tracking the colonizer

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October 2, 2020
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October 2, 2020
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What does it take to be a colonizer? 

To do the things, to cause the harms, to reap the destruction that Colonization has wrought? 

What does it take? Do you know? 

Do you feel separate from it? Do you feel it is hard to understand what could drive this dense force? 

This age-old Wetiko that continuously devours? And Devours. And Devours. 

Let’s try and track it. Find it. Look at it. 

So it will not live unconsciously inside. 

I ask again…

What does it take to be a colonizer? 

Let’s start with the dictionary definition. 

(The English dictionary definition.) 

verb

(of a country or its citizens) send a group of settlers to (a place) and establish political control over it.

“the Greeks colonized Sicily and southern Italy”

Similar:

settle (in)

establish a colony in

people

populate

pioneer

open up

found

overrun

occupy

take over

seize

capture

take possession of

annex

subjugate

hegemonize

come to settle among and establish political control over (the indigenous people of an area).

“they sought to discredit the peoples they were colonizing”

appropriate (a place or domain) for one’s own use.

So. 

What does it take to be a Colonizer?  

It takes a painful, unconscious hunger. Maybe a justified hunger for some. Maybe a hunger from true lack. Or a hunger for more than you need. For more than you have been given within the lands that you were born. Within the lands that you rule over. Or the lands that you steward. 

It takes a certain idea of power that is tied to property, to land, to wealth, to military force, and to a desire to leverage this power in order to forcibly get whatever you need or want or crave or lust after. 

…Let’s pause. Let’s acknowledge how parts of that view of power may have lived inside us in some form or another, and how it has caused harm.  

What else does it take to be a colonizer? 

It takes being a bully. Seeing other people and beings as instrumental. As pawns in a game. As usable. As less than you. 

It takes a disconnection from the wise awareness that the wellbeing of others, of ecosystems and animals and waters and oceans, is tied to your own wellbeing. And that kind of disconnection takes a lack of lived experience of Love, of goodness, of wellness, of dignity giving, of respect and reciprocity for all Life of which you can feel the resonant and beautiful repercussions. It takes disconnection from holistic connection. 

…Let’s pause. Let’s acknowledge how this kind of disconnection has lived inside us at some point in our lives and caused harm.

What else? What else does it take? 

It takes a lack of knowledge. A lack of good science education and indigenous science understanding married with eco-spiritual and intuitive wisdom. 

It takes a lack of ability to hold paradox! And Paradox is EVERYTHING. It is what keeps the world in balance! It takes a lack of nuance, curiosity and space for queerness.  

It takes upholding a Newtonian worldview over an indigenous worldview. It takes elevating the pursuit of reductionistic knowledge over the pursuit of true understanding. And these are very separate things! 

It takes a sense of being better than, more civilized, more ‘right’ and more worthy of deciding what needs to happen for Everybody. ‘Cause you the man! (And that’s the royal You) 

…Let’s pause. Let’s acknowledge how a lack of understanding has existed for us at times in our lives and caused harm. 

What else – what else drives colonization? 

Whooosh! Here’s a big one. 

It takes the ability to reduce, compartmentalize, and commodify that which is meant to be your intimate kin. 

It takes separation of men and women into gendered roles  and responsibilities and the resultant degradation of what is ‘female’ – what is woman – and with this came the degradation of the wild that lives in every home. Because women are wildneress. And men and women are equal in wildness (naturalness, interconnectedness), but men became more separated from wildness themselves with the domestication of their female counterparts. And so – it’s just a hunch, and maybe I’m bias – but the first instance of separation from wildness happened when men separated from true, deep, and respectful intimate relationship with women. From seeing woman as sacred, as equal, as revered, as trusted, as honored, as vessel, as creative life force, and the power and necessity of their leadership. 

It takes the domestication and commodification of ‘the wilds’ in general. Denaturing. Imposing unnatural conditions. Interrupting cycles. Taking without asking. Extracting without the ability to replace. Without permission.

It takes Rape culture. 

…Let’s pause. Let’s acknowledge how the degradation and subjugation of woman and ‘the wilds’ has existed for us in our lives and caused us to treat what is ‘female’, women, animals, lands, and people groups as objects and commodities to be extracted. 

Hmm. Already a lot – but can there be more? 

What else does it take to be a colonizer? 

It takes paternalistic, patriarchal belief systems that work from the lens of power over. That deems the act of sowing seeds as more valuable than the act of BEING fertile soil. It takes mistaking physical strength and protective instincts and abilities for a sign of superiority rather than a powerful responsibility. It takes the fetishization of White maleness as the standard for strength and power and worthiness of the highest entitlements. 

And within that power structure, it takes relieving yourself from and compartmentalizing honour. Convinced that dishonoring and manipulating one is okay in service to a more important other – whether it is king, country, money, faith, or self. Dog eat dog. Survival of the fittest. Rational self interest. And no room for weakness. No room for truth if it threatens your grasp on power. 

…Let’s pause. Let’s acknowledge how patriarchal beliefs and competitive self interest may have led to actions that disregard the sovereignty of others and cause harm. 

Okay. We’re almost done. I mean. We could go on and on. 

What else does it take to be a colonizer? 

It takes separation of the deepest kind. The kind that is taught from the day you are separated from your mother’s womb and from your mother’s wisdom. The kind of separation that disconnected your mother from her own wisdom. And your father from his own wisdom. The kind that makes it dangerous to be in Love. To feel. To express. To be sensitive and sensitized. To be sensual and sexual. To be in awe. To be moved by the irrational. Humbled by the wilds beyond your experience. And infinitely curious. 

It takes separation from your body and the bodies of others. It takes being blinded from the knowledge that your body is intricately woven with the body of the earth. It takes divorce from your place in the order of things, in exchange for you ability to give the orders and get the things. 

…Let’s pause. Let’s acknowledge how there has been deep separation – a severance – at work in places in our lives and how it has caused harm to both ourselves and others. 

We seeking to ‘decolonize’ are standing in the unknown, the place between stories, right here and now, fervently and assuredly making a new stand for coming back to LIFE. Coming back to Heart. Coming back to reciprocity. Coming back to our embodiment. 

Asking to be woven into the fabric of all life once more. To be able to feel and live into the fullness of life with each other once again. 

To decolonize is not just to repair or make up for harms, it is to SHAPESHIFT! To change your contours. To become your full animal self. To re-inherit your wildness, your naturalness, your nature. To fall in love so deeply with the world that you begin naturally to heal, reshape and revive it.  

To decolonize is to ask the universe for a brand new name. And to be courageous enough to begin the journey to earn and inherit it.

And in a beautiful twist of the fates, the colonizer becomes the decolonizer. 

Becomes the medicine for the healing of Earth and its beings. 

Becomes a living paradox. 

Becomes able to witness, integrate, and heal the force within her that will no longer be capable of conquer, conquest, extraction, manipulation, exploitation, devaluation, or other actions birthed from a separated, deadened heart and experience. 

She allows herself to enter a sort of homelessness. 

A necessary exile from the benefits of her culture 

From the spoils of the status quo

From the good favour of the people 

Eschewing acceptability 

and resisting the pressure to be cooperative 

Docile 

Pragmatic

Comfortable

Or in the good graces 

Of bad players.

Decolonization is like 

going walk about 

It is

A self initiation ceremony 

That extends across the years

that brings your body

Back into the fold of 

True colourful Community. 

Back into the mycelial network. 

It is coming back to LIFE.

And this great turning makes you capable of love 

Far more elastic responsive and whole

Far more intimate and met and reciprocated 

Than you have ever known. 

Decolonization is reconnection. 

Reconnection is decolonization. 

Track your disconnection to its source

Practice decolonization. 

Shapeshift.

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