“Ships are safe in harbor but that’s not what ships are for” (J. Shedd). This Adage (capsule of a common experience) and Admonition (advice of caution/warning) is accepted at Face-Value (conforms to practical common sense) by appling to Courage when needed. Yet, to show different sides/angles of “Safety,” Critical Thinking shines its like-kind multiple spot-lights on this stage performer. One light pertains to “Safety’s” “5Ss” of Safety, Security, Sureness (Self-Confidence), Strength, and Stability. SAFETY is a sense of being protected by something strong enough to survive any opposing forces.  SECURITY is the actuality of all ones needs being cared for–whether to get what one desires or to not get what one does not desire. SURENESS equates to a sense of self-confidence and confidence is empowering (e.g. gives a personal sense of control).  STABILITY (as in resiliency) is just short of being permanently fixed, in the way a spinning top is tilted from being knocked off course but then returns to its normal upright position. STRENGTH (personal power) is a resistance to unwanted change or the ability to bring about desired change. Another spotlight pertains to “Safety’s” location on the Thinker’s Scale (a positive and negative ruler separated by a Zero). For anti-vulnerability,” most people strive to create, enhance, and maintain the “5Ss” on the positive scale + try to protect, defend against loss, or minimize “ugliness” intensity and duration on the negative scale. At point Zero, “Safety” is neutral between these constructive and destructive vulnerability aspects. When Safety is disturbed, humans and animals may resort to “fight/flight” self-protection; to camouflage (blend into surroundings); to mimicry (presenting a false identity); and/or to “shell-protection” withdrawal.

Zero point“Shell-protection” is temporarily done by Turtles spurred by possible situational danger. Being too slow moving to escape vulnerability by running, their heads withdraw inside their shells + the upper/lower shell halves tightly close. But permanent negative scale “shell-protection” was featured by Enslaved African Americans. This was from being constantly trapped while face-to-face with Human-Kinds most savage captors. "Selfhood shell-protection Armor" prevented them from being totally Selfhood destroyed in their ever present extreme vulnerable exposure state. Perhaps this inner avengement conveyed the silent position of "White man, you may enslave my body but you cannot enslave the rest of me." Permanent protective “Safety” is “ME/WE” oriented, as used by parents for their children and as good people’s selfless service might do. Still another aspect of “Safety” that one may or may not have emotions attached when bravely letting people see oneself exposed when in a bad mood. Contrary opposite and permanent aspects of vulnerability are seen in any False Self human. This, the most massive subdivision of Vulnerability, is people in Shame, having as its “Home Base” a metaphoric  inflamed “Raw Nerves”. Such causes mental turmoil and aggressive, passive, or passive-aggressive displays. Equating to such “Raw Nerves” are actual wounds known medically to become infected, cause blood poisoning, or have such excessive blood loss so that shock, and even death result. Like “Raw Nerves,” a prior but not completely scarred-over wound can be easily reopened by any pulling or tearing at that wound, so as to fester. Thus, problems can be compounded (Vulnerable) by happenings from being unprotected (Exposed) and by not knowing what to do (Defenseless). 

This is a transferable scenario to what happens and what is feared to happen in False Self humans’ minds. Underlying all of these minds’ coping and defense “mechanisms’” Vulnerability associations is a sense of ones profound Embarrassment from feeling uncovered, unprotected, and unable to battle. In turn, that causes a self-destructive disapproval self-judgment—said to be the single most significant key to fashioning ones “ugly” behaviors. In hopes of putting oneself “one-up” on others, one uses ploys (unfair advantages) intended to deceive others and oneself. Such includes the categories of: (1) “Deflections”; (2) Projections; (3) Diversions; (4) Reaction Formation. These are all used to distance the afflicted from their scapegoats + to keep fellow cult members at a distance from their own “Raw Nerves” they are hiding + to Self-distance from their own Real Selves. However, whenever one is in real danger, the vulnerability exposure is never a risk, for “one has to do what one has to do”. Those actions are powered by instincts, regardless of consequences.; JABLifeSkills;


Joseph A. Bailey II, MD, FACS


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