When you hear someone call out in pain
Do you assume there’s something wrong with them
That needs to be put right?
A lack of resilience
A screw loose somewhere
A basic design fault
A deficient sense of humour
A failure to adapt,
Keep calm and carry on
Or do you wonder
What’s gone wrong for them
That calls for attention?
A good slave
In a good slave-owner’s eyes
Is one who does what they are told
So, who’s wrong, what’s wrong
When a slave calls out in pain?
Is it the slave,
Or a pervasive attitude of mind
That thinks there’s nothing wrong
Oppression comes in many guises
That make what’s intolerable
Seem reasonable -
Just the way life is and has to be
For those who serve the Master
Until and unless someone can’t bear enough
And cares and dares enough
To call out in pain
From living this nightmare
So far adrift from ‘living the dream’ it promised to be
And new-found voices gather around
In spirited company
Questioning not who’s wrong, but what’s wrong
Underlying the above piece is a fundamental question about the nature of causality, and, in particular, the difference between superficial mechanical causality involving direct inter-actions between material bodies, and deep situational causality arising from the spatial and energetic circumstances in which those bodies are placed.
This is helpful when considering issues of personal responsibility. We need to always to recall that what we do and what happens to us as sentient beings both arises from and contributes to our situation, but is never in itself the sole cause of that situation. This is why, when something we regard as ‘bad’ happens, it is more realistic to ask ‘what’s wrong and how has it arisen?’ than ‘who’s wrong and what should be done with them?’ By the same token, when something regard as ‘good’ occurs, it’s more realistic to ask ‘what’s right and how come?’ than ‘who’s right and can take the credit?’
What we do and what happens to us is overwhelmingly context-dependent and so beyond our complete control. But the predominant way in which we have mostly been led to think solely in terms of mechanical causation can obsure this reality and expose us to distressing feelings of guilt, shame and blame for what we are ultimately not responsible.
For further exploration of this and other aspects of ‘the natural inclusion of self in neighbourhood’, please visit my personal website at http://www.spanglefish.com/exploringnaturalinclusion