Over and over we hear it. In one form or another. They Say,
Its for your own safety, its for your own security… its for your own protection.
The admonition is always accompanied by the threat of a great danger to our wellbeing and the message is always clear – if you want to get through this, do as you’re told and do not think to challenge the one who gives the command. Effectively, you are told to obey without question. Just as a parent would speak to and command a child. Within this dysfunctional set up, the command to comply without question is always reinforced by the threat of punishment, extensive shaming and the loss of the promise of longed for approval and validation.
This is not an exploration of the effects of a virus –
this is an exploration of how we react to crisis and perceived threat, according to our conditioning
With enough repetition, of any message, we begin to believe it. Especially when it is articulated by an agency invested with a tremendous amount of authority and trust. Such as government or the medical professions. Like never before, these agencies have boundless influence, continually broadcasting their message through attention monopolising media platforms that mesmerise the viewing public. Given that most of us are now helplessly addicted to filling up on distracting and numbing streams of images, opinions and directives, via mobile phone, computer and tv, we are, quite simply, very easily manipulated. We are incited by an endless hunger for ‘information’.
How many people believe that what they see on tv is true and real? As if, long ago, tv and radio broadcasts were elevated to the god like status of ultimate truth and infallibility. How many are utterly sold on whatever is told to them by The Authority, whatever that authority may be? Whether political ‘leadership’, medical experts, ‘law’ enforcement, or various other assorted self-proclaimed authorities. On either end of any spectrum.
(As a side note, people seem to have this peculiar habit of not only taking on what has been force fed to them and accepting it as a part of themselves, but, by necessity of needing to perpetually justify the truth of it to themselves, they then have to promote it to others. This includes defending it against non-believers. In that defence – which is usually aggressive assertion – there is always violence, to one degree or another)
What we have here is a plethora of authorities – official and unofficial – insisting they know what’s best for us. But do they really? Who really knows what is going on when there are a thousand versions of the current reality flying around? Who do we believe? For most of us believe we have to believe something and take a position. Believing nothing is not an option. This obviously creates great confusion, and conflict, as people furiously flap around whilst trying to find some sense of certainty in something… or someone. By this point, many people have wholeheartedly bought into the belief, and self-created reality that there is a great danger ‘out there’ and that ‘I’ need (and want) to be protected from it. I am powerless and helpless in the face of this challenge.
So please! Daddy, save me! Save me from this invisible threat!
I’ll do anything you say, just make it go away!!
How is it in my interest to invest my trust in the office or figure of authority and do exactly as they say? And believe exactly what they say I should believe. This is a fundamental question, for when people feel threatened, they are then mostly motivated by self-interest and self-preservation. Therefore, when giving away their sovereignty to an external, imagined authority there is always the desire, and demand, for something in return.
And that is… a feeling of safety and security,
which is why these terms are used religiously when appealing for collective compliance.
When in fear, people will often do anything to make the object of their fear go away. Anything related to or associated with that unwanted object of fear will be pushed away and rejected, often violently. The survival mode evoked by an imagined great threat creates a self-obsessed need for self-preservation. When in fear and panic it is every man/woman for themselves. Consideration for and inclusion of others evaporates. Freedom of expression, and respect for others, in their difference, is cast off. Opposition and resistance become justified. The individual, lost in extreme, fearful reactivity isolates themselves, increasingly separating and disconnecting from others which then allows for abusive and harmful treatment of those others. Ironically, in essence, this creates the very situation the individual was attempting to protect themselves from.
This is not just a commentary on what is current – this is a commentary on humanity.
We are programmed from birth to defer to outer authority, starting with mummy and daddy. Affectively, our parents are as Gods to that helpless child we all were. Consciously and unconsciously, they communicated in words, action and being, that they knew what was best for us. Often implied in this was the message that, if we want to survive (and their continuing love, approval and attention were equal to survival) we better believe it! And do as they say! This is not to say that any parent has been inherently bad or wicked, and has consciously chosen to do harm to their child. No one in a clear mind would truly wish to harm another. However, when lost in their own confusion, fear and the pain and distortion of their past (which continues to haunt them), they believe things which justify harm to others.
It is pure arrogance to believe that we know what is best for another or what should be in any given situation. This is the human addiction to knowing, to have some framework of knowing in order to make sense of the world. It leads only to conflict and violence.
It always becomes my way is the right way, therefore I must oppose your way.
Every one of us is shaped by our early life environment and by the society we grow up in. We are a creation and a reflection of that family and society. Society creates the family and the family in turn creates society. The individual is an expression of that background. Beyond these conditioning influences, there is a unique expression of each one of us. Sadly, this is all too often dulled down, distorted or even completely hidden away and over laid with a personality that seeks for a safe passage through life, rejects and opposes life, or desires to take control of everything. Always at the cost of its own spirit.
One on end of the spectrum, we see the fairly large and generalised category of people labelled derisively and dismissed as ‘conspiracy theorists’. Many who are consigned to this conspiracy camp by mainstream media often grew up in families dominated by denial, deceit, and ensuing confusion. The individual grew up seeing that one or both parents, therefore, authority figures, could never be trusted. There was often the feeling that something terrible and probably harmful was brewing behind the façade. This gradually fashioned a paranoid personality, lost in its own dark world of cabals where they were the only one who could see it and expose it.
Then there is the rebellious personality, who, through the pain of rejection and not belonging, grew up openly challenging and fighting with authority figures. These two types live in open resistance to authority, psychologically and sometimes physically.
Then there are the personality types that grew up invested in the path laid out for them, those who were studious, hard working and compliant. They accepted the authoritative narrative of the family and did their best to fit into that. They certainly don’t wish to rock the boat. These types naturally defer to and comply with authority. Psychologically, authority cannot be challenged, at least not openly. These are the adult good boys and good girls.
Finally, there are the personality types who, vowing never again to be powerless, wish to seize positions of power and become The Authority, whose word and whim then direct others.
This may be a very simplistic and cursory examination but it illustrates a point – that most of us are still playing out our childhood and teenage dramas, but on the larger stage of society. Whatever the adaption each individual made, this was forced by neglect and abuse from and within the family. The greater the abuse, the greater the distortion. When we look at the current situation, one of the main themes playing out is that around power and authority and who this resides with. In the context of the family, the relationship with the model of authority directed how we were to then relate to outer authorities later in life, and whether this was to be struggle against or fearful compliance with. Both paths are entrenched in resistance.
What happens in a family that are living in an unspoken world of deceit and denial? An environment devoid of open, honest communication and respectful emotional engagement. The result of this is seen in the world. Unconsciously, parents usually visit upon their children similar neglect and abuse that was inflicted upon them – the age old merri-go-round that replays the same old stories in each subsequent generation.
This interfamily abuse, running unconsciously, is usually shrouded in a veil of denial in which no one speaks out about what is happening. They are too frightened too. The children feel imprisoned, powerless and totally at the mercy of the parents. The parents in turn are often terrified of facing what is really going on, and what they are creating, as well as their own sense of powerlessness.
When a family member does speak out, raising the alarm bells and challenging the delusions that hold the family together (as well as holding them hostage), usually that individual is turned on, blamed and shamed for even questioning that something is not right. They are shamed into feeling wrong and stupid, as they are told they are the delusion one. They doubt themselves, maybe start to think they are crazy. This continues the abuse cycle. Denial holds it in place and requires further abuse to enforce.
This is not an exception or a rarity – it is far more commonplace than some of us might like to admit and face.
Children get swept along in the agendas of others. They are carried by the groups they belong to. Physically and psychologically, they have no choice but to trust that they will be looked after by their caregivers. When they are threatened, children look to those caregivers to protect them and keep them safe. Any crisis in adulthood will evoke old individual (and collective) traumas, particularly those experienced in childhood.
Unresolved trauma creates a desire to protect oneself from any further trauma
Even at the expense of withdrawing into fearful isolation
At an emotional level that individual then reverts back to that helpless, childlike state, in which it looks to an adult authority figure to make the threat go away so it may remain safe.
To a child, safety is paramount. Independence and self-autonomy do not matter. When mummy or daddy have attached certain requirements to the promise of safety and security the child is happy to comply – to be a good boy or a good girl, for the sake of securing that safety.
What we are also seeing, on the flip side of this situation, is the child in temper tantrum who is protesting the restriction of its freedom to do as it pleases. Both ways are directed by fear and demand.
A child has not yet developed its sense of independence, self-sovereignty or intuitive inner authority. It defers to or resists the family/society. Neither way will work. This is not new, merely that current circumstances have exaggerated this human dynamic. It is making us face our trauma, our sense of separation and the fundamental stories of ourselves. This encompasses the dysfunctional ways in which we react to perceived threat. Particularly so when that threat is invisible and non-human. How do we negotiate with it? With each other and ourselves?
A core part of what we see intensifying in the world currently is the clash of personalities, each rooted in the formative experience of early life. This is the struggle of dualities – parent and child, master and slave, leader and led, the knower and the ignorant. Where does the authority lie? We are being forced into a total re-assessment of what authority is. This leads to a challenging of the very nature and basis of authority as we now know and accept it.
At the peak of social authority we have government. We could see government as an outward representation of daddy, of that masculine authority that directs and commands and expects unquestioning obedience. We are being treated like children and told not to question Daddy and the voice that says ‘trust me, I know’.
Many, reacting emotionally and locked within fear and childhood trauma, are happy to be treated as children. They just want everything bad to go away and for things to get back to how they were – the mystical, golden past where (it was believed) everything was better. Others, who question or rebel against the greater knowing of Big Daddy are shamed and punished. The dissenting minority are labelled as crazy. People turn against each other, those with differing voices are freely shamed, and it becomes us and them. Again, a wider reflection of how parents will shame their children for seeing, feeling, hearing what is real and exposing the delusion and deceit by speaking up and challenging the official line.
Even if we believe that government (and all the forces that shape government, that is, capitalist financial interest) is basically good, that it wishes to protect and promote our welfare as individuals, what happens when they get it wrong?
Daddy does not take challenge well, for he believes that he knows best. If you don’t listen to his reason, and his knowing, and do just as he says, eventually his paternal favour will sour into a controlling, punishing wrath. It is seen everywhere.
Government, and the hierarchical systems of old society, do not encourage its individual citizens to develop inner authority, self-sovereignty and trust in their own intuition, to direct their lives with respect and consideration for all others. Government and its partners are invested in their own continuation and the perpetuation of their power and privilege, and that does not include relinquishing power by empowering individuals to be self-directing, independent. Just as a good parent would do. Their joy is see it’s child become self-sufficient, as it’s parenting becomes obsolete.
Many of us who lived our early lives as rebellious and rejecting, marginalised citizens, have grown out of the protest and resistance to society. This energy has transformed into a peaceful maturity that is strong and clear and centred enough to stand up to and challenge what is seen as incongruous, deceitful and outright abusive. Change and transformation within and of a society always moves through its more rebellious elements. Naturally. Conservative elements wish to keep things the same, and live in the denial that it is even possible.
What we see emerging now is a growing questioning of authority and the blind trust that has been placed in it. The institutions of authority are increasingly being shown up as ineffectual and inadequate to the challenges of a rapidly changing human and planetary environment and consciousness. Many who have started to question still place a sense of trust in outer authority, for currently they see no alternative to it. They have not yet begun to connect with, or even discover the possibility of living directed by their own, unique inner voice.
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