Sublimating agression

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Sciethe
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Re: Sublimating agression

Postby Sciethe » 07 May 2014, 21:12

So once I stopped wanting to hurt people, I was developing philosophically :yay:
I know just what you mean :shake: . Although I'm not sure it's always wanting to hurt, it's maybe having damaging habits which can be unlearned.
But the point about Druidism is that we care about improving ourselves. No one's perfect, but learning how to weave a bit of joy and harmony into our lives and those we come into contact with is certainly one of the most useful things that Druids do for the general state of humanity and the planet.

On the other paw I think aggression has a place, as Aphritha said earlier, in the sense of action to correct injustice. If I wasn't aggressive, and as a youth, stupid enough to pass as brave I'd never have done the Greenpeace and SWACS (? now Cetacean Society International) actions that I took part in long ago. No-one actually got hurt, but there were interesting moments. SWACS did a brilliant carefully planned and targeted action in the early 90s, only 12 of us, that finally got the supermarkets to cave in on the question of tuna netting which was killing an estimated 150,000 dolphins per year and had put a generation of impoverished pole fishermen out of work. I don't know if it was really that many dolphins, but clearly it was absolute havoc. We succeeded. 20 years later... have 12 angry people now saved 150,000 x 20 dolphins? How many fishermen's families survived that might not have? I don't know. :old:

Certainly as a number of posters have said if aggression has to be there it HAS to be personally controlled.

I'm not surprised to see that the thread has progressed from the personal to the planetary:
To me druidry works towards a harmonious solution, without it becoming like an idealised hippie type 'love fest' but a fluid and credible answer if not 'calling'. It is part of our druid 'work' as I see it.
So, a world full of people most of whom haven't even begun to address their issues, some of them in charge of whole nations. Druids are making a difference even if it's only by changing themselves. It used, some historians say, to be that Druids were the Heralds of society, passing between nations and disputing leaders and weaving harmonious solutions for the world. That's what I call Druid work. Don't you just wish... :)
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P.S. Is peace what you get when the battle is won?
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Re: Sublimating agression

Postby xidia » 07 May 2014, 22:41

My underlying principle is peace is the presence of justice, rather than the absence of war. (I can't remember who said it first!) But until everyone can agree on what justice is, and how it can best be served to all, I believe that to get to peace, you have to prepare fight. The problem then comes that everyone is fighting out of conviction that they are right, because violence can be conducted through words as well as through deed.

I can see why the idea of having an external authority to tell you that you're right - be that a God or a leader - seems to solve that conundrum.

Except, of course, that it doesn't. Peace will come when everyone accepts that everyone deserves the same basic, equal rights. But is that the right to an outcome, or an opportunity? Enter democratic politics, known for its justice and peaceful nature the world over. Not.

To be honest, after a degree in each of political science and history, and several years working for the government, there's a reason I rarely read the news and instead focus on my own little community. It's less soul destroying!

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Re: Sublimating agression

Postby DaRC » 08 May 2014, 10:33

Icelandic proverb "with laws shall man build land"
It's meaning is that for a land/country/people to prosper there has to be laws that are followed. The laws of the land are there to keep the peace. Particularly when the majority of the population, from a modern viewpoint, were violent psychopaths (just read the Icelandic Njal's Saga). The assumption of the proverb is that Law and it's enforcement is essential for peace and prosperity.

In addition looking at the old Irish Brehon Laws, the Welsh Hywl Dda and the early Anglo-Saxon laws of Ine and King Alfred there are common themes around reparation of injury to person or property (e.g. the A-S weregild), the rights of the people and compared to Feudal law women seem to have fared better under these systems. A lot of our ideas of chivalry and justice may come from the old Brythonic view of how a good king applies these laws.

Ultimately a good legal system, with support from the king/government, uses focussed aggression to keep the peace. War, as 'diplomacy by other means', can be used to create a peace - during the Pax Romana Rome was continually at war BUT for the majority of the people inside the Empire there was peace - but whilst people and nations are possessed by the entirely human (but negative) desires for power/control and wealth uncontrolled aggression is unavoidable. Justice is unfortunately just a by-product, IMHO. The people controlled by the laws need to feel that justice is done in the majority of cases (or the majority need to agree that application of the law seems just). Once the rich and powerful get away with it too much there is rebellion/uncontrolled aggression.

Once you have peace at a macro (societal) level then a society can focus on sublimating aggression at an individual level. Sport and Religion seem to be our historical keys in the democratic world. In the un-democratic world 'might is right' the order of the day and violent punitive aggression controls 'the peace'.

It seems to me that us humans are more Chimpanzee than Bonobo/Dwarf Chimpanzee and that violence and competitiveness is in our base nature which is in conflict with the higher ideals of 'everyone accepting that everyone deserves the same basic, equal rights'.
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and to live a life without shame. (Havamal 68)
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Re: Sublimating agression

Postby DJ Droood » 08 May 2014, 12:51

I like what someone said a few posts ago, about aggression being a byproduct of frustration. I don't feel I have an especially aggressive nature, but as humans, we all have the potential. I was most angry and aggressive when i was in my mid 20's....I was in a bad marriage, financially unstable,felt rather hopeless professionally, and was unable to indulge all my selfish pleasures because of diaper changing and poverty. I also hadn't developed many adult coping mechanisms yet, being somewhat new to the role. I can still close my eyes and feel the frustration I felt then, and it would come out in aggressive words and hitting walls and such....I've never been physically aggressive towards other people, but I have said and done mean things. A couple of lives later, living in much more relaxed circumstances , and having had time to develop my adult self somewhat, I think I have sublimated my aggression. Funny where it comes out though, suddenly...driving in the car and someone cuts me off and a stream of invective and violent mental imagery washes over me, but it doesn't last long.
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Re: Sublimating agression

Postby Whitemane » 08 May 2014, 13:11

The way I found to sublimate invective is to use nonsense words.

The core vocabulary of invective is really very limited, so after a while it becomes hackneyed and loses impact. So I started using nonsense words, and leave the listeners to work out what I really meant, or to apply their own cliches.
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Re: Sublimating agression

Postby Sciethe » 08 May 2014, 23:59

violence and competitiveness is in our base nature which is in conflict with the higher ideals of 'everyone accepting that everyone deserves the same basic, equal rights'.
Totally. Or this discussion would be either impossible or unnecessary. It has often seemed to me to be the war of reason against unreason, and that does apply to individuals as well as whole societies. Then I change my mind and decide that it's vested corporate (including government) interest against the individual, see peasant revolts etc. and Drood's comment about frustration. Then I remember organised religion and think about the good and bad that those huge hierarchies have caused.

In the end the battle always comes down to ideas. Between and within individuals. In the Macro: my land, your land or could we share. You have the wrong God. That race/gender/sexuality is inferior. Ours is superior. There's always a battle about these things in the end. So where does that leave us? The battle for hearts and minds is the only one that as Druids we can hope to win, given that most of us would balk at destroying human life to settle things, and that is in fact what is slowly happening.
To be honest, after a degree in each of political science and history, and several years working for the government, there's a reason I rarely read the news and instead focus on my own little community. It's less soul destroying!
And in the end maybe more productive because the effect is real and human, not a sound bite from the telly which is replaced in the mind by the next offering. The important thing is that people should be encouraged to keep learning and thinking for themselves, the chief enemy of harmony and the kind of despotism that people are forced fight is ignorance. That's why the first sign that a despot is arising is the destruction of books, control of media and the killing and/or incarceration of intellectuals.
S
For in his morning orisons he loves the sun and the sun loves him. For he is of the tribe of Tiger. Christopher Smart

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Re: Sublimating agression

Postby Brân Gannaid » 14 May 2014, 10:03

As a child, I was punished severely for any aggression (I was never physically aggressive, but I might say angry words), so I learned to become very quiet when I became angry. If I become very angry, even today, I get extremely quiet. I think people can feel it, because they generally back off. I'll work it off later when I'm alone.

In my youth and middle age I was very athletic and participated in both team and individual sports. I worked where it was frequently my job to calm people in positions of power, and I learned to empathize with them and usually end up using humor.

One of the most cathartic things I do is target practice with a rifle. I follow Joseph Campbell's "single point of meditation" and it's just me and the target. Zen-like really. I especially like to be outside in the snow when no one else is around.

I wouldn't start a war, but if I came under attack or felt it was inevitable out of some perceived ethical drive, I don't think I'd have any problem fighting back, working to strategize the best defense, and even giving my life for what I consider a just cause.
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Re: Sublimating agression

Postby ShadowCat » 14 May 2014, 11:49

peace is the presence of justice, rather than the absence of war.
To me, a state of peace is a state of wholesome balance, and justice is a (sometimes violent) force that rights the balance whereas negative agression/warfare further tips the scales. The problem is, that the scales look different when viewed from different angles. And some of these angles have "the law on their side"... whether contributing to restoring balance or aggravating imbalances, law is law...



In lawschool, one of the first semesters we got a good dollop of history and the concepts of "natural law" and "positive law" where differentiated. Dutch law is based on Roman abstract laws btw, so it might differ from anglo-saxon law in that regard.

Natural Law, as was explained, is the consensus in a tribe or society on what is "right". Punishment and verdicts are often aimed at repairing damages and restoring balance. At this point my heart soared, recognising what makes me tick in terms of studieing law. Sadly, the lecturer continued by stating "luckily, we are evolved beyond that into "positive law" which is law written by a democratic government, where law is law, not because it's just, but because its "law""... I never around beyond the obvious logical falacies in this... I even graduated law-school with a masterthesis on "why judges have to stop obeing the law and start thinking for themselves". Sadly, this thesis blocked me from becoming a judge later on, because I was deemed to rebellious :grin:
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Re: Sublimating agression

Postby DaRC » 14 May 2014, 15:29

The problem is, that the scales look different when viewed from different angles.
Or as the proverb puts - Your truth, My truth and THE truth.
Dutch law is based on Roman abstract laws btw, so it might differ from anglo-saxon law in that regard.
Indeed it does because the English justice system is based upon Common Law whilst the Dutch use Civil Law.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_Law ... Common_law
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civil_law_ ... _system%29

Interestingly I note that the U.S. Federal is considered Common Law when I thought it used Civil Law.
However, in the UK the separation of the Legal System from the Political system is much more enshrined than it is in the U.S. Judges are not democratically elected but chosen.
Until 2006, the Lord Chancellor (chief judge) was part of the executive (i.e. the gov't), the legislature and the judiciary. The Lord Chancellor’s role changed drastically on April 3 2006 as a result of the Constitutional Reform Act 2005. This latest major change to affect the judiciary has been described as the most significant since Magna Carta. The Act establishes the Lord Chief Justice as President of the Courts of England and Wales and Head of its Judiciary, a role previously performed by the Lord Chancellor. For the first time an express statutory duty is placed on the Lord Chancellor and other Ministers of the Crown to protect the independence of the judiciary. For the first time in its 1,000-year history, the judiciary is officially recognised as a fully independent branch of the government.
This separation of the political state is one of the advantages of a constitutional monarchy - the judges and the army are (theoretically) answerable to the Monarch as is the politician in charge. Certainly the British Army is much more loyal to the royalty than the politicians and the legal system is very resistant to political interference (which is probably why our recent gov't has cut their money to a level where we barely have a legal system left).
:anx: I'm getting angry now... I need to go and sublimate |-)
Most dear is fire to the sons of men,
most sweet the sight of the sun;
good is health if one can but keep it,
and to live a life without shame. (Havamal 68)
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Re: Sublimating agression

Postby samurai » 14 May 2014, 18:01

I deal with aggression on a very personal level on a regular basis. Aggression is a human emotion, but their is a time and a place . That's the key a time and place. Japanese riot police are a prime example- total controlled aggression.


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