When healing is impossible, try transformation

To the young, a small cut is nothing. It heals up in no time. Older organisms get cuts which don’t heal. Cells within the wound work against healing. The whole area must be cut out so that the organism can heal.

We are at that stage as a nation. The nation has a deep wound which is festering. Two vociferous camps each are convinced they have the truth and their opponents are evil and must be eradicated. One of these camps has dug out a niche in our universities and from there has infected government and business. This camp is known by the acronym DEI, though DIE is more apropos since its goal is to destroy an evil nation. The legions of diversity, inclusion and equity folks do begin with one correct assumption.

Four stages of the adaptive cycle of ecologically resilient systems.

America has many flaws and has made many mistakes. We must not forget those sins and insure they never happen again. But the DIE folks take “never forget” to an entirely new level. DIE folks pick at the scabs of slavery and colonialism and regime change and won’t let them heal. They want these wounds to be wider and deeper. They encourage people to see themselves as victims, not as healers.

They are a power of destruction, similar to the Indian god Shiva. Shiva’s role is to destroy the universe in order to re-create it. But the re-creation cannot be done by Shiva or the DIE destroyers. The only thing they create is a powerful alliance of DIE trainers and administrators who feed on healthy tissue created by others. Their common goal is subversion of the present system to make all sectors of society feed the beast which is DIE. They have much in common with authoritarian zealots in many countries who have hijacked nations for their own benefit.

I saw that first hand in an organization I worked with for thirty years. For most of those years, it was a creative force, moving our agriculture and food systems toward more resilience, sustainability, diversity and opportunity. But the forces of DIE gradually seeped in from academia until the focus of all its programs was undermining all white farmers and the incurably racist agricultural institutions of America. Since the vast majority of US farmers are white and male, their overt denigration has created a less and less effective organization.

The destroyer god Shiva is countered by Vishnu, the preserver and protector. He is conservative. His counterparts in America sees the good in America and seek to preserve it. These folks have dug in their heels and revile and reject the DIE folks at every turn. They are convinced that the DIE folks are evil and must be eradicated.

But Shiva and Vishnu, destroyer and preserver are both aspects of Brahma, the creator god. In ecological resilience, preservation, destruction and creation are united in a cycle which leads to continued adaptation to disturbances. All organisms and species have periods of rapid growth, followed by maturity, which is interrupted by disruption. Then reorganization/rebirth/re-creation brings the cycle back to rapid growth.

The trimurti of Hinduism: Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva, three aspects of ultimate reality (Brahman).

In India today thousands of temples are devoted to Shiva and Vishnu, but only two to Brahma. Similarly in the US, we have many devoted to DIE and many devoted to conservatism, but few devoted to building a “more perfect union.”

Our nation has a wound which cannot be healed. The rift between the DIE crowd and the conservatives is too wide. And their mutual demonization insures that neither group can heal the rift.

A third force of reorganization and re-creation is needed. It will recognize the wrongs done in the name of America, but it will not vilify most of the nation as irredeemable. Instead, new institutions will be created based on the assumption of redemption. And DIE folk who vilified other races and groups must also repent in order to be a part of the redemption.

Redemption and repentance are a part of Christianity, but they are present in all religions and in the science of ecological resilience. Resilience is achieved only when past mistakes are recognized and transformation achieved which mitigates and adapts to disturbance. The DIE disturbance can be overcome only through new institutions which are more effective than DIE-infected entities.

Of course, its also possible that the DIE crowd and the conservatives will continue to demonize each other and make the wound fester and no creative new institutions arise. Then the nation continues its descent into the extinction which occurs for all non-resilient species, cultures and organizations.