October 2009

“A gentleman never offends unintentionally.” Oscar Wilde

“It’s discouraging to think how many people are shocked by honesty and how few by deceit.” Noël Coward

I had a dream that I was trying to provoke someone I know into showing some authentic emotion, because he’s always too nice to be real. I think I tried to smash up some of his stuff but to no avail, he just wasn’t getting the hint. In the end it was “me” that had the problem with anger and he was “so glad to have been able to help”, as if I was the one needing therapy! So patronising! So frustrating! And in my own dream too!

That reminds me of a discussion I had on a message board I was involved with, talking about how rubbish the state of the world is. People were leaving positive yet realistic comments saying “It’s bad but we’re trying to do something about it.” I felt positive, it felt like it was going somewhere, and then someone said something that just deflated the whole thing, something that finished off the conversation like a soggy balloon. It’s like a seed had just started to grow but was quickly crushed underfoot by someone that didn’t see it (from henceforth I shall call them BigBlindFoot).

So I got angry (on purpose), making a very sarcastic comment in response, which was invariably misunderstood by others as something unreasonable and even insulting. I even got a mild warning from the moderator (I have a little celebration when I get one of those, it means I’ve got somewhere near to the truth! hehehe) I wasn’t trying to start a flaming war, honest! My intention wasn’t a random explosion of anger but a conscious attempt to provoke some intense, yet constructive, discussion; anger that blows away cobwebs and brings focus to an otherwise random or deflated mess.

On the Internet? You must be joking! BigBlindFoot didn’t even respond, either they were intimidated by what I said (unlikely as they consider themselves a Warrior! RAAAH!!!), or they were hiding behind the shield of misunderstanding that others had created for them, or their comment was a Hit and Run comment, which they just left there for others to pick up the pieces. After my “explosion” I went into reasonable diplomat mode, which neutralised my earlier comment as I saw I was going nowhere except into a deeper hole.

I hate it when I make an impassioned comment and it doesn’t get answered (grrr anger grrr). I’ve noticed that when I write a response that is particularly clear and strong in meaning and feeling, people somehow “lose” the energy to respond, so they don’t respond. I get the feeling that sometimes what I’ve said is so accurate and to-the-point (on no! But I can’t say that, that’s conceited *gasp* shock-horror!) that people can’t find any way to disagree and yet they don’t want to agree, so they “conveniently” stay silent on the subject. Or if they do respond it’s a flippant joke used to deflate any potential seriousness and if I (rightly) get angry at that it’s because I “lack a sense of humour.” The Internet is a rabbit warren that houses some slippery inhabitants, I warn thee!

And then of course discussions are usually “played” like a round of opinion-tennis, comments go backwards and forwards but no one gets anywhere. It gets going and then ends when the balls drops because all people are trying to do is get points for being “right” or “wrong.” That’s how I perceive the nature of most (but not all!!!) message board discussions, where casual comments are preferred over sustained dialogue. But that’s only to be expected in large group settings where dialogue intent is often diluted. (Sometimes it’s funny (haha grr haha, oh I’m laughing, grr) to get a comment that is COMPLETELY out of context, because someone that doesn’t “get” what I’m talking about and instead picks on one little irrelevent detail).

One-on-one, now that’s usually interesting and it often goes somewhere! There’s a feeling of something being built, of a relationship growing from it (like the seed metaphor from earlier). The discussion’s energy is focussed, its evolution is clear yet organic, and usually not a random mess. Honest anger is not misunderstood or taken out of context but fuels the conversation in a positive way, if properly focussed.

Still, the chaos of some message boards is entertaining and educational. It’s a place to experiment, to learn how people tick and how many different ways I can be angry without breaching too many limits (oh what sport!). But wouldn’t it be nice if dialogues could grow, flower and fruit instead of just appearing and disappearing. I’m sure it must happen… somewhere…

So what now? These wise words were spoken to me once; light the blue touch paper and stand well back!

I haven’t written here for a while, but I thought I’d share this. It’s something I wrote for a message board. I’ve talked about it a bit before in at least two different blogs. Some of these quotes have made a guest appearance before.

Psychological Synergy is how I am describing my political view point. Psychology because that is my political tool. And Synergy because that is my utopian vision.

My ideas are probably left-leaning, liberal and green, or something like that. But for me that doesn’t sufficiently answer the deeper problem. Protests, policies, votes, petitions, bills, laws etc etc etc are very good at changing things, and a lot of things do need changing. However changing things doesn’t always change people, and if the people aren’t changed then the things that are changed do not have a strong foundation for any change at all.

Psychological Politics
“Neuroses are much more difficult to get rid of than beliefs. We can all change our opinions more easily than we can eliminate destructive patterns in our lives, however hard we try. It is the same with religion and, surely, the same with a culture. Our religious beliefs may have changed but our emotional compulsions have remained.” Karen Wilson. And it’s the same with politics; we may make changes to the structure of society, and who runs it and how they run it, but the people within that society don’t change and so the same problems appear again, just through different people and different social structures and different political ideologies.

Psychological reform at a political level is near impossible. And perhaps it is better that way as the power to create psychological reform at political level would get into the wrong hands, which would mean certain brain-washing of the populace. It is best to keep the two things separate, with psychological reform “infiltrating” society and politics from the bottom up rather than being imposed from the top-down and politics itself being used as a relatively stable structure within which to enact any such changes.

“To put the world right in order, we must first put the nation in order; to put the nation in order, we must first put the family in order; to put the family in order, we must first cultivate our personal life; we must first set our hearts right.” Confucius

Psychological reform must start with the individual. Each person takes responsibility for themselves, their own life and for their part in the world. From this strong foundation they have the strength and integrity to resolves the problems of others. This cannot be something imposed by anyone or anything else but only freely chosen by the individual. But the more people that choose this path the easier it becomes to choose as the social momentum builds, making change exponential.

Utopian Synergy
The first part of my Utopia is seen in this quote;
“If we value independence, if we are disturbed by the growing conformity of knowledge, of values, of attitudes, which our present system induces, then we may wish to set up conditions of learning which make for uniqueness, for self-direction, and for self-initiated learning.” Carl Rogers
Each individual is encouraged, from birth, to be an individual, to grow to be psychologically independent. In this way the power structure of society is interdependently represented in the minds of each individual and not separated into those “who know”, those “who govern” and those “who do.” Each individual becomes a whole person in themselves, without having to be compensated for their lack by other people. People can still specialize in certain professions and fulfill specific roles, but they don’t need to be so psychologically programmed to fit those, developing a holistic intelligence of all psychological functions; spiritual, intellectual, physical, emotional, social etc

If each person is psychologically whole and balanced and able to maintain that independently then the need for control on society would be obsolete; “Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around the laws.” Plato. The “law and order” would be maintained by the individuals themselves without it having to imposed in by them, because part of being whole and balanced human beings is to be a social creature, part of a group or community, and to be able to make that group or community work; “Individual commitment to a group effort — that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.” Vince Lombardi. Social consensus, theoretically, would come natural to whole, balance and autonomous individuals.

This is Synergy, where each individual is psychologically independent enough not to need governing by any external entity and lives a life of personal fulfillment and freedom, and yet also willingly acts as a participant in the working of their society. I’d imagine that in this situation the need for politics and government would become minimal, serving only as a point of communication and coordination between people and populations. Organisation and conflict resolution would be inbuilt in all levels; social, national and international, all because it would psychologically developed and maintained in each individual involved with these levels. Citizens could trust their government and the government could trust their citizens.

And everyone would be free, fulfilled and harmonious, peace would reign, no one would want, and they’d all live in balance with the Earth and its resources and making developments to society in an ethical way. All because each and every individual is, and has been raised to be, psychologically autonomous, balanced and whole.

This is Utopia, not reality. It is my Vision, my North Star. I won’t see it in my lifetime, maybe no one will, but this Vision guides my steps as I walk my chosen path. I attend to my spiritual and psychological needs first and foremost and work to express that into my life and collaborate with those who share my vision, to be able to express it in the world. At present the democratic politics I’m in allow me this, so I’m pro-democracy but I need to see beyond it too. Before I work on the world, I work on myself.