Finally, at age 74, I can begin to see what an emotional and mental mess I am. And I can also see how screwed up everybody else is too. The two realizations go together, and cannot be separated.
This, I believe, is why psychotherapy doesn’t work. You cannot understand yourself unless you understand the social world you live in. Eric Fromm seems to be an exception, but I won’t know until I have a chance to get better acquainted with his writings. I have ordered two of his books from Amazon, but I may not be getting them until next month.
My isolation from the developed world is an advantage (it got me away from the developed world’s craziness) but also a disadvantage (it takes a long time for me to get anything, and sometimes it never arrives). But I digress, I started to talk about accepting the world and accepting myself – in both cases, accepting them are they are.
I will begin with the world first. The truly amazing thing here is that its people are no longer human. This is something almost impossible to comprehend by thinking about it, but easy to feel – if you are in touch with your feelings. Immediately after saying this, I have to ask myself “What about my meditation teacher? His spiritual accomplishments are awesome, but as he says himself, being enlightened is no guarantee that you are a good person. There are plenty of examples to the contrary.” The answer forces itself on me: These people, at their core, are mass people – and are not really human at all.
Saying this is dangerous, and everyone is afraid of saying it – for very good reasons. Mass man is totalitarian and and will attack anyone or anything that apposes it. The natural reaction of those attacked is to attack right back – with all their strength. This has been my reaction too. But it is beginning to dawn on me that this is not a good strategy – it is being just like them. What I have to do is recognize them for just what they are – and accept them anyway. Fortunately, I am in an economic situation (living on my Social Security) where I can do this.