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    Nov 30, 2004
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      Session Three -- DENIAL


      Denial seems to be a fixed position for many Americans.

      It may be for Europeans, Asians — and lots of others, too.


      Since I know my culture best, I can say, without qualifications, that we suffer from this systematic ignoring of our own problematic actions.


      I wonder if being “number one” in the world has anything to do with it.


      If being a leader in the world, if having been right about many things, we’re afraid to admit that we might ever have made any mistakes?

      And, we’ve been in denial about so much. We ignored the brutal details of slavery (millions died), and presented “sanitized” versions of slavery in many of our history books. We’ve gloried in saying we’re a peaceful people when we have the biggest store of weapons in the world, and we’ve fought many wars, beginning with the Revolutionary one. We continue to impose economic sanctions on Iraq for various geopolitical reasons and try to ignore the catastrophic consequences this has had on the children of Iraq.

      Charlotte Kasl, author of the book Many Roads, One Journey, calls denial psychic numbing, which simply means being out of touch with reality, our own and the world’s. No matter what causes it it’s critically important to get over it. Denial is a deliberate “not seeing” of one’s own actions, a peculiar way of lying both to others and to ourselves.

      Quotes & Questions for Discussion:


      1. Denial begins in small ways in everyday life. Let’s look at a few things we might do about it.

      . What do you answer when someone asks, “How are you?”

      . Can you think of something to answer that isn’t “fine”, and follow it with a

      “How are you?”

      . What might you say instead of “fine” or “great”? Please give me an example.


      2. We’ve long denied the effects of having practiced slavery in our nation. This wounded the people we enslaved and ourselves. We held tragically wrong ideas about the equality of human beings, and the value of people different from ourselves.

      . How important is it to you for a country to be able to admit its mistakes? Why?

      . Do you find the legacy of slavery has affected your life? If so, how? And have you done anything about it? If so, what?

      If not, what might you do?

      3. How much do you feel we should apologize to the people we have harmed in the course of history: the Native Americans, African Americans, Asians and all the others?

      . How would you go about it?

      . In what way would doing this change you?

      . Would it make society better? How?

      . Do you feel we should make amends and restitution? If so, why and how? Or if not, why not?


      4. Each culture has its own areas of denial waiting to be explored. As a U.S. citizen, I am particularly concerned about the wars we’ve participated in, capital punishment, overthrowing governments we don’t like through acts of violence, the difficulties we have caused for countries like Cuba and Nicaragua by seeking to destroy their independent institutions, their economies, and their leaders.

      . How important is it to you for a country to be able to admit its mistakes? Why?

      . Where do you feel we should make public apologies, and ask for forgiveness?

      . How do you think a listening group could be developed in your community that would make a practice of Compassionate Listening to public conflicts such as racial difficulties, capital punishment, abortion, affordable housing, and health care for all ages?

      In Lak´ech (Mayan for ¨I am another yourself¨)

      Note from Jag
      A "Walk - In Wizard"
      On Sunday i made some crystals bracelets that have been coming together for over a year
      as a result a personal Healing Crisis was triggered
      So I am "ALLOWING"
      as a result there was no INNER GLOW today
      I love you all


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