The Violence We Don’t Talk About

THE VIOLENCE WE DON’T TALK ABOUTvenitian_masks_05

It’s about the way we treat one another.

It’s about the way we deal with life and living things.

It’s about the interface between what we are and who we hold ourselves to be.

It’s about how we treat ourselves.

It’s about…the loss of sensitivity.

Everyday we must deal with the world as if through a glass darkly wearing a full set of armour.

If we are ever to rescue the true force of the Feminine Principle, a woman must begin with the acknowledgement of her strength as well as weakness – and the fact that it is one and the same.

Every woman crosses the threshold of fear daily in one way or another, some days more than others.  It is bad enough that we must deal with so many versions of gross fear, but the other kinds… those that do not leave a visible mark but that control, persuade and influence us through pressure… those are the most lethal.

Some of us have come to terms with fear, understanding the strength, the beauty, and the vulnerability of our own particular brand.  We learn to protect it, to guard it with various and sundry postures, attitudes, occupations, and relationships.  But, there it is, like the subtlest earthquake, like a sleeping volcano deceptively still.  It never quite goes away.  It is the centre of our womanhood and of our power.  The dynamic of fear is the shadow in our life and our every breath is imbibed with it.

It is precisely this fear and vulnerability that teaches us the ropes of life: how to deal with the kind of violence that nobody talks about living in a world of surface values and trigger behaviours.  Aggressive pushing, shoving, hatred and manipulation is the name of the game.  In my field of work I encounter it constantly, and it is exhausting.

When I look around, as a woman trained in perception, I see many levels of reality coinciding.  Life appears like a theatrical production where every being bears a mask.  It doesn’t matter if it is nice or not so nice; the fact of having to deal with it is trying, because underneath each mask are two very powerful hidden forces.  The inner labyrinth of personal secrets and inner commentaries, memories, and all sorts of associations ruminate in a compressed compartment of the psyche in the illusion that it is under control.  Under that, the always-delicate inner core of beauty, wrapped in layers of condemnation, trepidation, and sheer incomprehensibility gasps for breath.   As a woman, I intuit keenly the innermost, I feel acutely the middle layer, and I am obliged to negotiate with the mask.

The only difference between the reader and me is that I know how to differentiate among them.  Most people either confuse the layers or ignore any nuance and take things at face value. In the end, it matters little what you see or know to be there if the other cannot and often will not know what you are talking about.  Many disagree and become quite irritated, insisting that they are what they believe, what they say, and what they wish to be.  So, there we go! The violence of irritation is swept under the carpet, as it corrodes our soul and feeds our helplessness.

Polite society recognizes only a formal scenario, reserving itself its own version of truth, and allotting what is called “respect” to those who maintain theirs.   Aggression lies not in the breach of respect and the intrusion upon one another’s precious secrets; the breach begins with a survival mentality that betrays lack of trust, honesty, depth, and genuine respect for truth, for one another, and for oneself.

The violence nobody talks about is the apparently insidious state of guarding against the beauty and gentleness of life.  The kind of pressure, as anger and irritation, that arises from this enforced estrangement represent a presence, a construction.  It is an instinctive, sub-conscious or deliberate attempt to block out the vulnerability of a living thing and natural cycles.  Negation is not a thing; it is a condition.  It is not “for” something, it is “against” all.

A woman’s antennae are delicate and huge.  Like a child that never quite develops the tough coating required for insensitivity, although it may mature nicely in body and mind, a woman cannot lock away her sensitivity without paying a heavy price.  Then, how can she consider the shaky unease that wells up from within, as strength?  How can she consider that raw feeling of exposure and the accompanying need to cover and protect it, that innermost anxiety of being a woman, as a power in the world? And yet, this rawness inside is a key to the resistance and the fortitude we have.  We know the place where everything ends and everything begins. What are a woman’s fears if not her perceptions  of a world of presentations?

Who controls another?  Who holds the power in the world?  It is the person with the most pent up anger.  We may call this anger strength, ambition, or even money and sex drive.  He or she who possesses the most of it controls those who do not.  The language of violence is anger, and the worst kind is the kind we don’t acknowledge, the kind we live and sleep with.

In occultism this particular force projected everywhere, is known as psychic impingement.  When people disagree they exude a subtly powerful force that seeks to subject the other to their will. Too many people cower to this power without acknowledging it, calling it reasonableness, good manners, or simply avoidance of conflict in the name of peace.

But peace, reason, or manners have nothing to do with it. Many times it is not opinion or even sharp reasoning that is at stake when someone disagrees with someone else; it is power, and the need to dominate the fragile current of vulnerability within.  What is it we are disagreeing with anyway?  And what does it matter who is right?  The energy used in argumentation and confrontation would be best spent in example and emanation of another sort.  Another’s anger is the energy that controls us, and mind always conquers feeling.  Crime counts on it.

Everywhere someone is exerting control over another.  Women feel this, know this, and respond to this pressure instinctively and through cumulative effect.  It is what we obey.  It is what defeats womanhood.

What can a woman do that she has not already done through her equal rights struggles, rebellions, and frustrations?  She can begin to recognize the face of cellular and emotional fear for what it is: her natural vulnerability and receptivity to life.    She can become aware of her reactions to power and influence from without.  She can notice the judgements passed onto her and formulated by her.  Instead of negating and repressing her own reaction to this, as a form of violence, she can transform it into a positive force for awakening and leadership.

Where there is depth of feeling and perception, nothing is hidden. The many layers of truth stand revealed in intimations, in flashes, in dreamlike visions and fleeing sensations. It is another level of life, one that goes on all the time underneath the cacophony of automatic daily life.

The bullying goes on and, like the bullfighter, we learn to curve aside.  No one goes freely into that space where life abides, where women and children dream the world.  Where we, like ancient Cretan dancers know when to swerve or take the bull by the horns.

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