Tuesday, December 24, 2013

The dramatist vs the moralist

moralists judge and preach first, good dramatists witness first. That's why I've not ('til now) been a hugely powerful dramatist whereas even an agenda driven writer such as George Bernard Shaw never allowed his convictions to overpower his stories and characters.

The dramatist is more in the witness position. They may evaluate their characters but they don't judge them. As such they are closer to G-d. By letting go and standing back they make space for more creativity, more life. (It is what plays out on the screen of consciousness....that's why its sometimes called a "screen - play.")

The moralist is in the judgement position. They want to preserve and grow the good, and end or reduce the bad. They have a strong sense of what is good, and what is not. They are intolerant of deviance, and feel a need to preach, analyse, label and sort. They are driven by the notion that they will betray the cause if they open to an alternative point of view. I occupy the moralist position more than the dramatist one.

But deeper still the moralist is really just a drama - just like other roles we occupy such as "superwoman", "lone ranger", "quiet strong type", "poor me", "Mr Angry", "Mrs Nice", "Mr Reliable", "The Rebel", "The conformist" etc. In films like "American Beauty" (the marine colonel who is secretly gay) or stories like Somerset Maugham's "Rain" we see the drama crack, as all dramas must.

Drama's compress change processes that may occur over may years into a few minutes - the moments when new options are glimpsed and perhaps acted upon. So many films begin at points in their characters lives when the characters are ripe for change - whether they know it or not. ( Are feel good endings in synch with life?)

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

What one cup of coffee can do

Is there a third way between the mindless conformism of western consumerism with its loneliness, absence of human contact, pseudo freedoms and illusion of choice, or the undifferentiated ego mass of fundamentalisms, which offers community and connection, but which ruthlessly and cruelly punishes diversity and "deviance"??

Please give me the connectedness, role allocation, and opportunities to be of service of faith communities, but without the coercion, inflexibility and need for an out group "other". Is this seeking the impossible?

It seems to me that the term "old testament" was coined by a breakaway religion (Christianity) to protect itself - "the anxiety of influence" from the internal conflict of simultaneously drawing from, and yet delegitimising, the parent religion (Judaism)

How to join without colluding, how to remain apart without being indifferent? Every therapist - like every human - must balance competing extremes to hit the sweet spot

How does Murray Bowen's Family Systems theory, with its notion of the (usually incremental) intergenerational transmission of anxiety, and levels of differentiation (high differentiation = high functioning, i.e. adaptive rather than maladaptive behaviours) explain sudden zigzags in family history and fortunes??

Royalty begets royalty, but not necessarily greatness. By royalty I mean in any domain - from politics and governance, to physics, entrepreneurship or physical prowress. Why are the children of the Rolling Stones not all top musical acts? Why have Donny Gordon's children not all created entrepreneurial empires of their own? And conversely, how does a Napoleon or Rumi or Hillel or Kabir emerge from a non-descript "ordinary" family, and shine briefly like a self-powered sun?

When Ghandiji of blessed memory said "if you follow an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth you end up with a world which is eyeless and toothless" he clearly had never been exposed to the oral law (the Talmud, which explains and expands upon the written law (the Torah). The rabbis of the Talmud unambiguously explain that this biblical verse refers to monetary compensation for damages, exactly because of Ghandi's objection...but they said it 1800 years before him.

Who would I be without my story, without the religion of me?

A Love Letter

Dear Immanuel

I will not with hold my love from you any more

Love and respect


My next poetry collection, G-d willing, will either be called
A Way with Words
Skipping in the House of G-d
something else. 

(It may just be a collection of titles with no poems.)

It seems that nothing - including cruelty and kindness - occur in isolation; everything is the fruit of some earlier process...that is why I sometimes have my doubts about campaigns like the White Ribbon Campaign AGAINST domestic violence against women ( but what is the campaign FOR?) because it focusses on symptoms rather than causes....Karl Marx may have got it wrong about what fundamentally motivates human beings and mobilises them, but I think he got it right (and if my understanding is incorrect please set me straight, I don't want to misrepresent his thought) that morality which does not impact on our modes of production and consumption is so abstract as to have no reality. Start now by de-commodifying your relationships...meet whoever you meet not because of their value to you in some imaginary future, but just because you both exist now...nothing to gain and nothing to loose...just sharing the vast sea of being