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Violence as a Defense Against Intimacy Part Two I was Alone

Martin Niemoller, a Lutheran pastor in Nazi Germany, said, When they came for the Jews, I did nothing, for I am not a Jew. When they came for the Socialists, I did nothing, for I am not a Socialist. When they came for the labor leaders, the homosexuals, the gypsies, I did nothing for I am none of these, and when they came for me, I was alone, and there was no one to stand up for me.

The U.S. Census form lists 15 ethnic categories with three additional write in spaces if one does not identify with those listed. I specifically emphasize the word ethnic and not race even though the words are often used interchangeably. These descriptions are essentially predicated upon characteristics of ones appearance. The overwhelming reality is simply that there exists only one human race and it is homo sapiens. Only surface appearances obscure this fundamental reality.

A splendid, powerful, and profound illustration of this truth comes from viewing Gunther Von Hagens display of human cadavers set in a wide variety of postures representing different ordinary activities. Von Hagen developed a process of plastination that preserves the bodies from decay. Additionally, in order to preserve the sanctity of any of the cadavers identity, the skin has been removed. Suddenly we are aware of all being the same, beneath the surface.

The level of current political polarization seen in our society makes this especially relevant. Some say it is of an unprecedented level since the Civil War. Accompanying this divide is the often-heard chorus of threats of violence leveled at whoever represents the other side. Fundamentalist believers are prepared to violate every tenet of their supposed belief to dispose of anyone who hold other views than their own. There have been anti-homosexual ministers leading protest gatherings at the funerals of gay soldiers killed in action, people who profess a philosophy of pro-life while killing doctors who perform lawful procedures, or those opposed to same sex marriage because it threatens their norm.

With the passage of a national health insurance plan, much diminished from what was originally envisioned to meet the needs of many desperate citizens who have no health coverage, has come forth vile threats and racist reactions, likely predicated for some on the presidents African-American heritage. It is as though he is going to destroy the nation by advocating any legislation improving the lives of the others. This is not to imply legitimate arguments may exist by some opposing the legislation, especially when focused on concerns of financing the costs. However, that is certainly not the basis for the tone or tenure of the voices raised in vehement objections over any legislative actions trying to improve the social well being of the greatest numbers of people possible. We forget that the measure of a nation is in how well it treats its least powerful.

Have we seen all of this before? Yes! I am afraid that it has been woven too much into the fabric of our contemporary experiences.

About Author Sheldon Kardener :

Sheldon H. Kardener, MD, has written, lectured and taught extensively while practicing psychodynamic psychotherapy for over 40 years. Always on the cutting-edge, he is often called father of Focused Dynamic Therapy. His book, Breaking Free: How Chains From Childhood Keep Us From What We Want, is a breakthrough book, the biggest breakthrough in psychotherapy since the 60s. Learn more at <a href="" target="_blank"></a> or call 310.399.8727

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Article Added on Monday, August 9, 2010
Other Articles by Sheldon Kardener

Violence as a Defense Against Intimacy Part Four
Rioting and Civil Rights Movements The murders of civil rights workers and leaders, most especially those of Medger Evers and Dr. Martin Luther King, further illustrate this thesis explored in part three, Dr. Kings fervent policy of non-violence is dangerous to both black and white society because what is emotionally perceived is not non-violence, but non-alienation. And frightened segregationists mobilized their resistance. Covertly within the non-violent movement there also develops a...

Violence as a Defense Against Intimacy Part Three Leaders and Assassination
The political arena characterizes the recapitulation of the earliest developmental state in an individuals psychological growth. It demands clear-cut differentiations between candidates and their parties. Emphasis is not upon similarities but differences, which can be artificially judged as all good us and all bad them. This infantile need for such a dichotomy makes the bad, meaning the other, a threat engendering fear. Of course, the reality is that reasonable positions are far closer...

Violence as a Defense Against Intimacy Part One
History is replete with evidence that aggression, leading to acts of violence and assassinations, has always been part of the human experience. As weaponry becomes ever more destructive to even larger populations than possible in the past, there is an urgency to better understand and modify our propensity toward violence. Early Freudian concepts focused on two human drives: aggression and sexuality. A sophisticated psychology of sexuality was developed but one for aggression was left wanting....

My Family Is Me I Am My Family Part Four
Obviously, in the kind of pressure-filled society in which we live, all families are subjected to stresses and problems requiring a high degree of flexible adaptability in order to mobilize emotional resources for the maintenance of meaningful interactions. There are danger signals that can alert the family to potential trouble including: 1. False togetherness ' A tendency to promote intimacy and affection not for its genuine value of developing warmth, trust, and co-operation, but to cover...

My Family Is Me I Am My Family Part Two
Copyright (c) 2010 Sheldon Kardener Let us look at some interesting studies done with monkeys. Those who had as their only companions and mother-surrogates a warm, shaggy, cuddly, always available, stuffed doll at first looked as though they did all right. But then they were followed into maturation and studied further upon reintroduction into a more normal captive monkey colony. It was found that they did not get along with the group; there was a lack of normal or adequate sexual...

Accepting Loss
Copyright (c) 2010 Sheldon Kardener The natural rhythms of life between the constants of birth and death involve change, the third constant. In the face of change, our ability to adapt determines how we emotionally approach lifes seasons and new situations. One part of us tries to keep change at bay, which can lead to conflict if we no longer desire what we attempt to preserve. Then, avoiding the dreaded feelings of hopelessness and helplessness dictate our actions. Another part of us...

My Family Is Me I Am My Family Part Three
Copyright (c) 2010 Sheldon Kardener Since the family is a system, everyones behavior influences, and is influenced by, every one elses behavior. Much to the painful surprise of some parents, their children display what they did not know or recognize in themselves. Children may take over from their parents what was repressed deep in the unconscious or expressed only in complex, neurotic ways. This is what is most feared - that the child will expose the parents faults, forcing them to defend...

My Family Is Me I Am My Family Part One
Copyright (c) 2010 Sheldon Kardener Until the latter part of the 19th century, science did not dare look at the family. Witness the laws on child-beating. Society acted 100 odd years ago to prevent cruelty to animals - one had best not beat or mistreat them - but struggled to assure a similar protection for children. There was a logical reason for this glaring oversight. The family and its individual integrity were sanctioned by religion and tradition. The home was, and is, in the final...

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