People are in psychological crisis, and masses of us, steeped in the anxiety of helplessness and futility, are feeling marginalized and victimized. Making it worse, we take our pain out on each other.
Around the world the complexity of modern life contributes to personal distress, as does the effect on us of misguided leaders and anti-democratic forces in government and corporations. Yet our psyche, like a Model-T Ford sputtering along a superhighway, remains our primary weak spot.
Psychologically, we operate according to old-fashioned principles. We’re quick to blame others for allegedly causing our pain. We want to attribute our neurotic suffering to the stupid beliefs and rotten behavior of others. The more we blame the other, though, the more we dislike or hate the other and the less clearly we see the essentials of our predicament. We also suffer more acutely from our own unresolved negative emotions.
America, the world’s best hope for rousing leadership, finds its political process mired in an uncivil war. Americans are making their politics a script for the national staging of personal dysfunction. Behind this conflict, clamoring in the bedlam of our neurosis, swarm the demons of our dark side. [Read more…]