Let's start off by saying that I'm no political expert on the Middle East. Although I have been actively following the events in the region, since NATO's war on Libya, I come across new elements on a regular basis. As a writer on this platform it could be tempting to try and compete with the famous voices in the anti-imperialistic movement, like Salbuchi, Finningham, Cartalucci etc.
Wouldn't it be great to give an analysis that stirs a new debate and leads to wonderful new insights with many comments and a high number of visitors? Imagine other 'anti-imperialistic' websites (1) that would even copy and distribute it, making it into a trending topic on Twitter and Facebook, and perhaps even a request by RT may follow to appear on their program, like what finally happened to Morris Herman (2).
But there seems to be something else happening, which was touched upon in the articles and the comments on 'Trying to Move Beyond Imperialism vs Anti-Imperialism' (1) and Nneka Egbuna and Gareth Icke: Revolutionary Artists (3). It's not easy to get a grasp on this, but one important factor is the role of our own feelings in all this. How does it feel to read or write a particular article on the clashes in Libya or Syria, and what is the role of these feelings in solving any crisis?
In the field of psychology it was Carl Rogers who was one of the first psychotherapists who 'shocked' the academic psychological establishment by leaving behind the scientific use of the 3rd person as the common mode of writing. He introduced the first person-mode of writing, thereby consciously adding the subjective element in order to strengthen the messages and theories he was bringing about, making the personal human experience a part of the whole, eventually causing a 'client-centered' revolution in the field of psychotherapy.
DANCING WITH THE NEWS
There are a few ways to deal with the geopolitical developments that are taking place in the world. In our current society we have become accustomed to focus our attention on external stimuli. When you hear about a bombing in the Lebanese capital of Beirut, it has almost become our second nature to keep that focus outside of ourselves. Those within the anti-imperialistic movement tend to think about Mossad's possible responsibility for it, and those siding with the anti-Syria movement are easily inclined to blame Hezbollah or the Syrian Government for the death of Wissam al-Hassan (4), and what would be the responses by the US, Russia?
All kinds of theories and analyses pop up, people start writing, copying, reading, twittering, commenting, watching videos about the event, some noticing the Al-Qaida flags and the French Colonial FSA-flags amongst the people demonstrating, others paying attention to the Lebanese cedar flags. Some mention the decline of the March 14-movement in Lebanon and the awkward gathering of both muslim and christian extremist groups (4).
MOVING THE NEWS WITHIN
Quoriana said quite aptly in a response to (1):
"... when we start to react on the news by getting angry, upset, desperate, overwhelmingly sad or anything that prohibits us from being productive and acting constructive, that is exactly where the media and the powers that control the media want us to be. They actually don't care if we're too ignorant to accomplish change or too mad or sad to accomplish change, as long as we don't accomplish change."
Exploring this line of reasoning, it might become very useful to stop and think for a moment, while being engaged with these kind of topics and wonder what is your own personal response to it? What is your body telling you? What kind of feelings or thoughts do you have? In the field of neuroscience it is becoming increasingly clear that an overactivity in the (fight or fly) amygdala or the (emotional) limbic system of the brain, prevents our more advanced prefrontal cortex to work. This prefrontal cortex that is highly active during meditation. In other words, more creative, constructive and perhaps more loving thoughts and feelings can arise in ourselves when we manage to remove the anger, the frustration or sadness from our bodies.
I would say that it might be far more useful to pay attention to your own physical/emotional response to a certain news-item, with the intent on transforming that feeling into something that feels better and more joyful, than it is to try and spread and comment on these developments in all kinds of external digital platforms, thereby unconciously twittering and spreading the negative emotions to others.
The thoughts expressed in this article is part of a work in progress, so please feel free to join the project and think/feel along. THe next article that was written on November 2, 2012, can be found at: https://worldmathaba.net/items/1957-shia-and-sunni-muslims-to-meet-each-other-in-a-love-embrace
This article first appeared on World Mathaba on October 30, 2012
In : Reflections
Tags: news dance geopolitical developments newspapers psychology