Friday, 12 September 2014

7. Fear and Power: there is no science, only art

So far I discussed that fear is within all of us in our animal core. That fear is primary related to the fear of death and that the primary way to overcome it is using vertical power, quick and effective, but generally built over our first (infantile) coping strategies, that become rigid and are repeated and replicated even when proven unsuccessful. Again, in moments of real threat, quick responses are always better than slow ones.

However living in fear and under vertical power is like going in first gear with the car. It does not take you where you need to go. It becomes highly costly, ineffective, frustrating. It is unable to process quick enough the small and big decisions needed to deal with a more complex world, to move quicker or reach further. This happens at every level of life, from individuals to nations. We have seen many times how, in moments of crisis, moments of great fear, people expect a vertical use of power, but the current world is proof of how complex things are. 
Of course, people that want to profit from this situation will try to sustain and create the feeling of crisis to justify and accumulate more power, as this is the way people are kept in infantile state and are willing to give up power upwards, vertically. However, anyone trying to impose itself with vertical power will also consume itself both morally and economically, because of the force and aggression it needs.

In absence of fear, or better said, when trust or faith exists, power needs to be organised in circles. As in this way, power is shared, 
collective intelligence emerge and more decisions (or bigger ones) are made. However, it also requires a lot of "fuel", as  people need to engage in good quality conversations (rich, empathic, whilst disciplined) that enable action instead of blocking it. 

So the evolution from fear to a trusting state of mind, able to collaborate, is something that we all should aim for as a society.

Then I discussed that 
power is asymmetry. Asymmetry between sides, forces. Without asymmetry there is no creation, no decision making, no action.
But asymmetry creates unbalances, compromises, and for this reason no action is ever perfect. With time, it will seek to restore the equilibrium lost by moving to the other side, which will be also unbalanced. So the bigger the unbalance created, the bigger the change needed, the more radical the revolution. 

There will always be one of these forces in front of the others but the others exists and needs to be active in its role. Then, it should be allowed to emerge to lead and resolve the tensions that the unbalance naturally creates. As much as walking if the forces are highly polarised: we will only be able to move forward if the unbalance created in making one step is followed by the other foot moving forward. If the situation is multipolar, then the movement would be a spin.

If we understand masculine forces as everything related to structure, logic, reasoning, deadlines, limits, then the world, and particularly the west has been dominated by the (wounded) masculine principle. Almost the entire west world uses the same alphabet that is highly concrete, almost mathematical. It has been conceived in the Judeo-Christian tradition - which is a masculine oriented religion-. Masculine, because it uses a harsh deadline (you have only one life), and you will be judged at the end. Its hierarchy has deleted the female presence (father, mother and son) and made it invisible and passive (a ghost). It has relegated the "mother" attitudes of protecting  and welcoming behind rule making and judging.
The west culture more widely has also suppressed emotion or devalued as something lower than reason. Competition between empires or between enterprises has been the main economical thought (even if there is a positive -albeit relative- evolution to move from empires to nations). Writing rules and either policing or leaving people "free" to sort it out for themselves has been the main government style.  Of course, the big assumption here is that these people are not wounded and are able to self-govern with ethics (which should naturally include respecting and actively listening to the other side). However, this is not the case. I've read (and discussed in my previous entry) that the wounded masculine could be described as the popular Darth Vader: the powerful warrior that hides, under his de-humanised mask, his wounded soul.

Under a wounded masculine paradigm, states (by their nature, female entities) are inefficient, somehow lower than the private sector (by their nature, masculine). 
The role of the state must be kept to a minimum and make it as small as possible (particularly by the right and the liberals, a political thought that was born out of an occupied country). 
An extreme capitalism would be like living in a house with an immature and narcissistic father that leaves no space to the mother to act. 

However, we are going through times when we see this put into question. We see corporations not paying taxes, journalism crossing the borders of ethics and we question the role of the state again. 
We also see meta-governments being created, distancing power from people, confusing harmonious collaboration and commercial openness with the denial of national power. And we think about the role of the state again.
We see the environment being savaged and people trying to put a price on it, and we wonder about the role of the state again.

At least we have evolved from emperors and fascism, indicating a slow evolution from fear to trust and collaboration. However the integration between the female and male principles is still work in progress. The lack of the feminine creates problems of inequality, development, collaboration, empathy, mercy and a disconnection with nature. The lack of integration between the female and male also creates problems of identity. 

On the other side, an immature, narcissistic, invasive mother is offered by communism. Where the whole (and the state) is more important than the individual. Here the father, in her role of separating the children from the mother is not allowed to act. The lack of the masculine creates problems of de-inviduation, national narratives without critic, people not acting by their own moral compass and not taking and accepting own responsibilities. A wounded feminine will also have issues in connecting with nature.

With this argument, I mean to say that none of both principles -masculine or feminine- is right or wrong per se. The extremes are worst because of the greater unbalance they create, and the violence they require to impose and sustain themselves. Beyond the extreme situations, both forces are needed, female and male. Tension is good as it forces movement and improvements. 

Auf Der Suche Nach Dem Wunderbaren
Jaco Van Der Vaart
Progress is about keeping these forces working together and aiming to integrate them. Not through submission or fusion, but in a true partnership and active dialogue. As much as art integrates science and emotion. A great artist is highly skilled in technique (science) and is able to connect to something deeper. In this integration is where real creativity and life comes from. There is no economical model, no political science. There is only art. The art of being able to recognise who am I and where I want to go, and then decide on when, how and with whom. The art of knowing when to be guided by the feminine or male principle, behave as a mother or a father, or simply let go. Combining knowledge with instinct.

There is no science, only art.


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