Sunday, November 25, 2012

new (mestiza) consciousness ...

"From this racial, ideological, cultural and biological cross-pollinization, an 'alien' consciousness is presently in the making  a new mestiza consciousness, una conciencia de mujer. It is a consciousness of the Borderlands."

"The ambivalence from the clash of voices results in mental and emotional states of perplexity. Internal strife results in insecurity and indecisiveness. The mestiza’s dual or multiple personality is plagued by psychic restlessness.

In a constant state of mental nepantilism, an Aztec word meaning torn between ways, la mestiza is a product of the transfer of the cultural and spiritual values of one group to another. Being tricultural, monolingual, bilingual or multilingual, speaking a patois, and in a state of perpetual transition, the mestiza faces the dilemma of the mixed breed ....

El choque de un alma atrapado entre el mundo del espiritu y el mundo de la tecnica a veces la deja entullada. Cradled in one culture, sandwiched between two cultures, straddling all three cultures ad their value systems, la mestiza undergoes a struggle of flesh, a struggle of borders, an inner war. Like all people, we perceive the version of reality that our culture communicates. Like others having or living in more than one culture, we get multiple, often opposing messages. The coming together of two self-consistent but habitually incompatible frames of reference causes un choque, a cultural collision."

"These numerous possibilities leave la mestiza floundering in uncharted seas .... La mestiza constantly has to shift out of habitual formations; from convergent thinking, analytical reasoning that tends to use rationality to move toward a single goal (a Western mode), to divergent thinking, characterized by movement away from set patterns and goals and toward a more whole perspective, one that includes rather than excludes.

The new mestiza copes by developing a tolerance for contradictions, a tolerance for ambiguity .... In attempting to work out a synthesis, the self has added a third element which is greater than the sum of its severed parts. That third element is a new consciousness–a mestiza consciousness–and though it is a source of intense pain, its energy comes from continual creative motion that keeps from breaking down the unitary aspect of each new paradigm.
En unas pocas centurias, the future will belong to the mestiza. Because the future depends on the breaking down of two paradigms, it depends on the straddling of two or more cultures. By creating a new mythos–that is, a change in the way we perceive reality, the way we see ourselves, and the ways we behave–la mestiza creates a new consciousness."

(Gloria Anzaldúa,  “La conciencia de la mestiza/Towards a New Consciousness," in Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza)

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