Nonviolent Communication, the Trivium, Natural Law, and the Human Potential Movement
Part 1: NVC and Philosophy (Trivium and Natural Law)
Written Dec. 2018/Edited, updated, and revised June 2021 (corrections will not be in the video so reading the Essay is recommended )
For those of you new to my work, some of my work is about deconstructing the false ideologies and belief-systems that prevent people from gaining the knowledge of Natural Law. This may offend people who are attached to these ideologies, so this is my disclaimer. This is going to be the first presentation in a New Education Series that will be going into depth on the topics of philosophy, psychology, and science in the context of our current conditions and of course Natural Law. Today's Video-Essay will be about philosophy extending into psychology. And just to give an update, I'm still finishing this monstrous book project on Natural Law and Critique—which will get technical about philosophy. We must have the metaphysical basics understood so that true psychology and true science can emerge.
NOTES: First, a few terms need to be defined, and the last specified.
First is the term PROXY which means a substitute or false version of something; that which takes the place of something real. Mark Passio calls this “reversal of meaning” showing how it is used as a mind-control weapon. For example, man's law is a proxy for Natural Law. Part of the reason why people fall for false ideologies is because they mimic truth; this is essentially what deception is.
Next is Apophasis which is a method of inquiry to arrive at truth by eliminating known negatives; to understand what something is by what it is not. It is “sffirmation through negation.”
Finally, new age/postmodernism will be used sometimes as broad categories including many ideologies of the 20th century. Of course a deeper analysis would differentiate between various schools and camps but all have a similar underlying basis that will be our focus.
If you haven't been to the What On Earth Is Happening Podcasts, it is greatly recommended. Mark has aggregated a vast amount of research into a simple framework that would save anyone decades and more of time. Also, if you have benefited from Mark's material consider making a donation, just letting you know I'm not affiliated but recognize the tremendous value here.
In reference to the conditions of human slavery that all false systems of authority generate will be clips from the movie 1984.
From the Natural Law Seminar:
Prior to the difficult task of gaining spiritual knowledge, is APOPHASIS: the process of eliminating all false ideologies/religions and belief-systems that modern education has socially-conditioned us with. Through correspondence, knowledge of the cosmos correlates to Self-Knowledge and we integrate the two through action. Besides the task of gaining knowledge, one must develop epistemological methods of truth-discovery in the application of PHILOSOPHY, which means learning the BASICS of language, comprised of general grammar and the categories and processes of logical thought (as studied in the Trivium). This task is very critical, which most postmodern philosophies deliberately complexify and obscure. In fact, the destruction of language can be easily seen with the overly-intellectualized relativism of modern linguistics and general semantics.
We live during the times of the APOCALYPSE when spiritual knowledge has been publicly REVEALED. This is the era of de-occultation. The control system of human slavery has been de-occulted, revealing itself to be an immoral system of masters and slaves operating through moral relativism, ignorance, apathy, and non-holistic/dualistic consciousness. Also de-occulted is the All and Natural Laws behind creation, a metaphysical necessity for the existence of objective Truth and Morality. Natural Law is a body of knowledge consisting of various aspects that NEED to be understood individually and as a whole in order to attain holistic consciousness. This is no easy work. In addition to outward extensive study, the process of INITIATION regards internal work. People who haven't done the work on themselves will find it difficult to receive truth, as their worldview structure actively fights against truth.
DOWNLOAD: 2012 TRIVIUM STUDY GUIDE by Tragedy and Hope
Doing the final steps of this takes great psychological understanding, sensitivity to emotional nuance, and communication skills. Thus, it is no surprise that many Trivium users and individuals who see the value of methodology (grammar, logic, and rhetoric) to ascertain objective truth have found the need to incorporate the emotional aspects of reality. And several years ago, there was a movement to combine NVC, Nonviolent Communication with the Trivium. Nonviolent communication takes us back to a model developed in the 1970s by Marshall Rosenberg, a model that lives well today, having been developed in 60 countries. Here is Rosenberg's Workshop in full:
Gaining the knowledge is only the beginning as next we face the task of UNDERSTANDING, which regards psychological apophasis, inner work, alchemy, and redemption; involving identifying/correcting errors and immoral thoughts and feelings, deep self-reflection and receptivity to higher truth, the contemplative inner dialectical method, and learning the purpose of emotions as to gain mastery over them by integrating knowledge. After UNDERSTANDING, there is union in mind and heart that must unite with action as expression. When we are attempting to speak and share truth with others, we are now engaged in the Great Work in the communal space of interaction.
Let's summarize the fact that we have described the archetypal three-fold Trivium process of (1) knowledge/information, (2) understanding/processing, and (3) wisdom/action, a multidimensional linear and nonlinear process, in which we gather correct information about the world, assimilate it, and then take action.
The clip at the 34:56 min. mark reveals its most basic assumption. A woman in the audience states, “Since coming to these presentations I have been very aware of hearing evaluations in myself and other people and so I started to wonder, are all of those violent communications, or would there be a way that some of those evaluations according to this model are not violent?” Rosenberg responds, “Any evaluation of others that implies wrongness is a tragic expression of an unmet need. Tragic in the sense that it decreases the likelihood that we will get what we want, even if we aren't saying it aloud... and it increases the likelihood for violence. What could be more tragic than that, than expressing ourselves in a way that decreases getting what we want and increases violence? "
The reason for the attempted union between NVC and the Trivium is that many recognized the imbalances that occur with a strong emphasis on logic, which can be alienating and exclusive and ignores our need for human connection. In a sense, this was a drive to be more holistic in the use of the Trivium, even if unconsciously... but this movement never truly reconciled the division between mind and emotion or de-occulted their relationship that Natural Law is central to. Recently, the NVC debate has resurfaced with the Natural Law community, as we never got to the root issues. Because I did not find an adequate presentation on the topic and individuals in the community were seeking understanding, I decided to make this Video-Essay and will attempt to deconstruct this topic with the Trivium and Natural Law, to be as close to objective truth as possible.
The Truth Movement has brought awareness to Global Conspiracies to the Seven Hermetic Laws. When talking about mind and emotion, we speak of the masculine and feminine and so let's recap the birth of the Truth Community and the value of True Freedom. After social feminization with the new age, there was a strong necessary wave of the sacred masculine to call out new age bullshit and the feminine fallacies that prioritize feeling good over objective truth.
But for those who have debunked the false spirituality of the new age with Natural Law, there is another ego trap in the identification with spiritual knowledge that can cause blindness and promote pride, superiority, elitism, and self-righteousness. Hyper-critical judgment can be reductionistic in the land of complex psychologies and can fuel what holds us back from evolution when reinforcing ego and shadow, the two things we must continually refine. Here we emphasize that spirit, which correlates to feminine emotion is just as important as mind. Getting our spirit in alignment with the Objective Good is incredibly important. One can have Natural Law Knowledge while being self-destructive when the mind is not balanced with the spirit. But we want to leave the sick feminine spirit of the new age behind.
Having the spirit of empathy and communion with others without being alienated by knowledge is the next step for the initiates of Natural Law. Thus, it is understandable as to why the subject of NVC has re-emerged as an archetypal desire to get in touch with the sacred feminine. The correct feminine spirit is the big picture understanding that we are one and we have been everything which we criticize. The evolutionary journey is from the lowest demonic plane to the infinite All, and we are all of it... therefore judgment and compassion merely reflect Self-Knowledge and self-understanding, not war and condemnation. Holistic consciousness is not about sacrificing the masculine for the feminine or vice-versa; it is about the "dynamic balanced inter-change" of both in their healthy state. That's a Walter Russell reference for you. The principle of gender is the fundamental polarity that creates all matter, in which movement, expansion, and contraction of the physical world are based on, as the mental and spiritual are embodied in the physical.
When the masculine doesn't have the feminine, it is too restricted—operating in a closed loop with myopic vision, where one cannot grow, but when the feminine doesn't have the masculine it is too fallacious, insincere, ambiguous, and chaotic. Yes, the feminine has the desire for connection, but if it is not based in Truth then such a desire will project false connection. We have to seek truth and the connection to the Infinite All within, before we can have true connection with others. Our understanding of the feminine and our feminine expressions should NEVER violate logic and reason, while our masculine expressions need to include the range of emotional experience with the flexibility of multiple contexts. Attaining unity consciousness means synthesizing the emotions and the mind as to base both in objective Truth and Morality. When the emotions come into alignment with truth then they become the intuitive detectors for greater levels of reality that logic alone cannot observe, as to even help logic expand. In this presentation, we will only scratch the surface of the relationship between mind and emotion.
Natural Law and the Trivium
Before we start, it is important to discuss the relationship between the Trivium and Natural Law, since there has definitely been a strong divide in the Truth community with the formation of these two camps. Even though Richard Grove at Tragedy and Hope helped Mark Passio record the Natural Law seminar, you will find his podcasts and others of a similar nature, like the School Sucks Project, rarely discuss Natural Law. The reason is that Natural Law regards occult and esoteric subjects, spiritual principles, the evolution of psychology and consciousness, and reality-creation ... and is more than a basic rational understanding of anarchy, law, and the logical principles of exoteric philosophy. Ultimately both go together. Natural Law involves topics like holistic intelligence, metaphysics, Divine Origin, transformation of Consciousness through refined ego/shadow (ego and shadow never go away until the Return to the ALL but become more refined over time), and understanding of Archetypes, as fear, ego, and shadow are merely the polarity of Love, Self, and the ALL, the apophasis of, as well as the various archetypes of mother (feminine), father (masculine), and child (integration/will). (Note: the seven Hermetic Principles include origin and care and many concepts can be extrapolated from them.)
Many in the Trivium camp generally do not have knowledge, understanding of, or desire to explore these topics, due to their materialist paradigm that considers metaphysics to be either belief or speculation. They know that objectives facts exist in the world and are cognizant of the global conspiracy, but not of the metaphysical principles of consciousness.
Materialists usually reduce the multi-dimensional infinite reality to the “finite” physical realm, “finite” in that while its manifestation has no physical end and beginning, it is still a temporal plane, one out of innumerably many that beings merely pass through. Their concerns are only material as they do not seek to understand the nature, structure, and purpose of the Universe as a multidimensional whole. To them, man's logical mind is an epi-phenomenon, when to the light occultists the logical mind of man merely corresponds to Divine Reason. Many in the Trivium group seek to apply logic to our daily experience for self-interest, not to uncover knowledge of consciousness and the deeper purpose of existence. They desire the logical tools like the Trivium for survival and personal gain but are not ready to penetrate the deeper mysteries that overturn the materialist way of living, which is actually what needs to happen to dissolve the control system.
Pragmatism, like all false ideologies, is related to satanism and its worship of ego, selfishness, and self-serving achievement. When we pursue unholy things like climbing up the dominator-hierarchy of status, fame, and wealth emboldening pride and narcissism, we actually contribute to the control system and slavery as a whole.
Learn more about Pragmatism here.
Rejects the idea of immutable unchanging truth and the Absolute Good, to assert that truth/goodness is what works in my favor in any given moment.
In this vice video The Truth Behind Modern Day Satanism at the 1:54 min. mark, the interviewer asks: “what is satanism?” and the “occult expert” answers, “to me its a logical format for how to fundamentally get the most out of life without any kind of dogma, superstition, fear, or anything else controlling you... its about you being completely in control of your universe." Recall that Marshall Rosenberg talks about "getting what you want" as the bottom line of NVC, saying that moral judgments/evaluations even if not spoken "decrease the likelihood that you will get what you want," in response to the woman's question about evaluations.
Those in the Trivium camp who do not understand Natural Law can only base their metaphysics in relativism, thus supporting game theory, pragmatism, utilitarianism, and consequentialism, with the desire to optimize or maximize what is personally advantageous in each moment using various tools. In this video at the 48:46 min. mark, a Trivium-combined-NVC-user discusses this.
Ironically, this is the same metaphysical basis for the topics we will be discussing like the new age counterculture of the 1960s and the Human Potential Movement, which birthed and cultivated nonviolent communication. The Human Potential movement has a feminine and masculine side.
The feminine side was about creating safe and supportive communities based in so-called spiritual beliefs—which is where NVC fits in—while the masculine side was about using spiritual truths for success and self-actualization, as Napoleon Hill's Think and Grow rich attempts to utilize the law of mind for wealth.
Regarding the masculine side, along with positive thinking and NLP (neuro-linguistic programming), was a rise in pyramid schemes, get rich quick schemes, and the business of self-help gurus like Anthony Robbins, who has a net worth of $500 million. We also have Oprah and her net worth of $3.2 billion and the movie The Secret, both of which focus on getting what you want in the name of spirituality. In the Secret, the “law of attraction” is a total distortion of true natural laws, which need to be understood holistically as you should never isolate one law and exclude the others.
This movie exemplifies the combination of new age, self-help, achievement, success, and ego fulfillment. However, in reality, it is more common that material and social sacrifices are required for real spiritual advancement, as the evolution of consciousness and the progress of materialism are mostly opposite. The pursuit of money is actually false enlightenment, as it places your time and attention on a dead object rather than the living truth of reality. Because we live in a capitalist system of co-dependency, our interactions are corrupted with inauthenticity and the compromises of integrity and ethics for business and affiliation. We are dependent on each other for survival and this biases our perception of reality. When we should be aligned to truth to come together as our basis, we instead make each other the truth in some type of regressive tribalism. Our social persona and ego become the ultimate. Social skills are desirable for at the least they grant survival and financial security and at the most wealth and status. But the social hierarchy reflects the false morality of the entire control system in which doing what is right is doing whatever is RIGHT for you (and your social mobility) and whatever is right for me. But this is actually anti-thesis to objective morality.
Being in truth and in the right can engender serious material and social damages along with high spiritual gains, as courage is a virtue to be cultivated. This is because the structure of our world is opposed to True Philosophy. Indeed, living and speaking the truth is a revolutionary act.
Nonviolent communication is about social connection, but one who does not understand objective morality can seek a connection without right-intention, which is why it is so effective in the realm of media, advertisement, business, and the art of manipulation.
With the rise of all topics new age and self-development, individuals could make a living if they created a sustainable crowd... and sadly they would often turn into charlatans and false gurus of cults, as in our capitalist pragmatic system, this is WHAT HAS WORKED to their advantage. People want to live off their ideas and so seek ways to sell them, but ultimately this turns humans into objects to exploit and resources to control.
Many in the Trivium Camp also desire to incorporate tools for self-development and emotional wellness, like the School Sucks Project with the book The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem, but just like the self-help new age movement, development here is based in pragmatism over metaphysics, thus offering little value in terms of true evolution in consciousness. While the Trivium camp fares WAY better than the extreme solipsism of most of the new age crowd, they are still motivated by the same materialist drives, as all higher drives of Reason and Spirit would lead them to Natural Law. Thus, they can only end up in the cul-de-sac of relativism, using discernment of particular objective facts for their own self-serving unexamined agendas, but never to get to the heart of things.
Ironically, going all the way with the materialist-relativist-pragmatist paradigm brings us to the dark occultists of the control system who have done just that. They are winning the material game because they have created the game rules that we blindly follow under the trance of authority. They create money out of nothing and are therefore on top of the money game. They create government through mind-control. They are the system-engineers that design the system that we take as objective reality when it is, in fact, an immoral human creation. They are the extreme pragmatists who have “worked” their way up the knowledge hierarchy and the false dominator-hierarchy of POWER. And they have done the work to create that very illusory concept of the dominator-hierarchy itself, with dark sorcery.
But often you find that most logical pragmatists struggle to go all the way with their dark side, which their pragmatist philosophy would rationalize. If selling out brings desirable consequences, then why not? Yet, deep in the unconscious, people know that pragmatic ideology is rotten to the core. Without investigation, those intuitive enough can glimpse the soul knowing that an Objective Higher Good for morality must exist that can absolutely NOT be based in ego.
Much more information on these topics will be presented in my upcoming books, especially how and why spirituality is integral to philosophy, and how the ideologies of pragmatism, utilitarianism, and consequentialism are ultimately relativistic, as short-term beneficial consequences can occur with immoral action, but not in the long-term.
For now, I hope the basic differences between the Trivium group and the Natural Law group are more clear. While some people may think that such a broad generalization removes the individual or that discussing this division actually creates the division, understanding worldviews (which can be inherently polarized) and the movement from ideology to True Philosophy is important on the spiritual path. The gap between the materialists and those who know spirituality is a fact of reality and is the general divide of humanity. Those who engage in false spirituality are actually materialists as well. Furthermore, observing the divide is not creating it. Natural Law philosophy will indeed divide in as many ways as people have misunderstandings and are inwardly divided. The Natural Law group will eventually be co-opted as all groups are. Regardless, the truth exists and will be found by those who cultivate the courage, care, and will to gain it, as it requires no group and is about the individual and his connection to the ALL.
In terms of the philosophical relationship between Natural Law and the Trivium, Natural Law can be considered metaphysics (WHAT IS), while the Trivium can be considered epistemology and methodology (HOW WE KNOW). (Methodology can be considered a subset of epistemology). Epistemology is built on metaphysics as our method to know what is. Natural Law regards the Origin, the Absolute, Axioms, and Principles of WHAT IS that we can discover as the anchor for all specific truths in the relative dimension. Without metaphysics, using the Trivium would have no solid foundation. For example, the Law of Identity has to be rooted in the ABSOLUTE IDENTITY of all Existence, the Infinite All itself. Without that, nothing can be what it is... yet it takes a holistic leap in consciousness to understand such a difficult truth. If we do not know that truth and morality are objective and independent from man's perception then we cannot use the Trivium accurately. But in order to fully grasp the objectivity of reality and morality, one must go through the alchemical transformation from being ego-identified to being truth-seeking, since the ego creates a relativistic worldview centered around it.
The Trivium and Nonviolent Communication
Now, Darrell Becker and Tony Myer contrast somewhat with the hard-core empiricist Trivium-users like Bill Joslin, who ended up criticizing Darrell Becker's (NVC/Trivium) work with Gnostic Media. This was in 2015. (Unfortunately, this was removed and can only be accessed through a membership fee with Gnostic Media.) This video was responded to by the School Sucks Project as this has been a lively debate.
The problem is that what Darrell Becker describes as NVC isn't NVC anymore as he has re-framed it from an entirely new perspective. In this follow-up video, he describes (at the 12:38 min. mark) his departure from NVC as a tool to be applied internally to find inner equilibrium, cultivate a good emotional stance and emotional literacy, and as a tool to reduce tension when someone talks to you harmfully. Essentially, Becker desires to use this new version of NVC for the purpose of inner work and self-knowledge and to gain awareness of the emotional landscape. While what he describes is very important, this is no longer NVC.
Unfortunately, postmodern relativism gave the impression that everything is up for interpretation believing that there is no original correct interpretation of anything, but this is clearly false. Myers (at the 20:30 min. mark) describes NVC as an analytic tool to understand one's emotions and motivations. We will see how this completely changes the origin intent found in NVC.
The pro-NVC Trivium camp sees that emotions and feelings are part of grammar, which indeed they are... and we will get into this, but NVC is a worldview with particular tenets that do not cohere with the Trivium. There cannot be a true debate unless each camp agrees on what the subject of debate is on. This is about the first step of having shared definitions, which in this case is agreeing upon the fundamental tenets of NVC.
Some of these tenets were given attention by Bill Joslin in his debate against combining NVC with the Trivium (at the 32:52 min. mark of my video). While Joslin is able to elucidate the NVC tenets, which gives a clearer picture of the debate, and while he knows they are indeed false tenets, he cannot explain why and so he merely falsifies them for being “a priori principles” (higher-order concepts) as he believes all principles other than "objective reality exists" are false principles, which places him as a moral relativist, like the logical positivists and empiricists.
From Bill Joslin:
He fails to realize that the principles of reality are much more than “objective reality exists independent of man's perceptions” as these principles MUST by necessity go into the nature of reality itself and its structure, including mentalism, origin, polarity, morality, consciousness, and evolution. Joslin is stuck. Thus, one cannot deconstruct invalid a priori principles UNLESS you have the right a priori principles of Natural Law, as A PRIORI principles are NOT THE problem, the wrong ones are.
Joslin believes that we can ONLY understand reality through basic sensory observations and facts, but this is anti-holistic. Holistic consciousness can also understand general principles from the top-down through holistic intelligence and intuition. Truth is not only ascertained from the bottom-up, otherwise, we never arrive at the principles of reality.
There is also a major error in this diagram... while Joslin correctly perceives that the model on the right of the image is incorrect in which language creates reality, his model on the left is problematic. While he builds up from reality, he considers higher aspects of conceptual language to be derived from language itself, when higher-order concepts exist in objective reality like lower-order ones. He doesn't understand the Law of Mind.
Abstract concepts described through language can correspond to the mental aspect of the universe. The cosmos is governed by principles of mind.
Read about the Law of Mind from the Kybalion
So let's turn to the TENETS of NVC, which are indeed false universals...
Its basic assumption is that we are all compassionate by nature and that violence (verbal or physical) is learned by culture. Here is the simplistic dichotomy that man is good and culture is evil when immoral culture is created from the immorality of man. Through the Law of Correspondence, collective evil is the product of individual evil in the aggregate. Metaphysically, the moral polarity of good and evil both exist in man as potential and free will manifestation and to deny this is to abdicate responsibility. Could we even call this “blame language?" the language of denial of responsibility--in NVC's own words?
The desire to integrate the Trivium and NVC was started by Darrell Becker and Tony Myers and their work with Richard Grove from Tragedy and Hope published in 2013.
I want to begin by saying that the intention behind this is good, as these students of logic desire to be more integrative and whole by investigating the emotional side. But until you exit out of the pragmatic-relativist worldview, one's intention cannot be truly correct (and relativists will instantly object to the notion that there is a correct alignment for the feelings).
It is insidious to believe that not only is the basic motivation behind everyone the same, but that it is basically good as this makes human beings blind to moral polarity (in self and others), blind to inward evil and the shadow; this is anti-thesis to self-awareness. When one assumes that one is good there can be no real evolutionary path, as that path is towards goodness from the state of its opposite. In fact, it is a predator that would have you believe that predators don't exist for his own benefit. This belief makes people blind to the satanic cult that rules the world. Besides the evil in average people, is the dangerous evil in psychopaths and sociopaths, who have little to no empathy and compassion for others. The alchemical process of transformation requires that we confront our own evil and expose the (negative) ego and shadow, which block the light, as to refine it so that more light can come in. To see humans as only good is the positive bias of the new age, thinking that perception is reality and if one ignores the negative that the negative will cease to exist.
The next tenet is: All human needs are universal and therefore never in conflict. The definition of NEED is very vague, as in a relativistic paradigm there is no distinction between real needs and false ones. Needs can actually be created by false impulse and addiction as the advertisement industry is so committed to creating. While basic human NEEDS are water, food, and shelter, when we discuss emotional needs we get into tricky territory as many emotional needs are indicative of the lack of sovereignty. Most needy people are usually co-dependent. Of course, children NEED good parenting, which most don't get. This is why our needs as adults often become unresolved childhood issues and the inner compulsions of the fragmented self. Needs can easily become egoic desires, like the need for attention, as we hear many new agers say: “I need to be seen and heard.” There is nothing in NVC about fulfilling needs and taking care of oneself to become a sovereign adult. Needs can easily become any feeling of deficiency and lack on the inside, which makes inner work imperative. But we will see how NVC and its related ideologies are about spiritual bypass for instant gratification.
Moreover, besides the vast amount of things that can be called needs that aren't really needs, even legitimate needs fluctuate in every moment and are different for everyone and different at different degrees of consciousness. NVC desires to find universals but ends up making what is different for each erroneously the same for all. Natural Laws apply to all, but in correspondence to their individuality. Universals exist in the structure of reality and of self, both being consciousness, yet its content and expression are different as each individual is a unique aspect of the ALL and, in the context of time, in different phases of the evolutionary process. Everyone has thoughts, feelings, and emotions, but what they are vary, relative to their level of being. Because NVC is rooted in false universals it becomes a form of collectivism.
NVC states that: Our main need is for connection. This obviously relates to the need to be social, but until we really start working on ourselves, we cannot have true and good connections with others. While we can connect when we share an experience, our need for connection can easily become the need for agreement, which we see in collectivist cults. And this is dangerous because not all perspectives are true. NVC fails to address the most important need to have thoughts, feelings, and actions in alignment to TRUTH and MORALITY, Natural Law. Without this, we are lost and cannot make meaning as to discern what a true need is, and what true good intention is, and what a true connection is. The sure way to create self-destruction and become victimized in relationships is to revolve reality around one's confusing and unexamined emotions and deny the importance of objective truth and morality. True connection is often spontaneous and unplanned, as it is authentic and not contrived. Connection with others should not be our first principle because false connections can be created. Connection must rest on TRUTH, not vice-versa.
Next is: All action and communication are driven to met those needs. This is false as it denies the other aspects of communication which can be driven to share, learn, observe, teach, and inform. But ever since the destruction to education by postmodern new age, the idea that knowledge exists and can be communicated with others has turned into a myth. Such an assertion would even be considered to be oppression. By getting people to be more subjective lacking the objective knowledge of language and logic, they would become better slaves for the controllers.
Next tenet is: All conflict arises from competing strategies for meeting needs, violence is one of those strategies, learned culturally. This again assumes that everyone's needs are good and that it is only their bad strategy makes them bad, which again avoids responsibility for one's ego and dark side. It speaks nothing of intention, as one's intentions may not be good or pure. We will soon discuss why using the term “violence” here is incorrect, as it is better to use the word “harm.” We can be harmful to each other in the way we communicate, but not violent unless our words are coupled with physical violence. It is not harmful language that makes us bad, it is the immorality in our character. But with NVC, we can never examine our character since our needs take primacy. If one says something mean to another person, then one can merely apologize for the mean language that failed to express his need for connection. There is never a true apology for the fact that one was mean due to a problem in his heart, mind, and soul. Again, there is no inner work.
Following is the next tenet: Feelings help us determine our needs. Once feelings and needs are identified and known harmony can be achieved. Here we are conflating feelings with needs, as not all feelings are needs. Feelings have to be examined just like needs and should not be accepted at face value as being appropriate. Often feelings can signify unresolved issues like needs and can merge with the ego and shadow. NVC desires to keep one identified and embedded in their emotional landscape creating great imbalance in a person, especially a person who has not developed their mind. We will look further into these topics.
Some individuals believe that you have to read Rosenberg's entire book to be able to criticize NVC. But a true philosopher understands that all you need are the fundamental principles, as all details and fleshing out of the philosophy will be BASED on those principles. I will be referring to various information on the internet and documents from the nonviolentcommunication.com website, pertaining to Rosenberg's work.
Click image to download
Click image to download
Returning back to the debate in the Trivium group, now with the understanding the tenets of NVC, we can see why it is very problematic to reformulate prior ideologies and reuse their name. This is especially true for NVC, which came from the Human Potential Movement along with Esalen and spread like a virus to many intentional communities as an ideological worldview. Besides the semantic issues, this reinventing old theories can encourage others to think that there is some validity in the original, which leads to various linguistic fallacies and contradictions. Once we change the original tenets of an ideology then we SHOULD no longer carry the baggage of the ideology itself. NVC is not about emotional growth or self-examination and this is being projected by Mr. Becker and perhaps Mr. Myers, as they assume that people are good and that their needs and feelings should be taken as truth automatically. NVC is NOT about exploring the causes, reasons, and motivations behind NEEDS but acting on the assumption that ALL NEEDS are valid and universal, which is not only an incorrect premise but a dangerous belief that will actually sabotage relationships. Healthy relationships demand self-knowledge... and basing relationships on unexamined needs leads to emotional immaturity and dependency.
NVC and the Trivium are NOT compatible because within the Trivium is the goal to discover truth, while NVC has the goal to meet unmet needs in communication. They overlap with a focus on communication (rhetoric), but they never surmount the problem that needs and truth can be incompatible and often are. This is why it is a common saying that the “truth hurts,” but NVC is not interested in truth but making people feel good.
NVC is a right-brain imbalanced ideology connected with the femininization of culture through the new age and this is why it will be particularly attractive to women. It places feelings and needs at the center of everything. It is opposed to logic, discernment, direct confrontation, and to-the-point speech, which is part of the masculine. Catering to people's emotional needs outweighs objective truth. Therefore, NVC is an anti-evolutionary model based in the new age belief that everyone is perfect the way they and we should just accept rather than change ourselves.
We can see why some in the Trivium camp might see the Trivium as the masculine and NVC as the feminine, attempting to achieve balance through unification. But their fundamental axioms are opposed. Again the true feminine is not opposed to the masculine, or vice-versa. And this is why it is important to talk about archetypes, gender in this case, rather than methodology meets one flawed ideology.
It is very clear that Rosenberg labeling all moralistic judgments as bad is a contradiction and what Ayn Rand calls the “fallacy of the stolen concept”... since it is a moralistic judgment to call moralistic judgments bad,; this is the unavoidable hypocrisy of MORAL RELATIVISM. NVC is entirely incompatible with the Trivium and Natural Law and the primary axiom that reality and morality are objective. Furthermore, the claim that moralistic judgments lead to violence is not only a wrong assertion but quite an evil one. How can violent communication be WRONG when moralistic judgments are wrong?
The FINAL tenet of NVC is that: All communication is either through compassion/empathy (nonviolence) or blame, moralistic judgment, and domination (violence). Marshall Rosenberg calls nonviolent communication compassionate language, “giraffe language,” and violent language “jackal language.” While the giraffe comes from the heart and brings us together, the jackal comes from fear, guilt, and shame, and alienates us from each other. From the NVC workshop video (near the 2:37 mark https://youtu.be/l7TONauJGfc), Rosenberg states: “Instead of playing the game of make life wonderful, we play the game of who is right. It's a game where everyone loses. Now the game of who is right creates the most devious things humans have come upon, like punishment.... So what is jackal language? Jackal language is the language of moralistic judgments, to think in terms of who is right and who is wrong.” Rosenberg later asks, “Would you rather be Right or Happy?” Well, how can you even discern violent language without being right about it? Is it a good idea to think that someone is violating you when they are not?
(It might seem surprising that some in the Trivium camp were not able to spot this fundamental contradiction, but that is because they have not anchored objective morality as a first principle. Because most in the Trivium camp have a pragmatic-relativistic ideology, they often cannot identify other morally relativistic ideologies.)
To Rosenberg, morality reflects our values, but instead of holding people morally accountable for their actions, he states that responsibility is becoming responsible for how we feel. This is a distortion of what responsibility means as we shall see.
Even though NVC is based in moral relativism, it seeks to identify and define “violence” in language and harm in communication on the basis of pure subjectivity. Interestingly, NVC distorts our understanding of morality, so that right and wrong behavior become following the communicative rules of NVC (right) or not (wrong), and we will look at this later with the 4Ds. For example, it is considered violent and wrong to confront people with moral judgment, but good if you confront them with your feelings about morality. In essence, this is saying that no one can ever do an actual wrong even though they may hurt someone's feelings. While the integration between NVC and the Trivium occurred several years ago, today some seek to unify it with Natural Law as they see the importance of applying morality to the intersubjective realm of communication and interaction. Hopefully, this section will begin to clarify those issues. They interpret Rosenberg's claim that all moralistic judgments promote violence which is completely ANTI-THESIS to Natural Law, by differentiating moral judgment from moral discernment. Yes, there can be a difference here that I will discuss, but we must know that this differentiation was not made by Rosenberg.
Before we continue, we must note that it is dangerous to corrupt the message of Natural Law by combining it with new age (right-brained) ideologies. If we lose our understanding of the importance of the philosophical purity of Natural Law or fail to develop that understanding in the first place, we can only descend into relativistic thinking and support others who are still lost in that way of thought. When rhetoric is hijacked to serve an agenda, this can only lead to bad things. Those who have been initiated understand the great responsibility in using Natural Law language, and they will understand that what can be perceived as minor errors in thought can lead to significant regression of consciousness and behavior. My voice often quivers in speaking of this responsibility. Often the agenda behind combining Natural Law with previously held belief-systems is to reconcile the past with the present. But sometimes the past needs to be left in the past when the method of growth is apophasis, eliminating false beliefs, rather than combining them with certain truths. When we eliminate mental contradictions, we become freer. It is always difficult to have one foot in one world and the other foot in another world, but we should use the energy of dissonance to propel us forward into a correct worldview rather than generate some creative fusion with the past.
While morality can be applied in all dimensions of human interaction, some SERIOUS distinctions must be made, such as between harm and violence, and also hurt and harm. In regards to the latter, HURT FEELINGS DOESN'T NECESSARILY MEAN YOU'VE BEEN HARMED by someone and this is precisely what NVC is blind to because it is based in feeling and needs rather than objective truth and morality in which needs/feelings are subject to. People can be hurt due to their misperception, projections, personal issues, psychological imbalances, and delusions, as the result of their lack of self-development and self-awareness, all of which NVC ignores.
In terms of metaphysics, right and wrong exist in all relative planes of existence (Law of Polarity) and they just get more subtle the higher you go (Law of Vibration). But there is clear division between harm of the mind and spirit and VIOLENCE in the physical realm. We must not see morality on a FLAT plane as a single-dimensional subject. Language does not remove freedom, imprison, or hold one under duress. If I have said something that hurts you, I have NOT violated you or acted in violence against you. While we have the freedom to be wrong in thought and feeling and wrong in its expression in the intersubjective domain, we do not have the right to violate rights. We do not have the right to cross this line. While people do not have the right to steal, murder, and rape, they do have the freedom to say what they think and how they feel, even if what they say and feel is harmful and wrong. People can be mentally imbalanced and socially inappropriate, can have an emotional break down, get triggered, and lash out ... and even be angry when it is not warranted. These are mistakes people can make. Again, one can be wrong without violating another person's rights.
In fact, just because a person does not steal, murder, or rape does not make him/her a moral person (and we leave out one's participation in government since complying with government can be considered an act of self-defense against duress.) There are immoral activities of a consensual and expressive nature that don't violate rights, especially in respect to people's character and its lack of virtue, such as the problems of honesty, integrity, respect, and responsibility, which inevitably harm other people through betrayal, exploitation, and deception. We are here to learn these lessons of morality, which involve the complexities of psychology and development. But one cannot learn lessons under the state of control, and therefore we cannot force people to be good and to never harm. Once we blur the line between language and action, we are on the path to destroying free speech. This is what is happening today with the social justice warriors, who consider 'hate speech' anything that hurts someone's feelings. Take the feminist movement that wanted to ban the word bossy and the Canadian laws that prohibit the use of gender-pronouns for transgender people.
Censorship is surely the path to tyranny!!
The below image is from 1984 where a Winston Smith comments, “the destruction of words is a beautiful thing,” in a pro-state conversation. Of course, he must say these types of things to not be tortured.
While the moral complexities of human interaction can be difficult to sort through, everyone should understand the basic principles of right and wrong action, of the objective difference between actions that cause harm to one's sovereignty and actions that don't. Lacking such knowledge cannot even allow us to live on this planet to learn the more subtle dimensions of morality as our conditions become incredibly toxic with the control system. While someone may have said something rude to someone, this should NEVER be compared to the destruction of life and the manifestation of slavery. We see this with the blatant evil found in the order-following of the military and police who follow the orders of so-called higher authority to commit immoral actions, such as war, genocide, and the creation of a police state on a grand scale and the destruction of freedom and theft on the small scale through the imposition of arbitrary laws that serve the ruling class.
Let's look at harm and violence.
Like the social justice warriors, new agers are going to have a hard time seeing this distinction because they are not grounded in their physical reality and don't have nuance in their thinking. But the confusion is critical because without the distinction between violence and harm, statists will only desire to give more power to government to control us, as we see with hate speech and “thought-crimes.” Anything humans deem violent can easily be turned into laws, and prohibiting free speech laws has already been underway.
When looking at harm in the spiritual level there is the false authority of charlatans, gurus, and creators of religions and cults, in disseminating spiritual mis-teachings that keeps one in spiritual bondage. The harm of the mental level can be MIND-CONTROL, manipulation in order to have power over you, verbal abuse, deliberately trying to destroy another person's self-esteem like gas-lighting, unwarranted attacks, name-calling, being mean and vicious, bullying, lying, dishonesty, and cheating. Here we have the dangerous narcissist-psychopathic spectrum in the expression of power and control to the less psychotic and more common asshole and bitch. Harm is created when the person we care about behaves this way or when we behave this way towards the people we care about. If we didn't care about the person we wouldn't actually be hurt unless the accusations were true. This is WHY it is not truly a form of harm when a stranger says untrue mean things to you, which is more of an annoyance.
The physical plane is much different from mind and spirit and regards actions that we should NEVER tolerate collectively as a species. We should be in TOTAL CONSENSUS about this matter as without understanding this moral boundary, we are on the path to collective suicide. This involves the violation of rights and destruction of freedoms, duress, coercion, theft, murder, kidnapping, and rape that the government partakes in (rape in terms of its participation in child/adult sex-trafficking and allowing it to happen in prisons). Thus, when we discuss Natural Law Anarchy, this is the violence we speak of, which should never be confused with the activities of FREE SPEECH, as with NVC. It would have been better for NVC to have called itself “compassionate language,” but the term “nonviolence” is hazardous especially in the statist context.
As long as humans have the choice of whom to interact with or not, communication is never a violation. In most cases, one chooses an unhealthy relationship, as it is not forced upon them in which the solution is to exercise free will to get out. We cannot apply the same rules of self-defense to end violence when we perceive it in language as if it were a physical violation, disregarding the exceptions of physical abuse of course. And I have been told by someone with experience in an NVC cult, that some people consider it acceptable to hit other people when they believe them to be communicating violence. A sloppy and undifferentiated definition of VIOLENCE can actually cause physical violence from perceived verbal attacks as we see with the social justice warriors.
In such a state, everything needs to validate the ego, which attaches itself to feelings and needs in the undeveloped person. Until one outgrows ego-identification to understand that morality is objective, he will not be able to be consistently accurate about his perceptions of violence since ego and emotions bias reality to maintain itself. Contrarily, the transformative person will change himself when discovering he is not in alignment to truth. Without the inner alchemy of growth in addition to proper thinking, one can and will make false moralistic judgments, and again one has the freedom to do this even when those judgments are wrong.
When Rosenberg criticizes moralistic judgments, he should be criticizing false moral judgments, but one can never determine true or false judgments when under the spell of relativism. He should also be criticizing EGO judgment over OBJECTIVE judgment or discernment. Ego judgment, whether the content is correct or incorrect, is when a bad spirit accompanies the judgment, one of righteousness, superiority, pride, with the intent to put down another person, inflict damage upon their self-esteem, or play a competitive game of one-upmanship. This indeed creates harm since it comes from ego contraction, fear, and ignorance and NOT love. This is Rosenberg's partial truth. Truth should be delivered without ego attachment and with humility since truth applies to all... and living in truth is no easy task.
A desire to inflict punishment on some who is wrong is the revenge of a dark spirit or a spirit not awakened. And this is obviously not compassion. But to associate the desire to punish with mental discernment and evaluation is clearly a fallacy. True compassion understands the pain of ignorance, of living in error as there is no reason to inflict punishment on someone as their own mistakes will cause them harm and bring them self-inflicted suffering. A compassionate spirit never gains joy from another person's misery. Discernment plus compassion is the goal.
The problem is that because Rosenberg does not make this differentiation, anyone who claims to have moral discernment will be automatically characterized by negative judgment. When a person's ego is involved in communication, yes there are communication issues. The feelings of entitlement, superiority, pride, and condemnation are not good. When communication is based in ego and self-loathing then it will most likely cause harm, but not because of the methods used in speaking, because of where a person is at in their consciousness, intention, and spirit. When we don't have self-respect we don't respect others. But self-loathing is NOT something you can cure by changing language.
While we learn Natural Law and the Trivium to develop the mind and ground it in reality, we must develop the spirit that perceives true inter-connectedness with all the lessons and mistakes of evolution. From the spiritual perspective in which we understand that we have lived many lives, we gain compassion through Self-knowledge as we can only know the errors in others by knowing our own errors as they all have a similar structure-rooted in fear, ignorance, ego, and apathy. From the correct spirit, judgments do not polarize, separate, and condemn or seek to control because such judgment is based on knowledge and understanding with the motive to evolve not destroy.
The masculine ego will play the game of being right, but the feminine ego will play the "needs game." Both are imbalances and expressions of the undeveloped self. A developed person will not feel good or receive an ego payoff when he is right and the other person is wrong because the spirit of that is NOT good. It is not good to use the energy of another person's pain or error to feel good. Rosenberg can only see that the determinations of right and wrong are an ego game where everyone loses, but it is only when people choose right over wrong that everyone wins. Living in denial, delusion, and ignorance only perpetuates falsehoods that inevitably leads to suffering. Rosenberg says that the right/wrong dichotomy prevent the spirit of giving, but if you give without discernment YOU WILL BE VICTIMIZED. This was a hard lesson I've had to learn. Sometimes the TRUTH is the greatest gift you could give someone. Calling people out on their bullshit can be an act of love, even though not always appropriate. When we do not live in truth, we suffer.
Artwork by Cameron Gray: https://parablevisions.com/
NVC conflates morality with negative emotions like guilt, shame, and duty and seeks to eradicate them, which coheres with the positive-bias of the new age. Like NVC, the new age has polarized against religion seeking to become free from punishment and reward, which they associate with guilt and other negative emotions. It is true that the morality of religions has been incredibly damaging, as they use heaven and hell, punishment and reward as a system of control. Just look at the vengeful, jealous god of the Old Testament. (And as a side note, our dominator-hierarchy, in business, politics, and military is also based in the false morality of punishment and reward.)
Around the 7-9:00 min. mark, Lauren Southern explains that there are only two genders and this woman gets upset saying “there are more than two binaries,” and that it is really disgusting that Southern belittles what people want to call themselves and what they deserve and how they see themselves. Lauren asks, “can you call yourself a cat,” and she responds, “I think you are hateful.”
NVC blurs the consensual lines with things like permission boundaries by saying we have the right to control when others can and cannot speak. If someone speaks to you and you didn't ask, this is NOT a violation, but that boundary is confused as NVC promotes the fusion of boundaries with the pathological feminine, which we will look at. Additionally, and also related to the new age, is extreme hypersensitivity, which is (most commonly) just hyper-egoic identification. The sound waves of criticism and being held accountable can be perceived like getting hit in the face.
Video: Social Justice Warrior Piss On Your Free Speech:
The problem is that when we confront our immorality we should feel a degree of remorse and regret; we should feel bad when we hurt someone, as when our feelings are in alignment with truth, they are our moral compass. It is not guilt that is the problem, but false guilt, the guilt of self-loathing that the religions indulge in in a masochistic way.
Also, NVC lumps blame into the negative category of guilt, when in moral situations blame simply means accountability, responsibility, and the knowledge of who initiated harm. Without this, there is NO moral discernment. On the one hand, NVC claims to be about owning responsibility with your feelings and emotions, but on the other hand it abdicates responsibility by claiming that there is never blame to any moral situation. Part of responsibility is owning the fact that you caused harm, saying “I was wrong"... or when you feel harmed by others and wish to reconcile the situation or friendship to let them know. And those who are more stuck in ego will experience the most pain in being wrong, as they fight against the truth. But NVC prevents such conversation by claiming that one should never criticize and that morality is merely how someone feels.
(At the 2:54 hr. mark) Rosenberg talks about expressing gratitude saying, “Jackal's say thank you by saying you did a good job on that paper? Can you see why that's moralistic judgment? ... Positive moralistic judgments are equally as violent as negative moralistic judgments in my estimation, as they reinforce the idea that the negative exists. If I say you are an unkind person then I am implying that there is an unkind person and that I am the judge who knows the difference. So no more praise or compliments, okay? ... Especially when you intend them as a reward, that's the ultimate dehumanization, to say it to reinforce a person to continue doing something... like dog obedient school.”
It is an oxymoron that we SHOULD NEVER USE SHOULD.
Rosenberg is pointing out how flattery and compliments can be used to control people, which is true, yet he himself has said that the purpose of NVC is getting what you want; he is playing a higher level pragmatic game that appears to be altruistic but is still backed with a selfish agenda.
In this video, a person who combines the Trivium and NVC claims that NVC is about never using the word SHOULD or OUGHT because of its punishment and reward language that leads to disconnection (around the 1:04:35 min. mark). But SHOULD/OUGHT can be moral language and not just an egoic demand. There are many things people should not do like they should not harm or violate rights. There is zero self-correction in NVC, which is a requirement of responsibility. Like the error in NVC, he couples “shoulds” with the notion of punishment and reward from the ego. But when coming from OBJECTIVITY, “shoulds" merely reflect what is objectively right to think, feel, and act.