The Big Lie.

In 1980 a young analyst, Jeffrey Masson, met with Sigmund Freud’s daughter Anna to discuss the possibility of him having access to Freud’s unpublished letters. She agreed and he was soon made director of the Freud Archives in London. What he discovered there should have sent shock waves around the world…

but it didn’t….

because the same  suppression of the truth operates as much today as it did back then.

Masson was fired for making public what he found.

Freud’s accepted theory was a cover up.

Freud’s original theory was the Seduction Theory (1896) formulated in a paper ‘The Aetiology of Hysteria’, in which he said that something terrible and violent lay in the past of his women patients.

When he presented his veiws, his collegues alienated him overnight.

‘I am as isolated as you could wish me to be,’  he complained to his friend Wilhelm Fliess.

The newly revealed letters from Anna Freud showed how Sigmund then bowed to social pressure and renounced the link he’d made between childhood abuse and adult disturbance. Within a decade he’d substituted it with something else..

something hideous..

a theory that,

”now claimed that the victim fashioned his or her own torture. In particular violent sexual crimes could be attributed to the victim’s imagination.” Jeffrey Masson

Despite an intervening period as an intern at the Paris morgue where he saw evidence at first hand of the brutal rape and murder of children,

‘of which’, he says in private letters, ‘science prefers to take no notice.’ S Freud

…….soon, Freud himself was turning a blind eye until by 1925 he was able to say,

‘‘I was at last obliged to recognise these scenes of seduction had never taken place. They were only fantasies..’(ibid)

This more popular veiw has percolated down the century that’s followed and through almost every therapeutic discipline so that,

”most psychiatrists and psycho-analysts have, in effect, been reluctant to trust the memories of their patients, women in particular, about the traumas they experienced in childhood.” J Masson.

Freud capitalised on children’s tendency to blame themselves for the ills that befall them and turned his theory entirely around.

Then he got his job back…

and got invited to dinner.

But it turns out that Freud’s legacy of blaming the victim, one that allowed therapists to remain on the side of the successful and powerful, that narcissistically fed the notion of how sophisticated we all are, had a personal motive that went beyond his need for expensive cuban cigars.

At the same time as he was feeling the full sanction of his peers, Freud was seeing a patient, Emma Epstein, whose name had been entirely expunged from all official records. The private letters show why. Freud, still struggling with his own homosexuality, in particular his feelings for his friend Wilhelm Fliess, suggested Fliess operate on Emma Epstein under the macarbre notion that removing the turbinate bone in her nose would stop her masturbating.

The operation was unprecedented, unsupervised and bungled so badly that Emma nearly died of blood loss on site and again, later, from secondary infection, most bizzarely induced by a length of gauze left in her nasal cavity the size of a sanitary towel.

Excuse me.

It would be easy to get lost in the multiple malpractice issues that could be raised here, particularly given Emma’s resulting disfigurement, but the point I’d like to emphasize is the stance Freud took afterwards.

He used the incipient substitute theory he was developing  to blame Emma for the ‘reaction’ she’d had to Fliess’ butchery of her face. Freud claimed Emma’s bleeding was ‘hysterical’, the result of sexual longing.

you wish…

In order for Freud to protect Fliess,

‘an himself….

”it would be necessary to construct a theory of hysterical lying, a theory whereby the external traumas never happened, but are fantasies.” J Masson

Emma’s bleeding could then be referred to as ‘dysmenhorrea’.

”a psychological explanation being pressed into service to exculpate his own dubious behaviour.” ibid

Why is all this such a big deal? Because a hundred years after Freud’s twin efforts to both absolve himself of blame in a sleazy sham and get back in with his mates, his theories have infiltrated every state institution even vaguely concerned with children’s welfare.

I had the misfortune of coming across a child psychotherapist appointed by the court to determine residency of my son. This man told me to my face that my twelve year old son’s lack of anxiety, his confidence in being able to walk 400m to school and a catch a bus into the next town if he wanted was clearly abnormal and contributary grounds to have him removed from my care.

I did get my boy back and the gentleman concerned was ultimatly spanked for his nonsense. But had I been less determined or less literate I would have lost my child.

The scary thing is that the whole system is full of such persons who believe they are doing their best by refusing to listen to children. My own child’s claim that he had been violated by the very person they wanted him to live with was strenuously suppressed by social workers and court officials alike. When I finally went to central archives for hard copy of the police report concerned and produced it before a judge it was angrily dismissed as irrelevant to the case and I was reprimanded for trying to stir up trouble.

Ironically, Freud himself shed light on the negation of childhood suffering in a paper that he wrote 20 years after he turned his back on the reality of sexual and emotional abuse entitled ‘Negation’ (1925), in which he states,
“In our interpretation, we take the liberty of disregarding the negation ….. To negate something in a judgement is at bottom to say ‘this is something which I should prefer to repress’. A negative judgement is the intellectual substitute for repression, its ‘no’ is the hallmark of repression ….. Thus, originally, the mere existence of a presentation was a guarantee of the reality of what was represented.” S Freud.

Unfortunately…

the fact that Freud’s distorted and unforgiving theory of human nature  became so pervasive says more about us than it does about him.

For all the squalor of his personal motivations its down to the rest of us that we put him on such a pedestal for so long. Why did we do that? Because we too, do not want to know. We’re happy with how evolved and sophisticated we are.

We like our dominant myth.

Synchro-spam

Synchronicity is orchestral. It orchestrates and has a way of re-shaping

identity,

experienced subjectively, perhaps, as a change of values or aspirations,

”The hallmark of the transpersonal is the experience of being acted upon.” Sylvia Brinton Perera.

Its also true, in a more lyrical way, that we can count on the brass section at the major crossroads of life while the woodwind section is a bit more gentle, everyday kind of thing.

Hopefully.

”Synchronicity is an ever present reality for those who have the eyes to see.”    C G Jung.

You might say that synchronicity was the Universe’s way of….

you are failing miserably to understand

Er,  what I was going to say was, how can we be more aware of..

The best way is to stop cursing yourself for nothing….

and so I thought, lets go looking for it.

Synchronicity will occur wherever I’m all riled up about something because the riteous prick in me will always stir stuff up from the bottom of the pond with some kind of reactive drama…

in need of compensation.

So what has me fired up?

You must contact your insurance/medical assistance business immediately if
you should be referred to a medical facility for treatment.

And its not what you’d think. To my shame its not world hunger or political corruption, its the spam on my blog, the bastard scamsters and hackers that slip under the radar and piggyback me through cyberspace for the sake of a mention. Piano lessons in Singapore, Maths tuition in Queensland.

keep up wrinting.

If you were to apply a little method and actually practice what you have been preaching about  the philosopher’s stone being found on the dung heap, then you could stop angrily deleting it all, but rather treat it as a waking dream and see what meaning might be found.

Perhaps my angst is that I insist on seeing these gremlins as parasites. And why shouldn’t I have a few parasites? Perhaps they could even be useful… the extent of my annoyance suggests it has more to do with me than I would like to admit, so there’s some gem in there…

To become identified with the fixed reference point of the separate self limits our freedom, entraps our creative potency and hinders our compassion.”             P Levy

The thought of approaching my spam as a lucid dream is exciting…. it’s like having a new role…

”and though the soul does not assume the lead by killing off the ego, the ego is demoted, one might say, and given a different assignment in the psyche, which is essentially to submit to the concerns of the soul.” Clarissa Pinkola Estés

Ok so, most of it is pretty standard, what you’d expect, paranoid delusional stuff about the end of the world, preparing for Armaggedon..

some appeal to my male insecurity…

you too can have a longer penis, build this Extender in the comfort of your own home…

Hmm, before or after building a fallout shelter?

Consider the size of your own.

I am, I am, its just that my attention is now on…

cheap wedding dresses.

lots of stuff about cheap wedding dresses, the appeal strangely riding on the premise that you don’t want your wedding to look cheap.

and keep those straps tucked in girls. A stray brastrap could ruin your big day.

What kind of heavy trip is that? You can see it now..

OMG, a brastrap, you’ve fucked up the rest of my life, you bitch.

But the one that really got me…

was an advert for anal bleaching.

What the fuck is this doing in my psyche? Still, not to worry, apparently its quite acceptable in discussion these days and no longer for just porn stars and bridesmaids….

For crying out loud, what is it with the bridesmaids? Since when might a bridesmaid consider having her anus bleached as part of her maidenly duties? And to what purpose? How might it sit in the collective psyche of the dearly beloved knowing such a thing?

I don’t want to play this anymore.

#If you quit, how are you here?

Ok, but it feels….. shitty.

And not just because of the pervy connotations of it, or even the objectification of women, but because this denial of body, this cut offness from sexuality and this weird alienation from self is given the twist of debonair sophistication.

Barbie is still our aspiration.

How long will it be before you can’t show your face in public because you haven’t had your monthly bleaching? Shaving and waxing are no longer enough. Now you have to peroxide your heiney as well.

The ability to combine analytical thinking with imaginative execution is extremely desirable.

Ok, so we’re mocking the superficiality of modern culture, but yet to get the symbolism of all this. The problem is deeper than depersonalisation.

Its about disgust, before it ever occured to you that you are a person…

who might be… depersonalised.

Babies learn most about themselves and the world before the self/other dichotomy opens up. They learn from their kinaesthetic experience, from mouth, smell, feel and how they are held, the visceral cues about whether the Universe is friendly or not.

 
Henri Wallon uses the term ‘confiscation’ (Wallon 1949) to describe the emptiness that seems to be, from a western point of view, an intrinsic part of the developmental process. Confiscation implies that something once present has been taken away and indeed it has.

Baby has yet to learn of Yahweh’s divine truculence with the Great Mother but soon does so from the non verbal cues intruded in the personal mother, the loss of her divine representation bound to translate itself as depression and ennui. Baby is then compelled to join mother in her impoverished psycho-spiritual framework and confiscation is the felt result.

‘The loss which lies at the heart of confiscation is no small matter. It amounts to a revolution of consciousness the crucial feature of which is the decision to mistrust the evidence of our senses.’ ie Nature.  Berman (1989)

 
Baby renounces the body as a way of knowing herself. The shared loss of the numinous feminine container which anchors and enrichens everyday mothering means baby is effectively born into an untrustworthy world which she internalizes, sacrificing her own capacity to apprehend reality.

Symptoms develop.

The obsessive’s preoccupation with ‘dirt’ is primarily a concern about how easily love can be lost, the panic of contamination a prelude to rejection and isolation.

The issues are disgust, tedium and whether or not love can be extinguished by diarrhoea. Baby does his best to fall in line by shamefully accepting that his pooh is intrusive, horrible and damaging. Perhaps even baby himself is intrusive horrible and damaging. What he does is still bound up in who he is.

Unmet needs in baby don’t go away. They manifest in adult life as a craving for instant gratification, passive entertainment, getting loved-up, the feeling of being owed a living and the expectation of having someone to take care of all eventualities.

The symbols are the lottery, the red carpet, celebrity.

In the meantime we are so regressed we have to be told what to do at every turn. Life’s simplest operations are governed for us, all the way down to serving suggestions on packets of salt, advice on how to remove a bottle top (twist!) and those oh so necessary instructions on a joint of beef to remove plastic wrapping prior to putting it in the oven.

This makes fewer resources offered to be robbed.

Sometimes we make apotropaic gestures to ward of feared expectations. Invariably, however,

‘the catastrophic expectation has already happened.” D Winnicott.

We project Armaggedon into the future. Its safer there. The Preppers are too late.

We’re facing the wrong way.

arse about face.

Which is perhaps why Jung once said to Marie Louise von Franz,

”I cannot confess to have solved the riddle of the coniunctio mystery”CG Jung

All of which goes to show how even the greatest minds are limited precisely by the mental identification to which they are bound to fall prey. Jung veiwed it as personal failure not to have figured it all out, forgetting that the hierosgamos, the sacred marriage, is not there to be ‘solved’ anymore than the bridesmaids are there to have their bottoms bleached.

The mystery is not a riddle to be surmounted or sanitised by man.

perhaps if the Unconscious could be approached from some vantage point other than being smart arse enough to suss it out then she would simply reveal Her treasures.

excellent listener.

and the bridesmaids might have their honour restored.

 

Synchronicity. Encounter with Numinosity.

The philosopher Heidegger said,

”There’s what I want to think about, and then there’s what wants to be thought.”

Its a single line that could keep you busy for a lifetime.

For instance, what about what I want to write about and what wants to be written? And who am I if I am merely penning what has already crowded its way to the forefront of my neo-cortex?

What are the implications for self-realisation if my idea of what it might mean is undercut by that which wants to be realised? What if enlightenment was something that came knocking at your door? What if it barged in?

I was a nineteen year old special forces…

be polite now..

soldier.

We had been sent on a mission to mop up some ‘auxiliaries’, fighters who’d annoyingly swopped sides and traded in their AK47’s for G3 semi-automatics and a hot meal.

It wasn’t very well thought out. They had a habit of defecting back again or just doing their own thing and had become…an embarrassment.

Six of us were sent in, concealed in the back of an armoured vehicle. The plan was explained en route. Lure them out of the bush with bully beef and cigarrettes and, ahem, ‘resolve’ the diplomatic….problem.

I had a small niggle about this. When we arrived at the RV the niggle had become an itch and the itch a gnawing pit of dread in my gut.

…in cold blood?

I began to sweat and moan. The officer was calling the Auxiliaries out of hiding. Soft thump of cigarrette cartons landing on the dusty ground. I heard voices, the crackle of dry undergrowth, figures moving slowly through the rifle slits, men with carelessly shouldered weapons.

…in cold blood?

The officer motioned us with a hidden hand. Sweat dribbled into my eyes, grime everwhere. The bottom of the truck was covered in bark and dirt from a fuel run earlier.

A woodlouse suddenly barrelled its way across the floor towards me, his feathery antennae working furiously, as if in desperate communication. Despite his tiny size he seemed to fill my entire field of vision.  My bootlace trailed on the ground. He clambered up it with great effort, struggling to get up, as if the smallest advantage was worth any sacrifice, his now whirring antennae a dance of petition.

…in cold blood?

The woodlouse began to absorb my entire attention. He became Woodlouse, his whole purpose to convey something terribly important and it was as if, for just a moment, the waving of his antennae breached the divide between us.

…in cold blood?

The order was given. The firing and the screaming began. Woodlouse clambered further up, waving, waving, hallooo, halllloooooo.

..not in cold blood.

When it was all over I was still sat in my seat, unused belts of ammo trailing from a cold gun. The silence was eternal. I kept my eyes on Woodlouse who had climbed back down a bit but twiddling victoriously.

Woodlouse. Burrowing creature of the underworld who creates rich humus out of dead wood.

The officer and I looked at each other for a veeeery long time, his brain cluncking between the options of handing me down a juicy 128 days in detention barracks or an even juicier yet unfortunate accident. Woodlouse sat firmly on my boot giving courage and filling me with the strangest sense of calm. Nobody said a word.

Of course, you could say that I just projected my conscience onto the woodlouse but that was not my experience. When I read Jung years later saying that the soul is mostly ouside the body I understood what had happened. I had been redeemed by something beyond my own consciousness.

”Something in the outer world crstallizes or confirms an inner process.” Jeanne Lloyd.

In a moment of urgency, inner and outer had ‘lined up’, or perhaps revealed their inner unity.

“Synchronicity is no more baffling or mysterious than the discontinuities of physics. We must regard them as creative acts, as the continuous creation of a pattern that is not derivable from any known antecedents.” C G Jung. 

During the time I was in analysis I got befriended by badgers. They came to me in dreams. Once I was in the woods and one came right up to me and musked my boot.

So, I dreamt that I was sick and two men with the heads of badgers tattoed their print on my chest and sucked out poison through it via a blue golf tee. It was a great relief.

I had a session the next day. On the pavement immediatly in front of my analyst’s gate, in two up two down suburbia, was a blue golf tee.

Something unknown is doing I don’t know what .

yet there is some poetry in the fresh game, the new beginning, that is teeing off.

Several years later I got the tattoo of the badger’s print done as it had been in my dream. Shortly after I was coming home late at night on my motorbike and as I turned into the drive understood that there was a badger waiting for me at the bottom of the garden.

Badger. Burrowing creature.

It was pitch black and 100m away but I clumsily made my way down to the boundry fence and there she was. I walked right up to the fence as she snuffled up and down. Her partner 60m away, bolted .

We are more than we can conceptualise.

”Morphic fields extend beyond us linking us to the objects of perception, affecting them through intention and attention.” R Sheldrake.

The content of synchronicities are always unique but there is something that seems common to them. They have to do with the re-enchantment of life, an aliveness that comes from going into the unknown, from crossing some kind of threshold of Being, or perhaps simply by allowing oneself to be.

We do have this idea that enlightenment comes from all kinds of strenuous effort and sometimes that is needed but so is it true that sometimes what is required is simply to get out of our own way and allow realisation to unfold by itself.

My dear mentor Chuck Schwartz once told me,

”Whatever the specific meaning of synchronous events there is also the more general sense that you are on the right track.”

Synchronicities are expressions of the dreamlike nature of reality,

”In a night dream, the dreamscape is reflecting the internal psyche of the dreamer. The dream is not separate from the inner world. Nor is our waking experience separate from what we normally call reality”. P Levy

So, what about if you’re not at all sure if you’re awaake or…

not?

Most of the time we at least think we know and are comforted by that. Sometimes, you can have lucid dreams and go about introducing yourself to figures of the inner world. But what do you do if..

you’re not quite sure…?

I’m in a garden and can’t quite decide one way or another. No lizard men… an acid test, usually. I look at the hairs on my arms, the whorls in my fingerprints, the grain of the brickwork in the garden wall. Then I pick up a sprig of three red leaves and hold it up to the light marvelling at the intricacy of their veins and the incredible colours.

Then its real whether you can find the seams in the universe or not, matey.

What a relief, and coughed up a kilo of broken glass.

better out than in…

Next morning I’m off to work down Commercial road in the East End of London, cash in hand casual work in an Indian gift shop. In the middle of the street is a sprig of three red leaves, but plastic and very unreal looking..

..laughed all the way to work.

When we step out of creed and dogma, braving the prospect of making our own way through the dark forest all manner of things happen to act as markers on the way,

”choreographed by the great pervasive intelligence that lies at the heart of nature, manifest in each of us as intuitive knowledge.” D Chopra.

When I was twelve I was sent to a foreign boarding school. On the first day my rugby boots were thrown around the dorm, mocked for their cheap brand and inferior stitching.

It was bad enough, but the really important piece of it was that it reminded me of a forgotten story my father told me long before. Remembered, suddenly and entirely. How his father had been shot down over Turin in 1942 , the rear gunner of a downed Lancaster. The RAF gave my father a bursary to a foreign boarding school where he was mocked for his clumpy shoes…

and how he’d never send me to such a place.

‘An you fink,

‘Ang on a frikkin minit.

Who’s life is this anyway?

Let alone what it might mean.

Something  comes out of the blue with your destiny in one hand and the burden of generations in the other.  Einstein’s anonymous god, a sometimes dark and unwanted co-incidence that nevertheless brings sudden, mercurial insight.

On Muttering.

Freedom is not something that can be given. It can only be quietly stolen – and even then, its from ourselves that we have to take it.

If some part of you colludes with authority out of the wish to be told what to do, to be looked after or to have life sufficiently regimented not have to ponder it, then you’ll turn a blind eye to the price that you pay for the priviledge.

The route of least resistance means renouncing your own authority and grabbing at the invitation to be led by the nose. Our glorious leaders will comply all too swiftly and then take their own route of least resistance into hubris and corruption.

So, everyone gets to be a baby.

Instant gratification for all.

what a clever trick.

We tell ourselves that we’re not babies….

yeah wiv, wiv, Voting an’ Freedom an all….

Except that it is precisely your vote that has actively helped bring about the covert intention of the One System system, which is that 93% of the world’s wealth lies in the bank accounts of eight families.

Or is the erosion of the middle classes and the consequent vast increases in inequality just an anomalie of the system? Could it not be simply fulfilling its purpose? Stuffing itself to engorgement whilst selling you the idea that you are free?

and evolved.

The ‘rule of intentionality’, says things go the way that they are pointed and so if there seems to be a contradiction in our system its on account of a collective split in the fabric of Western Civilisation’s reality.

When a child loses its mother, or is faced by a mother who is on automatic pilot, the child splits itself in order to cope with the trauma.
The conflict between the will to deny horrible events and the will to proclaim them aloud is the central dialectic of psychological trauma. Far too often secrecy prevails, and the story of the traumatic event surfaces not as a verbal narrative but as a symptom.” Judith Herman.

Our culturally endemic narcissism helps us do this….

”Each generation imagines itself to be more intelligent than the one that went before it, and wiser than the one that comes after it.” George Orwell.

and yet

”There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” Maya Angelou.

Its not just the trauma of  loss but what then fails to occur, the pinched emptiness and emotional malnourishment that’s part and parcel of things that don’t happen and stories that aren’t told.

Part of the child stays in touch with what is going on, but has to hive off and suppress the story of the traumatised self to do so.

The problem with this slight of hand is that the divided self then has to live in a divided world in order to be congruent with it. It has to pour extra energy into interpreting that world and even more into ‘how-life-has-to-be’.

Collectively, this is exactly what has happened. We really have been separated from the Great Mother. We collectively respond in the same way as any child deprived of its Mother. We go numb, can’t really remember stuff, and construct a split reality to live our split selves in.

”Trauma gives rise to complicated, sometimes uncanny alterations of consciousness, which George Orwell, one of the committed truth-tellers of our century, called “doublethink,” and which mental health professionals, searching for calm, precise language, call “dissociation.”‘ Judith Herman

Our split, doublethink, world deals with some pretty tough contradictions, but still manages to preserve the notion that we’re ‘free’…. whilst compulsively living the same groundhog day for decades at a time, following slavish routines determined by others in pursuit of goals that come in the mail…

We think of ourselves as democratic whilst being perfectly aware that we are actually ruled by oligarchic mega-corporations.

”What do you think of Western Democracy?”

someone once asked Ghandi.

”I think it would be a very good idea,”

he replied.

We applaud our ‘standard of living’, whilst being appalled at how much crap we trick ourselves into amassing. We guage our worth by the size of the pile, build it up, tend the pile, polish and preen it, then take detox weekends to get away from it all.

We’re spiritually evolved yet still collectively judge our worth by what we drive and which neighbourhood we live in.

We think of ourselves as god’s meek children whilst inflatedly sucking the world dry.

We pride ourselves on our pile whilst acknowledging that money can’t buy  love. We loath consumerism but run ourselves into the ground in pursuit of it.

I and me not talking to each other is the lynch pin of this split reality. For as long as the path between their houses remains overgrown you can happily live with even the most crucifying of contradictions.

And be eternally controlled on account of it.

Why?

Because the divided are easily ruled.

Whether its sending humanitarian aid to wartorn countries in the same container as automatic weapons, or espousing compassion for others whilst allowing yourself to be treated like dirt, the trick of keeping I and me apart so as not to question stuff works like a charm.

In 1940 Stalin bought out a ‘Muttering law”, which said that you could get 25 years in the Gulag for talking to yourself. His mate Adolf (on the opposite side) thought this was such a good idea he implimented the same law a year later.

Thou shalt not speak to thyself.

Why?

Because Consciousness can’t be policed and when the inner split is mended people are more difficult to boss about.

”The best instruction you could ever give a poet: don’t ignore the honest muttering in your head.” Alice Oswald

Muttering is the spontaneous expression of forbidden truth. Its the secret story of the suppressed self. Mostly we think of stuff and then give it expression. Muttering is the other way around, you hear yourself after the fact. Its a kind of coaching, or in fact, mothering of oneself. The word ‘mutter’ comes from the German for ‘mother’. When we mutter we are mothering ouselves. I and me are sharing the comfort of  inner truths.

So listen to mutter, pay attention to what you say under your breath and through clenched teeth, hear the words of that song you keep humming. Do it out loud and deliberate. Whatever it is, is asking for more expression and validation by insisting itself on consciousness in this way.

Muttering is a form of what used to be called parapraxes, like slips of the tongue, because its rare that the content of the muttering comes fully to light. So the task is to listen to yourself muttering and really hear it, be its advocate. Then it will settle down.

They say that talking to yourself is the first sign of madness. Its not. Its the first sign of truth squeezing past the inner censors. That’s why Stalin and Hitler banned it. They saw that it liberated people from their oppression by overcoming the inner division that had previously rendered them so maleable.

 

 

 

 

For life to have meaning.

Apparently, at the ecstatic height of the Eleusinian Mysteries rites of ancient Greece, a darkly robed and fearfully masked figure would walk quietly about whispering into the ears of the participants, ‘Death is coming.’

Such a ritual gesture is apotropaic, a turning away of the harm and evil influence of inflation, somewhat inevitable if the purpose of the evening is to become one with The Mystery.

The dark cloaked figure’s grounding reminder of death allows the experience of the rite to be integrated and lived out in the community as creative gratitude.

We do something rather different. We deflate with guilt. Major guilt.

Other than that the One System system encourages inflation at every turn.

What gets skipped over in all the stories of Yahweh’s Great Smiting, are all those he lets off the hook, namely anyone that would praise him. His commandments are trashed left, right and centre by his kings throughout history. The message is clear,

”You can do as you please so long as its in my name.”

Which is what Western Civilisation has subsequently done without restraint..

Bonzer,…sounds ideal!

Mistaking the heady raptures of an identification with a wrathful and plunderous god for the kind of wisdom that comes from a really rather different life is more easily done than should be allowed.

Nevertheless;

Wisdom is never violent: where wisdom reigns there is no conflict between thinking and feeling. ~Carl Jung,

And though it may suit us to mistake the one for the other there is a catch.

No, a consequence.

Thou shalt not do loads of stuff but chiefly thou shalt not become they full self for to do so is to have a relationship with Psyche which breaks the one rule we see Yahweh applying over and again whilst all the others are allowed to go flying.

No-one but Me.

Which gives rise to a wee problem.. Psyche and Sophia/Nature are the same thing..

DON’T SPEAK HER NAME.

No we weren’t, it’s just that for a person to truly become themselves they have to meet with Psyche and that has to happen outside the churchyard you grew up in.

There is a predominant body of opinion that says the Great Mother had to be defeated in order for ego consciousness to emerge at this, our shining pinnacle of evolutionery, er, progress.. The One System system is necessary, they say, to the emergence of Consciousness.

Bollocks.

What has actually emerged is not ego consciousness at all but a cult of persona, one-dimensional man, which is a very different animal. In fact ego consciousness is something of an endangered species. Mostly when people talk about their ego they mean some corner of themselves holding the rest to ransom.

In this scenario, most of ego is actually being tyrannised by the persona, a much more limited, single aspect of the personality which can gain the upper hand, or  feels it has to take over for want of sufficient internal co-hesion.

So, martial law then, really.

We have no reason to believe that people of tens of thousands of years ago had less of a sense of themselves than do we moderns, in fact it seems as though some considerable collective regression might even have taken place.

The kind Darwin could never allow except by acknowledging that Ant and Dec are the best candidates for an inter species delegation should one ever arrive.

In fact its more than likely that some of the people of yesteryear had already got what being human is all about. Its just prejudice to think that the living must be more evolved than the dead.

we’ve not so much evolved as wandered off

We are the ones with the narrow veiw,  the blinkers that go with Single System perspective. A multiplicity of divinities, as in many ancient times, would have meant a corresponding inner multiplicity, more elbow room inside, space to walk around.

Even the earliest of our ancestors pictograms, that of Geb and Nut,  brother and sister protagonists of the Egyptian creation myth , depicted what would have already been in consciousness for millenia, a lived sense of self and other, of I and thou.

I can talk to Me much better with such inner spaciousness. Sense of self increases with the identity that comes from the particular, unique mix of observances that you might make and various altars to which you might leave offerings.

In the West our predominant model for interacting with the divine has conversly been pared away to the somewhat less evolved wish/demand to be given stuff.

Even mercy, faith or grace.

What does it mean to have been raised in a culture whose principle prayer, once the introductory pleasantries are out of the way goes straight for, ‘give us this day our daily bread.’ Its not far off a demand for pocket money. Compare it to the feeling in this ancient prayer of the high priest of Ra,

”let me lie with the heat of sun in my beard,

Eating figs and smelling the hay

Let me enter the temple of fire

Bake me into bread, smelt me into gold.”

The Sweet Wound.

 The greatest obstacle to healing depression is to see it as the enemy. We talk about fighting, combating, struggling with depression. Even ‘having depression’ suggests it intrusively came to you from somewhere else.
In the early days of my training I went to see an analyst and was reeling off my woes and complaints about life.
”At least I’m not depressed,”I said.
‘No,’ he replied, ‘you haven’t got there yet.’
I was shocked.
Depression could be a goal.
The fact is there are lots of things in life to be depressed about. And if we then try and combat it rather than enquiring into its purpose, it entrenches itself.
”What we resist, persists.” CG Jung
Depression is a sign that I has stopped talking with Me. The path between their houses has overgrown. The feeling of social isolation that comes with depression is mirrored on the inside as self estrangement.
Much depression has to do with the issue of authenticity, with whether we are being who we are. If a gap begins to grow between who we really are and who we wish we were then depression will fill that gap.
If we pretend to be what we are not for others in the fruitless and misguided quest to be loved by them, then depression will call our attention to the dissonance between what is actually going on and the new improved version of ourselves we’re trying to sell.
Depression hits particular kinds of people.
Did you notice the aggressive metaphor I just used?
…that I typed, myself, without noticing it until it was sat licking its paws on the screen in front of me.
We’re conditioned to have this combative relationship with depression. Centuries of being great white hunters.
Depression mostly unfolds in particular kinds of people. It’s the underbelly of perfectionism, people pleasing and ‘positive thinking’.
The perfectionists are at war with their shadows, their inadequacies and unevolved aspects.
The people pleasers are at war with their own destinies, so readily derailed by other’s baggage and expectation.
The positive thinkers are at war with anything that isn’t rosy and bright.
Whether its with yourself, your path, or life’s mourning and pain, the insistance on things being other than they are gives rise to depression.
”Our suffering is as much created by our struggling against the circumstances at hand as the circumstances themselves.” M Israel.
If we are living someone else’s life, or someone else’s vision of who we ‘ought’ to be, then depression will ensue. And if we are not living up to our potential on account of its cost to us, it will be all the worse.
”There is a great deal of pain in life and perhaps the only pain that can be avoided is the pain that comes from trying to avoid pain.”  RD Laing
Its big. The US spends an incredible $350 billion a year on medication and therapy for depression. This amount is currently increasing at a rate of 20%.
http://www.healthline.com/health/depression/statistics-infographic.
.
The figures are scary and again its tempting to whip out you sword forgetting that depression has a purpose and failing to notice that it is pointing at something we subscribe to that doesn’t actually feed us or represent us.
Something has to give.
and not this or that but the paradigm itself.
We have a collectively narcissistic vision of ourselves as highly evolved when in fact we are really the creature that has only one of its senses working and thinks itself so grand in the absense of all the others.
This is the characteristic response, the strategy, of the unmothered child, and indeed we’ve had no Queen of Heaven for quite a few millenia now. When Mother is lost the child does not grow, or in only one of its aspects.
The rest of it shuts down and regresses.
So here we are, trashing our play pens.
We fail to grasp the proverbial reality that as we selfishly destroy nature “our outer world”, consequently we destroy “our inner world”, and ourselves as a species. The psychological consequence of this disconnection from nature amputates our soul connection with Mother Earth.
http://www.michaelgeorge.com/app/uploads/2015/03/Civilizations-Disconnect-from-Nature-and-Psyche.pdf
And its a question of more than mere deprivation.
A seven year old proudly announces to mother that he’s made money! Mother asks how and the child explains with great delight that he got it out of mother’s purse but then swopped it for the same amount he’d persuaded his mate Billy to take from his mother’s purse…. so it wasn’t stealing….’
And this is the logic of the economic market in the Western paradigm culminating in banks printing their own money and lending what they don’t have . We call it free enterprise but actually its a way of becoming magic in the absense of magic, the magic of belonging and feeling held by the Universe. A strategy that involves a hiest.
We deal with what feels like abandonment by attributing ourselves with  whatever specialness it takes to gain some additional illicit toe hold on the world. Our deep hungering then justifies whatever follows next, generally an envious attack on the worth and value of others..
This envy creates depression. Its part of the fallout of being so pious and better than everyone else. In order to really buy the shining version of ourselves we have to attribute others with the very fragments of  self most needed to be whole.
We cannot take command of our great battlements without corresponding feelings of having been robbed.

The paradigm itself creates depression.

The monotheistic notion that life always has to be cheerful (could) be instructed by melancholy. We could learn from its qualities and follow its lead, becoming more patient in its presence, lowering our excited expectations, taking a watchful attitude as this soul deals with its fate..” T Moore

The loss of the Principle of Relatedness in our culture means both a loss of the internal cohesion of I and Me and of the bond between ourselves and the external world. This is generally experienced as disconnection, lack of trust and not belonging that then reinforces internal divisions and the feeling of alienation.
The thing is that the creative life also has its gloomy vales.

”Creative people who can’t help but explore other mental territories are at greater risk, just as someone who climbs a mountain is more at risk than someone who just walks along a village lane.” RD Laing

So sometimes it can feel like a choice between the aggravation of refusing to be what we are or the further aggravation of  grasping life’s nettle. It doesn’t seem fair and its not.

”a warring peace, a sweet wound, a mild evil.” R Owen.

If the feelings of being depressed can be honoured as a form of longing then so can the feelings of riding your push bike down Middenmarsh hill with a mouthful of blackberries and chocolate.

based on an extract from my new book, ‘Abundant Delicious’, http://andywhiteblog.com/2016/06/11/abundant-delicio…ot-off-the-press/

 

 

Chaos, Reason and Creativity .

Positive thinking…..

One of the cudgels with which this vision of sentimental fascism encourages us to beat ourselves is the notion that, ‘everything happens for a reason.’

In other words, you are to blame for your own ills, an unforgiving, colloquial psychoanalysis that implies, along with Freud, that you must have bought this on yourself.

Then why is it so popular?

This mauling of the concept of karma by the wise ones casting their pearls before you is done so that their compassion need never be tested. The effulgent fantasy of how much they care whilst refusing to walk a step in another’s shoes can all be neatly kept in place.

But despite its harshness , so too are we easily comforted by everything happening for a reason. It keeps life’s chaos to a minimum. Stuff is not random, you just haven’t figured out what it was you did to deserve it. And once you have, you can be guilty again and therefor a causal agent in an otherwise crazy world.

….potent in your misfortune.

Yaay!

Everything happening for a reason will re-confirm your bad conscience for you. It will help to make meaning of suffering without actually having to stetch more than your pinky into it or learn anything at all, except what you already know.

Yaay!

It also justifies your advantage over others. You got to be that lucky because the Gods favoured you in your great virtue and therefor condone you. Its not gluttony or greed, its reward for piety.

Yaay!

Either way, ‘everything happening for a reason’ pans out pretty well for those that have paid their subscription. And it all sounds so spiritual and evolved. But its not about karma in its truest sense at all.

It is no longer about, ‘what I must do to fulfill myself’, on the understanding that the Universe will bring lessons to help me in my endeavour.

What we choose to understand by Karma has become distorted into a fear and blame based response to life. We scrabble about for some misdemeanour to hitch our situation to so that we need not experience our smallness or cosmic insignificance.

Everything ‘happening for a reason’ is a collective regression to pre Galilean times when we thought of ourselves as the centre of the Universe. Nothing could occur without reference to our narcissistic selves. It seems we haven’t moved on very much and the ‘evolved’ souls of this world will still tut and cluck when you are hit by a bus or contract ebola, earnestly encouraging you to search your soul, or perhaps what you must have done in a previous life…

to have deserved such a fate…

What is most interesting about this belief system is the impact it has on creative life.

It kills it.

What I’ve noticed is that when you accept that shit does and will happen without that reference to reason, then creativity unfolds by itself.

The reason is simple. Creativity requires chaos.

“One must still have chaos in oneself to be able to give birth to a dancing star.” F Nietzsche.

There is no chaos in everything happening for a reason. Its all faaar too squared away.

When you can get out of your own way sufficiently for stuff to happen without reason, for things not to make sense, then inspiration comes.

‘Confusion is the welcome mat at the door of creativity.’ M Gelb.

I am a writer. I’m also an artist. There’s a common denominator. I’m at my best when I haven’t the faintest idea what is going on. Something comes at you. Just grab it. Now, use it. Doesn’t matter how. Trust the process.

I got taught this principle by a brother and sister aged four and six respectively who were marooned one summer in the same rambling mansion where I was the grounds keeper.

‘Tell us a story.’

What would you like to hear?’

‘No, a new one.’

‘About a horse with a very long tail…

‘an a glass crown….

‘an a witch with a zapper ray…’

It was hard at first. I had unlearned my imagination and forgotten what it fed upon. They trained me up. The main thing is… to begin.

People hadn’t yet been educated out of their intuitive intelligence in ancient times. The Greek philosopher Carpocrates advocated doing something new every day to keep the chaos alive..

‘It is important to do what you don’t know how to do. It is important to see your skills as keeping you from learning what is deepest and most mysterious’. C Castaneda.

Without the delight of being continuously up against the unknown even that which we think of as ordinary and mundane becomes fraught and tedious. I came across an article today titled, ‘How to eat an Apple’. I was tempted to post a request for some instruction about how to find my hands given that I’d need them whatever the technique being advocated.

So, thank god stuff needn’t happen for a reason. Praise be the glorious, messy, left field of life. And lets be thankful for everything that can sneak up on us unbidden and undeserved.

As far as things happening for a reason are concerned…..

I prefer Joel ben Izzy’s approach,

“I still believe that things in this world do, indeed, happen for a reason. But sometimes that reason only comes after they happen. It is not a reason we find, but one we carve, sculpted from our own pain and loss, bound together with love and compassion”.

Mayors ban Dying.

I wonder what a visiting alien could deduce from our insatiable materialism about the mother/infant bond in Western culture.

Mater-ialism.

And its not just about obscene levels of consumption or rampant trashing of our own playpens, but our attitude to our bodies, to growing old and dying.

Different cultures experience death in different ways. Ours is so riddled with anxiety and horror that we spend much of our lives engaged in projects whose prime objective is not to think about it.

What?

See….

What is suppressed in a culture slides into the Unconscious. It doesn’t go away. And when what is suppressed is Half of Heaven then we will all be busting at the seams with Whatever it is thats slipped out of sight.

Because,

‘The lost Goddess represents the psyche of each one of us.’ Freke and Gandy

Having Wisdom/Sophia entirely written out of our religion has not been some mere historical event.

“Young children, who for whatever reason are deprived of the continuous care and attention of a mother or a substitute-mother, are not only temporarily disturbed by such deprivation, but may in some cases suffer long-term effects.”
Bowlby
What happens when this dynamic is played out on a cosmic stage? When the Great Mother is cast into the sea by Yahweh so long ago now its human pre-history?

When the divine feminine is collectively repressed two main things happen. Firstly, we lose access to a crucial point of reference that enables us to make informed decisions. The story of Solomon’s Wisdom was, in its original form, about his relationship with Wisdom/Sophia before the church fathers dumbed it down.

She makes decisions on the basis of relatedness, the genius of which is the story of deciding to cut the disputed baby in half knowing the true mother would reveal herself through her love. The collective loss of such intelligent compassion  is a disaster superseded only by the second thing, the Goddess as Psyche,

’falls into identification with the body.’ (Freke and Gandy)

In other words, Sophia/Wisdom becomes locked up in matter from where she exerts a fascination over us. And instead of She who is more valuable than silver and pearls you have Silver and Pearls.

so its not as benign as you might hope.

When Wisdom/Sophia is sunk in the unconsciousness She,

‘ responds with violent emotions, irritability, lack of control coupled with lack of self-criticism and delusions. [Man] becomes ruthless, arrogant and tyrannical’. CG Jung 
Loss of the Goddess has done more than reduce the ‘developed’ world to spiritual subsistence. It must be asked whether our rampant greed is more than it seems. And its about far more than mere loss or deprivation.

”Maternal failures produce reactions which interrupt going-on-being and (constitute) a threat of annihilation, the infant does not really come into existence, the true self does not become a living reality.”D Winnicott.

The vengeance of the uninvited guest, the devalued and disenfranchised Mother/Queen, is bound to manifest as Goddess in her dark aspect. Hell hath no fury and our scorning of the Psyche has resulted in more than mere loss. Her banishment has not meant she’s gone quietly.
With the poetry of divine justice She has made us sleep on the bed we have made for ourselves. As Psyche she creates all kinds of afflictions from within. As (mater)ial world she exerts all kinds of bewitching fascinations from without. One way or another she will be of influence in our lives.

But its perhaps in our attitudes to death that we live Wisdom/Sophia’s loss the hardest.

And where we get craziest.

Its not just the unbridgeable gap of uncontained grief for the loved one but the sense, the reminder, that the Great Mother is also gone.

”A longing to wander tears my heart when I hear trees rustling in the wind at evening. If one listens to them silently for a long time, this longing reveals its kernel, its meaning. It is not so much a matter of escaping from one’s suffering, though it may seem to be so. It is a longing for home, for a memory of the mother, for new metaphors for life. That is home. That is happiness.” Herman Hesse

Without that particular happiness we are bound to experience ourselves as homeless and fraught with the anxiety of a divine homesickness.

We humans have long memories. A recent paper in the Australian Anthropology Journal shows that at over twenty one sites around the coast of Australia there are tribal stories describing the rising sea levels and the specific effect that this had on the coastline after the last ice age retreated 7,000 years ago.

The loss of Wisdom/Sophia from our pantheon was only a piddly 3,000 years ago and on the timeclock of our species an event that happened less than twelve months back to a forty year old person.

What is effectively the extreme loss of containment/context for grief and mourning means we find it difficult enough to face life, let alone death. Instead of going through the various phases associated with death we just get stuck at denial. This not very noticeable on account of all the other denial we live in until it borders on absurdity.

I was reading about places in the world where you are not allowed to die on MSN.

In Biritiba, Brazil the local mayor banned dying for want of burial plots. A new cemetery was established and the ban lifted. But can it last?

In Longyearbyen, Norway, death was recently banned because the corpses weren’t decomposing in the permafrost. If you get sick you have to go and live where the worms can get at you.

And in Sarpoureux , France, the mayor forbad residents from dying by an official edict. “Offenders shall be severely punished,” he ruled. Unfortunately he soon broke his own law with much judicial time then spent by concerned locals contemplating not only how to bring him to justice but how he might be persuded to take the witness stand at the same time.

 

 

 

Call it something else!

Part of the problem with the multi-billion dollar ‘think-positive’ franchise is that people are left with the sense that meaning can’t be found in anything else.

‘Positive thinking’ touts itself as awareness raising and life affirming but its ungarnished sentimentality can leave folk feeling guilty about feeling guilty and angry about being angry.

The New Age is mostly the Old Age with its prejudices re-arranged. We no longer call it sin, but still get to feel bad about feeling bad.

The implicit doctrine of ‘positivity’ is that if you can’t manage it you’ve failed, and even advocates inauthenticity to attain the goal. Fake it to make it!

Apparently there can be no soulful value to be found in regret, depression, anxiety or mourning over loss.

“How many times do we lose an occasion for soul work by leaping ahead to final solutions without pausing to savor the undertones? We are a radically bottom-line society, eager to act and to end tension, and thus we lose opportunities to know ourselves for our motives and our secrets.” T. Moore.

There is no time to linger and sift through the ashes, its all about moving on and letting go; fleeing, in fact, from life that would sully us with its dirt.

A lot of ‘positive thought’ is newspeak for lack of compassion. Folk are simply giving their refusal to value the leaf mould of life fancy clothes to wear.

Turn that frown upside down!

What’s disturbing is that the philosophy of ‘positive thought’ seems so maternal and affirming but actually much of it is extremely macho and intolerant.

Pain is a weakness, regret is a waste of time, anxiety a worthless affliction and much of the advice of New Age ‘therapists’ little more than a set of judgements about how others ought to live.

And its oh so popular because it gives the bright, cheery narcissistic streak in us all endless permission to lay into the weak or vulnerable inner child that can’t live up to such fine ideals.

“Usually, the main problem with life’s conundrums is that we don’t bring to them enough imagination” T Moore.

Inner conflict then becomes entrenched. We get to be shamed rather than enriched by the shadow, plagued rather than humanised by our imperfections.

”One is a great deal less anxious if one feels perfectly free to be anxious.” Alan Watts.

Whilst it is true that we cannot worry away our problems this is not to say that worry itself is without value. It could be an expression of love or involvement or participation and riding roughshod over it as something ‘negative’ is to fail entirely to find its meaning or value.

There are things in life to be depressed about. Its just inhuman to say otherwise. Becoming depressed can be really important. It aquaints us with the saturnine quality of life, the reality of the ‘old, outmoded dispensation’, and needs to be entered into..

”when we are completly exhausted by the weight of our own identity”. J Foster

Depression is there for a reason. Its not just some blow of fate. Our task is to find its meaning, what threshold of life it presides over, to find its context and be able to say, ‘of course, you feel like that’. Then it will pass. I’ve seen depression lift at the mere consideration that it might have some value…

I came across this piece of spiritual fascism today,

”Any feeling of insufficiency, unworthiness or unloveability is created by thoughts. We don’t experience these feelings when we don’t have the thoughts that create them.” Noah Elkriel.

What nonsense. If people are treated like shit they will feel like shit. The thought ”I feel like shit”, comes after the fact. The mind does not create lousy parents, a nuclear threat, or economic depression.

These are realities that our feeling lives must be touched by if our humanity is to remain viable and if we are to care enough to do anything about it. Trying to block out reality by changing your syntax is like abolishing elephants by refusing to acknowledge them.

”What we resist, persists”. CG Jung

The whole ideology of ‘positive thought’ has some big hitters in support..

”Once the correct ideas characteristic of advancement are grasped by the masses, these ideas turn into a material force that changes the world.” Mao tse Tung.

Thing is, his ‘great leap forward’, cost more lives than those murdered by Stalin and Hitler put together, and puts a little perspective on how positive thought can wind up crushing those its supposed to serve.

Our culture is run through with, ‘je ne regrette rien’. We aspire to live without regret, forgetting that this wish is really a narcissistic desire to remain ever the same, never to grow or to gain the perspective of greater wisdom. It is also to forget that Edith Piaf dedicated her song to the benevolent embrace of the French Foreign Legion and that she herself struggled with lifelong addiction.

Nietzsche too, with his ‘Remourseless Life’, was famed for his intolerance, his contempt for the feminine and the ease with which his philosophy was used by the Nazis.

The fact is that we need to fail, to mourn and to regret.

“It is in the nature of things to be drawn to the very experiences that will spoil our innocence, transform our lives, and give us necessary complexity and depth.” T Moore

Our task is to tend life’s situations, not to ‘improve’ them. For if we fall foul of the fantasy that whatever doesn’t suit us can simply be pushed away or turned on its head then it will materialise into precisely those things we originally wished to avoid.

Woundology.

Caroline Myss makes an interesting observation about a narcissistic trend in our culture, the increasingly common occurence of people introducing themselves and interacting with others on the basis of their wounds.

It seems all so PC and, oh, he’s so in touch with his feelings and vulnerability…

but actually you are being picked clean like a Wilderbeest on the grassland vlei.

”People use their wounds as a kind of shadow power.” C Myss.

There’s a sense that life in general and you in particular owe the sufferer something on account of it, some special  kind of dispensation for which there’s a very good reason why the normal rules should not apply.

On one level its pure narcissistic manipulation,

”in order for the wounded person to elicit sympathy or compassion, to gain a measure of power and/or authority, and/or to claim allowance for their disagreeable actions.”D Ward

people are doing vulnerability rather than being vulnerable…

WTF?

But there’s more ladies and gentlemen…  more than just about getting inside your defenses or getting you to feel sorry for him without him actually having to connect with his tragic story.

The semi -conscious manipulation is chump change compared to the service his sad story performs in keeping his potential at bay.

Never better or worse, never truly mourned or courageously faced, the eternally suppurating wound  has the power to stop the dizzy world from turning.

For as long as the story takes to tell…

but there is a cost..

…one that might soon truly justify the feeling of an eternal wound.

”The most important wound the ego has to face is that of the unlived life.” Hollis.

And not just the regret of what could have been, or the guilt of what you refuse to do now. Its those myriad and very real sins of ommision, from a moment’s lack of charity to the wholesale turning away from Life’s entire work. All the things you will never do, be or become.

Without the divine feminine to personify the Principle of Relatedness, the human psyche gets bent and not just out of shape. Its like one of those physics lab molecules made of pingpong balls and springs. Take out a chunk of it and the rest of it turns into something different. Chemically different.

Most obvious is the difficulty we have in relating to each other. Then there is the erosion of feeling that might mend sympathy. Less obvious is the problem I now has in talking to me.

The open wound is like that of the grail king who refuses the Quest. It is a metaphor for the unlived life, for the marginalised potential that would turn his life upside down if it were allowed into play.

Without much prompting the narcissistic king will tell you his troubles ‘ad nauseam’, and mostly it will be about why he is doomed to fail and who is to blame, forgetting that his maudlin ‘poor me’  protects him from the open ground in which his potential lies buried.

Creativity disrupts, chaos at our door. Potential demands, responsibility cast at our feet. Life’s canvas creates us back and for the person entirely engaged in self maintainence and shoring himself up, the creative adventure must be passed up.

The creative moment is characterised..

”by the motif of severe persecution.” Walter Otto.

Creativity is the antithesis of self preservation.

”To begat something which is alive you must dive down into the primval depths in which the forces of life dwell. And when you arise to the surface there will be a gleam of madness in your eyes, for in those depths death lives cheek by jowl with life.” ibid

It really is tempting to stay indoors. For the one who prizes an even keel and calm seas, the creative adventure is a threat to ontological security since..

”there, along with rapture and birth, rise up also horror and ruin.” ibid

The narcissist is so annoying in his ‘poor me’ that we forget his soliloquy has the quality of a rearguard action in the face of multiple invading dragons. He’s defending himself from being torn apart by his own inner world.

His great ball of yester year’s suffering is a damn sight easier to shoulder than today’s possibility.

And no, you don’t have to feel sorry for him.