Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Keep Smiling, and Avoid Necessary Change or Empowerment

I have long been a critic of our western / American culture's focus on putting a happy spin on everything; why, just the other day I was told to move to Iowa and not be such a killjoy because I suggested releasing balloons at Husker football games was mass pollution. Bummer, all those birds strangled to death, but what can you do? Balloons are fun.

But here's Joanna Macy saying things perfectly (not about balloons) -- and you bet this is going in the new book. 

“To discover what we know and feel is not as easy as it sounds, because a great deal of effort in contemporary society is devoted to keeping us from being honest. Entire industries are focused on maintain the illusion that we are happy, or on the verge of being happy as soon as we buy this toothpaste or that deodorant or that political candidate. It is not in the self-perceived interests of the state, the multinational corporations, or the media that serve them both, that we should stop and become aware of our profound anguish with the way things are.

None of us, in our hearts, is free of sorrow for the suffering of other beings. None of us is indifferent to the dangers that threaten our planet’s people, or free of fear for the generations to come. Yet when we are enjoined to ‘keep smiling,’ ‘be sociable,’ and ‘keep a stiff upper lip,’ it is not easy to give credence to this anguish.

Suppression of our natural responses to actual or impending disaster is part of the disease of our time, as Robert Jay Lifton, the American psychiatrist who pioneered the study of the psychological effects of nuclear bombs, explains. The refusal to acknowledge or experience these responses produces a profound and dangerous splitting. It divorces our mental calculations from our intuitive, emotional, and biological imbeddedness in the matrix of life. That split allows us passively to acquiesce in the preparations for our own demise.”


Bryan Ogden said...

Splitting and manifestation of other acting out or symptoms such as depression, psychosis, Ect are often just clinical terms for simply getting bottled up or remaining unresolved and UN expressed. Take a drink of water, go for a run, whack a tennis racket on some pillows, punch a bag at the gym but owning your own pain, regret , anger and disappointment is human and helps make us more alive. There are lots of specters and vampires out there folks - trolling us to find wicked comfort in causing others difficulty as a result of not dealing with their own emotional losses. Don't let someone trick you into thinking you are immature or call you a cry baby if you need a good jag - if they provoked you to that place then confront the hell out of them with the truth of their rancid behavior. Let the shadow ppl have it, express your pain regret and annoyance directly to their face in the most helpful way you can.

Aesthetic Flora said...

Could not agree more Ben...well said.