On Recrimination

It was also the recrimination, which I had resisted so far but which Reeducation finally drummed into my pores, that made it so hard to work. A year or two later a friend mentioned that he was trying to stop “yelling at himself” and I realized it was what Reeducation had taught me to do. Since being an intellectual was my principal sin, it was very hard not to engage in self abuse around intellectual activity. I had realized that this was blocking work and that I was further compounding matters by calling that “procrastination.” I had not realized that what I was doing constituted “yelling at myself” or that it would be legitimate to stop doing so.

I notice that in all the yoga classes, the idea of mastering something and increasing strength and power is considered to be positive. In Reeducation, however, I learned to give up mastery within myself. I then had no recourse but to become as small as possible while people rolled through and over me. I had to think of ways I might entice them not to roll with quite as much force. I was learning to live back to front in those days.

In one yoga class the teacher told us that in meditation we could be ourselves. “Not that person who is very good at her profession. Not that person who manipulates her husband so he thinks she is really something. Not that person who gives her children all her money so they will like her.” I was horrified at what this teacher seemed to know about the class.

She knows people from Reeducation’s world but I really do not think I was ever there. It was poor advice, being told I had too much power in my life, because it was so untrue. And it is poor advice I give myself, that what I need is a stricter schedule, more constraints. What I need is expansion — personal power — breath.

Axé.

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9 responses to “On Recrimination

  1. Here Hattie said the material in the post was too painful, she is no longer reading me, and she thinks I should change my life. She made some recommendations with which I disagree in a very condescending tone and I am too bored to really respond. I should have left the comment here for the record but it was too ugly for that, felt invasive and abusive and demeaning and generally icky, so I am erasing it. I am responding anyway in the comments, in an oblique fashion. –Z

    • On the idea that I shouldn´t put up with more of this — I entirely agree. You know that this blog is here to exhume and articulate what happens so as to sidestep it. Yes, there is painful material in it. I write that here so as to look at it and distance myself from it. Remember, these are the things I learned in Reeducation and that I have tried to just ignore — and not had that work. So I am actually looking at them, seeing how they work, criticizing them, becoming aware. It is the only way I can see to getting actually free of them.

      Continuing with that: I realized while walking that there is a direct contradiction between the two Reeducated directives “give up control” and “protect your boundaries.” Formerly I would have stood ground and stood on principles, controlling what it is in fact my job to control. Giving up control and protecting boundaries meant, to me at least, withdrawing far into myself and freezing, no longer controlling what I would have said I should, permitting things I would have said I should not, and just trying to protect my eyes and head and so on.

      (Reeducation wasn´t talking to who it thought it was and neither was Hattie in her erased comment.)

      Anway it may seem silly to others but it is a big revelation to me, the contradiction just discussed.

      The assumption was that one was like the people the yoga teacher discusses — trying to control and manipulate everyone. That is what the directive to “give up control” was about.

      • The assumption was that one was like the people the yoga teacher discusses — trying to control and manipulate everyone. That is what the directive to “give up control” was about.

        I think it’s very common for people to try to control others. It’s the compensation that they give themselves when they are not willing to actually risk their own skin in trying something new. Actually, I think it is the way that most of the little boys online read Nietzsche (in a way that assures that they do not risk their own skin.)

        And this is what I say to that.

  2. We cannot know his legendary head
    with eyes like ripening fruit. And yet his torso
    is still suffused with brilliance from inside,
    like a lamp, in which his gaze, now turned to low,

    gleams in all its power. Otherwise
    the curved breast could not dazzle you so, nor could
    a smile run through the placid hips and thighs
    to that dark center where procreation flared.

    Otherwise this stone would seem defaced
    beneath the translucent cascade of the shoulders
    and would not glisten like a wild beast’s fur:

    would not, from all the borders of itself,
    burst like a star: for here there is no place
    that does not see you. You must change your life.

  3. In one yoga class the teacher told us that in meditation we could be ourselves. “Not that person who is very good at her profession. Not that person who manipulates her husband so he thinks she is really something. Not that person who gives her children all her money so they will like her.” I was horrified at what this teacher seemed to know about the class.

    All of which Marechera would refer to as “slow brain death”. But of course, such loss of self over time is the common human condition.

  4. Self loss — well this friend (I am in Madrid) I saw last night for the first time in 15 years said something similar. Very interesting — theme ofour times.

    Sorry the post is morose — I will respond when I am on wi-fi and not paying by the minute in Euros. I wouldn´t have anything more to say than what I already have about the purposes of the blog, the fact that most of the posts are not written in real time, and the fact that I am posting in my space, not in yours, so I think it is my right to say what I want.

  5. Z

    “I think it’s very common for people to try to control others. It’s the compensation that they give themselves when they are not willing to actually risk their own skin in trying something new.”

    Aha — this may be what that Blackguard is trying to do. !

  6. Glad you are getting free for a while.

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