Friday, February 26, 2010

From Warrior Dialogues (new pre-SWEDA waiting area at the inner forum)

There are no good things ahead for any of us. There are only good things here and now, and there is nothing grandiose about them.

Settle for the little that you know and begin to discard the rest, based on the knowing that it might well be a delusion, and that if it is, there's nothing to lose by discarding it, and if it isn't, it will stick around anyway.

Truth is the one thing you can count on to never let you down.

It is only the mind that says we cannot know anything. And the mind is right: IT cannot know anything, including that WE cannot know anything. The intellect assumes since it can't access reality, then nothing can. But our bodies know all sorts of things, and so do our hearts. Try listening to them for just one day, one whole day, ignore your mind, and see how that changes your perspective.


Family relations: The main thing is to find and reestablish our own boundaries. Then it will cease to feel (so much ) like other people are doing something to us, because their actions won't be interfering with our own orientation and space, except when they really are, which is when those boundaries are being crossed. Then we will know it and are free to respond with all the anger and hostility (protective energy) the situation calls for.

Being surrendered isn't about being Ghandhi, or a walk-over for all our family and friends. Anyway, the AA is to learn about being a warrior, not about surrendering. That comes later.

There is nothing wrong with direct confrontation with other people, provided we aren't trying to change them, only their behavior around us. "This is acceptable, this is not." If the other, or the mother, understands our reasons for drawing those boundaries, that's great. If s/he doesn't, it's not our business. They can at least respect them, and we are entitled to give them hell when they don't. The trick is to give them hell from a place of openness and not a place of hardness. That's when you can really have some impact!

In simple terms, it is more effective to express your anger calmly ("I am really furious with you now and here's why") than to let our anger possess us. ("Fuck you, you bitch, I fucking hate you!!")


Being all at sea reduces our options. All the paddling and thrashing we do may help or it may not; chances are it's superfluous, because the wind and the current is going to determine whether we reach shore or not, and if we don;t even know which way the shore is, then stillness would seem to be the only reasonable option.

Observing the signs may help, however. Birds are usually a signal that land is close. And floating debris.

I am certainly feeling all washed up myself these daze. Is the advice of the fellow shipwrecked worth anything? Perhaps more than those still sitting comfortable on their ships, at least, unaware of the iceberg ahead.

As for people depending on us: are we sure that's true? We are responsible to our own story, our own truth. No one does anything to a warrior, so then a warrior isn't beholden to others. Our life intersects with those of another, or others; does that mean those lives are then conjoined? If we experience others' dependence on us as a heavy load, it's safe to say we are becoming a burden upon them. A warrior sees all beings as equal, whether a king or a cockroach. He never alters his coarse out of a sense of duty or obligation to another, because to do so would be to assume he knows better than that person what they need. Not only that, it is to assume he knows better than the Universe, since, whatever predicament that person finds themselves in, it was the Universe that brought them there.

The only question then, as ever, is does this path have heart? To leave our path because we perceive others as depending on us is to let everyone down, starting with ourselves and ending with the entire Universe. And our paltry compensation? Knowing we did "the right thing"?

If we can't do right by ourselves, and keep to that path with a heart, how are we ever going to do right by another?

Monday, February 15, 2010

Patterns 101

From an email to a friend of the family, a heavy drinker.

We are all wounded by childhood, there are no total exceptions, only relative exceptions. And there's no such thing as a 'normal' or 'healthy' childhood, because the world we are born into is too greatly distorted, so whatever the local environment you are born into, it is still part of the greater environment of 'the world.' You only have to look at hospitals births, and the incalculable damage they do to us, to see this.

The wounds we carry are all the things that happened in our early life, starting with that nightmarish birth process, that cause us to harden and close in defense against the world, and to construct the false identity which we think of as who we are. This is what we all do, as children, because it is the only way to survive. Our identity, then, is made up of patterns of reactive behavior, habits of thought and action, that are sourced in early wounding. Wilhelm Reich calls it identity armor.

The "genetic affliction" you refer to is generational wounding. It's in the genes, sure, but this is why it's in the genes, because of repeat, generational abuse. It's not either/or, it's both/and. There is a reason why our ancestors were alcoholics. Nothing is entirely random.

Unless we can remember (let in) those early traumas, we can't let them go.

I don't recall anything majorly traumatic in my past, but i am fairly sure that it happened, because of the way that I am now. I can deduce backwards, without actual memories to go on, and tap into emotional patterns and even physical responses, to find those wounds, without knowing exactly how they got there. Yet I know they are there, now, because i can feel them. Feeling and locating the wounds then allows healing to begin. As we let in that disowned trauma, we can let go of the defensive behavior (such as drinking, for example) that we have been using to keep it out of our awareness.

This process has nothing at all to do with anyone apologizing for past wrongs. But one thing that does help to allow the letting in/letting go, is to revisit those wounds with the person directly involved in them, because this can be a way to literally right the wrongs of the past. For example, for my mother to see that side of my brother that tormented me in the past, to see it now, would provide some sort of 'closure' for the part of me that was wounded, all that time ago, by her refusal to see it then. It is a form of reenactment that allows the letting in to be complete, and the letting go to follow.

The Greeks had a theater based on this, called catharsis. Naturally it is painful and uncomfortable. But then, so is child birth.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Friday, February 05, 2010

Blueprint of a Wound

  • In the face of the Mother’s uncontained sexual passion and dementia/rage, the Father realizes his lack of uprightness (falls on his ass), and experiences a wound that will eventually cripple him.

  • Though he resolves to remain, to be as upright as he can, despite the wound, this is itself an avoidance – a way not to go deeper into the wound (which is the solar quest for healing/transformation).

  • The Father begins to fear intimacy with the Mother, due to her lack of tenderness, her cold fury, her power and dementia. Instead, he seeks comfort through the pseudo-intimacy of casual sex.

    (Note: Jason’s Father was a Taurus; astrologically he has Venus, which rules comfort as well as sexuality, in Taurus.)

  • As a result of this growing estrangement between Father and Mother, the Mother turns to the Son (often the youngest Son, i.e., Jason) as a Husband Surrogate. This might also stem from a desire to protect the Son from an abusive Father or, in Jason’s case, to compensate for the aloofness of the Father.

  • The Father reacts to this Mother/Son bondage (presumably due to jealousy) by becoming further estranged from the Mother, and experiencing/expressing hostility (or indifference) towards the Son.

    (Note: if there is more than one Son, the older Son receives the brunt of this hostility, since, the older the Son, the more of a threat he is perceived to be, and the more he can receive the Father’s projected anger and disowned masculinity.)

  • In Jason’s case, at least (and this blueprint is particular as well as general), the hostility of the Father towards the Son (and the Son’s fear of the Mother) leads to an unbalanced relationship with (reliance upon) the power of the Intellect. The Intellect, instead of being a sword to discern, becomes a weapon to defend, a shield to protect, a buffer against the raging uncontained Feminine. Hence, the Father scorns the Son for his perceived lack of Intellect, or even for his femininity. Perhaps the Father is unconsciously challenging the Son to develop his Intellect—to be less feminine—in a misguided attempt to give the Son the means to survive?

  • The result is that the Son receives neither comfort from the Mother, nor guidance from the Father. In the case of two Sons, the younger Son—being a threat to the older Son’s sovereignty—not only doesn’t receive comfort from his Brother, but becomes the object of his anger and hostility, specifically that which the older Brother himself received from the Father.

  • Since what we cannot receive we often try to provide, the younger Son then seeks to comfort the older Son (as well as the Mother, though not the Father). This he does primarily by becoming less of a threat to him, i.e., by suppressing his own nature (uniqueness). In Jason’s case, he developed Intellect as a less threatening way to outshine his Brother, though this backfired because the Father had already made Sebastian feel inferior about his Intellect!

  • For Jason to develop his Intellect is a way to impress the Father, then, but also a means to supplant him. By comforting the (older) Son and developing those same intellectual capacities which the Father values as a means for dealing with (being superior to) the Mother, the second Son is perhaps attempting to replace the Father.

    To add a new twist to the tale, in Jason’s case at least: a New Man arrives when the second Son is 2 (his Brother being 7), and things then move to a new stage in the wounding process.

  • With the arrival of the second Man, the Mother’s affection and desire moves away from the second Son. The second Son, like the first, now experiences the loss of his own specialness, as he is “replaced” by another.

  • The Father, on the other hand, receives his deepest wounding yet (in the context of the Marriage), that of betrayal. This then finalizes the Father’s loss of uprightness—as he is metaphorically slain by another Man (though actually by the Mother). He then seeks deeper refuge in two places: sex and work. In both cases, the movement is away from intimacy (vulnerability), which means, most of all, estrangement from his children.

  • When the Father cannot contain the Mother—female sexuality—two things occur. He loses his confidence as a Man, and so becomes even less upright than he was before. And secondly, the uncontained female sexuality strikes at the Father and wounds him more deeply still—completing the emasculation process started by the Father’s own Mother. This second wounding is often fatal, and results in complete emasculation. (In the case of Jason’s father, he became a cripple.)

  • Thus the relationship becomes sadomasochistic and vampiric: the Female feeds upon the Male’s wound, growing drunk upon it, until there is nothing left but an empty shell.

  • Because the Man does not provide containment for the Woman, the Woman does not give comfort (nurture) to the Man. Instead, she offers only heartbreak.

  • This is why Marriage so rarely works. Each partner seeks pleasure and comfort in the other, and loses sight, in fact never actually realizes, the true nature and purpose of Marriage, which is surrender of the personal to the archetypal, allowing for the alchemical transforming of lead into gold. Sensing the pending annihilation that a true Marriage forces to occur, the two Players, in terror for their identities, strike out at the other, attempting to destroy the other rather than surrender together, to mutual annihilation. Ironically, tragically, it is only in this surrender that any true, lasting comfort or pleasure exists. The other route leads only to anguish, despair, and divorce.

  • Symbolically then, this process is designated in the Tarot by the Moon card (Pisces, for female) and the Tower card (Mars, for male), both of which relate to a form of annihilation, the Moon spiritual/emotional, the Tower psychological/ physical. Both also relate to powerlessness, and both represent the respective energies of male and female in their destructive or overwhelming forms: the Moon signifies madness, despair, dementia, while the Tower represents war, violence, and extreme crisis. Yet, as means and not ends, the Moon signifies initiation, and the Tower signifies regeneration.

  • Bringing it back to the personal: As he enters into adolescence, the Son(s), following the Father’s example, seek comfort through sex. This may be done by imitating the Father (as in Sebastian’s case, whoring and alcoholism and work-fixation), or by going against it, as in Jason’s case (celibacy and vagrancy).

  • Inheriting the Father’s wound, the Son also receives the Father’s disowned hostility and rage against the Mother. This is then added to the Son’s own, somewhat more conscious hostility towards the Mother, from the terror and instability of growing up with an uncontained Female. (He would also then develop Intellect—and the cold contempt which Intellect allows—to keep the Mother’s annihilating influence at bay.)

  • Since no comfort is forthcoming from the Mother (in fact the reverse), the Son seeks comfort in sexuality that is empowering and violating (rape fantasies), which is the inverse of intimacy. This betrays the Son’s shame of his sexuality. On the other hand, using rape and murder imagery for sexual stimulation is a more extreme way of avoiding intimacy, since rape and murder are an inverted form of intimacy. Rather than mutually sharing the same feelings, rape/murder allows the Male to experience the opposite feelings to those of the Female, and to experience a supreme sense of power and control. At the same time, such activity still relates to shame, being an attempt to banish it through shamelessness, i.e., committing acts (even if only in fantasy) in cold defiance of any “moral” (empathic) considerations. The effect may be the inverse, however (as is often the case), because by indulging in dark practices, the shame that has been suppressed actually forces itself back into consciousness.

  • This also relates to the development of the Intellect as a buffer against female sexuality, since the Intellect is cold and removed, potentially cruel, and is the inverse of female Mother energy, which (ideally) is warm and nurturing.

  • Mercury/the Intellect also serves as an ideal (tho false) surrogate for the true masculine energy of Mars. Intellect allows the Son to feel manly (and the Father to feel upright) when actually he is not, wielding his Intellect when he cannot wield his sexuality (i.e., through casual sex, prostitutes, and through a dominant role in work place). Yet, because it is being wrongly applied, in a compensatory fashion, the Father’s (and Son’s) Intellect becomes distorted, ineffective save as a weapon, or shield. This is because Mercury is not an exclusively masculine energy, as Mars is, but is both masculine and feminine (in the Tarot, the Magician/Mercury is androgyne).

  • There ends the first layer of the blueprint for the male wound.

  • The next phase of mapping the blueprint/wound, then, is to look more closely at the Brothers. The Cain and Abel myth is the abstract core of this wound, as made abundantly clear by Jason’s relationship with Sebastian. If there is only one Son, however, then the Cain/Abel dynamic must play out inside a single Psyche.

For this, the interested observor is referred to the current series of Warty Theorems podcasts, starting tomorrow.