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A recent post brought comments from friends which were very pertinent and focused on my inability to see the real world from a woman's point of view/  No big surprise there.  elainegrey noted that certain spiritual advice seems to be only by men and about men, that women are not considered seriously as participants in the import doings of life.  Then she added what i first thought to be a contradictory statement.  In response to my remark that vow of poverty might mean little to a poor person and a vow of obedience might be meaningless to a slave, she suggested the slaves vow of obedience ennobles the concept of obedience and the impoverished persons vow of poverty changes poverty from involuntary to voluntary.  Hmmm, the condition of poverty can be dealt with by acquiring acceptance or by acquiring wealth.

I had this in my mind as i listened to a NPR interview with Wayne Krogenbaum ( ?) on the subject of humiliation.  Humiliation, if it does not destroy a person, leaves a part of the self (the better part?) intact, and from that fragment, a new and better self can be built..  He cited the life of Oscar Wilde as an example.  Now i must read De Profundis.

There is an outlaw in each of us who must decide how and whether each particular rule designed by others applies to her or him.  Of course rule breaking has consequences, but suffering those consequences does not make me superior or inferior to anyone else.  I decide how i will act, sometimes taking into consideration consequence, others decide how they will react.  If their reaction includes humiliation, i should learn that in the shredded bits of my small self, the greater truer self abides


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 2nd, 2011 12:52 am (UTC)
Um, i believe amaebi was your substantial correspondent; i was too blue yesterday to engage deeply past my own journalling. But how lovely to read you both!
Aug. 2nd, 2011 01:54 am (UTC)
:( So sorry you were feeling blue. Any better today?

Aug. 2nd, 2011 11:08 pm (UTC)
Actually, no, but Tuesdays are the meeting-deluge day where i start at dawn and feel overwhelmed by 5 pm eastern.
Aug. 3rd, 2011 01:35 am (UTC)
Wishing you a restorative evening and night.
Aug. 2nd, 2011 03:39 am (UTC)
Yes, me too.
Aug. 2nd, 2011 01:53 am (UTC)
I'm concerned
Beloved bobby1933, reading this from someone or I don't know or from most people I know, I would be sure that the writer was feeling personally injured and was in embarrassed pain. Or had been and was moving on from it. Since it's you, as I read, you could simply be considering the things you write about abstractly.

I hope you haven't been feeling injured to move on from.

I know that, like me, you value humbleness. "Humiliation" might could be just the path to it-- but it's a term that comes with such a freight of horribleness. (That's the destruction part, I guess.)

I'm also concerned to think that you might have read what I wrote as focused on your abilities, rather than on the text you reproduced.

So many apologies if what I wrote sounded like a rap on the snout, which so was not my intention. So many apologies if you're feeling any discomfort in response to what I wrote. I value your friendship and your thoughts tremendously. Always.
Aug. 2nd, 2011 03:27 am (UTC)
Re: I'm concerned
No offense was taken, or even imagined.

Of course, like most people, i have suffered humiliation. My undiagnosed autism must have made me seem strange--must have made me strange. My father was a master of humiliation; i only much later learned that i was not the sole canvas for his art. I have also done many things of which i was or became ashamed, and in some cases that shame was probably deserved.

But i was writing, as you say, in the abstract. Had i read Oscar Wilde's "De Profundis" (which i have now read about halfway through -- marvelous writing, powerful ideas) i no doubt would have sounded more wounded and more personally involved. In view of your reaction, i'm glad i hadn't.

I feel about you as you feel about me, and though you are much younger (and one of those females ;-)), i view you as one of my mentors.

My perspective in this post was that being shamed is like being poor or enslaved or a woman in a sexist society. It is intended to put one "out of the game," to make his or her presence irrelevant in terms of what is really going on. Wilde's imprisonment on charges of homosexuality and obscenity were intended to put him out of the game, as he saw it; and it might have done so had he not been able to give a spiritual meaning to his experience. (edit: In fact, Wilde lived only three years after writing De Profundis and being released from prison. His death was probably caused (like that of John of the Cross) by the conditions he encountered in prison. He wrote only one more poem, fulfilling a promise to "try to do something" about prison conditions and he suffered further humiliations before his death at age 46.

Edited at 2011-08-02 05:46 am (UTC)
Aug. 3rd, 2011 01:36 am (UTC)
Thanks for understanding and replying to my concern, and for teaching me. :)
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )



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