Sunday, October 10, 2010

"Betwixt and Between"

"Betwixt and Between"
by Dr. Judith H. Young

“As stated in a famous quote from Henry David Thoreau, the mass of men live lives of quiet desperation, marked by a state of resignation which is confirmed desperation. This phenomenon, which is so antithetical to the joyful natural instincts of newborns, has not come about by accident, but rather through the careful crafting of a cold-blooded global oligarchy. An oligarchy whose insidiousness calls to mind an ancient story in which a perfect murder is committed by Brak the ice man, who kills a woman with an icicle dagger: both he and his weapon melt away in the next day's sun, leaving nothing behind as a basis for prosecuting the crime.

Humans have an instinctive fear of the unknown, which is exacerbated if trends indicate an unknown that is negative rather than positive. In the present case the unknown seems to be characterized by the probability of enormous global destabilization, with massive suffering in store for the populace. Although the world as we have known it is far from acceptable, the horizon appears quite possibly unbearable- hence the phrase "looking into the abyss" used recently by a number of analysts.

This makes the betwixt and between predicament more difficult to navigate than it would be in less extreme situations, such as adolescence as a normal and predictable transition from childhood to maturity. Another exacerbation is the endless onslaught of crises that the oligarchy orchestrates in order to keep us in a state of continual disorientation, seemingly unable to process one trauma before the next one hits. But as in the case of normalizing the abnormal and learned helplessness, the solution lies in keen understanding of the problem. Once we dissect the betwixt and between predicament, a predicament that all of us have experienced and navigated in our personal lives but may well not have recognized and named as such, our fear will lose its hold and we can reclaim our power.

The betwixt and between predicament occurs whenever we are forced to revise our previous sense of self and reality, and are required to remain in a zone of unfamiliarity, disorientation and loss of control until a new set of truths emerges and is integrated. All of us have faced this predicament again and again in our lives, e.g., during the teen years, after a major loss, and in our daily lives when our personal growth process entails the death of old aspects of the self and the birth of new ones. Even transitions that one welcomes gladly, such as marriage, a better job, or moving, are in fact highly stressful because of their magnitude.

The good news is that, as with the process of grieving, there is a well-charted process by which we can move from the frightening state of ambiguity and achieve a new equilibrium: a new equilibrium that is in fact healthier and more resilient because it is based on full awareness of the truth of things. It is less painful to accept the need for change than to stay in denial. Indeed, as the renowned mythologist Joseph Campbell stresses, there is great dignity in answering the call to heroism, a call that is now sounding to all of humanity.

The good news goes further: Turner and others in fact see potential gifts in the betwixt and between ambiguity that is so emotionally difficult. The inability to classify oneself, while one is in the stage of uncertainty and not-knowing, is also freedom to explore new ways of constructing reality and identity. The stage of ambiguity can become one of enormous creativity and fertility as we move to a new reality that we ourselves construct. It is vital to keep this awareness as we face and oppose the unfolding of the financial elite's endgame of cementing its global control through the current economic crises and so-called solutions it has itself engineered. As an advancing power nears its goal of full spectrum dominance, its crimes break the surface for all to witness, as evidenced by the audacity of the corporatocracy in forcing the passage of the bailout package and in its brazenly self-serving implementation.

Our Republic was not always ignorant and apathetic in the face of such criminality. In reaction to an offer in 1905 of a $100,000 donation by John D. Rockefeller for the missionary work of the U.S. Congregationalist Church, its most eminent leader asked, "Is this clean money? Can any man, can any institution, knowing its origins, touch it without being defiled?" The Reverend Washington Gladdington, echoing the prevalent outlook of the era, berated the accumulation of wealth on every side "by methods as heartless, as cynically iniquitous as any that were employed by the Roman plunderers or robber barons of the Dark Ages. In the cool brutality with which properties are wrecked, securities destroyed, and countless people robbed of their little, all to build up the fortunes of the multi-millionaires, we have an appalling revelation of the kind of monster a human being may become."

No longer can the oligarchs use the insidiousness of Brak the ice man to further their agenda. No longer do we need to allow them to disempower us through technocratic techniques of psychological control. The efficacy of these techniques has stemmed in great measure from our internalization of oppression, a process we can work to reverse once we understand it.

The technocrats would have us believe we are helpless to join battle. We are not. The criminal global elites like to practice their abuse experiments on the less fortunate that cannot defend themselves and offer any resistance, but the human spirit is indominitable and will not go quietly into the night. When people start realizing they were once human beings and hate what the behavioural criminals are doing, we can stop this learned helplessness and say with Patrick Henry, 'Give me Liberty or give me death.' "

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