15 Aug 2011

Mars and the England Riots

The recent riots on the streets of London and several other English cities have shown an outbreak of violent and aggressive behaviour which has shocked and stunned. Alongside this, and in swift response, the taking to the streets of bands of ordinary people armed with brooms, brushes and clean-up equipment has been a welcome antidote and a superb gesture of solidarity within the affected communities.

Expressions of the planet Mars can be found in both the behaviour of the rioters and the behaviour of the clean-up squads, the fire fighters, the police as they stood confronted by the violence and the powerful and dignified plea for peace and no more violence by bereaved father Tariq Jahan in Birmingham.

Mars represents the psychological drive to assert, take action, and survive by either fight or flight. It is associated with the sense of smell, which can alert us to danger, and it rules the adrenal glands which produce adrenalin and enable to us to take action and respond.

Mars operates at 3 distinct levels which can be described as

"Asleep" automatic survival behaviour with little or no self-awareness, such as anger, aggression, action to ensure survival;

"Waking" behaviour which is coming into greater awareness but is largely "me" oriented, such as assertiveness, competitiveness, an awareness of goals, bellicose and conflict behaviour, physical expression of energy and recklessness;

"Awake" behaviour which is fully conscious, directed and focussed, such as courage, focussed leadership and heroic action.

The rioters and looters were expressing and living out Mars at mostly the Asleep level, with some elements of the Waking level included, for example in the bellicose, the expression of conflict when confronted by police and ordinary citizens, and their reckless and mindless "me, me, me" behaviour.

There's an overlap of expressions of the first two levels of Mars between rioters and others - those who confronted the looting gangs. Fire fighters, police and the ordinary people who saw off gangs of rioters to protect their own property were of neccessity being assertive, with the goal in mind of preventing damage to people and property and they were using a lot of energy to do this.

But the main thrust of of Mars' drive and expression for those who confronted and acted in the public good to protect and lead was at the Awake level. At this level, fear doesn't get much of a look in, although it's there. The person will include their fear but not allow it to dominate. Instead it will be directed towards energising them to stand firm, show leadership and heroism and courage in the face of danger.


Barb said...

Hi Joyce,

Yes, lets not forget those different shades of grey concerning Mars.
It is both good and bad, and all this brute energy has to be disciplined. But, I think that the human race could have not survived without it.

Wishing you courage too, for your activities.

Joyce Hopewell said...

Hi Barbara,

You are quite right that the brute energy of Mars has to be channelled & that it can go both ways. When used for good it can be formidable & unstoppable - and that's where courage and bravery and leadership come in - Mars at its highest level.

Courage a vous aussi!

Joyce x

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