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Old 04-09-2009, 10:42 AM   #1
Mark Uttech
Dojo: Yoshin-ji Aikido of Marshall
Location: Wisconsin
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Lightbulb The One Enemy

Onegaishimasu. I have just been released after spending the last 144 days incarcerated. It was a useful mental and spiritual study of 'the one enemy within'. The biggest surprise was those times where I was surprised to feel not 1/2 ounce of compassion for some of the other men/women in jail with me. Another insight was seeing the lines blur between the orphans (prisoners) and the deputies.
I would be interested in any thoughts or reflections.

In gassho,

Tamonmark

Last edited by Mark Uttech : 04-09-2009 at 10:43 AM. Reason: forgot to spell check

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Old 04-09-2009, 11:55 PM   #2
Abasan
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Re: The One Enemy

Incidently I know of one person who created an art while incarcerated. He was of course an innocent man in the first place, but its interesting that he named his art Timbang.. or balance.

Its movement is very similar to one kenjutsu school in Kashima.. I forgot which. But the one that walks without any upper body movement.

Having never ever been incarcerated and hopefully never ever, I don't have the slightest idea how you may feel towards your fellow inmates. I do think that some of them may be there because of some mistakes they've done perhaps because of how they were brought up or the environment that they had the misfortune of being in. I also believe that there are some of them in there that are nothing short of animals. One interview a teacher of mine had with the latter type of inmate asked him how he felt about the pregnant lady he assaulted earlier being in a coma? He said that the night he made off with 10bucks from her he was eating a bowl of noodles and saw the news about the assault on tv. All he could think was, hmm that's the lady he did and now he can eat. No pity no remorse no humanity.

We can't judge others but we can surely emphatise with the victims. If we have any feelings of justice within us, I am sure we would have the criminals punished accordingly.

Draw strength from stillness. Learn to act without acting. And never underestimate a samurai cat.
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Old 04-10-2009, 05:36 PM   #3
mickeygelum
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Re: The One Enemy

Why were you incarcerated?

Mickey
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Old 04-10-2009, 05:53 PM   #4
Mark Uttech
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Re: The One Enemy

I had a relapse and so got a DUI. Yah, it is best not to keep secrets. In gassho, Mark

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Old 04-10-2009, 06:32 PM   #5
gdandscompserv
 
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Re: The One Enemy

Quote:
Mark Uttech wrote: View Post
I had a relapse and so got a DUI. Yah, it is best not to keep secrets. In gassho, Mark
Good luck to you!
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Old 04-10-2009, 08:34 PM   #6
Michael Hackett
Dojo: Kenshinkan Dojo (Aikido of North County) Vista, CA
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Re: The One Enemy

Interesting comment about seeing the line blur between inmates and deputies. Would you comment further? I've spent the majority of my life on this side of the bars, keeping the keys and have felt something similar. Could a deputy succumb to an alcohol or chemical addiction? Certainly. Could he screw up and lose his temper and do something stupid? Again, certainly. Many of the people in jails and prisons have done something really stupid and have to pay the price for it, and many are predatory and vicious people who are a terrible danger to the rest of us. When I've thought about the blurring of the line, I've usually considered the first situation although there have been cases where a law enforcement officer had a malicious character. What were you referring to?

In your own case, relapses happen and I wish you well, hoping that you will be able to continue with a successful recovery.

Michael
"Leave the gun. Bring the cannoli."
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Old 04-10-2009, 09:30 PM   #7
Mark Uttech
Dojo: Yoshin-ji Aikido of Marshall
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Re: The One Enemy

Onegaishimasu. I suppose what I meant about the blurred lines between prisoners and guards, is that some deputies are clearly not made to handle a position of power. There are all of these rules and regulations but- the enforcement is a mystery. Each deputy is different and we went through 3-4 deputies in the course of a single day and night. I would watch rules and regulations being either flaunted or disregarded altogether, and every single day yielded 3 or 4 surprises. A prime example: there is a bold sign proclaiming: "absolutely no chairs in the bathroom" but of course, when you walk in, the first thing you see is a chair. No talking in the bathroom or the kitchen, and no walkmans in the kitchen, but you see the exact opposite on a daily basis. I wonder how they manage to train new deputies, which they do, on a bi weekly basis it seems. Hmmm.... I trust these few examples will suffice. In gassho, Mark

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Old 04-10-2009, 11:37 PM   #8
Michael Hackett
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Re: The One Enemy

Mark,

A little different than I anticipated, but I have a clearer understanding now. Thanks.

What you described, at least to me, is a significant failure of supervision. In any endeavor involving humans, those who are "worker bees" will quickly learn to ignore rules or practices that are not enforced by their supervisors. Sometimes the required practice is ignored because it is outdated or impractical and no one has taken the time to modernize it. Sometimes the line staff will ignore a practice because they have found a short-cut that seems to work better. Sometimes they ignore the rule because they simply don't see the utility or don't like it. And sometimes the line staff won't enforce a rule because they want to be liked or want to have the least amount of conflict. None of those are justification by any means and should immediately be corrected by supervisors. If some little things are ignored by supervisors, then it isn't too big a stretch to experience abuse or neglect.

Thanks for clearing up your earlier post and again, good luck with your recovery.

Michael
"Leave the gun. Bring the cannoli."
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Old 04-11-2009, 01:44 PM   #9
mathewjgano
 
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Re: The One Enemy

Quote:
Mark Uttech wrote: View Post
Onegaishimasu. I have just been released after spending the last 144 days incarcerated. It was a useful mental and spiritual study of 'the one enemy within'. The biggest surprise was those times where I was surprised to feel not 1/2 ounce of compassion for some of the other men/women in jail with me. Another insight was seeing the lines blur between the orphans (prisoners) and the deputies.
I would be interested in any thoughts or reflections.

In gassho,

Tamonmark
Hi Mark, I was wondering where you went; welcome back to the outside. That's a pretty good amount of time in, I'm glad to see your posts again.
My thoughts on this come from my conversations with several friends who have done time too. First, my soap-box: incarceration is a great way to make better criminals. In my far-removed opinion, any progress made on the part of those serving time has more to do with that individual than the system they landed in. Prison/"big-time-jail" forces people back into a kind of highschool mentality where most folks just try to get along and not stand out too much, while the rest are trying to stand out (as bad-ass) so they can hedge off any possible attacks. It's not a compassionate environment, so it makes sense that you'd probably experience less of it yourself.
As usual I find myself trying to say more than I have the words for, but I think it's interesting how a radical change in situation can put things in a new light. Everyone I know who's been in jail for a "real" length of time, speaks of it with a certain respectful tone...and these are "tough guys" who normally like to act as if nothing can phase them.
I'm curious what you mean by the blurring of lines between inmates and deputies. I read that as saying the deputies can be just as bad. It's probably obvious that a badge doesn't make anyone better (e.g. more positively moral) than anyone else (despite common language indicating otherwise), but it certainly does allow some folks a position of automatic power...and considering it's a job that tends to wear on people, I can see how it would create a lot of opportunities for abuse of power.
I think going through the experience of being locked up holds a lot of opportunity for powerful reflection. I always appreciate hearing what my friends have had to say of their experiences and I appreciate your doing the same here: thank you.
Good luck!
edit: I see what you mean by the blurred lines now...gotta say it only reinforces certain presumptions I've gained from other folks.

Last edited by mathewjgano : 04-11-2009 at 01:50 PM.

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Old 04-13-2009, 07:44 AM   #10
Ron Tisdale
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Re: The One Enemy

Best of luck in recovery, thank you for being so open and sharing.

Best Regards,
Ron

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Old 04-13-2009, 08:58 AM   #11
Marc Abrams
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Re: The One Enemy

Mark:

The strength and depth of a person's character is seen in how they respond to personal mistakes and adversity. I wish you the best of luck in emerging from this phase of your life into a better place.

Marc Abrams
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Old 04-13-2009, 11:10 AM   #12
Janet Rosen
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Re: The One Enemy

Mark. Welcome back to the outside and to aikiweb, hopefully w/ much to ponder.

Janet Rosen
http://www.zanshinart.com
"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
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Old 04-13-2009, 01:23 PM   #13
Mark Uttech
Dojo: Yoshin-ji Aikido of Marshall
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Re: The One Enemy

Onegaishimasu. Being welcomed and feeling welcomed is wonderful encouragement and actually extends courage to "keep going". I am lucky to have this inspiring support and it gives strength to my decision to harbor no secrets about this train of events that I found myself challenged with. Every day was a mental and spiritual randori dealing with the reality of the one enemy within. In gassho, Mark

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