I get asked all the time what do you mean by ‘The System’? If I was a full-blown academic maybe I would have found a succinct way to conceptually replicate exactly what the system is? Maybe I’d be able to neatly package the systemic? In the most accessible version, it’s all the false realities that we are ‘forced’ to live with. It’s that thing we might collectively call bullshit. It’s all the things that we were born into that we didn’t consent to. All the things that we appear to have inherited as a result of human attachment to time and form. It’s all the systems that have been slowly fucking us collectively since the industrial revolution that are being caught out by the all-encompassing reality of climate change. These are the broad strokes of understanding the system.
It’s the nationalism you ascribe to cause you were taught it in the country you were born into. It’s the linear thinking that you embody because it both functional, productive and conducive to the capitalist system you were expected to exist in. It’s both the price and cost of religion, that believes that redemption is monetary. It’s money and the faulty economics of exchange that capitalism is based on. It’s the sickness system that you are paying to die into due to the industrialisation of food production. It’s the nutrient-poor land that we’ve been poisoning to eat. It the claustrophobic apartment you call home with no outdoor space. It’s the air you dare to breathe and the fresh clean live water that you cannot source to drink. That is The System.
You see it is often said that the only thing that survives us is love as and as an Art Historian what I know for sure is that objects and structures both the physical and the imagined can survive us too, usually with a far deeper sense of everyday meaning. Ideas can survive us. Yet for some reason we get all caught up on this love business. That is not to say that love doesn’t survive us. However what is that you really remember of your great great grandparents? You see more and more it becomes ever clearer in my reality that there is a great rouse going on. That somehow despite all the evidence. (That at this point might include the evidence submitted for Trump’s impeachment) We seem to believe that the society in which we live is built on higher ideals; that of truth, love, justice and honesty. It simply isn’t true. The age-old narrative of good vs evil is still alive and well with us today and we would be fools to believe that it isn’t an ever-present reality. Yet we do. Even though it tells us in all the great stories old and new that the corruption of power is central to the human narrative.
Conspiracy theories are abounding constantly asking us to question our truth. Yet so many of us don’t want to look at what is right in front of us. From the clothes, we wear to the food we buy and the media we consume. What is true for us? What is acceptable for us? Right now we live in a world of deep polarisation. Yet it has always been this way. The haves and the have nots. Have you noticed that we have one month of the year allotted (By fucking who?) to black history? That means black history only matters one 12th of the time. If you don’t understand whiteness then there is your queue. How is it the black history only matters one 12th of the time? It’s not that you are necessarily being lied to. It is that your narrative is being controlled. You are being told who you are and what to believe to serve an agenda. An agenda that is highly vested in maintaining the status quo and controlling power.
The narrative is off. It isn’t about them out there. It is about us in here. What is going on in your soul? What do you want to see for yourself and your family? Your life span? How is that rolling out in your life? And if not why not? Also, how is your agenda impacting others? Where are you holding onto control? It is often said that we live in an abundant world and that love is the most important thing, or indeed the highest value. If that’s true why are you scared? What are you scared of? If love is running the world why hasn’t everybody got enough to eat, clean drink water and a safe place to eat? For me when it comes to these big question we simply have to look to the system. If we were free to live then why would any of this be an issue? You see understanding, recognising the system is all about acknowledging all the ways that you aren’t free. That on day to day basis we come up against barriers that prevent us from living the lives we are capable of as a result of somebody else’s need for control. Who gave them the control and why? It asks us to question ourselves our way of life.
You can’t buy your way out of the system. You can give your way out of it. If you sitting in a shit whole or even better a shit stom you’ve been planted and like a tree you alone get to decide how you are going to weather the storm .
This article accompanies the Trauma Wise Circle.