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What Recovery Looks Like
What Recovery Looks Like

 

The George Takei accusation is knocking the liberal internet on its heels.  Suddenly the mob is faced with a face they love and are challenged with the question of, “do they want to hurt this person the same way?”

For weeks now they have been supporting aggressive bans and protests against accused actors and politicians who have been accused of sexual harassment and abuse.  These accusations were often open secrets which people are finally admitting are truth to be resolved instead of concealed. 

I think that the aspect of finally admitting the truth is part of why society is responding so aggressively.  We are ashamed that we didn’t do something about it earlier, so we are trying to make up for our failures by jumping on the punishment bandwagon.  Let’s be straightforward here.  From my experience as a priest helping people find healing, at least 80% of our society has either been abused and/or participated in abuse.  4 out of 5 of us have experienced the pain, the shame, the betrayal, and all of the other emotions which come with abuse.

For whatever reason most of us feel that we will never see the person who abused us “get what’s coming to them” for what they did.  Most commonly that’s because they are family who we love and hate at the same time.  Most abuse happens from family and family friends.  Most abuse isn’t reported because the abused and their family don’t want to “rock the boat.”

So instead we turn to dehumanizing the distant threat.  We can’t report uncle Tom because everyone loves him, so we just have to keep his “predilictions” an open secret, and make sure nobody gets in a dangerous situation with him…

…but that actor?  I don’t know him personally, and he just did these bad things to someone else I don’t know.

“He’s a monster!   Burn the Monster.  Destroy the Monster.   Prove that the world will actually do something about the horrors I’ve experienced.   Let my calls for the Monster’s pain make up for the fact that I’m not doing anything about the abuses in my life!”

 

Why this doesn’t work

The problem here is that this doesn’t help the situation.  By dehumanizing the “monster” we have stopped admitting that this is a systemic problem in our lives which has touched us and is touching our children and loved ones.

Abuse is a cycle committed by normal human beings.  Often both abusers and abused adults do not know how to use healthy mechanisms for intimacy and have habituated unhealthy ones.  Young people from early 20s down to way, way too young, encounter these abusive patterns and adopt them.  Sometimes by seeing it happen to others, and sometimes by experiencing them personally.

When I was 9 an older boy in his early teens who was a friend of the family was having a sleepover and he interrupted our normal night with “a lesson in self pleasuring.”  Because I experienced this, I mentally categorized it as a rite of passage.  So 3 years later when I was nearly a teenager and I had a young family friend spending the night, I tried to recreate the “lesson in self-pleasuring.”  Thankfully the younger boy’s family taught him more about sex and abuse than my family taught me, and straight up called it out and shut it down. 

As an adult I can recognize that exact pattern is a cycle of abuse, but at the time I didn’t.

Our social response to abuse needs to change, but not in the direction of mob punishment.

 

Four Steps of Healthier Responses

First off, we need to start listening to all accusers.  Instead of attacking accusers because we don’t want to admit someone we love might have done something we need to let them speak and share.   Allow actual investigation.   If we take our time to listen, and follow the steps below, the threat of false accusations goes away so it won’t hurt anyone to listen to all accusations whether true or not.

Secondly, we need to prevent additional abuse, by making sure the abuser no longer has opportunity. 

Third, we need to delay the temptation to destroy the accused’s life and credibility while investigating.  We need to remember that even if the accusations are horrible, the accused is a human being.  Their life is more than sex (healthy or not) and their contributions to society are far larger.   The offenders who get away with it for the longest are often in a position where they have helped hundreds or even thousands of people.

Fouth, we need to change our consciousness from one of revenge to one of healing abusers and making it right.

This one is going to be the hardest for people.  Let’s play a game though.  Harvey Weinstein.

 

Imagining an Applied Healthier Response

Lets imagine that we tried what I’m proposing here.   I’m going to imagine that people listened to the abusers and decided to apply these steps to the Harvey Weinstein case.  

Everyone in his organization quickly makes an open admission of a situation.  “Harvey Weinstein has a mental illness where he is tempted to use his power to sleep with women.”  His illness is treated like any other mental or physical challenge, it is noted and compensated for.  EVERYONE who deals with him recognizes he has this illness.  He is prevented from being in situations where the temptation to abuse his power in this way would arise.

Lawsuits are filed to provide financial compensation and take their time to go through the courts.  The people he abused will have opportunity to be heard and supported in their own healing.  His sponsors and partners in business all release a statement saying that they are horrified to find out about the illness which has caused Harvey to hurt so many people.   All of them contribute to non-profit organizations to support the protection from, and healing of, abuse.   They also commit to helping form a society where what Harvey did doesn’t happen.  They commit to sending all of their employees to training in healthy sexual and power dynamics so that everyone in the company will be empowered to end abuse at work and at home.

A lot of people who loved Harvey come forward and express sadness and sorrow that he did this and commit to helping him heal and doing what they can to make sure he never does this again.   Instead of belittling the loved ones for supporting his healing, most people respect their commitment to helping stop abuse.

Within a short period of time Weinstein releases an admission of his behavior.  He apologizes and promises to make sure it never happens again.  He commits to a life-long recovery and prevention program and donates the vast majority of his fortune to an abuse prevention and recovery non-profit.

The world knows that no punishment would be big enough.  They know that the abuser is being prevented from further abuse, they have reason to believe that the abuser and the abused are finding healing.  All of the people who participated in concealing the abuse are having to admit their behaviors and are receiving opportunities to learn and do better in the future.  The abused have been heard and are receiving support in healing.  The whole issue sets a precedent for others to come forward to ask for personal healing and help in ending the abuse being done by loved ones.

 

Revenge vs Healing: The emotions and morals

Revenge doesn’t make it right.  Nothing will.  The hurts and pain which have happened are part of life now, but our revenge mindset is preventing us from using all available resources and having open communication to stop future abuses.  It is time to change that.

It is easy to paint life in black and white, good and bad.  It’s hard to admit that good people do bad things, but we need to find the strength to do this.  Every single revelation is an opportunity to stop hundreds or thousands of future abuses.  We have a choice to allow ourselves the false comfort of a righteous moral high ground through calling for the utter destruction of the next accused abuser, or we can call for healing and face the uncomfortable truth that abuse is done by human beings who need to stop abusing, but then also need help healing and preventing future abuse.

Creepy Camera Guy (Hopefully not a creeper)
Creepy Camera Guy (Hopefully not really a creeper)

 

The Magickal and Pagan communities are roiling in the same challenges the rest of our society is concerning sexual harrassment and abuse, however we are in a very different stage.  There are different understandings and expectations.   While we have a challenge guiding new people into the shared consent culture, another important challenge we have is that the Magickal and Pagan consent culture is often operating on some ideals and concepts which are simply not effective because they don't take into account all of the variables.

Gwendolyn over at Occult Librarian has written an excellent post concerning the dynamics which our current models for behavior are not recognizing and dealing with.  It's worth taking some time to head over there and reading it.   Often simply recognizing the problem more deeply can help us identify personal and communal behavior which would be more effective.

http://occultlibrarian.blogspot.pe/2017/11/paganism-has-creepy-guy-problem.html

 

P.S.  Yes men.  This does mean we have to re-learn how to express and listen concerning the topic of amorous interest, however before you get all whiney, recognize that for many women the old behaviors feel like an attack...   Do you want to continue choosing to "attack" women when you are faced with awareness of the situation, or do you choose to explore new options?   We may not know how to do better yet, but if you choose to try we will learn.

I just enountered Rupert Sheldrakes banned TedX video.  I very much enjoyed the video and was thinking... "FUCK YEAH.  Like a lot of mages and Priests I've been arguing that conscious decision is currently in the process of co-creating reality for a while now, but I didn't have any evidence.   This guy has evidence!"
Of course my second thought was: "Lets check him out?  Real science or BS?  I'm not going to share this if he's a quack."

So I researched his books as well as scientific community responses to them, and I found a healthy debate.  While many many people disagreed with him or weren't willing to engage in discussion, when people came forward to dispute his claims he cited evidence and it was commonly the people arguing AGAINST him who tried to present flawed evidence.

I'm not saying this guy is solid.  I haven't researched him enough, but his video agrees with my teachings, says them very well and my early research is promising.   Please check him out, investigate his research and claims and comment!

If this stands up, this is actual evidence of my claims for why and how magick works!

If not... whatever.  It's still cool.  :-)

 

Be Powerful,

Awo Fa'gbemiro

 

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Hard Work Pushing a Stone for No seeming Reason
Work Smarter, Not Harder: Hard work isn't enough, learn a key to wealth.

 

We all know working 80 hours a week will not get you rich. So why is that common advice successful people give? Because it is an important component if you are doing everything else.

Wealth comes from making good investments which end up paying out. We have 3 common resources. Our money, our ideas and our time. We can invest any of these to build any of these.

Example. I can spend time learning. By doing so my ideas CAN become worth more. Alternately I can invest money into time (spending money to have more time). The question of investment is whether your investments are paying out more that you are putting in. Especially in the realm of ideas that can be hard to identify. Does your learning help you either learn more, have more time or earn more money? If so, then it was a good investment.

As you make more and more good investments of time, ideas and money you get to where (if you are smart) you create free time, money or intellectual space to make new investments. In 1998 I set a goal for myself to have at least 1/2 of my time and monthly budget free to invest to either increase my wealth or to change the world in the ways I desire to.

I made it easier to do this by keeping my overhead low. My family can survive comfortably on less than 2k/mo, but we can earn a lot more than that. Everything between what we need and what we earn is freedom to invest or live the life we want. Additionally I only need to work about 15 hours a week to earn my money which means I can (and do) spend over 90 hours a week investing or living the life I want. (16 awake hours a day *7 days a week =112 available hours per week.)

The key here is the constant need to invest. If I sat back for longer than a couple months and didn't reinvest money and time I would backslide. My earnings per hour would decrease, and I would have to spend more time to earn less money.

I'm constantly exploring how to expand my businesses, start new businesses, invest in other businesses, learn new skills and automate aspects of my life to free up time. Many of these investments are a waste of my time, but it only takes a couple minor successes or one big one to cause your free time and/or money to leap forward. My big win was my online continuing education business. I've had smaller wins with my computer repair and website businesses which helped me do the continuing education project. I leveraged the freedom of time and money from the first wins to work for other ones.

What you don't usually see is the list of failures. I've had 2 computer businesses fail, five marketing companies fail, three computer game, software or app projects and six intellectual projects I spent hundreds of hours working on fail. I've lost tens of thousands of dollars to the wrong people and tools. I've failed to finish at least a dozen books and I've disappointed easily a few dozen people with failing to be able to do what I intended and started to do. That's not counting easily 3 explored ideas and opportunities a month which take at least 4 hours each to vet before I decide not to do them.

I'm not asking for sympathy. All those failures and the future ones to come are the risk I chose to attempt another big win. My next big win could be tomorrow or it could be in years. I don't know.

So is hard work and sacrifice the path to wealth? Depends on if you are making good investments which either increase your time, ideas or money. If not, no amount of work will make a difference.

Welcome to Power Before Wisdom. This site was originally started in 2006 as a blog of my search for spiritual/magickal power. I studied magick, and I experimented to see what worked and what didn't.

True magick however is about affecting your life, your community and your world. It isn't about just playing in the sandbox of theory. It's about drawing blessings and change into your world. If you are doing effective magick you will end up with the exact amount of good things that you are willing to live with. Health, Joy, Money, Love, Family, Friends, Opportunities, Home, Jobs/Businesses, Land/Wealth.

I used magick to have the business, relationship, health, family, home and more. In doing so I learned aspects of power beyond Magick and Spirituality.

Gods and Magick are powerful, and I recommend that people study them to empower their lives. Yet I also believe in the power of technology, politics, money, activism, history and non-spiritual self-growth. At this point in my life, I feel that I have something to add to the conversation on these topics as well through my perspective as an effective worldly mage-priest.

Therefore I am adjusting the Power Before Wisdom brand into expressing ALL of the Power and Wisdom I'm interested in, instead of just Magick and Spirituality.

I am slowly separating articles into: Magick/Witchcraft, Shaman/Priestwork and Life/Business, and will be writing more into each of these areas.  Alternately you can just read the last 10 years of writings by going to The Blog.

Be Powerful,
Awo Fa'gbemiro aka Scott Reimers

 

© Scott Reimers 2014