the wind.

The legacy of Western Civilisation is effectively the deification of consciousness. Having cast out the divine feminine, the principle that mediates between Logos and ego, the two are bound to get confused…

like when you don’t have a soap dish and so you leave the soap in the bath and it gets all mushy and your mum yells at you?

Exactly, ego gets ‘god-almighty’, which is all very well for a bit…

until the mush begins..

and soon starts behaving as though there were no limits and as if nothing mattered save itself.

The psyche responds with a big fat neurosis to bring about some sense of proportion in lieu of actual awareness. Instead of the cleansing renewal he was hoping for the bath room hero finds himself compulsively feeling about the teensy yet glorified space into which he’s soaped himself.

…pretty sure he’s in there somewhere.

On Being Enviously Attacked.

I dreamt I was fighting my brother. Back and forth we went. Evetually I pushed him back and said, ‘Dave, do you know why we’re fighting?’

He shook his head.

‘It’s because of all the cool stuff you have,” and I indicated the lavishly furnished place. Wood panelled walls, expensive carpets, fine art…

He looked puzzled. ‘I thought it was yours…’

We both thought the other got the goodies but actually they just weren’t there to begin with. We thought, oh, the other must have it, to keep alive the hope that the goody could actually be a real thing…

but it wasn’t…

which might come our way one day…

but it didn’t.

When mothering is diminished in value and in availability, siblings fight.

This is a rule.

We would rather kill each other rather than admit that what we were fighting over wasn’t available.

Which is all very well  except that it means being eternally consumed with envy.

You have to keep refloating the hope that one day the goody may become yours, perhaps by some mighty effort. Or at least, let you fuel the easier angry fantasy that some rival predatory suckling is secretly hoarding it all for himself.

We think of our inner world’s as being quite discrete and yet the context for my dream echoes back through the myth and legends of Western Culture. Romulus and Remus, Esau and Jacob, Cain and Abel, Gilgamesh and Enkidu.  All these stories have as their context the Divine Feminine being killed off by Her consort.

When a divine aspect of the whole is missing, every generation is bound to re-enect the consequences of it’s loss one way and another.

”What you cannot remember is condemned to be repeated….” Santayana

Kill the dark brother! For centuries the children of Single System systems have dealt with the divine split between Yahweh and Sophia/Wisdom by splitting themselves into good and bad just as we do when our personal parents become irreconcilable.

Its so deep in us that psychological theories are developed suggesting that such splitting is innate and that the resulting paranoia is just part of growing up.

”The ‘paranoid-schizoid position’ refers to a constellation of anxieties, defences and internal and external object relations that are characteristic of the earliest months of an infant’s life.” M Klien.

So we blame baby so as not to call culture into question..

But if there’s no divine faminine (typo left) to preside over the sanctification of birth and motherhood how can baby be anything but paranoid and split…?.

trying to make the best of it….

Where’s my promised land?

This is not what it said on the broshure..

The feeling that there is something awry, something that makes it all just a little bit too scary to go off and do my own thing means, maybe, I’ll just settle for being special instead…

…whilst being secretly consumed with envy for everything we now imagine to be in the sole possession of some greedy, predatory other; imbued with gnawing hunger and riteous indignation.

Good breast/bad breast are redacted from good Jeruselm/bad Babylon, a split in Humanity 5,000 years old, engendered by God’s need for a subordinate partner…

…and not simply because we are that way inkliened.

On Being God.

Roberto Assagioli, progenitor of Psychosynthesis, tells the story of a patient in the psychiatric wing where he worked in Ancona, who’d been admitted to hospital for the determined conviction that he was God. Apart from this he was entirely  well behaved, so much so that he had been entrusted with the keys to the medicine cabinet.

‘His only lapse in behaviour was the occasional appropriation of sugar to give pleasure to some of the older inmates.” R. Assagioli.

Assagioli makes the observation that the man’s problem was not pathological as such but constituted a confusion of levels, confusion between..

”the metaphysical and the empirical levels of reality, in religious terms, between God and the soul.” ibid

Thankfully the resulting inflation can be quite mundane…

I was playing my cigarbox guitar in the barn. It wouldn’t do what I wanted it to. It should be playing more easily. I was struggling with the music, feeling dissatisfied and frustrated with my instrument..

and I got a sore finger…

Then I realised I had become ‘better’ than my situation.. I was playing God and my morning was not coming up to scratch.

I got annoyed at my whining…..

and wondered just how many folk there were priviledged to be playing in their barn, if they had one, first thing on a Friday morning. People who’d never thought to play or who didn’t have the means. People without a barn, some private space, to get away from it all. Suddenly it was a glorious morning simply by being re-connecting to my situation, to the richness of the day, to the gratitude of being able to take time out, creating the time to create…

and my morning improved.

because I could tell myself off… and not be God.

The proper relationship between ego and Self has plagued Western Civilisation since its inception with a vast array of unfortunate and often mortal consequences..

”If an individual identifies with the [Self], a positive or negative inflation results. Positive inflation comes very near to a more or less conscious megalomania; negative inflation is felt as an annihilation of the ego. The two conditions may alternate.” C. G. Jung.

You tend to notice positive inflation more easily because its narcissistic, in your face and at the head of some cause..or army.  Negative inflation is less easy to spot but just as problematic in that ego and Self are still not in right relation.

for instance..

A man posts a facebook meme of himself playing the dulcimer. All well and good but he starts out with a rambling apology about technical hitches which of course the veiwer at their laptop has not in fact had to endure, though we are indeed now being put upon by this lengthy piece of unwarrented groveling.

So, then he plays the piece and it is truly amazing but when he’s done he shrugs and says, ‘that’s all I’ve got….’ enviously spoiling his performance.

and of course you want to rush up to him and take him in your arms and weep on his shoulder saying, ‘don’t be so silly dahling, you were wonderful, wonderful..’

”Paradoxically, overwhelming desire to please turns us into a walking power principle, by pleasing others we are better able to manipulate them, albeit unconsciously.” M. Woodman.

The heaping of reassurance on top of praise would be doubly insufficient because it is precisely human warmth and affection that erodes the defences of the Eternally Unworthy. So appreciation and gratitude cannot be allowed in.

though it is what he wants most….

… because that would be to acknowledge that he had some worth which immediately challenges the dominant paradigm…

So he’s as wooden headed and unavailable as his boasting brother. And way more numerous. Armies of Ever so ‘Umble.

Collectively, the ego-Self paradox expresses itself in our culture as Christology, the debate about Jesus relationship with ‘the Father’, which seems a bit technical until you consider that there’s something sufficiently significant in the issue for people to kill one another over it in Uncountable Heaps through the Ages.

When the Council of Nicaea met in 325 AD, to agree on the books that you could read without being killed for it, they actually spent most of their time arguing about the relationship of the Self and the ego. Gnostic Arius said that if the son was begotten of the father he came from nothing and only after a while, so… he can’t be Eternal. Orthodox Nicholas of Myra said they were One and the Same and punched Arius in the head to prove it.

At the Synod of Tyre, ten years later, Arius was exonerated and no longer going to be killed if we find you out on a dark night, but only because Constantius II was about to take the Roman throne and liked him. After Constantius died, suddenly, Arius was again anathematised, cursed with looks of death and the waving of pointy sticks at the Council of Constantinople in 381 AD, despite the fact that he’d meantime expired in a pool of his own diarrhoea…

under suspicious and bloody circumstances.

poisoned with something that caused him to pass his own spleen…

behind the shambles in the collonade..

Socrates Scholasticus, a bitter rival of Arius who just happened to be strolling by at the time with stylus and clay tablet poised to record his terrible demise, claimed it was an act of God, which of course didn’t mean that he hadn’t been a part of said Divine Plan.

In Single System systems, some confusion arises in the ego’s relationship with the Self, giving rise to murderous Paranoid Anxiety.

Some, because they think they are the right hand of God..

Others, who just want to Help and Are Sorry for any Inconvenience…

Unfortunately, Arius’ veiw that the ego is derivative and subordinate to the Self did not prevail. It was a missed opportunity for ego differentiation. Total identification between the Father and the Son was decreed the order of the day, codified in the Nicene Creed and emperor Constantine, whose forbears were only too used to identifying with the Gods, made saying otherwise hazardous to your health.

And so emerged a regressed Homo Contritiens, a species of humanity characterised by being eternally repentant whilst regretfully hoovering up everyone else’s stuff and then, apologetically and sheepishly, bombing detractors in the name of God to dislodge the eroneous belief that we do anything but come in peace.

”All the wars in this world are not fought over money or material things. They are all fought over belief, more specifically, the primacy of one man’s belief over another man’s.” Golding in Lucky Man.

If you lose you are a martyr to the cause. If you win you are doing God’s will. What could possibly go wrong?

I was trying to locate an old Commando aquaintance of mine and found a gravestone inscribed, ”killed in an ambush.” Its not the same as ‘killed in action’ is it? It implies he was somehow killed unfairly…

because the lowly and coniving enemy pounced on him from behind a rock…

or because he had his fingers crossed at the time..

So there’s no equality, even in death.

which might seem preferable to the isolation and comfortlessness of being God.

For those who feel they have arrived there is only death, as all the blooming of Nature shows us.

Going Mad to Stay Sane. Reprint.

Self destructiveness can be a spring board for a soulful life like no other if we can realise the meaning in the message, if we refrain from putting a lid on it with medication or inveterate ‘fixing’.

The book tells the story of King Midas from Greek mythology who wished that everything he touched be turned to gold. He only realises what a curse he’s bought on himself when he embraces his daughter…..

It also tells the backstory, what kind of parents he had and what the family dynamics were that could foster such a terrible desire. How does he live? How does Midas resolve his issues? How does he now approach Dionysus who granted him his hideous wish.

The story uses  allegory to reveal how we grow through adversity and foolishness. It looks at the deeper significance of self-destructiveness, as a symbol of something meaningful that can be transformative.

The book has a new preface by Dr Dale Mathers who is a Jungian analyst with his own new book on the shelf, ‘Alchemy and Psychotherapy’.

Enjoy the book and find new ways to make sense of old patterns.

Books are signed and cost £12 plus p+p.












The One Ring.

The genius of Tolkein was not simply that he told a ripping story but that he managed to tap into a rich vein of collective meaning for our time.

A divided, dangerous world in which Power has momentarily eclipsed Love….

Even our spiritual journey can wind up being about ‘gaining’, possessing, wanting the knowledge, rather than the humble journey to return that which is not ours to wield and to make our peace with mystery.

The inheritance of Western Civilisation is an anthology of inflation. We are collectively narcissistic. We crave power and wealth. More than that our society identifies with its God to such an extent that we can impose our freedom on others at the point of a gun without contradiction and subjugate them for their own good.

Doin’ them a favour, innit?

Well, they carn’t govern their frikkin selves, hey?

Moreover we oppress the inner voice of soul because it will not come to heel and refuses to be relegated to the status of an artifact.

And so our aloneness is complete.

The other is ‘nothing but’…

“All modern people feel alone in the world of the psyche because they assume that there is nothing there that they have not made up. This is the very best demonstration of our God-almighty-ness, which simply comes from the fact that we think we have invented everything – that nothing would be done if we did not do it; for that is our basic idea and it is an extraordinary assumption.” CG Jung.

I knew someone who had a terrible rash on her chest and neck that looked like a great burn mark. She scratched at the torment of it endlessly. By and by she spoke of a dragon she dreamt of over and again, some ‘part of her’ she had to ’embrace’. My comment was that trying to integrate a dragon that actually had its own life in the depth of her Psyche would likely result in all kinds of rashes and burns.

Her task was not to ‘integrate’ but to say hello from a safe distance.

The rash improved and she got more humble.

an’ had an inna other….

When a person imagines that the psyche is whatever they know of it and that the Unconscious is ‘nothing but’, then narcissistic strutting and all kinds of symptoms are not far away.

And for as long as the Ring is fought over, for as long as the Unconscious is something we just want to own like jewelery, then love and relatedness suffer. The artery through which love flows will be constricted and the streams of Psyche’s internal dialogue will become clogged.

Despite such cholesterol of the soul we think of ourselves as evolved….

….on the basis that evolution is somehow linear. And so..

we must be the finest and best.

job done.

Darwin and Freud had this in common, they both told Victorian society exactly what it wanted to hear. Not only are people not responsible for messing up their kids, our very existence/survival is proof positive of the right to dominate and exploit.

The price we pay for this delusion is a narrowing of our capacity for relatedness. Either I wear the ring and am narcissistically identified with ‘the power’ and thus pre-occupied and unavailable, or you wear the ring and I become your thrall, romantically enslaved to the other.

This bastardisation of the Principle of Relatedness is very different from the subtle nuances of human affection known, for example, to the ancient Greeks who differentiated almost as many different types of love as the Eskimos have words for snow. Ludus, philia, agape, eros, pragma, philautia…

In our time the predominant models of romantic love and narcissistic love seem to culminate in the culture of ‘Bling’, where persons are both idealised as demi gods and then worshipped from afar. They, ‘have it all’, whilst our preoccupation with what is essentially a projection leaves us depleted and feeling worthless by comparison.

Imagine the folk of ancient times trying to grasp our fascination with bards and mummers!

The Ring and its relationship with Mt Doom is a mystery. Returning it as bearer rather than as owner is a real piece of psychological maturity.  Mainly, Western Civilisation has been about the revelation of mystery, uncovering it for all to see. The last book of the Bible even goes by that name as if to give additional emphasis to its contents. Its not enough to serve a higher principle. Above all we want to know and be shown.

We cannot know.

”Unpalatable as it may be… the idea of mystery forces itself on the mind of the enquirer, not as a cloak for ignorance, but as an admission of.. the inability to translate what s/he knows into the speech of the intellect” CG Jung.

But, we may press on to where Nature refuses to be surmounted by our own efforts.

 

 

Pathological Entitlement

One of my childhood memories is of my father pulling the family car up to a ‘Strictly No Parking’ sign and dinging it with the bumper.  We were the only car in the lot.

In time he bought me my first car, 50 bucks worth of ageing deathtrap. No MOT, no insurance, no licence. Every breach of the rules lost in his bestowing gift.

I abandoned it on the road side within a month ‘cos it wasn’t running right and bought a motorbike. No licence, no experience, no insurance, no helmet. Got to the first junction, crossed it on one wheel and very nearly killed a pedestrian on the far side.

I was Priviledged. I didn’t have to play by the rules. But the almost-accident bought me up short and made me begin to question my entitlement.

Entitlement was  what held my parents together, and the racially segregated community of which we were a part. It was their legacy to me and so I soaked it up like you do…

…being all there was on offer.

I began to realise, not only that it was all a con, but that I was actually a deprived child. All the specialness and priviledge and being exempt from the rules was compensation for lack of love. I was given a pile of ‘Get Out Of Jail Free’ cards in lieu of affection.

It had a lot to do with the intensely patriarchal world in which I was raised. Colonial Rhodesia was an Edwardian garden party of Priviledge. Pimms, boaters and side arms. A man’s world in which women were pegged just a tad above non-white folk and Nature was just cover for gooks.

No surprise that the sons of Empire mostly turned out pretty narcissistic. Tin pot princelings who’d sell each other out, and their grandmothers, for any extension of rights and status. The motif at the local monument read, ‘ That Might have Right, and Have it More Abundantly.’

Thing is, such a compensation culture is only pitched a notch or two above what the rest of polite society is still up to. The feminine is collectively devalued. Nature is there simply for the plundering, or perhaps to lie down in on your favourite monogrammed beach towel and conventional religion is an old boy’s club that has been resting on its laurels for so long they’ve mashed it into the upholstery.

What all these sons of empire never got was that if the feminine is devalued then so is mothering. Their mothers. Their Ground of Being.

The problem for children in the West is that mother is invariably a dissatisfied woman.   S. de Bouvoir.

If mother is devalued but her face remains the primary mirror for a nascent sense of identity what is the child to experience of itself?

What a baby sees in its mother’s eyes is what baby takes itself to be. If the mirror is broken or distorted then baby is also broken/distorted.

Baby cannot move forward. Its not safe enough. There isn’t enough containment. If baby is not in his rightful place, in arms, because Mum is drowning her sorrows, or back at work trying to prove her worth, or off at bingo trying to top up on some girl time, or holding baby but gingerly because she’s had her own instincts and self confidence eroded to the point that she’s lost faith in her own abilities, then the need to be in his rightful place, a place to which Nature has promised him entitlement as though it were the Promised Land since he was still in utero, is frustrated and denied…

and unfinished…

Moreover, if baby is having to shoulder not only mother’s sense of inferiority, incalcated in her since she herself was a baby,  but,  in addition, projections of the Self which mother must also export given that society has afforded her no schooling or experience of owning this within her own psyche, then baby is landed with a heady cocktail of not being good enough on the one hand (which requires extremes of compensation) and Mother’s divine image on the other which is going to blow his own sense of self out of all proportion.

This ‘priviledged child’ is finally given the existential coup de grace by being allowed to behave pretty much as he pleases by Mum,  desperate to make up for the very real deprivation she senses she’s an unwitting party to – and there you have a recipe for all the petty despotism you can conceive, all getting gently baked on an oven setting marked ‘self importance’, and served up with a penchant for co-dependence and a side order of addictive tendencies.

The heady realms of the godlike must, after all, be regularly fuelled.

Fielding narcissism.

Saying there’s no such thing as a narcissist is only true when you’re feeling generous. The rest of the time, they’re real enough and its denial to say otherwise. You can feel trapped, especially if its family or work, and it can be tough keeping alive that you’re not destined to be a victim of the situation.

That other really might be depersonalising you, loading you down with shadow material, unrealistic expectations and enviously tugging at you’re essence.

What do you do?

here are some options;

1) play masochistically into the game without let or hindrance.

2) play masochistically into the game whilst wondering what you are about.

3)  spend seven years in anaysis and then back away.

4) back away.

Wondering what you are about is good for a couple of things. Its good for seeing if you are balanced. If you aren’t they topple you over. Its like a pillow fight on a greased pole but you have no pillow.

And its good for practising compassion.

Don’t get caught in the story. Don’t stop at being so damn clever about the game they’re playing.

Go deeper.

See past the nonsense to the vacant, unmothered child behind the glass, where I can no longer talk to me.

Then, deeper still, to the flower that’s still alive beneath the boot.

This has the effect of changing the dynamics. The practice of kindness is powerful stuff and it doesn’t cost you your point of veiw. You are modelling tolerance of difference and embodying the other’s potential to do likewise.

Change begins that no amount of making-the-other-see will ever achieve.

An aspect of Relatedness that we lost with the Goddess is that generosity of spirit which is willing to walk a mile in another’s shoes and is actually the kind of mirroring containment the other really needs and is asking for in the first place.

Oh, and, don’t sign anything.

 

Narcissistic Collusion

What makes us collude with Narcissism? It’s like allowing yourself to be bullied by a two year old! Why would you do that? For love? Well you might say so, I certainly have, but I no longer buy it.

Love wants us to grow and narcissistic collusion keeps us all small.

I once new a woman who tolerated an extremely narcissistic husband for 30 years because he once made her a cup of tea…. and on the strength of that alone commited herself to his tyranny. Was she a woman who loved too much? Too much something, but it wasn’t love.

The actual service with which he provided her, as a recepticle for all her inferiority  whom she could then safely sneer at from across the room, was enough glue to hold the marriage together… forever.

In order to keep her eye off the ball she needed a whole gamut of back-up reasons for being with him, pseudo explanations for his behaviour and saintly giving him ‘the benefit of the doubt’, only made serviceable by living in eternal doubt herself and  underming the entire structure of her own natural intelligence.

She believed in him all that time, not because he gave her any hope but because her unacknowledged need compelled her to find… anything, a lousy single gesture, to justify what she had done and cover up her deeper motives. She searched his every word and bent his every deed into some fresh shape that might then justify her own stagnant, loveless existence.

To do this she could turn black into white and rain into sun.

We humans are good at that.

Look at how we respond to God’s bad behaviour. We constantly let him off the hook out of our own urgent need to…what?

We  hear over and again about how we were given free will but actually it doesnt say that anywhere, not at all… We need to believe it that’s all. In order to fulfil our own urgent need to.. what?

Jah man! Everyone know God give us free will…

Bollocks, its a delusion or at least the reducto ad absurdam of ‘we have free will therefore God must have given it to us’. The story of the apple suggests we’re capable of all kinds of stuff He didn’t intend. We collude with the idea that we were given free will so as to explain  any subsequent smiting having failed to exercise it appropriatly.

Dat’s sin, mon.

No, we’re explaining away petulant behaviour we wouldn’t accept in a toddler because something in us needs to.

We alla’ us got free will, mon.

Yeh, but only as a result of dissobeying god. How can God ask us to exercise that which Eve stole when his punishment of her wanting to be conscious is to be cursed for eternity? His entire beef with people is Eve’s sin and yet now we are being asked to exercise it in order not to… sin.

Yeah, an’ it gets missed a lot that God frew them out the garden because they disobeyed…

..when actually what he says is, ‘lest they become one of Us’.(Gen 3:22)

He had someone with him?

Unless he was talking to Himself…

Hum, at the very least, he doesn’t want us to be conscious.

That’s not very nice, but… he did give us free will.

No, he never. Look, I’m a bright chap and the internet can give you every quote that’s even vaguely related and I’m telling you I trawled the lot. We just want to believe in this great gift which we have to honour on pain of eternal damnaation because we want to.

What you actually find is that free will is stolen, stolen and punished. Why would we dare exercise that which, just by the having of it, gets you cursed forever?

Why? Because we don’t have to be responsible. Yahweh is easy, you don’t have to search your heart. You don’t have to try too hard. Paul sells  his whole spiel to the Thessalonians on the basis that the lords yoke is light and that ALL you have to do is abstain…

an’ praise..  got an easy ride mon, don’ complain…

I don’t want a fucking easy ride. I want to grow and growing is hard. I want something other than your feather bed. Did you ever wonder why our culture is so hungry alla time, desperate for that instant gratification fix..?

er..

…because, there’s no frikkin challenge within the fold that’s really worth  the candle, so we may as well stay at home and stuff our faces. We believe in the lie that free will is something we’ve been given so we don’t have to face the fact that God wants us small and compliant..

And why…

..because we want to be …small and compliant.

 

The Fate of Gilgamesh.

I’m struck by the fact that writing should be invented in precisely the best place to document the collapse of an age and from the point of veiw of the loser. Usually its the victors that write history.

What they did, in symbolic form, was to hold up a mirror to the tide that was about to engulf them. All over the known world the goddess was being over thrown or killed by semi divine sons. Attis and Cybele, Marduk and Tiamat, Yahweh and Hokmah.

DONT SPEAK HER NAME…

I have a rare gift and I’m about to be driven into the ground by hordes of really fast chariots driven by determined looking blokes with mean pointy beards. What shall I do? How shall I respond?

Let’s tell them a story…

So- proud Gilgamesh! He has defeated The Great Mother! He has destroyed Her sacred grove! He has hewn great gates from her limbs and floated them down the Euphrates in triumph. Gates made of the Mother Herself! No-one can get him now.

He has magically made a piece of mother, protection against Her, and with that a piece of himself set against the whole man.

Ishtar sees what’s going on and tries to intervene in a seductive way but is spurned, she then sends the bull of heaven to intervene.  Enkidu and Gilgamesh chop it up and fling bits at the Gods.

Oh, dear, this is going to end badly.

Innit, you can’t do that. It ain’t right.

Fuck you, we don’t care. Gilga’s part god anyway and i’ve got serious horns…

But the Gods close ranks. They decide one of them has to die and its Enkidu. The inflated desecration of Ishtar’s bull widens the split between the idealised, narcissistic self and the shadowy horned self even further, so that having them be represented as brothers no longer works. One of the brothers must die and fall into the Unconscious.

The gods are a pranksterish lot. They like punishments to be amusing as well as instructive. If a punishment can’t be witty what’s the point?

So the say, ‘ok mr cool guy with your one-god bling, think you can live without the natural, the wild, then live without that part of yourself! Enkidu dies and you can be king of the world without stain…. alone.. with not even yourself to talk to.

And see how you fucking like it.

So you see, Assyrians, we had a king that was just like you, all pumped up on the life blood of others. Let us tell you of his fate so that you might be informed…..

Gilgamesh, him all upset now..

Yes, but only because his personal mighty bubble threatens to burst, and so he has to make a great heroic quest, not for the pearl of great price or some fair damsel, there’s no girl in the picture, he’s doing it to bolster himself up even more. he wants the elixir of immortality so that he can live for ever and be even MORE godlike. The towering walls are not enough. And even his tears at Enkidu’s death are for himself and the dawning realisation of his own mortality.

‘Im no care abou’ him frien’.

He’s learned nothing…

Him want him not his own fate…

and makes NPD like like a breeze in the park…

Boldly he sets off across the land of night, the sea of death, past scary monsters until eventually they come to the house of The Ancient One who might just be able to help him….maybe.

Last chance for Gilgamesh to wake himself up!

In fact, his task is to stay awake but he can’t or, is too cool to pay attention to the old guy.

Charcoal burners do it by using one legged stools to rest on. If they drop off, they drop off.

Gilgamesh! Even in the measly selfishness of your cheap wish, for an elixir of something, you screwed up. Because you’re so frickin arrogant that you think you don’t have to pay attention to anything around you which is why you can’t have a relationship and why your going to die like a bitch.

No! No! Give him one more chance! He’s had a hard life! I beg you.

And so the Ancient One’s Wife, Mrs Ancient One, pleads on Gilgamesh’s behalf and shows him where to find the magical plant he’s looking for.

There you go Sonny Jim, take care, mind….

There is no end to the ladies trying to help this boy, mon.

Despite his crap attitude….

….and the chopping and the flinging….

So he gets his plant.

Him score big time!

… but while he’s daydreaming about how cool he is and all the stuff you can amass over an eternity he takes his eye off the plant..

..snake com’ along and gobble it up.

The goddess takes it back.

And so ends the tragic story of Gilgamesh. Oh. no, not quite. He goes home and praises his walls. Himself.

What for Gilgamesh take him eye off the treasure? Mrs Ancient One tell him plain…

Because he’s lost the streetwise quality of Enkidu’s instinctiveness. He’s not whole and so the elixir is not for him. The she-snake takes it back into her safe keeping.

He’s left by himself, I no longer able to talk to me. He can make love too, but no longer with…

So, its got saucy bits after all!

Its a frickin epic you great arse, a cosmogonic encapsulation of the zietgiest, a collective dream spun forth from the psyche of ancient Sumer, poised on the cusp of a new age, peering forward into the..

Ziet wot?