Monday, January 10, 2011

Razing Arizona - Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander

Dear Reader,

Little did I know that when I published the following two paragraphs in my essay in the last LFLG Newsletter that in less than one month the words are now more urgently resonant and true than ever before. I had been compelled to write the essay by a feeling of urgency from within and have learned to obey such compulsions rather than as I have done for too many years preferring a "false peace and going with the flow" and "not make waves" while all the while said passivity was mightily contributing to problems and issues usually projected upon convenient "others". I wrote last month:

"Each individual must confront the reptilian tendencies within themselves, their primitive agendas and intentions, rather than take them to "spiritual theater" make-up and costume departments, dressing them in angelic robes, wiping arses with sweet holy unguents and intoxicating perfumes (cosmetics-are-us, super ego in the raw). One must, like Job in the Book of Job, see the chthonic backside of not only self, but of one's personal and collective local deity. Jung's as yet to be assimilated much less understood insight that in integrating our own opposites, we are integrating those of our gods, directs us to do our own inner work ongoingly (one is never done with shadow). Doing so is more likely to create authentic cultural change than all the extroverted, proclaimed "righteous" acts in the polis enacted, of course, "for our own good." To repeat, in order to stress, the problem of evil is not resolved by identity with either side of the opposites, but by tolerating the tension between the opposites, viz. the image of Christ in the middle of the vertical and horizontal poles of the cross depicts this suspension and meaningful suffering which leads to the reconciling third image of resurrection which is not an ascension into all good and Light but an assent to carry both consciously."

At the turn of this New Year I had already begun to compose an essay on "time poverty" for this current issue but the recent violence in Arizona with the murder of 6 people and more injured, including Congress Woman Giffords, begs to be addressed as it screams of the worst kind of poverty, moral/spiritual poverty of individuals and the polis, the social collective, that means you and me, every citizen of the land. Please assume that in what is written below in immediate visceral response to news of the violence I include myself in my call to national contrition, not that it will be done at all nationally, even marginally. And contrition is only the first part of an ongoing process of acknowledgment of and wrestling with our individual and collective shadow --yes, Virginia, there is a collective shadow--leading to some assimilation and integration, or at least a capacity to make more conscious use of shadow energies turned to good purposes and uses. Thankfully, as Jungian analyst, Zen Buddhist and poet John Tarrant says, "Graceless things grow lovely with good uses." There is hope for us all. At least there is for me.

The views and spews expressed here and below are my own and not necessarily those of my patient colleagues who generously indulge me.
I begin below with a brief message written (to a friend who has a personal friend who is related to Giffords) one day after the violence as the hypocrisy of culpable politicians inevitably postures and expostulates forth to nauseating degree, as predictable as sunset, the ensuing darkness and willful unconsciousness. And then my initial message written just after hearing the news reports of the murders.

January 9

Go hence, to have more talk of these sad things;
Some shall be pardon'd, and some punished. - Romeo and Juliet

We live in an "age of psychopathy" and this news of the Kansas Baptists "prophets" viz Flannery O'Connor's title, a quote from the Bible, "the violent bear it away" [see more on this in the second part below] sadistically adds more unneeded evidence of just how very deeply in the populace this psychopathy truly is. [The Huffington Post published an account of planned picketing at the funerals of the six citizens who were murdered in Tuscon. These "prophets" celebrate these deaths as their God's punishment for their perceived violations of God's law. The violent indeed bear it away...but bear not their own misdeeds and violence...psychopathy, indeed, as demonstrated in "pathological Christianity"].

"As go the people, so go their gods. As go their gods, so go the people."

Will we ever hear a politician publicly confess their guilt in fomenting/contributing to what has happened in Arizona (and elsewhere) or by silently allowing the "vitriol" to spread? Instead, we now hear those very politicians who call for putting political opponents in gun "cross hairs", for constituents "to be armed and dangerous," for watering Liberty's tree with human blood, for sanctimonious citizens to consider taking up "Second Amendment" solutions, etc. all now loudly decrying and expressing outrage--twitter by twitter, o the inanity of Evil--at what has happened, so many Pontius Pilates proclaiming their innocence as they verbally wash their hands while their words helped to spill literal blood.

We have yet to hear "I'm sorry," from George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Rumsfeld and a host of affiliated politicians in need of expressing public repentance, and these are past leaders whose ill-advised and obfuscating leadership has yet to be accounted for legally. We have not heard "I'm sorry" enough from our current leaders, red and blue and shades between, for having the power to direct public debate and the style of that debate and failing so miserably. And we have yet to hear nationally any repentance or truth telling but for a few, the brave sheriff speaking the truth in Arizona calling out politicians and media personalities and their sponsors which actively foment via violent hateful rhetoric the swelling atmosphere and now crescendo of violence throughout the land while many of the nation's citizenry sit in numbed desensitization to violent speech acts, even violent acts, tacitly or actively sponsored by inflated political and media self-appointed or voted for or employed "prophets."

The notorious Kansas Baptist congregation is but one tiny group amongst the many larger corporately sponsored groups of politics and media who display 24/7 the most outrageous self-righteous, Bible verse and flag-draped rhetoric inciting Wealthy White Brahmans, Babbling Bachmans and Belligerent Bubbas with calls for arms and "repent (meaning "get with their program/agenda/worldview) or else. To hear Michelle Bachman call upon her constituents to "be armed and dangerous" for a political issue may be meant metaphorically but such rhetoric has real concrete leading instruction (as in "leading the witness") within it with consequent interpretations leading to consequential harmful violent speech acts. We now reel from a literal catastrophic consequence of so-called "freedom of speech," "free press," and "Liberty," now all reduced to Orwellian confusion techniques creating the growing atmosphere of incivility to be found haranguing on many an American town and city street corner at "Mind Fuck and Divine."

Would that I now hear a politician echo these words from "Romeo and Juliet" as two innocents lay dead due to political--red and blue differences turned to hatred, Capulet verses Montague poison, a grieving Prince publicly repents speaking thusly for us all:

Where be these enemies? Capulet! Montague!
See, what a scourge is laid upon your hate,
That heaven finds means to kill your joys with love.
And I for winking at your discords too
Have lost a brace of kinsmen: all are punish'd.

January 8, 2010 6 pm

"Go warn the children of god of the terrible speed of mercy".

"From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent bear it away." Matthew 11:12.

It comes as no surprise to me that this violence took place in Arizona where an organized state governmental violence is taking place against terminally ill people in need of transplants, against non-white immigrants, legal and illegal, against ethnic groups whose languages are taught in school along with English...I hold John McCain (picker of Sarah Palin as his vice presidential running mate in the last election, a violent, unconscious woman) and Governor Brewer, a "drugstore, truck-driving," animus-possessed hostile white woman (reference to Joan Baez's famous protest song about then Governor Ronald Reagan, "He's a drug store, truck driving man, he's the head of the Ku klux clan, when summer comes rolling around we'll be lucky to get out of town"),, the rabid, gun toting Tea Party, Boehner, Bachman, Angle, Barber, Limbaugh, Hannity, O'Reilly, Beck and, alas, scores of other Republicans and their media affiliates responsible for this act of violence encouraged and nurtured by irresponsible ugly displays--Boehner's "Hell no we can't" tantrum before the nation and world, and "You lie!" SC Republican Joe Wilson shouts at the President of the United States during the State of the Union address), speeches and governmental legislative acts such as Governor Brewer of Arizona's self-righteous bullying of the dis-empowered, scapegoated and rejected represented by immigrants, children, non-whites, the terminally ill all under the excuse of "no money" and "national security". Let's all watch just how quickly money will appear to make the state and the nation "look good" to appear as if something substantial and equal to a soul contrition and transformation is taking place within the American psyche. Literally just days, if not hours, away, I'm sure, we'll have to endure the speeches and moral opprobrium and sanctimonious displays of "repentance" flavor while the ongoing entropy of national soucontinues .

Reread my newsletter/blogspot essay (go to the blogspot essay for the dream: from last month about blue and red states and the dream of a man in the 1960's about red and blue wine to be drunk together by opposing political parties...the dream ends in a broken glass signifying a violent break, even if of one glass, the uniting drink is not drunk with the drinkers and the audience not being able to get to the sacred ritual of the holy Eucharist, the body and blood of the living, dying, resurrecting god-man, a symbol of divine conjoined and assimilation of opposites. The real coniunctio that this ritual signifies could not be gotten to due to the willful unconsciousness going on on the stage between the red and the blue AND going on in the audience, as well.

This violent act takes place not even one week in to the Republican reign in the House and this is no accident but coincident with this "beginning" in the nation. Now watching Gov. Brewer give her statement where she expresses shock and sorrow with apparently not a glimmer of a pang of an idea that her political statements and acts along with others have created the climate where this lone gunman enacts their barely hidden call to violence against a Democrat, a woman, and constituents and the curious near here...I feel tremendous umbrage at her shock, her sorrow as she is in part responsible for it, along with others, Tea Partiers who show up at political events with guns, wearing tee-shirts stating, "the tree of Liberty must sometimes be watered by blood"...well, here it is...blood flooding into a now monstrous Liberty Tree...Orwell-ian distortion of words, "Liberty, Freedom," turned into a mangled, anarchistic poisonous masquerade of the words. Freedom is apparently for some rarified, sanctimonious few zealots who wield their perceived "absolute sword of truth" as they not only see it but demand that others see as do the and must bend to their will which is, of course, "the will of "We the People" and Godamighty Hisself." OY!

I have just finished reading Flannery O'Connor's disturbingly accurate novel, The Violent Bear It Away. O'Connor exposes the violence of not only our Western God-image but also in the culture and individuals who deem themselves prophets who are directly in touch with and lead by this violent Deity. The violence in Arizona in frightening tandem with reading this novel is frighteningly sobering and finds me more than willing to drop to my knees in contrition for my own bearing of dark violent Deity and that of my "Twittering" unconscious fellow citizens and their chosen leaders. Had I any power at all I would call for a "Day of National Contrition" where all citizens and their chosen leaders would bend the knee, own and confess to shadow for themselves, for others and their terrible deities, sacred and secular.

My own murderous anger is aroused by this act carried out on behalf of "the violently self-righteous"...the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence because it must be consciously born by each man and woman, it must be owned and suffered and if done so then humiliation and humility cannot tarry too long...what is this "terrible speed of mercy" which seems to contradict itself in the saying of it, terrible, mercy, the opposites outright. How is mercy terrible...what is terrible about mercy? To the violent mercy is a terrible thing for it taketh away their identity with the wrathful deity...and mercy is is turned on its head preferring the dead "sinner" to confirm the saintly violent's legitimacy.

"Gods, stand up for bastards." - Shakespeare, "Hamlet"

The "bastards" are the immigrants, the queers, the poor, the blacks, browns, aliens forced "down to size and place", the elderly, the sick, the "other religious" or the "not-relgious," women, orphans, widows, despised and rejected, the denied of compensation and health-care, educational reach, and a fair chance to claim space, "raisins in the sun", indeed.

Wikipedia's explanation of O'Connor's novel sums it up soberingly, the difficult human condition of being caught between the animal (unconscious) and deity (consciousness), where the irony of violence (animal) being consciously put to so-called "divine" (conscious) purposes:

"The title is taken from a verse of the Douay Bible: "From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent bear it away." Matthew 11:12...."There are various explanations for the use of this passage as a title, the most accepted being that violence constantly attacks God and heaven, and that only those violent with the love of God can bear it equally powerful act of violent love for God, bears the previous wrong away...The importance of passion is linked with the power of religion...The idea that everything that destroys also creates is evident as well...Everything that destroys, redeems'."

I haven't the time here to take apart the above summary for it's dark psychological truth and the pathological deity and it's followers bearing out the shadow side of an archetypal power. This pathologically spit deity (good and evil are powerful opposites in deity itself...Jung has written much of this to great controversy and protest by theologians of all religions) impacts the worshipers similarly in that they identify with the deity and therefore become the deity in all it's terrible power and truth, passion and violence. Passion as we know is not rational. It is irrational, it is feeling and when ungrounded in reason becomes a "god unto itself", out of balance and, yes, alas, deadly.

Brewer, McCain, Boehner, et. ick al, will all be mooing loudly within hours now, with outcry and rage against what has happened and refuse to see how they have created the climate for this lone gunman (if he is indeed alone) who "violently bears it away", carries their violence and my/our violence out for them. None, however, are absolved. We all carry our violent, self-righteous selves-as-semi/hemi/demi-deities, and we must must must carry them as consciously as possible.

Apocalypse in Revelations bears all the above out. Christ, the sacrificial "pure" Lamb of God is slain violently by a Pure Father God. Our sins are violently "born away". In Revelations Christ returns no longer as the Lamb of God but as the Ram of God to reap vengeance violently upon the unjust, the Satanic. As are our deities so goes ourselves. The psyche is composed of all these attributions of opposites and only hard earnest work consciously done with humility and humiliation may contribute to having a wholing affect upon ourselves, upon society and, importantly, upon our Violent As Yet To Be Fully Conscious God.

Now to bend to the hard work ahead by first bending the knee.

Mea culpa mea culpa maxiam mea culpa.

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