Invalidation's Shadow: The Human Cancer Effect Conclusion

The last two posts talked about human cancer in its pervasive manifestation and its cure. The root of human cancer is invalidation and the cure of invalidation is to reverse its effect through seeing how it plays out in the real world and to abide in the unchanging light of our Authentic Being.

In this final post of this series, I want to talk more about the effects of this cancer on the human level. But more specifically, I would like to illustrate examples that are more extreme, yet often more a part of our everyday lives, than those that are discussed, in detail, in my book. The first post in this series talked about the overarching effect of this cancer. Today we will take a brief look at how invalidation/cancer manifests on the group, regional, and national levels.

The Inner City

In our own society of the United States, we have many zones of invalidation distributed through time and space. One zone, we might know well, is the inner cities of most urban areas in this country. African-Americans arrived in this country as slaves, mere chattel. Their emancipation in 1863 actually changed very little. Without the support of the plantation system they were forced into the even more cruel clutches of rural wage/farm labor. In essence, they remained slaves, but now without the supports of housing or food! This system of indentured wage/slavery continued well into the 20th century. Now we have the vast landscapes of poverty, hopelessness, self-futility and desolation that characterize nearly all of our largest cities.

This is a whole people who have experienced almost nothing but invalidation. So what do we see in these areas? We see abject resignation, profound depression, violence, substance, abuse, and shattered families. We also see strength, love, and solidarity. Invalidation is not of one color. Like everything else, it has a spectrum. Even in the most exploited and negated areas, the vitality of our Authentic Being lives on. What I describe in Liberation from the Lie and these posts should never be read as some kind of simple, unitary effect. No. It varies from person to person, from group to group, and even to nation to nation. But where invalidation is most pervasive, where people are most negated, where communities and families are most broken up, there you will find concentrations of invalidation.

The violent young men and women of the inner city express their innate powerlessness through brutal shows of force often followed by episodes of depression and hopeless futility. We hear many of these young men confident that they will not live to see their 25th birthday. The invalidation effect expresses itself differently by class. The expression from the poor is often more raw, more apparent, but because these communities are so negated and so isolated culturally, we can ignore their cries of need. We can pretend that they don’t exist. We can blame them for our failures. We can live happy that we are not them. The pathos of this relationship of human cancer is so great that words truly escape me. But we can see how the invalidation effects are protected by our immense capacity to deny and blame. This is all part of the hollow world of human cancer where relationships are based on false promises, mutual validation (see the Book), and personal self advantage.


The Middle East and especially the Persian Gulf region has been a place where cultural invalidation has played a powerful role. First the region was colonized by England and France in the 19th century. Puppet regimes, designed to serve the controlling and extractive needs of the conquerors were established and ever since then, this region has provided their Western masters with the fuel to drive their factories, cars, and war machines. We have used these people and their resources and have every notion of bleeding them dry of the one resource that can bring them the wealth to build locally owned and controlled productive institutions. But the many decades of invalidation have acted to create a monster. More than anything else, invalidation is a polarizing influence. When negation occurs everything becomes more extreme. Thus we observe in the shadow of colonization the creation of radical Islam. When you disenfranchise a people through force and coercion (as the human child is coerced and forced to be as we demand them to be!), we create monsters.

Thus our exploitation and invalidation explains 9/11 and all the carnage that has followed in its wake. Al Qaeda is like an inner city gang. It is configured in rage, implicit powerlessness, and righteous indignation. And we act as if we cannot understand their anger and frustration. We respond to their acts of force as if they have arisen in a vacuum. Instead, we raise the stakes by blaming them for their own abject poverty and neglect. As we heap rage and recrimination on Muslims, we raise our own shining crosses ever higher. We conveniently forget about the massive exploitation, we forget about the 1,000 years of conflict with the Islamic world starting with the Crusades, we forget about the colonization, we forget about how colonization infantilizes a people and their sacred culture, we forget it all and that forgetting is the very manifestation of invalidation in one of its most destructive forms. Our own rage and fury is part and parcel of the very same invalidation. For when human cancer arises, all are sickened. We are the people that flew the planes into the Twin Towers, we are the terror squads that roam the countryside of Afghanistan, we are the violent subjugation of women, we are the the whole process from start to finish and it all begins with invalidation.

The Empire of the United States

My final example is the current world empire, the United States. Unlike the inner cities of America and the dispossessed of the Middle East, the social-culture of the US presents the other side of the invalidation coin. Where those of the inner city and the Persian Gulf region are the depleted side of the negation coin, the Empire is the bloated side. As an empire our marks of success are characterized by sucking. We suck the life out of those regions and people to sustain a culture where the divide between the “haves” and “have-nots” must be large and projected outwards. We suck everything we can from the dispossessed part of the world and thus bloat and expand our own cultural being. We need to show the world just how fantastic it is to own multiple homes, gas guzzling SUVs, every type of power hogging contraption, and all the rest. As an empire we have the luxury of defining to the world what it means to be a success. As the world’s media center we can propagate this image of avarice to all the world. Now every family in China and India would like nothing more than two cars, multiple televisions, and the rest of the material package.

We are driven to have these things for not to have them would mean that we are not a success. Thus our drive to possess all that the world can produce is fueled by a powerful fear of its absence. Without all the material accoutrements of 21st century success, we are, in essence, failures. We have not secured our slice of the empire’s fruit. This is the drive to be someone – someone special – someone safe – someone successful – someone powerful. We can live in our electronic palaces and comfortably blame those dirty people in the inner cities for their own woes and we can blame those dirty people in the Middle East for their own social and economic failures. We can feel as entitled as we possibly can and live oblivious of the truth of our connections with all of that and so much more.

The Universe of Invalidation/Cancer and Its Healing

This is the universe of human cancer. No one fully escapes the shadow of invalidation. And as it has grown in power, the stakes to our survival as a species have grown in proportion. We can’t fully understand the invalidation/cancer effect unless we see, simultaneously, both sides of the process. We are all victims of any compulsive need that is driven by fear and we can only be fear driven when our identity is defined by a belief in our innate inadequacy, insufficiency, and worthlessness. That is the whole basis of the invalidation experience as it is expressed in my book, Liberation from the Lie.

As long as who we believe ourselves to be is defined by a belief founded in our own invalidation/negation, we will continue to feed and nurture human cancer. This need is passed through the generations and becomes the very thing we know best – to our detriment. The violence, the substance abuse, the wars, the depression – all of it will continue unabated. It will not go away with political or social reforms. Rather our healing comes in the individual and group realization in our Authentic Being – that which is not defined by any socially or culturally defined identity. It is that which precedes all identity and links us to all of creation as, not only equals, but as One. Thus looking to our government or our religious leaders for salvation is an utter waste of time. It is a monument to profound entrancement that is a consequence of futile hope. We desperately seek something external to ourselves to complete who we are and to solve all our problems.

That will not work. The only healer we will ever have is ourselves. We are the revolution in consciousness. This is not a matter of getting anything. Rather, it is a matter of return, of shedding the false and allowing the real to reveal itself as a consequence of this healing. This is the power of liberation.

If you would like your own copy of the Cancer Series, please email me at: and just request the Cancer Series and I will send it to you.

Please spread the word!


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