What is secrecy?
What is this urge to ”go underground” with feelings and thoughts – why do we do it and what does it do to us? First, there is an important difference between secrecy and privacy:
– secrecy is fear of revelations about ourselves … a fear that denied and unwanted information would leak from the inside-out
– privacy is the fear of having our peace and our selves abused and violated from the outside-in
There is a very powerful scene in Ingemar Bergman’s movie Fanny and Alexander where little Alexander (supposedly young Ingemar) has been writing a story in school about his mother having sold him to a circus. His stepfather to be, the bishop, threatened by the symbolic truth of the story is taking upon himself to administer the punishment for Alexanders ”lying”.
The bishop asks:
-Alexander, my boy, why are people lying?
-Because they cannot tell the truth.
-That is a very clever answer my boy but I am not going to let you off that easy (twisting the boy’s ear)
-Why do people lie Alexander?
Alexander crying out from the pain in his ear:
-To gain an advantage.
-Just so my boy that is correct… etc.
The saddest thing about this exchange is the way it all seemed so reasonable to that culture, that this religious sadist should ”teach” the virtue of telling the truth. But little Alexander is the one who has something true to say: he points out that lying often is the only alternative left to someone who will be punished for speaking the truth if his truth is contrary to more powerful interests. Hasn’t this been almost every child’s predicament throughout ”cultures” that teaches its members to value obediance higher than life?
To take this picture one bit further, most definitions of feelings are built on myths and codes that have been acceptable to the top of the culture’s power pyramid. Nowhere is this more obvious than in nations, religions, military groups, where life and death is directly related to how well you can hide your natural feelings from the often perverted abusive leaders. Not that long ago, feudal rule was just about the only political system in the world. Living conditions of the feudal subjects depended totally on whether the feudal lord or monarch was enlightened, fair-minded or tyranical, abusive and cruel. Many of our codes of behaviour have their roots from these societies and cultures and few constitutions have been re-written from a perspective of developing a society aspireing to bring forward attractive being values as the leading stars. Even the constitutions in the USA and in France, that were written in reaction to the abuses of the previous rule of adminstrations and governments, soon came to wish for larger control of people by ruling groups and, soon enough, control within a power hierarchy, forms the law. Not far behind this comes competition for power and war as almost unavoidable consequences. George W. Bush’s war on terrorism could so easily become an oxymoron, where serious opposition to world dominans by the USA is seen as the buds of future terror that needs to be nipped before it can become a threat to the national interest of he USA — the dominant power.
Thomas Jefferson, one of the authors of the US constitution, is also the author of this quote: ”It is an axiom in my mind that our liberty can never be safe but in the hands of the people themselves. Every government degenerates when trusted to the rulers of the people alone.” If we agree with this and if we feel that we should have the power to make our voices heard on a level where it matters in government, Mr. Bush need to make his interests known and allow for the majority to have a say over such crucial questions of how energy shall be made available to industry and people, how food is going to be produced and kept reasonably safe to consume. What is of increasing concern for people who are not in direct contact with ruling power is not whether they have a vote, a voice or access to communication but how ruling power is excercised. In response to an unbelievable technical development seen just from a few years ago, the power to rule has picked up tools that could once again turn democracy into a farse.
But manipulation of power has always been possible if not on the scale that we can see today. So the more it is possible to destroy the planet, be it through nuclear weapons or through chemicals, pollution and over-exploitation of our resources, embracing positive being values from the top down and from the grass roots up, is becoming the issue that will determine our future on this planet and life on the planet itself.
These may seem as big words but understanding our feelings in terms that makes sense to us as true reflections of the situations we are in (small and large), will be a pre-requisite for orienting our selves out of danger. We need to redefine the concepts of courage, duty, fear etc, away from manipulated ideals created by abusive, controlling power hierarchies and towards the concepts provided by our biological nature. By such being values, courage means that we let all the positive being values like freedom, justice, contentedness, humour, truth, kindness, diversity, generousity and beauty to mention a few, become as they were designed by nature to be, the attraction that guides us towards better. In contrast, I now see a world dominated by military destruction power, driven by economic blackmail power and greed, supported by religious control all too willing to condone war against ”infidels”. I see ideals where the power to compete and win is fueling the previously mentioned power structure and I see a massive propaganda machinery hammer on peoples’ emotional strings to brain-wash their collective opinions very effectively… and it makes me very sad.
In the face of this politcal, economic, religious, military, industrial power hierarchy, all serving the same direction of development as one machine, the only glimmer of hope lies in the spreading of a new awakening to what we really feel as opposed to what we are taught to feel.