June 30th, 2006

ozarque figure

Emotional weather; part five...

I believe -- and I think this discussion has confirmed -- that there's a negative emotional weather front out there, moving across the country, getting stronger as it goes, sucking people in as it goes. Maybe the emotion fueling it is something new, something that English doesn't have a name for; maybe not. "Learned helplessness" looks/sounds/feels right to me; in any case, whatever it is, it's a negative and toxic emotion. I perceive it as real, the way I perceive thunderstorms as real; perceiving it as a metaphor may fit your worldviews more comfortably.

Very early in the discussion, interactiveleaf asked, in a comment:
"Do you have any suggestions, not so much for what to say to these people, but for how to get the message across en masse?" A number of other commenters have pointed out that what really matters, what really interests them, is not more detail about the problem but what to do about it. And it seems to me that a rough consensus has been reached that just talking at people who are caught in this dark cloud isn't likely to be helpful -- that what's needed isn't telling, but showing. Not that the showing has to be silent, but that it has to be far more showing than telling.

I've been thinking, and learning. And the one thing I'm convinced of this morning is that I'm not qualified to lead the "what to say and do" discussion. I'm a radical universalist Christian pacifist who believes in reincarnation and unconditional love, who believes in emotional weather, who believes that thoughts have power. I might as well be from Alpha Centauri, for all the use I'd be making suggestions about what to say and do.

I'm not copping out, mind you -- not "cutting and running"; I just feel that the most useful thing I can do is get out of your way. I'm going to say just one thing, therefore, on my way out the door:

The only defense against a powerful metaphor is an even more powerful metaphor.
ozarque figure

Emotional weather; part six...

eclectic338 commented:
"Maybe instead of leading a discussion regarding 'the way out', you could present a forum for those who have found our way out."

Excellent idea; thank you for the suggestion. Posts (or links to posts) below, from those who've found their way out, would be very welcome.