Thoughts on creation myths

Here’s a thought I had:

It seems that there are many reasons for the development of creation myths.  As a rule, older societies are not trying to explain the physical “scientifically provable” explanation of the worlds creation.  This is because this has no value to older societies.  It seems, to me, that older societies are looking for more deeper human qualities from creation myths.  In short, they are looking for meaning not explanation.  I always thought it was funny how Western society, and scientists in general, tend to look at creation myths like its an “explanation of the world”.  When it doesn’t work, of course, then they are quick to condemn it and ridicule it.  That shows, in my opinion, a very prevalent naiveness and shallowness in science.

Some of the meaning that creation myths offer include:

  • To establish identity of ones tribe.
  • To establish a relationship with the world. 
  • To explain awareness of life.

In general, these all describe a tendency where creation myths describe an association with the world.  It establishes how one, personally or socially, associates with the world.  In this way, they are not explanatory and are definitely not scientific.

CREATION MYTHS AND SOCIETY

It seems, to me, that as the society grows many creation myths lose their meaning and become ‘abstract explanations’.  In short, they are often remembered and recited but its original meaning and value become lost.  This suggests that creation myths are a product of a specific way of life.  I think this way of life is a more ‘primitive lifestyle’ having qualities such as:

  • Its made up of a small group of people.
  • These people are predominately alone in the world and must fend for themselves.
  • They are most likely hunter/gatherer type of people who must “look out into the world” for their sustenance (meaning they don’t grow their food).
  • They are not “settled” or remain in one area but move about.

In these conditions, there is a great need to feel a “deep association with the world”, to establish oneself in the general scheme of existence.  This is because they live actively in the world and, accordingly, actively participate in it.  As a result of this, they are more needing of an association with the world.

As societies grow, and become settled, the need for a “deep association with the world” becomes less and less.  This is because the world tends to “fade” in the face of a growing and settled society, becoming less and less an issue in peoples minds.  What eventually happens is that society replaces the world and people start needing meaning in the social association.  When this happens social structure, for example, becomes more and more critical and will often replace the world in peoples minds.  In some cases, the world literally disappears (as in modern society).

So we see these stages:

  1. World- oriented association
  2. Social-oriented association

Its not uncommon that the world-oriented associations, and the myths they create, persist in the social phase but they tend to lose their meaning.  They generally tend to become “traditional”.  When this happens they tend to lose the meaning and it becomes nothing but a “story”, something they don’t really understand or see meaning in.  Because of this, they tend to be neglected and, oftentimes, forgotten over time.  In many socially oriented societies creation myths can literally disappear.  Many have survived only because they were written down.

THE “AWARENESS CREATION MYTHS”

I often feel that another factor that effects creation myths is how influenced they are by shamans and shamanistic belief.  When this happens, it seems, creation myths can take on a more deeper human experiential quality.  This, of course, is a result of the shamans and their more deeper human experiential quality.  Because of this, their explanations take on a more personal quality.

The shamanistic orientation also tends to emphasize a stronger association with the world.  In other words, the shamanistic orientation tends to reflect a more world-oriented association.  Generally, as the society grows and becomes more settled the world orientation fades and so does the shaman orientation.  As a result, the creation myths tend to lack a deep human experiential quality.  Oftentimes, it becomes primarily social and generalized, such as that “our tribe originated from a specific tree”.

So we can see that creation myths can have these orientations:

  • Personal – generally reflective of shamans, world-oriented, deeper, experiential
  • Social – not reflective of shamans, not world-oriented, generalized, abstract

The more personal shamanistic based thinking often makes for a more complicated, and deeper, creation myth (the social based ones seeming more “simpler”).  In fact, a complicated creation myth may be a sign of the influence of shamans.

Another aspect of the shaman quality is that it can reflect what I often call an ‘intermediary god’ (see “Thoughts on the ‘intermediary god’ and the gradations of god“).  This is really a god that originates from a person, usually with a religious purpose, such as a shaman or King.  Generally, it is not a specific person that it originates from but, rather, an “office “or occupation they perform.  In an ‘intermediary god’, the “office” or occupation becomes the god, so to speak, and the myths revolve around what they do and create.  Because of this, the myths around the ‘intermediary god’ often becomes a repository of many generations of people which build on and add to the myths.  In this way, the myths are reflective a something these people do and, accordingly, reflect a more involved personal experience.   I tend to think that there are a number of gods that may reflect this tendency:  the Hindu god Siva, the Norse god Odin, and possibly Lao Tzu, for example. 

One of the things that it seems the ‘intermediary god’ creates is a quality of myth reflecting their awareness of the world.  We could speak of these as the “awareness creation myths”.  This is not surprising as much of shamanism, and religion in general, is nothing but a form of awareness.  In fact, I consider god as an awareness (see my article “Thoughts on my saying: “god is awareness” – the ‘dilemma of god-awareness’“).  Its probably for this reason that awareness tends to figure in the myths created by shamans, ‘intermediary gods’, and such.

We must remember that the “awareness creation myths” are not intending to describe the actual physical “scientifically provable” act of creation but, rather, the creation of a awareness of the world.  In this way, “awareness creation myths” often reveal the “coming into being of awareness” in their story.   This “awareness”, oftentimes, becomes the basis of a world view which may end up underlying much of the religion, belief systems, and how the culture interpret the world.  This is a good example of how influential shamans, ‘intermediary gods’, etc. can be on a society, where there whole world view has a basis in what these people do and how they perceive things.

It seems, to me, that the “awareness creation myths” tend to reflect a specific type of society which has qualities such as:

  • Its a more organized society.
  • There is an “office” or occupation that is well-defined (a shaman, for example).
  • A tradition of learning that is passed from generation to generation, particularly in that “office”.
  • Its a society that is still somewhat world-oriented but not overly social-oriented.

So we see that the existence of shamans doesn’t automatically create it but more is required.  In fact, the “awareness creation myths” seems to reflect a society in transition, from a world-oriented shaman society to a more social-oriented settled society.  Once the society becomes social-oriented the “awareness creation myths” tend to disappear.

THE LOSS OF CREATION MYTHS AND WHAT THEY MEAN

The loss of creation myths, and the meaning and association with the world they give us, tend to have great impact on us as a people, I think.  In many ways, it seems that what a lot of people are trying to do in modern civilized society, especially, is to regain what creation myths created, namely meaning and an association with the world.  The preoccupation with science, technology, knowledge, etc. all seem reflective of this “abortive effort” as none of them seem to be succeeding.  All it does is give an illusion of what creation myths offer.  Despite all the modern civilized world does, despite all the knowledge we create or discover, despite all the theories, despite all the science, despite all the technology, we will never regain what creation myths offered.

Why is this?

Because, as I said above, creation myths reflect a way of life.  What is needed is not knowledge, science, technology, etc. but a way of life, a way of life where the world figures strongly in life.  Modern civilized life, sadly, is like living in a shell protected from the world and what it is.  In this way, it as if “null and voids” any development of a way of life that is world-oriented.  The “modern shell” will always keep us away from the world and a way of life that actively associates with the world and which makes creation myths, with its meaning and association, come alive and have value.  In this way, we will never know the value of these myths.


Copyright by Mike Michelsen

Posted in Existence, Awareness, Beingness, Consciousness, Conceptionism, and such, Mythology, Religion and religious stuff | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Thoughts on boredom and depression – the importance of the self’s need for projection

Some time ago I found myself bored.  This made me think about it and what it was.  It also got me talking about some other things, such as depression.  Here are some of my thoughts:

PROJECTION OF THE SELF

Normally, we tend to feel that boredom is a result of “having nothing to do”.  I tended to feel that there was something more behind it.  I felt that boredom is actually related to what I call the projection/extension of the self (see my articles “Thoughts on the pre-self, primal self, world self, post-self, and the greater self” and “Thoughts on the progression of projection“).

Projection is related to a tendency where we see ourselves as the world.  In other words, the world is not just something “perceived” but a “part of us” or, rather, an extension of us.  It originates from our earliest years before the self has appeared.  At this stage we feel no difference between ourselves and the world . . . they are one.  As the self develops, though, we begin to feel a sense of the world and our self as a separate entity.  I often speak of this early phase when the self and world are equated as the ‘pre-self’.  The equation of self and world, during this time, is ‘projection’.  Since the tendency to equate the self and world – projection – is so rooted in our perception of things we naturally tend to continue this tendency after the self develops.

The tendency to equate our self with the world after the self has appeared I call ‘extension’.  Because ‘extension’ is so closely related to ‘projection’ I tend to speak of both of these tendencies as ‘projection’ unless I am being specific.

The projection tendency tends to create a strong sense and bond between the self and the world making the world very “real” and “alive” and a part of “me”.   In other words, the world is not just some inanimate object that is “just there”.  One effect of this is that it makes life something that is “experienced” and “lived”.  As a result of this, our association with the world becomes very influential and critical in how we view ourselves, the world, and our growth.  In some sense, projection becomes the “base of life” as everything rests on it.  This is because projection has impact on things like:

  • Self – how we view our self, as well as its development.
  • Association – how we relate with the world.
  • World – our views about the world.

In this way, we could say that these three things reflect three “self’s”:

  1. The “individual self” – this is the self, independent of the world, the self-as-self.
  2. The “association self” – this is the self that associates the individual self with the projected self below, the self-as-association.
  3. The “projected self” – this is the world as a reflection of the projected self . . . that is, our self-as-world.

Because of projection, the world is perceived as being part of our “self” which shows that our view of the world, and our association with it, is really a reflection of our selfAs a result, problems with the association with the world often tends to reflect problems with our “self”, not the actual world itself.  We basically confuse the world with our self.  This, it seems to me, is seen in boredom . . .

BOREDOM

Boredom, Projection, and the Self

Boredom seems to be when the self cannot find some means for projection.  This means that it is much more than “just having nothing to do” but, rather, it describes a problem or inability in the self.  In this way, boredom is a manifestation of a problem with the self, not just a lack of activity, though a lack of activity can instigate this problem in the self.  So we see two forms of boredom:

  1. Boredom as a problem or inability of the self.
  2. The condition above being instigated in the self as a result of a lack of activity.

Some of the descriptions of boredom include:

  • There is no “doing”.  That is, one is “doing nothing” or “there is nothing to do”.
  • There is nothing to associate with.  That is, “there’s no one to play with”.
  • There is “nothing” in the world.  By this I mean that “there is nothing to be a part of”.
  • There is the wrong state of mind.  One may, for example, be in an “apathetic mood”.

These descriptions show that there is more to boredom than “having nothing to do” and that it can hit deeper into the self.  As a result, they reveal much about the purpose of projection and how it affects the self.  In other words, these descriptions reveal some traits of what the projection does to the self.  These include:

  • Doing.  The self needs something to do.  It needs something to keep it active.
  • Association. The self needs something to associate with.  That is, it must see something ‘beyond itself’.
  • Part of something.  The self needs to be a part of something.  This could be things like a job, a family, a hobby, an activity, etc .  This shows how projection is a quality that instinctively needs something else.
  • State of mind.  The self needs a state of mind that facilitates the self.   This shows that the self needs the “correct” state of mind and that the “wrong” state of mind can hinder the performance of the self.

What these shows is that the self uses projection because it needs, and seeks, these things.  In this way, we can see that projection is a critical and necessary part of the self’s association with the world.  It also shows that the self needs to relate with the world and that projection is part of the relationship between the self and the world.  In this way, projection as if stands in between the self and the world.  Without projection the self is hampered.

Qualities  and Orientations of Projection

As we can see above, there are various qualities or forms of projection . . . it isn’t just “one form”.  These same qualities also varies with its relationship with the world and the self.  That is to say, qualities of projection that is closest to the world reflect more “worldly qualities” and qualities closest to the self reflect more “self-based qualities”.  In this way, we could could say that something like a spectrum is created with the world on one end and the self on the other:

world>>>doing—association—part of something—state of mind<<<self

We can see that the more “worldly based qualities” tend to involve association with the world.  The more “self-based qualities” tend to involve aspects of the self.  In this ways, we could say that there tends to be two orientations of projection:

  1. “World-oriented projection”
  2. “Self-oriented projection”

Typically, problems of projection tend to be one form or the other but they end up affecting the opposite form sooner or later.  For example, when some people become bored its because there’s “nothing to do”.  This shows a problem with “world-oriented projection” (that is, there is no “doing”).  This can eventually start to affect the “self-oriented projection” and a person could start to have problems associated with their self (such as getting depressed, frustrated, etc.).

Projection and the “Completion  of the Self”

Since the self needs projection to experience life it shows that projection “completes” the self.  The self, by itself, is only half a self . . . the self projected is what “completes” the self.  What this shows, of course, is that there is an innate need to see ourselves in the world, to make our self “live” by making the world “live”.  The loss or inability for projection prevents this happening.  This creates feelings such as “loss”, “frustration”, “stagnation”, etc.  Feelings, such as these, are really the base of boredom.  In this way, we could say that boredom is an inability of the self to “complete” itself because there is a problem with projection.  Accordingly, the self does not “live”, causing anguish, and the world does not “live”, making it seem “dead” . . . boredom.

But since boredom is much like a “frustration”, and can be painful, it shows that it also has another side to it.  Basically, the self is trying to rid itself of the problem.  In other words, the self is trying to project itself but is having difficulty achieving it.  Despite this, it continues to try.  It strives and strives making boredom feel worse and worse and more painful.  In this way, it shows that boredom is also the self trying to “complete” itself when its having difficulty.  In fact, one could say that boredom is when one feels this strongly.  In some sense, one could compare it to a “gasping for breath”.

Experiencing Boredom

There seems to be several ways boredom is experienced:

  • Boredom as an event.
  • An overall sense of boredom which often comes and goes.
  • A way of life that permeates ones life.

When we think of boredom we generally think of the former.  In this form, boredom is a transitory event.  Not only that, it is generally in response to actual conditions (such as the fact that you do not have anything to do).  In this way, it is a normal and common event in life.

The latter two, being more general, tends to show that there is a deeper side to boredom.  It tends to be more prevalent even to the point of dominating (in the later case)In addition, it tends to not be in response to actual conditions.  Often, this shows that there is something involving the self.  This can reflect several conditions:

  1. A problem with the self (such as a neurosis, psychosis, etc.).
  2. A naturally appearing dilemma that involves the self (such as growth, religious feelings, etc.).

In this way, we could see that extensive boredom can be “bad” (a sign of a mental problem) or “good” (a sign of growth).  Sometimes, the line between these is not easy to draw.

Boredom and Belief

The naturally appearing dilemma form suggest a relationship between boredom and belief.  In other words, when one does not have a belief one tends to feel a general sense of boredomThat is to say, belief tends to alleviate the more general sense of boredom.  This is because belief tends to offer certain particular projection qualities described above – association, part of something, and state of mind – to the self.  When belief is absent these are absent from the self hindering projection and causing a greater tendency to boredom.

Interestingly, when lack of belief causes a lack of projection, and boredom, people tend to seek the more “worldly-oriented projection” as if to compensate for it and alleviate the boredom.  That is to say, they tend to seek the “doing”.  They try to find activities that make them do things, such as bicycling, building models, etc.  Being more world-oriented they tend to be physical in form with an absence of self orientations.  For some people this can become a way of life.  But all it is, really, is a life of avoiding boredom by overemphasizing the qualities that best avoid it.  That is, by being “active” the boredom caused by lack of belief is alleviated and appears to be gone.  Deep down, though, the boredom remains creating a great inner “emptiness” within many people.

This situation is seen a lot in civilization.  Life in a civilization tends to, by its nature, cause a boredom in people.  One could even go so far as to say that a lot of the traits of civilization is a reaction to boredom or, to be more precise, an avoidance of boredom.  A lot of this, it seems to me, is a result of the absence of belief civilization tends to cause in people.  This as if cause a reaction such as this:

  1. The lack of belief . . . an inability to project . . . boredom.
  2. A moving away from a self orientation.
  3. A sense of emptiness deep within caused by the boredom.
  4. A moving to a more “active” orientation (the “doing”) as the only means to not be bored.
  5. The creation of an “active” based life to avoid boredom.

In this way, a life of avoiding boredom is created, though it doesn’t appear that way.  This is because their more “active” orientation hides it all making it seem that they are not bored at all.

Dealing with Boredom

Generally, the first solution to boredom is try to find something to do.  This often works for the simpler transitory form of boredom (“boredom as an event”).  But for the deeper forms of boredom it often does not work.  As a result, other techniques are required.

Because boredom is associated with the self a common “solution” to the deeper forms of boredom is to find some ways to forget ones self.  This often appears in ways such as:

  • A self loss – a “letting go” of ones self, such as forgetting that one exists (seen in something like Buddhism)
  • Passive action – some diversion like watching TV (the self remains passive)
  • Active action – finding something that one is passionate about (the self becomes active)
  • Inner action – developing a deep belief in something (such as religion or some cause)

Typically, several ways are used together and one complements the another.  Also remember that these are actions of the self, of what the self does.  This is because boredom is a problems of the self and the self must be addressed in dealing with it.

I should point out that since the self is stagnate in boredom it often has no “will”.  As a result, one often has to put themselves in a situation where they “find themselves” doing one of these activities.  That is to say, a person doesn’t just will one of these things to happen and boredom goes away.  In a state of boredom the will is weak and generally unable to will anything to happen.  As a result, a person often has to allow themselves to be put in a position where these things as if happen on their own and they are as if “swept into” these activities.  In this way, being “swept into” them as if takes the place of ones will.  In some cases, something like a friend, a commitment, or conditions, will end up forcing a person to do these activities . . . otherwise, they would never be done at all.

Sometimes, the solution to boredom is to be around other people.  These other people as if take the place of your stagnate self and lack of “will”.  In this way, they may help initiate one self out of boredom.

DEPRESSION

Boredom can affect how one views these things:

  • Ones self (“I feel worthless”).
  • The world (“the world is empty”).
  • How one associates with the world (“there’s nothing to do”).

Sometimes one is felt and sometimes many are felt.  These problems, typically, are transitory and only last as long as the boredom lasts but can be somewhat severe at times for some people. What these show is that boredom tends to have a depressive quality and can even cause a depression.  In this way, we can see that depression is a form of the failure of projection. 

Some qualities of depression include:

  • A lack or inability of projection – “inhibited projection”
  • A projection turned inward – “inward projection”

Generally, these tend to go together.  As a result, depression is the self’s tendency to a projection that is turned inward because it is unable to project itself onto the world.  In other words, it is “the need for projection gone in the wrong direction”.  And, like boredom, it has the impetus of the self trying to project but having difficulty achieving it.  In this way, depression entails a drive of the self to find a means for projection.  This gives depression, like boredom, a drive that can make it worse and worse.

“Inhibited projection” and “inward projection” tends to cause sensations similar to the senses described above (doing, association, part of something, state of mind).  They reflect common feelings in depression.  These sensations include:

  • A desire to do nothing – a lack of “doing”.
  • A sense of being detached from the world and people – a lack of “association”.
  • That what one does has no “value” – a lack of being “a part of something”.
  • An instability of mind – the wrong “state of mind”.

These all describe a failure of projection, which causes an inability of the self to “complete” itself.  This tends to cause reactions of the self that can be quite dramatic.  These include:

  • A feeling of death
  • A feeling a loss
  • A feeling of failure
  • A feeling of inability

These all show a dilemma of the self and that the self is as if “failing” to work.  This is because the self cannot project itself and is not being “complete”.  In extreme depression, the self is as if dying and failing to maintain itself as a separate entity because of this.  This causes several senses:

  • That the world, and everything in it, is not living and is dead
  • That the self is dying and ceasing to exist

If these are strong enough it can create a desire to die, which can even lead to suicide.  These are common problems in depression.  The former sense is caused by “inhibited projection” which causes the later, “inward projection”, which fails.  When both of these fails the self has nowhere else to project.  Having nowhere to project the person see’s “life” nowhere and begins to seek to “not be”.  This eventually turns into a desire to die.

Because depression causes one to turn inward, toward the self, it often tends to create a form of a narcissism, or a strong self concern, in depression.  This can play a big part.  It tends to add a new “force” that can do things such as:

  • It can “push” a person deeper into depression.
  • It can prevent a person getting out of depression as the depression has begun to satisfy a narcissism.

In this way, narcissism has this odd effect that it can give depression a quality of getting into a hole one can’t get out of.  Because of boredoms association with depression it often takes on a similar quality, of a hole one can’t get out of.  As a result, one often feels “trapped” by boredom as well, and unable to get out of it.

AFTERTHOUGHT

Overall, boredom and depression tends to described a “poverty of self” or, more precisely, a “poverty of self experience” primarily by an inability to projection.  In this way, they are really a form of self dilemma and are reactions that can end up doing more damage.  In some respects, one could compare them to an inflammation . . . it is a natural reaction to an adverse condition, and usually helps, but the reaction can get out of control and end up creating more problems than the condition that caused it.


Copyright by Mike Michelsen

Posted in Existence, Awareness, Beingness, Consciousness, Conceptionism, and such, Life in general, Philosophy, Psychology and psychoanalysis | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Some thoughts on the relationship between identity and the mother instinct

Here’s a thought I had (some of which I’ve spoken of before):

There is a close association between identity and the mother instinct.  This is no surprise as one of the purposes of identity is to take impulses, desires, and drives and direct them into a healthy and meaningful direction.  As a result of this, the mother instinct is very dependent on identity to make it useful and productive.

ASPECTS OF PASSION AND IDENTITY

Identity does several things to impulses, desires, and drives.  It seems to do these things:

  • Direction – the “directed identity”It takes the impulses, desires, and drives, and directs them in a product place.
  • Molding – the “molding identity”.  It changes them to fit the situation and conditions.

We can see, then, that there are really two forms of identity.  Generally, an identity fulfills both qualities.  That is, the identity that leads a passion somewhere also ends up automatically molding it to the situation.  But there are cases where this is not true.  In other words, there are times when an identity may lead you somewhere but stops there.  A person will then have to discover another identity to make the passion valuable.  Sometimes, this may appear as a self-questioning, of “why did I want to do this?” or something similar.  In this way, we could see that there are two ways in which identity works:

  • The “unified identity”.  This is where the first identity finds its place and automatically molds it to the conditions.  This appears almost like a reflex action, without the self.
  • The “detached identity”.  This is where the first identity works but the second one doesn’t.  This seems to require an effort of the self.

In general, the “detached identity” does not entail an automatic molding of passion.  As a result, the discovering of this identity requires deliberate action of the self.  This deliberate action, though, may be unconscious or conscious.  In other words, a person may not “know” that they are seeking identity if its unconscious.  When it requires conscious effort, though, it often puts great demands on the self, often causing great pain and turmoil.  As a result of this, the conscious discovering of identity can foster great growth of ones self.  In this way, identity is associated with growth and development.

The two identities seems to be part of a greater process in the passion/identity association.  It appears to go like this:

  1. Passion.  These are the impulses, desires, and drives.  They primarily consist of a force within a person.  Its a force that needs to go to a specific location (the “place” . . . see below).
  2. “Directed identity”.  This is what gives the passion – the force – a direction and to make it find the “place”.
  3. “Place”.  Its here that the passion is needing to be, so to speak.
  4. “Molding identity” – This is identity that molds the passion to fit the “place”.
  5. Productivity.  When the place is found the passion, and passion molded to make it useful, the passion then becomes “satisfied” and “complete”.  This then makes the passion productive and useful.  It does this by making the passion productive and useful but also in giving a sense of productivity and usefulness in the person.  In this way, productivity of the passion is very critical in a persons sense of satisfaction, usefulness, and productivity in life as well as making them feel “complete” as a person.  This is one reason why identity is so important in life.

One can see that, in this process, its as if passion is “seeking” the proper place to go and is needing identity to get it there and make it useful.  Perhaps we could call this the “passion seeking tendency”?  This is the principle that passion is always seeking a specific place to be.  This fact shows that there is specific “place” for each passion.  This makes passion particularistic and “touchy”.  In other words, passion can’t just “go anywhere”.

A big part of identity problems is that it is leads passion in one of these places:

  • The wrong place.  In this case, it can be placed where other passions should be or its mistaken for another passion or it conflicts with another passion.
  • No place.  Here the passion has no way to be “completed” so it can literally disappear and, after a time, “die off”.

The effect of these is that it tends to cause problems such as:

  • It leaves a person feeling “incomplete” or “empty” in life.
  • They are always “scrambling” or “desperately seeking” something, in which they generally have no idea what it is.
  • They struggle with various passions, impulses, desires, and drives.  Often, the ones they struggle with tell the passion that has problems.

In these ways, a person with identity problems tends to “struggle with themselves”.  Much of this is seen with females with identity problems.

Overall, one of the effects of identity is that it fosters growth of a person, both as an individual and in society.  Its absence tends to leave a very unstable and unhealthy person who is often controlled by these impulses, desires, and drives.  Females, in particular, are particularly prone to this condition.  Because of this, identity plays an important and unique role for the female than it does not with the male.  This primarily has to do with the power and effects of the mother instinct.

THE POWER OF THE MOTHER INSTINCT

The mother instinct is not something to look at lightly as, despite how females may appear to be on the outside, the mother instinct has a great influence on them interiorly and, in many cases, it has a controlling and dominating influence on them.  Interestingly, very few females are aware of its power over them.  To say that many females are slaves to the mother instinct would not be far from the truth.  What this reveals is a number of things:

  • The power behind the mother instinct, that we are dealing with a controlling and dominating impulse.  This is a power that many females cannot control.
  • That many females aren’t fully aware of the mother instinct consciously.  I’ve seen few mention it.  For many females, there even develops a deep inner fear of this “hidden and mysterious” mother instinct that they may sense but can’t perceive.
  • The deep, and instinctual, sense of the importance of motherhood in the female.  We must remember that motherhood, and childbearing, is a sense that “hits deep”, far deeper than many people may realize.  Perhaps one could even say that it is one of the deepest senses in the female.  Sadly, many females, particularly in this society, have completely lost “contact” with the mother sense (see my article “Thoughts on female identity problems – an example of how females are losing the ability to interpret their own naturally appearing motherly feelings, the ‘alienated mother desire’, and other things“).  Despite this, deep down in their minds, it lies and exerts a deep-rooted power over them.

Because of the powerful deep-rooted nature of the mother instinct it is associated with many impulses that contain much force.  I should point out that these are not just little “desires” and petty “wants”.  These are powerful instinct-based impulses.  As a result, the mother instinct is one of those powerful impulses that needs to be “directed” in the right direction.  This is why identity is so important for the female as it offers such direction.  Because of this, there is a close association with identity and mother instinct.  With the lack of identity to give the mother instinct a purpose, place, and a role the deep instinctual impulses of the mother instinct have no definite direction.  Many females become overwhelmed and controlled by the mother instinct impulses as a result.

I should point out that, since the mother instinct is so powerful, and deep, almost all females struggle, at least to some extent, with the power it has over them.  In general, this struggle tends to create something like a “fragile” or “unstable” quality in the female.  This quality creates what is often called “femininity”.  These tendencies, though they may create a “fragility”, usually do not get out of hand with healthy females.

In addition, because menstruation is associated with childbearing and the mother instinct these “fragile” feelings often become more pronounced during that time.  How females reacts to it varies.  Again, identity helps a lot in directing all these impulses in a healthy direction.  But, for some females, they will alternate from being “in control” to “out of control” during this time.  For other females, this sense of “fragility” will impress upon themselves a great sense of great “instability” that can cause problems for them.  This often predisposes girls to low self-esteem, for example.

When identity is lacking the tendency to be swayed by the mother instinct becomes strong and can overpower them.  This can cause a great conflict with the mother instinct that many females have.  In some respects, its almost like they are fighting with themselves.  A whole war is often being waged within themselves.  In some cases, they drag other people into it, often blaming and accusing them for the problems they have.  In this way, conflict with the mother instinct often has a tendency to cause false blame and the villanization of innocent people.

SOME EFFECTS OF FEMALE IDENTITY PROBLEMS

There seems to be something like a progression that often takes place with many females who struggle with the mother instinct as a result of identity problems (at least in the U.S.).  It goes something like this:

  1. They begin to see themselves as a victim or victimized.  They often develop a “victim world view” where they see victimizing everywhere and in everything.  The femalehood, and being female, becomes associated with being a victim.  This develops a poor view of the female, as well as “feeling bad with themselves”, which leads to the next phase . . .
  2. With the “victim world view”, and the poor view of the female it creates, there develops a contempt for being female and everything female (see my article “Thoughts on some aspects of female identity problems“).  Since much of this conflict is not conscious, as I described above, many females are not overtly aware of this contempt.  It appears in things like problems they have, feelings, attitudes, beliefs, and points of view they take.

With this contempt it can go in a number of directions, such as:

  1. The growth of contempt creates a tendency where they flee everything female.  The best example of this is how many will try to be a man.  They will also avoid things associated with being female.  As a result, they often “despise” things that are “traditionally” associated with the female, and view it in a bad light.
  2. As a reaction against the self-contempt they feel they “go in the opposite direction” and develop a tendency to a sense of superiority, self-glorification, conceit, and vanity.  I’ve seen this so bad that they start thinking the world revolves around them and that they are the answer to the worlds problems.  Most will not go this far but will develop a very inflated and exaggerated view of themselves.
  3. They see themselves as always fighting some threat.  They sometimes will act like the world is plotting against them.  In other cases, they act like they are fighting against an imagined “threat from the males”.

At the base of all these is the sense of being a “victim”.  How far they progress, and the direction they take, often varies with their personality and conditions of life.

THE “VICTIM”

The reason why being a “victim” is so critical is, of course, because it is associated with the mother instinct.  Because of this, the sense of being a “victim” is a result of a number of things created by the mother instinct, such as:

  • The sense of being controlled – This refers to the power of the mother instinct has over them and how they feel powerless to it.
  • Fabricating false abuses – This refers to the need to have a grasp on the problem, regardless of how they do it.  In this way, this tendency shows how they feel that they are not in control and is an attempt to feel that they are in control.  In many cases, they get “carried away” with these abuses, almost as if they are going into a fantasyland world. 
  • Feeling that they are being “hurt” in some way – This is a reference to the sense of “damage” associated with menstruation and childbearing.  As a result of this, females tend to make a deep unconscious association between menstruation, childbearing, sex, the male, and being a victim (in other words, anything associated with childbearing “hurts” them in some way).  This sense of “hurt” can be so bad that they get to the point of paranoia, even to think that the world is trying to hurt them.  Because the male is associated with childbearing, it not uncommon for them to think that the male is plotting against them (see my article “Thoughts on female identity problems – an example of how females are losing the ability to interpret their own naturally appearing motherly feelings, the ‘alienated mother desire’, and other things“).
  • The sense of a lack of control – This refers to the lack of a complete self . . . what I call the Partial Self (see my article “Thoughts on the female ‘flight from self’ – The Principle of the ‘Partial Mind’“).  The mother instinct is actually rooted in an absence of self for the female.  Nature has as if given the female an incomplete self and, accordingly, a perpetual need for something else to “complete” it.  It is the “child” that “completes” the females incomplete self, the ‘Partial Mind’.  In this way, “motherly love” is not really an emotional attachment but the result of the child being perceived as part of their self . . . the child being perceived as “a part of them”.  One effect of this ‘Partial Mind’ is that it makes the female self always lacking and in need for someone else to “complete” them.  This tendency predisposes the female to a tendency of never having complete control (as they do not have a “complete” self to do it).  This makes them never in control creating a sense of having no control.   
  • Blame and accusation – This refers to the instinctual sense of what I call the “other”, which the mother instinct creates.  In actuality, the “other” is a reference to an innate sense of a “child”, in particular, but can also refer to the male as he is associated with childbearing (see my article “Thoughts on the ‘mystic child’“).  This mother instinct based sense of the “other” tends to give females a sense of their always being “someone else involved”.  As a result, it makes them tend to blame and accuse people for their problems. 

These all contribute to the sense of being a “victim” which seems so prevalent with the mother instinct.  When females are exposed to these on a large scale, as is often the case with identity problems, it creates a need to defend themselves from it.  Its for this reason that they find various means to deal with it, as described above.  What this means is that the lives of many females consist primarily of reacting and defending themselves from the effects the mother instinct has upon them.  This is particularly so with identity problems where the effects of the mother instinct are more pronounced.  In this way, their reaction actually amounts to a symptom and, for some of them, this determines and dominates their life.  A good example are feminists with their world view of “being oppressed by the male since the beginning of time” and such, as I mentioned above.

THE CREATION OF A FALSE WORLD

One effect of when the mother instinct dominates the female is that it causes them to fabricate a false world in their mind.  This primarily consists of two fabrications:

  1. Fabricated abuse.  They see abuse that doesn’t exist or they make something out as abuse.
  2. Fabricated blame.  They find people to blame for their abuse.  My experience is that the male is first, then society.

These are part of a “victim world view” that the mother instinct often creates in females.  This can appear in a number of ways:

  • Sporadically – Its often seen during menstruation but can appear in some females from time to time or in certain situations.
  • Mild – It is a generalized attitude that affects some of their views of life.  It can create neurotic-like symptoms.
  • Severe – This can reach the point of a paranoid delusion.

However it appears, this fabricated world tends to make many females live in a non-existent world.  In this way, it shows that the mother instinct is so powerful that it can disconnect the female from the world and create a false world.  If it gets bad it tends to take on a quality of a paranoid delusion.  This tendency, I believe, tends to be a result of some basic traits associated with the mother instinct:

  • The sense of being a victim
  • The sense of the “other”

These naturally appearing tendencies predispose the female to paranoia . . . for example, “he’s trying to oppress me!”

This same paranoia can appear in different ways as there are many variations of the “victim” mentality.  In some cases, it doesn’t appear to be a “victim” mentality.  A good example is that they feel that “no one likes me”.  It doesn’t seem like it but this still reflects the “victim” mentality.  One could say that the “victim” mentality can be stated in this way: 

“Some one else is adversely affecting me!” 

In other words, someone else is doing something that is bothering me.  Knowing that this is a manifestation of the mother instinct one can’t help but note that this has a quality of a “mother responding to a child’s cry” . . . the someone else is the child who is calling for the mother and this bothers her.  I believe this to be the case.  Its a manifestation of the ‘mystic child’, the deep inner sense of the child “before it appears”.  In a way, the mother instinct is making the female respond to a child that is non-existent, being bothered by a cry of a child that isn’t there.  This fact shows a number of things:

  • Its another example of the female not being able to sense the mother instinct and its effects.  Because of this, they are unaware of it.
  • Its an example of the fabricated world the mother instinct creates as the female is reacting to a non-existent condition.

It also reveals how the “victim” mentality is closely associated with the “separation with the child” or, rather, the longing for a “missing child”.  In this way, it shows that there is an association between the “victim” mentality and the mothers longing for a missing child.  In a sense, they are “victims” of this “longing”.

What this “longing” shows is the deep pain of a “missing child” and the deep need the female needs for a child.  In effect, it causes a “deep hurt” that “victimizes” them.  Interestingly, this “longing” for a “missing child” often has no association with the real world (that is, they are often mothers and it still manifests itself).  This is because there is a difference between the deep unconscious instinctual world of the mother instinct and the real world reality.  In fact, the mother instinct seems to create an “independent world” within the female that is often unaffected or non-responsive to the “outer world”.  In this way, many mother instinct impulses continue to manifest themselves regardless of the “outer world” situation.  As a result, they will continue to “desire a child” regardless of how many children they have, how satisfied they are at being mothers, and so on.  Perhaps we could call this inner world the “interior mother instinct world”?  It is this interior world that is the source of the false world described above.

This tendency to the creation of a false world reveals a need for females to be “implanted” in the world.  That is to say, there has to be a “connection” between the world and the “interior mother instinct world”.  If this “connection” is not made then they can live as two separate entities, creating something like two minds in the female.  Identity creates this “connection” a number of ways:

  • As a medium for passion and impulses – this allows them to be manifested and displayed.
  • As a means for the creation of form – it gives it a “shape” and quality that is unique and “personalized”.
  • As a means for purpose and meaning – this gives the impulses a satisfaction and place.

Unlike the male the female is not “implanted” in the greater world by actively participating and doing things (such as biking, boating, etc.).  The female is “implanted” in the world in a different way because of her different character and mother instinct.  The effect of the mother instinct tends to create other needs, such as:

  • A “people orientation”.  The mother instinct makes the female more needing of other people.  As a result, they tend to need to be around people more.  They typically need to feel themselves “in the midst of people” and with a definite place and role.
  • The needing of other females.  The mother instinct does tend to cause a tendency for females to “congregate” together, almost as if to create a “greater female body”.  The example of older females (such as grandma) is also far more critical than is commonly supposed.  Also, since children are viewed as an extension of the female body, at least when they are young, children are also a part of this “greater female body” group.
  • A defined space – the ‘female niche’.  This is a “space” that females need all to themselves (see my article “More thoughts on the ‘female crisis’ – the need for self respect and the ‘niche’“).  This is usually both mental and physical.  It tends to reflect a more private aspect of the female.

With things, such as these, the “interior mother instinct world” tends to be blended with the outer world.  In this way, the female is more “implanted” in the world.  As a result, the mother instinct is more satisfied and productive in their life.

AFTERTHOUGHT

Overall, then, we see that identity actually protects the female from the mother instinct.  When identity isn’t there then females end up having to find ways to defend themselves from its power and control.  This gives female identity a very unique, special, and critical quality.

In America, especially, many females have lost their identity.  Because of this, many American females are struggling with the mother instinct (its almost a definable trait).  The result of this is that it has revealed many aspects of this problem, how it affects them, and how they deal with it.  In addition, it is revealing many aspects of the mother instinct that were previously hidden by behind female identity.  Interestingly, much of the qualities of the mother instinct were never seen because of female identity, which as if “hid” it and its qualities.  This made it very difficult (almost impossible) to see many aspects of the mother instinct.  This is one reason why the mother instinct receives such small notice, despite the importance it plays in life.  But, with the loss of the female identity, traits of the mother instinct are now being played out in open view for all to see.  Now, all you have to do is look . . .


Copyright by Mike Michelsen

Posted in Identity and identity problems, Mother instinct, Psychology and psychoanalysis, The male and female | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Thoughts on the “Quixote phenomena” – ongoing effects of the Crusades

There is something which I have been calling the “Quixote phenomena”.   Sometimes I call it the “Quixote effect”.  It is a strange and interesting phenomena that began with the Crusades and has had great impact on Western society.  The name is based on the lead character in “The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha” by Miquel de Cervantes.   It was published in two parts, in 1605 and 1615.  It describes a man called Don Quixote who has been fascinated by books of Knightly adventures and wants to go out into the world and recreate these adventures.  As he does this he keeps misinterpreting things to fit the image of the Knightly adventures.  Probably his most famous act is mistaking windmills for giants which he then jousts.

So we see that Don Quixote did a number of things:

  • The use of the image of the Knight.
  • Reenactment of the Knights.
  • Misinterpretation.

These traits play a significant role in the “Quixote phenomena” and, in some respects, defines it.  Amazingly, the behavior of Don Quixote (that is, the displaying of these traits) would be very similar to what followed in Western Europe, particularly in England and France and the U.S.   Its almost as if Cervantes foresaw a movement in society that was taking place.  Perhaps it is what motivated the idea of Don Quixote?

THE “QUIXOTE MOVEMENT”

This movement, in many ways, has been a significant factor in Western society for centuries (particularly the past 200-400 years).  Because of this, we could very well speak of a “Quixote movement” in Western European history.  It seems to have definite phases:

  1. 1100’s-1400’s – Crusades inspires stories of “Knightly glory”.
  2. 1500’s – Protestantism appears – a lull in “Knightly glory”.
  3. 1600’s – A revival of “Knightly glory” appears, generally without religious references.
  4. 1700’s – “Knightly glory” grows, spreading to the common people who take on the image.
  5. 1800’s – “Knightly glory” flourishes in society as a whole, creating the pseudo-nobility and Victorianism.
  6. 1900’s-2000’s – The attitudes and images of the “Knightly glory” continues but becomes disassociated with its historical origins.

We can see that the movement is about 900 years old and is still going on.  During the years it has had definite changes and alterations but its basic idea remains.

Many people are still playing the part of Don Quixote.  For some people its become a way of life.  The more I look the more evident is the power of this movement.  What is amazing, to me, is that it has origin in the Crusades, almost 1,000 years ago . . .

THE CRUSADES AND “KNIGHTLY GLORY”

The Crusades have created a dramatic change in Europe.  Its this change that, in a way, is the basis of the power and appeal of “Knightly glory”.  It is through the Crusades that the “Knightly glory” got established, defined, and glorified.  Many of the stories, romances, and such, that appeared during this time, have also given it an image that is appealing and accessible to many people.

Some of the qualities the Crusades created include:

  • A sense of a unified Europe, a sense that we are all a part of something bigger.
  • A justification from God giving a person “high cause” and definite purpose.
  • Glorification of achievement and success, as an individual person and socially.
  • The idea that a common man can become something great.  This, of course, is the Knight.  His success often allowed him to climb the difficult wall of social status, prestige, and power.  In this way, the Knight often become more than a warrior, even becoming a Nobleman.
  • The appeal of adventure and going “out in the world”.
  • A sense of comradery.
  • The importance of doing things for the right reasons, coming from Christian morality.

These all figure prominently in “Knightly glory”, though in different proportions.  Usually, only a small number, or even one, may be emphasized.  Different people, era’s, and societies, often created their unique combination and “flair” to fit their purposes.  In this way, the “Knightly glory” was varied and changing and did not follow a single pattern.

In many cases, particularly in more recent years, there is no obvious connection with the Knight or Crusades . . . one knows it by the attitudes and themes. Interestingly, one element that has become particularly silent through the years is the idea of a justification from God.  This silence appears to begin as a result of the Protestant Movement which frowned on references to the Catholic Church and the Pope.  Overall, the religious disputes caused a general tendency to avoid making references to religion and God in regard to the Knight.  Despite this, the “authority of God” still figures prominently in “Knightly glory” to this day primarily as an attitude of “righteous cause”.  Its this that often gives “Knightly glory” a great sense of authority and power.  Its this authority, perhaps, which keeps the “Quixote phenomena” alive today.  Its what gives the “Knightly glory” such a “hidden power”.

The image of the Knight

The Crusading Knight is one of the most powerful images in Western Europe.  In fact, one could say that the image of the Crusading Knight defines Western Europe, its image of itself, and its behavior in the world.  In actuality, the power of this image is the source of the “Quixote movement”.  It “set the standard” for much of Western Europe since.

The success of the Knight, during the Crusades, would establish the image of the Knight as the “great example” of success.  This success appeared in different ways as there were different types of Knights really:

  • A Nobleman.
  • A Monk of an order of Chivalry (such as the Templars).
  • A standard soldier . . . a common man.

More specifically, I speak of the common man here in this article for Don Quixote reflects a tendency of the common man. 

We must remember that, prior to the Crusades, the common man primarily remained a farmer or tradesman, often following in his fathers footsteps.  In this way, he was actually “locked” into a specific life.  When the Crusades happened many of these men were able to get out of this pattern of life, and a new door was opened to them.  In this way, the Knight became the first great means of “opportunity” for the common man in Western Europe.  By being a Knight he could do a number of things:

  • Have opportunity.
  • See new places.
  • Have adventure.
  • Test himself.
  • Increase his social status and income.  For example, many Knights were often awarded land for their services and this could lead to a Noble title!

The growth of the middle class (that is, the common man gaining wealth) would help only further the appeal of “Knightly glory” as the image of the Knight would be a basis for many images of the “successful man”.  This would grow particularly in the 1600’s-2000’s.  Because of this, the  qualities of the Knight actually set the standard for the image of success.  Some of these qualities include:

  • A person who is able to get out of social position he was born in.
  • The glorification of achievement and success.
  • A person who is “out in the world”.
  • The importance of social status or social prestige.
  • The questing after wealth.
  • The practice of sportsThis seems to have origin in the Knights practice of arms.  Have you ever noticed how people who go to the University (seeking success, of course) tend to have to be in some form of a sport (such as bike riding, mountain climbing, and such)?  A descendent, no doubt, of the Knight.
  • A competitive nature.  This probably originates in the fact that the Knights were competing with one another for prestige.  In addition, the tournaments probably helped foster this.
  • Being authoritative. 
  • Being social minded (including things like etiquette and manners).
  • An almost “monastic” sense, of being part of a unique group in society, that is set apart from everyone else This may have origin in the monastic orders (such as the Templars or Teutonic Knights).  Its for this reason that there seems to be an all male orientation with “Knightly glory”.
  • A sense of doing things a certain “right” way.  This is reflective of Christian values as the Knights, remember, were fighting for the Christian cause.  After the Protestant Reformation the Christian and religious references of the Knight seemed to dwindle (see below).  It continued as a sense of a “right” way of doing things.  This way varied with the times, conditions, the country, and even the person.  Despite this variation, there is still a focus on the “right” way, as they perceive it at the time.

Many of these qualities would later become associated with the University (where people sought success, of course).  It seems, though, that these qualities were not associated with the University until after the Napoleonic wars when the industrial revolution began to establish itself as a power.  Because the industrial revolution required people with a University degree (scientists, engineers, doctors, etc.) they began to adopt the image and qualities of the Knight as a basis for “University success” even so far as to imitate some of their qualities.  This seemed to only intensify as time went on and continues down to today.

The effect of the Protestant Reformation

It seems that the Protestant Reformation caused a general lull in the idea of a crusading Knight.  This, no doubt, is because it was associated with Catholicism and the Pope and it was a time of religious strife.  In addition, any military action was now carried out by armies giving little opportunity for Knightly endeavors.

After the commotion of the Protestant Reformation the new Protestant world did not seem to offer anything to compare with the crusading Knight.  This left something like a vacuum.  As a result, there became a revival in the image of the Knight by the Nobility.  Because of the religious conflict, though, it tended to become divorced from the Catholic Church and Pope and religion in general.  This absence of religion has not been that much associated with the popular image of the Knight since.  In other words, the post-Protestant Reformation Knight tended to be an image of the Knight without the religion . . . an adventurer.  Some of the religious associations, though, continued but in a modified form.  A significant element of this is this idea ofhigh cause”.  In short, the Catholic Crusading Spirit would be replaced by this idea that a person was doing things for a “high cause”. This post Protestant Reformation image of the Knight, it seems, is the image of Don Quixote created by Cervantes.  Its not all that surprising as he created the character about the time this was all happening, the 1600’s.

The effect of the middle classes

The rise of the middle classes seems to of greatly influenced the image of the post Protestant Reformation Knight.  In fact, the Knight appears to of become the model of a “man of success”, as described above.  As a result of this, many people were trying to imitate the Knight as a symbol of success.  Because of this, the “Knightly glory” would become more associated with the common people and the common man. Since the middle class was a rising class, and having more wealth and importance, they adopted many Knight-like qualities in their makeup.  In addition, because a successful Knight could become a member of the Nobility, it created a tendency of imitating the Nobility by the middle classes.  I call this the Pseudo-Nobility and would play a big role later . . .

The Victorian world

One could very well say that “Victorianism” is nothing but a chivalric revival of the Knight, the Pseudo-Nobility.  It is the “Quixote phenomena” on a grand scale.  In fact, one could say that the Pseudo-Nobility defines the Victorian world.  One could very well speak of Victorian culture as a “Pseudo-Noble culture”. The growth of the chivalric revival, or Pseudo-Nobility, was greatly influenced by things like:

  • National pride.  This grew in England after the Napoleonic Wars.
  • The image of a young Queen Victoria.  She would become the “great lady” which would help foster the chivalric revival and Knightly ideals.
  • Increased income after the Napoleonic Wars.  This allowed people to afford to imitate the Nobility.
  • Consumerism.  The proliferation of consumer products offered many items that people could afford.  In some cases, it offered the common man things only available to the Nobility before.
  • The media.  This exposed people to the “styles” and ways of the “Pseudo-Noble culture”.  In this way, they could imitate it and try to emulate it.  In addition, it fostered “fads”, “crazes”, and other things giving the “Pseudo-Nobility culture” a mania at times.

Things, such as these, would cause a great growth of the “Pseudo-Noble culture” in England.  The effect of this growth would include:

  • It made it infiltrate into everyday life.
  • It affected a large part of the population.
  • It affected popular culture.
  • It created a male and female version (see below).

In this way, the “pseudo-Nobility culture” of the Victorian era became a great medium for the development and growth of the “Quixote phenomena”. 

The post WWII world

The post WWII world tended to see the fall of the image of Nobility as a symbol and influence in life.  In some respects, it replicated what happened during the Protestant Reformation.  Instead of the Knight being divorced from religion the Knight became divorced from the Nobility.  In this way, many traits of the Knight would persist in a modified way.  This is because the general attitude of the “Pseudo-Noble culture” still continued, even though the image of Nobility was no longer there.

Because of the rise of the economy, following WWII, the qualities derived from the image of the Knight would be the basis for success.  It seems to of been somewhat similar to the earlier rise of middle classes, emphasizing the common man in particular.  If anything, its a more extreme version. The mass media and popular culture produced many forms of the post-WWII Knight, such as:

  • There have been many characters, such as James Bond, which reflect “Knightly glory”.
  • Many movies, particularly in the U.S., are actually modern versions of stories of Knighthood, but with an American flair.  In many ways, the “action movie” is really an American version of a “Knightly romance”.

The guys shown in the media and popular culture often have these qualities:

  • They are often individual guys who “take on the world”.  This is the Knight going out “into the world”.
  • The tend to “fight evil”.  This is Christianity’s fight against Satan and the infidel.
  • They often struggle with some “pain”, failure, or bad quality.  This is a remnant of Christian “sin”.  It includes things such as having no parents, the death of ones wife, having a drinking problem, etc.  Its not uncommon that this is used to give the character a “darker” quality, even to the point that he becomes a “bad guy”.

There are definite Christian Crusading connections but they have been divorced from the original Christian meaning.  Regardless of this, one can still see the Christian elements in them.

An early version of the American Knight even appeared before WWII.  It is the superhero.  The superhero seems like the image of the Knight coupled with the impossible capabilities that science fiction created, but without the science fiction.  In other words, the superhero is like a “science fiction Knight without religion and without science”.  Its not mistake that many of the early superhero’s have qualities described above, a predecessor to the “action hero”.

The American version of the “Quixote phenomena”

Oddly enough, it seems that the U.S. has developed the most extensive manifestations of the “Quixote phenomena”.  This, it seems, is because there wasn’t the social structure to suppress it in much of the population, as was the case in England.  Because of the lack of this suppression it was more able to grow and flourish.  In so doing, it had a far greater impact than anywhere else it seems.

The males manifestations of “Knightly glory”

The manifestations of “Knightly glory” has a basis, of course, in the behavior and image the new “Don Quixote”.  In this way, it would take on the quality of something like a model for the male to pattern himself after and reflect.  Some of the qualities that appeared in the male include:

  • Successful.  They take success seriously and will go through great efforts to achieve it.
  • Confronts world.  They want to “take on the world” of, often, do things out in the world.
  • Without fear.  They must not be frightened of things.
  • Christian principles.  They often emulate Christian ideals and beliefs, such as being fair, respect, and such.
  • Camradery.  They have a sense of being part of a team or a group.  This often conflicts with the individualism that is very prominent here in the U.S.
  • An exclusive all male orientation.  This seems to have origin in the monastic orders of Chivalry.  Interestingly, during the Victorian era, with its “pseudo-Noble culture”, there became a strong tendency to develop “exclusive all male” clubs and so forth, no doubt descending from the Knight.
  • High ideals.  They have, or believe they have, these great ideals that dictates what they do.
  • Putting the female on a pedestal.  The Knight honoring his lady would be demonstrated in the glorification of the female.  This was particularly helped as a result of Queen Victoria who represented the “Great Lady”.
  • A desire for adventure.  This desire would become almost religious for some guys.  This seemed to grow during the Victorian era, with its “pseudo-Noble culture”.  It would be very instrumental in many males ideas of war, especially, and make them want to join eagerly and with “high ideas”.  This was seen during the American Civil War, the beginning of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, WWI, and such.  Their attitudes changed, of course, once they saw what war was.  Once they saw the nature of war many were devastated by it and being unprepared for it probably had a lot to do with battle trauma (see my many articles in the Battle Trauma category in this blog).  Even the lure of the French Foreign Legion is based in the Knightly ideal of adventure (I, myself, considered joining it for that reason at one time!).

This, it seems, became the basis of the image of a “man” in English and, especially, American society.  This image became so big and influential that it created problems for the American male (for example, see my article “Thoughts on being a ‘real man’ – America’s exaggerated view of masculinity” and “Thoughts on the “myth of the tough guy” – an attempt at manifesting American ideals???“).  Many males, frankly, could not meet this image.  Because of this, it has actually eroded the male over the years.

The females manifestations of “Knightly glory”

During the Victorian era, as stated above, there developed a female manifestation of “Knightly glory”.  As a general rule, the female manifestation of “Knightly glory” appeared in the manifestations of qualities found in the Noble Lady.  These qualities include:

  • Reflect Christian virtues.  Of special emphasis is peace, love, and charity.
  • Very socially oriented.
  • A cheerful, happy, and optimistic disposition.  This, of course, is a reference to the Noble Lady as representative of Christian values.  The idea being that, believing in Christ, one has faith and so is happy with no worries.
  • An “air” of authority.  This could be described as a “dignity” in imitation of the Nobility.
  • High ideals.  These could be Christian-derived but were also often social ideals and principles.
  • Emphasis on maintaining a household.  This is because a significant occupation of many Noble Ladies was to maintain the household and estate.  Remember that this meant maintaining a household of many servants, cooks, etc., often with horses and other things.  In actuality, this could be quite an accomplishment.  Later this would turn into a great glorifying of the housewife for the common people (who did not have a great country estate).  This seemed to appear strongly in the mid-late 1800’s.

The effect of these are to reflect the behavior (or, rather, the assumed behavior) of the Noble Lady.  We must remember that a Noble Lady had to reflect Christian virtues and values.  The portrayal of the qualities of the Noble Lady seem to of been somewhat accurate but they tend to be somewhat exaggerated in the “Quixote phenomena”. One of the effects of this is that many females tend to think that they are the emblems of love.  This has even gone so far that some females think that if they were to rule the world the world become a place of “peace and love” . . . Christian virtues.

The males tendency to “put the female on a pedestal” has caused a lot of problems as it tends to make girls develop a “spoiled” quality (almost like children).  Many females of Western society have this quality since the Victorian era, often expecting special treatment and such.

THE DILEMMA OF THE “QUIXOTE PHENOMENA”

The dilemma created by the “Quixote phenomena” is based in the fact that it is primarily a re-enactment of an established image of something glorified.  In other words, it consists in a continual attempt at trying to fit an image which is assumed to be great.  Because of this, it has created a number of tendencies:

  • A tendency to imitation or a want-to-be mentality
  • A tendency to over glorification.
  • A tendency to artificiality, superficiality, and a lack of being genuine.
  • A tendency to trying to recreate things.
  • A tendency to try to be someone else.

Overall, it has created a tendency where people try to be something that they are not.  Just like Don Quixote, people see themselves in a different light than they really are.  In addition, they interpret the world differently.  In this way, it has created a tendency to see themselves and the world in a somewhat “tweeked” or “warped” way.  This is usually mild, having minimal impact, but it can be bad in some people.

Because it is based in using an image, which they try to re-enact, there is a tendency of what I call “forcing the interpretation”.  This is similar to Don Quixote interpreting everything in the context of the Knightly adventures and of seeing things that aren’t there (such as windmills as giants).  This is common for the U.S. and one of the reasons why the U.S. tends to misinterpret the rest of the world.

The prevalence of the “Pseudo-Nobility culture” has created what can be described as a “false social structure”.  That is to say, because it is based on a pre-fabricated image, it tries to make things fit that image (“forcing the interpretation”).  In so doing, it tends to create a Noble-based social structure that may not exist.  For example, it may artificially create an upper and lower class in a classless social situation.  I have seen this many times.  It creates a tendency for them to think that they are “one up” over others, for example, when this has no meaning.  Its commonly seen in “yuppie’s” and people with a lot of money in America.

The male and female reactions

The power of the “Pseudo-Nobility culture” in the Victorian world was such that it created a male and female version (as I described above) which I jokingly call “Don Quixote” and “Donna Quixote”.

THE “DON QUIXOTE” – the male reaction

The male primarily created a false persona as a result of the “Quixote phenomena”.  It really becomes “a false image that they are portraying and which they end up believing”.  It often appears, to me, as a self-deception.  It also makes guys overvalue themselves and think they are these great people that they are not. This false persona also creates social demands on the male, as everyone expects him to emulate it.  For example, there often appears the idea that a male is “supposed” to be tough and such.  This then requires the male to have to try to live up to this ideal.  Most of the time he can’t.  In this way, it has created a dilemma for males.

THE “DONNA QUIZOTE” – the female reaction

The female reaction created something like a rot in the female that slowly ate the female identity, worth, and value up.  In fact, it appears to have completely undermined the female identity in Western society (see my article “Thoughts on the ‘failed sex’ – how many female traits have failed – a hidden crisis of the American female“). It seems that, since the Victorian world, there have been two main manifestations of “Donna Quixote”:

  1. The British version:  they try to be like a Noble Lady
  2. The American version:  the “Donna Quixote’s” try to be “Don Quixote’s

Interestingly, the British version led up to the American version.  The British, appearing first (1800’s), was very much based in the Noble Lady.  This caused a failing in the female identity which caused many problems for females.  The American version appeared at a later date, at a time that the female identity was failing or failed (late 1900’s, in particular).  As stated above, the image of Nobility was gone by this time.  As a result, the American “Donna Quixote’s” didn’t have a Noble Lady image to base themselves on, though they are still living in a “Pseudo-Noble culture” oriented society and, as a result, continued to have the attitude of a want-to-be or imitator.  As a result, they ended up trying to be like the men and become “Don Quixote imitators”.  In this way, the American female have developed a more intensified “Quixote phenomena” than the males.  Because of this, they are suffering from its effects more.  I fear that is going to have drastic effects on them in the future.

THE “QUIXOTE PHENOMENA” IN THE TECHNOLOGICAL WORLD

The technological world seems to of thrown a unique quality in the “Quixote phenomena”.  This seems to be a result of an incompatibility between the “Quixote phenomena” and technology.  This seems to be due to the fact that the technological world has a more “unhuman” quality to it.  The “Quixote phenomena” is rooted in human qualities and a human social situation.  Both of these seem undermined in the technological world and, as a result, have an opposing quality toward the “Quixote phenomena”.  This has, to some extent, undermined or lessoned the power of the “Quixote phenomena”.

The modern worlds undermining of the “Quixote phenomena” seems to of caused a dilemma for Western society.  The Western male, in particular, seems to of found himself at the end of his rope and not knowing what to do.  If this is true, it would mean that the qualities that make up Western society is rooted in the “Quixote phenomena” and since the modern world is undermining it, Western society is finding itself unable to cope.

Despite this, there have been other things that have also kept it going, and quite strongly:

  • The emphasis on education and success that is being drilled into the kids nowadays.  As part of this, is often included the emphasis on sports and “outdoor activities” and such.
  • The fact that the U.S. is stuck in the 1970’s.  The Vietnam War protests, in particular, have brought out many Christian-based themes and issues (such as the importance of “peace and love”).  Since these 70’s attitudes are continuing to be enforced it still promotes a very Christian orientation which is helping to keep the “Quixote phenomena” alive (see my article, “Thoughts on the post cold war generations – some observations . . .“).

The result of this, it seems, is a much more altered form than previously seen.  To me, it seems more “one sided” and is becoming more divorced from its origins, though I think its too early to say how it will appear exactly.  To me, it seems that it is most prevalent with ideas of success.  Its very possible that, as the technological world progresses, it will slowly fade, though I’m sure its remnants will be seen for some time.


Copyright by Mike Michelsen

Posted in Britain and British things, Christianity, Christian conversion, Post-Christianity, and Christian influence, Historical stuff, Society, The male and female, The U.S. and American society | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Thoughts on the “new extermination” – the destruction of identity . . . some continuing effects of “living under the shadow of Hitler”

In a recent conversation I found myself saying something rather interesting (of course, I have no idea if its true or not . . . I think there is some degree of truth though):

I first mentioned how we are very close to the attitudes of the Nazi’s than we think.  I said that “the big difference will be that we will believe what we’re doing and we don’t believe what the Nazi’s did”.  More or less, this says that “when we do things we will of justified it”.  We, of course, have not justified what the Nazi did.  As a result, they are looked at as “bad” and “horrible”.

I went on to say that the Nazi’s were really doing nothing but to try and preserve the German identity, life, pride, culture, etc., particularly after the damaging effect of WWI.  In other words, they were motivated with a desire to preserve themselves as a people.  Because of this, they saw it as “justified”.  There is nothing wrong with that . . . its a normal healthy human thing to do.  But the problem is that they got a little carried away.  As part of this preservation of themselves, for example, they saw many non-Germans, especially Jewish people, as a threat.  In this way, they felt “justified” that one of the ways to preserve themselves is to get rid of the threat which meant actual physical extermination of people.  They did this not only with the new means of the modern world but with German efficiency.  I don’t need to emphasize the horrifying effect of this combination . . .

The result of their actions have, of course, been greatly condemned, criticized, villanized, and portrayed badly in about as many ways as you can think of.  But, regardless of what eventually happened, we must remember that this was all motivated by the simple need to preserve themselves.  We spend so much time condemning them that this simple human fact tends to be forgotten.  One must understand this to put it all in a correct perspective.

Because of the tragedy created by the Nazi’s, anything associated with it has now become “taboo”.  There has developed a silly paranoia about anything that even remotely resembles it which has made many people react in a ridiculously negative way.  Some of these include:

  • The development of many names that are directly descended from this Nazi-fearing paranoia:   “racism”, “sexism”, “discrimination”, “hate crimes”, etc.
  • The creation of many silly lawsuits and laws.
  • The automatic assumption that people do things for sinister reasons (such as hatred).
  • It has even received the sanction of government and a person can get punished for something as simple as using the wrong word.

The attitudes behind these things are associated with many “bad and dark feelings”, which are largely reactions coming from the horror of what the Nazi’s did.  In other words, the “bad and dark feelings” that these incite is not based in the actual thing done.  They actually originate from our reactions to the horror of the Nazi’s which have been projected onto these things because of their similarity.  As a result, the “dark and bad feelings” are actually harkening back to a former era, not the current event necessarily.  This is why these things have a reputation for being “disconnected” and out-of-place, making them seem silly and ridiculous (such as the silly lawsuits and the claims of “racism” and “discrimination” we hear about all the time).

The power of these “bad and dark feelings” (which have persisted for over 60 years now!) shows that we are still “living under the shadow of Hitler”, as I always say, and are have points of view originating from our reaction to their behavior (see my article, “Thoughts on ‘living under the shadow of Hitler’ – the horror of the modern world”).

We have largely been unaware of the “Nazi connection” of these attitudes in much of our life.  One of the reasons why this is forgotten is because the effects of the Nazi’s has been largely overshadowed by the Cold War and other things associated with it.  These include the threat of nuclear annihilation, the Civil Rights Movement (which cater to the “racial” theme started by the Nazi’s), and the Vietnam War protests.  The ‘hippi movement’, assisted by mass media, has allowed many of these “fear of the Nazi’s” attitudes to infiltrate our daily lives and began a process of having them influence law and politics.  In these ways, we have become unaware of the connection many things have to our “fear of the Nazi’s”.  Instead, we have begun to associate these attitudes with other things (such as “peace and love”, freedom, fear of war, and such).  In this way, the “fear of the Nazi’s” has taken on a quality of being unconscious, “hidden”, and “unknown”.  Despite this, it still plays a significant role in things.

The reaction to the tragedy of the Nazi’s has been largely one of horror and being appalled.  In many cases, these are so deep that there is a problem reacting to it for some people (that is, they don’t know how to react to it).  The horror the Nazi’s created has developed an attitude of a “horror of what mankind can do”.  Perhaps we could call this the “fear of the Nazi horror”?  This has hung over us like a dark cloud ever since WWII.  And, as I have said above, it is largely unconscious and unknown but is so powerful that it still influences our thinking.  In this way, it has “colored” and affected many things since.  Some of the effects it has created include:

  • It has made things appear worse than they are.
  • It has created a sense of “doom” and “dark motives” in things.
  • It has caused a tendency of seeing “moral issues” in things.
  • It has made things more threatening.

Overall, these attitudes have greatly made things appear worse than they really are.  Its caused a tendency to see the worst in things and created a tendency to paranoia.  In this way, we can see that it has altered how we interpret things.  Because of this, there is a tendency to see things with dark and sinister motives which really don’t exist.  In other words, if the “fear of the Nazi horror” did not exist we would interpret things differently.  We probably would not see things worse than they really are.  Many problems since, such as the Cold War, have only intensified the tendency to see things worse than they are, making it seem even more legitimate.  I consider this tendency a problem in the U.S.

Because of the “fear of the Nazi horror”, there has developed something like “taboo’s” about certain things (that is, an avoidance or condemnation against anything that we think caused the Nazi’s tragedy).  Perhaps we could speak of these as “Nazi-based taboos”?   This includes things like this:

  • A “taboo” against any feelings of a “people”, a “race”, a “tribe”, etc.
  • A “taboo” toward any “hatred” or bad feelings between people.
  • A “taboo” toward any “racial tension”.
  • A “taboo” toward war even down to any forms of violence (such as spanking your kids).
  • As a preventive measure against the “taboo’s” we are told to “love one another”, often using law and politics to enforce it.

The apparent purpose of these “taboo’s” is to force a movement in the opposite direction of the Nazi tragedy.  The idea is that going in the opposite direction will prevent its replication.

But there is a problem with that . . .

In avoiding what the Nazi’s did (I speak of the extermination of people), we have actually created a “new extermination”.  The reason why it has done this is because the movement now taken is deliberately in the opposite direction of the Nazi’s.  As a result, we are going in the opposite direction of what the Nazi’s were intending.  As I said above, their motive was to protect themselves as a people.  By going in the opposite direction of the Nazi’s we actually end up doing the opposite of what they were doing:  we end up trying to destroy ourselves as a people.  In this way, an anti-self stance is now being taken.  This has created a tendency of self-destructiveness in the society.

The self-destructive quality of the “Nazi-based taboo’s” are primarily because of things like these:

  • We cannot maintain ourselves as a people.
  • We must treat everyone the same.

In this way, it causes a general erosion of identity, not only of our self but other people, and in many different ways.  Its damage has become quite extensive and includes the undermining and destruction of identities like these:

  • Racial identity
  • Ethnic identity
  • Cultural identity
  • Religious identity
  • Sexual identity
  • Identity of roles
  • Social structure based identity

In effect, the “new extermination” is the extermination (undermining and destruction) of ones identity and who one is, both as a person and socially.  This means that “living in the shadow of Hitler” requires us to lose our identity of who we are.  We lose who we are as a person, our identity as a people, and our identity in life.  In addition, it has caused a destruction of ones individuality and “originalness”.  It has turned humanity into a big “blur” where everyone is the same.

One effect of this is that, in consumer society, it has turned people into a “blur” of people who do nothing but “buy stuff”.  This, of course, makes everyone happy making this seem like a “utopia”.  In this way, consumer society is actually promoting this extermination as it keeps everyone satiated.  To put it another way, consumer society is replacing the “satisfaction of identity” with “consumer satisfaction”.  As a result, many people are more easily willing to lose their identity, as long as they can buy stuff.

Politics has also made a contribution.  Just as the Nazi’s had a “politically justified cause”, so has this.  In fact, the “fear of the Nazi horror” has used politics quite extensively as justification and as a means.  It has done this so much that, in my opinion, the fear has distorted principles like freedom, democracy, and equality, and given them a whole new context and meaning.  The fear has given these principles a connotation such as:

  • It turns everyone so that they are all the same, identical, a big “human blur” (this is the new connotation of equality . . . the new connotation of freedom is that we have the freedom to be what we want, whatever it is).
  • We must “get along” (this is the new connotation of democracy).

This is what freedom, democracy, and equality now means “living under the shadow of Hitler” (I do not believe that these are what these principles were meant to mean . . . they are a modified version of their original intent).  In this way, politics has made the “new extermination” legal and a part of life.  Now, by law, we must destroy our identity and be exactly the same, for example.  The idea of this, remember, is that it is supposed to prevent another Nazi horror!

In many ways, to be an “American” means that you must lose your identity.  This means that you must lose your race, your heritage, your religion, your beliefs, and its even getting down to losing the identity as a male or female.  Much of this point of view, and its substantiation, seems to have origin with the “fear of the Nazi’s”.

There also seems to be an association:

Peace = Losing identity

In other words, if we lose the identity of who we are then we will no longer have conflicts between each other and peace will ensue.  This point of view, at least to some extent, is even seen in John Lennon’s song “Imagine” (” . . . imagine there’s no religion . . . imagine there’s no countries . . ., etc.”).  Basically, if we are one “big blur” then there will be no war or conflict.  This point of view, where we destroy the differences between us, seems to come from the Nazi horror.

Personally, I think that the reaction to the “fear of the Nazi horror”, since WWII, is ridiculous, self-destructive, and damaging.  It shows that, in our horror of the Nazi’s, we have become frightened of too many things, including ourselves and our society.  Its made us frightened of our identity and of being a people.  It has developed a mistaken notion that being a people will automatically create another Nazi horror.  As a result, its practically made it a crime to be a people.  In this way, we cannot maintain ourselves as a people.  To go even further, we must undermine ourselves as a people to “ensure peace”.  This has gotten so far that some people have made a cause out of exterminating our various forms of identities (this seems to be a big part of liberalism . . . see my article “Thoughts on liberalism, with remarks about “70’s liberalism”“).

For many of us who love “human reality” – that is, human society, human institutions, human customs and traditions, human culture, etc. – the “new extermination” can be particularly horrifying.  There’s a number of reasons why:

  • Because the “new extermination” is a destruction of what a person is and what a people are.  It destroys societies, cultures, religions, beliefs, etc.  In some respects, this is worse than physical death.  Its like watching a death of humanity.
  • It is not particularly dramatic in its appearance, making it a “silent death”.  Its like a rot coming from within that you can’t see.

Sadly, many people are not lovers of “human reality”, which has always stunned me.  Most people don’t seem to care about “human things” I’ve found.  It seems like there are only some of us who can see the effect of problems like this (such as some Historians, Anthropologists, Psychologists, etc.).  Often, one must stand back to see stuff like this.  In fact, I think that one grows to love “human reality” when one stands back and looks at it from a distance.  Since many people don’t do this, many people don’t develop a love of it.  Many people are too busy dealing with the details of life to notice.  Also, many people do not look deep enough into themselves as they are too busy being swayed by the affairs of life.  As a result of things like this, simple “human things” are destroyed without anyone noticing.  But, despite all the hoopla and commotion of life I can see that there is a threat to human identity and “human reality” going on nowadays.

As with many cases, what we really need is a “middle ground”, where we maintain ourselves as a people but respect other people.  This condition, I should point out, is seen in much of the world and is common.  People don’t just go around hating each other.  But the “fear of the Nazi horror” has made us go too far to one extreme to the point of undermining and exterminating or own identity.


Copyright by Mike Michelsen

Posted in Government and politics, Historical stuff, Modern life and society, The Cold War, The U.S. and American society | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Thoughts on the “D Affair” – the ‘reflected self experience’, the problem of being misled by people and society, the ‘pseudo-gay’, and some effects of liberalism

Here’s a thought I had:

In grade school something interesting happened.  I call it the “D affair” (“D” referring to the first letter of the last name of the girl involved).  This affair shows how easily misled we can be by other people, especially as children, and begin to believe in things that aren’t true.  For years I was misled by what people said but I now know what really happened:

It was in late grade school that I became fascinated with different qualities people had.  Some people had qualities that were almost mesmerizing.  It was often things like a mannerism, a way of speaking, an attitude, or even just a look.  This fascination could last for a couple of day, or weeks, or months.  In some cases, it would appear and vanish overnight.  This fascination with the different qualities in people began to appear, it seems, in about 3rd grade, or so, and lasted into 7th or 8th grade.  Typically, the people were boys my own age but, sometimes, it would be girls.  Other times, they could be teachers or just people I see here and there.

I tend to feel that this is a natural tendency that we all have.  What we are doing is “finding qualities in other people that reflected an aspect of me”.  In this way, we do two things:

  1. We discover innate qualities about ourselves.
  2. We establish these qualities in the society.

What it does is help to establish our identity, both as a person and socially.  Perhaps we could call it the “reflected self experience”?  This is because we are seeing our self reflected in other people (the social situation).  Everyone goes through it, at least to some extent.  Most people forget it or are not aware of it though.  I think this is because it is only a stage in the process of identity, one just “passes through it”.  This makes it easily forgettable.  I would have forgotten it had it not of been for the “D affair”.

There was a girl, “D”, who had a quality I was fascinated with.  This was, I think, in 4th or 5th grade.  The quality she had which fascinated me was this calm, composed manner as she sat there in class.  To me, it was quite neat and I often watched her for this reason.

One day, I remarked to a friend of mine that I really “liked” her.  By “like” I mean that fascinating quality of hers.  But that’s not how he interpreted it.  He went around telling people that I was in love with her and that I wanted to marry her and such.  It caused something like a little scandal at school.  Many of my friends, and people I knew, told me it was a “crush” and that I was feeling “puppy love” and all that.  Being a kid, I believed them.

Why should I question it?  What do I know . . . I’m just a kid?

As a result of this, I actually thought I was “in love” with her and actually acted the part, feeling “feelings of love” and so on.  I actually believed I had a “crush” on her.  What I was doing was following what my understanding of what a “crush” was in order to “play the part”.  In this way, I was trying to conform to society and, in so doing, establish my self in society.  This is quite natural as, remember, the “reflected self experience” is involved with social identity and is trying to place ones self in the social situation.  As a result, it tends to make a person try to conform to what one believes society wants.  But, in so doing, one tends to become alienated from the quality that instigated it.  Or, to put it another way, one goes from discovering an aspect about ones self to being strangled by it.  This often happens and is part of a dilemma that is inherent in the “reflected self experience”.

  1. Discovery – Seeing a quality in others that one doesn’t know one has
  2. Personal Identity – One begins to feel that quality as ones self
  3. Social Identity – The example set by other people establishes the quality in the social situation
  4. Conforming – The social example becomes the model of how one should be regardless of whether it reflects the quality or not
  5. Alienation – One ends up doing what the social situation demands but it does not reflect ones self

The path from Discovery to Alienation can happen very quickly and unknowingly.  It describes the conflict between personal and social identity.  Some people may struggle with this problem more than others.  For other people it can be a lifelong conflict.  And other people are not bothered by it at all.

But its all based in a natural process.  Its really just a question of if it gets out of hand, or not, that determines if it creates problems.  I did this same natural process when I was told I had a “crush” on “D”.  I was trying to fit it into the social situation by the use of social example (that is, what I believed a “crush” was).  In so doing, I began Conforming which actually Alienated me from the original cause for it and I lost a hold as to what it was all about.  As a result, I believed I had a “crush” on her for years but really didn’t.

But doubts appeared through the years.  For example, when I saw her some months later I had noticed I had no interest in her but pretended that I was in love with her.  Even then I could feel a discrepancy (that is, one part of me said this, another part of me said something else).  The next year I didn’t even notice her.  I saw her walk by and said, “oh, wasn’t that the girl I was supposed to have a crush on?”  As years passed the “crush” theme started to fade.  When I saw her in High School I recall seeing her walk in the hall and I thought something like, “I remember her, she had that neat calm way about her in grade school” (notice how I did not mention any feelings of love).  As time went on more of the truth sort began to surface.  I began to realize that it was not over love and that I did not, in fact, have any “romantic” feelings over her.

But it also shows another aspect to this phenomena – the effect of people and society.  What basically happened is that people and society misled me.  In other words, the social interpretation of ones qualities isn’t always right and can even lead one in the wrong direction.  In this case, it followed this path:

  1. I felt a common feeling that people feel (in this case, the “reflected self experience”).
  2. I mentioned it to someone.
  3. It was misinterpreted by them and by other people and society in general.
  4. I was misled into thinking it was something else.
  5. The tendency to conform made me believe it.

I think this scenario happens far more common than you’d think.

Interestingly, the year before the “D affair” I had a friend called Mike.  We got along really good.  We had a lot of fun at recess and I really grew to like him.  I particularly liked him because he had this quality about him that fascinated me, an easygoing fun-loving quality.  In a conversation with a friend I said, “I really love Mike”, or something similar (meaning that I really liked him).  My friend said something like, “are you gay?”, as a joke, and it was forgotten.  Can you imagine what would happen if a kid expressed something like that nowadays?  My God, everyone would probably of said that this shows I have homosexual inclinations.  Not only that, I could see this liberal society, nowadays, actually pushing me in that direction.  In the end, they could of convinced me that I was gay . . . and I probably would of started to believe it.  Even worse, I could very well of started to “play the part”, with all the mannerisms and such, similar to my acting “in love” during the “D affair”.  In this way, it could of dramatically affected and altered my life.

Thank God I’m not a kid nowadays!

The “D affair” shows how I was misled into believing that I had a “crush” on a girl.  Do you think its possible that other people are also misled to believing similar things?  Personally, I think this is true, that many people are being misled by people and society by showing a quality that people and society too easily misinterpret.  I think that we are seeing a lot of this in what I often call the ‘pseudo-gay’ or ‘acquired homosexuality’ (see my article “Thoughts on the new “pseudo-gay” or “acquired homosexuality” – another sign of the dehumanization of the modern world???“).  This is when people believe they are homosexual without actually being homosexual.  I think its probably particularly prevalent with people who claim that they are homosexual at a young age.  I have always questioned this (see my article “Some thoughts on gay teens“).  I think kids are too young to know if they are homosexual.  I don’t really believe that even teenagers have sufficient knowledge of themselves to know this or not.  From my observation, it seems that many young kids, nowadays, are being misled into thinking they are something that they aren’t by society.

It seems to me that the liberal thinking of this society, in particular, tends to promote this type of scenario.  More than once have I said that “many people’s lives are being destroyed by the liberal thinking of this society”.  It seems like it is misdirecting people in the wrong direction in life.  In this way, it is adversely affecting peoples lives.

Liberal thinking, particularly what I call “70’s liberalism” (see my article “Thoughts on liberalism, with remarks about “70’s liberalism”“), tends to promote anything that goes against societies norms (such as homosexuality) as some sort of a political cause and all “in the name of freedom”!  In so doing, it exaggerates and distorts many things because its part of their cause.  In this way, it promotes many lies.  In some cases, this can go so far that it can make peoples lives a lie, in my opinion.

For example, if a person shows (or appears to show) something like homosexual inclinations (which is not “accepted” by greater society) then liberal thinking will tend to do things such as:

  • They will emphasize that they should “embrace” their supposed homosexuality.
  • That they should display it with “pride”.
  • They may be pushed into it and encouraged to believe it (perhaps even forced in that direction).
  • They will be treated as if they are homosexual.
  • They will be “open” about it and only say good things about it.
  • That they should “fight for their right” to be homosexual as a “righteous cause”.

Things like these tend to end up making people start to believe that they are homosexual, even though they are not.  And this is all done, we must remember, to make a political point!  This means that it is done in great seriousness and as if it is some sort of a cause.  This political aspect gives it a particular quality of a “force” in this.  This is seen a lot in liberalism.  They profess “freedom”, “free choice”, and all that but they tend to do a strong “subtle forcing” in much of what they do.  I tend to see it with “gay youth”.  In fact, for some liberals I’ve seen, “gay youth” has become a “pet project” that they promote as a political cause.  Its like some of them relish the idea of a “gay youth” because they can now, through them, promote their political ideology.

But what I find revolting about this is that it is actually nothing but a deliberate misleading of people, all to support and promote their political ideology.  In other words, its not about the person . . . its about the politics.  People are nothing but a medium or puppet for their political ideology and theory.  People are used and manipulated to promote their political views.  This tendency is one of the examples of the damaging thinking of liberal thinking.


Copyright by Mike Michelsen

Posted in Government and politics, Homosexuality and the 'pseudo-gay' (aquired homosexuality), Modern life and society, Psychology and psychoanalysis, Stuff involving me | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Thoughts on the effects of resentment by the South as a result for losing the Civil War, the effects of tribal mentality, the problem of democracy in social transition, and other things

Recently, I mentioned something about the Civil War and its influence on the South.  I started to write and one thought led to another thought and an interesting train of thought was  created.  Here are those thoughts:

RESENTMENT OF THE SOUTH AT LOSING THE CIVIL WAR

I have always felt that the resentment of the South after losing the Civil War has had far greater impact than what it may, at first, seem.  It also seems to have been misinterpreted, particularly by the North.  Now, I’m no expert on the South or Civil War but it does seem like I can see some patterns.  Whether they are true or not I cannot say for certain.

To begin with, the South appears to of been made up of a very proud people.  They believed in their society and way of life.  Because of this, during the Civil War, many believed in their cause very strongly and saw it as a fight to preserve their way of life.  The policies of the North, instigated by Abraham Lincoln, was viewed as a threat to their society and way of life . . . it had to be fought against.  The North, of course, saw it differently.  They saw it as a fight to end slavery as well as the growth of democratic thinking and principles.

It seems to me, at this time, that slavery was never a convincing argument for many people in the South (and still doesn’t appear to be).  For a proud people, their way of life was what mattered.  Slavery was treated more like something that was “in the background”.  This, of course, was not shared by the North or black people.  This discrepancy, in many ways, can be described as the “dilemma of the Civil War”.

This proud attitude of “preserving our way of life” would continue after the Civil War ended, down to today, though its more diminished now than before.  It seems, to me, that mass media, such as TV and music, have decreased the severity and seriousness of this attitude primarily because it has, in a sense, taken the South out of its isolation.  As a result, it seems that this attitude has begun to decrease particularly since the 1970’s when mass media, music, etc. really got established.

One of the effects of this proud attitude is that it created a great and intense resentment that could become, at times, sinister and dark and have great strength.  The threat to the way of life hit deep for many people of the South and losing the Civil War only made it worse as, once they lost, a new fight to preserve their way of life began!  This fact, I think, has never been acknowledged.  In many ways, the Civil War was only the beginning of the South’s fight to preserve their way of life . . . its been going on ever since.

Some of examples of the resentment include:

  • The bad connotation of black people . . . using black people as an avenue for resentment for losing the Civil War.  I am under the impression that the resentment created by the South losing the Civil War caused a change in the perception of black people after the Civil War . . . it got worse.  Before, they were treated not much differently than cattle and referred to as “blackies”, for example (that is, they weren’t really hated or despised, just treated “lowly”).  After the Civil War they became hated and despised and were called “nigger”, which was said with a horribly bad derogatory connotation (the actual word, without the bad derogatory connotation, only means “black” . . . negro is a variation, and the same root word is used in the name of the country Nigeria).  What is the significance of this?  That the bad derogatory connotation of black people, such as in the name “nigger”, was not an attack of race but an expression of resentment by the people of the South for losing the Civil War.  If this is true, then it would change the whole conception of things, at least as I was told, in which it is all supposed to mean a blatant hatred of people with dark skin.  It would meant that words like “nigger” would not have a meaning like, “oh, there’s a person that I hate and despise because he has dark skin!”  It would actually mean something more like, “oh, there’s the people we lost the Civil War for and I hate them for that!”  In other words, it would mean that the despising attitude, such as seen in the name “nigger”, is not, in actuality, a racial attack as is commonly assumed but a statement of resentment.  This same tendency, of using black people as an avenue of resentment, would appear in many other ways, such as the slaughter, after the Civil War, of many innocent black people for no apparent reason.  It wasn’t done out of “racial hatred” but because the black people represented not only the cause but the losing of the Civil War . . . it was an expression of resentment.  In this way, it seems to me, that this resentment at losing the Civil War seemed to of created more attacks, hatred, despising, and bad feelings toward blacks than the issue of race.  This would mean that many things interpreted as “racial attack” have nothing to do with race at all!  The North just interpreted it that way to fit their way of thinking as, to them, everything was about slavery.
  • The development of organizations, such as the KKK, to express their resentment.  Many of these type of organizations, it seems to me, are really nothing but saying, “piss on you North!” and were acts of defiance . . . again, a representation of resentment at losing the Civil War.  I get the impression that some people deliberately targeted black people, for example, because they knew it went against the North.
  • A suspicion of strangers – the creation of a closed society.  Even I, living here in Utah, had an unusual apprehension of the people of the South.  We heard of stories of problems people had when traveling to the South as they are very suspicious of strangers and may even put you in jail if you do something (or they think you did something).  I remember hearing people who have been in jail for decades for doing nothing at all (it seems that there were even movies about this).  I was even told not to travel in the South, if I didn’t have to.  These facts shows how the South, after the Civil War, developed a very closed-like society that didn’t like strangers.  The fact that they did this is another example of their proud attitude of “preserving their way of life”.  Since their way of life was threatened they “stayed to themselves” and viewed everyone else – strangers – as a “threat”.  The result of this is that it created a closed society that could treat strangers badly.  Here we see how the resentment has now gone beyond blacks, again showing that this goes beyond race.
  • A rebellious attitude.  The Confederate flag, even in Utah, is often associated with a rebelliousness.  I, myself, have always associated it with a particularly violent type of rebelliousness, though I’m not sure why as I saw no proof of it.  Many people still fly the confederate flag in various ways (such as bumper stickers and shirts).  I still see it all the time.  Typically, it seems that the people who fly it are usually white males in their 20-30’s . . . the rebellious age.  I get the impression its often a sign of rebellion against the norm of society.  I am even under the impression that the character of Rhett Butler, in “Gone with the wind”, reflects this rebellious attitude.
  • A fascination of things associated with rebellion.  I tend to feel that this is why racing (such as NASCAR) is so big in the South.  Supposedly, this racing has origin in increasing the speed of cars in order to evade the police during prohibition so that they could transport their liquor.  In this way, fast cars would be a sign of a rebelliousness.  In fact, the prohibition appears to of been an avenue of rebellion for many people of the South.  It may be one of the reasons why the making of liquor, such as moonshining, was so appealing and flourished so well in the South.
  • The growth of religion and the creation of a new style of religion.  It seems, to me, that the helplessness of losing the Civil War, coupled with frustrated resentment, created a growing “religious fervor” in the South.  In some respects, the loss of the “proud way of life” turned into a “religious fervor” which many people sought refuge in.  I am under the impression that this tendency ended up creating a new unique form of religion after the Civil War.  Its probably what they call “old time Southern religion” that isn’t so old time as it sounds.  It seems, to me, that it is recent.  Perhaps the “old time” refers to the sense of “pre Civil War” society which is what caused many people to seek this type of religion?  I know that it could become very fanatical, at times, and can produce some odd things, such as TV evangelists who often took advantage of the blind following of the people to get rich and even would “stage” people who were supposed to of been cured.  The ease of how this was done may show how many people were so easy to seek refuge in religion as a means to “preserve their way of life”.

All these shows that resentment continued after the Civil War ended and went beyond race, slavery, and the blacks.  I get the impression that many people would not accept the fact that the South lost the war and are unwilling to let go their proud sense of a “way of life”.  It also suggests that, in actuality, much of the behavior of the South has nothing to do with a hatred of the blacks (racial hatred), as is often claimed, but seems more related with the maintaining of a proud way of life and a sense of dignity it offers.

MISINTERPRETATION???

The interpretation of the behavior of the South, and its resentment, was naturally misinterpreted by the North and given whole other meanings or so it seems to me.  Of course, the point of view of the North would turn into the point of view of the U.S.

This tendency of misinterpretation is not new, and has been a common thing when things are done “in the name of freedom” (for example, see my article “The west’s misinterpretation of East Germany“).  Its one of the reasons why the U.S. tends to misinterpret other countries cultures and motives so easily.  Oftentimes, these misinterpretations “in the name of freedom” tends to create myths that distort things and create erroneous views.  What this shows is the American tendency of what I call “forcing the interpretation”.  In actuality, the political ideology of the U.S. is actually limited and narrow.  It does not explain, or take into consideration, many realities of life nor does it have enough depth to explain them.  But, since it is the power in the U.S., it has to take on the role of explaining it.  What it ends up doing is taking situations of life and having to “force it into its political ideology”.  These may sound good but are often narrow and limited in their scope.  The result is a tendency to misinterpretation and the creation of myths.

Many of the myths associated with the South are based, of course, in the U.S.’s ideology and blend into other myths that they have already created.  Examples involved with the South include:

  • The “different people myth” – the belief that people automatically dislike people who are different.   Slavery and the bad treatment of blacks, that happened after the Civil War in particular, became a justification for the idea that people did not like people who are different and would become one of the reasons they used to support it.  My observations, though, do not support this myth . . . people don’t automatically dislike other people that are different.  Something else is usually required for this to happen (see my article, “Thoughts on the ‘impersonal unfamiliarity’ sense – the apprehension of people we can’t relate to“).  The South seems no different.  Initially, black people were treated as “primitive” or backward people, a commonly held view of non-European people by Europeans (who fancied themselves as “advanced”, which shows its really more rooted in a self-glorification than a “hatred”).  And when slavery began the blacks were despised as slaves or, rather, human cattle, given them a quality of being “subhuman”.  These attitudes, we must remember, is not the same as hatred.  As I said above, the intense hatred or dislike of black people seems, at least to me, primarily a result of the resentment at losing the Civil War (not because of racial hatred) and primarily came after the Civil War.  The U.S., it seems to me, promoted the idea that they were “hated because they were black and different” to fit their ideology.  One of the effects of this myth is that it created this idea that slavery is a result of a hatred of people that are different, not because of the real cause of slavery . . . the practical exploitation of people for economic means, much like cattle (which is not a “hatred because they are different” but is really more reflective of a lack of humanity).  This is a dramatic change in point of view.  This belief, or myth, has been greatly promoted by the U.S. apparently as an easy way to explain all the problems that have happened between people as a result of being the “melting pot of the world”.  To explain away any problems between people as “just because their different” is too easy of an explanation and can be applied to just about any situation.
  • The “racial myth” – the belief that there is automatic dislike of people of other races.  This “different people myth” would get a bigger boost and justification after WWII.  The racial policies of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi’s only intensified it and changed it a bit (see my article, “Thoughts on ‘living under the shadow of Hitler’ – the horror of the modern world“).  In fact, it seems to me, that it was after WWII that the word “race”, as a generalized term, first started to be used, showing the influence of the racial policies of the Nazi’s.  Before this time, the problems of the South weren’t really perceived as a “racial issue” but a “black issue”, so to speak.  But the acts of the Nazi’s would create this idea of a “problem of race”.  In this way, the Nazi’s were the ones who created the “racial myth”.  Once it was created it would then be applied to the “black issue” of the South with now became a “racial issue” which was now reflective of a “racial hate”.  This would be instrumental in the creation of things like the Civil Rights Movement which would be based in the idea of the “racial myth” and a “racial hate”.  As a result of these, the idea that “people just hate someone who is of a different race” has become a common belief in America and is often used as an explanation for problems between people.
  • The “hate myth” – humanity is full of hate.  The previous myths would be greatly associated with this.  This myth is really a product of the cold war.  This is because, after the cold war developed, it created a general sense of paranoia.  At about 1970, or so, this paranoia erupted against the Vietnam War and helped create the ‘hippi movement’.  Much of the hippi mentality is based in Christian ideals.  This is not surprising as the people who made up the ‘hippi movement’ were primarily from Protestant Christian America.  The Christian emphasis on love would create an emphasis on the need for love by the hippi’s and as a solution to the worlds problems.  The contrary to love is hate, hence they emphasized that hate was the cause of everything bad, including the cold war, slavery, and conflict between people.  In fact, there is the belief that humanity is full of hate and this hate was a threat to the world.  The result of this is the creation of the “hate myth”, that people hate each other and that this is a threat.  In addition, the paranoia of the cold war created the belief that things have to be done to prevent this hatred from getting out of control (often using the law and the Constitution).  This “hate myth” would be blended into the previous myths now making hatred as a motive.  This would be associated with black people probably having a lot to do with the Civil Rights Movement which was prevalent then.  So the line of thought becomes that we “hate” the black people because “their skin color is different”.  This, in fact, is the line of thought I was brought up with about all this.

Because of these things the myths that developed through the years and ended up distorting the interpretation of human behavior in the U.S., particularly when it involved conflicts between people.  This is why I never put much belief in many Americans explanation of conflicts between people (including law and politics).  It also created a distorted view about human nature.  This idea, for example, that people “hate people that are different” I do not feel is correct.  But these type of points of view are very prevalent in this country.

Many of these American points of view has always scared me as they are too simplistic and narrow.  They are also easy explanations that can be used too easily to explain away various problems between people . . . just call someone a “racist” and the matters done!  Because its so simplistic and narrow that it leaves out many other facts and things about life, people, and humanity.  In some respects, its like looking at life through a tube, only partially seeing things and not getting the big picture.  That’s how many of these points of view looks like to me.

THE IDENTITY OF BLACK PEOPLE

It also seems, to me, that the effects of the myths created by the U.S. also helped to create identity problems for the black people that continue to this day (see my article “Some thoughts on the identity of black people: An example of identity misalignment???“).  Many black people have used these myths to define who they are and their position in life.  In fact, they’ve become something like a “weapon” that they use to deal with life’s problems.  I’ve always felt that this is something that is actually hindering the growth of black people as a group.  Its actually “keeping them down” and “stuck in the past”.  Some of the reasons for this include:

  • Its based on a narrow and limited thinking.
  • Its based in a political ideology and, accordingly, not human based.
  • It keeps them in a “stuck as a slave” mentality.
  • It makes them see hatred and oppression everywhere.

Ironically, the thing that seems to be supporting them (American political thinking) also seems to be hindering them.

In this way, we can see that the Civil War has impacted everyone in the South, white and black, in negative ways down to today.

TRIBAL SOCIETY – THE PROUD SOCIETY

The proud way of life seen in the South is most likely related to the tribal-based society from Europe.  This tribal-nature is primarily seen in north-west Europe, the Scandinavian/British peoples.  This would have great impact on the behavior of the people of the South.

“Tribal society”, to me, refers to an orientation of society in which there is a great sense of “us” above everyone and everything else.  It is a common sense seen in many parts of the world.  It is primarily a sense of self-preservation or, rather, social-preservation.  Its this sense that has allowed many societies to survive in the world.  Many primitive societies develop a tribal orientation out of necessity, as a means of survival.

The rise of a mass society (which could be described as civilization) tends to erode the tribal sense and can even destroy it.  Its appearance can cause many social problems.  North-western Europe was made up of many tribal societies up until recently.  When the Christians came northward to convert them they brought up a more mass society civilized point of view.  As a result, they were “forced” to go from one stage of society (tribal) to another (mass society civilization) without going through the transition stages.  This same thing happened with the American Indians but on a more dramatic scale.  For proper social growth, and transformation, society needs to go through stages as it develops.  When this transitioning does not happen there often appears something to as if “bridge the gap” between the stages:

  • A conflict or social crisis.
  • A stagnation.
  • A substitute intermediary stage (often a mixture of the old and the new stage).

For north-western Europe they primarily did the last form.  The substitute was a combination of the old and new in the image of royalty and nobility.  In other words, the mixture was:

  • The loyalty and emulation of royalty satisfied the tribal sense of belonging.
  • The image of royalty and nobility represented the ideals of mass society civilization.

The effect of these can be described as a “glorified nobility”.  In this way, they had the “best of both worlds” which as if created a transition from tribal to mass society civilization.

As a result of the image of royalty and the nobility, there became a great desire to emulate royalty and be like nobility in the population.  This was very common in the 1700’s and 1800’s when the U.S. was getting established.  With the early settlers of the U.S. they found means to achieve this in the south-eastern part of the U.S. which gave them many qualities such as:

  • The land to use.
  • Wealth from the land (such as from cotton).
  • An isolation from the bustling progressive north.  In many ways, this isolation allowed something like a “regression” to take place, as if to “slip back” into a more tribal-like orientation in the South, focusing on the group, developing a proud attitude, and the creation of a “way of life” worth defending.
  • The use of the new growing slave trade that was going on then as a workforce

All this gave them the land and the workforce to create a wealthy lifestyle as well as the free time to “freely imitate the nobility” (what I often call the pseudo-nobility and which is a common trait of this period of time).  Much of pre-Civil War southern society reflected this “imitating nobility” with the emphasis on manners, appearance, status, symbols of wealth, etc.  This developed and grew in the early-mid 1800’s, right before the Civil War.  In fact, it seems that it was at its height right before the Civil War.

The problem is that they were “free to imitate the nobility” only on the backs of the slaves.  They did not see this fact as the tribal sense tended to make people not of their tribe (the blacks) appear insignificant, a trait often seen in tribal societies.  This shows that the tribal orientation tends to differentiate between those in the tribe and those without.  Typically, those not in the tribe are neglected and are often treated as “non-entities”.  This is seen by tribes all over the world.  This same stance would be taken by the South (in other words, they used a commonly used stance in the world . . . there’s really nothing unique about it).  In this way, we can see that the tribal society sense created two stances in the South:

  1. The emphasis on the tribe – They emphasized, and glorified, their imitation of nobility which is the basis of their “proud way of life” which is the tribe.  Because tribal society is social-preservation, the defending of this way of life, which was threatened by the Civil War, had to be defended and takes first priority over everything including the welfare of the slaves.
  2. The neglect of those not in the tribe – This caused them to give a blind-eye to the problems and effects of slavery.  I get the impression that many people, in the pre Civil War era, treated black people as if they were non-existent . . . complete neglect.

These seems to describe the basic stance of the South.

In many ways, it shows that there is a point when tribal society not only fails but tends to develop horribly negative effects.  To put it another way, when the tribal orientation is maintained in a large mass society civilization there tends to develop problems, such as:

  • There becomes various forms of exclusiveness.
  • Many people are neglected or treated badly (meaning those people that are within the society but not a part of the tribe).
  • A narrow-mindedness is created and inability to see the ‘bigger picture’.  That is, they only have a limited view in respect to their tribe.

The societies created by the north-western Europeans – which is basically “western society” – have all displayed these problems  in the past 300 or so years, reflecting the problems of a tribal society in large mass society civilizations.  The tribal society worked effectively and efficiently many centuries before when they were a smaller secluded society.  This reveals some interesting points:

  • Tribal societies are good for small societies that are largely by themselves in the world. 
  • Tribal societies are not good in large mass society civilizations with many people, particularly if there are different types of people. 

The problem with Southern society reflected the problem of a tribal society in a large mass society civilization.  The North, being more progressive, was losing its more tribal society orientation which is why they conflicted with the South and tried to change them.  The North would take a point of view that reflects a growing sense of mass society civilization – democracy – as the basis of their thinking.  But it wasn’t as simple as that . . .

THE UNDERMINING EFFECT OF DEMOCRACY

Ironically, though, the political ideals of the North, which sounded so good, would undermine it.  Democracy is actually a point of view that hastens the undermining of a tribal society orientation.  It does this by saying that “everyone is the same” and “no one gets special treatment”.  In addition, it destroys authority and the power of leaders.  This reflects a sense, in democracy, of a growing mass society, made up of many people, and its trying to take into consideration everyone.  The net result of this, though, is a blurring of humanity.  Tribal society, or any social bond, doesn’t grow much when people are a blur.  In this way, democracy undermines society as a whole (see my article, “Thoughts on how the U.S. is undermining itself with its own ideals – the ‘God-ordained democracy’ thats frightened of authority“).  Much of the problems of the U.S., now, are rooted in this undermining.

In some respects, democracy creates a problem in social transition.  This is because it generally takes an already existing society, with a form of social bond (whether it be tribal or not), and tries to force the mass society mentality (through democracy) upon it.  What I mean by this is that it makes it redundant and useless, if not villainized.  But democracy doesn’t offer anything substantial for the next stage.  In a way, democracy just “hints” at a new stage, or “suggests” it.  It does not create it.  Though democratic politic theory suggests a mass society civilization, its political practice is not the same as a stage in social change, hence it does not happen.  In a way, democracy is as if trying to force society into a new stage, through political practice, when the next stage hasn’t even appeared.  As a result, democracy undermines what is already there creating a society that is stagnant and without a social bond.  In this way, the society is as if “hanging”:  indecisive, uncertain, and vague with no defined leadership or meaning.  Interestingly, many people view this condition as “freedom”, believe it or not.  What all this means is that the social change democracy promotes is a change to a society that is “hanging in the air”.  In western society, we could then say that the social transformations have followed this pattern:

  1. Tribal society – this is a naturally appearing condition.
  2. The “glorified nobility” – a substitute stage because they were being forced from a tribal society to a mass society civilization.
  3. Democracy – an attempt to force society into a mass society civilization.
  4. A society “hanging in the air” – the undermining caused by democracy in which the next stage is lacking.

So we see that “glorified nobility” was a substitute stage to the mass society civilization, to help the transition.  Democracy, on the other hand, is actually a forcing of change that relied on its political practice to instigate it and which failed.  The fact is, and history shows this to be true, that political practice does not force social change.  This is the failure of democracy.

I would actually go on to say that democracy is a good idea for a small society.  Its not a good idea for a mass society.  Why is this?  Because democracy needs the unity of a tribal bond to work (that is, a unity in the population) . . . mass society civilization does not offer this.  What does this mean?  It means that, though democracy “hints” at a mass society civilization, it is actually tribal society rooted.  In this way, its as like an “in-between philosophy”.  It reflects a conflict of transitional stage.  Democracy, then, is just another aspect of the conflict of social transition that has plagued western society for over 300 years . . . it is not its solution.

Many societies that have been “democratized” (often with force) have had this “hanging in the air” problem.  Democracy is forced upon them and they find their traditional leadership gone, their traditional authority gone, their social structure gone.  Many societies have literally been “gutted” by “democratization”.  Its probably no surprise that many problems in the world have been instigated by this condition.  Once their society and authority structure is destroyed by “democratization” it leaves a void in the society for questionable people to “take over”.  This has caused the creation of many governments that are violent, destructive, and threatening.  Its created many of the “problem regimes” of the world.

As I said above, the maintaining of a society “hanging in the air” is often viewed as a form of freedom.  This is because it becomes a society where there are many “absences”, such as:

  • An absence of authority.
  • An absence of unity.
  • An absence of morality.
  • An absence of belief.

What this causes is a quality where one “has no ties” or “responsibility”, which is often perceived as a “freedom”.  What it is, in actuality, is a nihilistic society in which the society and people are “nothing” (which is another way of saying, “hanging in the air”).  This “nothing” is thought of as “freedom”.   The U.S. has become such a “nothing” society.

But a “nothing” society creates a “nothing life”.  This is not a freedom at all . . . its more of an illusion.  It tends to create a bunch of bored, shallow, and meaningless people.  Its sort of like someone brought up on a wealthy family where they have servants do everything for them.  It seems great but its empty.  To me, this describes American society as I see it now.  In this way, its as if American society has gone from one extreme (tribal-like with strict rules) to a “nothing society” (where there are no rules) in less than two hundred years.

Here are some other articles that involve similar issues:

Thoughts on matriarchial societies: Africa, slavery, and rebuilding – the effects of non-organized society

Thoughts on an event that took place in a Facebook group: “media-based hysteria” and “America’s unresolved racial issues”


Copyright by Mike Michelsen

Posted in Government and politics, Historical stuff, Modern life and society, Royalty, Society, The U.S. and American society, Tribal society and the tribal sense | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment