Last night I attended a two -hour workshop led by Nicole Adriana Casanova. I was late. I got the time wrong. One year ago if I walked into a quiet sacred space of women I mostly didn't know sitting in a circle, I think I would have just decided to leave.
That's an old story.
I have been thinking a lot about narratives, the stories we tell ourselves individually and as a nation. I often think of this this political strategy tenet: I have read it several times regarding political PR. "If you're explaining, you're losing."
What does that mean exactly?
In politics, it means, there's a difference between "messaging" and "explaining." I think of messaging as manipulation and explaining as education.
Why is it that our human brains differentiate these forms of information.
It comes down to two things I suppose, The motivation of the speaker (trying to get you to do something versus trying to get you to understand something), and the motivation of the listener: emotional versus rational thinking.
The rational versus the intuitive. The scientist versus the artist. These concepts have always been presented as mutually exclusive.
Because I think about these concepts all the time, I am rather fascinated by left handedness. Dr. Iain McGilchrist gives a beautiful TedTalk about why left-handedness and right handedness relate to our ways of thinking. He discusses the right brain (or left hand) as being the place where we understand concepts, implicit meaning that doesn't necessitate explaining. As a psychiatrist he saw that patients who had use of their left hemisphere, having their rational minds being completely functional, would look down at the arm that wasn't functioning and believe that it was someone else's, but were rather indifferent to their loss of bodily movement. Those who had their right brain (or intuitive hemisphere) intact had a more difficult time regaining motor function but were more devastated by their loss. The rational brain understood how to do things, but did not understand the value of what it was doing; the intuitive brain had a harder time taking the action steps, but understood the meaning of the situation implicitly.
His talk and his book, The Divided Brain, discuss how these two systems rely on one another equally. There is a parallel between the rise of "left brain/rational thinking coming to dominate and diminish our intuitive nature and patriarchal structures coming to dominate matriarchal societies.
The divine feminine is receptive. It waits. It knows without explaining. It feels in the body and sees the value of pain.
The logical rational brain can help us when our intuitive side gets stuck, is wrong, is clogged, or wants to try and communicate its knowledge to another human being.
Here's the thing about a lot of the "woo woo" stuff that's getting popular right now. It's not about the esoteric having dominance over the rational and the visible. I mean, the concept of balance is a greco roman ideal. It's not about either/or. It's about mutual respect.
The wisdom of virgin forests and nature and the wisdom of diverse cities that house some of mankind's most precious technologies and artistic accomplishments don't compete intrinsically, unless one has no respect for the value of the other.
Just as going to a medical doctor trained in medicine in the Western modern world can read a Deepak Chopra book without renouncing scientific theory, just as quantum physics and the idea of a spiritual world don't compete.
All ideas break down into two concepts for me: power and narrative. These are the two structures that create our worlds. I can meditate, I can learn to undo all of the societal imprinting that tells me I could always be prettier, skinnier, richer, have more things, have a nicer home, but I also need to deal with the gravity and reality of power.
I am fortunate, so I have a family and a life that gives me time to think about these things after work. I don't spend every second of everyday making sure I have food on the table or that my home is safe. And when I think about who we have given power to in this country: organized religions, corporate entities and governments and laws we cannot easily understand, I see that the dominating narrative is that there is nothing we can do, or that it's us versus them, or that somehow intellectualizing everything is going to fix it. The narrative is that our survival, prosperity, and happiness is an individual disconnected idea. Energetically, this makes no sense. And physically, it makes no sense. Resources are precious, and natural and limited, and should be treated and shared as such. How can solar energy, land, airwaves, etc. belong to anyone but the collective.
I believe we can be activists and also spiritual beings. I believe that understanding the fluidity of your personal power and how you experience reality will give you the compassion to understand someone you don't agree with.
I am passionate about people being given true information. I believe that they can, as a whole, make good decisions for themselves, if they are given rational true ideas of the way the world works, if their fears and reptilian instincts aren't constantly being inflamed by commercials and explosive language.
When you are riled up, emotional, angry, is this when you make decisions? (I'm not demonizing emotions or anger, I'm just questioning why you would trust any friend or news source that seems to only deliver you information in a way that makes you upset. )
This has been my morning freestyle muse for today. I plan on freewheeling publicly for the next twenty days as a way to get over myself and dedicate myself to practice writing again.
Thank you if you made this far. You are always in my heart.