Maybelogic - Academy
The Inner Compass - Week Four
A few words about the material in Truth or Dare: I started writing the book because I was perplexed about issues of power and authority, and grappling with the questions of how and why early European cultures made a transition from relatively egalitarian, peaceful, Goddess-centered cultures to patriarchy. (See Truth or Dare, Chapter Two, The Dismembering of the World,) I was also in graduate school, in a Feminist Therapy course, studying a lot of psychology. And it began to strike me how much of our internal psychology mirrored the constructs of power-over and domination in the centralized, hierarchical governments that developed in those early, patriarchal states.
Some of you may be familiar with the work of linguist George Lakoff, who has written a number of books on politics and framing, including Don’t Think of An Elephant and Moral Politics. He talks about the overarching frames through which we view political issues, and identifies two: The Strict Father frame, and the Nurturing Parent frame. The Strict Father frame, in its most virulent forms, corresponds quite well with the constructs of the Self-Hater. To counter that framing in the larger world around us, it’s helpful to be at least a bit familiar with the internal voices we all carry that attempt to control us with guilt, shame, silence, etc. And to transform those inner voices and heal, we need to also be able to recognize and challenge that framework in the external world.
A number of people have responded, on the Forum, to the issue of what I called ‘creative shame.’ I’m thinking of how strong the Censor’s voice can be, and how we violate his commands to be silent when we express ourselves, speak out, write, sing, stand out in any way. And how much safer it can seem, to keep silent, to not take the risk of failure, not reveal our vulnerable, sensitive selves to a world that can be uncaring, rejecting and hostile. That, in fact, will inevitably be uncaring and rejecting, at least some of the time—because there is no creative work ever done that pleases everyone. I love Lord of the Rings—my partner hates it! I was moved and riveted by Pan’s Labyrinth, he was fidgeting and diving for the popcorn. However, he and my then-eight-year-old Goddess daughter sat enthralled through hours of old black-and-white videos of Wagnerian operas, in German. Go figure! But one of my goals in this course is to help each of us strengthen our own core of value and pride, so we can withstand rejection and criticism without losing our creative spark. Believe me, I get plenty of practice!
You might consider, also, how Bush has used the frame of the Defender Against Enemies, after 911, to buttress his power. If we understand that framework, we may better be able to counter it—and I’d love to discuss this further on the Forum page this week.