taste of a cookie

There is no civilization without deep discontent.

“A good deal of modern American culture is an extended experiment in the effects of depriving people of what they crave most.

Happiness is within range only for adroit people who give the slip to America’s values.”  – Thomas Lewis

Retain wonder. The abandonment of the part of ourselves that is in touch with the ‘miraculous’ is abandonment of life.

Carl Jung tells the story of a man who comes to him for therapy, apparently at the insistence of his wife.

The man is dull as a stick: a Swiss high school principal of about sixty years of age, who did everything “right” all his life, and never experienced a moment of ecstasy or imagination. Jung suggests that he keep a record of his dreams, which he does, showing up at the second session with something potentially disturbing. He dreamt that he entered a darkened room, and found a three-year-old infant covered with feces, and crying. What, he asked Dr. Jung, could it mean? Jung decided not to tell him the obvious: that the baby was himself, that it had had the life crushed out of it at an early age, and was now crying out to be heard. Exposing the “shadow” to the light of day, Jung told himself, would precipitate a psychosis in this poor guy; he wouldn’t be able to handle the psychic confrontation. So Jung gave him some sort of neutral explanation, saw the man a few more times, finally pronounced him “cured,” and let him go.

Morris Berman writes :

One wonders if the good doctor did the right thing. Is a living death preferable to a psychotic awakening?

On the other hand—and I have a feeling Jung would agree with me on this—aren’t we all that man, to some degree? Perhaps not as wigged out, but it may be a question of degree, nothing more.

Tolstoy wrote that it was but a slight step from a five-year-old boy to a man of fifty, but a huge distance between a newborn and a five-year-old.

tip to Ms. Humorzo