This series features writing from inmates at the El Paso County Criminal Justice Center. The articles stem from weekly programming facilitated by the Colorado College Prison Project. Through contact between the CC community and Colorado Springs, this series aims to simultaneously broaden CC perception of incarceration issues and provide a platform for incarcerated writers. The El Paso County Sheriff’s Office requires approval of written material prior to publication and the removal of authors’ last names. The opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the EPCSO or the Prison Project.
Many of the problems that challenge us today are global. Problems such as climate change, pollution, poverty, hunger, depletion of resources, and overpopulation can be traced back to a profound tension between what is good and desirable for society as a whole and what is good and desirable for an individual. This great divide between self and society is certainly a catalyst for my proposal of a “NarcEmpathic Synthesis” as a panacea in the face of a well-meaning but ultimately misguided opposition to globalization. The “NarcEmpathic Synthesis” is not meant as a contradistinction, but rather as an encompassing view of a spectrum of totality or the sum of existence. Perhaps it is time to develop a universal mind and embrace societal goals as we blur the dividing lines, question what we are told, and accept that we are one.
In The Achieving Society, David McClelland describes the societal need for achievement as “a desire to do well, not so much for the sake of social recognition or prestige, but for the sake of an inner feeling of personal accomplishment.” McClelland used this quotation as a definition of entrepreneurial success. According to McClelland, if the need for achievement is widespread in a society, then entrepreneurship will be widespread also. I sense a familiarity in that statement, for it reminds me of Thoreau and Gandhi’s similar suggestions of being the change we wish to see in the world. Applying this entrepreneurial spirit to our societal evolution with our addictive nature, we may find the solutions we so desperately seem to need. Maybe a re-education of the masses isn’t necessarily what we need, but rather an initial education to teach self-awareness and the effects of our existence, for starters.
As we grow and develop, it becomes a sort of fascination to explore our minds and then eventually convey our thoughts. Communication is born in an attempt at knowing ourselves as well as validating the very thoughts we’ve spawned. Communicate, formulate, translate, and incorporate to know and share knowledge by being an artistic appreciation of existence.
If open minds lead to an open society, then we must face that closed minds will produce, at some point, a closed society. Space may be the final frontier, but first let us embrace the things that face us here. Red pill, blue pill, it’s all the same if we remain slaves in another master’s game. Let us explore our minds and break the chains of freedom. Let us stand the courage of our convictions and embrace the fate of limitless possibilities instead of being imprisoned by imaginary walls and inhibitions.
Orwell’s “1984,” Ayn Rand’s “Anthem,” and the movies “Idiocracy” and “The Matrix” are some examples of dystopian futures resulting from closed minds ultimately becoming closed societies that remain divided and thus conquered. I believe a certain balance must be acknowledged and celebrated for the betterment of the universe or multiverse that is ultimately and essentially us. The balance of light and dark tend to glorify one another’s existence and therefore are justified.
“Between the experience of reality and the abstractions that have grown from it, a luminous space opens up, where mind and nature merge into one.” – Sir Herbert Read
The ultimate thing that should encompass us in our being and the message we deliver is love. The ultimate goal of the “NarcEmpathic Synthesis” is love. Aleister Crowley said, “To love is the law, and should be the whole of the law. Do what though wilt, but harm thee none.” If we love ourselves, we can love others, and perhaps this line of reasoning will continue until we see how we are one.