Tag Archives: Racism

Be a Warrior, NOT a Monster

Here I must make an exception to my usual rule, “Take the best. Leave the rest.”

As a reminder, here’s the Take the Best standard:

In reading opinion and even “how to” pieces, I recommend the 30/70 principle. With careful attention and a little bit of luck, it’s possible to extract the 30-percent value from the 70-percent rubbish in which its embedded.

At Oberlin, where I had the good fortune to attend college, this process was described in agricultural terms: “sifting and winnowing.” Founders probably had a biblical allusion in mind: the end-time sorting of wheat from chaff.

Were it not so over-used, “discrimination” in its original meaning would be another way to put it.

From Rethinking Survival:

I’ve come to recognize that it’s ideas — usually unconsciously held in the form of automatic-pilot, programmed assumptions — which drive decisions, actions and ultimately, survival options. Even with the best of intentions, people who operate on incomplete, inaccurate and conflicting beliefs undo themselves and harm others .. .

Sadly, I now recognize that Jordan B. Peterson is no exception. On one point in particular, he is dead and dangerously WRONG!

He claims that everyone is a potential monster. Each of us, in certain circumstances, would behave no differently than sadistic Nazi prison guards.

Here, briefly, is how he arrived at that conclusion. He recognized that potential in himself. In reading Jung, he came to mistakenly equate the experience of evil impulses with the “unconscious” shadow side of the human psyche. Ergo, since we all are in part unconscious, we are all in part evil.

Now, his experience of cruel impulses and his buying into Jung’s confusions about the “shadow” are his own personal problems.

I draw the line, however, when he uses his bully pulpit as professor and now media rock star to mislead sincere young people (primarily men). Like the Evil Emperor, he is seducing potential heroes like Luke Skywaker to the dark side of the force.

He asserts as if undeniable fact that we are all intrinsically capable of evil. To deny the dark, shadow, evil side of oneself is self-deception. It is foolish and naive – the mark of victims.

This assumption is so repugnant to me that I asked for OA’s opinion. He shook his head, No. Sadistic Nazi guards, he said, were the ones who as young boys tore the wings off flies and tortured their pet dogs. To the contrary, for example, forensic researchers who studied the remains of America’s Civil War battlefields found that frequently, dead soldiers carried fully loaded weapons on their bodies. Killing a fellow human being was apparently so unacceptable that they preferred to go down without firing a shot. That’s closer to the “norm.”

Yet Dr. Peterson insists on instructing students that they must accept and integrate into their personalities evil (a.k.a. the shadow dark side) as part of their essence. I say, NO! Light is our true and universal essence. To repeat from Be an Instrument of Light:

God is not and could not possibly be dead.

Being made in the image of God,

YOU are the living proof of God’s existence.

The truth cannot be altered. Each of us is the embodied form of a musical instrument. Even if, for any multitude of reasons, your light is switched off right now, you still have the innate potential to conduct electricity (energy, prana, chi) that in turn transforms into light.

The problem lies in the abuse of God-given Free Will. Perversions of our essential nature – including gratuitous cruelty – are the cumulative result of bad decisions made over a very long period of time.

Dr. Peterson’s way to prevent acting out evil is to “tell the truth.” But what does he mean by truth? Does it mean point an accusatory finger outwards towards others to expose their faults? Exposing problems within human institutions?

Or does he point the finger inwards towards his own (and by extension, everyone’s) limitations? Admitting fears, rage, resentments and malevolent intentions driven by envy and greed is NOT divine Truth – certainly not the truth intended when Christ said, I am the Truth and the Way. Far from it.

OA calls identifying with personal limitations “Honest Bullshit.” The Herculean solution is to clean out the Aegean horse stables – releasing negativity to restore underlying, fundamental, universal Truth. Clean out the inner emotional swamp. Just as sculptors chip away at a block of stone to reveal the figure hidden within it, so true teachers show us how to shed human dross and release inborn greatness.

This admittedly “hyper-verbal” professor is fiercely passionate, apparently sincere and highly entertaining in the delivery of false ideas. His personal magnetism – his manly panache – distracts away from critical analysis.

Here’s why I make my exception to the Take the Best rule. While I appreciate the value of Dr. Peterson’s  work, this one point is too dangerous to give a pass. It’s one thing to admit his potential for malevolence. That’s between him and God.

It’s quite another to thing say that, by extension, because he has cruel tendencies, EVERYONE does. That cruelty is innate — part of our essence. DEAD WRONG. Worse, he says we should actually cultivate it in ourselves as if owing it is the only way to recognize it and thereby prevent being victimized. “Be the baddest ass on the block to scare off wanna-be bullies.”

Dr. Peterson holds Disney’s Simba, the Lion King, up as an example to follow. Simba grows into a King, all right. King of the beasts. But there’s much much more to humans than that bestial component! Worse, he repeatedly states that you must develop your inner monster – your inner psychopath – grow TEETH, as if two wrongs make a right. NOOOOO. Two wrongs do not make a right. To the contrary, they magnify and compound the depths of evil.

Quite simply, Jung was probably advising us to make the unconscious conscious. Fine. Granted. But this process has nothing to do with mistakenly integrating hidden demons into our personality. Nor does it sanction acting them out. I doubt this Dr. Peterson’s intention. But it’s too easy, out of context, to misconstrue his meaning.

Giving him the benefit of the doubt, I think what Dr. Peterson intends to recommend is that we become WARRIORS. Fierce. Competent. Able to protect ourselves and others from seductive evil.

That I can identify with and wholeheartedly recommend. In fact, it’s a frequent theme.

OA . . . described the necessary role of a “righteous warrior,” one who has the back of true peace makers. A farmer plows his field, plants and harvests his crops. He teaches his children, loves his family, and mends his fences. Day in and out, he does whatever it takes to support those he loves. And when an enemy approaches his gate, he defends them with his life. It’s all woven into the single fabric of life.

And what protections against monstrousness does a righteous warrior bring to the ongoing battles of daily life? The weapons of light – the equivalent of Luke Skywalker’s light saber, designed to defeat darkness. Members of every American military branch know this. They choose wisely, every day, living by scripture, making incrementally correct choices in every area of their lives.

They live, for example, by Psalm 91, Psalm 144, and Ephesians 6: 10-18.

The opening verse of Psalm 91 offers a radically different understanding of “the shadow.” It is worth your careful thought:

He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High

shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

The opening verse of Psalm 144 is also an eye-opener:

Blessed be the Lord my strength

which teacheth my hands to war,

and my fingers to fight:

Warriors for countless generations have suited up for battle in the full armor of God described in Ephesians.

righteous warrior

 

11. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

12.  For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

13.  Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

14.  Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;

15.  And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;

16.  Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.

17.  And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

18.  Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints . .

This is the tradition which Jesus, as a practicing Jew who kept the sabbath, told us he came to fulfill.

Now, Dr. Peterson is rightly obsessed with how to stop genocides from recurring. Hitler, Stalin and Mao might well be precursors of far worse in the works. He’s got the problem right. But solutions remain where they have been since the times of Moses and later, King David:

Dr. Peterson is looking to Abraham right now, possibly because he was the progenitor of three major religions currently engaged in mutual self-destruction.

But I’m more interested in King David, who, like Christ was born in Bethlehem, and who as young shepherd was anointed by the prophet Samuel as future king. The point in time that’s appropriate to us now, I think, is the confrontation between the boy David and the giant Goliath. Today, this might represent individuals of good will in the face of impending totalitarian global government.

What’s important here is that David exemplifies acting from a complete and accurate paradigm. He acted fearlessly on the belief that “God is with me.” With a single shot to the center of the giant’s forehead (not coincidentally seat of the third eye), he brought the monster down.

David trusted that he was not alone. He “knew” exactly where to aim. His vision was clearly focused on his target (light). He had the vigor (energy) and physical strength (mass) as well as coordination (unity) to overcome the fearsome obstacle that threatened to annihilate him and enslave his people.

It is surely no accident that Patton, the general who stopped Hitler, quoted scriptures like a bishop, knew Shakespeare’s verse by heart.

To repeat,

What’s needed now, OA told me, isn’t pacifists. Trying to reason with an evil enemy is like pissing on a forest fire. What we need now is a generation of warrior monks. Though they serve wisely, with peace in their hearts, at the same time they’re ever alert – competent to protect against intruders, whatever the level.

OA continued, People misconstrue the words, “He who lives by the sword dies by the sword.” No fault or prohibition is implied. A soldier who fights for a living hopes to retire and die in bed. A righteous warrior, however, fights the good fight right up to the last breath. It isn’t a reproach to say he’ll die by the sword. Standing firm in his truth even to the very end earns him an honorable and worthy death.

Phoenix - sized

Here’s a hint. Though not an excuse, Dr. Peterson’s metaphysical /logical insufficiencies are the symptomatic, even  inevitable result of operating from an incomplete, flat and linear false paradigm. It is highly unlikely he would make the same recommendations if he were better in-formed. Were he operating from the complete Life Wheel, he would better understand where Truth resides, what unconscious shadows are about, and how monsters are made.

He owes it to himself, his beloved family, and the countless fans who hang on his every word to get it right.

Angel Calling

 

 

 

Rethinking DISCRIMINATION

Saturday morning, May 17th, while browsing on Twitter, I happened upon the question, “Is Affirmative Action still necessary?” I tweeted straight back, “It was NEVER necessary. The goals are still valid; the legislation missed the point, triggering backlash without valid solutions.” On second thought, I tweeted “AA my thesis subject; response not made lightly; see  http://wp.me/p46Y5Z-7h. All best!”

Then, out of curiosity, I looked up the folks who asked. It’s a suspiciously faceless group using the same familiar but empty buzz words that attract all, but satisfy none. “Change is Coming. Engage. Unite. Inspire.”

It’s my ongoing work to take back and revitalize the language. Change is my subject. The Unified Theory inherent in Einstein’s famous formula is the message. Reinventing democracy by inspiring careful thinkers to Positive Action is my intended result.

Hence, today’s blog is dedicated to the history behind my answer. Take time to balance the overlooked neutral and positive meanings of “discrimination” with the overworked negative ones. It’s important.

An earlier blog posted on January 5, 2014, I spoke to a comment about discrimination made on “Off the Record” by Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren. She said racism exists and it’s terrible. But using the race card wrongfully is just as bad. Public figures who stir up the pot are dividing the nation, not healing it. They’re doing a real disservice to those with valid grievances. She called for “Real Solutions to Solve Real Racism.” I agreed whole-heartedly.

I continued, “Bottom line: exploitation is an energy dynamic, a symptom of self-destructive imbalance. To the extent that individuals operate on incomplete, inaccurate and false paradigms, they remain insecure, unconscious and functionally disconnected from their higher potentials. Out of that pain and suffering, like Kissinger, like Soros in the extreme, they will continue to feel justified in dominating, controlling and exploiting whomever they can, however they can — playing out power addictions with hypocritical talk of philanthropy.

“Affirmative Action legislation has not changed these dynamics — nor, as discussed earlier, could it. Looking in the wrong places doesn’t help. Tacking Affirmative Action legislation as an overlay on the surface level, while failing to address a deeper, divisive worldview, couldn’t help, and most likely would make matters worse.

“Blaming outside enemies as an excuse to avoid self-examination and correction is a futile waste of precious time and energy. Although venting frustration in politically motivated social movements — even terrorism and outright war — may temporarily feel good, it doesn’t address the underlying paradigm deficiency that drives hatred, violence and injustice. It therefore can’t put an end to catastrophic outcomes.”

Here then, is the supporting Essay from Conscience: Your Ultimate Personal Survival Guide.*

globe

 

19. DISCRIMINATION

“Relying more on the social scientists than on legal precedents . . the Court insisted on equality of the mind and heart rather than on equal school facilities. . . . Brown symbolizes the Good America, rather than the country that slaughtered Native Americans, subordinated women, and enslaved blacks. — Jack M. Balkin, What “Brown v. Board of Education” Should Have Said

Dealing exclusively on a rational level with an issue like discrimination which is deeply emotion-laden (sub-rational) on the one hand, and highly value-laden (super-rational) on the other, fails to acknowledge and draw on the levels where problems begin and where solutions can be found. — Patricia West, “Positive Action: The Next Generation”

Seeing and hearing are like food and drink; you need them every day, but you also need to digest and eliminate them every day. If they are not digested and eliminated thoroughly, they remain in the gut, eventually producing illness. — Taoist Meditation, trans. Thomas Cleary.

THE FRONT

Three levels of definition attribute opposite, contradictory meanings to the single word discrimination. In the last century, failure to recognize and sort out this confusion resulted in muddled perceptions of purpose, inconsistent implementation and half-hearted compliance with Affirmative Action legislation.

The Oxford English Dictionary’s rational definition of discrimination posits a neutral function of mind. To discriminate is to distinguish with the mind or intellect; to perceive, observe, or note the difference in or between. As an analytical tool, discrimination is the neutral function of mind used to dissect a situation’s parts and deduce cause/effect relationships amongst them. As a tool, effects of its use, whether creative or destructive, depend on the motives and competence of the user.

The last given definition adds a preposition: against. To discriminate against is to make an adverse distinction in regard to, to distinguish unfavorably from others. This negative definition is the sub-rational use. It describes abuse of the critical faculty of mind to separate, distance and subordinate others, and to rationalize exploitation. Discrimination as a function of biased, negative emotions such as fear, hate, envy, arrogance or greed is the polar opposite of objective analysis.

Still further from the rational meaning of discrimination is its super-rational definition. It is not included in The Oxford English Dictionary. However, in Eastern scriptures, the highest function of mind is called buddhi (hence the name Buddha), translated into English as the power of discrimination.

This usage alludes to the ability to see through deceptive illusions, to recognize the eternal in the midst of change, to be aware of all-pervading spirit operating within gross material forms. While rational discrimination is neutral and sub-rational discrimination has separatist results, the super-rational function of discrimination is unifying in effect.

Depending on the user’s mind-set, the I Ching can be used to serve rational, sub- or super-rational motives. Ideally, it’s used to facilitate the process of mental metabolism. When the senses are overloaded with impressions, the Book of Change can be approached as a discipline for settling down and organizing one’s thoughts sufficiently to define the immediate situation and ask questions about it.

As negative emotions surface, they’re named and released, not unlike the process of separating toxins from useful nutrients, eliminating them as waste. Rational thoughts are then simplified, prioritizing essentials and aligning them to basic purpose. Then, when emotions and rational mind are harmonized and stilled, the higher mind is invoked.

It is in this state of tranquil revere that one pierces the veil of ordinary thought, allowing the transcendent awareness attributed to genius to come forward. Einstein, for example, acknowledged that his famous e = mc2 formula came in a flash of inspired contemplation. He faulted his peers for what he called the “fateful fear of metaphysics,” a pernicious prejudice that’s easily as dangerous as racism or sexism.

THE BACK

Mercy and compassion ameliorate the effects of negative discrimination. Introspective activities like self-analysis and use of the I Ching promote the positive capacity to discriminate, make correct decisions, and act wisely. In human law, the opposite of discrimination is justice and equity. In an equitable society, wisdom is promoted as the foundation of harmony and order.

The discipline of positive discrimination is neglected in an unjust world. Ruthless extortionists in positions of political power will kill to prevent discriminating thinkers from recognizing and opposing their abuses. Tyrants promote negative discrimination. They exploit hatred, weakening the people by turning them against each other, conquering by dividing them.

—————————-

What “Brown v. Board of Education” Should Have Said. Ed. Jack M. Balkin. (New York

University Press: New York, 2001.) pp. 4-5.

Patricia West, Positive Action: The Next Generation of Affirmative Action. Unpublished paper. (Madison, WI, 1976).

Taoist Meditation: Methods for Cultivating a Healthy Mind and Body, trans. Thomas Cleary. (Shambhala: Boston, MA, 2000.) P. 57.

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* See the Conscience Page for illustrations, description of the structure-within-structure format of the Sixty-Four Essays, an overview of CONSCIENCE: Your Ultimate Personal Survival Guide, and an alphabetical list of the Essays.

Rethinking Discrimination

On Jan. 3, 2014 at 4:45pm a blog posted on theblaze.com announced that “Greta Van Susteren is one of few people who understands how to talk about racism.” Beneath that was the comment, “If national talks about racism could all be led by Fox News anchor Greta Van Susteren, we’d all probably be in a better place.”

I checked out the comments she made on “Off the Record.” To summarize, Greta says racism exists and it’s terrible. But using the race card wrongfully is just as bad. Public figures who stir up the pot are dividing the nation, not healing it. They’re doing a real disservice to those with valid grievances. She called for “Real Solutions to Solve Real Racism.”

The first comment on her remarks was posted by BMRCG, who wrote “Bravo Greta! Although it is your opinion and it is commentary, I agree 100000000% with every last word. There are many in society that perceive life through emotion and feeling, much in the same way animals perceive their world. They have either lost the ability to think critically or never had it to begin with.”

I second this enthusiastic comment! Since Affirmative Action was my obligatory subject as a grad student in the UW-Madison Department of Educational Administration, I had to think long and hard about discrimination. As part of my story, Rethinking Survival has a lot to say on the subject.

So here are a few samples:

 THREE LEVELS OF LAW ARE OUT OF SYNCH:

Affirmative Action Was Doomed from the Start.

Why it Matters Now

The American Declaration of Independence names three kinds of law: the laws of man, of nature and nature’s God. The Book of Change is based on the laws of natural change. They emanate from and depend on divine law and serve as the rightful foundation of civil law. Clearly, human laws legislated in ignorance of or in opposition to natural and divine law are not likely to work out well. Policy makers at all levels would do well to give this point careful thought.

– P.E. West. The Common Sense Book of Change

In 1976, I participated in an educational law seminar, “How to Enforce Affirmative Action Legislation in Higher Education.” This assumption-driven premise (en-force) was backwards from the start. I applied the standard of natural law to social dynamics, backed it up with Jungian psychology, and arrived at the conclusion that the legislation was not only unenforceable. It would trigger backlash. Though hardly a popular viewpoint then, with twenty years time, my analysis proved correct.

 I wrote that we must first correct critical mistakes in our thinking which prevent both naming the problems we face and solving them. Experts mistakenly dismiss everything that’s not exclusively “rational” as “irrational.” The super-rational, highest octave (intuition, conscience, and divine guidance) and the sub-rational, lower octave (emotions and animal instincts) are lumped together as the “unconscious.” Poetic, biblical language is taken literally. Light and dark, male and female are mistakenly equated with physical bodies and skin types rather than dualistic pairs of cosmic energetic compliments which operate within each of us.

Based on this analysis, I made recommendations for what I called a Positive Action alternative for achieving valid Affirmative Action goals.

 ——————–

 Affirmative Action legislation was but one example of the disconnect between policy and practice which results when levels of law are out of synch. So long as rules of the knowledge game (epistemology — who has permission to know what, and in what ways) continue to close people off from the richness of their inner lives, negative discrimination (projection and scapegoating) will also continue.

 ——————

A keystone of this philosophy is the virtue of moderation. It acts as a fulcrum, balancing the alternating, see-saw ups and downs between opposite extremes. An example related to Affirmative Action legislation was the upsurge in the 1960s and 70s of radical feminism and angry black power in reaction to dominant oppression by white males. They are two extremes, opposite and equal mistakes. However, two wrongs don’t make a right. The second compounds the first, making a bad situation even worse. Solutions rest elsewhere. An easier way to approach the same understanding now would be to work with the derivative Positive Paradigm Wheel described in Part Two.

 ——————–

 In accepting an internship in 1976 at the Wisconsin Association of School Boards as their Affirmative Action advisor, I was intentionally seeking to broaden my horizons in what Goleman describes as “self-directed learning.” I was taking on an unfamiliar role within what, for me, was a whole new world. I was a relatively young, inexperienced woman being initiated into an old boys’ club. I was a university grad student mentoring with street-smart lobbyists who despised pointy-headed intellectuals. And the approach to “change” I brought to both the UW and to WASB — The Book of Change (the boundary-spanner’s handbook) — was continents and centuries apart from their ideas about change.

WASB’s Director, George Tipler, hated Affirmative Action legislation with a passion. As his staff secretly confirmed, the only reason I’d been brought on board was to get federal monies. The Association had been awarded a grant to train school board members on the school administrator hiring process, but only on the condition that an Affirmative Action component was included.

Nevertheless, when I pushed his buttons (as he said,“Put up or shut up”), George gave me his grudging respect. He introduced me to his lobbyist world, taking me to the Wisconsin State Capitol. He included me in lunch meetings with legislators, where he elaborated emphatically on his opinions.

But he also distanced himself, signaling to his constituents that it was okay to ignore my work. I organized a mandated state-wide seminar on Affirmative Action for school board members and district administrators. He set its date as the first day of deer hunting season. Morbid symbolism aside, no self-respecting rural school board member could be expected to attend.

To satisfy mandated requirements, I collected an anthology of papers written by seminar presenters. He had each article printed on different, pastel-colored paper. His staff snickered, “the fruit salad” manual.

However, there was some fun along the way as I managed to score enough “points” to keep the leader board even. My favorite example was the state-wide seminar on “How to Select Your School District Superintendent.”

For the sake of a five-minute presentation, I had to sit all day up front on the panel podium. Wearing my navy polyester pants suit, power red-white-and-blue neck scarf, and navy pumps, I was posed like politically correct window-dressing, while Lyle Bruss, the main presenter from Green Bay, droned on about selecting and interviewing candidates. His assumption: all were males.

Every time Lyle used the “he” word, I (quite inadvertently) winced. “Yeuch.” An audience member picked up on this, winked at me and elbowed his neighbor. Pretty soon, every time Lyle used the “he” word, the whole audience was going “Yeuch” back at him, chortling. It took Lyle several minutes to catch on. When he finally did, he turned beet red and made a flustered remark about having four daughters, all of whom were referred to as “he.” Point made, without my having to say a word.

——————

In his later bid for the presidency, Perot focused on the national deficit. He overlooked the greatest one of all: the leadership deficit. He propounded laudable policies, but was unable to enforce them, even within his own organization.

Just as policy was not enough to make Affirmative Action goals a reality, so policies out of synch with natural law fail miserably in corporations as well. The deficit which begins with limiting, skewed education incapacitates management. This reflects in government and world economies alike — a disaster of Titanic proportions.

The knowledge deficit — the change science sadly lacking in leadership training — cripples us. Politicians continue to talk about the urgent need for change. But they know not whereof they speak, any more than did the pseudo-Shogun honchos at E.D.S. Federal.

———————

 . . . tacking Affirmative Action legislation as an overlay on the surface level, while failing to address a deeper, divisive worldview, couldn’t help, and most likely would make matters worse. (Figure II.14 shows why enforcing morality with Affirmative Action legislation backfires, as well as the alternative Positive Action approach which works.)

———————–

Bottom line: exploitation is an energy dynamic, a symptom of self-destructive imbalance. To the extent that individuals operate on incomplete, inaccurate and false paradigms, they remain insecure, unconscious and functionally disconnected from their higher potentials. Out of that pain and suffering, like Kissinger, like Soros in the extreme, they will continue to feel justified in dominating, controlling and exploiting whomever they can, however they can — playing out power addictions with hypocritical talk of philanthropy.

Affirmative Action legislation has not changed these dynamics — nor, as discussed earlier, could it. Looking in the wrong places doesn’t help. Blaming outside enemies as an excuse to avoid self-examination and correction is a futile waste of precious time and energy. Although venting frustration in politically motivated social movements — even terrorism and outright war — may temporarily feel good, it doesn’t address the underlying paradigm deficiency that drives hatred, violence and injustice. It therefore can’t put an end to catastrophic outcomes.