Posts Tagged conflict

Addressing Conflict – Arousing Peace: Using the Principles of Navajo Peacemaking to Achieve Harmony


I have decided to use my many years of experience in Navajo Peacemaking and write a book on how to use these principles in our daily lives. As someone who has worked in the mainstream criminal justice system as well as having received a National Institute of Justice Grant to evaluate and assess Navajo Peacemaking, few people are in a better position to translate these universal ideas and apply them to our everyday lives.

This book will be divided into five sections. They are:

1 – “The Esoteric Must Come First” – this is one of most frequent instructions I received while working with traditional Navajo counselors while conducting my research on the Navajo Nation. The esoteric is, in itself, a profound and potentially life transforming understanding that casts a completely different light on the people in our lives.

2 – “The Principles of Peacemaking” – Taking what we have learned of the esoteric, we can now embark in a thorough understanding of Peacemaking itself.

3 – “The Peaceful Family” – this section is dedicated to the family, children and parents, to help them approach, deal, and settle the many conflicts that inevitably arise in our daily lives. You will learn an entirely new and empowering approach to healing relations ruptured by conflict.

4 – “Reduce and Even Prevent Crime through Peacemaking” – Peacemaking is a proven approach designed to reduce not only the incidence of substance abuse and inter-personal violence, but also to bring radical healing to those people who have participated in violence and those that have suffered as a result.

5- “Applying the Principles of Peacemaking to Bring About a More Peaceful World” – The power of Peacemaking to change the world is something whose time has surely come. I invite the leaders and people of today’s world to take a careful look at this approach to bringing peace to places where war has long prevailed.

The Peacemaking path is one we can all take. We become our own healers in times of stress, chaos, and despair.

Because the writing of this book will take up most of my creative time, my posting to this blog will be less frequent and will tend to focus on the topics that I’ll be writing about in this book.

If you have a special interest in this topic, let me know and I can send up special ‘updates’ to keep you apprised of understanding this timely and vital topic.

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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.

Islam

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: eric@liberationfromthelie.com and just request the Cancer Series and I will send it to you.

Please spread the word!

, , , , ,

Leave a comment

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.

Islam

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: eric@liberationfromthelie.com and just request the Cancer Series and I will send it to you.

Please spread the word!

, , , , ,

Leave a comment

God – Updated!


God is the one entity that no one can truly see, hear, touch, or feel, yet one asserts a level of belief in god that often transcends belief in what one can actually see, hear, touch, or feel. How incredible is that?

God does not exist.

The god concept has, instead, been something that people have needed. They needed a god to impart a holiness onto this world in place of what appeared as mere materiality. People needed their god to be like Santa Claus to whom they could submit their fears, wants, and uncertainty to. People preferred to reject their own life responsibilities and place the burden on what happens in their life on god. People needed a god to invest themselves with special authority (priests, rabbis, gurus). People have needed their own group god, so that they could distinguish their group from others. People needed god to blame when things didn’t go their way. And, of course, people have needed god to explain that which they could not. And even when science presents logical, testable, sensible, and reasonable explanations for how things work and happen, those too lazy to explore the methods and findings of science continue to reject science in preference to their own deficiency linked beliefs, i.e., god.

God is all about need and where there is need, there is, most of the time, an identification with insufficiency. So a belief in god sustains a belief in our own insufficiency as human beings. It’s not that we are god-like – it is that we simply are! We are as we are.

Do you think trees need to believe in god? Do you think wolves believe in god? Maybe we can’t say for sure, but I really doubt it. After all, why would they need to? They are full and complete as they are and even god believers would agree with that. Their world truly is as it is – which is a source of wonder and exploration! Do antelopes need to prove their faith in the divine by going to antelope church?

The way of the universe AS it is, is, itself, a kind of ever-present miracle. The story of evolution, how eyes evolved, how thought and feeling evolved is simply amazing and incredible just AS it is. The world as it is vastly overwhelms any paltry faith based belief we might harbor about a Daddy god in the the darker zones of our ever-needy psychological selves.

Notice how defensive people get when you question their belief in God? They often get angry, if not violent when faith is fairly questioned. In fact, millions upon millions of people have been slaughtered when religious beliefs are questioned. And many more millions have been slaughtered in the name of god.

People kill, maim, and hate in the name of god, because it’s the belief into which they invest their greatest level of self-negation. God as belief, is the most powerful constructs of self-disempower that the world of “Man” has ever invented – and please know – god is a human invention.

The division, the violence, the acrimony that people have created in their insistence that they possess the one and true God has been a horror. The requirement that our leaders are god fearing believers is a travesty. Frankly, it has become a kind of grotesque joke.

We no longer need god. In fact, we never needed God, but that’s another story for another time.

Explore your own god beliefs and if you say, god is everything or god is the Tao, then I will reply to you that that is a statement without content. It is no different than saying that everything is everything and that might be the truest statement we could make.

One last point:

While I was working with Navajo traditional counselors on the Peacemaking Project, one of the Navajo healers, who very powerfully impressed me, said, “Grief might be the gateway to transformation, but the highest emotional experience is humor.”

But in contrast, have you ever noticed how serious people become when they start talking about religion? Churches and temples are very serious places – hushed … reverential. God and humor just don’t go together. You can’t joke with or about god. Nothing is more serious than god. Why is that? What makes you serious in a forced way? Isn’t it exactly what you are most defensive about? Consider the possibility.

The one – core belief that we most fear to question is the one single belief that is, at face, utterly false and without substance.

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