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November 1/First Quarter Moon
on inner wisdom from an inner troll
Today is the first quarter moon, here we are halfway between the new moon and the full moon. How are you doing this week as we face a midterm election in this current reality of late-stage capitalism? Things are wild and disrupted. From climate disasters all over the globe, to violence against our lawmakers and their families, and rampant misinformation and arrogant disregard for truth. How do you turn it off and find the solace needed to make contact with your inner wisdom?
One of my favorite mindfulness teachers found his own awakening while being a shop keeper in a busy open air market in Myanmar. If you have been in our world’s markets you know those gathering places of commercial dealings are not the serene surroundings where seated silent meditation sets them free. In fact, he teaches that you can connect with your inner knowing by working with whatever comes up, wherever you are.
At the beginning of the pandemic he shared a paper that inspired me to practice with the minuscule. He described the moment of intention with simple actions like which hand you will use to open a door. There is the moment before default mode sets in where the intention to move comes first.
All this is a lead in to social media and election campaigns and the world as it is right now. We have subtexts, things opporating beneath the surface of our minds that help us decide which hand to reach toward the door knob and so much more. These unconscious operating systems influence how we feel, how we digest food, the tension in our muscles, our ability to relax said muscles. We have responses in this nearly totally unconscious mode all day long. Images and notifications that come up on our phones and our desktops, the news in the car, responses to traffic, or to the plate left unwashed on the kitchen counter. These stimuli can influence a whole domino effect of reactions through our brain and body. This sea of stimuli we live in creates our thoughts and our thoughts create our experience. That is just how it is.
My ambition here with this writing is to inspire people to take care of their bodies and their minds for the greater good of this planet and the wildlife upon it, including humanity. I want to do that by also supporting my self and contributing to my family and the community I am a part of. So this writing is not neutral, but my gain is wrapped up with your gain and cannot be separated.
Perhaps we have different ideas about how to go about this betterment of society, but here is where I want to point out, not all ambitions are created equal and some of those ways, namely supply side economics, have been proven not to work by this experiment we Americans have all been living through since Reagen and will be the demise of our planet and all that we love upon it if we continue as we are.
Greed has not left anything to trickle down and will have you all be zombies influenced by what Sarah Longwell calls the triangle of doom:
It works like this: Hardcore base voters want to watch media that confirms all their priors and then some. —> So fringe media outlets get traction with Republican audiences. —> GOP politicians need to go on these media outlets in order to reach base voters. —> The more politicians go on these fringe shows, the more mainstream these outlets become. —> Which creates competition for right-wing news outlets that are one standard deviation more sane, forcing those media outlets to get crazier just to stay on par.
She shows us so clearly how this cycle has got us where we are today.
All of us who play around in the social media realm are subject to the algorithm. And the algorithm is not neutral. It wants you to engage and it is primed for quickness of engagement and those default modes beneath our surface brain are triggered even before our ken. If you want to delve into the algorithm more here is an interview between one of my long-time body work mentors Brooke Thomas interviewing Jane Clapp who has is studying to be a Jungian analyst and recently wrote a paper called “Social Media and the Collective Unconscious: Archetypal Algorithms and the Colonization of the Psyche.”
I can feel those words beneath the surface and I hear a small rallying cry: RESIST!
So as we ride this last week out, let’s be aware of our biases. Both how they work and how our efforts can cultivate what we ultimately want for all.
To that end, here is a link to this week’s podcast:
Much Love, Tina
Resources for further study:
I loved the article with the link below by Rebecca Solinit “Why Climate Despair is a Luxury: those facing flood and fire can’t afford to loose hope and neither should we.” It is about taking the long view, seeing how campaigns build, how attitudes change, “how the past equips us to face the future.” This article is recommended by Chris La Tray of An Irritable Metis and he quotes the exact section I am referring to. https://www.newstatesman.com/environment/2022/10/rebecca-solnit-climate-despair-luxury
Below are two excerpts from a book on bias written by Minnesota Author Jessica Cordell. The book is entitled The End of Bias: The science and practice of overcoming unconscious bias
This first excerpt is about a woman who interviewed Los Angelous police officers and breaks down how bias shows itself. It’s really compelling and well written. https://minnesotareformer.com/2022/08/22/book-excerpt-the-end-of-bias/
This second one is a closer look at what is required of people who come to anti-bias training. It is a sympathetic and realistic view of our organizations and our police officers: https://minnesotareformer.com/2022/08/23/can-mindfulness-help-cops-be-better-more-humane-cops-only-if-theyll-let-it-book-excerpt/