Originally written for and published by Bella Caledonia on 28 May 2015
In 2013 I decided to seriously look at becoming a British citizen. After 10 years of working diligently perhaps there was indeed some extra benefit in holding a British passport. There are several criteria but applying is only possible after one had passed a test of knowledge. There is a preparatory book you need to be learning from for the test, entitled Life in The United Kingdom, a Guide for New Resident. It was a great test of patience ploughing through it. It is really a bigger marketing pamphlet, this book. Knowing the realities of living in the UK reading the skewed version was both enlightening and amusing, especially the last chapter.On page 123 of the manual one is informed that on becoming a British citizen they will be asked to take an oath. It reads:
I regularly hear from fellow migrants of various nationalities “They think I’m stupid” or “They just don’t understand” when referring to the natives. I smile then and nod or laugh out loud depending on which social class I happen to be representing. I understand the migrants’ frustrations but also see how enclosed they are in their own understandings. We rarely appreciate that every time a native encounters a foreigner they have no idea what level of English they will be dealing with. Even as the conversation progresses, the native cannot know (unless it is evident from the content of the conversation) if he was really understood. An interesting social landscape considering the Brits are in their own country. Or are they?
Even though only 7-15 per cent of communication happens verbally, and but a fraction of human behaviour is governed by reason, communication is still vital as it facilitates true understanding and expansion. Today, it is one of the most important arts we could be practicing. There are very few non-commercial bridges left between nations and we cannot be sure if those will last long. Communication is the only bridge which, even though burnt time and again, can be re-created and each time it is re-built, it can grow stronger. (Given the objectives of the parties involved are similar).
Of course open, direct communication can be scary. In open communication everything comes out, shadows included. There we find out our own attitude and level of acceptance towards what’s ugly, irrational and criminal as well as vulnerable, hurtful or downright contradictory to what we believe/think about ourselves. It takes patience and maturity to remain impartial or not be disgusted by what comes out of the mouth of another or our own. It’s a risky affair, it can escalate and often does. But it’s the only way forward ~ through it. The result of a dialogue depends on how well it is contained. And that is an art in itself. Unfortunately, the upper class concepts of equality and political correctness drive divisions and lack of understanding even deeper. There is everything but honest exchange and communication between individuals of one class, let alone across social spectrum.
All that said, the most important communication that the rest builds upon starts with-in us. Do we listen to each aspect of ourselves with respect? Do we give our shadow, the inner child, the wise woman, the architect equal time and attention? Do we hinder or facilitate our archetypes towards their full expression in the world? Do we recognise which aspects are in conflict within us? Until we do, there is little chance we will ever be able to understand and transform the conflicts which happen on a larger scale. Because the roots of those are not found in the military or politics.
Having arrived early in London, I rushed along to see the family. The courtyard, gardens and front of the palace were empty, the guards silent. I hoped to have some private time with Aunty Victoria and my wish was granted. I travelled all the way from remote Edinburgh, bridging the aftermath of the Referendum to lay the pro arguments, like puzzle pieces, at Victoria’s feet. She smiled, appreciative of my efforts and amused. ‘No, my child’ she said ‘The Queen never lets go of that which she cares about deeply’. ‘Oh’ I looked her in the eye ‘in that we are very much alike, Her Majesty’. It was one of the most intimate moments I have ever had with Mother England. I felt like in the eye of a tornado, in the midst of European transformation which Scotland, on the physical platform, had brought to light. I knew there was no going back. I looked away.
Indeed, Victoria and Albert spent some of their most beautiful times together in Scotland; that part of the Empire had always been very dear to the royal family. I have always known it but that day, feeling Victoria’s heart I understood it on a primal level. Yet again, the form of the Yes campaign revealed itself to me as immature and inadequate. In September 2014 Scotland’s mad rush away from its ‘oppressors’ backfired. Have we not understood that independence is as much a political affair as it is a matter of spirit and mind of the nation? How independent in thought Scotland really is?
I felt it could only dislodge itself from British history by respecting its position in the royal heart, not rejecting it. And it is with the royal family that the new born nation will need to cut the cords with, transforming the form of the monarchy as we know it forever. Counter-intuitive for the wild, rough and determined Scots perhaps, that separation will ask for gentleness. For matters of the heart run in our families, in our blood lines.
Despite the biological continuity of the royal lineage, the Windsor (factually House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha) dynasty, with its weak men and common women, has no one to replace Elizabeth II who would embody her clarity and adherence to the code of conduct. Britain’s affair with royalty will only further drain the country’s resources and stall its progress. The British monarchy has really nowhere to go but into radical transformation. Whether it will do so kicking (with people’s revolution) or with dignity (people’s evolution) the next decade will show.
For the first time however it is people who have the cosmic forces aligned with their voice and choice. I am not sure if society is aware of how much power it had already gathered. If this power is not contained and adequately navigated towards the desired results, Britain might end up in civil war – the current state of its subconscious is a perfect match for that. It is enough for a ‘terrorist attack’ to hit London that will act as a trigger and an excuse.
Then again perhaps this is exactly what is needed to ‘clear the air’ before any substantial change can occur. May we tread with courage.
I do my best to be very selective in the choice of news I read because every time I come across yet another display of Congress’ puppetry and Britain’s subservience, my blood pressure rises dramatically. Admittedly, I have been chipping away at my anti-Americanism, or anti-militarism to be precise, for some time now. Let me tell you this is the best spiritual practice of radical acceptance I could have treated myself to. Accepting stupidity. Not that long ago war was an art of strategy. Today, it is the least intelligent way of going about international relations, at least in the US fashion. So I educate myself on the Giant’s policies and look for clues which could convince me that what America is doing has at least a hint of logic and reason behind it. None to be seen. It is because the decisions do not originate in the Government. The strings are pulled by Federal Reserve.
So when I go within to explore what is it that actually infuriates me about the destructive, unsanctioned rampage that is going on, I find it is not the loss of individual lives. There are plenty of those lost in hunger, natural disasters, domestic violence, that comes with territory of living – Nature taking its course. But it is the destruction sent along the energetic lines of human psyche, damaging collective evolutionary chain which human spirit represents that sits in the root of my irritation. The conflicts, murder, rape, torture as well as less visible and tangible psychological, emotional abuse and rape of dignity in fact paralyse the nervous system (human body’s communication / connectivity pathways with the Universe) of 3 to 5 generations which follow the original occurrence. This entangles the collective subconscious and seeps into the land in question. How would I know?
My own ancestors experienced war on both sides of the family, some surviving the work camps – it took me nearly a decade to untangle the web of collective guilt, shame and unresolved trauma from my own essence. It is a peeling away of layers of pain that are not ours to begin with. It is a heavy, dramatic work, and it hurts. I am one of millions. All that because once upon a time Hitler decided to channel his strategic genius into destructive action. Today, war is an entertainment run by thick-skinned, thick-headed men led by greed.
” Do you recall the time, a little less than twenty-five years ago, when we took the trolley car to the Reichstag building, convinced that we could really help turn those fellows into honest democrats? How naïve we were, even as men forty years old! I can only laugh when I think about it. Neither of us realized how much more powerful is instinct compared to intelligence. We would do well to bear this in mind or the tragic errors of those days may be repeated.” Einstein to Born, 1944.
Are we any wiser? Have we understood or are oblivious to the fact the perpetration continues only in different fields and clad in more convoluted justifications. Sometimes it seems to me humanity is in regression. And if peacemakers have ever made any progress, war had always been two steps ahead.
This week Mr Cameron introduced what might be one of the healthiest and most progressive policies of his reign thus far. In his statement on 28 November 2014 he declared a number of planned restrictions for the migrants to Britain. What motivates Mr Cameron, whether it is upcoming elections, his or Britain’s reputation in EU or genuine interest in matters of the country, is of little importance at this stage. If his rhetoric is followed by carefully implemented policies, they might initiate a restoration of balance between countries of Europe and beyond.
Cameron’s insights however come a decade too late and it’s optimistic or naïve to say that perhaps the statement given is a way of reflecting back on Britain’s own arrogance. Germany, together with other countries, ensured restrictions on free movement of migrants and ‘buffer’ period for the newly joint EU members in 2004. Britain hadn’t. It has now paid a fair price for its own short-sightedness and greed – in benefits. I’d call it mutual, if unequal, exploitation. For maybe that was the initial premise, to let migrants fill the economic gap at the lowest level, at which the Brits were too lazy or ‘educated’ (but not skilled) to perform? Or perhaps just a slice of grandeur, convoluted generosity of a wealthy Western country which today, Britain had ceased to be.
I’m writing this from a perspective (aka identification) of a white, educated migrant who arrived in England even before her native country was part of EU. I took full advantage of the opportunity and it served me well. In the meantime I observed workers in factories working for less than a minimum wage, disadvantaged because they could not communicate in English, reliant on manipulations of one manager who could. Alongside I experienced the other side of the coin as a public service interpreter and watched how the system was abused by those who came to UK, sometimes 6 months before, without a word of English but high expectations of the state to provide for them. That goes for people from non-, old- and new-EU member states and many from the ex-Commonwealth countries. Britain had to become a host for parasites before it finally looked at what’s going on in its insides. About time. That is why I welcome Mr Cameron’s proposal. The move, if it goes ahead will not only let Britain learn its own, true boundary but could also improve opportunities and conditions for those who work in this country, both migrants and natives.
How Scotland and Wales participate (or not) in the immigration game might define their future. These two are very different from what is represented as England, in mentality, geopolitics, attitude and social make up. It seems that Scotland was not serious enough about Independence but it is within Divine law that no Dream will ever descend on Earth if practicalities are not prepared. On the ground, in administration and infrastructure Scotland was not prepared to go it alone without substantial damage to itself. Mr Salmond’s bravado failed to convince the Cosmos his intention of independence was indeed a dream, not a fantasy.
However, it will now become clear if Scotland has what it takes to keep going and inspiring others or if Referendum 2014 was just a pre-mature ejaculation of enthusiasm. Fireworks are spectacular but short-lived; the real work is to keep the fire burning until enough of Spirit gathers to birth an independent thought which will then sponsor Its country on every level, practicalities first. Then asserting boundaries, not division, will become relevant.
I’ve been recently inspired by an article, Re-Thinking Middle East written by Avi Melamed. Although Melamed writes about media (which in my view have no moral backbone documenting only what fits and by lack of objectivity contribute to the escalation of conflicts) his article reminded me of a phenomenon I had been observing almost since my emigration to UK in 2003.
In psychology projection is a “theory in which humans defend themselves against unpleasant impulses by denying their existence in themselves, while attributing them to others. In my experience projection happens also with the positive attributes (but to a lesser degree) to everybody and every day. In politics however this can take a form of an open or secret bullying of nations which are perceived as lacking something or needing correction by the West (here I mean US and UK). Needless to say it happens within societies and ethnic groups of the same country also.
Now, we have countries like the USA, considered the leading world economic power when in fact the country is in the unrecoverable debt, telling other nations what to do and how to govern. Democracy is failing or is absent altogether in a lot of states yet the USA insists on imposing the system onto countries of a totally different inheritance, culture, mentality and capacity. The arrogance, lack of respect, education and integrity (while waving a flag of a peace-bringer) in this behaviour are soul-cringing. Unable to look at their own mess Americans with obedient poodles from UK go and create mess elsewhere. See Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan. It seems post-WWII reputation of the USA has never been properly investigated or re-evalued.
The West had always been aggressive, I sometimes wonder if what is happening right now is not a projection of its impotence over and lack of understanding of the old cultures. The cultures that had created the British Empire and are the roots of a modern American society.
That said, I am a biased European.
Further reading: Noam Chomsky. Failed States: The Abuse of Power and the Assault on Democracy