So, last night I was able to watch a film that I had been wanting to see for a while: Embrace Of The Serpent. I’m not sure that I have seen a film that is able to capture the brutal cultural destruction and violence that has come along with colonialism. There is a horrific psychological destruction that happens when the colonized person is forced to give up their cultural history because of the violent demands and disregard of the colonizers.
Although white people, or the descendants of the colonizers, have also been colonized by the institution of racial categorization, patriarchal dominance and the psychological internalization of imperialism … this deep psycho-social erasure that has lost language (the unique way of symbolically speaking within your culture), tradition (historical connection to the long chain of history) and whole ways of being (ontological expressions of unique cultural traditions) isn’t necessarily an internal struggle that they must contend with. This could, quite possibly be, the hallmark of privilege.
Colonization, and its pathological descendant globalization, have become so normalized within human consciousness that our eyes, diverse and multicultural, do not even blink at the level of violence leveled to other cultures, nor shutter at how this way of life is being exported. Conversely, the mainstreaming of this neurotic value system has become an afterthought that isn’t questioned, nor resisted.
The pathological pattern of colonization and globalization has created an extensive culture of dehumanization where human beings are objectified to such a degree that through this process of destruction we have lost our own humanity. We have lost our sense of self, as well as our ability to empathize, exercise compassion, and live in basic connection to each other as human beings who have inherited a beautifully cosmological expression. In other words, the colonizers dehumanization has unconsciously crept into our collective way of being and though we know that whole communities are being bombed, civilizations are being destroyed and the earth’s stability is continually threatened by excessive exploitation – we don’t resist.
This is a sickness. When an individual is unable to empathize or incapable of feeling remorse for wrong doing, we might say that this person exhibits an antisocial personality disorder. Why do we accept this behavior from our government? We have been at war in the Middle East for nearly 15 years straight now, with over 2 million people killed, and neither Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump have ideas on how to put an end to how these wars continue to escalate. Thus, the destruction that was evident in South America in the movie Embrace of the Serpent – for resources and capitalism – marches on in the present, into the future.
Because of this, I want to pose the idea of resistance as a reclamation project. Reclaiming our humanity, our sense of belonging to each other and the planet, while feeling a sense of responsibility to the whole of (wo)mankind. Resistance as a pathway toward awakening. As individuals fashioned out of the elements of the cosmos, all equally beautiful, unique and important, we must resist continued exploitation and violence as a way to reclaim our natural beauty, our curiosity, our love … our soulful rootedness within this interwoven web of interconnectedness.
It is time to divest, culturally, financially, socially … in multifaceted ways so that domination and oppression do not continue to repress the unique and amazing gifts that we have individually and collectively inherited. It is time that we start to band together within the mass of our diversity and imagine new forms of resistance that allow us to reclaim our humanity and create greater possibilities for the generations that follow. A culture of endless war – against the earth and all its inhabitants – negatively impacts all of us, no matter our income, ethnicity, religion or location.
In a culture of violence, love is a radical form of resistance. We might start there. It begins and ends with each and every one of us.