Saturday, January 03, 2009

something, continued.

it's sometimes something more sinister (sinister?) than superstition or even solipsism that leads us to attribute ill-will and bad intentions to other people or the universe at large: we posit external enemies as a way of avoiding the seemingly unface-able truth that the problem is in us-- that the enemy is inside. and it must take elaborate psychological mechanisms to prop up this belief in external enemies, because isn't it obvious that we ourselves are the only common factor in all of our experiences and changing circumstances?

i don't mean to sound like some kind of republican or motivational speaker or anything like that. who we are is itself a part of the world, and a product of it, and our demons are so often an unfair fact of bodies and circumstances into which were brought without consent. and it's a nightmare-- a reoccurring human nightmare, told and retold in all our scariest stories: the alien is on our own ship; the parasite is in your own guts; they're not the ghosts-- we are. it's a powerful fear we carry. it's a powerful shame. and maybe it takes a kind of power to confront it that's greater than what we can reasonably expect of another person. that might be so.

and sometimes it really does work the other way around-- in the case of oppression, say-- and then, of course, the members of the oppressed group are made to feel (to deeply feel) that the problem is in them, written into their genetic code, when in fact they really are systematically confronting other people's bullshit. and they wonder 'am i crazy?'

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