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| Article Specs|
Article ID: 4560
Age Group: Adult
Posted: May 13th. 2002
Resistance is NOT Futile
So, are we having fun yet? This Pluto -Saturn opposition period has certainly manifested in some very interesting ways. If the buzz on the Pagan message and chat boards isn't enough to convince you that some very serious stuff has been going on, a peek at CNN News or the front page of any national newspaper will spell it out for you in scrolling script or bold print. The best phrase perhaps to sum up the actions and interactions of the last few months might be 'stand-off'. All sides and factions seem to have made their moves and countermoves and have battled their way back to a position pretty close to where they started. The toll in human lives and sleepless nights not withstanding, after all the dust has settled, not much has really changed. No one has capitulated and no ideologies have been changed. If there seems to be a lull in the 'festivities' at this point, well...don't get too cozy. The final Saturn-Pluto opposition on May 25 is still to come. Its last gasp might yet be enough to shake the world.
Now, I am not one who walks around the earth (or my little piece of it, anyway) preaching a 'doom and gloom' philosophy. Neither am I one who believes that if we all could just sprinkle more environmentally friendly biodegradable fairy dust on any problem (or problem person) that everything would always turn out just hunky-dory. Most situations involving conflict (whether national, global or personal) are not so simple that either philosophy would easily fit it or resolve it. That there are organizations, factions, movements or individuals who do in fact adopt the extreme viewpoint of either one side of this scale or the other is not surprising however. The human impulse to demonize one's detractors, rivals, competitors, opponents or those who simply do not agree with our- or the current socially 'acceptable'- ideas or beliefs is documented through our history with mixed results. The battles for/against public opinion or for/against social, economic, cultural, political or religious change wage on. And wherever such a change seeks to open up/close a new path, you will also find its shadowy traveling companion: resistance.
How we feel personally about any issue will most often determine if we will elect to stamp Mr./Ms Resistance's visa to enter our physical, emotional, spiritual, intellectual or psychic borders as cleared for entry or flatly denied. That is why so much time and/or money is spent by the various factions in their attempt to win you over to their way of thinking. Such tactics are designed -psychologically and emotionally- to either reinforce (if you are with them) or to change (if you are in the opposing camp) your point of view. The rhetoric generally will offer 'best case' or 'worst case' scenarios. In other words, the 'gloom and doom' result if what they propose is not implemented and the 'fairy dust utopia' result if it is, are presented as the only two options available. You're either with us or against us. And, of course, since 'they' say (insert latest poll numbers here) that "most reasonable/intelligent/knowledgeable/cool people agree with us", resistance is futile.
Resistance is defined as "the act of fighting against (something or someone); to not be changed by or to refuse to accept (something)." Entire movements and organizations have been formed in response to either resisting a current trend or idea or to protecting it. Joining or belonging to a group that is made up of people like ourselves, who feel and think about an issue as we do, serves several real needs. One lone dissenter frequently has little access to the larger population or, even if he/she does, little impact when acting alone. (Even the present-day 'lone wolf' terrorist did not arise from a vacuum, but had a support organization or ideology behind him/her that 'sanctioned' or offered some justification for the actions taken.) Psychologically, a person struggling alone against a bigger or more powerful force (unless afflicted with a mental illness) feels vulnerable and isolated.
A group, on the other hand, provides a network of support and a larger pool of resources and a wider circle of ideas from which to draw. On needn't officially 'join' a group or organization to be a part of a movement. Self-identification and/or agreement with the goals, mission, intent or purpose of any group just as powerfully links people together as any glossy set of membership cards could. That such organizations and groups (or an affiliation with the same) can be either a good or a bad thing is both 'self-evident' on one hand and 'all in the eyes of the beholder' on the other. If you like what the group or organization is trying to do or has accomplished, you'll generally think of the group in a positive way. If you don't like or approve of the actions of the group, you won't have much good to say about it. Thus just as the concept of 'resistance' is held as a personal point of view, so are both its purposes and results.
There is a strange disconnect between the 'popularity' of resistance movements and our personal experience. We might feel that identifying with a protest group is somehow noble or radical and we might even take a bit of pride in being 'courageous' enough to be a part of something so daring as to challenge the majority or prevailing viewpoint. But when it comes down to our personal experiences, well...let's just say that we hate it when bad things happen to good people. Those 'good people' being in this case, of course, us. Most of us don't like resistance when we experience it in our own lives. From the first time that a parent introduces our wee selves to that word 'no', we want to resist the message. We hate being blocked or stopped from doing what we want to do. Most of us stop throwing ourselves onto the floor in a tantrum kicking and screaming during an early stage of our emotional development. But some people never do. And. oh happy day, if you are the person behind the service counter on the morning when one of those 'how dare you blah-blah-blah' folks shows up.
But repeatedly hitting a wall or being blocked from what we might desire to do (or to have) should do more than simply make us angry and frustrated or to give us one h*** of a headache. We may need to actually be stopped on occasion in order that we might reevaluate, rediscover or rededicate ourselves anew. Resistance can force some punctuation into our run-on sentence lives in order to create a pause in which we can take a breath and really think out rather than merely act out our plans for (bwah-ha-ha-ha!) world domination. Resistance can be our friend.
Slap! Slap! Slap! Well, that didn't feel very friendly. It never does at the time. But resistance can slow you down for a bit so that you have time to look up from what you are doing in order to ask yourself the question, "Should I be doing this?" It is so easy to fall into patterns of behavior or thought and to just keep doing what you're doing simply because this is how you always did it. Whether it be an emotional response pattern or a political party affiliation or a religious ritual or the way you mix the peas and the mashed potatoes together, sometimes it takes a good slap upside the head- or a firm 'no' from the Universe (often cleverly disguised as your best friend or worst enemy)- to get us to just...stop..and think...and see as if it were from the eyes of a neutral observer what it is that we are doing or believing or supporting. And more importantly, why it is that we are doing it or believing in it or supporting it.
Sometimes, we find that we are (or were) just plain wrong. Well, that's a mighty blow to the old ego, huh? Ouch! This is the hardest lesson to see and accept and we generally will resist this ego pummeling whenever (and however) we can. But, sometimes we discover that we really were wrong. Admit it, make amends where possible and get on with the rest of your life. You'll find that resistance often simply melts away when you finally stop your emotionally charged infantile defense of yourself and your actions, accept your part of the responsibility for any given situation and grow up. The Gods have more important things to do than to be continually changing your diapers or popping your favorite pacifier back into your snoot.
If however, after a period of reflection, we do decide that what we are doing or believing in or supporting is still worth our time and energy and focus, then we can push forward and devote ourselves anew to overcoming the resistance. A renewed sense of commitment on the personal level is sometimes that little extra 'something' that gets the job done. Or should we find that our lives and our priorities have indeed changed, then we are set free- minus the heavy baggage- to pursue, fight for and enjoy other aims. Resistance doesn't have to mean, 'It's over. It's useless." The resistance that you encounter may not be telling you to 'stop' as much as it is advising you to 'yield' to a higher purpose, a better way or simply to slow down and think things through.
Like it and/or not, for better and/or for worse, everything changes. The resistance of the hardest rock eventually surrenders to the smoothing action of relentless water. The resistance of two objects rubbed together eventually brings forth heat and sometimes fire. The wind moves the ship through the resisting sea as it blows against the open sail. Resistance is both a part of Nature and a force that changes Nature. It exists as the thing that resists change and as the force that will change it. It is both the object that blocks our road and the nagging agent that (eventually) empowers us to move that object out of our way.
Resistance is not futile. It is an exquisitely frustrating, incredibly irritating, annoyingly head slapping and persistently contradictory power for transformation.
Walk in Love and Light,
Co-Founder - The Witches' Voice
Monday, May 13th., 2002
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