Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Dr. Freud--Psychiatry Runs in Eternal Circles, Chasing the Psychotic Tail


By Elaine Meinel Supkis

Psychotherapists gathered this week in La-La-Land, California. Like Freud in Vienna at the edge of the cliff leading into the madness of WWI and Naziism, psychotherapists of the Vienna School stand on the edge of America and wonder what is going on. No one seems able to get a grip on madness and I think this is because our species is totally insane all the way through thanks to our elaborate brains.

From the insane New York Times:

One of several prominent therapists who agreed to visit Disneyland at the invitation of this reporter, Dr. Seligman was here in mid-December for a conference on the state of psychotherapy, its current challenges and its future. And a wild ride it was.

Because it was clear at this landmark meeting that, although the participants agreed it was a time for bold action, psychotherapists were deeply divided over whether that action should be guided by the cool logic of science or a spirit of humanistic activism. The answer will determine not only what psychotherapy means, many experts said, but its place in the 21st century.

"In the 1960's and 1970's, we had these characters like Carl Rogers, Minuchin, Frankl; psychotherapy felt like a social movement, and you just wanted to be a part of it," said Dr. Jeffrey Zeig, a psychologist who heads the Milton H. Erickson Foundation, which every five years since 1980 has sponsored the conference in honor of Dr. Erickson, a pioneer in the use of hypnosis and brief therapy techniques.

"Now," Dr. Zeig continued, "well, therapists are becoming more like technicians, and we're trying to find the common denominator from the different schools and methods to see what works best, and where to go from here."
I am listening to Arnold Schoenberg, the musical counterpoint and contemporary of Dr. Freud. As one who grew up immersed in the Vienna Kultur thanks to the Deutsch/Occult side of the family, I find a great affinity with Freud's Weltanschauung.

He realized early on that drugs couldn't fix the psyche nor could hypnotism or autosuggestion or electric shocks. In desperation, living in a world of disintigrating political and economic connections as the West devoured the planet earth and soon turned to cannibalizing each other, he wished to find the magic Key to the human brain, that vast dark chamber forged when we were kicked out of the Garden of Eden in Africa and forced to forage for food savagely. The brain evolved to give us the ability to understand subtle clues and worse, to convincingly lie to others while intending to eat them for dinner.

Even Freud couldn't accept this.

Today, psychiatrists have been reduced by the dynamics of funding insurance and hospitals, into pill dispensers. They don't want to hear what is ailing the mind, they just want to give a pill that will make the symptoms less obvious and then throw you back into the cesspit.

But it is literally life and death that we humans understand our own minds. For we are killing not only ourselves, we are killing this planet. A serious mistake!

Dr. Freud, like myself, looked towards the ancients and their tales of how we came to be what we are. He, like myself, looked into the magical world of mythology and ancient practices, seeking clues to follow in the cavern of the mind. More, or maybe worse, he and I both come from a peculiar class of people: we remember the Outer Darkness, namely, what goes on when our minds take over and run things while the conscious self is asleep.

Most humans can't remember more than a tiny handful of dreams, a pitiful few dried up pedals, faded and inert, left over from the wild blossom of dreams. As a person who remembers all dreams all my life, I assure you, dreams are very vivid. They include non-visual elements that are probably much more important than the pictures: smells, stray thoughts and of course, feelings.

The emotions that ripple through a dream like a subterranean river go to the very core of the human brain, it is probably welling out of the most primative parts. This is where love and hate are forged. Where sadness resided next to escasy.

If one swims in the dark, Lethian Rivers of the Memory one might find, like a shell on the beach after a tidalwave, fragments of memories the mind wished to supress, memories that could, when dragged out into the daylight, enlighten oneself about why one does various destructive actions.

Alas, many humans are not only content to run around psychotic, wrecking not only everything around them but even the entire planet earth itself, they often glory in exactly that which is sickest in their own minds. For part of all this is the fact that our minds were created to be evil. Like in "betray friends, cannibalize strangers and kill your own family" insane. To control this prehistoric mega-madness, humans created culture and this culture usually works to inhibit or even eliminate the darker forces that want to go bezerk all the time, eating everything and everyone.

When Freud tried this, via dream analysis, he didn't fix anything broken, what he found was, the dream world is very dangerous and few can endure what they experience there, if they remember it. As a person who can, I assure you, it is not fun. One really can't share this stuff except as artwork and of course, all artists are like myself in this regard: they live more in the dreamworld than waking world.
To be, or not to be ... that is the question.
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take up arms against a sea of troubles - and by opposing them end them?
To die... To sleep... no more...
And by a sleep to say we end the heartache, and the thousand natural shocks that flesh is heir to..
Tis a consummation devoutly to be wished!

To die... To sleep...
To sleep? Perchance to dream!
Ay there's the rub! For in that sleep of death what dreams may come when we have shuffled off this mortal coil, must give us pause...
In the labyrinth of the mind, we run into ourselves and no crueler critic is alive than one's own concience! Like the Angel at the Gates of Eden, this entity wields the Sword of Truth.

In Europe, I saw "Hamlet" in German. It was very interesting and cast a different light upon the play. DRITTER AKT. ERSTE SZENE:
König----
Und lockt ihm keine Wendung des Gesprächs
Heraus, warum er die Verwirrung anlegt,
Die seiner Tage Ruh so wild zerreißt
Mit stürmischer, gefährlicher Verrücktheit?

Rosenkranz--- Er gibt es zu, er fühle sich verstört,
Allein wodurch, will er durchaus nicht sagen.
One of many German words for insane is "verruckt". Geistesgestört (disturbed spirit), geisteskrank (spiritually sick), irre (irregular), irrsinnig (erroneous thinking), krankhaft (very sick), sinnlos (senseless), unsinnig (insensible), verrückt (fatally crooked), wahnsinnig (abandoned thoughts). We now know that many mental diseases are part and parcel of many whole body problems and it isn't often something one can think one's way out of despite Freud's enthusiasm in the search for that Holy Grail of Mental Health.
Hamlet
Sein oder Nichtsein; das ist hier die Frage:
I am/I am not; that here is the question. Freud liked Hamlet for he was a man who was always trying to analyze his own mind as well as the minds and motives of others. He hallucinated and he debated not only with himself but with everyone while at the same time, to throw off his criminal Uncle's intentions, pretended to be insane which was a dilemma since the entire situation the poor Prince was in, was psychotic thanks to his Uncle's crimes.

This is like America today. We bloggers spend many happy hours tracking the psychosis of our insane ruler and his gang of criminal friends. Many Americans desperately want to believe that Bush isn't insane, he is normal and we are crazy for seeing what is going on since self delusion is a powerful tool the brain has evolved over millions of years of suffering. So blindly, they follow this obviously demented man and his friends, assured that safety lie in committing graver and graver crimes against humanity.

The inner cannibal feasts on flesh and laughs and still, devotedly, is followed by the flock hoping for safety in the dark cave of the night of the soul.

And so, Dr. Freud fled Vienna, chased out by fellow Viennese, Herr Adolf Hitler who then turned on his last, living relative, after supervising the suicide of his only niece, and this poor woman, a schizophrenic in a German asylum, was gassed to death and burned.

One of the earliest victims of Hitler's mad Holocaust.

Something to ponder as the clock nears midnight, as the New Year dawn is a glimmer in the East.
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