Writing From Life
Taylor - JT - 06 - Secret O' Life
I am watching the news as I write this thats not a
particularly unique occurrence and its all about the continuing debate over
Iraq, and the US propaganda campaign to discredit France for taking a bold stand toward a
position that the citizens of the world want, despite the governmental agendas or
preferred political perceptions.
Meanwhile, Iraqs communications would have you believe that all
the protesters are expressing support for Iraq, as opposed to expressing support for a
New Age instead of a New World Order Even the protesters
dont understand that thats whats underneath it all.
With all that in mind, I cant help thinking about my favorite
sayings or aphorisms: for every action, there is an equal but opposite
reaction, and what you resist persists (a suitable French phrase for the
occasion). Even more, I think about how I
believe that the primary human motivation is being right.
In nature, to survive, you must be right about how to hunt or grow
food. Winning is often considered more important than the means employed to win. When you
apply those kinds of natural influences, I believe that what actually occurs 24/7/365 is
based on dominance and submission.
When a plant overtakes other plants in a given garden, we say that it
dominates that environment. When atoms
collide, in essence, the reaction is based on the dominance or submissive nature of the
individual atoms as they are attracted and repelled based upon what we loosely call
physics. Gravity, itself, is a product of
dominant and submissive forces.
Regardless of the interactions, between people or plants or even the
weather, all interactions and relationships bear the attribute of dominance and
submission. Dominance and submission causes
order. Its an important factor when
distinguishing the difference between structure and control. Its the inherent mechanism that drives the
ultimate purpose of a living entity to survive.
I am rather firm in this opinion, particularly in terms of human
relations. Because I have no formal education
in these matters, I can only assert my observations, and enjoy discovering how they relate
to the discoveries of classic and contemporary theories.
The conclusions I came to could easily be traced to my childhood. I was a constant observer. I was the kid who sat in the corner and listened
to World War II and Korean War veterans talking about war commanders, and the issues that
lead to war. I heard my mom giving personal
advice to my 4 sisters. And, maybe most importantly, I was able to spend a great deal of
time observing animals in their natural habitats from a very young age.
A few years after leaving my elementary school in Scotts Valley,
California, I found out that my peers called me the philosopher. We would have discussion, one on one or in groups,
about all sorts of things: sex, morality, the nature of relationships. I thought we were just talking. They told me that they came to me because I would
start more like town hall meetings in which we would speak inquiries into the
subjects. I gained a great deal of insight
into perceptions and underlying questioning of the basis for those perceptions. Innocence provides a great deal of unfiltered
In my early teen years, I had the unfortunate opportunity to observe
alcoholic parents engaging in ongoing arguments that were driven by insecurity, and the
need to feel validated in their victimness.
As in the wild, animals often make aggressive overtures in order to protect
themselves and to disguise their vulnerabilities. It
is in this observation that we can see the initial facility of the conclusion that
perception is reality. Marshall Rosenberg of
the Center for Non-Violent Communications (with whom I am associated) would describe this
as defensive use of force.
In the early 1980s, I began to develop a theory and design a
serious of seminars intended to facilitate a safe discussion of the concepts
and principles of domination and submission. It
was intended to be a conversation regarding all of the implications of dominance and
submission in our lives, culture and environment. The
idea was that if we were more conscious of what drives and motivates us, we could
understand the alternatives or choose alternative approaches by over-riding or choosing
our natural instincts. This included ways of
thinking that did not cause us to be self-conscious, but acting with integrity to our
socially and individually declared values.
I often said that if more people had to study structured computer
programming we would have a lesser need for psychiatrists.
What I mean by that is that if we were more adept at organizing our thoughts
independent of emotion, which is generated primarily by a deep-seated self-interest
(survival) then we would not be as vulnerable to acquiescence to behaviors and attitudes
generated by external influences and the need for validation (or, to be right and
therefore dominant or associated with a dominant point of view).
In the same time-period, I was working primarily as a computer
trainer, managing customer support services as an employee and a consultant, working with
major international software companies, computer chains and business organizations. Working in that arena, I discovered that the
primary challenge in working with people and their resistance to computers (and the change
it represented) was providing an environment where there was no judgment or penalty for
having done something wrong, it was easy to fix the problems they
were having. In essence, they could not argue
with a computer in order to alter perceptions or prove their validation. The machine and its unknown idiosyncrasies
automatically challenged their validity, their self-esteem and superiority.
All in all I came to the conclusion that 95% of the job was dealing
with restoring an individuals self-esteem. Once
that was accomplished, they were willing to be more aggressive in confronting challenges,
as well as admitting to the actions that lead to the problem in the first place. The emphasis was on workability, non-evaluation.
An equally interesting observation surfaces when you notice that what
this actually sets up is equality. That,
then, provides the context for the phrase that which you resist persists. When resistance is removed, less energy is
expended, and more energy is applied to resolution or performance. It is the same principle at the core of electrical
theory, and calculating power.
In 1990, I was introduced to a course called The Forum. This is an experiential program dealing with human
relationships. Its current focus has to
do with the value of maintaining relationships, particularly familial relationships, and
the importance of reconciliation with parents. When
I became involved, it was still changing from its original incarnation, referred to
as Est. They described it as an
inquiry into what it means to be human. The
Forum is a more eloquent, gentler presentation than the more confrontational style
of Est. Frankly, I found the old
Est style more productive, although most people would reject its intrusive
It was incredibly relevant to the theories I had been developing, and
had a more robust level of research and use. I volunteered in that organization for about
10 years, as well as was employed by them for about 6 months in 1999. My primary
activities involved personal coaching of other individuals, pre-course counseling of new
participants in order to set goals and expectations so as to enhance their experiences and
benefits in the courses, and production and leading of human potential
seminars and courses.
As cynical as it sounds, what I learned most from that had more to do
with the paradoxes human beings face. On one hand, we intrinsically operate in a fair way
and have expectations of others to do the same. It is our experience of injustice or
inequality which causes us to develop social strategies in order to dominate events and
control the outcome.
The idea of cause and effect, dominance and submission, becomes the
apparent adaptive response for physical survival and survival of the identity.
The Prince by Machiavelli is a particularly insightful
expression of observations of attainment of power, techniques of leadership and political
strategies, socio-economic conditions and individual personalities which tend to generate
each other in a responsive, compensatory manner.
People are much more predictable than we realize on a conscious
level. I believe that ending resistance to
trends and, instead, altering the perceptions of their definitions, deconstruction of the
strategies employed, and conducting a public expression of egalitarian values without
comparison to opposing values or approaches will allow for a realignment and
reconciliation of our social paradoxes. It
must be done in individual speaking.
Since 1970, I have also been a broadcaster, with expertise at
creation of advertising campaigns, writing copy and programming music and station
formulas, as well as announcing. I will
outline steps that can and must be employed in order to alter perception in another
chapter on Focused Communications, or Propaganda.