“I woke last night to the sound of thunder
How far off, I sat and wondered”
(Bob Seger; Night Moves)
“Keep a light hopeful heart. But expect the worst.” (Joyce Carol Oates)
My new book, Waking to the Sound of Thunder: Trauma and the Human Condition Volume II is now available on Amazon.com in both paperback and kindle. My title for this volume is decidedly darker in tone than those of my earlier works, for which I don’t apologize, since an evocation of thunder as a wake-up call seems timely and appropriate. The cover image: “Mountain Landscape With Dark Clouds”, is of a watercolor by German artist Emil Nolde painted in 1916, midway through the horrors of World War I, and just one year before the USA entered into that tragic fray. As early as 1997, Rev. Dr. Michael Ellner quite accurately described our current situation. “Just look at us. Everything is backwards; doctors destroy health, lawyers destroy justice, universities destroy knowledge, governments destroy freedom, major media destroys information and religion destroys spirituality. (Heal NY). And, to all of that I would add that bankers destroy the economy and you could likely suggest even more examples of your own. Truth is that we now live in a world where 2% of our global populations control 98% of our global resources; resulting in potentially lethal poisons in our air, food and water, perpetual unwinnable wars, a corporate assault on all of the arts and anything else that promotes critical thinking; as well as the marginalization and persecution of truth tellers. Nevertheless, it is probably best to just to leave an overview of these issues to marketing expert Seth Godin, who summed it up nicely: “Wherever you look its broken”. (Sethgodin.com)
That being said, this second blook (blogs+ book) is not about fixing anything. However, I do have a perspective which may prove useful to the awake and aware in search of viable options for ourselves, our loved ones, and maybe even for the rest of us. When it comes to understanding, as well as facing the many ongoing challenges to our current human condition, a study of history is often useful. Perhaps it would be even more accurate to say, that it is important to become mindful of recent, distant and even ancient events; as best we can understand. In our necessarily fluid reality this entity we refer to as “the past”, as a solid, fixed body of time, does not and never has existed. Our individual and collective past is always changing along with new, often challenging discoveries and shifting vantage points within academic and cultural values, tightly-controlled corporate media spin efforts, patriotic fantasies, and long-standing religious and political censorship. Nevertheless, I believe it worthwhile to sift through predictable layers of denial, self-serving cover-up and conflicting information in search of at least some clarity.
As Santayana made abundantly clear, those who do not learn from history are likely (doomed?) to repeat it. During the course of our many forms of systemically oriented social trauma work, we often see something similar, especially in patterns repeating within trans-generational individual, family, cultural and maybe even global events.
I have explored this topic in some depth in : Trauma: Time, Space and Fractals, and my findings in this regard have continued to influence my choice of topics for online blogs and eventually these blooks. Given our global internet access to a wealth of social and global material, choices needed to be made. As a result, my recent effort tends to explore a number of those topics which appear as manifestations of long, self-replicating fractals of unresolved trauma. Even so, I have also chosen to include several entries which appear to stand on their own without exploration of context; and that may, of course, eventually change over “time”.
If you have read this far, you are probably aware that solutions are not likely to rain down from on high; at least not anytime soon. In one sense, we are now most definitely on our own, with an immediate need to think for ourselves, take nothing for granted, question everything and arrive at our own conclusions based upon our own experiences. Yet, in another sense, we need each other more than ever. Recent evidence, and reviews of Darwinian ‘survival of the fittest’ theory, translated into “Social Darwinism” suggests that “power over”, physical strength and fitness, competition and fear based “eat or be eaten” is only one, and definitely not the best strategy for individual and collective survival; for humans, and many other kindred species. A deeper understanding of evolutionary history shows that a talent for cooperation and strategic inter-dependence yields a more favorable outcome, overall and in the long run. In this respect, our global net of information sharing represents something of a positive start, but we are also going to have to bypass phony populism, and other toxic agenda-based propaganda, in favor of a much needed amount of informed empathy; if we are to follow a cooperative, rather than mutually destructive path toward survival.