Is Recovery Possible?
The answer is: yes, in theory. In practice, things are more difficult.
Perhaps I should first state what I am talking about: who is trying to recover from what? For most, this question will strike no response: they are not aware of any crisis – or that any response is necessary. For them, things just go on as usual – with only a few minor crises to keep things interesting, hardly worthy of the name. They not only lack the ability to see the problem – but are adamantly opposed to seeing it – by anybody. They are part of the problem, and determined to remain so.
This is addressed to the minority, who know too well what is happening, at least at the gut level – but wonder if their situation is hopeless. I can only speak from personal experience, and my personal observations – bolstered by the observations of others.
One of these is a rather strange fellow, James S. Hans, who got many of his ideas from Nietzsche - another strange fellow. Frederich realized that one of our main problems was our desire for revenge for things that had happened to us in the past – real or imaginary. We are determined to get even. Freud came up with some elaborate theories for this, with one at their root: our obsession with repeating our problems over and over – perhaps with minor variations.
Let me put this another way: we are all small children, still struggling with our childhood problems. This will strike you as either obvious – or ridiculous, depending on your point of view.
The 19th and 20th Centuries were a bad time to be a child – or to be anyone, for that matter. The human race was turning against itself – the most catastrophic event in history. At the same time we were turning towards all our technologies – and determined to be like them. An impossible job that only makes us feel inadequate.
So here we are, in the 21st Century, wondering what to make of the wreck around us. If we are aware of this wreckage, we have solved our first problem: being aware of a situation too horrible to contemplate. The next step is what to do about it?
Here is where it gets interesting. And where most advice is useless. Speaking for myself, I had to realize how deeply enmeshed I was with my past, (especially with my mother, may she rot in hell), and with my working history – which was a repetition of my childhood, over and over. To put it in the language of addiction: I had to hit bottom. When you do that, you either splatter or you bounce.
Fortunately for me, I was in another culture and I was dimly aware that self-destruction was not necessary. And that people were not necessarily evil. And that is why I am writing this posting.
Be suspicious of those who blithely say “I have forgiven everyone in the world for everything bad they have ever done to me!” They are probably lying.