Monday, 23 September 2013

More notes on the trauma roots of the Dominant Culture...

More notes on the trauma roots of the Dominant Culture...

The following are some of the symptoms of PTSD.

    Difficulty regulating emotions and impulses
    Emotional numbing
    Anger and aggression
    Substance addictions
    Behavioural addictions
    Self-harming behaviours

How many of these apply to cultural norms as evinced in the behaviour of those who rule, those who determine how 'Economics' operates, those who are scripture bound, to ideologies and/or Faiths, to criminal behaviour endorsed by the State and other Governing structures? 
"This intrinsic dynamic is observable in all religions. Religions were obviously created not by people respected in childhood but by adults starved of respect from childhood on and brought up to obey their parents unswervingly. They have learned to live with the compulsive self-deception forced on them in their earlier years. Many impressive rituals have been devised to make children ignore their true feelings and accept the cruelties of their parents without demur. They are forced to suppress their anger, their TRUE feelings and honor parents who do not deserve such reverential treatment, otherwise they will be doomed to intolerable feelings of guilt all their lives. Luckily, there are now individuals who are beginning to desist from such self-mutilation and to resist the attempt to instill guilt feelings into them. These people are standing up against a practice that its proponents have always considered ethical. In fact, however, it is profoundly unethical because it produces illness and hinders healing. It flies in the face of the laws of life. "

Alice Miller
The same applies to the Institutions of Governance, of Banking, of Corporate 'business'.... and the current UK Governing group, the 'coalition partners' and their so-called 'opposition' Labour are demonstrating this by their behaviour and justification of their policies.

The people who built these structures, and the vast majority of those who work within them form a large part of the cultural meme/behaviour that is replicated, generation after generation, BECAUSE there is almost no acknowledgement within Governance of the adverse realities these structures impose on those who have the least power; rather those who have the least power are chosen for castigation and punishment, in a vicarious desire of the power holders, at every level, from the executive to the front line, to ameliorate their own symptoms of distress, the existence of which they deny, yet which, at the unconscious level, drive their behaviours.

"I became aware of my patients’ deeply entrenched resistance to remembering these painful events: they were extremely reluctant to feel the tragic situation they had been in as children and to take it seriously. Some of them described acts of monstrous cruelty with a complete lack of emotion, as if they were something that was only to be expected. They believed their parents had loved them and that as children they had richly deserved severe punishment because they were so insufferable. The regularity with which true feelings were denied or split off made me realize that almost all of us tend to deny, or at least play down, the pain caused by the injuries we suffered in childhood. We do this because we still fear punishment at the hands of our parents, who could not bear to accept us as we truly were. These childhood fears live on in the adult. If they remain unconscious, that is if they are not identified as such, then they will retain their virulence to the end of our lives. Unfortunately, these fears also live on in those who advance theories that camouflage childhood reality and that concentrate instead on the nature of “psychical structures.” This approach began with Freud and was later taken over by C.G. Jung and others. Like present-day “spiritualist” interpretations, these theories all served one purpose: to allay the fears of the maltreated children these therapists still were. "

Alice Miller

The resolution of all this can only emerge AFTER full acknowledgement - until that occurs the past will drive the present behaviour, and will be 'justified' with whatever means is deemed culturally acceptable - full employment, democracy, etc etc..

Capitalism is an unresolved post Christian dynamic.

Power, guilt, shame and coercion are the fundamental memes of Capitalism.... as they were, and remain to this day, of Christianity

It's easy to ditch a false religion at the surface, much harder to address the unconscious scars that remain until they are fully acknowledged, and steps are taken to move into recovery and healing.

I know this from my own experience, when I tried for years to adopt Bhuddism, Paganism, Dao-ism and other -isms as a way to recover from my Christian indoctrination,  yet was unable to alleviate my symptoms of guilt, shame and fear. It wasn't until I started to acknowledge and address my experiences as a child, from the perspective of that child, in the presence of an 'enlightened witness' that I was able to start to recover..

As Judith Herman points out, the safety issue is crucial.

The key to healing from traumatic experiences in childhood is achieving these ‘stage-one’ goals of personal safety, genuine self-care, and healthy emotion-regulation capacities. Once these have become standard operating procedures, great progress and many new choices become possible. Importantly, the first stage of recovery and treatment is not about discussing or ‘processing’ memories of unwanted or abusive experiences, let alone ‘recovering’ them. As much as I describe and understand history, I need to feel safe to proceed.

The same applies to entire communities caught up in trauma cycles, for example Israel/Palestine... or Northern Ireland ..

Likewise with the dominant culture, especially where that culture is based on Power Relationships and Utilitarianism as opposed to Empathic Relationships and Conscious Awareness of Interdependence. Until we feel safe enough, we cannot begin to address the underlying issues in detail.

Which is what Christian based Counselling projects for Survivors of Clerical Abuse, for example, cannot achieve. Nor could 'Democracy' as touted by the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq between 2004 and 2012 achieve.... in these cases, it is obvious why the people who seek help do not feel safe, and therefore cannot proceed.

After centuries of War as States established themselves, and fought with each other, we now live with a culture that portrays war as 'good vs bad', with sacrifice, glory and bravery in combat as key 'positive' elements to be admired, is it the case that this culture has not yet resolved the issues related to mass trauma, that in fact that this culture is founded on unresolved PTSD issues? Just as the major Religions were?

If so, then the resolution of that culture's problems are a matter of concern for all of us because the issues are tractable - that is to say they can be dealt with, worked on towards healing and recovery. PTSD is no mystery. It is well understood. As is the resolution of PTSD.

If we don't, at the very least, attempt to resolve them then it will become our children's problem.

Is that the inheritance we wish for our children? Is that our gift to them?

Do we hold to our 'belief systems', our 'hatreds and fears' rather than address the matter with all our available energy?

What then is the meaning of our 'love', if we refuse this essential task?

Kindest regards


Do what you love, it's Your Gift to Universe

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