One of the people I admire for their ability to take stances on issues that are culturally significant, even if I disagree with them, is Broadblogs. Check her blog out here on WordPress. She made a comment on a post I wrote about a month ago. She said, “I’d like to hear more of your thoughts on the title though: ‘SOMETIMES I THINK THERAPY IS PARTLY RESPONSIBLE FOR THE LACK OF AWAKENING.” That quote is from one of the last true rebels I have seen in this culture, James Hillman. I see a rebel as a person who is not willing to view the culture in a subjective matter, i.e. to not “drink the Kool-aid,”* just because the popular culture has “decided” that was the thing to do.
I will use some of Hillman’s quotes from the same interview he did in 1996 to try to flush out what I am trying to say.
“The therapized world has internalized all the problems.” This fits the Lutheran/Descartes paradigm of how the world should be looked at: from the perspective of the “I.” I am the cause of all of my problems. My lot in life is dependent totally on me. I am the creator of all my problems in the world and the solution as well. Our problems in life, including work, social relationships, satisfaction is all within our own control. We make or break our selves by our actions, we control all the variables. I cannot disagree with this statement any stronger than to say I have lived the life of the haves and also lived the life of the have nots. There are a lot of people who would not be able to succeed in the world had they not won the sperm lottery and been born into the capitalistic top 1%. I am not trying to start any class war here. I am just trying to tell you what I have experienced and seen. If you know a little about me, you know I lived in one of the nicest places in the world, a place where $1 million dollar homes was the norm.
“[T]hey’re (therapists) doing some of the most important work in the culture because they are sincerely trying to pick up the pieces that capitalism throws into the street.” The externalities of a system such as ours are not incorporated into the true cost of living. The idea of future debt to live today that we as a culture are doing, to push off into the future the solutions for the problems we face as a culture is detrimental to us as individuals. Because those externalities are coming home to roost. Please understand I am no left wing liberal. However when I see an externality of the system, what others call “mental health,” issues increasing exponentially in the number of people who suffer from just depression in my culture, and the “best” way we can deal with it is to mask the symptoms, then I see us just trying to stick our metaphoric head in the sand and think that the problem is going to go away. That kind of “therapy,” may be in the short run productive, but in the long run we are just creating more of the same by the system we live in. Eventually there will be more and more people who suffer from their inability to deal with those conflicts they see in their world.
“Shit, I’m being abused right now and here by a system that doesn’t care about me at all!” I will use one anecdotal example. I have a very, very dear friend who suffers tremendously with “mental health,” issues. Their health insurance only affords them therapy in group sessions. They have been through some harrowing situations in the last couple of years. Only after being hospitalized a few times and after an attempted suicide, did their HMO decide that they could be helped by individual therapy. This is what I call pushing the cost of profit onto the back of the individual. This is an example of putting the externatlities of our system on to those who can least afford to carry them.
“This room(therapy) should be a cell of revolution, which means it should be very aware of the political and social world that people are in. Not just a revolution of consciousness, but of the actual social situations.” We pit blacks against whites, men against women, rich versus poor. We dont realize, that if we dont have a middle class, which is what is happening here, it really doesnt matter who has what. We will be fighting against ourselves(many are saying we are doing this now) and then no one “wins,” in the long run. I dont want to live in a gated community, because as much as it keeps “them,” out, it also keeps me in.
123 RV,SA, RW, PA, PH, JZM, TS!
For my friends, Susan, Tina, Meg and Lacy