Las Vegas was devastated yesterday by the largest mass shooting in modern US history. The public is responding properly; calling for no politicians to express their regrets unless we begin to pass meaningful gun reform laws.
Of course the NRA lobby patrols around Congress like the Nine Ringwraiths, making sure everyone stays in line. The NRA itself is given to grandiose hyperbole and corruption, and by their methods many know they are not to be trusted.
When asking myself how the NRA can be pried off of our legislative system, it’s necessary to ask if the NRA itself is a standalone actor or if it is in fact, part of a bigger context or ecosystem of actors.
This could be an organized ecosystem, like a conspiracy, or it could be a cultural context of enabling extreme ego sickness or what is called “narcissism” in the western psychology paradigm. From my own healer’s perspective, this ego sickness is perpetuated by walling in one’s heart and the illusion of complete separation from others. This makes it easy to commit atrocious acts.
The goal of this sickness – termed “Wasichu” in the Lakota language – is to experience domination and control over others. There are paltry few other rewards to be had from that choice, and the negative side effects are legion.
The “defenders” of the Second Amendment love to repeat the phrase “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people”. And that is true. On the other hand, we’ve seen that other countries trust their government enough to pass gun control laws (they’re not constantly in fear that they have to overthrow their government) and they have zero shootings of this kind, which seems like a desirable outcome.
What if the NRA itself as an organization, is merely a symptom of this pervasive culture of selfishness that we give permission to, every single day as we justify how this country works and we justify our own detachment from other living beings, be it our mate or pet or the coral reefs and polar bears?
There is another possibility, which is more in the conspiracy direction. John Perkins describes the way that assassinations are carried out in modern day society; which is that someone who is already unhinged is recruited by someone posing as their friend, who preys on the cracks in their psyche. Using manipulation, this unwell, generally friendless and isolated character is hyped up into a frenzy where they will assassinate the target as a matter of course, when they have the opportunity to do so. You can see that this second, conspiracy theory context actually depends upon the presence of the first, cultural context in order to function.
I do want to point out that all narcissists maintain control over subordinates by a system of non-correlating rewards or punishments. From a dog training blog written by Tim Frawley, M.A. Psychology;
Variable Schedules of reinforcement are the ultimate goal of any intervention. Like the Fixed Schedules, they come in both Ratio and Interval form. A Variable Ratio Schedule of 3:1 means that on the average the person is reinforced for every 3 demonstrations of the target behavior. Reinforcements are administered on an apparently random basis, as far as the individual is concerned. Variable Schedules produce the highest rates of responding and the most resistance to extinction of any of the Reinforcement Schedules. Examples of the Variable Schedules are Lotteries (Ratio) and hunting or fishing (Interval). Most of us have most of our social behaviors reinforced on a Variable Schedule (Think of how often you are complimented!). It can be said that these Schedules induce a kind of paranoia in the individual, who never knows when the next reinforcement is coming. The reality is that the Schedule has to be carefully set in advance in order to ensure that enough reinforcement comes often enough to avoid a phenomena called Ratio Strain. This happens when the Schedule of Reinforcement is set too high and the individual “gives up” before the next reinforcement becomes available. An example of this would be the person who has been paid every two weeks, whose employer decides that pay checks will only be issued once a year. For most people, this would constitute Ratio Strain. On the other hand, if the employer gradually moved toward a “once a year” pay schedule, most people would be able to adapt. Moving through CRF, Fixed, and Variable Schedules in a gradual manner, based on the individual’s abilities serves to reduce the likelihood of Ratio Strain.
Translated into plain language, this means that randomly distributed punishments or rewards can create paranoia, where people spend a lot of time and energy wondering where the next blow is coming from, and it also is used to train the subject to obey more submissively, since they don’t have any control over the situation.
My request to anyone reading this, is to please resist being conditioned by these events. My own practice is to remain open hearted and connected to our human family and our living planet. Neil Young says only love can break your heart. We’re all in this together. Stay open, stay loving, and we’ll get there.
Thanks for your donations, that help me have time to keep dreaming, healing, thinking and writing for you!
I have been healing my sacral creative chakra for some years due to being touched inappropriately when I was three. I don’t want to confront it, but it’s the truth. I was harmed significantly by that behavior.
This is the prayer I used to heal:
I receive all the rights to my creations back with gratitude! Thank you.
I receive others’ agreement stating that I own all the rights to my shakti (creative energy), with gratitude. Thank you!
I receive the lessons of this experience fully. I value myself. The part of me that was damaged is now healed so that predatory people cannot take advantage of my wound and I only attract people who love and encourage my wholeness.
I am grateful to receive the help of wonderful people who I can trust, who will free me from whatever unhealthy relationship I had with the past so that I am relating to it and to everyone in a healthy, self-respecting, empowered way.
I receive the healing of this experience fully and completely into my energetic field and I release all cords between myself and The past completely, with gratitude, forgiveness and unconditional love.
I am ready to receive money and all the other benefits of my creation, to myself and embrace these rewards with gratitude.
And so it is.
How long before it dawns on ‘Merica?
That racism induces error
That good is better than evil
That peace is better than war.
How long before it dawns on ‘Merica?
That female is as worthy as male
That energy is infinite
How long before it dawns on ‘Merica.
We see, we see. The Dawnzer Lee Light.
Klickitat Street, or MAX Light Rail, Portland?
How shall we remember thy name.
Day chases day
Each passing moment rakes
across the world.
How long before it dawns on ‘Merica?
Will the Dawn’s Early Light tell us of
How diminished human beings are by the desire to subjugate;
Don’t you know, that the slave you hold down,
Must be held down.
And while you are holding her down
You will never be free.
“Genocide. That was their intent. To make life hard for us so we’d cause our own destruction.” Brown people, black people, white people who were colonized within Europe and the British Isles. This Hawaiian leader speaks echoes across the millennia of colonization.
The opposite of self-destruction is self-love. Self love is self care AND it is also tending, valuing the planet. It is valuing each other. It is seeing that we are all interconnected. If one of us is hurt, it hurts all of us. If one of us is healed, it heals all of us. Malama pono.
Pursuing relationship and self actualization are, in fact, opposite choices.
However, like the line between night and day, or dreaming and waking, there is a place where they become the same thing.
This is the first clue to the Buddhist idea of rigpa.
The closest moment to the rigpa is the moment of creativity. That is why we must be very careful of our thoughts. To give our life energy to a thought or idea is to realize it.
Original painting by Malian. Prints available at http://www.mauliolafestival.com
The portals. All we are doing is telling a story about ourselves to everyone. Trying to tell a true story. And the portals are when we decide it’s time to change our story.
Yudhistira Purwanto took this photograph in Jogjakarta, Indonesia. I met him and his crew of cinematographic friends as I made my pilgrimage to my mother’s birthplace; becoming more of who I really am. Telling a truer story about me.
Portals are scary. We have to trust that there is something better on the other side. This surrender is the teaching of the Asian philosophies. All the fantasy generated by the Ahamkara, the I-Maker (ego in English) is simply illusion. To invest in the illusion is a grand mistake.
I am Asian. It is my culture to release the illusion. It’s only a story. Maybe a playful story, maybe interesting. Maybe heart-rendering. But just a story. A story we can change.
Happy New Moon.