Friday, February 17, 2017

Finding Yourself "Outside the System"

Ever think that you are living in a different world than everyone else? Do you feel that you are "outside the system" looking in?

That's what one of my readers wrote to me, and it made me think.

Of course, there is every reason why my reader Brad would feel outside the system. As he writes,
I try do the right things, work taxes avoid trouble and generally avoid the system we are outside because we are self-sufficient. 
When you write something like that you are announcing yourself as a Person of the Responsible Self, according to my reductive Three Peoples theory. To be a Person of the Responsible Self is everything that is right and good, but it don't get no respect in our society, because our society is ruled by the People of the Creative Self, and our ruling class thinks that People of the Responsible Self are all racists, sexists, homophobes, haters, and xenophobes.

On the view of the People of the Creative Self the meaning of life, the universe and everything is about being a creative artist, challenging all boundaries, breaking the mold of the ordinary and crafting a new world out of the rubble of the old. Everything is up for grabs, from work, family, sex, you name it. A critical part of the agenda is the caring and compassionate advocacy for People of the Subordinate Self, workers and peasants and women and minorities and marginalized people, and protecting them from the hate and bigotry of the People of the Responsible Self.

No wonder that the People of the Responsible Self feel left "outside the system."

But I think that the world view of the People of the Creative Self is sick and wrong.

First of all, it is utterly mad to imagine that the creatives should have license to do anything they want. Most attempts at creating something new are hopeless failures. That is why so many people would like to become artists and writers but so few actually make it. That is why almost all business startups are failures. Society needs strong defenses against would-be creators, and my model for this is the Hero's Journey of Joseph Campbell. If you want to be a creative hero, then you will have to go down into the underworld and suffer many trials and setbacks. Only when you have proved your mettle can you return to society and benefit it with your hard-won wisdom. Obviously this concept is completely different from the current notion that society should pay for artists and creatives to learn their chops, and then listen in awe to to the pearls of wisdom falling from their lips of their betters.

Secondly, on the schema of developmental psychologists like Ken Wilber and Clare Graves, the proper relationship between supposedly advanced people and less advanced people is that the more advanced people should be understanding and compassionate of those less advanced. Thus the advanced and evolved People of the Creative Self should, using their advanced knowledge, understand the People of the Responsible Self, and accommodate their less-advanced culture and world view. But it is the usual practice among self-described advanced people to regard those less advanced as stupid and bigoted. And so we have, in the advanced West, an overclass of People of the Creative Self that works daily to marginalize and humiliate the People of the Responsible Self as racists, sexists, and homophobes.

There are two options for a people that find themselves dominated and humiliated by its ruling class. It can submit, according to the good old advice that "resistance is futile." Or it can mount a head of rebellion.

Rather obviously, according to my view, the Trump phenomenon is a rebellion of the People of the Responsible Self against its cruel and unjust overlords, the People of the Creative Self.

Will the rebellion succeed? Or will it be put down, with prejudice?

Stay tuned for the next exciting episode of the Story of Mankind.

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