Voices from the margins
An important part of this inquiry into domination is spreading the net wide enough, looking at a wide enough range of perspectives. Many of the most interesting voices come from the margins.
Once the cultural distortions attached to it have been lifted—the notion of anarchism has always been a challenge to cultures of domination. I was surprised to find Naom Chomsky in this interview speaking of it approvingly.
Another voice from the margin, John Zerzan describes the damaging imperialism of Western musical tonality (the division of the smooth spectrum of sound into scales of discrete notes and the structures of harmony built on them). Hmm, even the 'the freedom to fly' in the jazz improvisation that I play, is imprisoned in an ideology of tonal and harmonic domination.
The Big Picture - geo-politics - macroeconomics, is an important thread in this inquiry into domination. 'Crazy' behaviour in a person can make sense if you can get close enough to their world to empathically divine what is going on. If we can get past the headlock that says this behaviour is 'irrational' i.e. beyond the reach of any kind of sense-making, even the 'crazy' behaviour of national administrations may make sense, (while remaining insane) I found this overview of the rationale behind US global domination— a talk by David Harvey on 'The New Imperialism'—very helpful.
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Living from love
The Enlightenment project - Descartes, Locke, Kant - that began to free us from the headlock of the heritage religions also set in motion the engines of industrialization and modernity. But modernity for all its virtues has a serious limitation. It carries forward the deep seated belief that dominance is intrinsic. That 'freedom' i.e. freedom to use and abuse others, is for those who deserve it, which in practice means those who are already free.
Modernity is still with us and post-modern approaches to daily life seem fragile shoots, constantly in danger of falling victim to the anxieties of people who feel threatened by them.
And yet, once we wake up to the intolerable burden of domination, we are faced with the task of moving out of the alienation,fragmentation and damage of modernity and into a life lived from love i.e. free of coercion and domination.
I learned a lot about how to do this from John Heron and the shifting population of the Institute for the Development of Human Potential [IDHP], the Human Potential Research Group at the University of Surrey [HPRG] and the UK co-counselling community, including notably, Anne Dixon, who also introduced assertiveness training to the UK.
Stirred into this engaging and profoundly transforming mix was Cooperative Inquiry, a way of doing research with people rather than on people. More recently, establishing the Independent Practitioners Network [IPN] has shown how an ethically sound post-modern form of accountability for psychopractitioners can be organised.
If you would like to follow up some of this satyagraha - positive programme - here are some more links:
John Heron maintains the South Pacific Centre for Human Inquiry
John Heron: Transpersonal Cooperative Inquiry
This paper gives a short account of some issues involved in using co-operative inquiry as a method of transpersonal research, outlines a relevant cartography, and presents a prospectus for future inquiries.
John Heron: A Little Book of Co-creating '...A rewrite of the theory and method of co-counselling from a transpersonal perspective..... it derives from an inquiry with twenty Co-counselling International teachers this summer...'
John Heron: The Life Divine and a Self-generating Culture:
'I give here a short account of the kind of religious innovation with which we want to engage. The 'we' here refers to all those whose vision is in tune with the content of this document...'
John Heron: Space and consciousness
'...Each person can be construed as a multispatial imaginal, that is, a conscious being that is involved in creating a set of different, yet interrelated, imaged spatial worlds. The word 'involved' is important here since a person participates in the creativity, refracts it, manifests it, relays it, gives idiosyncratic form to it. It is a life-given power of the mind, like breathing is life-given power of the body; and as with breathing, we can influence and modify it, but we do not produce it...'
My recent CDROM
Letting the Heart Sing - The Mind Gymnasium provides an extensive and detailed account of what is involved in trying to live from love