Tuesday, 20 January 2009

POWER, Psychological Distress and Society

"Hardly any of the 'symptoms' of psychological distress may correctly be seen as medical matters. The so-called 'neuroses', 'psychoses' and related forms of suffering are nothing to do with faulty biology; nor indeed are they the outcome of individual moral weakness or other personal failing. They are the creation of the social world in which we live, and that world is structured by power.

Social power may be defined as the means of obtaining security or advantage, and it will be exercised within any given society in a variety of forms: coercive (force), economic (money power) and ideological (the control of meaning).

Power is the dynamic which keeps the social world in motion. It may be used for good or for ill.

One cannot hope to understand the phenomena of psychological distress, nor begin to think what can be done about them, without an analysis of how power is distributed and exercised within society."

My Comments :

That adverse POWER, when exercised over any other living being, is at the roots of psychological and much physical distress should be blindingly obvious.

Recent events in Gaza are surely evidence enough, given the bland platitudes of political leaders, the cowardice of mainstream media, the bigotry of various citizens and the willful ignoring (verb) of human suffering by these various actors, not to mention what we know of our history and of the genesis of and use of so-called 'scriptures' as tools of control, rather than inspirational texts.

Yet all too often that is not the case!

What in the name of all that is good and beautiful that is of life is going on here?

Education, Psychiatry, Religion, Economics and Ideology as we know them in our society all share this quality of the exercise of adverse power over others. Of ignoring the true and terrible consequences of adverse POWER.

The process of denying a child the responsibility for and expression of her or his true feelings is the basis for all of the above, and in my mind, is the basis for all that is corrupt in our world. Corrupt in this context means isolated from the dynamic equilibrium inherent in what we call nature.

That dynamic equilibrium is at the core of the adpative ability of natural beings - an ability to read intelligently the multiple changes of any environment so as to retain optimum living balance. This implies an innate feedback process of cognitive understanding in order to function. That this exists and permeates all living systems is understood by science (at last), has been understood by indigenous peoples for millenia and is probably understood by all life forms - the indigenous peoples have said time andf time again that their knowledge of herbs, of plant and animal life comes direct from those life forms.

We know, for example, that there are 14,550 natural varieties of apple indigenous to England - that speaks volumes to the specificity of adaptation to locale, precise adaptation to subtle changes in environemnt that occur as the land flows. Similar variations account for the immense bio-diversity of the rain forests etc etc and that variety also affords these living systems their fundamental resilience.

Adverse POWER by it's very nature is an impediment to that feedback process. De-forestation as opposed to harvesting what has fallen. One cannot eat the fruit of a felled tree or nor the berries of a burned bush.

And that is at the core of the problems we are all faced with. POWER most often assumes that because others do not speak POWERS language that POWER is somehow superior. That is the meaning of 'experts' such as Lawyers, Priests, Rabbis, Imans, Psychiatrists etc etc. When in fact it is POWERS inability to empathetically connect and integrate feedback that is the problem.

We learn at home, in school, in our temples and at work that feedback is not appreciated - don't talk back! - and that such honest feedbcak can in fact be life/career threatening. And so we shut down that process within ourselves, and that leads directly to distress. Blocking our own internal flows of sensory information is deeply harmful.

The solution to this problems is so simple that it is overlooked by most of us. Certainly those in POWER, denigrate this approach in favour of over-complicated jargonised instituionalised narratives that are designed to "blind us with brilliance of baffle us with bullshit" and thus retain that adverse POWER. Psychiatry, Pharming, 'Experts' etc etc......... all wish to justify their positions......

The solution, as I see things, is ruthless self-honesty in the personal, familial and societal arenas of our lives and within our culture, founded upon an understanding and experience of Love as a joyful awareness of the wonder of being a living creature. Such an awareness can also be described as an expression of sensory acuity. It would naurally extend itself to all life.

Sensory acuity based around joyful awareness will always be sensitive to even the most subtle changes in the environment, and that in turn enables cognitive intelligent responses to those changes - sensory acuity is 'de facto' a neccessity so that this essential feedback loop process can function.

Here's a link to an article that I found useful, regarding the basis for a thankful life, written by Dr. Peter Breggin...


Kindest regards


Do what you love, it's your gift to universe

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