Friday, August 22, 2014

Why the world is so screwed up*


Unhappiness, while related to suicide and homicide, is not their determinative factor.  Pain, related to suicide and homicide, is also not their determinative factor.  Is there a third factor, linking unhappiness to pain, that centers us in destruction?  I believe so.  It is the absence of a peculiar kind of love: love at the beginning of life.

The state of the world – ISIS genocide crusade, Jew and Palestinian hatred, Ferguson, Missouri racism, and the infinite variations on our perpetual doomsday clock – is proof of the necessity of selfishness, what psychologists call primary narcissism.  If the child’s selfish needs for loving touch and touching love are not met, there will be pain and emptiness.  Both together – there should be a word for this emptiness kind of pain – lead to a later person who is the embodied loss of all the beautiful human potential, who senses it but probably doesn’t know it.  His sense of it, of his death in life, must, absolutely must become the way he exists in the world.

He could be Robin Williams, with emptiness depression and its palliative of love and humor.  He could be Adolf Hitler, with emptiness rage and its palliative of delusion and murder.  He could be any of us, with a flawed birth of forceps and incubator, caesarian and drugged labor, abuse, shell parents, all the rest.  And we may never kill or be killed, yet it sleeps in us, remains the choice embedded in our chemistry.

Psychotherapy can be described as too-late love.  This makes it no different from the rest of the world, which we could also hold up like a mirror to see ourselves, also lean on.  People reject therapy, they reject the world, they can't find themselves, and the clock ticks on.


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* See "The shootings," post September 16, 2013 for related ideas.

2 comments:

  1. Thank you for mentioning the current events, some of which are heavy on our minds.

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    1. And I appreciate your tolerance for my guru-like approach that purports to explain the entire world in four paragraphs.

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Comments are welcome, but I'd suggest you first read "Feeling-centered therapy" and "Ocean and boat" for a basic introduction to my kind of theory and therapy.