A Bow to Two Carols

This post is inspired by a recent re-post of a wise-child become wise-elder, Carol A. Hand

History Keeps Repeating – A Reblog ‹ Voices from the Margins

She’s the kind of wise woman I’d love to know. Not because I think we are political allies, or ideological twins—we are not. She sometimes writes about Native American issues and social justice, two movements I might’ve supported as a young woman, but which I truly believe now have been co-opted by dark forces for corrupt gains.

She’s a strong believer in community; I covet individualism. I can tell from her posts she’s a kind person who wishes to engender a spirit of generosity and love in the world; I grow increasingly curmudgeon-like with age, and I like it that way, perhaps too much.

But what we have in common, I sense, is so deep that none of that would matter. In another time and place I suspect we would become great friends.

Short of putting words in her mouth, I’d say she believes mankind needs to soften up, whereas I believe we need to toughen up.

We are probably both right. Ever heard of the Gentle Giant? Those who are truly tough very rarely show it. They don’t have to. They don’t need to carry a big stick and they can afford to speak softly.

It’s the power-addicted peons who most often need to strut their stuff. Their Napoleon complex ensures they never truly feel power unless others are cowering and groveling before them—masked, impotent, willing dupes in their own demise, and therefore unable to remind the petty tyrants of their own impotence.

When adults—as in parents, teachers, preachers, politicians—teach children “Christian values” like ‘don’t hit, don’t steal, don’t lie, don’t cheat’ and then model the exact opposite of that by supporting wars of aggression for their own material interests or petty revenge, forcing others to bow to tyranny in order to safeguard their own comfort levels, coercing others to do their dirty work, exploiting and abusing their power—they are creating the adolescent malcontents who then are forced into a double-bind—in effect forcing them to either support the charade as fellow hypocrites, or rebel against it in a myriad of destructive ways.

This is called “Adultism” because real adults protect children, not make slaves of them. They walk their talk. They don’t sit around like a Miss Muffet on her Tuffet while barking orders at others.

I’m reminded here of my all-time favorite play.
Tartuffe by Moliere:
Tartuffe, ou L’Imposteur was also performed at Versailles, in 1664, and created the greatest scandal of Molière’s artistic career. Its depiction of the hypocrisy of the dominant classes was taken as an outrage and violently contested. It also aroused the wrath of the Jansenists and the play was banned.”

From Act 1, Scene II (in a marvelous translation by Richard Wilbur) is it not poignant in its Universal and timeless appeal?!

“In the late troubles, he played an able part
And served his king with wise and loyal heart,
But he’s quite lost his sense since he fell
Beneath Tartuffe’s infatuating spell.
He calls him brother, and loves him as his life,
Preferring him to mother, child, or wife.
In him and him alone will he confide;
He’s made him his confessor and his guide;
He pets and pampers him with love more tender
Than any pretty mistress could engender,
Gives him the place of honor when they dine,
Delights to see him gorging like a swine,
Stuffs him with dainties till his guts distend,
And when he belches, cries, “God bless you, friend!”
In short, he’s mad; he worships him; he dotes;
His deeds he marvels at, his words he quotes,
Thinking each act a miracle, each word
Oracular as those that Moses heard.
Tartuffe, much pleased to find so easy a victim,
Has in a hundred ways beguiled and tricked him,
Milked him of money, and with his permission
Established here a sort of Inquisition.
Even Laurent, his lackey, dares to give
Us arrogant advice on how to live;
He sermonizes us in thundering tones
And confiscates our ribbons and colognes.
Last week he tore a kerchief into pieces
Because he found it pressed in A Life of Jesus:
He said it was a sin to juxtapose
Unholy vanities and holy prose.”

As synchronicity would have it, as I was writing this I took a break to listen to another wise Carol, who I listen to almost daily At ‘Never Lose Truth’ channel.

I don’t know her either, but I truly cherish her work. She just happened to post a fairly scathing rebuke of Christian hypocrites that fits right in line with this post. Some call her ‘bitter’, Hubby calls her ‘Crazy Carol’ and asks I turn her off when he’s in the room. But in her I hear my own frustrations, my own futile battles, my own refusal to break, and I find such mirroring very inspiring and very necessary to my peace of mind.

We are each doing what we feel must be done in the only way we know how.

Thank you, two Carols, for your very different approaches to the very same problems, and for giving me a much welcomed sense of soul-sisterhood.

The Folly of Forgiveness

The single most destructive virtue of Christianity is forgiveness.

In fact, it’s not a virtue at all, it’s a vice. It’s a ready-made excuse for laziness, cowardice, avoidance and self-aggrandizement.

Which is more challenging? Which is more beneficial to society?
A. Forgive those who trespass upon you.
B. Hold them accountable for their actions, or their lack of them.

The New Age movement, the modern outgrowth of our Christian heritage melded with aspects of Eastern religion/philosophy, shares this fundamental folly. You quite literally cannot read a spiritual or New Age text that does not claim something like this:

“Ultimately, make it your goal to move on to forgiveness of yourself and those involved in causing you pain in the past. Forgiveness doesn’t mean that what happened to you was acceptable. It simply means that you are no longer willing to allow a past injury to keep you from living fully and healthfully in the present.” Dr. Christiane Northrup, The Wisdom of Menopause: Creating Physical & Emotional Health During the Change

Nonsense. Forgiveness most certainly DOES mean that you’ve found the offense acceptable—you’ve given them “a pardoning” — look it up!

Forgiveness: “To pardon; to remit, as an offense or debt, to overlook an offense, and treat the offender as not guilty.” Webster’s Dictionary 1905

When a school of philosophy/religion/spirituality (Or individuals!) must change the meaning of words in order to fulfill their mission of manipulation it becomes propaganda and begs the question, “Who benefits?”

It’s not simply forgiving past injury that’s keeping anyone from living healthfully in the present, true peace of mind comes when justice is served. We witness the lack of justice and accountability all around us today, and we have centuries of brainwashing in this particular vice-cum-virtue to thank for that.

Burying the hatchet is rarely a guarantee it stays buried. Life is not a sitcom and taking the easy way out is testament to a lack of virtue, not a grounding in it. “Kiss and make up” solves little. “Turn the other cheek” is a blanket invitation to abusers.

To forgive someone who has not asked for it, nor shows remorse, nor penance, nor changed his ways is not healthy—not for the individual, not for the culture—in the long run.

It might keep you from getting cancer next year, or so the New Age self-helpers keep insisting, but you’ve only kicked the can down the road and made it worse for the perpetrators’ next victims. Good for the guru’s pocketbook and status, not so good for future generations.

The Christian myth that claims those who live in proverbial glass houses should not throw stones is a recipe for granting pardon to serial criminals while demonizing petty theft and other personal, minor infractions.

Everyone might very well be a sinner, but not all sins are created equal.

Holding others’ accountable for their actions is far more difficult than giving them a pardon. It’s exhausting to have standards of behavior and stick to them. It’s miserable to feel the loneliness that comes with not accepting abuse in one’s relationships and surroundings. It sucks to stand up for yourself against the group and especially against loved ones. But battered partners who don’t leave, Stockholm syndrome, normalized corruption, addiction, insanity and suicide are the direct result of a culture obsessed with forgiveness.

Unearned forgiveness is:

*A green light to bad behavior
*Victim-blaming for those who don’t want to, or choose not to, forgive
*Spiritual bypassing
*Ensuring history repeats
*Lowering the morality bar
*Killing the messenger
*Requiring scapegoats (represented by our most celebrated scapegoat, Jesus)
*Requiring lies, whitewashing, spinning of narratives to maintain illusions
*Forcing individuals to fit the will of the power structure rather than forcing the power structure to fit the will of the people

The personal and political spheres overlap—what we tolerate in our own house, we tolerate in the White House. What results is repeat offenders who are eternally tolerated.

The New Age movement has managed to create the worst of two worlds: The magical child thinking and materialism of the West combined with the spiritual hierarchies, self-hypnosis and toxic mysticism of the East.

Photo by Savanna Goldring on Pexels.com

Next post: What I think the New Agers have gotten right.
Whaaa . . . .?!

Compassion IS Consent

Websters Dictionary, 1905

Definition, Compassion: To suffer

A suffering with another; painful sympathy; a sensation of sorrow excited by the distress or misfortunes of another, pity, commiseration. A mixed passion, compounded of love and sorrow; pain or regret, or is excited by it. Extreme distress of an enemy even changes enmity into at least temporary affection.

Sounds like Stockholm Syndrome to me.  Our virtues are being played against us.

If you’re still believing what you see on TV, you’re addicted to the McDonald’s of the mind.  If so, may I suggest some proper nourishment, in the form of my current favorite philosopher, James True.

I’ve already recommended him on this blog quite a few times.  Now I’m going to attempt to do something he’s asked his subscribers for, which I really respect him for asking to do: “prune my lips.”  Excellent expression and sentiment.

One of Jame’s big schticks is the idea that “compassion is not consent” —he repeats it often and it’s being adopted by others.  It’s gaining traction, and I don’t think that’s a good thing.   

I think it’s like throwing your precious pearls of prana at swine much of the time.  I’m sure there’s a few exceptions, but compassion fatigue is a real thing.

I also think receiving compassion is the favorite sugar donut of tyrants, abusers, criminals and malcontents of all flavors.

Just look at the etymology of the word—to suffer together.  If you are choosing to ‘suffer with’ anyone, you’re giving consent.

When I witness the suffering of another and extend compassion to that individual, or even group, it’s a visceral experience.  I feel it in my gut, it twists in my stomach and moves up my spine and into my heart space, and if I extend it even further it goes right up my chest and lodges as a lump in my throat.  If I extend it even further still, my eyes well up, my lips begin to quiver, and when the tears begin to fall for them, I know we are suffering together.  I hope they are touched by this, that it makes them feel less alone in their suffering, that somehow energetically I’ve lessened their burden just a bit.  It’s expensive, it takes a lot of calories.

John Stoessinger, in his compassionate bestseller, Henry Kissinger: The Anguish of Power (1976), demonstrates his consent of this man’s actions in every chapter.  He makes excuses for him, shows how very ‘human’ he is,  and calls this ‘speaking truth to power.’  He wrote the book because, he says: “I suspect that many of those who later attacked him without mercy might have done so out of their own frustration, bitterness, and disappointment.  What has been sadly lacking, however, is a sense of reality and balance.”

As James and Owen Benjamin agree, the pedestal and the pit both suck, as does Stoessinger: “I have attempted to portray the human being and the statesman behind the myths of accolade and condemnation.”

I wonder, what if Stoessinger would have thrown his pearls of compassion at the millions, perhaps billions, who continue to suffer because of Kissinger’s lifetime of global influence?  I wonder if Kissinger needed his compassion or valued it all that much.  I wonder, by demonstrating how ‘human’ he is, how much compassion for the man moved through his readers like a contagion, building up compassion for the man decade after decade, so that all his misdeeds piled up like good manure in the barn, to be spread over the garden to grow and grow, so that he moves effortlessly between pedestal and pit, achieving his every tyrannical dream in this alchemical process of perpetual re-consenting.

Try this aperture on for size please, gentlemen.  Imagine you are Kissinger, receiving the public’s compassion, what does it feel like for you?  Does it look like dissent to you, or consent?  Would you have the sense your work was approved of, or disapproved of?

Furthermore, would that change much, considering he has an agenda for your life, whether or not you show him compassion?  Why would you extend your compassion to someone who has not demonstrated to you he is suffering?  Do you assume he suffers?  Might it be a common case of : We don’t see others how they really are, we see them how we are? 

Do you think Jesus would’ve washed Kissinger’s feet before or after he stomped all over the world?

How Suicide Triumphs

It might be a ghastly case of misplaced empathy.

Try this at home:  Bring up the topic of suicide and note how folks react.

On the radio yesterday, one of the south’s ubiquitous Christian family stations, were some astonishing statistics about the outrageous suicide rate currently in America.  The host’s conclusion, not surprisingly, was that these poor, long-suffering individuals had not found Jesus.

I beg to differ.  In fact, the suicide that hit too close for comfort this past spring, was committed by a woman who had just found Jesus, had just been ‘born-again’ baptized, and was attending a local church.

Sympathy was oozing from every direction for this apparently fragile, misguided woman, who left behind three teenage boys.

The responses I get when repeating this story always include, first and foremost, something along the lines of: “Oh, how terrible, that poor woman!”  The boys are lamented also, but along the lines of how awful it will be for them to be without their mother.

And I’m thinking, “Seriously?”

The woman who spread far more pain and chaos around her than joy and caring is the one who gets the caring attention, even in death.

Why is violent sociopathy rewarded with sympathy in our culture?  Suicide is extremely violent.  Violence is violence, whether or not it is self-inflicted.  It is also extremely manipulative, as one is freed from one’s own pain by unloading it on everyone else.

This was a grown woman, who had abandoned her children, was addicted to untold number of drugs for at least a decade, and who was unresponsive and ungrateful to the help lavished on her from countless well-meaning hosts and wanna-be saviors for years.

What about all those who were forced to witness her self-violence?  What about all those who were subjected to her lies, her manipulations, her emotional and physical abuse?

What about her boys, and her parents who are forced to raise them, while she partied her life away?

Has anyone ever considered that maybe they would feel relieved to be rid of her, once and for all—that is, if relief were a permissible social option for them?  Instead they are required to feel sorry for her, forever.

What about “God helps those who help themselves?”

What about the obvious fact that the suicide rate continues to rise, as the churches continue to fill, as the preachers continue to preach, as the psychiatric profession proliferates, as the pharmaceutical sales flourish, and as the entertainment industrial complex offers ever-more fun for everyone?

Might it be remotely possible, perhaps, that all the misplaced empathy and coddling to sociopathy, and the elevation of weakness, cowardice and powerlessness to a station of social superiority, might play into this problem at all?

Of course, if I point out this difference of perspective, I’m the heartless bitch with no sympathy, for the violent dead woman.

Well, I confess.  Let’s just write it off as yet another case of compassion fatigue.