Nationality and identity


Along with identification with various other kinds of tribes–family, political party/wing, religion, etc.–identification with nationality (or state, city, local community) is also relevant to the ethnocentric “us” of the amber stage (SD blue, correlate). Often our discussions of amber/blue focus largely on mythic religion or on the regressive tribalism of green-consciousness.

Given that there are people in the IL community from different continents and countries; and given that nationalism itself is on the surge in the world–some countries taking a step up on the rainbow, others a slide back–I thought our personal identifications (or lacks thereof) with nationality might be an interesting topic to explore. (And also might shed light on nationalism period; the film clip from the movie “Casablanca” in the Growing Up: A Guided Tour topic is a great example of healthy nationalism, btw.)

Hearing KW speak on a couple of occasions in recent months about whether it’s possible for someone to go from identification with being, say, a Texan (“whatever that is”) to being a globalist, without at least passing through identification with nation, reminded me of my attempts in the past to do just that. I had a bit of an allergy, was more identified with the state and local community I lived in, and with the entire world, than I was with nation. I had to backtrack.

While my personal investigation/story around this subject would fill a book, covering as it does a good part of my lifetime, the very intentional, conscious work only took about a decade :slightly_smiling_face: and was really quite meaningful and interesting (to me anyway). The process had a very definite beginning–I had moved to a 5-acre property on which the previous owners had planted one of the tallest flagpoles and one of the largest U.S. flags I had ever seen. I had to look at it every day and it made me uncomfortable (hint, hint: shadow material), which of course aroused my curiosity, so the work began. The process of “owning” my national identity also had a very definite ending, again involving the flag, or rather what seemed like a zillion of them on one Flag Day in June. (U.S. national symbols, as well as images/symbols from Native America, played an important part throughout my investigation, appearing in dreams and visions, as well as ordinary waking consciousness.) Rather than feeling any of the old discomfort, I felt, not really any pride per se, but a simple gratefulness for being a U.S. of A-an.

While there were many salient aspects of my work, perhaps most significant was investigating and working with issues of pride and shame, as well as shadow, in both my own person and in the collective.

So what say you, IL community, got stories of your own?