Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Liberation as a State of Existence

People should have the right to live in their organic state, to reach their full and maximum potential, so long as this does not impede upon another’s equal right to do so.
By “organic state”, I mean to say who you actually are at your very core. The essence of you; an unashamed, unrestricted expression of everything that you can be.
There are thousands of social and institutionalized oppressors in global society. These oppressors systematically distort your true nature. They tell you:
How to be, who to be, what you like, what you don’t like, what to do with your life, how to express yourself, who you are attracted to, etc.
Examples of oppressors may include but are by no means limited to: religion, capitalism, sexual oppression, laws, etc.
This form of power and control is not usually overt. It is subtle, engrained, and hard to see without strong critical thinking skills. Though these oppressive institutions make up the majority, there are a few liberating institutions as well.
It is possible to free yourself mentally even when the oppressor invades your environment.
With this in mind, we get to the core of this idea. In order to become a liberated individual, you must first recognize the various forces which oppress you.
After you are aware, you must understand 3 components of the oppressor:
What makes it an oppressive force
How it is oppressive to instances in your life specifically
How the institution continues to thrive.
It is important to note that many oppressive forces are self-perpetuating.
Then, you can come to terms with the dynamics of the institution, grapple, philosophize, perhaps grieve, and then detach.
This process can take days or decades, depending on the damage done.
This process must play out for every oppressor you identify.

The previous describes the “baseline state” of liberated existence. We will now go forward to part 2 of the liberated existence, that is, the “higher state” of liberated existence.

I. Once you have freed yourself from a particular oppressor, or are amidst doing so, you are prepared to begin a higher state of liberated existence.
II. The higher state of liberated existence addresses the issue of liberating others from their oppressors. To achieve this state, 3 dynamics must be thoroughly understood:
Every single person is a part of several institutions which systematically oppress others. These may be by default (IE: race) or by will (IE: homophobia).
These systems we are a part of reflect power and privilege in our society.
In order to free others of their oppression, we again turn to awareness. This time, we seek awareness of our own power and privilege.
Dominant forms of privilege include:
White privilege
Male privilege
Heterosexual privilege
Socio-economic privilege
It is difficult to identify, accept, and understand one’s own privilege. Part of being privileged is not realizing that you are in fact privileged.
Those who are hurt by your privilege are the first to see it.
Once you are aware of your privilege you must understand:
What makes it a “privilege”
How you have benefitted from it
How it has hurt others
How the oppressor/privilege continues to thrive.
Once you have come to terms with these elements, you can either:
Relinquish your power
Augment their power
Then, you can stand on equal human footing toward the organic self.
Unlike the “baseline state of liberated existence” the previously described “higher state of liberated existence” cannot be accomplished alone. The higher state requires collaboration with the community, thus essentializing the importance of social activism and community outreach.

What questions does this formula answer?
I. The general:
Why should we be socially/politically active?
What is one purpose or condition of life?
II. The personal, specific to me:
Why do you talk about religion/sex?
Why do you do social work?
c. Why are you studying law

What inquiries doesn’t this formula answer?
I. The subjectivity of selflessness as a higher state of being
II. Does liberation lead to happiness? Should it?
III. Less so: the subjectivity of what it means to be liberated and/or oppressed.