“[T]he consulting room is a cell in which revolution is prepared.”

kiss-beka15 What James Hillman talked about  above is that it is time for us to stop looking at life as the individual working on the individual and start to see our lives as part of a bigger whole.  A place where we need to stop taking action out of self for the sake of just self.  We need to stop looking to self to heal the self only and look at us as part of a whole where we start healing what goes on around us.  There is anger and sadness inside of me for what is happening to you, to my friends, to my family, my fellow sufferers. I dont think I am alone.

u-send-me-an-angel-quemas“The manic defense to depression is to keep extremely busy-and to be very irritated when interrupted.”  This is me and this is my society.  Before my depression became acute, I was at the least, extremely busy. I will just tell you this.   I worked approximately six days a week for my family as a professional. I also worked two days on our side investments as a construction person. I know, I know, that adds up to 8 days in the week. That was the point.

aanya-ajaytao-copyNeedless to say when the depression became overwhelming, mad was an understatement about how I was.  I see a similar path for our culture.  Everything was great until the boom turned into a bust and then we found out how empty most of our pockets have become.  But what we do as a culture is we try to get manic again.   We try to get the gross domestic product back up and keep our economy growing and growing!

Its  the economy stupid.

what-happened-sweetie-aashna-ajaytao

“The depression we’re all trying to avoid could very well be a prolonged chronic reaction to what we’ve been doing to the world.” I think it was Theresa Borchard  who said that depression is going to increase 50% in the next 20 years in the United States.  Is it possible that what were talking about is what Hillman talks about in this quote? Is it possible that we are exhibiting our dis-ease as to what we’re doing as a people as a whole.  I think there is something to be said about the fact that we are isolated, we are separate, and we’re all struggling as  people.  We have  internalized self as part of an outward reality instead of realizing that we are  just a part, yes I  still think I am a big part to me,  of the whole.  Why is it that it takes this kind of depression to cause this kind of change to come about?

bridesmaid“Maybe people ask you how you’re doing, because that’s easier than letting on how little they could care.”[1] This line says a lot to me, about me and about us. What it says is that I am self and I move around other selves. It says that I’m so concerned with what’s going on inside of me that I struggle to be concerned with what’s going on for anyone else except those who are close to me. My friend the painter always says that we smile at people when they ask us how we are.  He said that historically we  bared our teeth at people to show that we weren’t injured or we couldn’t be hurt that people used to do.  I would say that It is symbolically still the same today, we just pass it off as some sort of symbol of caring

burma-girls-in-pagoda-thomas-jeppesenIs there some truth to that? Most of the time when strangers smile at me, and  I agree that most of my sociological research is done in front of a Peet’s coffee shop.  But the smiles, when I get them, are usually routine, perfunctory and emotionless. It is interesting to me that we are now becoming more and more sufferers of this di-sease, depression, that used to only be prevalent in people who had addiction to alcohol or drugs. Now addictions come in so many forms and the biggest growing one is prescription medications. Who benefits from that?

pink-monks-burma-thomas-jeppesenAll quotes are from James Hillman from the book “We’ve Had a Hundred Years of Psycho-therapy and the World’s Getting Worse,” he co-authored with Michael Ventura, except [1] Jackson Browne The Late Show.

123 R.V.  Forgiveness is from Ggod, permission is man made.

baby-owl-learning-to-fly-peter-brannon  finger touching nose of baby 100_1608

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13 thoughts on ““[T]he consulting room is a cell in which revolution is prepared.”

  1. Really well written and yes, I think there are people who are looking to themselves to be better in order to help the whole and some who are turned so far inward that they’ve lost the connection and contribution.

  2. As always, my enlightened friend…you make me think…and I like that I have to stop the inner chaos and view the world through “Shoe’s Viewmaster” for the day….Always appreciate your perspective…thank you for sharing this one….hugs to you!! ~*~

    • Dove,
      My “Viewmaster!” That, dear friend, is funny.
      I love Hillman’s work. I really would like to continue to elaborate on his vision of what psychology should be doing for people. His analysis of the paradigm is where I seem to be going in my life’s work.
      We are as Black Sabbath would say, “killing yourself to live”

  3. Thought provoking and well thought out. But – if each of us individually is working at being our healthiest (in all ways), won’t that be better for the world as a whole? Kind of like the whole is equal to the sum of its parts. There needs to be a balance here. In total agreement with the “smile & how are you” disinterest; most folks are only about themselves.

    • Theresa
      I think one of the problems we have is that if we each individually work at being our healthiest and we don’t interact with the world as a whole, then we have not contributed to making it better for the whole. We will continue to do what the Protestant Reformation set in motion in that we will all only look to satisfy and satiate ourselves. Isolation is the dis-ease that we are all suffering from.
      I don’t disagree with you that there needs to be a balance but were way off the scale as far as the sense of connection, community and us is concerned.
      Jim

  4. Beyond learning how to embrace life’s ups and downs, I’ve sought to be cured of my selfishness. I can’t pretend that I’ll ever be cured but when I receive a blessing, I pray for guidance on how to share it with someone else. Sometimes I hold onto it tightly with both hands like a toddler but I know that everything I get is magnified if it can be shared. Fabulous post!

    • Karen
      Thank you for the words, “everything I get is magnified if it can be shared.” Yet even as I sit here, I am looking at a screen and “hoping,” that I reach people, connect to them.
      Thanks for the kind words also.
      Jim

  5. This focus on the self seems to be the goal of western society – the more each individual does what they want, achieves what they want, the richer, the higher their status – the more they are seen as ‘successful’ in life. Any contribution to a bigger whole, the positive impact of someones life on the world or others is not even included in the equation for most, or at best as an after thought.
    While trying to ‘recover’ from this depression I am in, the advice given to me time and again is to do what I want. Do what I enjoy etc, etc. When I talk about things outside of my self – others, the bigger picture – people react by telling me that thinking about these things is why I am depressed. Well, yes, of course, but why the hell is it wrong to think this way?!
    I feel that I am constantly being pushed into this selfish thinking…. sometimes I even do it to myself.
    For me, life is not about getting as much and as many of the things that I want. Part of my self is others and the outer world. If living my life does nothing but harm then it is not worth living. I must make it as positive as possible in terms of an objective bigger picture or at the very least not harmful. Sometimes a neutral life is all I hope to achieve.

    Sorry this is not very eloquent. I hope you get the point.

    Oh, one further thing. In terms of people asking how one is, etc I find that yes, when people ask they do not usually care, but worse that that, if anyone gives a negative response – does not smile, does not say alright – then the asker reacts as if some sacred social code has been violated. The only time I find myself honest revealing how I am, or others around me doing the same is when someone has the bravery to openly reveal some pain, then the others will also reveal similar, as if saying ‘yes, that is bad, I offer no advice, just know that I also feel pain and so we are not alone.’ We are all individually lost and, I fear, collectively too.

  6. I believe in second that depression will increase in the “western” world…because we keep running – I do not know after what and become so isolated in doing so…to turn around the thinking is hard – to let go, not WANTING to be successful in this world but simply loved by the ones that are around you…somehow it seems more sain. But easily said not so easily done. I am trying hard not to want to be that “hotshot” professional anymore, only working 3 days a week and the rest taking care of my family and friends and dogs and art and poetry. My recipy to defy the madness in the world, may not work for everyone 🙂

    • Eva
      I believe that we are looking to be validated by Ggod by doing what we’re doing. Max Weber wrote the book” Protestantism and the Spirit of Capitalism,” around 1900 and it is one the better sources for the basis of why we continue to look to the self for the answer.
      I’m very impressed with how you changed your life and how you’re taking care of those who you love and who love you. It sounds like a wonderful recipe to” defy the madness in the world.”
      Jim

      • Thank you Jim for responding 🙂 Will try to see if I can find this book.., I Ibelieve that we got the whole idea about God wrong… But do not know what the solution would be. There’s one more thing that I also do to keep my Soul balanced: trying to actively fight injustice in my immediate surroundings (we’ve got enough social imbalsnce here within the richest societies ) by enganging in projects. It takes the focus away from the self 🙂

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