Friday, October 08, 2010

Getting it together...

Recently the issues of Dating, Courting, or just being able to establish a Healthy Relationship has been a heavy topic amongst Ciphers across our Nation. Today I wanted to share some Perspective on this subject, and hopefully give some insight into a few things we will be able to benefit from when considering Companionships.

First and foremost, Courting is not an ‘Individual’ Honor System. It’s not based upon two People’s “word as bond” to eachother (11/1-14). Traditionally, Courting was/is a process used by Families to encourage, monitor, and cultivate the learning process of two People who’re interested in getting to know eachother. The purpose of getting to know eachother is to cee the potentiality for a Companionship. The basis and strength in the Courting process exists within the Family Units (of both interested parties) that structure/reinforce the process. It’s essentially the idea of two Families uniting to support another bonded Unit. In the Courting process, the highest value lies in the ‘Unified Families’, not two Individuals. Oftentimes when People think about Courting they imagine two People agreeing to get to know “only” eachother for the purpose of assessing a potential Life Companionship. In the process, they spend time out in public places exchanging pleasantries, and talking on the phone, while keeping a respectable distance from eachother. Then one day in the future, if they decide that they like eachother enough, they agree to become Life Companions. So for all intents and purposes, this Ideology of Courtship is fundamentally no different than Dating. The only real difference is that Dating may involve sexual contact.

Since the highest value lies in the ‘Unified Families’, the Courtship cannot effectively take place if there is no Family support. This is the major issue facing Gods/Earths who entertain the idea of a Courtship process; lack of structured/reliable Family support. So the first question that must be asked is: Who comprises your Family Unit that’s capable of supporting this Courting process? Is it your Enlightener and Gods/Earths you associate with? Is it Elder Gods/Earth Couples who’ve been together 10+ years? Is it People in your Community you consider “family”? Another important question to ask is: What standards are you using to define People as reputable Family Members to support the Courting process? Are your standards based upon physical family (Parents or family members), even though they may know very little about the Culture you live? Do you base these standards on any God/Earth who knows 120? Are your standards based upon the consensus of your Local Parliament? So although some Gods/Earths have a desire to express a Courting process, much more consideration needs to be given to WHO is qualified to support it, WHY are they qualified, and WHAT standards are you using as qualifications? A person’s ability/inability to coherently address these fundamental questions about the Courtship process will ultimately reveal their true basis for desiring that Companionship. One thing you may realize is that their process has all the dressings of a Courtship, yet lacks the basic Principles, Values, and Resources to actually be one. In otherwords, it’s nothing more than a self diluted Dating fa├žade. On the other hand, they may have clearly thought out the Family Dynamics and recognize the benefit in Courting, yet have not solidified functional Family support to uphold the process. Either way you look at it, Courting is only as effective as the Family Units willing and capable of supporting the process.

First and foremost, Dating is ultimately an ‘Individual’ Honor System. Traditionally, Dating was/is a process used by Individuals who desire a Companionship. Dating is a Companionship where some of the rules of engagement were decided from the beginning, modified during realtime.. Keep in Mind that within the Dating process, there is no underlying intention to be lifelong Companions. Dating may remain the Status Quo for the remainder of that Companionship, or it may elevate into an Engagement and possibly a Marriage. In Dating, the two Individuals set up the rules of engagement, whereas in the Courting process, the rules of engagement are based upon the protocol of Family Tradition. Since these rules of engagement are set up by the two Individuals in the Dating process, the guidelines are basically discussed/revealed as they go along; in realtime. Thus the highest value lies in the ‘Individuals’ making a decision to ultimately be together, and the purpose of them being together is based upon what they decide as a Couple. So the “WHO is qualified to support it, WHY are they qualified, and WHAT standards are you using as qualifications?” is based upon the Individuals and whatever information they may get from other people, places and things.

Because of a basic lack of trust (‘honor’) within this process for many, and lack of endurance and/or tolerance to deal with the various “guideline unknowns” that come up throughout the course of that Companionship, there is often a tendency to categorize the entire process of Dating as flawed. While in the Courting process two People (and their Families) get to know a great deal about the other person (and their Families) prior to entering into a Companionship, Dating is more of a ‘trial and error’ method of getting to know the other person while participating in a Companionship. There is nothing inherently wrong with the Dating process, as long as ‘honor’ is a fundamental Value practiced by both Parties (“word as bond” to eachother; 11/1-14), and there is a high degree of 'Specificity' (Definition and Article) when it comes to defining/clarifying the guidelines of that Companionship.

Where’s the ‘Recourse’ for these methods?
The major difference you’ll notice in Courting and Dating is their system of ‘Recourse’ when problems arise in the Companionship. Because the Courting process involves Families who have an interest in supporting the Companionship, these Units are available resources for support when problems arise. In Dating, there may or may not be Family support when problems arise, it’s basically on the Individuals to access whatever resources they have available in addition to themselves. This does not mean that simply because a Couple ‘Courted’ that they will automatically have access to all the answers, or because a Couple ‘Dated’ they automatically don’t have access to answers. What this does mean is that in any relationship it’s important to consider the methods a ‘Recourse’ we have available if things start to unravel. I’ve ceen some Courtships unravel simply because the Family Units supporting it were dysfunctional. I’ve also ceen Companions flourish, who started off Dating, because they valued Family Unity, becoming the actual Unit a Courtship could actually rely on! Anyway, in any Companionship we must always consider the system of ‘Recourse’ we have when we go through trials and tribulations. Traditionally, this is one of the main reasons why Gods/Earths generally did not and often still don’t get Married under the Government. The reasoning behind this is, “If problems occur in that Marriage, we’re relying upon the Government to mediate. The same Government that has historically shown it’s interest in policing Policies that undermine the Freedom, Justice, and Equality for Black/Non-White People.” This is not to say that there are some constructive forms of ‘Recourse’ built within the Governmental structure that provides ways to protect/uphold the rules & regulations of a Companionship. Ultimately, Courtship was designed as a ‘Family Policing’ process, while Dating was designed as an ‘Individual Policing’ process. Whether these examination processes culminate with a Marriage under the auspices of the Government, or a Marriage in the Mind type of Divine Union without the sanctity of the Government, it doesn’t change the fact that a system of ‘Recourse’ must exist when that Companionship goes through trials and tribulations.

So in conclusion, I think before we start talking about the method of forging a Companionship, we need to give more thought about the Family Dynamics that will/won't support it. Regardless if we want to Court or Date, our support system and it’s method of ‘Recourse’ are the most vital components to consider; Companionships aren't Social Islands. Just because someone claims the same Cultural Worldview as us, IT DOES NOT MEAN you won’t need a Governmental method of ‘Recourse’ if that Companionship doesn’t work out. I hear all the time about so-called Gods claiming to be all about growth & development, yet they aren’t financially supporting their child(ren)! In this situation, our Cultural Value of “word is bond and bond is life” (11/1-14) is obviously not an effective method of ‘Recourse’ -because those empty words are not providing food, clothing, and shelter for their child(ren). Some People say that Child Support isn’t Nation building, and I can understand their sentiments. Many of our People believe that “there is no unrighteousness” (37/1-40) in this Government, and regardless of this Government’s historical record towards Black/Non-White People, we can still rely on this system to do the right thing. In their Mind, they really don’t trust the mutual guidelines of a Companionship unless Caucasians are fundamentally involved. This is and continues to be a fundamental problem amongst our People. On the other hand, we also have a problem with Brothers (and Sisters), who even consider themselves “Conscious”, making a choice to abandon their Parental responsibilities when their Companionship doesn’t work out. So in this situation, not prioritizing the daily needs of our child(ren) also isn’t Nation building.

What does it come down to?
As two People get to know eachother, prior to (Courting) or within (Dating) a Companionship, it’s an examination process of the ‘Culture’ and sense of ‘Integrity’ they share or don’t share in common. Our ‘Cultural Integrity’ reveals WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHERE, WHY, and HOW we think and what we will/won’t do. It is this Family supported (Courting) or Individual (Dating) ‘Cultural Integrity’ that ultimately determines if our Family Units stay together, and if our methods of ‘Recourse’ are effective when our Companionships go through trials and tribulations. This ‘Cultural Integrity’ or lack there of, is always reflected within the supportive Family Units, and within the Individuals. Is this not how our Companionships met success or failure in Classical Times?! Was it not the ‘Integrity’ of our Principles, Values, and Priorities that supported/undermined our ‘people activities’ (Culture)?! Unfortunately we, as Black/Non-White People, have “been made other than ourselves” (12/1-36) through Centuries of global oppression, disenfranchisement, and cultural genocide at the hands of Global White Supremacy. Many of the problems we collectively suffer are trans-generational, and “many of us” are striving to make sense of this baggage and do the right thing! (13/1-40) Some of us aren’t trying to resolve our issues and bring this baggage to a Companionship with hopes that the clock will take care of everything… At the end of the day, whether we call our approach Courting, Dating or etc.., it will ultimately be our Cultural Integrity that determines our ability to stand the test of time.

Maybe as a People, it’s collectively time to rethink our approach outside of the scope of Traditional Courting/Dating altogether; an approach designed to specifically address the unique issues that face us a People and as a Nation. Maybe this approach is already intrinsic to the Cultural Worldview we collectively claim. Maybe it has nothing to do with approaches and procedures at all. Maybe it has everything to do with how committed we really are to “giving all we have, and doing all within our power to” cultivate, maintain, and perpetuate a Companionship. (40/1-40) Maybe, just maybe, all of this “talk” about Courting and Dating is really just fear, laziness, or defiance to actually ‘work on’ a Life Companionship by applying and living in accordance with those Principles/Values that are already intrinsic to our Cultural Worldview… -shrugs- Whatever it may be, it’s important that we share with eachother those things that have been successful and unsuccessful for us in forging a Companionship. Through comparing these notes, we, and our progeny, will be better equipped to establish healthy, sustainable Family Units NOW and in THE FUTURE!