31 October 2012

A Symbol of the State of Things
"A democratic civilization will save itself only if it makes the language of the image into a stimulus for critical reflection — not an invitation for hypnosis."
Umberto Eco, The Screen Education Reader: Cinema, Television, Culture 

A few weeks ago, while praying the Book of Psalms, the image of a blue circle and a red droplet came to mind. I instantly knew the meaning of this image, this symbol.

The Earth is being bled. The Earth is being bled consciously, deliberately, and systematically by forces working in concert who, through their behavior, through their ongoing efforts to destroy humanity, have revealed themselves for what they are: Enemies of Life. Those of us who belong to groups such as OccupyFaith have a responsibility to bring others to this realization—unsettling as it is—and to motivate them to join us in the ongoing work of transformation, which requires both spiritual and material effort.

30 October 2012

When Integration Becomes An Excuse 
“What you kick out the front door will crawl through the back window,” the dearest of friends reminded me. Yes, indeed, a self cut off from the SELF can wreak incredible havoc. The self that engages in SELF-destructive behavior is more than likely a traumatized, younger self in need of healing, in need of light and love, as another friend put it.

There is a difference between separation and integration, between building and not building a wall, between building and tearing down a wall. Twelve-Step programs offer separation more than integration, and sometimes that separation is absolutely necessary. 

To save the SELF, a wiser self, who is usually an older self, must separate the the SELF-destructive self, must build a wall to keep out the SELF-destructive self. Sometimes the child has to be removed from the home. Inviting the child back, however, brings consequences, both positive and negative.

Under any circumstances, the younger and older selves will learn from one another and grow, and the SELF will emerge more whole. If the older self (the adult) gives the younger self (the child) light and love and if the younger self (the child) accepts it, both will experience healing.

Integration like separation is a process. One step forward often results in two or more steps backward. A commitment to integration can be abused. It can be used by the younger self as an excuse to indulge yet again in SELF-destructive behavior. A child, after all, can be very manipulative. The older self, in the name of fostering integration, can excuse or even defend the younger self’s behavior despite the toll it is taking on the SELF. 

So, when is enough, enough? When is it time to for the adult to say to the NOW OLDER child, “This is your home. This will always be your home, but it’s time for you to move out now. It’s time for you to get your own place, and I will help you carry your things out the back door?”