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Alan speaks in a very symbolic and esoteric manner in some parts of his books. Although they can be read anthroposophically, passages speaking of Atlantis, archangels, gods, etc. do not need to be taken literarily to be meaningful. The more you read, the more you will realize he uses many different religions to express ideas in a symbolic manner and not in a religious manner. His writings are not religious. In some places his writings are meant to refer to religious events in a historical way. In some places he is using religious figures (from Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Paganism, Ancient Roman and Greek Religions, etc.) in a symbolic manner. However, at no point is he promoting a specific religion or speaking from a religious point of view.
I have kept the writing as close to one-hundred percent original so you will also find that he speaks of Australia often and some spelling or manners of speaking may be cultural. Any words I have changed are presented like this: <word>.
Also keep in mind that these books are written by a Waldorf teacher with decades of experience who also studied with a Steiner student himself, so he speaks to an audience that is dedicating their lives to the Waldorf method without exception.
Because of this, all of his views are not reflected in the Earthschooling curriculum and not all of them may be ones you want to embrace or are able to use. In all of Alan Whitehead’s writings the opinions are his own and may not align with Earthschooling or Waldorf Books. In some cases, we will be updating some of these chapters in the future with additional and/or updated information.
Ultimately, however, as I read through these passages I find I can distill wisdom from even those paragraphs that do not resonate with me.
We invite you to read with an open mind and heart and with eagerness to learn and discuss…
SECOND WEEK IN OCTOBER
Mental Health Week
<This is the first week of October in the United States>
Note that the opinions below are those of Alan Whitehead and not Earthschooling or Waldorf Books. We will be updating the chapter below and adding more recent information soon.
A week set aside each year to recognize the role mental health plays in modem society would have been unthinkable just a generation ago. This was a time when all aspects of ‘madness’ were swept under the carpets of institutions designed to merely incarcerate rather than rehabilitate. How times have changed! But much more change is needed, not only in government policy, but community expectations.
The ‘ science’ of psychology (and its brother,” psychiatry) has, as part of its otherwise enlightened history, a dark underbelly of heartless experimentation and manipulation – as the Chelmsford ‘deep sleep’ fiasco in the 1980s attests.
Mental health is again a hotly debated topic, with bipartisan support being given for significant changes and’-new powers being legislated into the Act. I hope our elected leaders have all seen that remarkable film, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. This classic presented a rare glimpse of what the future of mental health could be: a vision of hope.
Such as when Jack Nicholson, as the choleric larrikin, took his band of “crazies” on a fishing adventure. The therapeutic value of this hilarious escapade was as dramatic as it was amazing. Once free of the suffocating turpitude of Miss “Ratshit’s” septic world, with its “counselling” and continu_9us medication, the repressed could express once more. Simple emotions like joy and enthusiasm, affection and self-esteem bubbled to the surface. The happy truants may not have returned with a large catch of fish, but they caught sanity by the bagful!
Then alas, back to the Cuckoo’s Nest.
Various governments continue to attempt to legislate for the removal of a range of “irregularities” from the insanity list; not that many people knew that they were there in the first place. For instance, Adherence to peculiar religious, philosophic, or political ideas is now okay.
Homosexuality, prostitution, and promiscuity will no longer land devotees into the dubious care of the ‘white coats’. Drug taking of all kinds will henceforth be regarded as “sane”. Anti-social behavior will be tolerated without the ominous threat of being “committed”. This all sounds good – a triumph for civil liberties. But before we rush out and indulge in one or all of the above, reassured that we will not end up in a straight jacket, let’s take a closer look. For the first time there will be a legal definition of mental illness. This statement alone should arouse suspicion. How can the most complex and least understood creation in the universe, the human mind, be “defined”? The five-point basis for this definition is spurious-indeed and cannot stand even the most casual scrutiny.
Delusions: This means that a person perceives a different reality from that of his inquisitor. But what about those who witnessed the genocidal intent of the prewar Nazis? They were locked up because of their “delusions”. In psychiatric literature, a delusion is “a false belief maintained by the patient in spite of what, to normal beings, constitutes plain-as-day proof or evidence to the contrary”. Heaven help if you march to a different beat.
Hallucinations: Again, from the literature: “a sense perception to which there is no external stimulus”. Dreams are hallucinations, but in a subconscious form. Many perfectly sane people can “hallucinate” at will – or raise dream images into normal day consciousness – at times with remarkably creative results. Einstein’s Theory of Relativity was revealed this way. So were the Revelations of St John the Divine. He wrote that his vision-splendid came to, him while he was “in the Spirit” Today he would more likely be in a van with caged windows! All people experiencing heightened perception had better keep it to themselves – including the children who “see” fairies!
Disorder: In the application of “serious disorder of thought”, the content of thinking can be reason for “benevolent” incarceration. Original and futuristic thinkers beware. Of course, we’ve been through all this before – remember Copernicus? He postulated that the earth was suspended in space and revolved around the sun. Now that’s serious disorder of thought – circa 16th Century!
Disturbance: Or severe disturbance of mood. But what constitutes severe? Most people have what to them is a “severe disturbance of mood” in almost any given week. We hear the time-worn example that is supposed to mollify us: the grieving husband who has lost his wife. A “temporary committal” under the Mental Disorders Act sounds charitable enough, but unfortunately the word “force” is part of the package. What if the poor fellow doesn’t want to grieve for his loved-one in a mental slough of heavy sedation, with the unwelcome supervision of solicitous “counsellors”? Under the “mood” clause, Edgar Allan Poe would have been “treated” very early in his tempestuous career, denying us his haunting word magic and exquisite perfection of form.
Irrational: Severe irrational behavior. Trying to interpret the word “irrational” is as easy as picking up bull ants with your toes. The word itself is suspect, from the Latin “ratio” – a reckoning, or measuring. If behavior cannot be weighed or measured, with the predictability that this implies, perfectly sane people could be mad! Was Vincent Van Gogh rational when, in a” sustained” way, he tore apart every artistic convention and created masterpieces? He may have been a few tubes short of a paintbox, but had he been placed on a “forced” program of restraint … our loss, yes?
Any move to increase the psychiatric industry’s power over the individual must err on the side of extreme caution. How many people have had a perfectly sane friend or relative suffer an emotional crisis of one kind or another and, in trust, placed them into the care of a mental institution?
“Just a week or so for a rest – it’s only a nervous breakdown.” A vacuous diagnosis at best. · So from day one a program of indiscriminate medication begins – morbid symptoms appear; the patient (victim) is now stimulated. This often leads to some form of hysteria; so more sedation – then stimulation – uppers – downers -up – down …!
Of course, there is also counselling. Here precious secrets are prized out of the depths of the soul with a coat hanger, leaving the patient in a state of psychic emaciation. And let’s not forget the Rorschach Ink Blot Test – a test indeed, of the tester’s inventiveness!
Still no improvement? This case is more difficult than we thought – let’s try ECST (a euphemism for electro convulsive shock treatment). Here our now partly de-souled friend is strapped onto a table in the lateral crucifixion position and subjected to one of the most terrifying indignities a human being can experience. Many poor souls actually plead for mercy while being belted in, prior to having massive bolts of electricity render mental, emotional, and physical functions useless.
If this doesn’t reduce our formally intelligent and subtle friend to a psychological junket ~-then frontal lobotomy surely will. This is the ultimate answer to the intractable – just a few snips – with the living nerves of consciousness parted, the mind is dissembled – the spirit demolished.
As the song says ‘They don’t let my girlfriend talk to me” – due to her “treatment” she probably couldn’t anyway. Many of these practices have been modified, or even totally discredited and abandoned. But, like cockroaches, they are still in the woodwork of the collective psychiatric mind and can re-emerge under the cover of the ‘darkness of therapeutic need, “Well, we’ve tried everything else!”
Totalitarian regimes use and abuse psychology to control dissidents and disobedients. The individual has no defense once the big doors bang behind. A course of mind-altering drugs can assure the perennial captivity of body, soul, and spirit.
No wonder a number of civil libertarians, former patients and doctors have expressed “concern” at the changes to the Act over recent years. The potential for abuse warrants more than concern! A person who sees things, thinks things, and does things that the referral doctor does not see, think and do, might be advised to follow the way of the first two free-spirited birds in the nursery rhyme – One flew east, and one flew west …
And now a personal mental health anecdote:
When Howard Carter famously broke into the tomb of Tut-Ankh-Amen in 1922, one of the first things he saw sent irrational chills of fear running down his spine. It was a large, sightlessly staring, black statue of Anubis the Jackal, god of the dead. Anubis was one of the first historically recorded images of the infamous “black dog’.’
This supernatural beast ministered to all things funerary; hence was always associated with sadness and melancholia – or its abyssal equivalent, depression. He considered the death of Osiris, with his subsequent loss to the world, to be just too hard to bear, so he invented embalming; an art he practiced for the very first time on the great 0-Sirius. The ancient Greeks saw Anubis in a more selective role, as a conductor of souls into the afterworld. Due to collaboration with the god Hermes, this enigmatic black dog was later called Hermanubis.
The first time I was aware of the new pup next door was when I heard it whining in the neighbor’s truck shed. Like Howard Carter, my blood went cold. I also felt a pit of nausea in my stomach. Though the arrival of the dog didn’t really surprise me, as my neighbor had threatened – yes, threatened – to get a dog sometime soon. Actually, the homey word ‘neighbor’ belies a litany of conflict stretching over ten years with the man next door – let’s call him “Dick”. Dick was indeed the ‘neighbor from hell’. And it seemed that he was about to unleash his very own “black dog” upon my wife and me; both recently retired to our sea-tree-change dream home.
Dick was a tree-lopper, with massive amounts of noisy and dirty plant and trucks with which he perennially invaded our domestic tranquility, our peace-of-mind – and ultimately my sanity. He was a choleric, adversarial character, who had a black belt in judo and an arsenal of firearms. Dick and his equally offensive wife “Ruby” had two sons who drove us to dementia with their trail bikes riding up and down our fence-line. But worst of all, Dick and Ruby owned the right-of-way to our property.
At last, I saw the dreaded dog (innocuously and unimaginatively named “Towser”) for the first time. Yep, it was jet black and big, a German shepherd in fact, and set to grow a whole lot bigger. Now I not only had not only Winston Churchill’s metaphoric psychic “black dog” with which to contend, but areal one as well! The waves of anxiety that assailed my equilibrium increased each time I was confronted by my canine nemesis.
This was especially the case when I observed Dick diligently training it to be what he called an “attack dog” – right next to the right-of-way gate! Oh yes, The Gate; or The Gate of Hell, as it was to become known.
I’m not sure whether to segue from Egypt to Greece, or from The Gate to The Gate of Hades? Whatever; Greek mythology portrays the guardian of the gates of hell as a large, fearsome black dog called Cerberus. He is made even more terrifying by having three heads, one each to savage its victims’ head, thorax, and abdomen. However, this monster could be bribed with honey cakes, which one was sensibly advised to take on that sad journey to the “land of no return”, as the Greeks referred to the Underworld. The common phrase “a sop to Cerberus” relates to this practice; the “sop” being a gift one gives to someone – usually undeservedly – who might be a danger to one. So, we have the black dog image associated with the fear of death, and its unholy ally, depression. in both Egyptian and Greek folklore.
Dick erected The Gate (always a capitalized proper noun to stress its central role in the saga) to ostensibly protect his huge truck shed. The real reason, however, was to frustrate the right-of-way users, namely ourselves and our visitors. This toll-gate-like imposition embodied the stated threat that if The Gate wasn’t closed at all times, a lock would be placed on it. One bright summer morning my daughter and her 4-year-old son were visiting. As they alighted from the car to open The Gate, the unchained Towser, bigger and blacker than ever, rushed forward to bale them up, lips curled back over white fangs. After she, pale and shaking, reported this violation to me, my normal state of abjection descended into full depression. As I lay on my bed, waves of pure fear paralyzed my whole being I had never felt so wretched and desolate in my entire, albeit trouble-strewn, life. In spite of grudging assurances by Ruby to keep the dog constrained, the canine intimidation continued apace.
A month or so later, due to constant incursions by Towser into another neighbor’s yard, a three-way war erupted. My wife and I of course sided with the offended neighbor, so things became very ugly indeed. So much so that after officially complaining, we were advised, due to Dick’s formidable package of aggression, and unstable, volatile nature, to take out an A VO against him. This led to a cancellation of his gun license, which, more than anything else, propelled him into a state of black rage. So, he put the promised lock on The Gate.
A savage dog was a symbol of the Lupercalia (Festival of Lupus the Wolf) in ancient Rome. This traditionally took place on February 14 each year and was accompanied by nocturnal rituals of sadism and lasciviousness – with women being the prime targets. This sinister cult was a corruption of the hoary legend of the putative founders of Rome, Romulus and Remus, the foundling brothers who were suckled by a she-wolf. What a prescient allegory of the empire, that which in time ravenously devoured most of the known world, this turned out to be! Anyway, as the veils of night fell on February 14, priests of the Lupercal would descend from their Wolf Cave in the Palatine Hills to range across the country-side seeking out their hapless victims, on whom they would exact a terrible price for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. This included the obscenity of flailing with the skins of newly-slaughtered dogs. In fact, it was these same wolf priests who demanded and secured the beheading of Saint Valentine, a pious Christian monk, in 270AD. To add insult to injury, this brutal murder took place on their day of days, February 14 – subsequently celebrated as St. Valentine’s Day! This patron saint of marriage and moral virtue was especially hated by his oppressors due to his message of love, a stark contrast to the fear and death of the Mad Dog Night.
The venal act of locking The Gate, one. that compelled us to walk some distance from the road to our house, catapulted me down the scree slope of full-blown clinical depression. I could barely eat, and lost weight rapidly. Debilitating anxiety attacks were now permanent fell companions, as was the feeling of carrying an ingot of lead in my stomach – and my head felt as if in the vice-like grip of a huge hose clamp. Of course, decent sleep was near impossible; after dozing off for a mere half hour or so, I would be jolted awake by nightmares of high fences and crocodiles. As well, I would be drenched in foul-smelling sweat. For the rest of the night, deep slumber was simply unattainable. To my astonishment, I began crying a lot – definitely a new for tough ol’ me! This was not so much out of self-pity, if l can judge by the content, but by a new-found sense of compassion for people and the world. For instance, on receiving news of a friend contracting breast cancer, I tumbled into a well of deep grief, weeping piteously. Thankfully, her subsequent treatment was a success’. · To add to the nightmare, both metaphysical and actual, Dick, in the spirit of naked malevolence, would park one of his many vehicles right next to my studio early in the morning and leave the radio blaring all day. (Not at night thankfully, after all, that would even disturb him!) This was permanently tuned to a mind-numbing country music station – naturally! He also cited his stinking industrial incinerator right under my window: the joie de vivre of our new home we had once enjoyed vanishing into its smoldering toxic fumes.
In Old Europe, to purloin Donald Rumsfeld’s recent pejorative term, funerals became increasingly ritualized; especially in Ireland, where the inhumation of the dead became a veritable art form. One all-pervasive element was the employment of a single bass drum beating time to the steps of the melancholy mourners as they followed the coffin down the wet cobbled streets to the graveyard. The drum rhythm was almost always the slow and sad, long-long-long Molossus (from the Greek): boom-boom-boom – boom-boom-boom …
Molossus is a word meaning “dog”, or more specifically, a big black dog – of the mastiff persuasion; the molossidae, a species of evil-faced bats, being commonly known as “mastiff bats”. The doleful drumbeat of the molossus is guaranteed to dispatch one’s soul to a very sad place; indeed, one uncomfortably adjacent to the cold, damp dungeon of depression. The three heads of Cerberus also reflect the abyssal nature of the long-long-long molossus. As well as the tuneless drumbeat, the black dog molossus is common in dirges and epitaphs; the following is one I penned in molossic monometer:
THE DARKEST VEIL
Out – of – dark
Pain’s my name
Death is mine
Hope is lost
Pass through my
Lift your sad
Now you’re in
Now that’s depressive – though with a small, dim light at the end of the tunnel. Being now genuinely ill, I sought counselling. Alas, my kindly doctor continually, in the best Freudian tradition, kept referring back to my relationship with my mother – frustratingly ignoring the neighbor problem altogether.
The consequence of this ersatz therapy was a plummet into the Bottomless Pit of Apollyon; ending later that night with a primal scream of despair to the pitiless stars.
So, I decided on a path of self-healing. This took the form first of regular surf, run and sun, which always made me feel better, for a while at least. Then my wife and I took a trip to Lord Howe Island. The soul-elevating beauty – and distance from our persecution – certainly felt therapeutic.
But of course, we were compelled to return, hoping desperately that our “dream home”, built so lovingly with our own hands such a short time ago, had been sold. Alas. They say that a change is as good as a holiday; in our case a holiday was as good as a change, our Pacific paradise trip turning out to be a vital turning point to the grinding misery we had suffered for so long.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle must have been a sleuth in his own right in his forensic research for the Sherlock Holmes story, The Hound of the Baskervilles. This revealed legion psychological insights into the power of persuasion, especially into the nature of fear – all through the medium of a big black dog! This brute was a source of unspeakable terror for the grim-faced denizens of the mist-shrouded moors. And what fertile soil are those gloomy bogs and quicksand for the cultivation of a fine crop of depression. This particular “attack dog” (the term still sends a shiver down my spine) was sought out and trained to terrorize a whole community; as well as to dispatch a few of them to Hades when it suited its evil master! Dogs, especially big black ones, seem to universally engender fear and loathing more than any other animal; and fear – irrational or otherwise – is so often a catalyst for depression.
To our surprise, things had indeed “changed” – a little at least – on our return from our sub-tropic sanctuary. For instance, Dick and Ruby had grudgingly agreed to attend a formal mediation arranged by the council. Yes, the dispute had well-and-truly spilled over our fences into the wider community, involving even the courts, and the police, who were called out on several occasions. Of course, no commitments that the surly couple made to the mediator were honored, in our time at least. But the very fact that they had consented to attend was significant. As such, things began to calm down somewhat – as on a pro rata basis did my depression. A few months later we rented out our home just to escape the poisonous psychic miasma which spread across our lovely garden every morning cunningly concealed in choking truck fumes.
Sometime after renting, our house was thankfully sold, two terrible years after being listed. Throughout that time, we had many prospective buyers, but due to living in a small country town, they all eventually heard about “the neighbor problem”. So, to sell we were forced to bargain-basement our lovely home from an marginal (1995) valuation of $245,000 to $157,000. Of course, health and happiness head money in the list of life’s blessings anytime. After all, in my darkest hours I was positively suicidal. In large part at least, since we moved and subsequently sold, my depression has subsided, and life is worth living again.
One unexpected bonus from the whole sorry affair is that I learnt more about myself, in the deepest possible way, during my relatively short mental illness than in all the rest of my life put together. Salutary lessons, indeed.
This is especially the case in respect of my frailties and vulnerability. But even more important is my new-found compassion, which happily seems to have stayed with me. I like to think that I am no longer quite the proud, hard man I was, but one of greater sensitivity and understanding – of love even. This is directed especially to those tragic sufferers of depression, which is not merely a more intense form of misery, but a physical and psychic disease over which one has little or no control, the all-feared black dog coming and going as it pleases. Depression is, indeed, a veritable hell on earth.
Now to another aspect of mental health: There is a huge industry out there that sells smoke; its 19th Century counterparts rather sold snake oil. At least with – usually opium-based – snake oil there was a tangible product with which the gullible could delude themselves. The smoke salespersons are the burgeoning counselling community.
“But surely,” the sensible might interject “there are people providing valuable counselling services to needy folk!?”. Probably, I’ve just rarely seen them, that’s all. Most distressing, though, to this seasoned pedagogue is the ever-spawning fraud called “children’s counselling”.
This can be routinely rendered, usually by a non-intimate, to a merely upset child for something as trivial as a stolen bicycle – or, not so trivial but just as inapt, to a child following the death of someone they barely knew.
Observations in this article are not directed at genuine mental illness carers; rather targeting the “I learnt my skills at a weekend workshop” dilettantes. One recent article cautioned its readers to check how many hours of training their therapist had received … hours?! Many of these new-age clinicians are ‘projectionists’, such as relationship therapists – who can’t even sustain a relationship! In fact, anyone can nail up a shingle as a counsellor – and anyone does. The classified and other ads in newspapers and lifestyle magazines promise a cosmic cornucopia of relief and/or enlightenment. The bullseye in their dartboard of the soul are the poor old stress sufferers. This is a malady from which virtually everyone suffers – what a market!
The core question is: Do the majority of counsellors provide short-term services for long-term benefits? The answer too often is no. In fact, evidence, both apocryphal and statistical, points to the tragic fact that many people finish up worse off after counselling than before – and not just financially!
Angela Patmore, a research fellow at the University of East Anglia, believes that the entire stress industry is based on “unsound concepts and flawed research”. She goes further, accusing it of actually making its patients sick!
She said that therapy removes a human survival tactic, which is to fight back: “Stress is a natural mechanism that galvanizes people into action.” asserted Ms. Patmore.
This is especially so with relationships counselling; the record here being so poor that if even happily married couples trot along to ‘bring depth to the relationship’ workshops, they are likely to be separated within a year!
The following is a case history known to your author to illustrate this epidemic: Picture a happy, prosperous, middle-class family; one which would have done John Howard’s ‘white picket fence’ proud. They had a fine home, seven healthy children, a vegetable garden, bees – and a dog!
The sweet wife was lured (an apt verb) along to a ‘social development’ meeting. This held the promise of even further enhancing her evidently perfect life. After a sustained extraction of the entrails of her soul, The Group convinced her that hubby was a spiritual troglodyte. (Probably because he refused to attend, preferring to stay home and mind the children or tend the vegies), and that her humble domestic circumstances compelled her to remain unrealized as an individual. As such, they shamelessly played on her innate hubris – “He’s not good enough for you.” In time the bewildered husband sensed the increasing divide between them, and the conflict began. Within the allotted one-year time frame, the family was destroyed. “See, we told you he was a scab!” crowed The Group. A self-fulfilling prophesy more like it.
In the argot of the counselling skeptics, this is known as ‘false bonding’; psychiatrists are trained to be alert for this and avoid it – especially of permitting the patient to become dependent upon, or even fall in love with, the doctor. The Smokies rather often encourage it! Alas, there is no public protection Codes of Ethics in the mostly feral ‘personal growth’ industry! So why the smoke allusion? Well, smoke gets in your eyes, it blinds to reality; one reality is the inverted scale that reveals that the more impractically idealistic, or indeed gobbledegookish, the propaganda, the more popular it is; take this example from a recently advertised personal development program (their punctuation!): “The space to be still … To recognize Truth and be acknowledged in That To honor
belonging to end separation. To not pretend … to stop the lying and rest in Wholeness.” What does it mean?! The chronically naive shell out their perfectly good dollars for … smoke!
The following is a brief glossary of the fatuous and fabulist which readers may recognize from their own local papers or supermarket noticeboards: Transformation – transpersonal; insight sharing – intuitive writing; conversations · that matter – contact improvisation; Swedish relaxation – sand play therapy (for adults?!); co-dependency communicating counselling; rebalancing – rebirthing; biographies; homotropic breathwork; unity consciousness; blessing services (the arrogance!); tarot reading. All smoke. One night my wife heard a car accident in the street. She hurried out and gave assistance to a mature woman who had crashed her car, but thankfully was okay.
The lady was however hopelessly drunk; as well she was emotionally dissembled due to relationship chaos; which was blubberingly spilled out as Susan tried to calm her.
Later we saw in the local paper a small advert. that informed its readers that this same woman was a clairvoyant, tarot, and palm reader. She promised her would-be customers, among other things, that she would “release your blockages”. Susan was not all that keen to attend!
In a saner age, when this counselling compulsion was unheard of, comforting by ‘true bonds’, like family and friends, usually pulled the grieving, distressed or despairing back from the brink. If not, professional help was sought.
A lot of the smoke is pseudo-religious, with salvation promised without the encumbrances of the time-honored rituals, doctrines, responsibilities, and limitations by which the established faiths are bound. For many, the counsellor has replaced the clergyman. While on God; it’s difficult to know His will in these vexing matters. A reading of the scriptures however can give us a peek into the divine dynamics of life’s travails.
Poor old Job was a candidate for a stress-related collapse if anyone in history was. He had lost all; family, wife, public esteem, health (those open sores ugh!). He was crushed and in disgrace and poverty and was forced to sit outside the city walls. The one thing to pull him through was his immovable faith in his ever-wise Creator. How would this story have been different if a well-meaning counsellor had taken Job in and workshopped his problems? The Group, in reviewing his reconstituted circumstances, may have opened with – “Your wife deserved what she got … a chance for you to grow.” Poor old Job would have been terminally stricken with cracked conviction. The idea is not for one to suffer alone, but to be careful with whom one shares one’s innermost secrets – hence vulnerability.
Latest research supports this common-sense caution, suggesting that stress is a necessary accessory to life’s obstacles. It is a psychosomatic response that actually braces the enigmatic immune system. Otherwise, why would stress be such a universal – in animals and man – psychic component? Many people, including children and especially teenagers, often, unconsciously, or otherwise, compensate a modem relatively stress-free existence with danger sports, boss taunting, road rage – or other nerve-shredding devices.
The personal problems people solve together usually stay solved. Those who hand over responsibility to a third party, often a stranger, at best receive band-aid therapy – at worst, tragedy. Good old common-sense and home-based comforting beats the blinding smoke of counselling any day.
We conclude with the sage observations of two experts in the vexed subject of mental health:
“So-called psychoanalysis makes possible investigations in the very region where present preconceptions are working in a disastrous fashion. (The word disaster means ‘against the stars’!) This psychoanalysis is terribly unsound, especially when it stirs up the region of the elementals.” Rudolf Sterner, Dornach, November 1916
“Freud and psychoanalysis is the most stupendous confidence trick of the 20th century. Freud .is a religious prophet speaking in a secular language.” Anthony Clare.