On "trigger warnings", growth of sensitivity about "microagressions" on campuses

Mal7

Dagobah Resident
The Coddling of the American Mind by Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt.

http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2015/09/the-coddling-of-the-american-mind/399356/

In June, a professor protecting himself with a pseudonym wrote an essay for Vox describing how gingerly he now has to teach. “I’m a Liberal Professor, and My Liberal Students Terrify Me,” the headline said.
I thought this was a good article about what seems to be a rising trend on US campuses.

Student activists are increasingly demanding that they be protected from, or at least warned about, any words that might emotionally harm them, such as "violate". Similarly works of literature may have themes that emotionally harm them, and they should be warned of these so that they can avoid them and maintain their "safe space".

The authors question whether this approach is really beneficial to the students themselves. They see it as reinforcing and rewarding "emotional thinking" by students, rather than, what might be more beneficial, teaching students instead to question their "emotional thinking".

The authors suggest that teaching students some psychology (e.g. some techniques of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and the nature of some common cognitive distortions), would be of more benefit to them than an escalating emphasis on the "right to not be offended".

If our universities are teaching students that their emotions can be used effectively as weapons—or at least as evidence in administrative proceedings—then they are teaching students to nurture a kind of hypersensitivity that will lead them into countless drawn-out conflicts in college and beyond. Schools may be training students in thinking styles that will damage their careers and friendships, along with their mental health.
The ultimate aim, it seems, is to turn campuses into “safe spaces” where young adults are shielded from words and ideas that make some uncomfortable. And more than the last, this movement seeks to punish anyone who interferes with that aim, even accidentally. You might call this impulse vindictive protectiveness. It is creating a culture in which everyone must think twice before speaking up, lest they face charges of insensitivity, aggression, or worse.
But vindictive protectiveness teaches students to think in a very different way. It prepares them poorly for professional life, which often demands intellectual engagement with people and ideas one might find uncongenial or wrong. The harm may be more immediate, too. A campus culture devoted to policing speech and punishing speakers is likely to engender patterns of thought that are surprisingly similar to those long identified by cognitive behavioral therapists as causes of depression and anxiety. The new protectiveness may be teaching students to think pathologically.
 

whitecoast

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Thanks for bringing this up Mal7. I read this article awhile back, but didn't get around to being able to share it yet. I highly recommend interested people read the whole article, because this new strain of political correctness, couched in the language of "triggers," "microaggressions," "privilege," etc. on the whole is very anti-psychotherapeutic. Much of it consists of appropriating psychological terminology (ostensibly to protect traumatized individuals or marginalized groups) for their own purposes.

It’s hard to imagine how novels illustrating classism and privilege could provoke or reactivate the kind of terror that is typically implicated in PTSD. Rather, trigger warnings are sometimes demanded for a long list of ideas and attitudes that some students find politically offensive, in the name of preventing other students from being harmed. This is an example of what psychologists call “motivated reasoning”—we spontaneously generate arguments for conclusions we want to support. Once you find something hateful, it is easy to argue that exposure to the hateful thing could traumatize some other people. You believe that you know how others will react, and that their reaction could be devastating. Preventing that devastation becomes a moral obligation for the whole community. Books for which students have called publicly for trigger warnings within the past couple of years include Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway (at Rutgers, for “suicidal inclinations”) and Ovid’s Metamorphoses (at Columbia, for sexual assault).

However, there is a deeper problem with trigger warnings. According to the most-basic tenets of psychology, the very idea of helping people with anxiety disorders avoid the things they fear is misguided. A person who is trapped in an elevator during a power outage may panic and think she is going to die. That frightening experience can change neural connections in her amygdala, leading to an elevator phobia. If you want this woman to retain her fear for life, you should help her avoid elevators.... But if you want to help her return to normalcy, you should take your cues from Ivan Pavlov and guide her through a process known as exposure therapy.... This is how the amygdala can get rewired again to associate a previously feared situation with safety or normalcy.

Students who call for trigger warnings may be correct that some of their peers are harboring memories of trauma that could be reactivated by course readings. But they are wrong to try to prevent such reactivations. Students with PTSD should of course get treatment, but they should not try to avoid normal life, with its many opportunities for habituation. Classroom discussions are safe places to be exposed to incidental reminders of trauma (such as the word violate). A discussion of violence is unlikely to be followed by actual violence, so it is a good way to help students change the associations that are causing them discomfort. And they’d better get their habituation done in college, because the world beyond college will be far less willing to accommodate requests for trigger warnings and opt-outs.

The expansive use of trigger warnings may also foster unhealthy mental habits in the vastly larger group of students who do not suffer from PTSD or other anxiety disorders. People acquire their fears not just from their own past experiences, but from social learning as well. If everyone around you acts as though something is dangerous—elevators, certain neighborhoods, novels depicting racism—then you are at risk of acquiring that fear too. The psychiatrist Sarah Roff pointed this out last year in an online article for The Chronicle of Higher Education. “One of my biggest concerns about trigger warnings,” Roff wrote, “is that they will apply not just to those who have experienced trauma, but to all students, creating an atmosphere in which they are encouraged to believe that there is something dangerous or damaging about discussing difficult aspects of our history.”
To me the above is a very prime example of the appropriation of triggers in the context of a psychotherapeutic situation to the general world. To me if someone can no longer go to class or function due to an uncomfortable topic completely throwing off their self-regulation, that's a call for greater psychotherapeutic intervention. To me doing the opposite and mandating classes provide trigger warnings just normalizes what is aberrant psychological functioning, and in a sense is making other people (strangers) responsible for your emotional well-being.

Then if you bring up that they've conditioned themselves to become hypersenitized and more prone to hysteria, you get criticized for "gaslighting," which is another appropriated and misappreciated term. Actual psychological gaslighting is when someone lies to an individual about something they know is the truth to get them to doubt their thinking... to construe all questioning of the psychological validity of emotional reasoning as an abuse tactic... you can clearly see where this is going.

"Microaggressions" have also been conflated with violence, instead of just a biproduct of free speech that some people find unwelcome.

Even joking about microaggressions can be seen as an aggression, warranting punishment. Last fall, Omar Mahmood, a student at the University of Michigan, wrote a satirical column for a conservative student publication, The Michigan Review, poking fun at what he saw as a campus tendency to perceive microaggressions in just about anything. Mahmood was also employed at the campus newspaper, The Michigan Daily. The Daily’s editors said that the way Mahmood had “satirically mocked the experiences of fellow Daily contributors and minority communities on campus … created a conflict of interest.” The Daily terminated Mahmood after he described the incident to two Web sites, The College Fix and The Daily Caller. A group of women later vandalized Mahmood’s doorway with eggs, hot dogs, gum, and notes with messages such as “Everyone hates you, you violent prick.” When speech comes to be seen as a form of violence, vindictive protectiveness can justify a hostile, and perhaps even violent, response.
I also HIGHLY recommend this article to read as well:

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2015/11/the-new-intolerance-of-student-activism-at-yale/414810/

It clovers the odyssey of a resident professor and his wife who wrote a letter criticizing a letter written by Yale's administration about the acceptability of certain types of Halloween costumes, and were met with attacks, insults, and a campaign of public shaming.

In her view, students would be better served if colleges showed more faith in their capacity to work things out themselves, which would help them to develop cognitive skills. “Nicholas says, if you don’t like a costume someone is wearing, look away, or tell them you are offended. Talk to each other. Free speech and the ability to tolerate offence are hallmarks of a free and open society,” she wrote. “But—again, speaking as a child development specialist—I think there might be something missing in our discourse about … free speech (including how we dress) on campus, and it is this: What does this debate about Halloween costumes say about our view of young adults, of their strength and judgment? In other words: Whose business is it to control the forms of costumes of young people? It's not mine, I know that.”That’s the measured, thoughtful pre-Halloween email that caused Yale students to demand that Nicholas and Erika Christakis resign their roles at Silliman College. That’s how Nicholas Christakis came to stand in an emotionally charged crowd of Silliman students, where he attempted to respond to the fallout from the email his wife sent.Watching footage of that meeting, a fundamental disagreement is revealed between professor and undergrads. Christakis believes that he has an obligation to listen to the views of the students, to reflect upon them, and to either respond that he is persuaded or to articulate why he has a different view. Put another way, he believes that one respects students by engaging them in earnest dialogue. But many of the students believe that his responsibility is to hear their demands for an apology and to issue it. They see anything short of a confession of wrongdoing as unacceptable. In their view, one respects students by validating their subjective feelings.

Notice that the student position allows no room for civil disagreement.
...
At Yale, every residential college has a “master”––a professor who lives in residence with their family, and is responsible for its academic, intellectual, and social life. “Masters work with students to shape each residential college community,” Yale states, “bringing their own distinct social, cultural, and intellectual influences to the colleges.” The approach is far costlier than what’s on offer at commuter schools, but aims to create a richer intellectual environment where undergrads can learn from faculty and one another even outside the classroom.

“In your position as master,” one student says, “it is your job to create a place of comfort and home for the students who live in Silliman. You have not done that. By sending out that email, that goes against your position as master. Do you understand that?!”


“No,” he said, “I don’t agree with that.”


The student explodes, “Then why the -flick- did you accept the position?! Who the -flick- hired you?! You should step down! If that is what you think about being a master you should step down! It is not about creating an intellectual space! It is not! Do you understand that? It’s about creating a home here. You are not doing that!”


The Yale student appears to believe that creating an intellectual space and a home are at odds with one another. But the entire model of a residential college is premised on the notion that it’s worthwhile for students to reside in a campus home infused with intellectualism, even though creating it requires lavishing extraordinary resources on youngsters who are already among the world’s most advantaged. It is no accident that masters are drawn from the ranks of the faculty.


The student finally declares, “You should not sleep at night! You are disgusting!” Bear in mind that this is a student described by peers with phrases like, to cite one example, “I've never known her to be anything other than extremely kind, level-headed, and rational.” But her apparent embrace of an ideology that tends toward intolerance produce a very different set of behaviors.
In the face of hateful personal attacks like that, Nicholas Christakis listened and gave restrained, civil responses. He later magnanimously tweeted, “No one, especially no students exercising right to speech, should be judged just on basis of short video clip.” (He is right.) And he invited students who still disagreed with him, and with his wife, to continue the conversation at a brunch to be hosted in their campus home.
Even though this article keeps reminding its reader that it is a well-intentioned ideology, this seems like critical correction on some level. If an ideology blurs and destroys the distinction between speech and violence, it cannot have good intentions. If it systematically supports or undermines the emotional validity of people based on acontextual pre-determined criteria like race, class and gender, it simply cannot capture the psychological reality of a situation. If it prevents an individual from recovering from trauma by spreading the anxiety and hysteria to otherwise psychologically healthy individuals through promulgating "trigger culture", it cannot say it promotes mental health or safety.

Being couched in good intentions is exactly how social pathologies spread: by providing cover for ACTUAL psychological deviants to further warp the thinking and perception of otherwise normal humans into accepting the use of violence. :thdown:

A part of me wonders if this came about due to some schizoid getting the bright idea of appropriating the abuse tactics of dominant groups for their own purposes? One really wonders how far they would have gotten if MLK was of their kind... the hysterical #blacklivesmatter protesters who shut down the Bernie Sander's speech in Seattle are I think a very typical biproduct of this type of thinking. I'm not against civil disobedience in principle, but there's a right way and a wrong way to attain the aims of racial equality. No gains to a minority's status against oppression can be sustained it comes at the expense of of the humanity of everyone involved. OSIT.
 

kalibex

Dagobah Resident
An alternate POV:

The trendy thing to say about college kids is that they're too thin-skinned, too easily offended, and too censorious. "You damn kids, with your safe spaces and microaggressions," we scream from our lawns, waving our canes with one hand and helicoptering our dicks with the other. "Just stop thinking up new things that I have to learn!"

The reality is that this is all a bunch of malarky, like everything that stupid old people have shrieked at college kids since college was invented in 1998 (It started as an alternate reality game for the film Can't Hardly Wait, but got out of hand). The problem is that this myth of fragile, easily-offended 20-something has absolutely no basis in reality, and all the evidence is nothing more than the standard "signs of the times" that old people and reactionaries always misinterpret. We're seeing more college students getting offended because instead of writing in their journals, they're posting about it on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.
_http://www.cracked.com/blog/4-reasons-free-speech-college-campus-debate-dumb/_
 

Mal7

Dagobah Resident
kalibex said:
An alternate POV:

The problem is that this myth of fragile, easily-offended 20-something has absolutely no basis in reality, and all the evidence is nothing more than the standard "signs of the times" that old people and reactionaries always misinterpret. We're seeing more college students getting offended because instead of writing in their journals, they're posting about it on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.
The original article has something on Facebook, and how this current generation of college students is the first that would have spent their entire teen years on Facebook. These are not just Facebook warriors though, curriculum choices are being affected, people are being employed on campuses as social "monitors", others are losing their jobs. Eggs and verbal abuse are being thrown about. People are becoming intolerant and unwilling to debate. I think this is a new kind of "activism", perhaps deliberately engineered somewhere, and now spreading from some of the Gender Studies and Women's Studies departments to the rest of the campus. For some differences of this current form of activism to previous movements, such as the "Political Correctness" movements of the 1980s and 1990s, there is an interview here with Christina Hoff Sommers:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h8DZklYfbPc

whitecoast said:
Being couched in good intentions is exactly how social pathologies spread: by providing cover for ACTUAL psychological deviants to further warp the thinking and perception of otherwise normal humans into accepting the use of violence.
These activists are so sure of themselves, that they are "fighting the good fight". It seems like a high level of intolerance is being created. The irony is that this is leaving no "safe space" for actual critical debate. Reactions to perceived microaggressions are escalating into actual aggressive behavior and abusive speech.
 

obyvatel

The Living Force
Seems like an example of the hystericization of society specifically affecting the so-called liberal left wing ideology.
 
No gains to a minority's status against oppression can be sustained if it comes at the expense of of the humanity of everyone involved."
Whitcoast, that should be a Quote of the day on SoTT, OSIT. I had to write it down, definitely a keeper. Thank you.

(..i added the "if", as i think it's omission was a typo. Please correct me if I'm wrong.)
 

lilies

Jedi Council Member
This work is good! I started listening to it as an audiobook, while doing difficult, draining, creative work. I didn't get sleepy: the Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt duo managed to keep the material interesting, thought provoking. Recommended reading or listening.
 

lilies

Jedi Council Member
The Coddling of the American Mind by Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt.
Just finished this excellent book! Mind provoking.. This subject is apparently worth writing a book about! It was worth paying their editors to make their material sound attractive and delicious, so our eyes and ears can feast on this. It kept my attention, so I didn't fall asleep while I was working and listening to this one!

The authors expertly collected issues that, at first, are seemingly worthy to ponder, because they are presented as the very important problems in our society today. But reaching the end of the book and witnessing what amazing delusional thinking the authors display there presenting solutions and citing that people in high position at Google are working hard to reduce teenagers phone-time [sorry WHAT???!, Yeah, and they cite similarly strong stuff in the end that is happening as attempted solutions], it turns out, I think, these issues are similar to the effects of Agent Orange: they are just the consequences of CIA PSYOPS!

Important issues:
I learned that I'm prejudiced and I'm a bigot. I had to research the word, because at first the word "bigot" wasn't clear, I thought it meant hypocrite. I found excellent definitions and comments on the net. There some people on these links in the comment section, who say that everybody is a racist: bigot and prejudiced are merely sub-classes or branches of a racist. One of the leading academic thinkers & chief researcher in this group - mentioned in a radio show that everybody is a racist. After having looked at this problem a little - as I was forced to do so as a consequence of listening to this audiobook, I have to agree.
This problem of all people being racist and as I learned me being a bigot and prejudiced **could** be a problem in real life. Especially in case of societal collapse, where people are herded together - by consequence or Authority [Altemeyers book is next!] - and when everybody is gathered together: I can say from experience that colored minorities display absolute disregard for private property, that becomes evident..
But these issues are still - especially now - an armchair warrior problem. I think.. I don't like Indians for example, when they explain technological facts in their goofy English accent on Youtube: it is enough if I listen to a couple of their words.. All I read about them in the news are their honor killings, gang rapes, stoning of women, child abuses, child marriages, them burning pregnant women and priests in India performing "exorcisms" on children with sabers..

But let's look at my own neighborhood:
When it comes to our minority - Roma gypsies in our city and (probably just like African-Americans in the US) - they might become a problem in case of global trouble. Well, a Quorum Judge could ask me right here:
- What about You? Might You become a problem in case of global trouble?

So I thought about it hard. Identified bigotry, being prejudiced and racism as Predator Programs. Sure, its a virus in our mind. However, I think, I reached a conclusion:

There is always, always.. the Giant Obelisk of Soul, overshadowing and erasing these problems. The presence of soul in people. Me recognizing the presence of humble souls in people toward whom I was prejudiced and bigoted at first .. but then the presence of the soul in those People Of The Minority instantly destroys my racism and disintegrates my bigotry and annihilates my prejudice. You might ask:
- What the heck are you talking about?
Then I ask back:
- Did you not - ever in your life -, feel Presence in people?

Because in the presence of a large soul, I suddenly become humbled and feel & show the utmost respect toward that human, a possessor of such soul. If the soul is younger in a member of a race toward I would be prejudiced and bigoted, I still recognize the kin soul in there, inside a person I'm looking at, toward whom I am now unable to feel animosity. Its simple as that.
I think:

Any ridiculous racism, bigotry and prejudice is immediately annulled upon recognizing the Presence of a Soul in the other.

At least in my case.

Anyway, back to the book:
In the end however.. analyzing these famous, leading psychologists of our age Jordan Peterson and Haidt from the point of view of The Work, I saw that they are able to pinpoint some problems in our society, which I think, are straight consequences of Deep State mind-manipulation and forced mind-desintegration of the masses.

They name all kinds of lofty goals, they would be happy that this society would reach: citing academic reasons, all of which sound good at first.
But when they propose solutions.. Oh, man, they are clueless!! It turns out in the end, that these most famous, well debated, academic professors & psychologist are unfortunate idiots - Scientists of the New Formation - they simply don't know!!
No wonder Haidt and Peterson are in constant battle and cannot agree even on the basics together! No wonder they are unable to form a cohesive whole, an alliance.. to solve the problems of our society.
This is ridiculous!
The only thing they achieved - I think - that they admitted this modern society is built - and actively & forcefully being re-built - and placed onto completely fake foundations, where most people are embroiled in Idolizing The Fake!!

At least this is what I concluded, reaching the end of this audiobook. This is what I think.
 
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DianaRose94

Jedi Master
Just finished this excellent book! Mind provoking.. This subject is apparently worth writing a book about! It was worth paying their editors to make their material sound attractive and delicious, so our eyes and ears can feast on this. It kept my attention, so I didn't fall asleep while I was working and listening to this one!

The authors expertly collected issues that, at first, are seemingly worthy to ponder, because they are presented as the very important problems in our society today. But reaching the end of the book and witnessing what amazing delusional thinking the authors display there presenting solutions and citing that people in high position at Google are working hard to reduce teenagers phone-time [sorry WHAT???!, Yeah, and they cite similarly strong stuff in the end that is happening as attempted solutions], it turns out, I think, these issues are similar to the effects of Agent Orange: they are just the consequences of CIA PSYOPS!

Important issues:
I learned that I'm prejudiced and I'm a bigot. I had to research the word, because at first the word "bigot" wasn't clear, I thought it meant hypocrite. I found excellent definitions and comments on the net. There some people on these links in the comment section, who say that everybody is a racist: bigot and prejudiced are merely sub-classes or branches of a racist. One of the leading academic thinkers & chief researcher in this group - mentioned in a radio show that everybody is a racist. After having looked at this problem a little - as I was forced to do so as a consequence of listening to this audiobook, I have to agree.
This problem of all people being racist and as I learned me being a bigot and prejudiced **could** be a problem in real life. Especially in case of societal collapse, where people are herded together - by consequence or Authority [Altemeyers book is next!] - and when everybody is gathered together: I can say from experience that colored minorities display absolute disregard for private property, that becomes evident..
But these issues are still - especially now - an armchair warrior problem. I think.. I don't like Indians for example, when they explain technological facts in their goofy English accent on Youtube
: it is enough if I listen to a couple of their words.. All I read about them in the news are their honor killings, gang rapes, stoning of women, child abuses, child marriages, them burning pregnant women and priests in India performing "exorcisms" on children with sabers..

But let's look at my own neighborhood:
When it comes to our minority - Roma gypsies in our city and (probably just like African-Americans in the US) - they might become a problem in case of global trouble. Well, a Quorum Judge could ask me right here:
- What about You? Might You become a problem in case of global trouble?


So I thought about it hard. Identified bigotry, being prejudiced and racism as Predator Programs. Sure, its a virus in our mind. However, I think, I reached a conclusion:

There is always, always.. the Giant Obelisk of Soul, overshadowing and erasing these problems. The presence of soul in people. Me recognizing the presence of humble souls in people toward whom I was prejudiced and bigoted at first .. but then the presence of the soul in those People Of The Minority instantly destroys my racism and disintegrates my bigotry and annihilates my prejudice. You might ask:
- What the heck are you talking about?
Then I ask back:
- Did you not - ever in your life -, feel Presence in people?

Because in the presence of a large soul, I suddenly become humbled and feel & show the utmost respect toward that human, a possessor of such soul. If the soul is younger in a member of a race toward I would be prejudiced and bigoted, I still recognize the kin soul in there, inside a person I'm looking at, toward whom I am now unable to feel animosity. Its simple as that.
I think:

Any ridiculous racism, bigotry and prejudice is immediately annulled upon recognizing the Presence of a Soul in the other.


At least in my case.

Anyway, back to the book:
In the end however.. analyzing these famous, leading psychologists of our age Jordan Peterson and Haidt from the point of view of The Work, I saw that they are able to pinpoint some problems in our society, which I think, are straight consequences of Deep State mind-manipulation and forced mind-desintegration of the masses.

They name all kinds of lofty goals, they would be happy that this society would reach: citing academic reasons, all of which sound good at first.
But when they propose solutions.. Oh, man, they are clueless!! It turns out in the end, that these most famous, well debated, academic professors & psychologist are unfortunate idiots - Scientists of the New Formation - they simply don't know!!
No wonder Haidt and Peterson are in constant battle and cannot agree even on the basics together! No wonder they are unable to form a cohesive whole, an alliance.. to solve the problems of our society.
This is ridiculous!
The only thing they achieved - I think - that they admitted this modern society is built - and actively & forcefully being re-built - and placed onto completely fake foundations, where most people are embroiled in Idolizing The Fake!!

At least this is what I concluded, reaching the end of this audiobook. This is what I think.
In real life, these things just don't work like that. Yeah, people love to say that it's only the soul that matter and yada, yada, but in practice, it just doesn't work like that. People do see colour and race and react accordingly. Here's a funny example, in the 90s, there was a mixed model (black and white) who pretended to be Spanish. At some point, she had enough of lying about her race and admitted the truth. She didn't get any jobs from that point on. We just aren't blank slate. There is truly a natural aversion to the Other. And really diversity is nonsense. We are all more comfortable with members of the same group and I think it might have been better if we had all remained in our native countries. Universalism/ Globalism just doesn't work. The case of Afro-American is a bit different since they were brought to the US. Also, in the case of Europe, a lot of immigration is done by people belonging to former colonies and I know that back in the days such immigration was encouraged so that migrants could fill positions (usually low-skilled ones) that natives didn't want.

If you have an issue with blacks or Indians, it means that you will react to them differently than you would a white person. From your side, you're not losing anything, but from the side of the coloured person, the feeling wouldn't be the same, especially your prejudice as a direct impact on their life. It means that whenever you would see a coloured person, regardless of their speech, way of dressing, or how they interact, you would see them as unruly etc... So, you're likely to be rude, unsympathetic, and harsher with them. Like for example, if you're on a recruitment panel, a minority would have to be exceptional to stand a chance with someone like you (and even then, you might still find flaws with them) and in a work setting you're likely to find faults, micro-manage, or be exceedingly harsh on a minority, because you naturally see them as inferior, incapable, and unruly which could lead in their unfair dismissal or making their work life exceedingly hard.

It's interesting that you feel that in a major disaster blacks and some other minorities would be a problem. Well, my feeling are the opposite of yours. As a black person, I'm very conscious of the fact that I'm a minority and that I'm not part of the majority group. Therefore, in moment of tension and trouble, people like me would naturally seem as troublesome, not worth helping , or unworthy. Also, note that in the US, there is about 12% of black, in the UK, it's about 3-4%, and it might be the European country with the most black population. And generally, black people are mainly in specific spots of the biggest cities.

In the end, I guess we all have our cross to bear etc. Also, I think that though it might be possible to grasp someone even though you are different from them, generally unless you're part of a specific group, you won't be able to understand, relate, or even grasp their experience. I just don't think it's possible for a mixed group of people to just get along.
 

lilies

Jedi Council Member
If you have an issue with blacks or Indians, it means that you will react to them differently than you would a white person. From your side, you're not losing anything, but from the side of the coloured person, the feeling wouldn't be the same, especially your prejudice as a direct impact on their life. It means that whenever you would see a coloured person, regardless of their speech, way of dressing, or how they interact, you would see them as unruly etc...
Curiously, if I see an attractive Roma gipsy or black girl, I immediately forget about my bigotry/prejudice/racism. Also I attempted to emphasize my occasional ** sensing ** of the soul inside other people: when it happens, it also erases any kind of bigotry I imprinted from my parents and from the net. When I meet souls inside bodies that have darker complexion - I immediately get sober as if slapped & drenched in cold water, my 'prejudiced bigot-racist I' switches off and a more sober "I" (deputy steward?) gets me into compassion-mode. I begin to think about, how hard is the life of the other person, because he is looked down by white people. I mentioned years ago that tall Roma gipsy man, a furnace technician / heater, I always respected, how I was in awe that in his body I witnessed that giant soul. It was so strange: he being a so simple blue-collar worker and the soul there was a giant compared to my pony-horse sized soul. I felt so little, shrunken and insignificant in the radiance of his Being / soul. I felt an urge of a 'devout believer' to fall to my knees before the humbling Presence & blinding Radiance of his Soul. The Light coming from him was so strong it almost felt as a physical pressure. Like a strong magnetic field encountering a small, weak magnetic field.

The serious difficulty arises that even in times of peace, my bigotry comes out in full-force upon encountering OPs of the colored human models. Just like Gurdjieff described that scene on the train observing indigenous people, when Ouspensky was seeing him off. The same way or similar I immediately get contractile, when I see nothing, just empty human colored skinned bodies fully manifesting their nature in nowadays mechanical society. I gave them a designation, because of this soul-sense, I mentioned**:
- Empty card-board boxes with a voice coming out from inside.
If anybody asks, how THEN I value that "human being", the individual in question, whom I claimed to have sensed that he / she has no soul inside, I can only harrumph, I have no answer.

Recently however, there was a case of emergency in the physicians office, where I was waiting for recipes. A Roma gipsy mother brought in her twenty-something, young adult son along with her [probably] daughter. The son didn't feel so good. In retrospect it could have been a panic attack or something more serious.
They were animatedly talking about the fact in a well audible manner that every white idiot in the city manifested his her fully bigot-racist nature toward them and everybody was sending them here & there to this clinic to that physicians office and nobody, no doctor wanted to receive them. I heard enough and told them assertively that this might be an emergency and they should not wait and they should go in before everybody else. They looked at me and went in and I had to join them telling to the doctor that the son doesn't feel too good: I was afraid it could be a stroke, as we had two our family member's health ruined by stroke.

In the end, I guess we all have our cross to bear etc. Also, I think that though it might be possible to grasp someone even though you are different from them, generally unless you're part of a specific group, you won't be able to understand, relate, or even grasp their experience. I just don't think it's possible for a mixed group of people to just get along.
Unfortunately [especially for women who are said to have way more sensitive noses than men, so ladies smell everything and remark], I think, by genetic design, for example Roma gypsies have a different, slightly pungent body odor, naturally coming out in the summer. IIRC a foreigner remarked regarding us, Eastern-Europaeans, that we smell like pigs, because we traditionally eat lots of pork as a staple food. IIRC Europaeans visiting Asia mentioned there the Asian people smell different, probably genes based and might be the radically different diet.
 
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lilies

Jedi Council Member
..Natural genetic smell, about which probably nobody can do much, I learned, contributed to my aversion to members of other race.
But based on smell, everybody might dislike the other a bit more and then we are in a mess.
 
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