The Big Denial Party part 1
The world is in a mess and getting worse very fast, and how are most people responding?
Just as we did in past eras when empires fell – by going into denial, seeking comfort to fill the emptiness that comes from the fear, burying the truth with indulgence in sex ‘n’ drugs ‘n’ rock’n’roll along with work, depression, inequality, sweets, falling in love, money, poverty, perversions, physical training, image, success, power, career, recognition, politics, sport, TV, mobile devices, entertainment, victimization, parties, religion, causes, issues, fashion, intellect, fads, games, music, art, parenting, all the isms – anything and everything as an excuse to not face reality and not take responsibility and not make real changes within ourselves to express in outer life.
A decade ago I had a sudden impulse from my soul to quit all drugs, and I did. Not one glass of wine at an occasional birthday party, not one joint on the weekend, all gone. It was easy. And very rewarding watching how my mental clarity went from its normally excellent to awesomely good, how much less emotionally reactive and more calm I became, how much less driven by desires and cravings, etc, etc. Something to commit to, forever.
Gluten, Dairy, and Substitutes for the Substitutes
A few years ago I chose to eliminate gluten and dairy from my diet. I was not coeliac, not gluten-intolerant, not dairy-intolerant. I did it to support my health and wellbeing. It meant giving up my absolutely favourite foods: melted cheese on wholegrain bread, creamy milk, fried halumi, fruit yoghurt, fudge, caramel, cakes, biscuits, ice-cream, organic fair trade chocolate, home-made muesli, the list goes on. Once upon a time I didn’t think I could do it. But I realized those foods were full of comfort for me, like a frightened baby grabbing hold of mother’s breast. Gotta go. Once I made the heart-felt decision, I did give them up. Then I started trying the substitutes: all those things I’d given up but now substitutes made with soy, lentils, chick pea flower, etc (keep the comfort going!). But I am rather legume-intolerant and intolerant of quinoa etc, so all the gluten/dairy substitutes made me very sick. I observed then how I substituted for the substitutes: getting into watching videos, turning my salad and eggs into a comforting indulgence, obsessing about my work, inventing inner stories about who I am and what I’m doing. Corrected that, and watched the next level of indulgence…. it goes on and on, getting sneakier and more subtle.
Meanwhile in addition to observing myself, I was observing how the majority of truly gluten-intolerant, dairy-intolerant people behave. For them it’s all about feeling ‘normal’ and how to indulge and treat themselves with chocolate and sugar and cakes and lush comforts just like the non-sensitives so they can numb themselves to the fact that their bodies are screaming out desperately for them to hear its request for health, proper nourishment and genuinely loving care. I say “genuinely” to contrast it with the indulgence, comfort and pampering with treats, that we mistakenly refer to as “loving” ourselves.
The psychology elevator: going up or going down?
There’s a huge difference between giving yourself comforting treats, and being truly self-loving, and I’m beginning to understand it. My teacher has shared a psychological process:
Recognition -> Awareness -> Honesty -> Truth
For me just the food journey on its own is a huge workshop in recognition of how I really feel, leading to awareness of what state I’m really in, leading to honesty about my choices and why I’m making them, leading to truth about myself, who I am, my stage of evolution, what is real and what is not. Then there’s the work journey, the money journey, the health journey, the spiritual journey, the relationship journey, etc, etc…. And when I extrapolate from my own little self to the big picture for all of humanity…whoa! We are in trouble, and we’re not facing it at all.
The opposite of the path to honesty and truth is denial and burying, and that’s accelerating visibly in the world today. It seems like life is becoming one big dance party with a bit of resented work in between, ‘compensated for’ with alcohol, chocolate, coffee, spas, drugs, charities, campaigns, sweets and cakes, luxury holidays ….
Society’s death throes: partying
I came across a research study of the life cycles of societies and their economies. It showed that the last gasp before oblivion is tourism. Doh? Well when you think about it, it makes sense. When a society is at it’s wit’s end and on the brink of going down the gurgler, people get into partying (indulgence generally). The “party” mentality is that desperate last denial process to convince yourself that everything’s OK by sharing the convincing activity with as many other people as possible. The numbers confirm it, right? Wrong. Just because a lot of people do it, doesn’t make it right. Like rape and murder. So a big increase in partying, dancing, holidaying, all forms of indulgence that come under the (economic) umbralla of ‘tourism’ is a sign of things not being right, a society in trouble. Those very behaviours we do to keep denying and hiding the truth from ourselves are the very things which are taking us and our world to the brink of disaster.
Time to change. But no time to lose.
15 Sept 2010 (updated today 22 Feb 2014)