“automatic programming that bypasses conscious awareness and may even run contrary to our intentions.” When you tell most people that we, as a society are walking around like robots in many ways, virtually all of them will tell you that it’s not true. I have always said and I’m sure I’ve said it here before, the thing that I want to do truly well in my life is to be conscious of my own life. All of the “isms” that I’ve created in my mind sort of default everything back to or funnel everything to that place in me that says that I need to stick my head in the sand and not pay attention to what is going on around me. I think one of the greatest examples of a challenge to this is when Hillman said we need to take therapy out of the office and take it into the street. The only way that we can do that is to be conscious of what we are doing. The easiest thing to do is to put the nose to the grindstone and continue to make enough money to go home to eat, to go to sleep, to wake up the next morning to make enough money to go home to eat, go to sleep, etc., etc.
“[T]o place neurosis and psychopathology solely in personal reality is a delusional repression of what is actually, realistically, being experienced.”
What Hillman says here is an accurate description of the way that the world is. The dis– ease that many of us “alcoholics,” have, is nothing more than a reflection of what’s going on in the culture. I don’t think that the suffering of the “alcoholic,” is any different then the suffering of the person who goes home at night and watches his four hours of television and then goes to sleep and wakes up the next day to do it all over again.
“The addict’s reliance on the drug to reawaken her dulled feelings is no adolescent caprice. The dullness is itself a consequence of an emotional malfunction not of her making: the internal shutdown of vulnerability.”
I think a very equitable argument could be made that you can take different words besides “addict” and “drug” and put a lot of people in this culture in there. There are many many things that are used in lieu of a drug to get the same effect that the addict gets from drugged. There is a cultural goal and an emotional malfunction that goes on in my society. Anyone who argues that is it is not true need only look at the news to realize that we are seeking our excitement through the lives of people we wouldn’t even want to know as friends. Why the hell do I want to look at somebody else’s life that is so screwed up? Do I want to do that so I can feel better about myself or that I can feel worse about myself?
Many of the people who I see in those tabloids when I’m standing in line to check out at the grocery store, and why are those magazines at the checkout stand, are not people that I would want to be around.
123 RV, SA, JW, PH, RW, JZ, PA!
 Gabor Mate  James Hillman