Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Three Important Concepts:

La facultad is the capacity to see in surface phenomena the meaning of deeper realities, to see the deep structure below the surface. It is in that "sensing", a quick perception arrived at without conscious reasoning. It is an acute awareness mediated by the part of the psyche that does not speak, that communicates in images and symbols which are the faces of feelings, that is, behind which feelings reside/hide. The one possessing this sensitivity is excruciatingly alive to the world.
Those who are pushed out of the tribe for being different are likely to become more sensitized (when not brutalized into insensitivity). Those who do not feel psychologically or physically safe in the world are more apt to develop this sense. Those who are pounced on the most have it the strongest- the females, the homosexuals of all races, the darkskinned, the outcast, the outcast, the persecuted, the marginalized, the foreign.

The Coatlicue State is one of the powerful images, or "archetypes", that inhabits, or passes through, my psyche. We need Coatlicue to slow us up so that the psyche can assimilate previous experiences and process the changes. Those activities or Coatlicue states which disrupt the smooth flow (complacency) of life are exactly what propel the soul to do its work: make soul, increase consciousness of itself. Our greatest disappointments and painful experiences- if we can make meaning out of them- can lea us toward becoming more of who we are. Or they can remain meaningless. The Coatlicue state can be a way station or it can be a way of life.

The new mestiza copes by developing a tolerance for contradictions, a tolerance for ambiguity. She learns to be an Indian in Mexican culture, to be Mexican from an Anglo point of view. She learns to juggle cultures. She has a plural personality, she operates in a pluralistic mode- nothing is thrust out, the good the bad and the ugly, nothing rejected, nothing abandoned. Not only does she sustain contradictions, she turns the ambivalence into something else.
The work of mestiza consciousness is to break down the subject-object duality that keeps her a prisoner and to show in the flesh and through the images in her work how duality is transcended. The answer to the problem between the white race and the colored, between males and females, likes in healing the split that originates in the very foundation of our lives, our culture, our languages, our thoughts. A massive uprooting of dualistic thinking in the individual and collective consciousness is the beginning of a long struggle, but that could, in our best hopes, bring us to the end of rape, of violence, of war.

Anzaldua, Gloria. Boderlands, La Frontera: The New Mestiza. 3rd. San Fransisco: Aunt Lute Books, 2007. Print.

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