Creating a Culture of Humanity

Whenever we get repelled by someone’s comments and shut down or judge their perspectives, we disconnect ourselves from others. Dr. Gabor Mate describes this ‘disconnect’ as a sign of trauma. He defines trauma as an impact inside the body and the mind and is a disconnect from oneself.

He also talks about trauma being related to two fundamental needs that infants have for their crucial development. One is a need for attachment. It is absolutely essential for a child to attach to caregivers in order for them to survive. But they also have another need, which is for the child to become authentic. Problems emerge when the need to be authentic comes into conflict with an attachment need.

This happens when a child’s need to be authentic threatens attachment. If a child expresses their emotions freely and caretaker can’t properly accept them, the child gets a message that he or she expressing who they are will jeopardize their connection to their caregivers. Then a child is put into a difficult position; they now have to choose between his or her attachment need and the need to be authentic. In this situation, Dr. Mate describes how a child has absolutely no choice because without attachment they can’t survive and as a result, they learn to suppress their authenticity. This creates trauma.

We often see this disconnect happen in our everyday interaction. I see where this trauma shows up the most is in the realm of politics. Disconnect happens in our debate about wars, refugee crisis, racism and economic injustice. We see people triggered and get emotionally charged. We tend to subscribe to a single narrative and close off opportunities to have dialogue, and as a result we shut ourselves off from truth that contains multiple perspectives and contradictions. Many people develop hostility toward one another because of disagreements and failure to acknowledge different views on issues.

I have now begun to see how national politics frames a discourse upon an identity based on nationality and race. This disconnect emerging in this space points us to the fact that perhaps there is trauma at the very core of our identity. What is this disconnect? National identity, such as Japanese, Chinese or Canadian or racial identity as white or black can create conflict of two needs that Dr. Mate described earlier, namely our need to attach and need to be authentic. These identities might put us in conflict with our authenticity –a primal mode of being human.

This happens when a child is born into a particular culture defined by nation-state confinement and goes through enculturalization processes that define them narrowly in their identification with nation and race. A child’s survival depends on them adopting values of their mother culture related to people around them, including family, teachers and caregivers whose identity is tied to that culture. When national identity develops in a way that is disconnected with its larger identity of us being human, it can create a symptom of extreme patriotism and racial and national superiority. Is it possible to think when we adjust ourselves to national identity, we are directly put into conflict with our authentic self that exists as resident of the earth?

I was born and grew up in Japan. Through entering into Japanese culture, my need to attach to people around me who identified themselves as Japanese occasionally came into conflict with my primary identity as human. Whenever people of Japan defend their national identity, it is possible to lose a larger perspective of the earth. In social adaptation of developing my own identity, I experienced conflict within myself. This was a schism between my need to be accepted in Japanese society and my need to be an authentic human being in the world.

The materialistic culture that we live in is based on denial of our connection to nature. I feel the identity promoted through it, our sole identification with body, skin color and language we speak conceals essential parts of our own humanity. As long as society exists with its culture uprooted from the earth, our culturalization process brings tension. We are then placed in a quandary of false choice; either we betray our truth and adjust ourselves to society’s values to be accepted by people or face alienation.

Can we create a culture that grows organically from its own foundation? Civilization has declared war against nature. Growing up in a materialistic culture of global capitalism, we are all perhaps given an ultimatum; either ‘adapt or die’. We adapt to this culture of denial and die to our spiritual identity. Growing up into a culture does not require us to give up our truth. By each starting to live with truth and have courage to be authentic, we can create a new culture of humanity. We can adapt and can live. Culture then can become what it should be, a vehicle to cultivate and nurture our true human nature.

About

Nozomi Hayase, Ph.D. a native of Japan is a columnist and essayist, whose writing and social activism is dedicated to liberation of all people. She has been covering issues of free speech, transparency and the vital role of whistleblowers and cryptocurrencies in strengthening civil society.

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One thought on “Creating a Culture of Humanity

  1. Good afternoon,
    I want to applaud you for your article (published today on Commondreams.org). I was pleased to see the conditions and conditioning of war applied to the correct term: man. And that brings me to my point. So long as there are top-down military command chains where strict authoritarian father figures decide the fate of others, there cannot BE Democracy. Former President Eisenhower made one of the most prescient warnings of the 20th century. It spoke ominously of the (then) growing influence of the Military Industrial Complex. Now that entity wields enormous power.
    Often the verbiage is used that “The U.S.” sold massive amounts of weapons to the Saudis” or “gave a huge amount to Israel as aid.” But the truth of the matter is that it’s private weapons’ contractors and consortiums who essentially hire the generals (who retire and take lucrative positions on weapon company boards) who decide upon these wars. The bottom line is that enormous sums of money are dedicated to the military and its weapon contractors along with growing private mercenary armies (like those trained by Erik Prince). It has become its own diabolical infrastructure and as a result, it needs to “move inventory” (through wars) the way Wal-mart moves consumer products.
    The nation, as a whole, does not benefit from these arms sales and they do not make the U.S. or any other land safer. But so long as the verbiage equates private weapons contractors’ sales with “the U.S,” the premise remains in place that these dark deeds somehow comport with “national security.”
    Few societies were as militarized, or glamorized war and warriors more than Nazi Germany. Masculine traits like aggression were prized and that trend is on the rise today. We see it in the strongman image that Trump seeks to fit, and in the odious Dutuerte and perhaps in Putin.
    Author Riane Eisler wrote a book (“The Chalice and the Blade”) that never got the limelight its profound insights deserve. She chronicles the historical link between societies that center upon war and a reciprocal reduction in women’s rights. Note the rise of the Christian Right in the U.S. today? Its followers appear to have little moral repulsion for war or capital punishment so long as women’s reproductive canals remain under the control of Church-State Father Figures.
    When it’s primarily males who sit at decision-making tables, and males trained to honor the strict father-centered family model (as George Lakoff brilliantly explains) who make determinations about the necessity for war, or otherwise, the larger diverse society composed of millions who do not want wars is given no voice. And this helps to explain the retardation of human spiritual progress and the redundant wars that result.
    Native Americans were said to only go to war when councils of the Grandmothers–those who had nurtured human life the longest–weighed in, in the affirmative.
    I have argued this point often in message forums, and the rebuttal typically comes back that there are plenty of women warriors like Hillary Clinton, Margaret Thatcher, Condi Rice, Susan Rice, Samantha Powers, and Madeleine Albright. This is a false argument because it doesn’t recognize the pervasiveness of patriarchal conditioning, nor the logistical fact that no female who challenged the make-war complex (the central pillar of patriarchal capitalism, as Vandana Shiva refers to it) would ever be allowed within a mile of any high ranking government office. Those women who do attain high office are like Uncle Toms: Black leaders who similarly salute the racist, sexist, classist, pro-war status quo (which benefits the 1%).
    IF the world was set up to truly honor Democracy; and IF there was equal representation for diverse voices, war would not be (this late in humanity’s evolutionary game-plan) the centerpiece that it is. I have a phrase for this syndrome: Mars rules. And my primary proof comes from two key arenas. The first is how much of the U.S. budget is dedicated to war, offshore bases, soldiers, and weapons. The second is just how many (mostly males) wear uniforms that compel them to follow a (typically) male authority figure. Consider this panoply: Homeland Security, FBI, CIA, State Department, DEA, Border Control, Sheriffs’ departments, police departments, Coast Guard, Navy, Army, Air Force, Navy Seals, Private mercenaries, and whatever entities I lost track of.
    This level of armed policing is anathema to a supposedly free society. The worship of militarism is a direct outgrowth of the disproportionate value lent to all things masculine.
    Years ago I chided the then editor of Ms. Magazine for too many articles about women emulating men (in sports) as if our value is based on doing what men do rather than serving as the quintessential complement. I mentioned that it’s all about “playing with balls” when women had far more profound contributions to make. She didn’t understand my point! The same process is underway–a form of subsuming the Divine Feminine into the now Twisted Masculine–when females are not only invited into the military, but their use of aggression (all the movies that now feature women wielding weapons) or torture (“Zero Dark 30”) is championed and rewarded.
    In closing, I would remind that any boat that only has the oar on one side operating is going to circle and go nowhere. That is a metaphor for a society that only allows MASCULINE (pro-aggression) input. HIS-story repeats because it’s remained essentially HIS story and most men must find their places within the top-down pecking order that prizes aggression. This formation is not Democratic and it locks out any threat to its principles, practices, and policies.
    Until the virtues inherent to females, the wish to nourish, nurture and preserve life are given EQUAL representation in every decision-making body and valued by society through its cultural venues, the imbalance that results in war will remain in place. Too many dismiss this missing link as mere “identity politics” or otherwise use evidence of females adapting to the existing paradigm as grounds for asserting that gender is immaterial. Those are lies.
    I hope you heard me out. As a writer who formerly appeared on radio and television, I have direct experience in just how far the Control State will go to silence alternative views… which means any that challenge official narratives. When people are only allowed to think within the existing box (“Flatlands”), they can do no other than replicate the conditions that exist. Then proponents of the status quo that Mars Rules built insist, “It’s human nature.” Hardly. There’s a reason why DNA, the code of life, is written in the biological Keys of He and She. Life is intended as SHARED: equal input on all levels. Since that’s not been the case, the masculine identification with aggression has spoken for both halves of Divine Creation and the results BLEED all around us.
    Best wishes, Sioux Rose

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