The Secret of Happiness.

There is a Russian folktale about a magnificent horse who lived deep in the endless forest. It was wild and free. It was said that it could never be caught or tamed.

The prince of the land was secretly put out that the wonderful creature was not his to possess. He had every other material thing his heart desired. Why not this? And so he dragged his long face around the castle all day, muttering and complaining that this one treasure eluded him.

It seemed to him that his misery was the wild horse’s fault because he would not be caught and tamed. Just the thought that it was out there somewhere being all wild and free filled him with frustration and bitterness. He gritted his teeth and hardened his heart, resolving to capture the beast or die trying.

So he saddled one of the stable nags and rode out into the forest to begin his search. He searched and searched. His fine clothes got torn in the undergrowth. Thorns scratched his arms and face. He lost his crown. He lost his way..

Days became weeks and the weeks became years. His beard grew long and his hair became matted. Still he rode on, forcing the poor stable nag deeper and deeper into the endless forest.

One day, as he urged the  stable nag on, he caught a fleeting glimpse of his quarry. He charged forward and gave chase but no matter how fast he rode or how hard he kicked the poor stable nag, the wonderous creature of the forest stayed just out of reach. In fact, the faster he rode the more the wild horse seemed to gain the lead.

He rode all day. Then he rode all night. Then he got very, very tired. He hurt all over. His bum was numb and his bones all ached. He was finding it hard just to think straight. All his muttering to himself began to mutter back. As he chuntered about how unfair life was being, the muttering pointed out that life wasn’t supposed to be fair.

When he complained about how unprincely it was to be shaken about like a bag of bones, the muttering reminded him of the simple delights of a feather bed. When his hunger clawed at his belly the muttering reminded him how delicious a piece of bread could be. When he moaned about the wickedness of the wild horse, the muttering drew his attention to the terrible state of the stable nag.

And the muttering had a wicked chuckle in it.

It began to pull his leg. It drew his attention to the fact that his servants were all happier than him despite his mountains of stuff. His muttering asked what difference one more thing mounted up on his great pile of things might make to his life. It dug him in the ribs and told him he was a tyrant.

The prince looked down at the poor sweaty stable nag gasping and clawing for breath. He suddenly felt ashamed and stopped, slid out of the saddle and heedless of his own pains, unbuckled it and let it fall to the floor. The stable nag was raw and bleeding. He felt a sudden wave of sorrow and shame. He realised how true and faithful the stable nag had been all this time, how little he had appreciated her efforts, what company she had been, how he had depended on her.

He stood still for a moment and looked up at the sky. He took in the green of the great and endless forest as if for the very first time and allowed himself to marvel at it all. Softly he led the stable nag to a quiet pool and let her drink while he rested. He began to reflect upon how fortunate he was, how wonderful it was just to be alive. He thought about how even the bad things in life drew people together and helped them find what they were made of.

And then he heard the soft footfall of unshod hooves behind him, warm breath suffused the back of his neck and the soft mane of the wild horse fell against his face.

Several years ago a book, ‘the Secret’, sold millions of copies. It got rave reveiws and was endlessly quoted but was little understood. Its message got distorted into the notion that if we imagine what we want in life hard enough, made out that it was already ours, then it would somehow magically appear. Its message was lost and after a brief fireworks show, it sank without trace.

We are so imbued with the idea that our happiness is somewhere over the rainbow that even profound teaching to the contrary is simply hitched to the wagon of  pursuing ‘the dream’. Our western culture is so ridden through with the idea that happiness is just around the corner so long as you work hard enough for it that we cannot see how impoverishing such a belief system can be and how we flog ourselves to death in its name. The ‘pursuit of happiness’ is even written into the American constitution as an inalienable right, forgetting that we alienate ourselves from happiness itself as soon as we look for it in somewhere other than where we are right now.

Happiness cannot be gained or worked for. We can’t make it happen. Wishing doesn’t make it so. The essence of ‘the secret’ is so contrary to our ideas about how life should be that we can’t see what’s right in front of us.

Life’s abundance is rooted in gratitude.

Try this… take five minutes to sit quietly and run through all the things you are grateful for. Notice how your heart is lifted in the process…. and then keep tabs on how your day pans out. Like attracts like. Its one of the few rules the Universe is ordered by.

Abraham’s Children.

In ancient times, the Ark of the Covenant, housed in the first temple of Solomon, was protected by two immense images of the Divine made of olive wood and covered in gold leaf. They represented Yahweh and Hokmah/Wisdom, his consort.

After the destruction of that temple, these images were interpreted as male and female aspects of Yahweh alone. With the building of the second temple their significance was changed further to mean the union of Yahweh and his new bride, the people of Israel. Over centuries the Goddess was deposed, made secular and excluded from Divinity.

Remaining pockets of those faithful to the Goddess were systematically persecuted. Hilltops to which the Goddess had effectively been exiled were defiled with bones and ashes. Even groves of trees within a certain distance of Jerusalem were cut down to prevent Her taking refuge there.(Exod 34 13-14).

Later still, the bible itself was purged of any book relating to the power of women.The Apocrypha, those books that managed to escape the flames, all have something in common. They are feminine. They are either about women, the books of Esther and Judith, about the Goddess Herself, (the book of Ben Sirach), or, as in the Song of Solomon, the unashamed delight of man in the Queen of Heaven, Wisdom. The Apocrypha is what remains of those works that celebrate Yahweh’s consort.

At one time it was included in the Bible, at the back. Then it was published separately, though it was freely available. When I researched it myself I had to order it from an inter library loan because there was no copy on the shelves and when it arrived after two weeks it had a stamp on the fly leaf saying, ‘last copy in the county’. The Goddess is in the final throes of banishment.

What will happen to us all if She disappears altogether?  Both the extremist factions of the Islamic and Christian camps have this in common, a deeply ingrained contempt for the feminine that then brings out the worst in men. Solomon’s Wisdom is degraded to being a mere attribute of the man himself. Such inflation must end in disaster. ‘Inflation’, say the Alchemists, ‘beckons the raven’s claw’.

When the male psyche is sufficient to itself and devalues the feminine he loses his anchor in Nature. He becomes so puffed up he feels he can do no wrong and dispenses with his conscience. He ceases to care about what kind of legacy he leaves for his children and is overcome by the kind of ennui that only adrenaline and the cry of battle can momentarily relieve.

I have had all kinds of people with all kinds of problems come through my doors over the years. I have noticed something consistently throughout. When a person develops a sense of the Divine Feminine or simply feels the void in themselves for want of it, their issues are more readily resolved. To have a living relationship with the Great Mother makes all kinds of suffering tolerable and brings balm to many a wound.

Perhaps psychotherapy itself only becomes a necessity in cultures with belief systems that uphold the disrespect of other faiths as a virtue. We have to love our neighbours not for their sake but for our own. For as long as we demonise others our own devils will get the better of us. When our successes are at the expense of others we can never really enjoy them or be fullfilled. If we are to live well, it has to be on the basis of equality with others. And it is not enough to agree in principle. We have to root out the extremism in ourselves that says our religion, our way of life, is better than the next.

God, after all is, not a Christian or a Jew or a Muslim. When we can celebrate the wonderous diversity of the Divine and honour the variety of all religions that are nothing less than the many faces of God then there will be peace in the world and fellowship between nations. My mosaic project ‘Abraham’s Children’ (above, and http://farm7.clik.com/AndyWhiteMosaics/  ) which contains elements of all the world’s religions, symbolizes this equality and represents my own fervent hope for atonement between his estranged offspring.

Narcissism and the Bottomless Pit.

In thirty years of practice as a psychotherapist I never came across an indigenous person with a Narcissistic Personality Disorder. The reason is that native people generally have a way of raising their kids that is  radically different to parents in the ‘civilised’ West.

This does not mean that Western women are bad mothers, but that they have to contend with a split reality endemic in our culture that makes it difficult for baby to cross certain developmental thresholds.

On the one hand the child, as depicted in the majority of psychoanalytic literature, is a voracious power hungry little monster who battles mother for dominance and has to be brought to heel at all costs.

”Babies have become a sort of enemy to be vanquished by mother…on the premise that every effort should be made to force baby to conform when it ’causes’ work and ‘wastes’ time.’ J. Liedloff

On the other hand, and by way of compensation, we have the effusive and liberal face of Dr Spock, whose sales of his book ‘Baby and Childcare’, come second only to the Bible on the best seller list. Spock advocated ‘childcentric’ households which effectively have children ruling the roost. Detractors claim he cultivated Narcissism in millions as the most trusted name in childcare and parenting since 1940 and even hold him personally responsible for the moral decline of  western culture.

”When a society becomes out of control, it is because its members elevate self-indulgence and lack self-control…and [have] come to see gratification as a right.” R. Bradley.
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 These radically polarised veiws of parenting presented by Freud and Spock, often operating without reference to one another under the same roof, have something strangely in common. Both the liberal, anti-authoritarian mandate of currying entitlement in children and the cold hearted philosophy of ‘you did it to yourself’ inherent in Freudian theory, marginalised the fact that women have been having babies for seven million years without the input of opinionated men in lab coats.
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 Both men’ knew better’ than the feminine soul. To the extent that these theories were imposed upon women’s natural instincts, their innate knowing, their connection to their own mothers and to the Divine Feminine that presided over childbirth and motherhood, so too was their role undermined, ancient wisdom eroded and intrinsic understanding of what was right and proper, subverted and injured.
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So whilst it may be true that excessive permissiveness fosters narcissistic tendencies and a sense of entitlement, it is also the case that narcissistic wounds are inevitable when the bond between mother and child is intruded upon by someone who thinks they know better than Nature herself, irrespective of the received ‘wisdom’ under consideration.
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You’re probably familiar with the educational maxim ‘would you teach a fish to climb a tree?’ but we forget that its even more undermining to teach a fish to swim.
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A centiped was happy, quite!
Until a toad in fun
Said, ‘pray which leg follows which?
This raised her doubts to such a pitch
She fell exhausted in a ditch,
Not knowing how to run.
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“If we have learnt certain [things] so that they have sunk below the level of conscious control, then if we try to follow them consciously we very often interfere with them so badly that we stop them”. Carl Popper.
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It follows that if mother has it instilled in her that she doesn’t know her job  without instruction from a clipboard wielding MD then baby will be similarly confused and struggle with developmental tasks, understandably preferring the relative safety of remaining partly fused with mother in a state of  ‘symbiotic omnipotence’. (M. Kahn).
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This interupts the process of separation and healthy growth, preventing the child from crossing the threshold associated with ‘symbol formation’. This is significant because it is symbol formation that is responsible for the experience of others as persons in their own right, and for the development of values associated with feelings about others having their own purpose and destiny. The child can get eternally caught  in the concrete thinking of symbolic equations where, for instance, worth is measured in terms of money,  loveability in terms of sexual conquest, power in terms of domination of others, all the things we recognise as symptoms of NPD.
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‘No-one loves me, because you don’t wipe my chin.’ Liedloff.
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The figurative representation of ideas, conflicts or wishes cannot be experienced and so metaphorical notions of honour, faithfullness, duty, empathy and so on remain conceptual ideas rather than lived and experienced realities…
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”from which intellectualism is only to ready to emancipate itself.” C.G. Jung
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This is most obvious in our relationships because Narcissism does not really experience the Other as such. Their humanity remains conceptual. The notion that others have equal rights is an abstract idea to be rationally concluded without actually being lived.
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Racism and sexism are the most common outcome of such a mind set, but the irony is that the Narcissist has equal trouble conceiving of ‘his own’ in fully human terms unless they remain entirely joined at the hip. Humanity is not experienced, it is deduced, much as Socrates ‘worked out’ that one day he would die.
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‘Socrates is a man. Men are mortal. Therefor Socrates will die.’
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On the basis of such abstract deduction ordinary instinctual care for one another is occluded. One’s own self barely exists in its own right, how shall another fare any better?
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The developmental threshold of symbol formation affords not only the recognition of the otherness of the Other, it also affords value and significance to the otherness of oneself, in other words to the fantasies, intuitions and aspirations emerging from the archetypal layers of the psyche that take over the job of feeding the child, as it were, from within.
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This leads to a lack of faith, not only in others but towards life itself which cannot be trusted to provide. The child becomes a consumer…
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‘clinging to objects and people, investing them with magical powers, ferocious in [the] demand to possess and control.” Liedloff
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Asking Narcissism to share is thus experienced as an attack on all that is holy because money and resources have been imbued with a kind of spiritual manna. Losing hegemony over it is tantamount to desecration. The paranoid tendency of the Narcissist  is not simply that someone is out to get him, but that all he holds sacred is under attack.
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And so the predominant experience of life is one of being a victim, no matter how much one has, nor how much there is available. It is like being a planet without a sun, or worse, having a black hole to revolve around which threatens to drain and crush at every turn. Without the inner ‘other’, there is nothing to mediate the dark forces of the cosmos.
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”Our connection with a sacred centre [gives] a sense of real existence that counters the terror of chaos and nothingness, helps [a person] find their bearings and makes order of the Universe’. Bizint
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Since what we cannot integrate is invariably projected it will seem to those who stub their toe on at the threshold of symbol formation that some illegitimate other has stolen the key to happiness. He lives, not only in a state of lack but as if his divine inheritance is being withheld. And because he’s in the bind of having to deny what he needs, his lack and being witheld from is acted out in the world, which perhaps explains the conundrum of how it is possible for the richest and greatest nation in the world to sweep one of its most powerful men to high office on the shirt tails of the  slogan, ‘make America great again’, as though it were a mere dispossesed guttersnipe on the fringes of the stage.

Quantum Physics and the Doctrine of Signatures.

You would think that the Church would grasp with both hands at anything that seemed like a proof of God and yet the closest we have come to it, the ancient and profound wisdom rooted in the Doctrine of Signatures, was suppressed without mercy.

The Doctrine of Signatures, initially propounded by Greek physicians Discorides and Galen in the first century, says that plants resembling various parts of the body can be used to treat ailments pertaining to those parts.

”Nature marks each growth… according to its curative benefits.” Paracelsus.

Lungwort looks like the lungs and is good for bronchial conditions. Kidney beans are good for those organs. Carrots, the cross section of which looks like an iris, are good for eye infections and so on.

It seems like a pretty innocuous belief, and useful enough to have persisted in medical and herbal practices for centuries, surviving to this day in homeopathy and Bach flower remedies. So why were healers persecuted for its practice? Surely the notion that divine intervention had given humanity a helping hand is good PR…

Not so.

Modern medicine wanted its cures devoid of divine meddling and the church preferred that Nature was not something sentient in its own right.

Somehow the notion that Nature might be helpful and intelligent undermined religious convictions about who was running the show. It was the wrong kind of divine intervention.

The problem for the authorities was that the Doctrine of Signatures represented a challenge to the official position on Salvation, you have to deserve it. Not only was the veiw of Nature according to these early gnostic philosphers and healers  lacking in blood thirstyness it was decidedly benevolent, irrespective of a person’s moral rectitude. Not only was Nature sentient, it was unconditional, happy to heal saints and sinners alike.

Moreover, it encouraged folk to have their own relationship/dialogue with Nature which marginalised the intercession of earthly powers.

The Doctrine of Signatures was duly deemed blasphemous and could cost you a great deal more than your health because it went further than affirming the existence of God. It also begged the question of divine disposition.

The notion of divinity unconcerned with sin or retribution, positively helpful to all regardless of upstandingness and offering redemption from suffering in the here and now rather than in an anxious future beset with fears was, err..

unpopular.

So you can imagine how the church fathers’ abject consternation might increase as they considered and mused over its further implications..

because it meant that life itself was full of useful signposts and synchronicities   that helped people, not only freely laid before us and not just as a system of unconditional connecting principles, but as a means by which we might actually experience ourselves in continuity with the natural world.

and if we are not separate from Nature then we need have no fear..

and we have no fear then we cannot be controlled, threatened or manipulated.

oh dear.

One of the stories I like best about plants is the native discovery of Curare, a deadly poison used by Amazonian Indians to tip their blow darts. It is made by combining, in specific quantities, the leaves of three or four entirely unrelated plants, each of which is entirely benign on its own.

The chances of finding this out accidently is about as likely as waking up one morning and deciding to vapourize mayonnaise in the presense of Lithium dichloric oxide and snorting the results as a remedy for gout.

So how did they find out about it?

Simple, the forest told them.

The discovery of Peyote is better documented. For those who haven’t tried it, allow me to assure you that Peyote, a small desert cactus in central Mexico that has strong psychoactive properties, is the most disgusting, bitter, rancid, vomit inducing substance you could ever encounter. It contains natural emetics that make you puke so hard you will wish for imminent death; but before that, a taste so foul your entire body mitigates against it. Imagine the worst childhood medicine topped with dog shit and sprinkled with the contents of Mr Twit’s beard.

apologies to Roald Dahl.

Yes, its that bad; the point being that no-one in their right mind would ever try it unless they also had a taste for paint stripper by the pint with chasers of albatross guano cut with baboon snot.

Legend has it that two young brothers got lost in the desert. Their elder sister became worried once night fell and went in search of them. She too got lost and had to sleep out in the cold. As she slept she dreamt. A voice told her that when she woke she’d find that she’d used these low lying cacti as a pillow. She must eat them. The visions that followed would lead her to her brothers and that’s what happened.

The brothers were saved.

Unless we call such things miracles and subsume them under God’s Will, neither church nor science has much use for them. The reason is that we have been led to believe that our sinful egos are all we are, or, at best that if there is an unconscious then it is derivative, and ‘nothing but’ the garbage heap of the mind.

This maintains the ego as master of its own house but disconnects it from Nature and stops us from experiencing the vastness of Psyche, much of which we are bound to experience as ‘outside’ us.

‘Some think that fish contains the sea, but actually the sea contains the fish.’    C. G. Jung.

This formulation of things, a central pillar of the gnostic world veiw, is expressed by the Sanscrit, ‘Tat Tvam Asi’, ‘thou art that which thou perceivest’ and again in the Talmud as, ‘We do not see things as they are. We see them as we are.’ It is  expressed in the buddhist tradition by the saying, ‘you cannot cover the sky with your palm,’ and invites us to completely re-think, to re-experience, our relationship with the Universe.

More recently quantum physics concurs. When asked what the fuss was all about by a journalist at a press conference convened to discuss Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle, Niels Bohr is reputed to have said, ‘ I’m not sure, except that you may throw yourself down on Mother Earth in the sure knowledge that you are one with her and She with you.’

The story goes that the chemist Kekule had spent years trying to figure out the shape of the carbon molecule. He just couldn’t get it until one day he was passing a school yard thinking about something else when he saw a group of children holding hands and singing ring-a-ring-a-roses and suddenly he had it, the carbon ring, and the Universe had helped him find it.

We might pooh-pooh such things, and resist giving up what we consider to be the separateness of the ego, from ego’s point of veiw its very sovereignty, and yet we need only look at a person describing the day as miserable to know they are talking about themselves. When bidden a good day by a neighbour, Dutch mystic Miester Eckhart replied joyfully, ‘every day is a good day’.

In the absence of such experience life has to be ruled by moral codes of conduct which assume our separateness from one another with the subsequent need to bring these disparate others into line. ‘Love thy neigbour as thy self,’ is then taken to mean ‘be as nice to others as you are to yourself’. Its a moral injunction, a thou shalt. Very different to, ‘love thy neighbour who is none other than thyself’, wherein compassion for others is no mere moral goodness but a recognition of the other as oneself, a shard of the universal hologram.

Hello me.

This does not mean that the ego is an illusion or that we have to get rid of it, but that it is mere garnish to the banquet of life which ordinarily we’d give little more attention than a sprig of parsley…

which, incidently, is very good for gall stones….

 

 

 

 

Attack on the Child.

In order to understand the pathological need for wealth, fame and consumption that typifies Western Culture, we need to look further than mere greed. Having the moral high ground is not enough. You might still miss what’s so interesting about wanting more than you need….

The Rule of Intention says that the way things pan out has to do with the intentions of those who are involved.  If children in their millions are starving then someone is witholding the spoon. If thousands have no education then that’s by design. If families are living on the streets someone put them there.

So then what does it mean that we collectively aspire to more than we need? Why is it that we regard excessive consumption differently from obesity? You’d be shocked if a person’s goal was to gain a hundred pounds…

and yet

”We are screwing the planet to make solar powered bathroom thermometers and desktop crazy golfers.” G Monbiot.

Are we then simply diplaying our wealth? Is there some arcane connection between wanton destruction and attractiveness? I think not, but whatever the answer it  lies deeper than our greed or stupidity.

Symptoms of dis-ease are never arbitrary or simply unfortunate. They are the unconscious expression of something yet to be named. There is hidden meaning in desperately pursuing stuff you don’t actually need, stuff whose production enslaves and destroys into the bargain. Calling it addiction doesn’t quite work either, despite the added caveat to greed that there is more at work than mere self indulgence.

Believing we can convert the rhythms of work into cash so that real life might then begin may feel worth the price to be paid by aliveness, but what many of us do in our leisure time is just more of the very same consuming of life from which we most need to a break. In our millions we become even further absorbed…..

”in the electronic reproduction of life, the passive consumption of the twittering screen.” A Watts.

So we save up for our hols, to get away from it all, when proper enjoyment can get under way, only to find that it too is also somehow pasteurised, with boxes to tick and schedules to fill. Been there, done that…  We wait to be amused, wonder what’s  next and if we’ve had our money’s worth.

All of which..

”gives rise to a culture devoted not to survival but to the actual destruction of life.” ibid

So is our devouring of life a form of collective suicide, a Chomskian rushing to the precipice?

No, its scarier than that.

It is an attack, not just upon ourselves, but on our children. The planet that their parents are pillaging is, after all, their inheritance. The spiritual malaise and attendant acting out of the developed world is far greater, far more malicious, than mere apathy, denial or disinterest.

”Once you have excluded the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.” Sherlock Holmes.

If we want to understand consumerism and its attended ravaging of the planet we need to ask what it is that people are really hoping for with the must-have item on their bucket list. Irrespective of its concretisation, the new car, the fancy vacation, the latest gadgetry, what people seem to be striving for is a sense of worth, of being safe and held and fed.

Collectively we are seeking the in-arms experience of infancy which, as a culture, we have simply not yet had.

‘When the expected does not take place, corrective or compensatory tendencies make an effort to restore stability.’ J. Liedloff.

Consumerism is a parody of contented infant satiation. We want life dribbling down our chin. We want to be in the ‘lap of luxury’. We want the safety of maternal embrace whose alternative is the poor substitute of being gripped by her dark and compulsive sister, (mater)ialism.

‘The infant (like the guru) lives in the eternal now, in a state of bliss; the infant out of arms is in a state of longing, the bleakness of an empty Universe. Want is all there is..’ ibid

Amassing the unnecessary to the detriment of  life on Earth looks entirely crazy until we consider it in a symbolic light, the unfulfilled need of a culture seeped in denial about what is truly indispensible. Mother.

This denial reaches its acme in psychoanalytic theory with Freud’s Drive Conflict theory which entirely marginalises Mother as relevant to baby’s health or illness.

According to this theory dis-ease is not down to how we are treated, whether we are held and loved, but on dysfunctional ‘object relations’. You did it to yourself, a doctrine of victim blaming that also constitutes the final eradication of Mother’s relevance to life. In thirty years I have never found Freud to use the word ‘mother’ even once.

This denigration of life’s most important role impoverishes our entire culture but it does far more and has consequences you might not have considered.

Not only does the dominant form of spirituality in Western Culture fail to nourish, but our anxious preoccupation with and eternal focus on the future with its promise of salvation…at some point…does have the appeal  that the indiscretions of today may be swept under the carpet, but in the process of ducking conscience we are also bound to be gripped with envious spoiling for those who are able to be in the moment where real life happens, where all bliss, joy, gratitude and celebration are to be found.

Much of the West’s ferocious subjugation of the ‘childlike’ third world has to do with this same improbable truth, that we envy them. Despite their poverty they seem to have something we do not, a living for today where the real riches of life are to be found. And so they are happy. For all our wealth and power in the West we are miserable. Our worrying about tomorrow means we cannot  enjoy our mountain of stuff  today because all enjoyment is Now.

I once asked an African man on a dusty savannah roadside in tropical heat when the bus he was waiting for would arrive. ‘Today”, he answered contentedly.  By contrast and half a world away, commuters on Stuttgart railway station platform follow the digital clock ticking over, . At the exact same moment they all look in disappointed unison at their watches and turn to stare down the track as if they were practicing impatience for a show.

Our collective obsession with time and tommorow means that the aliveness gets sucked out of today.  We become chorus lines to celebrity others whose lives have somehow become more real than our own. The togetherness, the gratitude for simply being alive can’t be entered into and like the uninvited guest, ‘Now’ turns cold, vengeful and wooden.

”Unlived life will not sit idly on the shelf, it will turn round and bite you.” M.L. von Franz.

If a sense of Self that transcends self-interest can’t be embodied it will be projected. The recipients will invariably be the next generation who are as yet untutored in guilt, whose feeling of belonging has yet to be eroded, who have yet to know alienation.

and who are handy…

The child..

‘will arouse certain longings in the adult. . . longings which relate
to the unfulfilled desires and needs of those parts of the personality
which have been blotted out. . .’ C. G. Jung.

Whilst we idealise, cosset and run around endlessly with compensatory gestures of slavish devotion,  so too do we silently envy and spoil. The secret bit about narcissistic brats is that they were made that way by parents who first loaded them down with not only their own unfulfilled expectations but with all the potentialities in today that we can’t shoulder for the sake of insuring ourselves against tommorow.

The horror of growing old and dying without first having properly lived is all too much and become split in our affections.

I will pat you on the head whilst I poison your earth.

My father personally favoured random electrocution as a means to express his envious grievance at my blossoming youth. Bare mains wires ran down the walls both inside and outside my room. They would set window frames and brickwork alive, especially when it rained. You might say that most parents are not so pathological and yet the quest for more than you need means you have to go out and take it off someone else, perpetual warmongering for which youth in their millions are most necessary.

I once spent three days as part of a tiny force of  green berets sitting under a tree waiting for the go ahead to take on 300 defected enemy soldiers who’d changed their mind and taken their new commander hostage as a prelude to melting back into the bush with shiny new G3 semi automatics. We all knew it was a suicide mission should the order finally came through, but the predominant feeling amongst us was one of quiet acceptance, the calm of sacrificial beasts under a stone knife, as though fulfilling some preordained narrative.

Saturn is eating his children.

Behind closed doors it’s usually less flamboyant than electrified bedrooms or going to live in a war zone but after three decades of being a psychotherapist I have to say that everyone who ever came to see me had the same issue. Their true self had been attacked and their destinies subverted by someone they were entitled to trust.

Which is why having more than you need is a form of poison. Its not just greedy. It’s a blow aimed at those who would be better stewards of this earth than ourselves, our children.

this article contains excerpts from my new book ‘Abundant Delicious.. on attaining your heart’s desire’. http://andywhiteblog.com/2016/06/11/abundant-delicio…ot-off-the-press/