Added: Arnulfo Poulson - Date: 24.03.2022 02:05 - Views: 20517 - Clicks: 8888
We have been discussing, for the past several weeks, the problem of understanding oneself. Because, the more one thinks about the many conflicting and everincreasing problems of life, private and social, the more one sees that, unless there is a fundamental, radical transformation within oneself, obviously it is not possible to deal with those problems that confront each one of us. So, it is essential, is it not? And, as our life, our culture and civilization, are getting more and more complicated, it is becoming correspondingly difficult to deal with the everincreasing problems directly. Now, it seems to me that one of the problems, amongst others, which most of us have not very deeply and fundamentally faced, is the question of domination and submission.
And, if I may, I would like to discuss this double-sided nature of domination rather briefly and succinctly before I answer the questions.
Why is it that we dominate, consciously or unconsciously - the man and the woman, the woman and the man, and so on? There is domination in different ways, not only in private life, but the whole tendency of governments is also to dominate. Why is this spirit of domination going on constantly, from period to period? Only very few seem to escape it. Can we think of it in a different sense? That is, can we understand it without going to the opposite? Because, the moment we recognize it, the moment we are aware of this problem of domination, we at once begin to submit, or we think of it in terms of the opposite, submission.
Can we not think without the opposite, and look at the problem directly? Perhaps we shall then be able to understand this whole complex problem of domination, seeking power over another, or submitting oneself to another. After all, submission is another form of domination. To submit oneself to another, whether it be to a man or to a woman, is the negative form of domination.
By the very denial of domination, one becomes submissive; and I do not think we shall be able to solve this problem by thinking in terms of the opposite. So let us go into it, and see why it exists. First of all one must be aware, must one not? Most of us are aware of it, if we are at all alert. But there is the unconscious domination, of which most of us are unaware.
That is, this unconscious desire to dominate takes the guise or the cloak of service, of love, of being kind, and so on. The unconscious desire to dominate exists under different forms; and I think it is much more important to understand this fact, than merely to try to regulate the superficial domination of one by another.
Now, why is it that we unconsciously want to dominate? Probably most of us are unaware that we dominate at different levels - not only in the family, but at the verbal level as well; and also there is this inward desire to seek power, to seek success, which are all indications of domination. Why do we want to dominate another?
Or, be subservient to another? If one deliberately, consciously, put that question to oneself, what would be the response?
Most of us wouldn't know why we want to dominate. First of all, there is in it the sensation, the unconscious pleasure of dominating somebody. Is that the only motive which makes us want to dominate? Surely, that is part of it; but there is much more to it, a much deeper ificance.
I wonder if you have ever watched yourself dominating in relationship, either as the man or as the woman? And if you have been conscious of it, what has been your response, your reaction? And why shouldn't we dominate? In relationship, which is life, do we understand through domination? In relationship, if I dominate you or you dominate me, do we understand each other? After all, that is life, isn't it?
Relationship is life, relationship is action; and if I merely live in the self-enclosing action of domination, is there any relationship? Is not domination a process of isolation, which denies relationship? Is not domination a process of separation which destroys relationship? And is this really what I am seeking? And can there be relationship between two people, if there is any sense of domination or submission? Life is relationship - one cannot live in isolation.
But, is not our purpose unconsciously to isolate ourselves within the cloak, within that feeling of aggressive assertiveness which is domination? So, is not the process of domineering a process of isolation, and isn't this what most of us want? Most of us sedulously cultivate it. Because, to be open in relationship is very painful, it needs extraordinary intelligence and adaptability, quickness, understanding; and when that is not, we try to isolate ourselves.
And is not the process of domination, a process of isolation? Obviously, it is. It is a process of self-enclosure. And when I am enclosed, encased in my own opinion, my own desires, my own ambitions, my urge to dominate, am I related? And if there is no relationship, how is any real existence possible? Is there not constant friction, and therefore sorrow? So, our unconscious desire in relationship is not to be hurt, to seek security, refuge; and when that is thwarted, there is no fulfillment. Then I begin to isolate myself. And one of the processes of isolation is domination.
And that fear which le to isolation takes another form also, does it not? There is not only the desire to assert, to dominate, or be submissive, but there is also in this process of isolation the consciousness of being alone, of being lonely. Most of us are isolated, we live in our own world, though we may be related; though we may be married and have children, we live in a world of our own.
And that is a very lonely world. It is a sorrowful world, with an occasional opening of joy and amusement, happiness, and so on; but it is a solitary world. And, to escape from that, we try to be something, we try to assert, we try to dominate. And hence, in order to escape from what we are, domination becomes a means through which we can take flight from ourselves.
So, does not this whole process of domination take place not only when there is the desire to avoid facing that which we are but also when there is a desire to be isolated? If we can look at this process in ourselves, not in any condemnatory spirit, which is merely taking the opposite side, but to understand why we have this extraordinary desire to dominate, or to become very subservient; if we can be aware of it without any sense of taking the opposite side, I think we will really experience that state of isolation from which we are trying to run away; and then we shall be able to solve it.
That is, if we understand something, we are free of it. It is only when we do not understand, that there is fear. So, can we look at this problem without condemnation? Can we merely observe, silently watch this process at work within ourselves? It can be observed very easily in all our relationships. Just silently watch the whole phenomenon unfold itself.
You will find that when there is no condemnation, no justification for your domination, it begins to unfold, there is no hindrance; then you will begin to see all the implications, not only of personal domination, but also of public domination, the domination of one group by another, of one country by another, of one ideology by another, and so If you want to be dominated. Self-knowledge is essential for any kind of understanding. And as our relationship is life - without relationship there can be no existence -if you approach it rightly you begin to see this process of domination expressing itself in so many ways; and when you understand this whole process, conscious as well as unconscious, there is a freedom from it.
Surely, there must be freedom; and only then is there a possibility of going beyond. Because, a mind that is merely dominating, asserting, tethered to a particular form of belief, to a particular opinion, cannot go further, cannot take a long journey, cannot soar. And so, is it not essential, in understanding oneself, to understand this most difficult and complex problem of domination? It takes such subtle forms; and when it takes a righteous form, it becomes very obstinate.
The desire to serve, with the unconscious desire to dominate, is much more difficult to deal with. Can there be love when there is domination? Can you be in relationship to someone whom you say you love, and yet dominate? Then, surely, you are merely using; and when there is using, there is no relationship, is there?
So, to understand this problem, one has to be sensitive to the whole question of domination. Not that you should not dominate, or be submissive; but there should be awareness of this whole problem. To be aware, one must approach it without any condemnation, not taking sides; and it is a very difficult thing to do, because most of us are swayed to condemn. And we condemn because we think we understand. We don't. The moment we condemn, we stop understanding. That is one of the easiest ways of brushing things aside - to condemn somebody.
But to understand this whole process requires great alertness of mind; and a mind is not alert when it is condemning, or justifying, or merely identifying itself with what it feels. So, self-knowledge is a constant discovery from moment to moment; but that discovery is denied if the past throws up an opinion, a barrier; the cumulative action of the mind prevents immediate understanding.
I have several questions, but before I answer them, may I say that those of you who are taking notes, should not do so. I will explain why: I am talking to an individual, to you, not to a group. You and I together are experiencing something.
You are not taking notes of what I am saying, you are experiencing. We are going together on a journey; and if you are merely concerned with taking notes, you are not really listening. You take it down in order to think it over, you will say, or in order to tell some of your friends who are not here. But, surely, that is not important, is it? What is important is that you and I understand; and to understand, you must give your full attention.
And how can you give your full attention when you are taking notes?If you want to be dominated
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Why do we want to dominate or be subservient to another?