Tag Archive | balance

Resisting Economic Oppression – The Role of Holidays as an Indicator of Social Domination

NO SHOPPING

You can use your social media presence as a powerful form of storytelling and self-expression. When you post images or like pages on Facebook – or even when you use Twitter hash tags from ads or TV – you make a statement that contributes to the economy and world you live in. And you help advertisers enhance their ability to create a sense of deprivation and need – even when it does not exist. Case and point – forcing employees to work on Thanksgiving due to “consumer demand that stores are open.” Image source: Reason for the Season Facebook Community.

When you support a business that forces employees to work on this sacred holiday – which is intended to remind us of our blessings and abundance – you support and encourage a philosophy of economic oppression. Thank those who devote their lives to service all year round by not asking them to leave their families to serve you.

This practice is directly in violation of our most revered Constitutional right – freedom of religion – as it represents absolute irreverence for the concept of a holiday, or “HOLY DAY.” Irreverence for holidays is a form of social domination, which attempts to remove the very last vestiges of sacred and spiritual life. It is a historically devastating phenomenon, that has impacted the spiritual practices of cultures across the globe.

If people are forced to exchange the rituals and traditions of their cultural heritage and spirituality for economic stability, their connection with the sacred is slowly lost – and their Gods, customs and treasured memories are essentially confiscated and rendered forbidden. In it’s place is a “false idol,” or connection to a superficial, materialistic version of reality.

  • As colonialists in North and South America began their oppression of native cultures, certain social and psychological measures were used to dilute and eventually replace the belief systems of the “host” culture.
  • Over time, interest in one’s own cultural heritage becomes secondary to one’s interest in the dominant culture. Like a parasite, the entire system is diverted to benefit the predatory culture’s growth. When no longer of use, native cultures are cruelly discarded or cast aside – after they have surrendered all of their gifts, innovations, wealth and future generations – to sustaining their oppressors.
  • Those who conform are rewarded and praised – as well as given more status and wealth than those who continue their traditional practices. In this deceptive sleight of hand, it is never revealed that these rewards fall short of fairness – offering only a meager increase in wealth and status to a select few “exemplary individuals” in the native culture – using this arrangement to destroy the internal cohesion of the culture’s people. It is particularly effective when those who had high status in the previous, traditional culture are rendered obsolete, low-status, or worse, burdensome.
  • Because those who conform are favored with resources – including education, food and healthcare – natural selection will begin to favor culturally detached individuals. That is, human control of resources – including intangible psychological constructs like prestige, praise, and acceptance – may be used to induce the same adaptive shifts in survival strategy that are normally evoked through environmental, seasonal and geological changes. This manifestation of natural selection results from social and economic manipulation – artificially inducing an impetus to evolve or change – even though there is abundance rather than scarcity of resorces and social roles.
  • The leadership roles of the native culture are marginalized. Indivisdal yearning for power is used to overthrow “outdated” elders, usurp important social roles, and convince the host culture that the colonialists are far more qualified and capable of assuming leadership positions.
  • Those who have lost power are repeatedly assured of their fortunate position – told they are now “free” of the “burdens” and “responsibilities” of leadership and government – and that their lives are now in the capable hands of “experts.”
  • At later stages, valuable social roles and occupations are withheld from those who have been historically marginalized – especially women, minorities, and any remaining descendants of native cultures.

    Harvest Goddess

    One of the most disorienting effects of spiritual suppression is the marginalization of the divine feminine, or mother goddess. Ironically monotheism seems to have originally intended to emphasize that ALL gods are one god – not that one version is superior. And the trinity is the residual symbol of a divine family – mother, father and child (i.e., ALL people, not just some) – male, female, and what is create between the two opposite energies. Harvest Goddess – Alphonse Mucha – Art-Nouveau Painter who frequently depicts godess-like women enshrouded in interwoven natural motifs. His work was popular in advertisements and posters.

  • New rituals are invented, that make leadership roles sacred positions – beyond the understanding and abilities of mere “laypersons.” Certifications, degrees, permits, and other official documentation are used to disguise economic oppression and discrimination – reinforcing the superiority of anyone who has the time and money to purchase these positions. Training in advanced skills is only given at a high cost, and any stray individual who crawls up the ladder from below is burdened with crushing debt and psychological intimidation.
  • People are often taught mythology that claims they will be rewarded later on in an “afterlife,” which allows greedy employers and institutions to postpone fair trade indefinitely. Cultures tend to be more susceptible to this line of reasoning when they are suffering, and feel forsaken by God, country or the “higher powers” that should be protecting them.

If people are forced to exchange the rituals and traditions of their cultural heritage and spirituality for economic stability, their ability to connect with the sacred is slowly lost. In it’s place is a “false idol,” or connection to a superficial, materialistic version of reality.

As we begin another holiday season, please take time to consider how your habits as a consumer influence and shape the lives of others. And consider what we lose when we indulge in ourselves, rather than our communities and in those who really need our help.

And when you consider the diverse beliefs of others, try to suspend disbelief. Even if a female goddess terrifies you, consider the fact that nature is not organized as a monopoly or order of important versus unimportant things. If we are ALL in God’s image, then all are partially divine. In Bhuddism, every stranger is considered a possible Bhudda, and thus revered as part of a divine energy that we all share.

Thus, reclaiming our freedom and stability involves coming to terms with our exclusionary spiritual tendencies. Not just for the divine feminine, but for the myriad of faces, names, and representations used to breathe life into a concept that we all share… In an infinite universe, one or many are both the same number – and there is no beginning nor end – just observable cycles that appear to signify these concepts.

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Psychology of Color

Psychology of Color

Color embodies one of the most powerful tools for self-expression and visual communication – transcending the barriers of verbal language, culture, education, and socio-economic status – a universal language which all humans equally share and understand. This occurs simply because the emotional information encoded within colors remains far too abstract, intangible, and universal for any one person to control, monopolize or restrict access to its meaning; however, this does not mean that people cannot be deceived into believing that they lack the authority, education, or status to use, wear and express themselves via color, as if color itself can be owned exclusively like any other possession. Just as kings and queens of the past claimed an exclusive right to don robes dyed with the rare Tyrian purple dye – derived from the immune secretions of various sea snails (commonly mistaken as coming from their shells, rather than their bodies) – contemporary culture remains saturated with “exclusively owned” colors, belonging to specific brands, products, and individuals who purchase the right to restrict their use. In this context, color itself becomes a status symbol – such as the “Tiffany blue” box used by Tiffany’s to encase its designer jewelry, or the sterile, streamlined white of so many Apple products. Even worse, people feel that they lack the education to interpret color – and all artistic, creative, and universal gestures that normally transcend arbitrary barriers – robbing us of our shared language, and isolating us from one another indefinitely. If we can remember our universal connections to one another, then we are one step closer to erasing hate, prejudice, injustice, terrorism, and violence. Color is one of the easiest formats for exploring our shared roots, for we all share:

Red: the flicker of fire in darkness, passion, sparks, and fruit ripening seductively on a tree branch.

Orange: candlelight, more fire, citrus, warmth, honey, sunlight.

Yellow: sunshine, our first reference point in the sky – our sun- and our shared benefactor who gives us life, energy, warmth and light.

Green: lush, growing things; plant life, leaves, and moss.

Blue: water, the sky, the moon which guides us even in darkness.

Purple: the fringes of time – twilight’s glowing sky, autumn leaves, shadows, caves and the depths of the ocean.

Here we see in this spectrum our own shared spectrum, and realize how light and darkness merge, intertwine and depend upon one another for sustenance as well as continued existence. In perpetual harmony, balance and peace, they cancel one another out, and in their multiplicity, diversity and difference, they converge at a common origin.