A Meditation on Violence (Giving it to You Straight)

Where violence is concerned, I think, women [and men] want people to give it to them straight.

As much fun as I have engaging in and teaching techniques, lives are changed when people start to gain a better understanding of violence as it could be used as a tool against them, to either dominate/manipulate them or destroy them. Being able to discern between the two—1/Antisocial aggression/dominating violence (including dueling aggression); and 2/Asocial violence (predation)—is critical.

Violence intended to destroy is usually asocial and hits you rather silently (like a bee sting or a snake bite) and, seemingly, out of the blue. All rapists (except, say, some date rapists and incest perpetrators) fit this category. Violence intended to dominate is usually antisocial, erosive, and is characterized (typically) by a lot of posturing (like a silverback gorilla beating his chest, or a monkey shrieking and throwing his poop, or a bull rampaging in a China shop). An angry driver (in full-blown road rage) can fit this category; so, too, can a drunk fraternity “brother” (or similar individual) at a football game, where the home team’s not doing so well. Being able to discern between a bee and an angry driver can be really helpful. It’s also helpful to know that everything that happens has a rationale behind it. Often, we just didn’t see all the energies that led up to our being attacked. If we can learn to pick up on those energies and learn, too, to pay attention to (and avoid) situations…

1/Which foster the assembly (or collection) of such energies…

And…

2/Which funnel such energies to a particular time, space, and place of releasing confluence (like when we go to a stupid place, at a stupid time, with stupid people [or where people are milling about stupidly with nowhere to go and nothing constructive to do])…

…we can reduce—almost entirely—the likelihood of our experiencing violence.

In my heart, to avert the perpetration of any physical violence whatsoever, I’m willing (and have purposed to allow myself) to be completely humiliated by someone engaging in antisocial aggression.

Likewise, in my heart, I’m willing also (and have purposed) to use the tool of violence asocially in my efforts to disable (or even kill) someone perpetrating (or intending to perpetrate) asocial violence on me or someone around me. Even if it results in my own incarceration or injury to the point of either permanent disability or death, I will do such things.

These are all very dark and tough things to think about…

And to prepare for…

And…

Let alone, to implement.

If you ever want to talk about these things, feel free to reach out to me.

Some Background Info:

Inordinate Violence, a definition…

The disordered, unregulated, unjust, immoral, and abusive use of physical force, coercion, destructive action, or verbal admonition or injunction to injure, abuse, damage, or destroy a person or being, or to infringe upon the natural rights and dignities of said person or being, or to distort or profane the reputation or dignity of said person or being.

Ordinate Violence, a definition…

The ordered, regulated, moral, and generative (life-preserving) use of the tool of violence to stop another from exacting inordinate violence on a person or being.

Antisocial Behavior, a definition…

The use of social skills in a negative way to dominate another person.

Asocial Behavior, a definition…

The lack of motivation to engage in social interaction, or a preference for solitary activities. Asociality may be associated with avolition, but it can, moreover, be a manifestation of limited opportunities for social interaction or relationships. Developmental psychologists use the synonyms nonsocial, unsocial, social uninterest/disinterest. Asocial behavior is distinct from, but not mutually exclusive to, antisocial behavior.

Sociopath, a definition…

A person living with antisocial personality disorder (ASPD).

The most recent edition of the “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders” (DSM-5-TR), which mental health professionals use to diagnose mental health conditions, defines ASPD as a consistent disregard for rules and social norms and repeated violation of other people’s rights.

People with the condition might seem charming and charismatic at first, at least on the surface, but they generally find it difficult to understand other people’s feelings. They often…

1/Break rules or laws.

2/Behave aggressively or impulsively.

3/Feel little guilt for harm they cause others.

And…

4/Use manipulation, deceit, and controlling behavior.

Examples of famous sociopaths, who are/were killers: John Wayne Gacy and Ted Bundy.

Examples of famous sociopaths, who are not/were not/may not be killers: Elizabeth Holmes, Bill Gates, Hilary Clinton, and Bernie Madoff.

Psychopath, a definition…

A person who engages repeatedly in criminal and antisocial behavior without remorse or empathy for those victimized. A person with a personality disorder indicated by a pattern of lying, cunning, manipulating, glibness, exploiting, heedlessness, arrogance, delusions of grandeur, sexual promiscuity, low self-control, disregard for morality, lack of acceptance of responsibility, callousness, and lack of empathy and remorse. Such an individual may be especially prone to violent and criminal offenses.
A person diagnosed with antisocial or dissocial personality disorder.

Examples of famous psychopaths: Jeffrey Dahmer, Joseph Mengele, Charles Manson, Richard Ramirez,
Jack the Ripper, Albert DeSalvo, Elizabeth Báthory, David Berkowitz, and Albert Fish.

Who’s missing from the above list? Interestingly, Adolf Hitler. Most psychiatrists and psychologists to not believe Hitler suffered from either sociopathology or psychopathology. Many, though, indicate (for good reason) that he suffered from significant mental illness. The list is pretty long:

1/Hysteria, histrionic personality disorder.

2/Schizophrenia, paranoia.

3/Psychotic symptoms due to drug abuse (Hitler was addicted to cocaine).

4/Narcissistic personality disorder.

5/Sadistic personality disorder.

6/Borderline personality disorder.

7/Post-traumatic stress disorder.

8/Abnormal brain lateralization.

9/Schizotypal personality disorder.

10/Bipolar disorder.

And…

11/Asperger syndrome.

Whew!

You say, “Violence is never the answer.” I say, “I believe that, sometimes, deploying the tool of violence is the only answer. Why else would Jesus advise H-his follower to carry their swords [see Lk 22:38] as they ventured out into the world on mission? Why else would Jesus say that the Kingdom of Heaven is an expanding arena of redemptive and repatriating violence, that it advances violently, and that violent (for good!) men [and women] lay hold of it by violent force [see Mt 11:12]? And… why else would Nehemiah command each of the remnants [of the Babylonian Exile] under his charge to, in one hand, marshal a sword and, with the other, work to rebuild the wall surrounding Jerusalem [see Ne 4:18]? I’m sorry… but, sometimes, violence is the only answer. I believe that the first twenty minutes of Saving Private Ryan demonstrates very clearly the warfare context of our life here on planet Earth.