"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." -- H.L. Mencken
As much as anyone I love simplicity and elegance. I live for beauty. I also live for truth. Together they form a complex world that challenges me to cultivate goodness within and with all. Observing the head of the nation dealing with the world problems with clear, simple, and wrong answers causing segments of the population to pit against one another is nauseating. Yet, looking at the big picture I am amazed at the symmetry of it all. Since the man who had been caught on tape dehumanizing women got elected as the president many powerful men in the entertainment industry like himself had been found out and publicly humiliated if not lawfully convicted -- Bill Cosby, a bunch of Fox guys, and now Harvey Weinstein. Reading the NY Times yesterday I was intrigued by what kind of a woman married Harvey Weinstein. It's alarming to realize how conditioned I am to find false in the woman and blame her. I am shaken and awaken by this realization. Without this presidency I might have continued to blame women for what the men in their lives have done wrong (sorry Hillary, Huma Abedin, Georgina Chapman, and many more). So here we are, women pitting against other women, against men.
Life is not black and white but a mirage of grey and colors. It took me awhile to finally watch the series The Handmaid's Tale even though it's a well done show and female focus which I love. Not that I don't love male focus stories but I'm at the core all about balance. So long as there are more of his stories I will share and focus on her stories more. The reason I haven't watched the series till now is because the premise of the story is illogical to me. I don't believe that there will ever be enough men and women in the real world to subjugate humanity. We are more than our races, religions, sexes, sexual orientations, ages, and knowledges. We are complex and the complexity is what makes the world go perfectly round and round. Beauty isn't cheap. Much has been paid for it with ugliness. Goodness isn't free. It requires badness. Many illogical and ugly events have taken places in the Americas, Germany, Burma, Kosovo, Rwanda, Syria, Burma again, and all over the world. Everyday we are challenged to be more aware of our own unconscious biases and prejudices. We are challenged to understand our complexity and not be so quick to judge others. We are challenged to judge slowly so we can comprehend the complexity of others while acting swiftly to protect the humanity and promote its goodness.
Last week I shared in my class the theory called TERA: The 4 Primary Drivers for Engagement. They are Tribe, Expectation, Rank, and Autonomy. If we wan to engage with each other we cannot alienate one another. It's easier to be a nationalist than a globalist. The wider the circle the more diversity the greater complex and the harder it is to remain in control. There are many fractions because that is what it takes to remain autonomic in a large society. The problem among the fractions that deepens the rift is when we perceive ourselves threatened by others (Tribe) because the perception of our future looks bleak (Expectation) due to the perception of our status (Rank) which causes us to lose the sense of control and no longer feel safe and secure (Autonomy). Now, why would someone like Mr. Weinstein who is rich and powerful feels so small and out of control that he has had to make up his bigness and power by demeaning other human beings? Like I said, humans are complex. I have my own theory and it's not sexual addiction or infidelity. When we are mean to others by acting as if we are superior it is because we perceive ourselves small and insignificant. It's those who feel most powerless and fearful that are most dangerous.
Anytime we disengage with other humans it is because we feel the opposite of in control. During the decade of teaching yoga I decided early on not to teach privately because I wanted to avoid teaching men privately. Even though I have never been abused by men physically and all the men in my close circle are loving and supportive the social atmosphere and what information I have gathered so far in life creates a deep bias against men. Deep in my psyche I believe it isn't a good idea to expose myself to a power play condition that could threaten my wellbeing. I'm just as complex as the men I fear. And as long as there are men like Donald Trump, Roger Ailes, and Harvey Weinstein out there I'm afraid despite the recognition of my own bias I will stick to teaching private yoga to women mostly. Anytime Bangkok is mentioned you think of the Bangkok girls, no? Hell, that is what I see men see me, thanks to the entertainment industry. It's sad to feel this much powerlessness. This is the complex reality I try to navigate safely for all involved. The Handmaid's Tale is a way of expressing grievances through arts. I can appreciate that. Our collective psyche is dramatized everyday on the screens and papers. But we are more than our dramas and traumas. It's a work in progress. Each day I live to recognize my prejudices, overcome my illogical fears and find unique ways of living in this complex world filled with complicated people to express beauty, truth, and goodness.