Friday, December 05, 2014

Maybe the violence/ aggression post was too narrow-- TWO NERVOUS SYSTEMS—APOLLONIAN vs DIONYSIAN—BOTH RIGHT


Once there was a panel from a number of successful communes throughout the country. When asked what the central problem was, a large majority said: Dogs!
My dog’s barking and doglike behavior is great to me, but may be annoying as hell to another.
(Same with my frisky child, seen by another as my bratty child)

This is my third time around on the slapping issue, slapping as a part of the Authentic Games nights,  and having had the epiphany that for some people this is a big kick, and in a certain way, I don’t have a right to interfere with that kick, set the quietness in motion from which these reflections can take place.

The “problem” is age old in societies. Does the perky young neighbor’s right to have a hell of a good time having a noisy party at 1 AM come first or my wish to have some sleep starting at 11.
The dogs issues shows it’s not an age thing, though it often plays out that way.
Taking it down a notch more, does the Toddler’s right to bang the hell out of the pans and learn about gravity by pouring the milk on the floor over ride the parent’s desire for some order and peacefulness.

And then there are the two nervous systems. Parasympathetic calms us, creating conditions for digestion, sleep, relaxation. Sympathetic ( I know, it’s a weird matching) is to jack us up, get us ready for fight or flight or sex or vigorous activity ( no surprise sports and war language going hand in hand).

Both have their cool sides. Jacked up, hyper alert, ready for anything, this is ecstatic dance at it’s loudest or any of the old orgiastic times, called Dionysian by the Greeks, for the god of drink and merriment.  Thrashing around the campfire, letting off steam, or getting ready for the orgy, or charging up in war paint to go off to war.
No doubt about it, this is a fun one.

The calmer nervous system is more boring sometimes, and cultivated say in slower, more mindful movement, tai chi and whatnot, or mindful walking or meditation, or moments of quiet in a busy day.
The Apollo  way, Apollonian, calm and ordered. Which actually isn’t how real meditation is, but that’s another story.

So the slaps come along. The shouting comes along. Not my cup of tea. My hearing on the left side and my sight in my left eye are both considerably weaker. Think through where a right handed slap from good old Mom would land.

But that doesn’t mean for the young bucks, this isn’t a hell of a great chance to experience something young bucks have been experiencing as long as we’ve had these two nervous systems, which is a pretty long time.
Young bucks, let’s say in this day and age, includes women who don’t want to deny that frisky wild woman part.

I could yammer a bit more about ecstatic dance vs what I used to call the geriatric dance (Dancing together), and why I liked to go back and forth between the two, but the fun of this now, is realizing: both sides are right.
We need peacefulness.
We need alert vigorous living.

How does this fit in the Authentic Games room?
I’m not sure.

I do know someone slapping in my sight, or shouting in my hearing range, has to activate my parasympathetic nervous system.
What I don’t’ know, that I thought I did when I jumped into this fray, is whether that’s anything I have any right to want to restrain or put conditions on.

Ah, life. Uncertainty can be very sweet at times.

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