Dark Age 2009

More from Robert Firestone.  His analysis of what happened to depth psychology is pretty good.  I have never quite thought of this as the Dark Ages, but it names well the despair I feel at the ACC attacks on people who have been sexually abused.

The Death of Psychoanalysis and Depth Psychotherapy | Psychology Today:

Malevolent societal forces have succeeded in almost completely suppressing important knowledge concerning the widespread incidence of emotional, physical, and sexual child abuse in “normal” families and the ensuing long-term harmful effects. Currently, cultural attitudes of indifference and denial continue to exert a powerful influence on the field of psychotherapy and have, in large part, transformed it from a creative, compassionate enterprise to a weak and frightened community of mental health professionals irresponsibly dispensing drugs or other quick fixes that support the status quo.

Like other attempts that have been made throughout history to suppress knowledge and insight, these efforts were on a par with book burning and other egregious forms of censorship. When this type of revelation is stifled, in spite of all of our amazing technological advances, we are thrown back into the Dark Ages.

Take constructive action when you think you are being wronged.

This is from a psych blog I quite like – rare!  Robert Firestone was a mate of the anti-psychiatrist R D Laing.  I was a fan of Laing in the day, but sadly his own behaviours etc did not do his cause much good.  I should write more on this diagnosis stuff as it is highly relevant to todays ACC (NZ) attacks on the psyche.

I like the post except for the title.  Don’t is never a useful word, and calling something people do unconsciously a Game is counter-productive, it feeds the feeling of inferiority.

Lets call it Take constructive action when you think you are being wronged.  Not as catchy is it.

Don’t Play the Victim Game | Psychology Today:

Many people think they are entitled to good treatment. The truth is that they are neither entitled nor not entitled to it. The significant issues are what is going on and how do they feel about it. This woman would have been better off actively facing the facts of the situation and acknowledging her emotional reactions rather than personally judging it and feeling victimized by it.

New Image art

Reading Dick Frizzell and learning about “new Image”, 1978 Whitney moment. Easy to see the influence in various places, do I see it in Bill Hammond?

I can see some of that in my work occasionally, but mostly that I am NOT “New Image” even though I like comics and stories and “rough expressionism”. I am too interested in shape, colour and texture.

There is is something. A realisation about what I do, well, don’t do. Most of the time I just have no idea. Thinking again about the comments from Peter McLeavey on my work (see here) that I need to find who I am etc… I am many things! PolyPsycho digital printmaker.

Description & images by Frizzell’s hero HC Westerman appear below.

Continue reading “New Image art”


I have not listened yet, bet it is bad!


Philosophers Zone – 17 October 2009 – What would Karl Marx think?:

Commodities, capitalism and computers. At a time when the Berlin Wall has fallen but Wall Street is decidedly shaky, a self-described lapsed Marxist takes us through some of the key philosophical and practical ideas of Karl Marx and argues for what is still useful today. What is worth keeping in Marx? He had his limitations but later thinkers have built on his core concepts and used his methods to produce results that still speak to the changing nature of work in contemporary Australia.

Download Audio – 17102009

Jung and Pauli – The Interpretation of Nature and the Psyche.

Through collaboration with Wolfgang Pauli and Werner Heisenberg, Jung intuitively sought to establish a parallelism between psychic processes and the physical world by applying emerging theoretical concepts of quantum physics to his analytical psychology. Wolfgang Pauli, a prominent co-founder of quantum physics, first met Jung in 1930, and for the following twenty-six years they corresponded with each other exploring the relationship that they believed existed between analytical psychology and quantum physics. In 1952, Jung and Pauli published their initial findings in a book entitled The Interpretation of Nature and the Psyche.

Donald H. Wolfraim Ph.D. The Unity of Psyche and World


The psyche, like love is not to be defined. We know a few things about it & even that is presumptuous. There is no science of soul, or love.

So poetry is one way to speak about these things.

To see the world in a grain of sand, and to see heaven in a wild flower, hold infinity in the palm of your hands, and eternity in an hour.

This passage from Blake touches on my central experience of psyche. I have often quoted it.

Little Picture <-> Big picture

This is on my mind as I reflect on the parallel process in groups and is supervision in psychotherapy. Patterns repeat within the sessions, and within the psyche. In groups we all learn as one person explores a story in depth. We learn as that story relates to our own srories and we move beyond content to process. Once the process is understood then it is as if we tune in with a law of human nature. (I shle bring in an example but they are hard to describe. I have on in my paper: The Future of Knowing. Also in my Psychodrama thesis The group and the Protagonist.

This phenomena must have been at the heart of astrology. As above so below… yet (for all the value astrology may have) this is not credible to me in the way parallel process is, which is simply experienced, known, self evident.

Plato also saw the connection between the psyche and the larger picture, he related it to our knowledge of social justice.

The Isomorphism Between Social and Psychic Justice
… to construct the definition of psychic justice, he relics on (1) the full definition of social justice he constructed earlier, and the unusual idea that (2) a just city and a just man do not differ at all with respect to justice.

Gerasimos Xenophon Santas Goodness and justice: Plato, Aristotle, and the moderns

Plato makes all sorts of strange arguments based on isoprphy, however the phrase “a just city and a just man do not differ at all with respect to justice.” with respect to process rings true. Almost tautologically. Justice is an abstract idea that know no holon so to speak.

All this is of interest after watching Tom Atlee on a TED talk.
Tom Atlee, the author of “The Tao of Democracy,” gave a TEDx talk in Warwick in England on “Collective Intelligence in a Time of Global Crisis.”

The small group process is seen as a better representation of the peoples will than individual expressions of opinion. This is central to decision making about such things as climate change etc.

It becomes interesting when we see the holons line up:

Individual psyche <-> dialogue <-> Group Process <-> social justice

Understanding & making a shift in any one of these can impact the others. None of it is mystical or automatic. Some ways of working with process are better than others. Facilitation of process is essential.

This image from the N.Y. Times is to the point.


Systems thinking, Gaia and the Hot Age

I am reading James Lovelock’s The Vanishing Face of Gaia. I like his phrase the “Hot Age”. It may or may not come but it is more evocative than “global warming”. But that is not really what I want to raise here. His main thesis, that the earth is a living thing, an organism, that has self regulatory systems is not so much a mystical idea and a metaphor, but the basis of ecology, of systems, a science. The failure to see systemically is at the core of so much reductive scientific inability to see clearly. I see it in mental health, but here he puts it all beautifully as it relates to the planet, and science as a whole, the problem is that …

as the consequence of most American scientists, in their straightforward successful and reductionist way, seeing the Earth as something that they could improve or manage; they seemed to see it as no more than a ball of rock moistened by the oceans and sitting within a tenuous sphere of air… They do not yet see the Earth as a live planet that regulates itself.

They tail to see that because the Earth was colonized by life at least three and a half billion years ago, its temperature and surface composition have been set by the preferences of whatever organisms
made up the biosphere. This was true in the cold of the ice ages, it is true now, and will be true in the heat of the hot age soon due. Of course the physics and chemistry of the air are important in the
understanding of climate, but the manager of climates is and has always been Gaia, the Earth system of which the biosphere is a part. The disastrous mistake of twentieth century science was to assume
that all we need to know about the climate can come from modelling the physics and chemistry ofthe air in ever more powerful computers, and then assuming that the biosphere merely responds passively to
change instead of realizing it was in the driving seat. Because we acknowledged the leadership of America in science, most of the world took its mistaken view as true.

Page 14 in the 2009 penguin edition.

It is interesting that he sees computer modeling as a problem as well. It has led to us not trusting scientists. The small bits of data they can “prove” has impact means forfeiting seeing the whole.

He is thinking Earth, Gaia, but I am much more familiar with looking at systems such as groups and the psyche. Being able to see repeating patterns in the various holons is an art that is not easily proved, but the basis for the science from the inside.