Sending Democratic candidate My Definition of love/from Fromm/Buber. Sending a copy of this to Trump who I have respect for – especially when he follows his own Doer Instincts and Doesn’t Completely Listen to The Map is the Territory Intellectuals Around Him.
Ms. Williamson, I am encouraged to discuss some ideas with you again because you are a different kind of Presidential candidate and, perhaps, you will understand.
I was thinking about North Korea some more. How can we understand their brutality? I was deeply influenced by reading Erich Fromm a long time ago.
I think Brutality/Sadism is a means to an end. It is a means to Power. One way people who have had their self-actualizing tendency blocked say I AM, I can effect you, effect life. I can effect you with my brutality, experience your fear – and from that I get a sense of power I am not getting from self-actualization.
North Korea seems to be a country with no resources. In addition, they have been hit by sanctions which make the situation worse. It is equivalent to taking a very bad, sociopathic boy and trying to change him with punishment.
There are needs in North Korea – physical needs as well as existential needs which are not being met.
How do you cope with a hungry population you cannot feed, a population whose physical and needs for meaning you cannot meet, who would likely overthrow you if they had the power? You control them and you get a sense of power yourself, by torturing them, by effecting them through making them suffer. That is how Erich Fromm might explain the destructiveness of the North Korean regime.
Now let’s talk about the opposite – how to activate, let express itself the self-actualizing tendency in people/nations are composed of people.
The self-actualizing tendency unfolds in the conditions of love you talk about. What is love? Fromm defined it as knowledge – knowing a person/nation. You get to “know” a person/nation by listening and confirming – not all their behavior, but their essence – their right to be – their free speech to say what they really fear, want, dream, aspire to etc.
Fromm talked about love as caring. Nation-states show caring. I would say they don’t have to bankrupt themselves in giving other nations fish/but rather – when asked – they might help them learn to fish/send advisors etc.
We show patience. We allow nations to make mistakes and have a space to grow without judging them as irredeemable.
We show respect. Trump is, perhaps, the first President to show the North Korean President respect – to step into his country – to speak to him with an attitude of respect – much as the person who might for the first time talk to a sociopathic troubled boy and try to confirm him/not his behavior/but in his essence – as a child of God who has a right to be.
Unlike what I perceive the Democrats believe, I believe in the concept of Nation-States. I self-published a book once – The Search for Being.
In it I discuss the ideas of people like Murray Bowen who talked about the process of differentiation – you can think of it as establishing boundries/as distinct from emotional fusion/group think/one world.
The most meaningful Ideas I wrote about were those of Martin Buber. From him I absorbed the importance of community – as opposed to ideas of collectivity/think – the New World Order. One develops I-Thou as opposed to I-It relationships – whether as a person or as a nation – when we work on differentiation and relationship. You need to be an “I” – to have a strong sense of identity – for instance, as a unique Nation-State with a unique history/experiences. But you also need to be able to relate to others in saying Thou – to exist as Buber calls it – in-the-between (I would call this the formula for peace).
If we want North Korea to change – we need to stop mind-reading what it will do, stop treating it like an object we understand – and relating to the North Korean leaders as people. I think Trump has begun that process (although I am not so sure about his advisors, the map is the territory intellectuals who will actually do the negotiating). I think I-Thou relating can only happen when you suspend “assumptions”/your maps. Trump seems to me to be a person without maps/not an intellectual. I think of him as an Extraverted Sensing Thinking Perceiving Type – a doer – a doer in a concrete/not abstract (maps) way/world.
We need to let North Korea talk – to tell us what they need (I am not a care-taker who thinks we should take care of people/but a person who when asked might help a person learn how to “fish”/take better care of themselves).
Then I think we need to have an open, honest (non-manipulative/our intelligence agencies need to learn this) relationship with North Korea in which we tell them what we need/our real thoughts/real feelings etc. Perhaps, the two countries can also share their dreams for a better world (which I hope would be NOT be the nondifferentiation/one world/New World Order – but a world of unique Nation-States engaged in ever-ongoing I-Thou dialogue). That would be my formula for peace – ongoing Dialogue between Nation-States who are different, with a strong sense of “I” – who can say “Thou” to other Nations and exist in the-between of Real Dialogue.
So the crux of what I am discussing with you is a definition of love – Erich Fromm’s and the idea of a world of INDIVIDUAL, strong individual Nation-States engaged in ever ongoing I-Thou Dialogue. I think that is the Formula for Peace – a world of Process – not a world we manipulate to achieve outcomes – but a world of ideals/process we engage in.
I’m sending a copy of this to President Trump – the Doer – even though this was written for Marianne Williamson who would be the most understanding, I think/an assumption, of the language of love – Erich Fromm’s definition of love, Martin Buber’s ideas of I-Thou – of which I am speaking.
I think a political candidate who says love is the answer is right, but if that is all you say, I think you are communicating on the level of maps/abstractions that aren't the territory. What we need to do is make the abstraction "love" concrete by talking about it in the concreteness (context) of everyday life events. And it is the talking/ongoing dialogue I think that is the most important thing. Maybe it's the most loving thing.
In such a discussion, I think, the important thing is not only loving others, but loving yourself, too. That for me would be part of the ongoing dialogue. What is the most loving thing in this situation - for everyone.
From Erich Fromm (he wrote a book called "The Art of Loving"): Loving entails - Knowledge, Respect, Caring, Patience.
If you say you love somebody, but don't engage them in ongoing dialogue, I would say you're treating them as an object (of your projections). That isn't loving according to the way I think about it.
Without dialogue, can you call yourself a loving person?
I think the same principles about North Korea also apply to Russia. Alliances of the U.S. like NATO, I think, can be thought of as what Murray Bowen calls triangling. They put Russia in an outside position which it really can never get out of until member nations of NATO start individually having a one to one dialogue with Putin. It's a relationship between the U.S. and Russia that has the best hope for world peace - not alliances that put countries in a permanent outside position. I think Trump's instinct to have a dialogue with Putin was on target. It was the instinct of a businessman who doesn't want to spend trillions on war.
I think what the Democrats have done by demonizing Russia, exaggerating what they did because of their "denial" about the 2016 election has been horrible and hurt world peace. The U.S. as well as many other countries interfere in the elections of other countries. To feign "shock" that Russia does this, too, is disingenuous.
I think the real problem is that some very powerful people in the Status Quo representing some very powerful interests are very afraid of someone critical of our intelligence agencies/New World Order Police Force since Bush/Cheney, critical of the Administrative State which keeps things the same no matter who is President and someone who is critical of their trade deals/NATO/their Foreign Policy etc.
Trump has his faults as we all do. I voted for him to upset a Corrupt (I know this first hand as a Government Gang Stalking target for over a decade) Status Quo and to my mind he is doing that. That's a giant accomplishment!
Why Punishment Doesn't Work/Such as Sanctions: Countries like people do things to get their needs met. Existential Needs are the most powerful. Iran's leaders cling to their religion/spreading it - for a sense of meaning. Russia allies itself with Syria etc. because it has been shut out of alliances like NATO and needs to cultivate its own for its security. To understand the existential needs of North Korea read Erich Fromm's book on destructiveness/Sadism etc. Punishment doesn't show these countries an alternate, better way to get their existential needs met.
We have to start thinking in terms of NEEDS. What is the goal of this behavior? What NEEDS is this person/country (which is composed of people) trying to get met? There are physical needs, emotional needs (for acceptance/recognition/soothing etc.), existential needs (a feeling I exist/I AM/I can have an effect - through love or if not love, through destructiveness etc.), needs for self-actualization, needs for meaning and the list goes on.
Sanctions, punishment don't turn off needs. We know that even when tortured - people just lie to make it stop. We need to help people find alternate ways to get their needs met when their behavior is intolerable to us.
Or to do what I do - get away from them if you can. Bowen might call that emotional cut-off. And if the truth be told, my experience is the same people/issues just keep coming back to you if you don't resolve them. I kept trying to run away from bullies - a bully father, a bully brother, a bully Fireman neighbor - and for over a decade I've been Gang Stalked now by thousands of people on an ongoing basis. So what do I know!!!
More likely, Bowen's ideas are just another map that doesn't fit an infinitely complex reality. When reality is this complex maybe suspending our assumptions and engaging in ongoing dialogue is the best way.
Another map to talk about - I think maps are okay as long as we see them as maps and not truth - is the idea of the Isolated Mind/the intersubjective nature of reality and to ask ourselves what role our behavior is playing in keeping the behavior of Iran/North Korea/Russia that we see as objectionalbe in play. When you recognize the intersubjective nature of relationships you might ask what am I doing to give us the outcome I don't want. In all this we're looking at what is going on in-the-between - what needs are being met - for them as well as for us and how they might be met in different ways to get different outcomes.
I-It relating is totally subjective. The I looks at everything in relation to their self. Their desires and concerns are a barrier to real meeting. There is contrivance and hypocrisy. Imposition characterizes I-It Relating as the I tries to impose their views, their wants on the other.