Institutional Trauma: How Trauma Is Institutionalized

In my younger years, I would have thought trauma happens to people as life happens to people.

Nowadays, it looks a little different.

I have no doubt that greed, desire, and fear were equally present in other decades and centuries. It is just that—with the globalization and instant information age we live in—what makes the world go round and round seems much more apparent: desire, fear, and greed.

How Time is Speeding Up

We are made to hurry as human beings.

On top of that, time is speeding up. This isn’t just theory. The actual electromagnetic pulse of the earth is speeding up, and with that, our sense of time.

You could argue which came first—the chicken or the egg.

The fact is, that with the speeding up of time, everything seems to be amplified and pulled into extremes.

The rich seem to be getting richer; the sick, sicker; the instable ones become more instable; the wise are getting wiser, and so forth and so on.

The Upside-Down World of New Values

What was supposed to be an age of technological advancement that would result in time being freed up—in my perception as a child—turned out to be quite different.

We have become enslaved by technology and information, burdened by new desires, and are constantly dealing with the overload of processing new and more information.

Money as value for services or goods has become mere numbers on a screen. Relationships are reduced-- in large percentage-- to interactions online; and possessions are valued over time and having energy.

We live in an upside-down world, and to hold on to some sense of reason, clarity, and boundaries is becoming more of a challenge.

How Money, as Greed, Is King

Trauma is institutionalized.

When money becomes king, reason goes out of the window.

The ever-increasing greed for money, power, and prestige is creating deliberate fragmentation and perpetuation of conflict, both on an individual and collective level, to keep feeding the beast (greed).

Most governments nowadays are registered as limited companies. In other words, they work for money. The judicial and correctional systems work for money. Child services work for profit. The defense and military machinery is in service of money i.e. war for profit and resources. The healthcare system is in it for the money. Most NGO’s are going for the money. The measure of society is primarily focused on economics, which is money.

When money as greed comes first, spirituality will come further down the line, and all will suffer.

Money as Value and The Value of Money

I am not an advocate of everything being free. Money in exchange for value-- services and goods-- has its place. If you don’t put in some skin, you are less likely to give value to what you receive.

That being said, there needs to be some kind of balance between business and value.

You could argue about a million reasons why the world is as it is; from individual trauma that contributes to collective trauma and the perpetuation of conflict it creates. From banks, corporations, secret societies, and deep government, that have an agenda, and so forth and so on.

The vital question is how to live in this world with sanity and dignity; how to be free in a world that is bound to slavery.

Neither to Reject nor to Accept

What you adapt, consent, and subjugate to, you will become part of. Equally so, what you resist, you will become part of.

Let’s break that down on an individual level first.

If I am angry and I vent that anger on myself or others, that anger will create disconnection, alienation, and likely some form of destruction.

If I repress that anger, if I say to myself, “I shouldn’t be angry, being angry isn’t good, I should be a non-violent person”, then the ideal of non-violence, or a particular change, still comes out of anger. It is an opposite created as a reaction towards anger.

Attempting to be non-violent, in this case, is still an act of anger.

You can often see this behavior reflected in those who stand for a (social) cause—self-righteously and passionately—as a way of compensating for their repressed anger.

The World Is but A Reflection of Our Consciousness

Collectively, when your focus goes outward, the same process happens. When you either consent to, or are bent on changing other people or the world, you are perpetuating that very same cycle.

I am not saying that change isn’t a necessity. It is. I am saying that when we go about it out of reaction, it will reenact the very thing we want to get away from, be it anger, fear, or sadness; or poverty, inequality, or war.

Our history is full of reforms of all kinds and most of these reforms have been compensatory actions. We mostly fail to meet “what is” fully, and thereby fail to bring resolution to our personal and collective situation.

There has not been a fundamental collective change in consciousness. There have only been a few individuals who have been able to step out of the chaos, and out of duality; they are not your Gandhi, Mohamed, Martin Luther King, or Mother Theresa, by far.

The Act of Non-Duality

What happens when you neither reject, nor accept? When you don’t go with the thoughts of “I shouldn’t be angry”, “I am not good enough”, or “it is the world or society or this or that person who is to blame for my misery.”

The moment you arrest the momentum of excessive thoughts, you will have to face the underlying emotion, and this is terribly hard to do. Dissociation into addiction, excessive thoughts, or depression, fatigue, and even chronic pain is promoted by society and through our own body-mind reactionary responses.

That said, non-duality seems to be the only possible way forward.

Now, before you are mistaken that non-duality is a “laissez-faire” affair and you can just sit back and do nothing, it is quite the contrary.

Non-duality is hard work and you will have to grow some brain muscle to continuously apply yourself not to accept or reject, and thereby meet the various layers of individual and collective trauma, until it has been worked through.

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