I have spent the last month reading lots of fiction and non-fiction to immerse myself in different points of view because I have begun to write fiction. Also, it has been fascinating to explore the world theater of politics. There’s definitely a lot going on. I’m trying not to be very judgmental in my experiences of peoples’ out-loud thoughts which are sometimes astonishing.
Since I have been recovering from so much emotional turmoil (both good and not so good) these past months, it has been a struggle to come to the blog. I apologize.
While I’m not entirely certain that my performance in the future months will be much better than it has been this year, I am heartened by the concept of “one step at a time”. Throwing out Indigenous Wisdom into the ether-sphere may have value.
New moon is tomorrow. I wish you all save travels.
Stories need to be told. Still the recent media treatment surrounding controversial symbols (confederate flag, Mexican immigrants, terrorism) have caused me lots of anxiety. Certainly, I am aware of media bias considering the owners of most mass media are privately held conglomerates. My recent reflections have included questions about how not only to deal with my internal conflict of personal experience versus moral reason, but also a probably irrelevant idea about how I might handle a conversation with someone who doesn’t share my personal point of view.
Just today I saw a FB post by someone who I think is a quite reasonable person stating emphatically that he believes that it is every individual’s right to project and/or protect any symbol as a principle of freedom. One of his examples was “the right to defend the swastika”. (This symbol actually used to be a benign symbol for Indigenous Americans called “rolling logs”.)
Alternately (or synchronistically), I recently was given a book about the study of the feminine in moral development. It is now a standard entitled, IN A DIFFERENT VOICE by Carol Gilligan. From this book, I have been thinking about the idea of rules versus relationships. This is a theme being played out in world politics. I offer a very simple version of the idea: Do we follow the rules to the letter of the law (moral masculine) or do we consider the interconnectedness of all systems (moral feminine)? This latter question has become a field of inquiry involving cultural groups as well.
When I have taught about inclusion to education students in masters programs, we consider the whole child. I am appreciative that Indigenous wisdom honored the feminine principle of relational interconnections of all living beings. For them, it is not a stretch to say that our Grandmother Earth was a symbol of what it is to be a sentient being. Questions posed by the Circle of Law governing body were twofold: What will promote cooperation and inclusion (The Path with Heart) or will this path cause divisive separation and exclusion (a “broken” or “crooked” path)? Should we continue down the path of division just because we understand our rules to be singular and static or may we flex our understanding to include new ways of being, new manners of interpretation that allow for more inclusive behaviors?
If modern symbolic currency includes tangible hate symbols which are harming others from experiencing the freedom of being human in both thought and deed as enjoyed by and because of privilege (which the privileged enjoy to such an extent that they are sometimes blind to their sheer luck and sometimes lack proper gratitude), then I will ask that they be renounced until such time as they become meaningless. In my cultural heritage, this is called courtesy and respect.
The symbol 6 represents the Spirits of all Humans; Our Spiritual Ancestor; our Grandparents Who Love us Since Always. This month has been pretty much all about that for me. They have been whispering in my ear that I need to hold fast to the philosophy that everyone’s Sacred Point of View be valued.
Many relations have been visiting and sharing intimate stories with me this past month. I hope that I was a good listener and tried not to interrupt. I hope that the Medicine Chiefs from the Circle of Law are looking down upon me and letting me know that I have been authentic in listening without judgment, comparison or expectation to the communication of these most important individuals as well as others who have crossed my path.
This past week I received a new copy of The Sun Magazine and there was a wonderful interview with Barbara Fredrickson who studies love. “Fredrickson has a BA in psychology from Carleton College and a PhD in psychology from Stanford University. She trained as a postdoctoral fellow at the psychophysiology lab of the University of California, Berkeley, and is currently the Kenan Distinguished Professor of Psychology at UNC-Chapel Hill. Her first book, Positivity, describes two decades of her research on how positive emotions support “human flourishing”…” She is the current Director of the Positive Emotions and Psychophysiology Lab. Her latest book is entitled, Love 2.0: How Our Supreme Emotion Affects Everything We Feel, Think, Do, and Become.
What does this have to do with listening you may ask? Well, part of research is to collect physiological data on individuals who do a lovingkindness meditation. Since reading the interview, I have begun to adopt some of the direction of this meditation into my own practice of entering the Silence specifically applying it to each and all of my loving relationships and becoming aware of what I “hear”. Here is a part of the interviewer’s notes, “…the voice…instructed me to bring to mind someone close to me while saying silently, May this person be safe. May this person be happy. May this person be healthy. May this person live with ease.”
I hope that you are able to hear my thoughts as I send them to you.
This week’s topic is directed at the iconic notion of passing the talking stick. Each individual deserves uninterrupted self expression. I always have a difficult time with this one because I want to add comments when someone else is speaking. In a way, it’s disrespectful. No one needs our stamp of approval or opinion unless they ask us for it.
I have recently been challenged by this alignment principle and yet I feel unable to explain the circumstances of these challenges. Only, that I feel depressed by the outcome of other’s choices and thoughts directed toward me. What is one to do? Unless I am given the opportunity to present my point of view, it really is moot. We aren’t all necessarily on the same path at the same time and the Universe is working its magic in ways that we may not predict. There are creative forces at work that we may not even imagine. I am writing this to hold to the most positive outcome no matter what. It is much better to embrace the alignment principle of the sixth truth in the title of this post. Even if sometimes I don’t want to.