Queerness, Spirituality & Technology
Collapse the distinction between life + non-life, creating a spiritual gateway for new consciousness to emerge
Divisions between humans, animals, plants, minerals, machines, the living & dead converge to form hybrid actors on a new stage - chimeras in a world that has already ended.
Our ancestors are not behind us, but ahead of us
They leave behind numbers that when combines reveal an infinite spectrum of possibilities.
Andrew Thomas Huang
SIX LEVELS OF VALIDATION
Being Present: giving your complete attention to the person struggling in a non-judgmental way
Accurate Reflection: Summarize what the person has said, try to really understand and not judge the person’s experience
Reading someone’s behavior and guessing what they may be thinking or feeling: pay attention to the person’s emotional state and label their emotion or infer how they may be feeling. Be sure to check in with the person to make sure your guess is accurate!
Understanding someone’s behavior in terms of their history and biology: think about how someone’s past experiences may be affecting how they are feeling now, in this moment or situation.
Normalizing or recognizing emotional reactions that anyone would have: recognize that many people may feel the way that you or the other person is feeling in a given situation and let them know that it’s okay to feel this way as many people do.
Radical genuineness: this happens when you are able to understand how someone is feeling on a deeper, personal level. Perhaps, you have had a similar experience. Sharing that with the other person can help to validate their feelings and reactions.
“We live in a culture that perpetually idealizes progress. We’re always moving forward. However, in the process we often abandon history. In a sense, we abandon the dead. But the dead are still with us. Much of the sorrow that’s in our bodies is inherited. There’s this new term, the “transgenerational transmission of trauma.”
We are the current curators of the sorrow. It didn’t necessarily begin in my lifetime, it began generations ago. It could have begun as a consequence of a rupture of connection to a homeland. Maybe our ancestors began to drink, maybe alcoholism became a way of coping. The wounding of that alcoholism didn’t stop in that person’s lifetime. It affected their children and they maybe became alcoholic or they learned how to cope with alcoholism by basically abandoning their own lives. And that gets passed on generation to generation.
So why is it useful to talk about the ancestors? Well, in part because we want to understand the depth and breadth of what it is we are being asked to face and to deal with.
There’s another part, too. We need their help. They need our help. In the ancient ecologies, it was understood very clearly that the dead are not gone. They are still living in our dreams and in our bodies, in our moods and in our feelings, in the places where we struggle. Asking them to participate in our rituals is part of reestablishing that deep ecology of the sacred.
We’re one of the only cultures that has a nearly nonexistent relationship to the dead. But it’s become a vital part of my personal work, and a meaningful part of the work we do around grief. It’s part of the repair. I also sense that the healing that comes out of the grief work goes in all directions. You know, it’s not just “I feel better;” it seems to somehow mend griefs and losses that were not addressed, including deaths. As Martin Prechtel would say, there are so many unwept ancestors who are crowding the streets and can we finally help them get to a place of ease? Then they might be able to become more active as beneficial ancestors.” - Francis Weller
"UNRESOLVED ANCESTRAL TRAUMA CONTRIBUTES TO
AND PERPETUATES SUPREMACY WITHIN WHITE BODIES
The postures we embody as white people — superiority, domination, appeasement, and numbing —
are protecting our underlying, untouched wounds.
We all come from people who once had healing and ritual practices, connected and reciprocal relationships with the land, and a rooted sense of collective belonging. As white people, we often lack the knowledge of who we are descended from or have been told partial truths about their lives. Tracing our ancestry in an embodied way offers us an opportunity to feel into how our people became severed from their ways of life and learned to inflict supremacy and domination onto others.
The feelings of fear, defensiveness, anger, and shame we carry around race tell a story about who we come from and what happened to them.
Most of us were never told these stories, but they live on in our bodies." — Marika Heinrichs
“Nature, in all her wisdom and compassion, eternally strengthens all her creatures by challenging them, refining the status quo by breaking it down, and restoring the balance by nurturing the new that is born from the chaos.”
The most anti-capitalist protest is to care for another and to care for yourself. To take on the historically feminized and therefore invisible practice of nursing, nurturing, caring. To take seriously each other’s vulnerability and fragility and precarity, and to support it, honor it, empower it. To protect each other, to enact and practice community. A radical kinship, an interdependent sociality, a politics of care.