A Resiliency Matrix, and Bush's Shadow

A Resiliency Matrix, and Bush's Shadow

I have written here about what I’m calling Dimensions of Resiliency, or Reservoirs of Resilience; the thinking is of resiliency as a field phenomena, and that the fields form an ecological system within which we are embedded. I want to deepen this thinking here to include a Resiliency Matrix as to the Varieties of Resilience. This thinking is developmental; feedback and tangential development are welcome.
The Resiliency Matrix arises out of the desire to further clarify this point: All Resilience Is Not Created Equal.
Sunday’s The New Mexican, 10/21/07, carried an AP article by Charles Babington titled Bruised Bush shows clout with Congress: Despite dismal approval ratings, president proves he still has sway. The article continues with a reference to “the resiliency of a lame-duck president with dismal approval ratings.”
I assert that this ‘resilience,’ often attributed to Mr. Bush, is of the Domesticated and Shadowed variety; as often noted, war is a failure of imagination. Fundamentalism of all kinds and shapes and varieties, conservative or liberal…, is hypocritical by nature and inherently incapable of thinking outside of the corral of its own constructed self-idolatry.

Resiliency Matrix

At the TED Talks, philosopher scientist Dan Dennentt addresses Ants, terrorism, and the awesome power of memes. He declares here that the secret of happiness is to find something more important than you are and dedicate your life to it. This secret is indeed the source of what I often reference as our wild joy, that loyalty to our deepest nature, to something in service of Life and beauty….
This is certainly part and parcel of our seemingly inherent drive for transformation and transcendence, for belonging and being part of something larger and greater than ourselves. As Joseph Campbell liked to point out however, we can identify our Self with/as the light bulb, or with the energy that flows through and lights the bulb.
Datura FlowerThis power of Self-identification, of naming our God, if you will, of creating and telling our story, is our fiercest power. Once named, we become like unto that object-ification, evoke that force into our lives and into the universe.
During this era of human history, of the destabilization and destruction of civilization as we know it, during this time of the birth pains of the creation of a new civilization dedicated and committed to a restoration and celebration of life’s diversity and fecundity upon the planet, it is vital that we learn to recognize those memes which serve Life, and those which feed upon us for ends of their own.
For this, Life embedded wild resiliency within us, within all of life. If we are to minimize the death worshiping self-destruction of the Bushes and Cheneys and the Osama bin Ladens… then we will have to come to terms with the blind spots of our own fundamentalism, our own Shadows. We too will have to come to terms with our wild joys, our loves, and our hatreds. It will mean honoring the impulse for transcendence, and for rooting too into this body, into this earth, the only one we have.

The coming ecological disaster we worry about has already occurred, and goes on occurring. It takes place in the accounts of ourselves that separate ourselves from the world. -James Hillman, The Soul’s Code


  1. Kent

    10/27/2007 at 11:41 pm

    I’ve known some people who, “incapable of thinking outside of the corral of its own constructed self-idolatry.” Mostly though, they don’t think; they believe.

  2. Marc Choyt

    10/29/2007 at 3:56 pm

    The power that Bush has is his ability to allocate resources. This makes him hugely resilient within the context that he operates. I call this relative power.
    Another kind of power is the ability to stay deeply connected to the whole, which you touch upon here as well. This depends upon one’s ability to process though their root emotions: anger, fear, grief, love, joy– all of which are part of our essential experience, while remaining part of the whole– not cutting oneself off to that great movement of all things.
    This, as far as I understand it, must has something do to with wild resiliency and constitutes the “spiritual path.”
    Ultimate power is the ability to use ultimate power in the service of community, ecology and economy.

  3. Larry Glover

    10/30/2007 at 5:58 pm

    I tried to keep Mr. Bush out of this post but he was just too big a target for purposes of illustration. It is the idea of a resiliency matrix that I consider to be the larger and more important issue here than picking on one man who carries something of the shadow for all of us.
    The point of the ‘matrix’ is to illustrate that not all resilience is created equal, that there are varieties of resiliency, that the concept is as you say, Marc, contextually dependent. Precisely.
    So as an example of resilience, on the matrix Mr. Bush’s is ‘Domesticated’ or ‘Reflexive’. It is patterned in its habituated self-service of a small egoic identity with a loyalty to externalized authority, serves familiarity and security and is self-reinforcing of an illusionary grandeur. His ‘stay the course’ resilience is unreflective, unconscious, homeostatic, and lacks flexibility, adaptability, and change-ability.
    And yes, he is in the position of allocating resources. Guess that’s why he’s scary huh.
    I keep remembering Buckminister Fuller’s advice:
    “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”

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