”To know that a person is in some sense ’religious’ is not as important as to know the role religion plays in the economy of his life” (Allport & Ross, 1967)
“It all began in the early 1920s in Vienna. Wilhelm Reich was not only a young student of Freud’s… But the father of psychoanalysis himself called him: ‘Der beste Kopfe.’ “The Best Mind in Psychoanalysis.” His ideas were so brilliant that already at the age of 22 – well before finishing his studies – Freud introduced him to work as a Psychoanalyst.”
This pops up in my FB-feed (an ad for something called “Metameric massage”). I don’t know much about Wilhelm Reich, hardly anything at all, other than that he somehow derailed later in in his career.
But It gets me starting to think about genius and madness. I recently got reminded of another of those freethinking pioneers, R. D. Laing, who also derailed, disappeared, and whose work has long been in the psychiatric-therapeutic freezer. But is being taught again today.
Yes, Madness and Genius, how they are connected. I think something that many of the pioneers, the founders of different schools, etc, in the world of psychology (I limit my thoughts to that) had in common, is that they somehow have been troubled souls. “Cross-border.” But what’s underneath this? What does their desire to transcend boundaries come of?
I often think it must have had something to do with their early upbringing. A sort of imbalance, actually. How they have had it with mom and dad (or equivalent), simply put. Reasonably harmonious individuals, who have found their (psychologically) place in the world rarely have what it takes. They rarely have that itch to make revenge or make their mark on the world, to rebel against establishments & authorities. They seldom have this deep experience that you have something unique to come up with, something that you obviously need to manifest.
So, that it’s really a defect or wound, a developmental psychological flaw in them, that drives them… They can achieve great things, find truths, make important contributions. But basically or in some respects, at least in the beginning, they often are “sicker” than average.
Today’s picture mystery. Background: Alfie Atkins does not want to sleep, so he sends dad away on various assignments. Get that and that. Finally, the teddy bear! Where is it? Dad finally finds it under the couch. Alfie waits and waits. But dad’s not coming? Alfie leaves the bed and goes to look… Then he finds dad lying on the floor of the living room.
Alfie notices that dad is asleep, because he snores. But, and this is where I was going to come!, I think nowadays (“Good night, Alfie Atkins” is from -72) one would be wary of making a drawing like this for a children’s book. Why? Because it could awake associations to stroke, heart attack, death.
Because something has happened to our collective “mentality”, that is. Which paths the thoughts quickly go, and thus what one must beware of. Or what do you think?
(It's a joke, 😉)
Here’s what might seem like wild speculation. Speaking of how a thought can pull out like a plague, an avalanche, for good or bad, impossible to stop, once it is on a roll.
After the weekend, Kentucky Fried Chicken in the U.S. will start selling deep-fried vegetarian “chicken” pieces. Even classic temple of meat must now be able to offer vegetarian options (and push a little extra for them in their advertising) so as not to seem completely passé, uninformed, irresponsible, unintelligent, evil.
It reminds me of how everyone now has to jump on the “vaccine train”. Authorities, states, journalists. And then I still think both trends are basically well-intentioned, but I recoil at the “mass formation” about it.
There are so many levels of scepticism one can harbor about how the pandemic is handled by society. Personally, I do not believe in any supranational, over-state orchestrated conspiracy, behind the fact that, among other things, the vaccine strategies look the way they do. Of course, there are companies where managers are rubbing their hands right now, over increased sales, and virologists who otherwise work in the quiet, unnoticed, but now get to experience themselves as heroes and sought after.
But there’s something exaggerated about it, isn’t it? Everything just “rolls on” and no authority or state dares to be less restrictive than the others.
Is it more like a perfect storm? Where the fuel is a mix of xenophobia, refugee flows across all borders that over the past decade have been perceived to threaten life as one enjoy it and want it to continue to be, and even the zoombie concept that is so cherished in pop culture. Along with globalization & the internet that makes everything so easy to stage and just be swept away by? That all of that became like fuel?
When I think about it, there must also be an element of “displacement” in it all, how we focus on and invest so much to deal with the pandemic. Maybe there are other things that are at least as urgent, but where you are more confused about how to cope with it. Something that is more worrying, something that arouses even more anxiety.
So then the pandemic, unwittingly understood, has offered an opportunity to escape the tension for a while. What could the other things be? The climate? The world economy? (And as a consequence of them both the refugee flows.)
But I don’t think this is something that our leaders are doing deliberately, to shuffle away the cards for us citizens and voters. I think it is so that they can maintain a sense of action, determination, competence, and to have a goal to work toward, themselves.
I myself realize that there is a real challenge with covid. But that it feels like there is something “psychological” behind the handling becoming so resolute, all or nothing, as well. “We know how to do it, follow us!” Sort of.
As a result, there is also a blaiming of “the others”, those who hesitate to follow restrictions and guidlines. Those who shout about how the emperor is at least carelessly dressed. Not naked, anyway, that’s not my own opinion.
(I’ve made an appointment to receive my third vaccine dose next week, just to let you know.)
Buddha’s Standpoint in Earthly Life, January 1920 – Hilma af Klint
Reminded of how much I wrestled with that admonition of “be yourself”, like in my late teens-early adult years (o pretty long I think). I just couldn’t understand what was meant! That it was something desirable, which was talked about, was called upon, so much I understood, but I was clueless.
It is normal in your teens at least, the search for identity, trying out who to be? My dilemma probably went a little deeper. Had to do with the fact that I ended up with older people in environments celebrating high, refined ideals of how to be, so early, I think.
This morning I passed this house on Dalagatan in Stockholm. I took a picture that I shared on Facebook. I wrote:
“Passing the ‘Eastman Institute’, which is an eye clinic for children… Learned the other day that it was actually THAT very Eastman, George Eastman, who once donated the money to start that place. He who made his fortune inventing the 35mm-film and the “Kodak”-camera.
I like photography. And I had read this story in detail with great interest a few days ago. So it had created a vivid memory.
After a while, it was an acquaintance who pointed out that wasn’t it rather a DENTAL clinic for children? She had got a brace herself from there a long time ago.
And, of course, that’s what I had read! And I had no problem recalling the actual story. That Eastman cared about the young people having good teeth, because a healthy, beautiful smile does so much to promote a good life, etc.
But completely unconsciously, I had embellished the whole thing (photo pioneer=children’s eyes?). And if I hadn’t been corrected, that particular version would have been even clearer to me. I had even retelled it to others…
This was long, about a small event in everyday life, but that tells me something important. On the theme of false, fabricated, or at least refined, memories. The unreliability of memory? The creativity of memory?
Some new words that have made their way into the Swedish Academy’s dictionary (SAOL) are presented in the evening news. Among other things, “doomsday scrolling”.
We like to pick on Sigmund Freud. He thought and he wrote so much that is strange.
Sometimes it feels as if he has become like a mix of “The Father” in his own imaginative theories, which are challenged and killed (and devoured ) by his sons – and by Särimmer in Norse mythology. He’s constantly re-emerging so you can beat him up again 🙂
But sometimes people manage to remind themselves that, okay, he actually lived a hundred years ago. How much else crazy and limited didn’t happen then! Diverse cultural personalities who were petty-Nazi, racist, misogynistic, etc. And at the same time recognized talented, artistic, profound, wise and sensitive individuals.
And then you can normally calm down a little, get your pulse down. It’s like you still have some basic understanding of what’s called “mentality history”, which can then be activated. Collective development has taken place on certain levels.
But, and this is where I was going to come!, I wonder if we who have taken deep impressions of new age/esoteric ideas can even be extra inclined to judge Freud? And have a hard time agreeing with his flaws? That our thought apparatus may even have become a little lost or underdeveloped in some respects because of those spiritual conceptions? How come?
Well (speculative), for being dazzled, intoxicated by the idea of “eternal, timeless wisdom”, “enlightened people” (and even the company of such individuals), etc., which have existed in all times & as have seen the world o their fellow men much as we ourselves can do, to the point, that Freud can then be dismissed as mediocre or a parenthesis.
When, in fact, he was so much ahead of his time that many of his discoveries has not yet had time to sink in… His thoughts still offer resistance, they are challenging. (Although a lot has also become part of the usual vocabulary, of course, and of the usual way we are looking at ourselves and each other.)
And he was a man of his time, as well.
To be able to “classify” or say something about another human being, or himself for that matter!, personal qualities and destiny, etc. Astrology, graphology, chiomanti, frenology, coffee grounds… Similarities and differences? “Science”? What are you thinking?
First of all, graphology stands out from the other “-ogies”, as I see it. The others (incl. tarot, i-ching, etc) I think – if anything – can serve as a medium for the interpreter’s own wisdom and psychological insight, human knowledge, life experience… A form of cold reading.
But this to have a larger system that you submit to, trust, I think can further foster and stimulate one’s openness, positive seriousness, sense of responsibility, etc. That is, a positive thing.
But, that actually there is not so much to “touch” in the tarot cards or planetary constellations, which says something specific about the person you have in front of you. More than that the accumulated knowledge accumulated over the millennia around, for example, astrology or i-ching gives a very deep undifferentiated picture of man.
Yes, there were some quick thoughts. (But, i.e., graphology I want to place in a middle ground, it is more “science” than the others.)