The Golden Rule's Dark Reflection
Why are white people so scared?
Maybe they are afraid of being lynched en masses from the streetlights of their towns.
Do unto others... And they have.
This fear is sitting on the basement floor of white America. A reckoning that could come. A reckoning that would be understandable. A reckoning that must be kept at bay.
Other countries, such as South Africa and its people, have gone through the fear of such a reckoning. In countries where the oppressors were outnumbered by the populous they were oppressing, the fact and the possibility of this reckoning was always in plain sight for the ruling class.
In India, few hundred thousand Brits ruled over few hundred millions Indians. The Brits were always afraid. They always feared the rolling boil of their subjects rising up, wrenching power from their masters and devouring and eviscerating their pale bellies in a rampage.
Same was the case in South Africa.
In both places, it took the leadership of extraordinary pacifists to create a transfer of power without the exacting of vengeance. And this is a rather novel invention for humanity—the transfer or exchange of power between two groups without the streets running red for it.
But America has never paid its moral bill. Those white Americans whose basements are rattling right now would of course like to declare that no such bill is owed. And to make sure they are never forced to pay it, they must do whatever they can to keep themselves and their kind intact with the reigns of the country.
They have Done.
They are trying hard to assure it is not done to them.
To put it bluntly, what is behind white america's support of a fellow white demagogue is a deep seated fear that they are on their way to being enslaved and subjugated, dismissed and declared subhuman.
Nobody wants that for themselves. Their trembling is understandable.
And who know — once the white people are eventually fewer in number in this great land that has been their land — who knows what terrors are going to leap out towards them. The rage that is roiling in the basement of the oppressed populous of this county, once it is given expression and license, may just come crashing through that basement doors with fangs bared. Once upon a time, the most respected members of white society referencing the science of phrenology made their case that black people were of inferior intellect and thus deserving of slavery. Perhaps once the American majority has turned black and brown, great intellectuals will argue that the inhumanity and cruelty that is the legacy of white America is a clear indication of the inferior moral mettle of the white race, and it therefore follows that white people must logically be relegated to second class status——maybe counted only as a 1/4 human. And they should be forbidden from any positions that require mortal rectitude and responsibility. They certainly cannot be trusted in any position of power. Nor can they be trusted to provide their own children any moral direction. It logically follows that, out of a humane concern for the innocent pale children, they must be removed from their parent’s tutelage early on and raised by the state to perform productive functions best suited to their limited moral caliber.
This fear of a reckoning is turning white people stupid. It is making them reactive, clouding their judgement. And it is turning more and more black and brown people white with rage.
The trouble with the dark legacy of race in America is that this country has never had a catharsis around this grave trauma. There have been resolutions and laws. Those are well and good. But there is a dire need for racial catharsis in this country and no sign or hint of such a catharsis in sight. This particular challenge seems to have overwhelmed and befuddled the American genius.
Here's my solution. It's a bit unconventional, but it can work. This country is in desperate need of a massive D/s scene! This country direly needs some consensually constructed psychodrama. Maybe we do need to hold mock lynchings of white people on our street lamps. Or we can visit the morgues and vandalize some really white corpses and hang em up for real. Maybe we need strapping black men strutting in the shiny boots and starched uniforms of white supremacists, dragging white men and women by leashes along the city streets.
And when that particular scene is over, reverse the positions of man and woman, black and white, oppressor and oppressed. One moment, enact a scene straight out of your miserable history; next moment, turn the scene upside down till its petticoat is showing. Mess up the narrative. Twist the linearity. Muss it all up. Mock and vomit on your ugly past and this echo chamber that just won’t die and then turn it on its ears and piss on it. Then set it on fire. And sit around the fire together and read some passages from uncle Ellison and Whitman. Grab the wounds by their throat and fuck them till they ask for more.
Hurl ever racial slur every which way. Every word that has power beyond what any single word deserves to have, spit that word at each other till that word is laying limp on the floor like a deflated condom, tragic and feckless.
Flog and cane and whip each other till you can sing the misery of those who died with corrugated flesh. Mortify each other’s bodies till your vision turns white and your loins ring with Hallelujah.
Go through so much pain together that all that is left to do after is forgive and fuck each other.
Ask forgiveness of everyone for everything. Take responsibility for every sin ever committed — the ones you have committed as well as the one’s committed upon you. Ask forgiveness of those whom you have wronged. And, as earnestly, ask forgiveness of those who have wronged you. Otherwise, this knife will keep slicing.
Bring out that which is flaming within.
Both sides have one big anchor in common — you are Christians, most of you. Take your lead from the big Man himself:
“If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you.”
Tap into the great American Genius and find this catharsis. Pay the bill that needs to be paid. This bill that needs to be paid is an emotional one. So pay it! Pay it in simulated and consensual scenes before the real bullets and batons and fists set this country on fire.
BDSM Training For Actors
The Size of an Actor
By Om Rupani.
I practice BDSM. I teach workshops in BDSM. I’m also a writer and director. I have long felt that the journey of Dominance & Submission has much to offer and contribute to the acting craft. I have always encouraged my actors to explore this realm, to seek insights and opportunity in it for personal expansion and for their craft.
In this essay I want to explore how d/s exploration can contribute to the Size of an actor.
Stella Adler, The Art Of Acting:
Nowadays a lot of what passes for acting is nothing more than finding yourself in some character. That doesn’t interest me. Of course you have to bring your own experience to bear on the characters you play, but you have to realize right from the outset that Hamlet was not “a guy like you.”
The theater I grew up in was a place where actors did not want to play themselves, as so many actors want to do today. They didn’t want just to play characters different from themselves either. They wanted to play characters bigger than themselves.
In our theater the actors often don’t raise themselves to the level of the characters. They bring the great characters down to their level. I’m afraid we live in a world that celebrates smallness. Am I exaggerating? Yes. Are there exceptions? Of course. Many exceptions? No.
There was a time when to play Oedipus you had to be an important actor. Until thirty or forty years ago to play any major role, whether it was Hamlet or Willy Loman, you had to have size. Writ this down: You have to develop size. That is what we are here to work on.
When you approach a big writer you must live up to what is big in him. You must take the measure of the writer’s size, and find that stature and dimension in yourself. I come back to the word size. Acting has to dow with size. It’s the hame of the game.
How to develop this SIZE that Stella spoke of so passionately? What is this Size? It’s actually quite difficult to define it. It is nowhere to be found on the surface of the actor. It has nothing to do with the imposing presence of his body. It is not about the allure of good looks. It is not about presenting oneself loudly or extravagantly. And yet, we all can feel this SIZE just about instantly in an actor, in a performance.
Sometimes when we encounter this SIZE in an actor who is also blessed with other attributes, we may mis-assign Size to these other attributes. One immediately feels Size in the presence of Denzel Washington or Russel Crowe. But are we responding to their good looks? Their sex appeal? Where is this radiance of Size emitting from?
Size is not charm or beauty or loudness. It is something else entirely. To try to isolate it from the other gifts of an actor, study the great artist, Ben Kingsley!
Gandhi. Sexy Beast. Schindler’s List. So many others!
It isn’t his large or imposing physicality; the man is rather petite. It’s not that he just takes on loud and big and heroic characters. It’s not good looks or charm or any of that. But Mr. Kingsley embodies this quality of Size that Stella talks about to a degree matched by few others.
There is in fact a perception of VOLUME in this Size. We feel something big in the depths of the artist. We feel that their inner space is tremendously large. That their character occupies a very rich inner world, is capable of great emotion and experience. There is an inner, invisible vessel inside all of us, inside of all actors. The size of this vessel tells us what is possible in our encounter with this actor—what range of behavior, what range of sensitivity, what volume of feeling, what capacity for action.
So how can this inner vessel be nurtured and fed and grown? And how can playing in the realm of Dominance & Submission possibly contribute to this growth?
D/s play looks like many things on the surface level. It can be very distracting visually. It is filled with props and toys and outfits and lots of action being done from one person to another. All of that is well and good. All of that is what people who have never examined D/s from within think that this is all that there is to it. Unfortunately, most depiction of D/s play in our films and TV programs haven’t managed to go deeper than this surface level of shiny props either.
What D/s play is, beyond all the distracting and shiny props, is an exploration of our ARCHETYPES. First and foremost, the invitation in this realm is to go deeper into those archetypes that you possess, but have not given permission to really come out and live and express themselves. D/s exploration is about giving permission to the Dom archetype that you may have felt lingering in you for a long time. Or the Submissive archetype. Or the Servant archetype. Or the Trickster archetype.
I believe this is the inner muscle, the inner caliber that D/s play can help an actor in developing his or her Size: Go deeper into your own inner archetypes. FULLY OCCUPY who you are. Occupy your own Shadow Archetype. Occupy your Taboo Archetypes. Give greater permission and greater volume to every aspect of your own psyche and soul first.
Both with actors and with newbies entering the D/s realm, I often get an image of their inner state as a ‘crumpled state’. Imagine there was a life-size paper cut-out of you. And someone took that paper cut-out and crumpled and crimped it all up and shoved that crimped self inside of you. This crimped-up inner state is the OPPOSITE of Size. It is what we feel in a shallow and amateurish performance—even if the lines are delivered without mistakes.
D/s play can become a master school for uncriming our own archetypes. It will show you how to occupy your own space inwardly. It will pump volume into the expression of your repressed archetype. And once this volume is generated, it is available for you to employ in your acting craft.
Of course to create volume where right now there is a contracted and deflated state requires a good measure of courage. This not just an add-on skill. It is very much an invitation for a very rich inner journey. It is an invitation for something transformative to happen to you.
Every actor feels the metaphor of ‘Being a Vessel’. When you are in your zone, in your flow, in your inspiration, that’s what your craft feels like—like who YOU are has become a vessel, and that vessel is the right kind of vessel for your character to come in and occupy—to speak through you, to act through you, to reach out to the audience and stir them up.
How large is your Vessel? This was Stella’s challenge! Is your vessel truly large enough to play Blanche? Or Lear? Or Lady Macbeth? How will you prepare your vessel so that these great souls may come occupy you during your performance?
Going deeper into your own archetypes is one true way. Occupy your own house first! Go deeper into your archetypes and do what you must in order to give them greater room and greater expression.
This can be a tremendous contribution to your journey as an artist and as an actor. And mind you, this is just ONE contribution that D/s play can make to the acting craft. There are many others! In another essay, I will explore how exploring Dominance & Submission can truly show you the heart and soul of a real and believable VILLAIN! That is another very large category of exploration. I tell the actors I converse with: If you learn to do a good job playing a bad guy, you’ll never be out of work. Villains are a gravely misunderstood art from.
Hate loves big categories. Hate functions well on big categories: All people of a certain color. All members of a certain religion. All residents, voters, supporters of whatever.
When a particular emotion and energy ricochetes between any two big groups, you can make a certain bet that that energy is Hate. Big groups are the fast and efficient medium for Hatred.
I’m a brown skinned man in today’s America. I belong in a big Group. In the dismal news of today we have the big groups of Black Men & Cops. In the political conversation (if it can be called that) we keep hearing about the big groups of Muslims and Immigrants. Mexicans and White Americans. Young Voters and Older Voters.
Have you ever seen any one of these groups convince another group of anything? Have you ever seen any insight, any nuance, any understanding, any friendliness emerge between any two of these groups?
The Medium of Hate is the Big Category.
You want to create some love and understanding in this world? You want to make a real contribution to alleviating the misery and violence and vitriol that this country is just about drowning in right now? Put down your Broad Brush! Put down your Big Categories. Put down your THEY and THEM.
Over and over I keep hearing from people I know and people in the media that they truly want to create love with another group. And I believe most of these individuals are sincere. But as long as you are thinking and trying to act in Big Categories, I think your good intentions have little chance of being effective.
Engage one person. Talk to one person. Have one conversation with one human being. Listen to one person’s point of view. Walk in one person’s shoes. Talk to one young black man. Talk to one, big brown man. Talk to one cop. Talk to one unemployed, white middle-aged man. Talk to one Mexican immigrant. Talk to one Trump supporter, and one Hillary supporter and one Bernie supporter. Talk to one person whose reality is different from yours.
Put down your broad brush. Your desire to create big change in society and bring peace between the big groups may be genuine. But the broad brush is a bad instrument for creating that shift.
D/S Training for Tantrikas
by Om Rupani
I practice BDSM. I teach workshops in BDSM. I keep getting one particular inquiry from Tantrikas/Sex Workers/Courtesans over and over. Thought I’d write something about it.
The Tantrika’s request goes something like this:
I keep receiving requests from my male clients to Dominate them.
I don’t know much about Dominance & Submission.
I’m not even sure I want to know much about Dominance & Submission.
I have charge/discomfort/shame with my own submissive side.
I have charge/discomfort/shame with my own dominant side.
Can you teach me something so that I can handle my client?
I always get a knot in my stomach when this inquiry comes my way. This inquiry isn’t quite as dangerous as asking someone, ‘Hey, can you teach me just a little bit about how to dismantle a bomb?’ But it’s headed in that direction. We’ve all heard the saying, ‘A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.’ That saying very much applies here. Acquiring just a little bit of knowledge about this realm and running home to use it on others is a bad recipe! On the lighter side of disasters, you will hopefully create nothing worse than some confusion and breakdown, some emotional turmoil and some bad scenes. On the dire end, you actually could hurt somebody.
My advice here may seem rather plain once you read it, but obviously it needs to be stated:
Don’t try to lead others in a journey you haven’t taken yourself!
Obvious, isn’t it? Would you hire a guide to guide you through a museum or a path or a city if that guide knows nothing about said museum, path or city? Why would you hire such a guide? More importantly, why would YOU want to be such a guide? You would be setting yourself up for frustration and failure.
The premise in my advice of course is this: BDSM is a JOURNEY. It is not a trick. It is not some bit of isolated skill like knowing how to do a few bondage ties or how to swing a flogger. The skills are useful. They are good to have. By all means, learn them well; learn to do them safely. But don’t confuse BDSM skills with the journey of BDSM. If you haven’t taken your own journey in this realm, please don’t rush forward and start leading other people through their journey. And if you have no desire to have a journey in this realm yourself, please bow out and refer your client to someone else.
Often times, confusion is created in this area because your client himself may make a request for a very specific type of handling. He may ask that you flog him or verbally humiliate him. And the reasoning and temptation on your part when you receive such a request is also understandable: ‘I should just learn some flogging or humiliation play so I can give this client what he wants.’ But there is a bunch that is lost between the lines in the request of your client. They may be asking you for flogging or humiliation, but what they are really seeking is TRANSPORT. Any submissive who is seeking any scene with any Dom is seeking this transport. Your client has had some peak experience in the past of entering SUBSPACE. They have come to you hoping you can take them back there again. They are trying to find their way back to that sweet spot they touched at some point. This is the desire beneath their desire.
Whatever helped get them to that sweet spot last time is what they will come request of you. If a flogging session got them to subspace last time, they will come to you and ask to be flogged. So the request for flogging is not just a request for flogging. Nor a request for humiliation or any other X, Y, or Z variety of d/s play.
It is part of a Dom’s knowledge, wisdom and mastery to be able to inquire what is the request underneath the request. And acquiring this mastery takes a bit of time and experience. It can only be reached by taking this journey yourself.
Have these experiences yourself. Feel these states of transport yourself. Walk this terrain yourself first so that you may lead others on this terrain with compassion and skill.
If you try to take a shortcut, the list and variety of harm you can do is rather long. For starters, BDSM play can be physically dangerous if you don’t know what you are doing. The human body is full of vulnerabilities. If you are putting yourself in a positions where you are taking charge over another’s body, handling that body well and not damaging it is your grave responsibility. So please learn to do so properly; don’t just try to wing it. Putting rope on someone’s body without training or doing impact play without any knowledge or preparation is unadvisable. There are many forms of d/s play that are inherently more dangerous— breath play, choking, any kind of pressure around the throat and neck. Venturing into these areas without education, experience and a healthy dose of caution is courting disaster.
The emotional turmoil and mess that you might create if you just plunge into this play without preparation can be just as harrowing. SHAME is one such big boulder that can crush both you and your client if you have not dealt with it within yourself. One of the great possibilities in BDSM play is that of releasing one’s shame, and even possibly turning shame on its ears and converting it into arousal. But to be able to release or play with your client’s shame, you need to have done work to have released your own shame as much as possible. As a Dom, you need to be more advanced on this path of shame-release than your client. If you are not, you are in for a messy ride. Instead of offering your Subs a channel for releasing their shame, you are more likely to get hit and triggered by their shame; you are more likely to judge them and condemn them in exactly the same manner that they are already judging and condemning themselves. If this happens, at the end of your scene you are going to have two people who are cumulatively more messed up and upset than when they started.
If you have taken your own journey and cleared your own system first you will be able to hold a powerful and clear field of permission for your Sub. It’s this clear field of permission and acceptance in which another’s shame can find release. When this happens, there will be more levity and love and self-acceptance at the end of your scene. You will feel it, and your sub will feel it. This is what your sub really wants. This is what they are hoping you can guide them towards.
If someone is requesting or inviting you to Top them, to Dominate them, they are requesting/inviting you to take CONTROL. But control is not a toy. Control is a live grenade! The submissive’s request to a Dom to take control is a BIG request. And the Dom’s decision to take control from the sub is a BIG decision. Please do not enter into this exchange of power lightly. Respect the live grenade. Accept it only when you are solid and clear and masterful enough to do so. Someone offering to surrender to your will is a great gift. And this Surrender can also be a burdensome gift. Don’t take that power without also assuming responsibility for that power.
What is our darkness?
our darkness constitutes Aspects of ourselves that are already present in our nature, but ones that we find incompatible with our ego, our self-concept, our presentation to the world.
Some consequences of our darkness:
Shame. To find any real, undeniable part of ourselves unacceptable is to find it shameful. We think we should know better, be better. We aspire to rise above these seemingly baser parts of our nature all the while fearing we might be exposed, found out.
Guilt. A favorite cousin of Shame. One stands ever-accused in one’s imperfection. And the imperfection seems incurable, unsolvable. Deep down one actually wishes one would be exposed and found unworthy. At least then one could rest---once the darkness has been dragged into light and no longer needs to be hidden constantly. Even Infamy can come to feel a lesser burden than guilt and shame.
Anger. To find peace while finding oneself fundamentally wrong is impossible. One remains divided, one part of us railing against another.
Our anger is seldom contained and neat. Others will suffer from it.
Exhaustion. To suppress real aspects of ourselves takes constant energy. And it is a lie. The adage about lies applies---one has to keep track of one’s lies to keep the story straight. This can get quite tiresome.
Confusion. Lies are confusing. Especially ones that are close to our self, ones that we are telling to ourselves. Every aspect of us has its needs and desires. While denying certain of these desires and needs we can muddle all of our desires. It can become difficult to know what one’s true motives are for anything.
Distortion & Leakage. Denying reality is a tall order. One is never entirely successful at it. Whatever we are denying will find a way to exert its force in our life. It will find a channel, a back door. This leakage tends to hurt those close to us. And it can be corrosive to those other sections of our life that we are proud to lay claim to.
Depression & Misery. Since we cannot admit to our darkness, we often cannot admit to the emotional toll that is being generated by darkness. First we bury aspects of ourselves that we find less than admirable, then we bury the emotional consequences that follow. Doing this---burying our anger, fear, guilt, shame---can render us depressed and stagnant.
Judgement. Our judgement against ourselves very seldom stays inside. Often it becomes the voice of condemnation towards others---many times the people who reflect and remind us of our own darkness. This is our confusion and anger functioning as a misguided missile. The fuel for these missiles is alternatively our self-righteousness and self-loathing. Many religious teachings have tried to provide guidance to us when we are at this juncture of judgement.
A Second Rate & Dull Life. By denying parts of ourselves, we lead a partial life. We become a house whose many rooms are sitting locked and stale, an engine that is firing on a fraction of its true power. Ultimately this is the path of convenience and cowardice---the life of quiet desperation. The next great discoveries of our lives might be waiting for us in those places that we keep saying don’t exist. To do this is to scorn our make up and our creator.
What sets the stage for our darkness?
Two factors: One internal, one external.
Internal Motive For Our Darkness Is Ego Maintenance. This is the real matter. This is where facing and making room for darkness is in fact a spiritual practice.
It’s the voices and judgements we have internalized that need to be examined. The parent, the priest---all the authority figures whose love and admiration we are seeking. We are all creatures of ego and presentation. This has its roots in survival. We learn what works and what doesn’t work in the family, in the school, in the world. We try to adapt and expand on the characteristics that are rewarded and hide and shun those aspects that are punished.
In time these choices crystalize and become our identity.
To grown up spiritually is to examine this crystallization. We become curious about our true nature underneath conventions. This curiosity is the spiritual spark. To ask, ‘Who am I?’ Our spiritual journey hedges on our willingness to let go of existing self-concepts on the path of discovery to ‘Who am I?’
External Motive For Our Darkness Is Social Consequences. Our individual ego is linked into and supported by the collective ego of our family, tribe, country. Each of these hold us to a certain criteria of presentation and behavior. My suggestion in this area is: Be Practical.
I am not for changing everyone’s mind or for forcing my ideas on people. I am more interested in my own journey. The real matter is about knowing oneself, being at peace with oneself. With the world, do what you must to get along, to retain your peace and prosperity. If you must be two-faced with the world, be. Don’t be two-faced within yourself. That is the real matter.
If you search, you will find your people, your tribe. The ones with whom you can let more of yourself out. These will be the friendships that encourage freedom.
On Harming Others.
People often say that they fear if they really let themselves be fully who they are, they are likely to hurt others.
I don’t have much faith in the efficacy of repression. If hurting others is in your nature, chances are you are already doing it. The difference between being aware of it and doing it consciously or letting it leak out of your system unconsciously is this: If you do it consciously, it will be a finite amount that will eventually bleed out of your system.
Know that all actions have reverberations and consequences for your life. This includes actions of repression. The actions you take in a fog while unclear about your motives will only be more karmic, more burdensome. Live and act with awareness and in time there will be lightness.
There have been great masters who have claimed that it is impossible to do any real harm if whatever you are doing, you are doing with full presence. Try it out. See if it is true.
We Believe Our Darkness More Ask people to name their virtues and they will admit that they don’t exemplify their virtues all the time, that quite often they fall short. But there is something that happens with those aspects that we want to hide from others; our presumption becomes that they must be true all the time, that is why they must be hidden all the time. By suppressing our darkness we give it more credence than it deserves.
In The End You Are Neither! To fully realize your humanity you will need to embrace both your brilliance and your darkness fully.
In your divinity, you are neither light nor dark. All characteristics slip away like costumes.
If you have been give a costume, play the part it requires, so that you may learn its lessons.
That’s where the joy will be found. That’s where you will be able to see the play of it.