Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Speaking Maturity to Power

In my private practice, I teach that successful living has much less to do with the cultivation of intellect than it does with the nurturance of maturity. Living maturely means being in touch with your body and its life, its needs, and its messages; rather than subjecting yourself to whatever groupthink the government or Good Morning America happens to be feeding you at the moment.

So while the President tells lies amid a carefully (and expensively) staged setting, I am reminded that all conflict springs from an underlying immaturity. Every dispute, each barking stage of separation and divorce, every fight, and all the wars of mankind, are caused and perpetuated by the infantile mind.

Osama is not a Satanic symbol of Evil incarnate; he is just a rotten boy, a miserable adolescent living out a grotesque video game fantasy in real life. He is the poster child of regressive psychosis, and deserves no magnitude, no elevation into a symbolic monument of Evil. He is far too puny and insignificant a thing for all that.

The same is true of our President and his handlers in Washington. How clearly like a boy is he—nay, more like an infant. He squalls, blusters, stumbles over his tongue as if it were a stray shoelace dangling from his rubber face. He is the public mascot for dependent personality disorder, with his incoherent slavery to tyrannical corporate advisors and incompetent stooges who manipulate him like obsessive-compulsive nannies.

He has learned to externalize everything—especially blame. He casts it away from himself and his circle of controllers like a baby throwing food from its high chair. Listen to him tonight, if you can stomach it: every solution will be couched in violence or threat; every bromide of patriotism and the sacrifice of others besides himself will be painted in underlying strokes of conflict and hatred. Every lie will be told with the grim passion of a four year old who insists upon his innocence, even as he is covered and surrounded by the proof of his mischief.

People like Osama and Bush have never learned the first principle of maturity: that every conflict starts within the self, and that every conflict's resolution can be found in that same inner place. To look toward an external God is to become inevitably trapped in the quicksand of war, as the President himself has so helpfully demonstrated. To rely on weaponry is to explode the self—the first shot in a war is the last; it will inexorably return to its originator. To conduct government and diplomacy with the tools of threat and malevolence is to alienate those who would otherwise become your allies.

But there can be no alliances where there is tyranny; there is only death and fear, fueled by immaturity. A tyrant is, in essence, a brat: a self-aggrandizing runt who measures his own worth by the amount of damage he can cause. To deal with them, perhaps the best we can do is to speak and act so as to keep such miserable urchins off the stages of power and public policy; even as we turn within ourselves every day to nurture the humble love of self and other that truly, and maturely, leads the living personality.

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