Urgency

“You can’t just do whatever you feel like.” “You can’t just do anything you want.” “You have to learn self-restraint.” “You’re only interested in gratifying your desires.” “You don’t care about anything but your own pleasure.” Can you hear the judgmentality in these admonitions? Can you see how they reproduce the mentality of domination that runs our civilization? Goodness comes through conquest. Health comes through conquering bacteria. Agriculture is improved by eliminating pests. Society is made safe by winning the war on crime. On my walk today, students accosted me, asking if I wanted to join the “fight” against pediatric cancer. There are so many fights, crusades, campaigns, so many calls to overcome the enemy by force. No wonder we apply the same strategy to ourselves. Thus it is that the inner devastation of the Western psyche matches exactly the outer devastation it has wreaked upon the planet. Wouldn’t you like to be part of a different kind of revolution?

– Eisenstein, The More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know is Possible

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2 Responses to Urgency

  1. e! says:

    How would you rephrase to make such conversations happen in a more peaceful, constructive, and productive manner?

    • Scott Mauer says:

      I think it starts with recognizing the inherently conflict-and-conquest nature of the questions themselves. Once that framework is revealed, we can see the weaknesses, and it’s easier to get people to consider alternatives. It’s a bit like adult attachment styles. If you tell people “the people you are most attracted to will consistently drive you insane”, they won’t listen to you. But if you show them the entire dysfunctional system and how things go wrong despite everyone’s best efforts, people will start to listen.

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