It is not difficult to become offended by what we hear – or imagine – are insults directed at our person, particularly because as humans our diversity means that different things piss off different people. Words and gestures in one culture may mean something positive, encouraging. In other customs the same words could be curses. It pays in delicate situations to know which words not to use – to hold your tongue when you are unsure of how your words will be interpreted – as much as it is helpful to speak openly when you know that certain words must be heard.
There are those who find swearing insulting to their ears. There are those that find piety to be a violation. Others cannot abide defiant women, advocating a woman’s submission because it demonstrates ‘respect’. It is interesting that some people find insulting the idea of outspoken women, as if a woman’s word cannot be taken as seriously as a man’s in a man’s world. Rudeness, on the other hand, is insulting to everyone, on every level. Usually, rudeness is not necessary – it is a choice, a kind of thoughtlessness. Like it is a choice not to respond to it.
The way it usually goes is that this one insults that one, and that one retaliates. Anger is generated. Then this one spits more insults and that one impacts them. Anger intensifies. That one then vents again with a poisonous diatribe in an attempt to annihilate this one. Tempers flare, faces rage. And then with a concerted effort one side – either this one or that one – decides not to respond to the provocation. In a moment, the conflict is over. No matter your own anger, your fury, your hatred – you cannot force a disciplined mind to fight.
What does it mean to be ‘equal’? Equal how? Equal to what? When the statement was made that all men are created equal, which equality was being referenced? Was it the more ethereal ‘energy’ we share as human beings, that equality, or was it the notion that each embryo is created with as much future potential as any other? Or was the statement itself a demonstration of inequality because it references men, only? Perhaps all men are created equal. All women are not. That is clear at the outset. Equality is a tricky word. It holds too much promise for too many people who will never get to be ‘equal’ in today’s world. Sadly there are those people.
Equality is about fairness. Balance. Wherever there is an imbalance, there will be discord. The system does not handle discord well. Nor does it create equals. The very system discourages equality, equals. The system is about working your way to the top, surpassing others. It would seem that in the greedy world of capitalists, being equal is never enough. There is the compulsion to be better, to earn more, to have more. To outshine your peers. It becomes an obsession for many people. Perhaps those at the top of the capitalist ladder do have ‘equals’. Perhaps they consider themselves ‘equal’ to people who earn the same as they do. That is perhaps their measure in life.
It is worth fostering equality as an ideal. I think it is an ideal. It is something to strive towards, like peace. Equality is a work in progress. Should it become the norm rather than the exception in the long run, that can be considered an ideal outcome. The child who cannot read or write is not equal, in 2014, to the child who can. The child with access to technology is not equal to the child that does not. This is how it is in our world. Despite the ever-present inequalities, though, and the concerns that these inequalities raise, it is not to say that the ‘unequal’ cannot reach the heights that the ‘equal’ tend to reach. They must just apply themselves to working with what they have and trust that it is enough.
There is a vocation. A calling. It is called Investigator of Kingdoms. It is all-encompassing. When you are required to make an informed decision you need to gather all the information. That means checking the ins and outs of every kingdom. There are a great many, The Animal Kingdom but one. Ask people who game. In part they are all investigators of kingdoms, some of them extraordinarily adept at what they do. Ask people who save animals for a living. Theirs’ is a kingdom. Ask people who have crowned money their king. They belong to a kingdom, too. There is even a point in asking a murdering savage why he does what he does. He will say because he wants to. What can you say to that in a free world?
The Animal Kingdom belongs to Nature. That is the first – and easiest – thing to understand. Man, too – belongs to Nature. Woman, belongs to the Sun. Notoriously possessive, the Sun is a formidable opponent. His shield is virtually impossible to penetrate. The Sun shields the Virgin. That is the second thing to understand. If you will reach her sanctity you must brave fire. In the Animal Kingdom you will find carrion. What else does the wild feed upon? The stench of death does not deter them from feasting. You will find bones, thrown here and there. Everywhere. Then you will find hyenas. They shriek and eat bones. Vultures abound, too. They tidy up nicely.
The Animal Kingdom impacts a lot of pain. Their pain – generated almost entirely by humans – is revisited upon the planet for the humans to experience. The randomness with which sudden death appears to consume people, for instance, is no different to the randomness with which hunting humans seem to choose their targets. Right. You. Bam. Most hunting humans do not say sorry when they kill. Nor do they say thank you. They should. It gives them headway when they become the hunted.
Domination is an interesting game to play. We have all spent time trying to dominate – situations, people, opinions. The need to be dominant is a throw-back to our wild. Males and females both do it. Children try it on all the time. Domination is not wholly an unhealthy pursuit, it just depends how far you will go to be the dominator. Take Russia for example, they are busy playing dangerous domination games. They will dominate in Crimea, despite the rising tide of negative public opinion with regards this particular pursuit of power. It would seem that they imagine themselves invincible. Their view is irresponsible, provocative, and it does not sit easy with the global community. Perhaps Russia should give some thought to the fact that they are currently disturbing the balance on our planet. This has consequences. I do not believe that Russia has the right to decide that Crimea needs to be a part of its make-up. Crimea belongs to the Crimeans, not the Russians. In fact, it is peculiarly obnoxious for Russia to be stretching its borders to include land that does not belong under Russia’s thumb. It would seem that Vladimir Putin forgets that invasions did not work well for Hitler in the long run. His big ideas are small-minded. Outdated. In actuality – backward. In fact it has to be asked – who exactly does Russia think it is? It cannot convince anyone that its objectives are honourable, no matter how earnest its self-righteous claims.
Domination is a key factor in relationships. Traditionally, women have learned and played the submissive role. Men have been the dominators. Of course there are many exceptions to this rule, but conditioning has seen to it that men stand head and shoulders above women when it comes to being ‘in charge’. It is refreshing to see the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, making inroads in a male-dominated industry. Politics is an industry, as much as capitalism is an industry. It is encouraging to watch Hilary Clinton at work in her fields of expertise – the adherence to the ways of women bodes well for the future of global diplomacy. There are good reasons why women are usually better at diplomacy than men are. Theirs’ is a learned patience, an inherent understanding of how the world and its people work.
Sex is about domination. Base instinct sees males mounting females in Nature, although it should be remembered that mating in Nature is most often consensual. A male will seldom mount a female unless she has given him the go-ahead. With humans, it is not always this way. There seems to be a subliminal need for humans to demonstrate their prowess – their core ‘power’ – by being the person ‘on top’. Both men and women subscribe to this theory of sexuality and both use their wiles and their ways to make their statement of fact. Be aware that rape is about domination. Slavery is about domination. Domestic violence is about domination, as is child abuse. Think about it. Domination needs careful management. Ungoverned, it creates problems, pain, wars.
‘Words have an intrinsic power. When they are true, sensible, and sincere, they heal “the hearts that mourn.” They help to settle disputes between husbands and wives, parents and children, brothers and sisters. They help to establish and realize initiatives by the community and relieve suffering. Words are sacred.’
– Aminata Traoré
There is a community in the Kwahu mountains of eastern Ghana that is wanting to stand on its own two feet. It needs to find a way to get its youth into work, there are too many unemployed. There are too many single teenage mothers, too many women who have too little. The women are desperate. They will accept a proposal of sex for something to wear, something to eat, or somewhere to sleep the night. Can you imagine being in that position? Your body becomes your trade. Where is your self-esteem when you must trade with your flesh? The problem is that these women are not having protected sex and the result is often a child, or an infection of some kind. The men understand the power they have and they use it, women are dispensable, a convenience. The community is watching itself come undone. The chiefs are looking for a solution, they consult with their people and they look for a way forward. They are strong in their commitment to a better future. My concern is how does a community keep its spirits up when the world rushes by on its busy business of being without even being aware of real-time problems of hopeful people who want change?
Community holds people together. It holds hearts, and heads, together. Perhaps the dissolution of community in places is more serious than the world realises. Africa is founded on community spirit. It is a web, a network whose reach you should never underestimate. You will not find a continent better-equipped to work together – if it can heal the damage done to its soul by the scramble for Africa. Someone, somewhere, needs to say sorry. I think to start with, an apology would make Africa a lot happier. Then she will be able to view herself as whole again and the work can begin. Whilst she is divided – as she currently is – there are two many skirmishes, too much in-fighting. What is she still doing warring with herself? Watching her unfold is like watching a slow-motion movie. The point that should be made is that the longer the community must farm out its resources in trying to keep itself together, the longer it takes for it to make progress. Slow progress is still progress, but perhaps for a change the community must address its defectors and recall all of its wanderers. It is time for a bigger picture and in order to realise that bigger picture, we need unity.
In this life it is vital to have a passion. At least one. It can be anything. A person, a project, your life. If your life is your passion then you will have spent a lot of time contemplating it. It is through contemplation that we can come to conclusions. We must always follow through to conclusion, there is no point half-doing something or leaving loose ends. Loose ends are always going to drag on your consciousness – to save yourself the waste of energy carrying that excess weight make sure you are disciplined enough to finish what you start. Passion is flow. When you experience flow, you are immersed in your reality to the extent that you are operating at optimum levels and your mind and body are aligned, you are focussed. People who have an attention deficit disorder – and I think a great many people have an attention deficit disorder – find it difficult to feel flow. Flow is a feeling. You know you are part of something far greater than the reality in which you are currently confined. Each life-time is a life-sentence, think about it. You cannot escape from the learning that this world will give you. Even if you kill yourself, you will still return to learning – it is simply that your life-sentence has been cut short. There is no shortage of new ones. In this world we are sure of that.
Trust your passion. You will know when you have a passion. It consumes you. It is an emotional workout, having a passion. A tsunami of feeling. You find yourself sinking under, fighting to the surface only to sink again into its depths. You find your secrets in the depths, it becomes a place you do not want to leave when you find it. The thing to know is that you can breathe underwater. It is something you discover when you are sinking. Your mind is alive, creative and alert – the world around you is filled with possibility and wonder. A passion makes you believe in yourself, in the framework of this universe. A passion should feel good. If it does not feel good then it is possibly an obsession rather than a passion. Be aware of the difference between the two. An obsession can be confusing. A passion is not confusing – it makes every bit of sense when you understand what wonders it does for your being. A lot of people with a passion for something can make a big difference in this world. All you have to do is find what you feel strongly about. Find the feelings that provoke you to thought and underneath those feelings you will find some of your beliefs. Keep them in perspective, as you do with your convictions. Both can brain-wash you. Behind your beliefs you will find some lone convictions – which are hard to shake, but shake them up – and then you will be where you want to be: in passion. It is a state of being. It is fuelled by hope – which lies deep inside Pandora’s Box, underneath her chaos and disorder. We all have a Pandora’s Box. Some of us are just more familiar with its darkness, its lessons that will get us to the light. It takes courage to open your particular Pandora’s Box. Once you open it, it is not easy to close again. There is a fascination with what we store away in our secret places. Dreams, hopes, fears. We need to find the fears and address them. Fears cannot be allowed to dominate you when it comes to analysing yourself. Fears are a contaminant. It is a good idea to look yourself square in the eye and see who it is that you truly are. When you recognise your truth you will be clear what passion means in your life. An addiction to passion is not much of a problem. It is still an addiction – and the thing about addictions is that they demonstrate that something in you is out of balance. So keep addictions where you can see them at all times, they are crafty manipulators.
I have a passion for learning. I find life interesting and I have a passion for thinking. I am determined to show a way to fix this world. I know it can be done. People need to get over their skin-colour first of all. Realise that each person you deal with – each one – can contribute something to your life. You just need to ask the right questions. You have to see value in exchange, sharing. How can you not see value in sharing? People need to compromise. The women who are trying to be men in a man’s world should not wear themselves out. Their battle is pointless. What are they doing comparing themselves to men in the first place? Men are men. That will never change. We have babies – they don’t. We are different creatures. Why is that overlooked so often? A man has a penis. A woman does not. It is clear to see who is who and what is what if you look in the right places. Let men be men – they are good at it. Fighting about not being treated like a man is not productive. Fight for being an independent woman. That kind of fighting energy is helpful. Did you know that men are more highly evolved than women? Sorry if that offends a few people – and it probably will – but it is true. They are all female until 12 weeks – and then they change into men. Men are more specific than women are – they are woman first, then man. How much of a difference this makes to their ability to understand the peculiar ways of women I don’t know, but I imagine even having been female for 12 weeks does not guarantee that a man will understand a woman. It depends on what, exactly, comes together in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. I think that most women confound most men. Women are a strange breed, it has to be said. I think women can be magical creatures but they can be a nightmare. The problem is that women trust less than men, there is an imbalance there. It is a pity we must exist in a world where women feel they cannot trust men. The men should be better behaved. I am speaking to those who behave badly, and we have all behaved badly in our time. We have all caused pain to another person, so do not put yourself anywhere near a pedestal no matter who you are. Know that this world will recycle pain until the humans stop causing it – to themselves.