in the course of Human affairs, it has come to pass that yet another conflict of ideas with dire consequences for the disagreeing sides has developed, pitting the newly emboldened group of persons who fit loosely under the umbrella of “Transgender Women”, known to their opponents as “Patriarchal Men in dresses” or perhaps more charitably just “mentally ill persons” and another group gathered under their chosen label of “Gender Critical Radical Feminists” who are known to their opponents as “Transgender Excluding Radical Feminists” or TERFs… or less charitably as “Patriarchal Women in pants”.
both “sides” see each other as being bigoted and motivated to harm the other by subjecting them to injustice.
that pattern of disconnect, of impossibility of aligning various points of view into a chord and not a painful cacophony of antagonism is what strikes me so strongly… it is so common. this pattern fits so closely with so many others (think “war” or “strife”) that i don’t trust it to really be the truth about either side.
i’m assuming that the Human Beings living their lives and expressing these points of view are more similar than not and harmony is always attainable. like any thing of beauty, a great deal of care is required and effort has to be consistent and energetic and it maybe difficult to make a harmony. people have to listen, and bring both intuition and skill to bear. as Herbie Hancock said: “…there are no wrong chords, only unexpected ones”. i’m inspired by The Beatles too: “take a sad song and make it better…”
how do we resolve this conflict then? i look to expand the context in which resolution seems impossible… feeling deeply in myself for the root, where it all comes from and from which it all flows… the place where we are Whole.
i begin by realizing that what we say and agree or disagree on is reality, because it IS reality… social reality. that means both sides see their point of view as being “the Truth”. people develop concepts to explain what they experience, which unfortunately is pretty much entirely based on what is created in the Social realm of our species. we have missed a small thing that i think could save us: our infinite nature.
the stunningly powerful adaptation that has evolved in Human Beings is to create a social reality out of our interpretations. this social reality exists in a space that is at once dependent on Nature and yet modifies that same Nature as if from outside of Nature.
i am convinced that our awareness of the difference between the two forms of reality has been obscured by a dogma which asserts that nature is inert, inferior and apart from what it has produced, which includes us.
the dogma of Hierarchy claims that there is such a thing as a “Supreme” reality: Social Reality, the one we make out of our natural selves though our intelligence and self-reflection and power to abstract concepts from nature. many of us even claim to be made in the image of a “Creator” whose characteristics are coincidentally the same as those Humans that claim rights of privilege through Natural Superiority and identify with the abstraction which fantasizes that they (the males who have taken on the identity of Man) – and God – are Over All and Above All etc…
so for this mistake to be corrected, it is vitally important to keep in mind that the stuff we’re doing is conceptualizing, we are not simply interacting in a “natural” way… we are discussing the construction of an essential element of a conceptual framework through which we interpret the world.
i see that we are creating a problem when we lose the awareness of our perpetual integration in the reality of Nature as we spin ourselves into more and more elaborate worlds of abstract concept… time/space, you/me, here/there, us/them, win/lose… Woman/Man, male/female… all of this is mistaken for “reality” while devaluing, subjugating and ignoring the fundamental Reality of Wholeness from which we can never be separated.
i’m wild and believe that since the way of thinking called “normal” has proven to be so disastrous, that we must be missing something. i think that something is a flaw at the foundation of our social era (which i call “historical society”). our minds are captive to a view that splits the Whole into “this and that” (i.e. Gender Critical, Transgender, etc.)
i’m going toward the idea that to resolve our conflict we have to see that that this and that aren’t the point.
this and that are the problem.
i’m attempting to spiral over and out of the conflict that i believe is inherent in any conventional, dialectical approach. as a Buddhist friend once told me, the solution is not in the problem. as Gregory Bateson describes when discussing his theory of the Double Bind, an effective way out is to expand the context.
time for a quantum leap, like the one when Human Beings (the same Homo Sapiens that we are) transformed themselves from prehistoric society (what philosopher Murray Bookchin calls “organic society”) to historical society beginning at the end of the last ice age 10,000 years ago.
this was when the current state of affairs began… the dawn of agriculture and social structures that began to apply a world-view which allowed groups of people to separate themselves from each other and nature and assert a right of privilege to consume and possess more than they were able to produce by themselves. this error has propagated throughout our societies in every form from Pharaohs to Kings to Presidents to Commissars. it is deeply embedded in our very psyches and passed generation to generation.
dominance as a concept emerged, a principle, an abstract way of interpreting natural relationships which transformed symbiotic and self-regulating ecological balances through complex interactions in the biosphere into simplistic notions of predator and prey, controller and controlled, master and slave. what i refer to as a “mistake” has made the Human species one of the most powerful agents of transformation on Earth. but it is not balanced and asserts a fallacy at its root which ensures that the transformations we are causing are not harmonious with nature or ourselves.
and so we continue, chewing each other up and failing to see that there really is no “other”… we think that we are fighting with something outside of ourselves but in reality we’re like like an animal trapped in a steel trap. unlike an animal though, we don’t see that the limbs we are gnawing on to try to separate from the trap are our own, and that the trap is an artifact of our own mistaken point of view… and we are suffering.
this is the context in which i am experiencing my transformation in life from the Man that i was born as to… myself, free from Hierarchical and Patriarchal deformation. i am actually not “Transitioning”. not moving from one point on a line to another. i am Integrating. expanding and enveloping, imbibing and absorbing all.
i am becoming more male. less Man. i hope to find a place where Trans and TERF no longer have any meaning… a place where Humanity is happy to be what it is, Nature’s own eyes and mind, living in harmony with itself as easily as my blood flows through my veins or the wind blows over us and water flows though the veins of the Earth.
which isn’t to say that i know how to do that, or what it will be when i’ve done it… i don’t in fact expect that i will “get there” in my lifetime, but then, i believe that Life is what’s living, not “me” and that Life is sending me through the world to find something, to add to the Whole, to contribute… and so i am.