COURAGE – is quite distinct from bravery, which is usually an instinctual response to a perilous situation and implies lack of fear and bold recklessness. Courage, on the other hand, carefully takes into account the dangers of a situation in advance of action and is the product of reason sustained by marshalling one’s powers of moral determination in the face of personal fear. Resolution, tenacity and determined morale are associated with courage; and it is the noble quality of character which enables one to stand firmly for his convictions in spite of persecution.
I was talking with some peers and friends in this field, about our culture and its creation of a mind/body split in us humans and how that is a primary source of
dis-ease; mental/emotional/physical. It got me thinking.
Much of our dependence/addiction, depression, suicide and violence can be laid at the feet of this mind/body split leading and allowing us to go to war. Lack of connection to our own emotional body causes us dis-connect from ourselves, triggering us to destroy each other and the planet.
This is not normal behavior; this is not “human nature”. This is a learned behavior. Racism, for example, is learned behavior. Racism-and other discriminations-are a pernicious evil that need to be actively confronted. NC’s history as a leader in the Civil Rights movement shows us that. Racism is a tool of powerful forces, used to maintain and grow our division with each other. Seeing the true, underlying issues show us it’s not about race, ethnicity, color; it’s about privilege, it’s about class.
The truth is we can model/teach/create Love as we now teach violence. Have no doubt, we do teach violence.
At the same time, I want to balance this with the facts, (from Richard Rohr’s newsletter), “Even though we continue to see war, racism, classism, genocide, and ignorance, violence is actually declining. We may be more aware of the worldâ€™s suffering now than ever before, but as compared with previous periods in history, we are living in a relatively peaceful time.”
This dis-connect creates a vulnerability for whole groups of people to be manipulated by effective tools, empowered by television and all media. You can see symptoms of this manipulation in everything from our purchases to our military/industrial/intelligence complex.
Throughout time, for the known written history of humankind, many nations have avoided dealing with profound issues of injustice and mistreatment, while thronging opportunistic egomaniacs who blame it all on “immigrants”. Like the opioid “epidemic”, none of this is new. It is all related though. There is nothing new under the Sun including the solutions to all this.
My desire for health and healing led me to various bodywork systems, teachers who showed me that the key is to pay attention to the body and work with held-in somatic energy. Scientist/Philosophers like Wilhelm Reich showed us that “You cannot change your thoughts at a basic level without change in your body, in what you do”.
My own work showed me that (re)integration of the emotional body can be painful & hard and, despite my pro-active intentions, slow going. The more you feel the more you feel. Coming out of a lifetime of avoidance through drugs means feeling was not my actual “natural” state. This is a core window into the issues of resistance to recovery; the lack of training or even awareness/understanding of how to live in and deal with uncomfortable feelings. As we shine the light and shrink stigma, I believe a side-effect will be reduced stigma toward feeling in general. Then we’ll see less and less of media stooges parading themselves as macho, all puffed-up as if they are tough guys, as if that’s an answer. As if!
The goal is a fuller-body emotional response to life. We cover ourselves and armor up to deaden pain but then rob ourselves of the true joy of living. Inhibition of an emotional impulse creates tension, which can become permanent. This full-body emotional response is about allowing full feeling response not inappropriate behavior as a reaction to life. We are not talking about an external show of emotionality; we are talking about internal emotional growth and capacity. Maturation.
Wilhelm Reich (24 March 1897 – 3 November 1957), unfairly maligned leader in energy flow studies and student and eventual peer of Freud’s; discovered key energy flows and responses for human growth, such as the core “instroke and outstroke” of energy, like a wave, that animates us alive. His work developed the first systems that release armor and create greater emotional response.
Mark Twain visiting Tesla’s Laboratory
Though he did work with clients, his passion was as a scientist. In that realm, he delved into areas that included free energy motors, free electric power from a global grid and weather control (we’ve know how to bring rain for decades). Lest you shrink from these topics, know that Tesla (the man who taught Edison to wire the nation with AC instead of his planned DC) and others have done fascinating work in this area. There are loads of books out now with schematics, etc. For related information try Jim Oschman’s ‘Energy Medicine’.
These areas make for interesting study when you follow just what happened to Reich and what the FDA did to him. He was brought up on charges related to someone involved with Reich supposedly making claims that an invention of his, the Orgone Box, could cure cancer. It is doubtful he ever said that and it was never proven that anyone made those claims, nor was he charged with anything else. Painted as a kook (though far from it) he did appear to be losing steam during his trial and by all accounts the lawyer for the case was inappropriate. (Personally, the world is so goofy and at times painful, a little kooky seems appropriate). Found guilty, he died in prison after doing 2.5 years of a four year sentence. As he languished in prison the FBI began what has been called the most thorough book burning ever accomplished in America, to the point that they were almost wiped out. Makes me wonder what they were afraid of. An ignominious end for a man searching for the truth.
We live in different days. Various factors have led to a flood of new information available to everyone. Whole new syntheses of outlooks are forming due to this outpouring of information. I have faith we will not shrink from our search for the truth. The Native Elders of this land would remind us that none of this is “new” information.
Allow me to end with a circle back to a bit more historical perspective, here’s a link to a review of a book, Haunted by Leo Brandy. “…some social scientists believe fear is seven times more likely to spread than any other social attitude.”