Re: Ojai Winter Dialogue/Retreat

From: Samantha Atkins (
Date: Mon Dec 04 2000 - 04:58:43 MST

"J. R. Molloy" wrote:
> Ojai Winter Dialogue/Retreat

>> Rarely, however, do we make the connection between what is happening
> outwardly and the inner domain of our own psyche. We don't seem to realize
> that, in the total scheme of things, it is we who have brought about this
> situation: it is our strong notions of separate identity, our labeling of
> others as evil & wrong-headed, our inability to see ourselves clearly.
> This, surely, is the starting-point. For, about other people I can do very
> little, but I can do something about myself, since the conflict all around
> me has been generated by the same division that exists within me.

The notion that what is outward reflects internal psychological
conditions is quite ancient and also quite unsupported. At the least
the "Maharishi effect" should work if there is a strong link. But it
does not. It is not we, not me personally, who has caused the
Afghanistan ruling clique to go hyper-Moslem-fundie and utterly oppress
and murder its women. It is not I who get to choose for all of those
who believe something highly irrational and suffer the consequences when
reality turns out not to be as they thought it.

It seems these conferences are more about rewiring our identity along
old lines that have never seemed to have major power to change the
living conditions of a people. They attempt to entice to old ways by
using spurious claims of the inward causing the outward. God, I wish it
was that simple.

Sometimes some of us do make quite evil (in terms of what is the good
for us <inclusive>) and wrong-headed decisions. Some of us are at least
sometimes berserk. How does it aid any of us to deny this or to claim
simply acknowledging this truth causes all the misery in the world?
Most misery is caused by either lack of knowledge and technology to deal
with problems or by actual wrong-headedness. But identifying someone's
wrong-headedness does not automatically mean that the problem is in

> Division is endemic to social living as we know it: there is a knower here
> and a world out there. This division, useful in practical terms, becomes
> deadly in the sphere of relationship, where the images we have built about
> ourselves constantly clash with those of others. Perhaps because we have
> lived with it so long, we treat the underlying process as "normal" and
> content ourselves with dealing with symptoms. This can, at best, produce
> temporary alleviation: the root of the problem lies much deeper.

It is not an either-or. There is a you-me-us dance and interplay.
One's attention can touch on all of these and it is enriching to do so.
But this is far from claiming the world's problems are the result of an
inability to do this and other similar things.

- samantha

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