When I read that sentence,* the words mindfulness meditation came up for me. I have a problem with the goal of meditation to only calm us. I have a problem with it for two reasons. The first one is if something is making us get to the point where we have to use meditation to calm ourselves down, what is that? What is the root of the dis-ease. The second reason I have a problem with mindfulness meditation is if I think when I get to that place inside of me where my mind is still and I don’t live in the world of duality, and something has to come in there, why do we say it has to be a calmness. Why cant it be pain and sorrow? What comes out for me is usually my emotions.
“If you havent’ cried a number of times, your meditation hasnt really begun.” When I first started doing alternative therapies for my depression I started to realize that trying to calm myself when I had this underlying anxiety/depression was futile. When I read this quote a few years ago, everything seemed to make more sense to me. And when I fully let myself go into this, the pain that underlies my depression and anxiety, I started to get relief. I want to emphasize that this is not any sort of cognitive-based therapy. Not to say anything about analysis or psychotherapy or CBT or DBT or CIA or FBI.What I am trying to say is that those deep-seated emotional conflicts that persist below the level of consciousness and which can create violent twist to our behavior I don’t believe are going to be effectively mitigated by talking to somebody sitting in a room. To always think that the goal of meditation is to get calm, then I am limiting my potential in sacred space to what I “think” it should contain. If that is the limitation, then it is not sacred space.
“…because they are calming and cooling the valuable madness in our society so that,…” A lot of people in my world who I run into and have some sort of disagreement with get upset when I’m not compliant, when I’m not passive, when I’m assertive. My personality is one of, well I guess you could say I’m intense, I have a lot of frustrations, anxieties from my history. So I would probably call myself a type AA personality, and that’s not a play on words.
It is our madness that brings about things like the 1960s. It is our madness that brings about things like punk rock. It is our madness which brings things like, I don’t know when the last thing in my culture was brought about because of our collective madness that wasnt about denying it.
Society wants to say when you’re mad, that something is “wrong,” with you. I don’t know if I agree with that. It is madness which says that the norm is no longer acceptable. It’s the madness which says that I can’t participate in the paradigm of the pedagogy. It is the madness which makes the artists make art that we look at in shock, and yet as we look at it more and start to interact with it on a different level than out in our mind we start to “see” something in it!
“…psychology has become part of Henry Miller’s Air-Conditioned Nightmare, his phrase for the U.S.A” I challenge anyone in this profession to discuss Hillman’s ideas of what we are creating. I hope he is wrong, I just dont think so.
All quotes by James Hillman except  Achaan Chah
This is a repost from last year. I was reading it and wanted people to see it again.
*Actually the three Hillman quotes are one sentence. I just split it up. “I challenge psychotherapy’s cool green consulting rooms, the soothing images and framed diplomas, because they are calming and cooling the valuable madness in our society so that psychology has become part of Henry Miller’s Air-Conditioned Nightmare, his phrase for the U.S.”
123 R.V. Forgiveness comes from experiencing pain, permission is about trying to avoid it.