Within the understanding of self-defense: what do we mean by “the I, the being”? What do we mean by “defense”?
Self has a universal basis, as part of the whole, of the whole universe. If the self, in the understanding, in the feeling, only encompasses the world itself, then the actions are not connected, but only refer to the survival of the life itself. Thus, society cannot be, because it needs us to be connected to build itself. It needs to create a common mind and heart that is diverse and complete, like the world around it, that continues to grow and enrich, to understand itself. The smaller the thought and felt self, the more distant this self is from the world, from life, the more distant it is from a defense that is trying to build an ethical, meaningful and loving society. So this self must exist with respect and meaning, connected to the world in which it grows. It is also a “we” that is also a universal quantum “we”. We are not alone, because no one is alone. I, the self, we, are made up of the same social, religious, cultural, family and historical structures and influences that have built the other selves, but in different combinations. These combinations make each of us unique, but they are also what connect us. Becoming strong from our different contexts means giving a solid foundation to this common identity. Because it needs the strength and diversity of many to defend the world, and the different societies and realities it brings with it. Who is this “I”? A person? The universe? “We”? Who is “my being”? What is “we”? How do we learn to become “I”? How do we bring “I” and “we” together? It is important to ask, seek, and explore the whole picture, finding the depth and connections that make up a creative, loving, and meaningful self.
Defense is an act of building structures and bridges between humans, nature and existence.
So that all the parts complete each other in the whole. A connected “I” stands for a world with a larger meaning, giving meaning to all the parts in this whole. Because “defending” is creating in consideration of this totality, which is a continuous flow, and changing within it. An individualistic, ego-centered “defense” will destroy the fabric that holds together the foundations of life and freedom. Such a “self-defense” is a false defense, an ego that destroys its connection to itself and to life. Today, most of us connect “to defend something,” that is, an act of violence against someone. Thus, it becomes winning and dominating, destroying the threat in order to survive. But with this “win-lose” approach, the “them and us” paradigm, the philosophy of separation, we create a “counter” mentality. With this definition and everyday actions, you learn to see and feel the world as a hostile place. You can only have a safe life if you destroy or control all possible threats. It is a “defense” that justifies attacks against the world we live in. Kill and destroy in the name of “life”.
Are we really that individual and unique “I” that is not the result of all human history? Or are we the improvement of our ancestors? Are we the best versions of them? Are we doing more? Are we functioning better with modern logic? Do we believe? In thought, in feeling? Do we believe? In ourselves? In others? Why is it important to understand what, where we are and why? What is needed to become one’s “I”? How do we learn to be part of the community? Where do we start? Where does our journey begin? Our journey begins before we are born. Our journey, whatever our gender, is the journey of women through history. It is the story of the breaking of the balance between humans, between genders, between all lives, creating hierarchies of who has “the right to life and who does not. Everything we embrace, all the feelings, impressions, thoughts, are part of the history of these ruptures, of our mother, her mother, countless mothers before them, countless women before them. We feel what we are not told, we are not explained. Unfiltered and growing in the womb, the reality of these feelings creates us. The life of a woman. There, in the warm and comforting nest, in our mother, we first learn what she feels, what she learned… about herself, the world, the meaning of life and how all this is connected to her as a woman, determining her place in this Life. What she feels when she thinks about us, we feel whether we are loved or not, we feel the doubts, the uncertainty, the helplessness. Feeling how much security there is, how much confidence in the future, she perceives for herself and for us, with us. Does she love? Is she loved? Is she respected? Does she trust? The less of all this there is, the more insecure she is. We are not an exact copy of our mother, but she shows us first through her emotions, what kind of world, what kind of reality we are in. This could mean feeling whether or not you are welcome as a child. Growing up with it, every step of the way, this first learning. Everything that follows, what family, friends, society, teaches us about our role, will deepen what we learned so early. Many factors will be involved in influencing our being, our motivations and decisions, our ways.
Understanding what values we lost, and what the results of that are, is the beginning of defense, self-defense. We need to recreate and bring those values back into our common life. Understanding where the “way of thinking and feeling” that separates us comes from, where fear, prejudice and rejection are rooted, why some are more worthy of being seen than others… will guide us through this history of constant breaking and destruction.
But it will also lead us through a hidden history of resistance and defense, of a different approach to killing all those who do not bend or fit.
Long ago, the values of existence were protected by the Mothers. They were the pillars of life, of life together, and the greatest form of self-defense. Self-defense, which was defined by the acts of creating and building, connecting and loving, nurturing and healing. It was the time of the Mother Goddess, our Mother Nature. She was defended by all, and was the one who defended everything. Societies gave her meaning, she brought her values to daily life, sharing and caring for the common whole. With her guidance, societies protected themselves with strong bonds and a common understanding of their own existence, a life in freedom rooted in their union.
About 5,000 years ago, the end of the Neolithic era arrived. Humans were learning fast, always developing in different directions. What we understand from history is that, around that time, a dominant mentality began to spread and create a new concept of being. It separated humans into categories. It created hierarchies based on the dominance of a dominant male mentality, which changed the whole understanding of the human being within the world. It built differences based on the oppression of the other, understanding freedom as a form of preservation of material goods and individualistic consciousness; making cracks between peoples; burning bridges; burning women; burning roots and knowledge. Until, today, we enter the 21st century far from this world of guiding mothers. We do not perceive, our hearts have not come to know or appreciate the depth of this immense and unstoppable diversity. The original confidence has given way to a destructive restlessness that calculates, weighs, asks for benefit for itself, for today, without consideration of resources, without gratitude for life. The stories we hear today portray us as the most sublime of all creatures, divine and possessor of all. We are no longer part of the whole, we were never made of the same material, we are worth more, we are different and so original that creation has to bow down to us, and not the other way around. Our duty is to control, to dominate, because nature is hostile and must be conquered, because it is against us. Patriarchy and domination in their maximum expression. It enslaved living beings and gave them the power to see themselves more worthy than women, nature and all those who do not understand themselves as strong and powerful. Shared methods of oppression, to oppress in a more intelligent way. Letting the slaves feel free, by voluntarily enslaving themselves to obtain a share of the destructive power. Everyone seems to know this, many people feel it, but how can one get out of this circle of destructive desires? And… do we really want to get out of it?
We are the generations who are able to see, feel and live the extreme results of this change of mentality of thousands of years ago. And when we investigate, we find the traces of resistance, of rebellion, of the beauty of not accepting the destruction and exploitation around us and within us. Which is, since then, every day, every hour, every minute, every second… a continuous struggle. It is a war of minds. The goal of this war is to destroy the confidence we have in our common strength. To defend ourselves within the communal self we need to organize ourselves with another mentality, away from patriarchy and domination. But there is also a wound inside all of us. The mentality we are fighting lives deep in our souls and hearts. If we don’t ask questions from another angle, we will only get logical and measurable, cold and lifeless answers. If we do not analyze with other eyes, we will not be able to believe in the change of this frightening mentality. We will not be able to carry out what is necessary for us. We have to relearn love. Our actions can be a violent resistance, capable of hitting the oppressors physically and economically, very strong, capable of killing our executioners, capable of making a change of power within the construction of the State. But we are recreating their mentality with our actions. Because the violence used with that approach is an attack against all living beings. Responding to destruction with destruction.
So, if the answer to destruction is love, then we should ask ourselves what love means. Or, first, look at what it is not. We should not mix it with this mentality and emotions of ownership, destruction and sexualization, which are very common when “loving” in today’s societies. We have to go back to how we grew up and what we were taught about ourselves (in me and us) and life. The “love” we see and feel today is mainly the reason why people are afraid and distrustful of others, as a result of the same mentality that allows us to own the world or a pet, or whatever. Sucking and spitting out our expectations of the “beloved”, in the race to feel something positive. It is about owning hearts, souls, possessing and controlling all of life, because only then is it real and special, because “love” can be only something special and exclusive. In many homes, all over the world, people kill each other, oppress each other, rape, assault, beat up… in the name of this “love”. Most women are the objects of this “love. But it is the deepest expression of hate and of not loving anything. It is fear and pain that creates more fear and more pain. With this “love”, we will be trapped within this individualistic and separating reality that we feel around us.
Love can only grow and live through community, within the freedom to grow, learning emotionally and mentally, how to feel connected and loved for who you are. It is about learning to feel and think differently, to appreciate the miracles and issues in life, to love the differences and similarities. It’s about values and their limits. It’s about responsibility, about caring out of love and not out of fear. It’s about freedom, which means creating a free life. This free life cannot depend on one place, one kind of person or one being. Freedom is for everyone and everything, because the existence of an individual self, of an individual society, even a single thought or feeling, does not exist, it is part of the whole. Freedom is Love, and Love is responsibility and communal bonds. It is organizing life together with love. We cannot wait for a perfect moment of love, we have to create it every day, again and again, creating love and hope within each moment. By organizing our love, which has no other priority than to grow everywhere, we can find that it is a primary source of liberation.
Everything we do has an impact, it represents a mentality, it represents how much we value who we are, who we are surrounded by, what we are living, how much we love, everything, always. When we talk about the quantum moment, then we talk about the creative magic of being in the moment, every moment. Being a revolutionary in the “now”. We understand the dynamics of change as a state of constant revolution.
If we do not struggle with this approach, all we create will be a repetition of a destructive mentality, which has already taught us so much mistrust, frustration, hatred and fear, bringing us into the world we are in.
We do not own this world, we are part of it.
Our acts of defense must counter the history of oppression with the dignity and hope of each, with the love of freedom, of life and of our whole world. Our existence cannot be above society. Society, Organization and Love are the most basic and effective forms of self-defense. It is this legacy that we are defending. The heat of the fire that kept the spirit of society alive. Thousands of years ago it was maintained through the matriarchs of society. Until today it is kept alive and strong in every small step, in every decision to fight this toxic mentality of separation and hate. The path to a world revolution of women is to bring back the communal self-defense that will liberate all of society.
SOURCE: Lêgerîn ENG