I want to be honest–I feel completely lost. In theory, 10 years of political study and organizing should have prepared me for this political moment, but instead I feel more confused about my role than ever. On the one hand, I have a belief that is perhaps stronger than anything in the world in the capacity for every day people to control our own means of producing the world around us, and reproducing one another in community. I believe we can and must do this without the intervention of state institutions that are ultimately designed to keep our creativity, labor, and passion sublimated to the end goals of division, exploitation and profit. On the other hand, I am acutely aware of the ongoing suffering that we cannot immediately save one another. The millions of people in prison, the millions more starving, sick, unhoused, and the majority of us traumatized by poverty, the police, bosses, dictatorships,violence, and genocide. The reality, of course, is that these are two sides of the same reality. We live in a constant dynamic of realizing our capacity and facing the horrors of its suppression.
In the study of physics, as well as in the connected fields of energetics, we know that every action has an equal and opposite reaction. In the study of dialectics, we know that history moves through internal contradictions, not external antagonisms. As an example, the great waves of struggle against white supremacy in the 1960’s and 70’s couldn’t pass over dealing with the dynamics that had created the conditions in the first place–capitalism, global war, the need for cheap labor–by demanding equality; they had to address these dynamics head on to create new ways for people to relate to one another. In cranio-sacral therapy (and the broader philosophy and practice of osteopathy, in which which cranio
-sacral therapy has its roots), we often say that the greatest healing comes from the greatest restriction. In other words, that shoulder that won’t get better, that scar tissue that doesn’t seem to stop pulling, those persistent migraines…are not to be ignored, but to be listened to, understood, and healed through great intention and a process that practitioners refer to as “unwinding.” When explaining this to clients, I often use the example of trying to untangle a set of necklaces or a pile of wires: you can’t simply yank at the wires and expect the knot to come undone, in fact, this makes the knot worse. You must understand
piece by piece how the knot came to exist, unfurl the fine pieces, and resolve the complex relations between matter with great attention to detail.
I am trying to embody this philosophy in these uncertain times. The confused knot of society as it exists now requires the full attention of every day people to unwind it and create something completely new–simply yanking at the ends through attempts to make legislative reform or increase oversight to institutions (like ICE) that are specifically meant to destroy people’s lives will only leave us in a bigger mess. We need passion, but also organization, strategy, and infrastructure that is determined by an ideology of liberation, how to build that, and what it means for whom. And while throwing pharmaceuticals, surgeries, and rage might be important temporary and emergency fixes at our mental and physical ailments that EVERYONE should have access to, the time and capacity to investigate where our pain comes from and unwinding from its source is equally if not more important for us to fight for.
Wishing everyone healing through these uncertain times, and a renewed trust in one another to build new worlds
from the ashes of the old,