|AFAB, AMAB, ACAB, AHAB|
Speaking Up for AngerAnger wants to be heard. If anger feels not listened to it gets louder. Telling anger you can't hear, won't listen, because it's too loud doesn't work. The volume might go down but the anger is still there. If your'e afraid of anger you can probably still feel it. Anger that's not dealt with, not expressed and not heard, festers.
Try not to be afraid of anger. And being angry at anger just because it's loud might be a mistake. Something deeply heartfelt is really upset that nobody ever seems to listen to it. And you're telling it to shut up again. To be quiet and go away, nobody wants to see that.
Let people be angry and listen to anger. It might take a bit of untangling, strong emotions always do. People do use strong emotions, of all kinds, to manipulate and intimidate, but it's so easy to mistake strongly felt anger for aggression.
Anger, like sexuality, can be so hard to control and so easy to cause harm with. Which makes constantly repressing either, and not learning to deal with strength of feeling in either case, a bad idea and not a good idea.
Codicil: expressing strongly felt emotions including anger with great intensity at low volume is possible but very hard. Expecting people to be able to do that is unreasonable. If you do it really confuses those who use "stop shouting" to prevent people expressing emotions that make them uncomfortable. You're not shouting and their goto manipulative tool feels like it should work but doesn't.
Preventing people, especially children, from expressing anger and strong feelings including aggression can make them cruel. They'll find an outlet for those feelings one way or another, whatever society permits. By this means the suppression of anger in young people is a tool of the patriarchy. Only certain "permitted" outlets for anger and aggression are tolerated, especially against those who violate common decency. They're fair game. This is the violence inherent in the system.
On GuiltGuilt is such a difficult emotion, but when you align it just right it can be the crack that sorrows flow out through. Sorrow, even grief, can be such a healing rain. Where you find sorrow compassion is never far behind.
It's why some people protect their pain as the dearest part of themselves. Pain and sorrow and guilt all wash together in compassion, for ourselves and for each other.
COVID-19The invisible enemy that lurks in everyone, maybe. Contagious for two weeks before symptoms. Social distancing, wear a mask, don't look at strangers, never cough. Hide inside and pray.
The slow motion wave of mass hysteria, rising, rising. And rumours of horrors in places not so far away.
This is the scariest movie ever.
When the times become extraordinary
The normal changes
And those who have had to walk broken
Who couldn't hide their scars
Who could see the pain in every eye
And wondered why no-one thought it was strange
Who never thought normal was anything to aspire to
Find themselves in a strange place
No-one is trying to pretend things are normal
And for once the world makes sense
Because it has gone completely mad.
For once, they feel normal. At home. Not afraid.
The Psychological MatriarchyDon't forget that the foundational parts of the psyche are formed in the early years of a child's life from their major influences. As the primary caregiver is more commonly the mother; the patriarchy, the behaviour and thought patterns that cause men to treat women badly, is primarily inculcated into boys by their mothers.
As women rise up, this changes.
This would be a psychological matriarchy which is in accordance with some of my religious beliefs, my witchcraft and worship of Isis. Due to the unique relationship between mother and child the psychological substrate is substantially a matriarchy. Unfortunately currently a matriarchy enforcing the patriarchy under fear, since the product of the patriarchy in the characters of all peoples is the perpetuation of fear.
Getting men properly involved in doing the vast emotional work of raising children (at all levels including as teachers who ought to be paid more and more highly respected irrespective of gender identity) would make such a difference to everything. In The Cult of Isis the Heirophant is a masculine archetype, the high priest matched with a high priestess, and the symbol and seat of moral rectitude and right thinking.
Fear and Human BehaviourHumans often have interesting self-defeating behaviour around people they're afraid of. This is especially true of those who defer to group-think for their decisions on who people are and how to treat them.
When people are afraid of someone a common choice is to be mean to them to keep them away or in an attempt to make them change. This includes ostracisation and exclusion from social groups.
But when you're mean to people it is entirely fair for them to be mean back to you. When you're afraid of someone creating a situation where the normal and appropriate response is for them to be mean to you seems unwise. It doesn't seem like you're going to come out on top of that one. As well as the fact that being a mean person is an unfortunate life choice.
It's the perfect recipe for living in fear, fear enforced by social convention.
In my experience of getting to know people I'm afraid of, the person I'm afraid of usually only exists in my imagination.
Computer CampWhen I was a kid I went on a Christian computer camp a couple of times. It was a mix of indoctrination and messing around with computers. I really enjoyed it, I had friends which I didn't really at school and I was quite into both computers and indoctrination at the time.
In one of the Christian bits I remember one of the helpers, an older lad a young man really, giving his testimony. He been exploring the occult and spirituality and he said "the problem with the occult was that as soon as you thought you'd found the truth or got near to understanding something it would ping away from you". Then he found Christianity and everything was nice and definite.
The computer camp was one of things my parents took away from me as punishment for being depressed when I was a teenager.
The Winds of Wilder ProbabilityI think this is a beautiful symmetry. From Descartes' second meditation on certainty you can conclude that you can't know anything with absolute certainty, only degrees of probability (except I Am).
And at the moment one of the deepest ways humans have attempted to understand reality, quantum mechanics, says that at the most fundamental level we can't really know anything with absolute certainty. Everything appears to exist only in degrees of probability. At least as far as we can tell, but quantifiably so.
Who knows what happens out there, out in the winds of wilder probabilities. Is it a worm hole or a rabbit hole?
Your ShadowYou can't know yourself until you've seen your own shadow. Once you see your shadow, so long as you're willing to be that person, all of your faculties and capabilities are there for the taking.
The deepest dreams of the heart can come true.
Thus shadow work. Take the negative, dark and difficult aspects of your character and turn them to your advantage. Find positive outlets for your darkest most destructive urges.
Alternatively you could live forever afraid of yourself and who you might really be once the veneer of civilization is stripped away.
We're animals. That's what we are. Taxonomically speaking.
Hide Your Hate Where You Can't See ItPeople want to hide their feelings from you so they can lie about them and they want you to be careful of their feelings. People don't make sense.
people hide their feelings as a matter of course, as a habit, out of fear.
What you won't give conscious expression will have unconscious expression. Basic psychology.
So you're ruled by feelings you won't/can't express. That's how we're brutalised. Oops, I mean socialised.
Hide your hate and spite away from yourself and you won't be able to see it in others too. But it's there like a constant bad smell that no-one can ever find the source of and eventually you stop smelling it.
Tune your hate into the right things and become friends with it. Like anger hate is a great power, partly because people are so afraid of it and ruled by it. Love what is right and hate all evil.
Other People's FeelingsNot saying things that might hurt someone's feelings, so they never have to face their feelings and can carry on living afraid and never having to change, is a coward's way to live.
Being unpleasant to people when they say things that hurt your feelings, to teach them not to hurt your feelings so you can stay afraid, boils down to being an unpleasant person.
We're all inextricably intertwined and the question of how much responsibility we bear for other peoples' feelings can never be satisfactorily resolved.
The Social ContractThe Coronavirus makes me think about the social contract and the duty of the individual to society.
Unpopular opinion: the social contract goes both ways. Those whom society has treated disgracefully owe society nothing. Quite the reverse.
The unemployed, the chronically sick, the mentally ill, the homeless. Want them to follow your social rules and conventions for the benefit of everyone?
Maybe that's reasonable in a society that looks after the vulnerable. Why should they follow our rules, what do they owe us?
Given my own personal journey I don't feel much of a debt to society. I feel a great debt to some people however. Friends are everything. Society mostly seems to suck.
Depression and COVID-19Depression is very common, normal I reckon. There are many ways to deal with depression and to cope. I'm a great believer in talking therapies and understanding yourself and being a person you're able to respect by being true to yourself as the ultimate cure for depression. That's a very long road with many twists and turns and changes of points of view.
One common way to cope with depression or other normal mental illnesses is to keep moving fast enough that they never trouble you except as background anxiety. That doesn't play well with isolation.
I really wonder what the psychological impact of isolation will be. It could be an opportunity for dealing with issues, letting it all hang out, dropping pretences, self-reflection, self-care, building relationships.
My heart particularly goes out for those trapped in isolation with abusers and to those feeling truly alone. I'm sorry.
Personal Moral IntegrityWhen we contravene the moral code by which we judge others we excuse ourselves. We have reasons. But we neither know nor permit the other to have reasons, so our worldview has lots of little inconsistencies all over the place. It doesn't really work, best not to look too closely.
My moral code lets other people do what they want and says what I do is my business. It's pretty hard to contravene that anyway.
I reserve moral judgement for those who make moral judgements on others.
To Do What is Right
"We may look back on this as the beginning. The point where it became clear it was the end of the world."