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Thanks

Apology

Chapter 1 Where to Start

Chapter 2 Language and Giving

Chapter 3 Reciprocity

Chapter 4 Definitions and Exchange

Chapter 5 The Concept of Man

Chapter 6 'Marksist' Categories

Chapter 7 The Collective Source

Chapter 8 Castration Envy

Chapter 9 Is = $

Chapter 10 Value 157

Chapter 11 Shifting into Exchange

Chapter 12 Giving Value to Exchange

Chapter 13 Market and Gender

Chapter 14 Deserving to Exist

Chapter 15 Pointing and Patriarchy

Chapter 16 The Point of the Ego

Chapter 17 What Does Democracy Re-Present?

Chapter 18 The Unmasculated Agents of Change

Chapter 19 Dreaming and Reality

Chapter 20 Giving and Love

Chapter 21 From the Garden to the Grail

Chapter 22 Cosmological Speculations

Chapter 23 After Words Practicing the Theory

Index of Figures

Selected Bibliography

Return to Home Page




Chapter 16

The Point of the Ego

I believe that consciousness itself derives in part from the interplay of different levels of cooperation. However, in patriarchy we not only become conscious but we also form the masculated ego-consciousness as follows:

When we (or others) attribute a sample character to ourselves, making ourselves the point, just as we would to something in the external world, we also become our own topic, the thing 'pointing back.' This self-referentiality ties the knot, shuts the door, blocks the view of its antecedents, reflects. It takes the place of the other, interrupting the other-oriented flow. We give credence to this shut mirror-door (it seems to be a mirror not only because we seem to see our selves but also because others are engaging in self-referentiality too). We believe in our own presence to ourselves, as if it were the source of ourselves. We create from it a dominating ego, as a sample against which we can compare the various moments of ourselves (our internal many) and others more or less like us externally. We nurture this moment of internal equivalence which is self-similar with the other internal and external enactments of the masculation process.

The result of finding a gender identity through becoming relative to the father as equivalent is reinforced by replaying the over-taking equation back into the individual consciousness through self-referentiality.1 Then instead of nurturing others, we value equivalence over nurturing even internally. This eventually develops into valuing being over giving, abstract over concrete, general over particular--though of course these are not all concomitant. Instead, the true continuing source of our selves is interactive and comes from our other-orientation--the presence of others to us, our presence to them. We mistake our common projections of our self-referential self-reflections for the center of our creativity. However, the source of our ability to see those projections and to give and receive lies concealed deep within our other-orientation, like the fire that casts the shadows in Plato's cave.

People with masculated egos verbalize, like everyone else, creating their linguistically mediated consciousnesses. The self-referential ego mirror becomes the over-taking speaking subject, but this is not a social or psychological necessity. We can have linguistic mediation, interaction with others, development of the self without the dominating ego mirror--which is 1 = 1 = 1, repeating the content of the hall-of-mirrors of the equation. In fact, many women feel ill at ease in our individualistic capitalistic society because we usually do not have this kind of ego.2 Many men are also uncomfortable because, in spite of the pressures of masculation, they have maintained a connection with the mothering model.

Free (Masculated) Will

The self-similarity of every 'one' with the index occurs also because we can actively implement the indication, moving towards the sample, like the finger. From the moment in which we focus ourselves in a self-similar way, backgrounding some parts of ourselves, making ourselves internally one-many, we can initiate action towards a goal, a topic, a destination which we have singled out. We often call this 'will.' However, at that point we are usually not taking into account the giftgiving or communicative impulse on the other side of the ego mirror-door. The giftgiving motivation appears to be part of the many--part of all the rest of the contents of our consciousness we are not attending to. We may or may not let our e-motions, our other-oriented impulses, get through the door to cause us to ignore the mirror and to satisfy others' needs. Our 'right' motivation, the point of our actions, appears to come from the self-similar reflection.

We calculate, "What is best for me?" The need for this filter has been created by the competitive context of patriarchy. We also need to know 'who we are' for the purposes of survival.3 We have to be able to say what gender, class, race, religion, sexuality we are so, knowing our definition, we know our place in the hierarchy and the rules that apply to us--how to survive in the system, be less vulnerable. The self-similarity that occurs at different levels allows us to say, "This is like me; this is not like me," making ourselves again according to the masculated images in different areas of life. The ego in relation to the subconscious is also a kind of concept sample with the resonances this has on the external, from family to government, which are also made in that image. Women's experience is usually somewhat different from men's because we are defined by men and when the man-word takes our place in marriage, we become the sample 'thing' whose place is taken by the 'word.' We 'know' our place in the system is not to be on top.

We could look at the ego with its will as another icon of the index, literally moving the body towards its object or destination (with other aspects of the self held back). But when we do caring, need-satisfying work, our behavior re-aligns with our motivation 'behind the mirror-door.' When we engage in over-taking, ego-enhancing, other-denying (exchange) behavior, we expand only the self-similar moment, the mirror, recalling the moment of comparison in the concept. The values of the masculated ego filter out giftgiving behavior.

There are of course variations on this self-replicating situation. Some women find that it is possible to have an other-oriented ego which can create self-preservation. It is also possible to do post-masculated giftgiving, as men and women do who support their families with the salaries they earn. In post-masculated giving, as in consciousness, there is a filter, the budget, which depends on prioritizing needs. It is not need-driven, as it would be in abundance, but availability-driven.

In the couple, men traditionally take on the role of the ego, women the role of the nurturer, the many, the subconscious. The person who has been discredited, even abandoned, as not-like (not similarly self-similar) returns as the nurturer of the self-similar (male) standard. Her giftgiving way is filtered out of the public arena and focused in the family. Her energy nurtures and upholds the filter, the public arena and those who succeed in it.

The Salary and the Ego

Ego consciousness itself is a kind of exchange-and-masculation-based filter mediating between the ways of giftgiving and of exchange. Property ownership also filters out giftgiving, but women's consciousness is usually socialized to continue giftgiving. Participation in the labor market allows a reconciliation of the two modes after the fact. The worker supports a family by giving to it from the 'property' of his/her monetary definition--the salary. The market is based upon masculation, and its process is therefore more attuned to those who have experienced that process as boy children.

For women, the market is an external context in which they can of course succeed, but it does not resonate with their original categorization. Earning a salary and supporting a family resolve psychological conflicts which a woman does not originally have, so it does not have the same effect for her. The advantage for her is that participating in the market can resolve the practical problem of the 'have-not' status, and it allows some women access to privileged categories constructed by patriarchy.

The salary, a portion of the general equivalent, determines what category a man in the traditional family is in, what he is 'worth.' Then by giving part of his 'money name' to his wife he can 'heal' his masculation. Money is a temporary replacement for the gender term 'male.' He could not share 'male' with his mother, give her all or part of his gender name, but he can share his money name with his mother's successor, his giftgiving wife. The salary determines what he can receive and what he can give and, therefore, is a filter, like the ego. Judgment about one's identity seems to determine what a person can have, since s/he becomes adequate to it, treating it as a self-fulfilling prophecy.

The houses a person helps to build as a construction worker take the place of the gifts of nature and become the property of someone. However, the worker's monetary 'name' often does not give him/her enough money to buy them. His/her 'giving' to the community (as exchange) takes the place of individual other-oriented giving and creating community with his/her family. The 'money-word,' $, takes the place of that act of substitution.

Males or females who give their salary to the family are like the person who gives the name 'male,' the name that privileges the boy and makes others give to him. But the boy receives the 'name' because he has the 'mark,' like the price tag. When a man supports his wife and family with his salary, he is giving her the 'name' even though she doesn't have the 'mark.' When she produces a son, however, her lack is resolved. She seems to merit her husband's sharing of his money name by bearing a son.

The relation between women's free labor in the home and the husbands' salary is influenced by this transposition of the gender definition and is not identical to exchange. He gives her part of his money-name, while she continues to give free caring labor which is not defined by money or quantitatively assessed. His salary is the re-incarnated word with which in scarcity she can buy the means of nurturing, so that she can continue to do free giving with all its qualitative variations. (It is almost as if she were made dependent upon his masculation, his gender term, for the means of nurturing--her own breasts being the prime example of these means.)

By sharing the money name with her, the husband names or categorizes (and corners) her caring labor as 'for him.'

All of this has now been reworked by the entry of women into the labor force and single parenting. Women themselves work for the money name and supply the means of nurturing for their children. Thus it is clear that money is only a 'word,' a trans-lated gender term, which anyone can potentially acquire. Like the gender term, it is not biologically but socially based. Earning a living empowers some women by making their survival less tentative and dependent on a male's earning power. However, the whole exchange economy is a product of masculation and necessarily makes most people into 'have-nots.' The economic masculation of some women will not solve the general problems caused by psychological and economic masculation of the society.

(Hetero) Sexuality and Killing

Gender and its result, male (dominance)-based-heterosexual sexuality, over-take nurturing as the model for both sexes--fitting in with language which takes the place of material co-munication. Just mentioning the gender of the child seems to tell us that gender (i.e., difference from or similarity to the mother), and eventually sexuality, is more important than nurturing. The boy's physio-cultural difference from her is more important than her nurturing way. Similarly, killing with a phallic index symbol, which can be seen as transposed (hetero) sexuality, is more important than nurturing. The animal or person submits and becomes passive to the will of the shooter.

However, the animal that is killed by the over-taking phallic index can then be used for nurturing: like the woman who is dominated, over-taken, upon whom her dominator can become parasitic. Hunting itself is like exchange because the object, the receiver of the 'indication,' is transformed and re-categorized. It becomes the property of the hunter, separated from its will, like the product which is separated from its owner in exchange (or the child from the mother by his gender definition.)

Then the shooter kills other men (his competitors) for protection of his property or his nurturer or his nature or his masculation mechanisms--or for the safety of all of the self-similar masculation mechanisms collected together in his father-land.

Post-masculated nurturing usually requires re-cognition (another look-alike of exchange). Women (and less powerful men) nurture the dominator, and he works through the very mechanism of masculation to nurturing of a sort, over-taking and/or 'contributing' in that strange way. Male consciousness allows post-masculated giftgiving instead of non-masculated giving. The 'mark' is like a case ending in language, which shows this is his role. He has that 'case marker' (or 'tag'), and so can traditionally only give in specific socially determined de-personalized ways, which involve alienating the product, giving to the community, to others in general, in exchange for the 'money name' by which he can become a privileged receiver. It is this strange model the boy has to imitate.

Money, too, can be seen as a collection of quantitative case tags. As legal 'tend-er,' the tags say 'pay to bearer.' Like a transformation from active to passive, the price tag and the male 'mark' also indicate that their bearers must be treated as the receivers of specific gifts. Then the more possessions or money, the more case tags a man 'owns,' the more he controls and the more he 'deserves' to receive.

The dominated woman gives up giving sexually to anyone other than her husband, and materially to anyone other than him and her children. The shift of modes from gift to exchange, from maternal to post-masculated giving, becomes identified with the mark of the male. The icon of the sample shifts to and implements over-taking. And the penis itself changes, becoming erect. It does not have a self-similarity like the hand, a repetition of the relation of the sample to relative items in itself, so it has to find its identity as 'one-to-many' outside in a relation of competition with other males' penises for superiority. Then all men are considered 'ones' with relation to women (who do not

fig

Figure 32. The gun is a mechanism constructed out of phallically invested indexes of different sizes.

have the 'mark') as many, and they practice domination upon them to prove their superiority.

Shooting

The index precedes the penis as an instrument of both sexual and non-sexual knowledge and, in fact, the penis is not necessary for identifying anything. The (false after all) identification of penis and index has perhaps been turned around so that the index appears to be a detached penis, which then may be transposed to become the bullet or the arrow. Also, saying it makes it so in masculation and in shooting. "It's a boy" and "Bang, bang, you're dead" have similarly alienating effects. By identifying something as one of a kind, you may exclude its other possibilities as an individual constant object. Shooting is made in the image of masculation.

Pointing at the boy, naming him as 'male'--that explosive noise--takes him away from giftgiving life. The index is the trigger finger and the shift in levels is like the trigger mechanism, which is also a shift in levels, as the finger moves back to shoot the gun. The word is the sound of the bullet, which names the 'other.'

We point the finger, picking out or indicating a sample object; then we speak the word, naming it, moving from non-verbal to verbal. The explosion accompanies the contiguity of the transposed index with the object which it penetrates. We move from the index concept icon (plus the concept-action of singling out) to the word. (See Figure 32.) The penetration of the other by the bullet-'gift' is really a service to the ego of the 'giver'-shooter. Shooting reinforces the exchange logic while the violent penetration of the body (and heart) of the other recalls and reinforces rape. The gun and the penis both function as 'ones' to allow their bearer to achieve privileged 'one' status.
fig

Figure 33. The arrow is an over-taking 'one' pointing at a sample, one out of the many (E pluribus unum). This indication is not of some product to exchange but of a living being to kill.

The bow and arrow are made to function by holding back the string, then releasing it, so that the attention-energy is transferred onto the arrow. Like co-operating fingers held back to let the index point, the fingers pull back the bowstring. (See Figure 33.) The same thing happens with the index pulling the trigger, releasing the hammer which has been cocked, onto the pointing bullet. Like holding back, then releasing the word and/or the pointing finger, the strength of the many supporting the one comes forth explosively. The energy of what is withheld is focused onto the index. Perhaps an analogy may be drawn with the many actions involved in hunting--going to the forest, looking for the prey--the many co-operating actions which feed into the kill, over-determining it.

When we point at animals or people with a gun to kill, we must hold back our giftgiving impulses towards them, making them samples which will become dead objects--the animal useful as food or the person as elimination of danger or competition. We steel our will internally against other-orientation or giftgiving (poor rabbit) then single them out externally, taking life's gifts away from them, making them passive things. The internal mechanism of singling out, at the same time setting aside giftgiving, is like the mechanism inside the gun. With our index finger, we pull back the trigger-index; the hammer-index falls upon the bullet-index, making its charge explode and go forward through the phallic-index-gun barrel. The bullet-index hits the animal's or person's heart, stopping his/her internal giftgiving, transforming him/her into an object in our possession.

The explosion in the chamber of the gun matches the explosion in the chamber of the heart of the one who is killed, and also in the heart and mind of the killer, or perhaps in his penis, where the pointing and the over-taking analogously make something come explosively from the sample pointer. Masculated will = penis = gun, and there are economic analogies as well. It takes an internal exclusion of giftgiving to create an external exclusion of giftgiving in the body of another, through the internal mechanisms of the gun, which are explosively externalized.

The spear or gun or bow and arrow point out and kill. The sharper focus backgrounds the life of the animal, giving value not to it but to the life of the pointer and the concurrent death of the animal. Then the prey becomes a gift of food. So hunting is a close analogy to pointing for communication because the killed animal becomes shareable, a gift, like the item that is pointed out. Similarly, the death of the enemy killed by pointing knives, spears, guns and missiles becomes a shareable gift for individuals, gangs, the army and the Patria.

This blood-soaked gift, our common ground, is divided into our properties which we again defend from one another with guns and knives. Whole armies point at one another, their technology made in the image of the reified pointers which show that they are in the superior category, abolishing the 'other.' In years of international tension, missile silos dot the landscape and missile-bearing trucks circulate, ready to raise their pointers and shoot their warheads at the enemy. From the knife to the gun to the nuclear missile, from the armed individual to the armed forces, the reiteration of the definition and the mark of 'male' transform our civilization into an immense fractal pattern consisting of self-similar images of masculation at different scales. The pattern self-validates and drains the energy of everyone and the planet into its agendas, sacrificing millions of human lives. However we may color and disguise the pattern, it is an ugly picture.

In ancient days the hunter only transformed the animal into food, property, a gift. A common attention circle, a circle of hunters, a council fire, a cook fire, a stove, a stage, accepted the gift. The topic--the fire, the food, the nurturing gift--became the common focus and the 'thing' related to a word, the repeatable sample. The gatherers and farmers also brought together their harvests. The topic was gathered using gifts of the past, past topics, past gatherings and council fires, individual points of view together. We are the others who the gifts of past hunts and harvests are also for, and who make them exist again for the people of the past, letting them still exist, even if they didn't know it as they conversed and ate. We also leave gifts for the people of the future.

Generations are like water flowing down a cliff, making pools, then overflowing and going on and making more pools. The common focus is a gift. In other words, an 'extra' that comes to us in the present and the future is that other people from the past can do it too, sit in the circle with us as we can with those of the future. 'One-many' dominance does not contribute a topic or a gift for others in the future because the goods it provides are not shareable, since they are monopolized by the one or used for constraint. The 'many' all give to the 'one,' not to each other.

Giftgiving Versus the Hall-of-Mirrors

Giftgiving is often discredited as crazy because it threatens to interrupt the fractal hall-of-mirrors. Common attention to others makes the self-similarity of the ego unnecessary, irrelevant. In fact, giftgiving is enhanced by the diversity of the others to whom one gives (among other things because their needs are different from the giver's and thus occasion growth and variety, not competition). Because giftgiving threatens the economic exchange paradigm and its ego structure, we exclude it from consciousness and force its female practicers into isolation, though they are legion, in the family.

There, they can be counted on to ensure the maintenance of most of the children in spite of numerous and overwhelming difficulties caused by scarcity. As isolated givers, mothers often endanger their own survival by giving too much in a localized way without being able to change the social structures. The 'catch-22' here is that they cannot change the social structures because giftgiving is not recognized as a viable alternative, and they cannot recognize its real viability until they change the social structures.

Being committed to something against all odds is one strategy people can employ to demonstrate its importance. However, doing giftgiving to self-destruction seems to prove it does not work because it annihilates the giver. Instead, the context of scarcity itself and the separation of givers from each other cause the destruction and extenuation of the givers. Others would have to begin to follow the model of giving in time for its practicers to receive from others, as well as give (even if this might have the appearance of exchange.)4 For these and many other reasons, giftgivers have to recognize what they are doing, name it and practice it consciously. It can really be viable only when it involves many and creates a context, as a general, not an individual, solution.

Nevertheless, because giftgiving threatens exchange, other seemingly benign obstacles are put in its path. For example, 'humility' is its necessary virtue (don't brag about it)--a fact which keeps giftgivers from asserting themselves as models. A man setting boundaries, protecting 'his' woman, is really protecting his giftgiver, for himself, against her giving to other males. The internal structure of the ego-oriented masculated male is the interpersonal structure in the traditional couple. Patriarchal family values assert the right of dominating parasites to their giftgiving hosts. The phallus as the index invests the masculated male (or his ego consciousness or will) as index, so that he tends towards over-taking and domination of giftgiving, including the domination of his own internal gift motivations. If another external sample male 'points back' at him, the two of them must obviously compete for dominance.

The ego is one-many regarding other elements of the self, other people's egos, and all the samples that can be picked out in the world. It becomes relative to some larger samples as its equivalents, like the little boy to the father. From ancient Egypt to the modern US, large phallic symbols of the state, embodying the father of the country, Washington monument style, impose a relative status on many otherwise privileged samples. All the citizens of a country can patriotically unite with each other relative to their country as one (with regard to the many other countries), with its ruler as their national sample human.

The personality cults of recent leaders, whose mammoth images dominate public spaces, are examples of this. Until recently, in communist countries enormous pictures of the heads of the movement looked down on the meeting places of the masses. When Kim Il Sung recently died in North Korea, the television showed the crowds beating their breasts and weeping before the immense statue of their leader. The preservation of Lenin's body in his mausoleum in the Kremlin gave the Soviet Union an image of the constancy of the masculated ego-will, while the toppling of his huge statue with pointing finger outstretched is another case in point.

Destination

The difference between many of the self-similar levels is the time it takes to carry them out. The time it takes to say a sentence is briefer than the time it takes to exchange, so you can also do more of them together. Masculation itself takes years. We are indexes ourselves; our movements towards a goal are indication gestures. We can indicate the goal or actually go to it, to touch it. We have future orientation, a goal or destination transposed onto time from space. We can also point back at where we have come from spatially, and back in time.

Pointing may take as little time as lifting a finger, or as much as it takes to travel to a destination. We act like the index when we go along a path from a point of decision at which we single out our goal. We choose a location to which to go, which is one among many. We can look at this metaphorically--also as the ends which 'justify' (or over-take) the means.

A goal which is identified as the destination or point may be something other than the satisfaction of a need. Is our motivation for travel ego or other-oriented? Exchange seems to allow us to do both or neither, only increasing the (money) sample. Caravans traveled to distant destinations to trade. Travel is like the phallus is in sex, going to a destination. The pioneers' journey to the West, conquering nature, pointed out 'virgin' territory where the men with index-guns killed the men with index-bows-and-arrows and then embedded themselves parasitically, homesteading on 'free' land.

Horses, with their large energy, can appear as phallic indexes as they gallop towards a destination. Cars are similar, but we can actually travel in them together, indicating a destination, and pointing out points of interest as we go. The road and the scenery are foregrounded and backgrounded in a constant flow; the road at which the car points and the common destination are topics held in common. The mechanism here is a foregrounding and backgrounding one. We pay attention to the foreground and self-consistently do not look at the background, which flows into the past. But it is the mechanism as a whole that overcomes the non-mechanism processes--which we do not see. (Is the index's shift of modes an original proto technology?)

Then we point our rockets at the moon to conquer it--and put our little flag pole on it when we get there. Our scientists rush to the goal of making a bigger bomb, winning the war, and produce a nuclear mushroom which points out its own unmistakable phallic character, murdering hundreds of thousands in the short term, and millions or billions long term, through (invisible, unindicated) radioactivity. We can kill with the index, but creating requires the whole hand.

Changing Hands

The other side of foregrounding is the backgrounding we do not pay attention to, but which is just as much an activity. In pointing, the drawing back of the many fingers is as intentional and energy-consuming as extending the index; yet we hardly consider it, perhaps because we focus on the repetition of the one-many pattern between the pointer and the pointed-at. But the other fingers are helping the index by drawing back. Drawing back some fingers is part of the intention of extending one finger. The same thing happens interpersonally, when some people step back or give-way to let the other one step forward. It can be part of the same intention of the group. However, since our focus goes onto the one (or sample) it does not go onto the many. Then it is easy to forget them (as masculated 'samples' forget those who are giving and giving-way to them).

There are two 'manys'--the many fingers which are part of the hand--perhaps also re-presenting the other internal items or considerations the indicator is not attending to--and the many on the external, the other things which are not being pointed at. If the fingers actually help the index, by analogy the things on the external 'help' the one in focus to come forward by giving-way or giving up being the focus. In the family, women have traditionally been the excluded fingers; outside the family, they have been the excluded items. In the OBN, male pointers vie for the position of the one in focus, as well as pointing at their superiors all the way up their hierarchies.

Perhaps this is supported by the fact that the penis does not have other 'fingers' to exclude. The other fingers have just disappeared in the transposition and psycho-social 'evolution' of the sign from index to genitals. If the penis is the 'finger,' the male body is analogous to the hand.

I would like to propose that 'man' comes from manus (Latin for 'hand'), as the body-hand with the penis-index. Wo-man would thus be the womb-hand, the whole hand which creates and gives.

Taking the others' point of view is part of giftgiving. Males (and females) usually stop doing it when they give up giving. Meanwhile, many women give up pointing, or being the point, and they take the point of view of men's pointer, which needs to point and to become a 'sample.' We help men. We look at what they need and at what they point at because our point of view has been excluded. It has been held back, excluded for and by them and, therefore, we do it to ourselves as well in order to make theirs work as a focus and to support them in being a sample, over-taking us. Sometimes there comes a point at which we cannot take it any more, a point of departure. Then we take a stand from the point of view of giftgiving, which can see itself.

Giving and nurturing are typically done with the hands, to which having or lacking the penis are irrelevant. Even the baby's pointing can be seen as a request for a gesture of giving by the mother, an attempt to elicit her wo-man's womb-hand. As nurturing men who take care of their children have recently shown, the pointing hand can transform into a giving one. I am pointing this out in order to elicit the gift of that transformation not only at an individual but a social, systemic level.


1In fact, the result is the focus, the 'sample' self, the one. Once we begin to count, we require a context of 'ones.' Saying one 'one,' two 'ones,' etc. and one times 'one' equals 'one,' probably requires a knowledge of other 'ones,' from some other context.

2Perhaps intuiting the role the definition has for the male identity, we hang on men's words, hoping they will tell us we are 'beautiful,' 'intelligent,' 'a good wife.' In this way, we almost create a self-referential ego in their image.

3The patriarchal investment of the sample position invests the ego sample with over-taking when it wouldn't be doing it on its own. Also, males see themselves as 'ones' because they are giving up giftgiving and other-orientation, for self-referentiality. I think the experience of the ego is 'anchored' in the body much as Neuro-Linguistic Programming theorists say other types of experiences are anchored.

4Co-dependence therapy interprets the givers and the people with un-met needs as excessive. It focuses on healing individual dis-ease, not on the diseased system, which is creating a context of scarcity and thus generating enormous numbers of un-met and un-meetable needs (which are actually used as economic motivators). Altruism is creative and life-enhancing, except when it is captured and drained by a dominator or rendered impossible by a context of scarcity. It was once estimated that 98% of the people in the US were co-dependent. That percentage seems to me to be clearly the red flag of a misinterpretation. It is normal to be altruistic. We are not being allowed to freely practice our normal nurturing behavior, because our means of nurturing are being robbed by the system, as well as by privileged 'ones' inside and outside our families. Co-dependence theory and therapy, by validating not giving, allow us to solve individual problems and live in the exchange system without challenging it.

For-Giving Chapter 17

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