How the Mental Body can twist Causal Impulses

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I read a variety of online newspapers, at least two could be considered alternative and progressive. Sometimes I encounter instances of mental body excess I cannot help but find funny. Funny because they represent examples of valid impulses being distorted through the ego's way of handling things that they become wayward reflections of the very same impulses.

I was reading about a blog composed by some young feminist activists. It started out pretty mainstream-y, with articles about how personal preferences in lifestyle can be okay - that feminism could be positive and empowering and not something that tells people how to behave and sets up a set of negative rules. However, the article kind of was a post-mortem to this blog community.

What happened soon was a radicalization of that community. Correct terminology was required. The fight against all kinds of oppression became more and more important. Language was being reconstructed in ways that were supposed to be more pure and less tainted by the original issues forming certain idioms.

It all culminated in a podium event where members of that group discussed about "white privilege" - the inherent advantages one possesses over people of other cultures and races just by being born into the western culture, and how that subtly shapes our interaction with one another. A worthwhile discussion to have for sure - I mean the issues discussed all had some truth to it. Where the discussion broke down is that now criticism arose that basically a board of predominantly white people was now sitting there and discussing issues of discrimination, and it was criticized for various reasons. It sure must have looked odd, and the radicalized tone of the whole thing probably wasn't helping, either.

There is a certain irony there when supposed oppressors discuss on behalf of the supposedly oppressed. It seemed very detached from any reality, a drama on a stage, something one might consider a neurotic display.

At the same time the group had also drawn criticism for disabling feedback mechanisms in their blogs and making press statements that blamed those criticizing them.

And there we are - at the end of a cycle of events. There was an original causal impulse, I'm sure. The causal impulse is as simple as can be: All humans share the same intrinsic value and dignity on the soul level. Everything that stands opposed to that - sexism or racism, for example - is ultimately unaligned with this causal principle.

So, I believe that these people were attracted by the original causal principle. But the makeup of their mental bodies prevented them from truly bringing it through. They got bogged up in dogma, intellectualizing, rule-making, moral judgements as right and wrong (according to their ideology) and increasingly complex intellectual constructs arising from this, sometimes to justify it, sometimes to express it.

I mean, when reading some of the statements emanating from that group at the end one could barely - if at all - understand what was being said. The language had gotten cryptic and an elite knowledge had been defined - the knowledge of the inner circle. It had gotten all esoteric, where you had to know the right authors and talk in the right code. It had essentially become a lifestyle cult, as harsh as that may sound.

The thing noteworthy here is that the more the mental body asserted itself, the less people this group reached. By racing towards intellectual purity the group lost touch with the original intent of communicating a message to many people. In the end they reached only people willing to accept their terms and had isolated themselves in their niche culture. They had started with a much broader appeal than that.

If you keep looking you might find other cases of valid initiatives starting like that and ending like that. Look for the original impulse and what happened to it. It's quite an interesting exercise.

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  1. SoulSail's Avatar
    Mind sharing which online rags you read? I'm always on the lookout.

    (and great post, btw...if time allowed I'd follow up in depth, sorry!)
  2. Korpo's Avatar
    Telepolis (German), alternet.org
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