Going Underground

man and woman with bone fire sitting on seashore

Maybe self-improvement isn’t the answer; maybe self-destruction is the answer.

You know… the psy field is rather new. The psychiatry, psychology, psychotherapy – all these – have emerged more or less in the last 150 years. Before them there was only medicine and religion, and in some countries philosophy. People didn’t traditionally need to talk to someone; this was fashionable for some time and it was a real necessity to lock somewhere those who were simply too mentally disturbed to be left free in the society. But in the meantime the psychiatric drugs have managed the most dangerous individuals, so the importance of the prison-hospital has diminished. Then, the large number of self-help books and videos has offered a solution for those who had minor emotional problems or for those who were seeking explanations.

Then… the last years have happened…

During the latest years there are a least 2 events that have changed the psy landscape even more. First, the psychopathic behavior has been normalized at collective level. I know, you are surprised, but it is psychopathic to be cynical, to use the others as objects or to use your charisma and influence so as to get into leadership positions from where you can do as much evil as possible. Also, it is psychopathic to play power games or be obsessed with status or image. Now it’s normal behavior, but in the past you were simply called selfish and evil and you were ostracized from your social group. You don’t know what ostracized means? Great, here we have the second event: the intellectual level has plummeted. This happened partly because life has become easier (there are fewer problems that require your intelligence) and because people are more interconnected and the information travels faster and is more readily available (online, for instance). Since people don’t need to be smart – which is a time-consuming skill that requires dedication, persistence and loss of energy – they have become dumber. It is, in a way, logical.

A world with an increasing number of psychopaths and of idiots creates a particular (and surprising) psychological landscape. You know… the reason for the existence of psychotherapy is the conflict, either with the others or with yourself. If there is no conflict, there is no need for psychotherapy. This is a reality that is often hidden but true professionals know it: psychotherapy is not for socializing, for making friends or for having an audience for your ideologies or your wardrobe. If you are a psychopath, you don’t really have conflicts; you just use people and your only problem is the frustration that you can’t use them better and get more pleasure/power/obedience from them. If you are stupid, you don’t have serious conflicts either; you simply exist and are easily satisfied.

A conflict, in the psychoanalytical sense (which is also the best way to describe it) happens between 3 possible instances: what you want/crave (your more or less subconscious desires and needs), what you can (or are able to do at the conscious level) and what you have to do (what society tells you to do or what you must do so as to live, for instance, what you must do so as to earn money). A society described by psychopathic behavior, stupidity and a certain facility of living does change a lot the 3 instances: people want less because they are numbed and because they are too stupid to aim for great achievements (they are easily satisfied), people feel less pressure to conform to a society that is perhaps too liberal, too tolerant and a bit anarchic at times, and finally, people literally can do fewer things, because they are entangled in the system (whatever that system is) and are much more controlled (by any means you can imagine, starting from the finances, the social media or what is fashionable and needs to be bought so as to fit in). The weakening of the 3 instances leads to a weakening of conflicts; people are simply too emotionally and morally sedated, have given up hope for a better world/life, or have ambitions that are limited to being admired by others.

The uppermost dreams are not too high; they are too low.

In this type of world the anxiety and the panic attacks are healed with drugs (prescribed or trafficked), with self-help literature or poorly-unlicensed self-appointed counsellors. The depression is rare because people are lacking depth and those who have it either commit suicide or are getting themselves euthanatized. The psychotic folk ends rather rapidly either in addictive behavior, or in the madhouse or in the cemetery, because schizophrenia is seen as a financial burden and the states don’t like to invest into something that doesn’t give back anything. The other neurotics remain in toxic relationships and find ways to numb themselves even more. The psychopaths thrive and get elected as leaders. And that’s pretty much all.

It is also important to say here that the emotional depth is linked to intelligence, culture and a relatively harmonious way of functioning. If you are so dumb so that you cannot explain your feelings or thoughts in plain language, how are you going to do therapy? If you are a psychopath who knows only power but cannot understand love, how are you going to have a problem sufficiently deep so as to ask for therapy? If you are concerned with your image and what people say about you, are you going to ask for any therapy and risk a stigma or show that you are less than what you projected around you? If the substances are the answer for everything, would you lose your time and energy so as to work on your improvement in therapy, and also give a lot of money? If you are easily pleased, why bother? If you can’t do anything anyway with your life in your social pocket, why bother? If you can be everything, say everything, do everything, identify as everything, and still be tolerated (because it is fashionable to do so, isn’t it?), why bother?

There are no conflicts in our world; therefore, there is no longer need for a skilled psychotherapist. And if (or rather, when) a large conflict will erupt, a fight for survival (staying alive) will be much more important than solving any psychological conflict.

I was fortunate to live and become educated in a great period of humanity, when it was cool to be smart, cultured and skilled. Now the time has come to go underground, and it is hard to say if this means death or maintaining a dim light that is to be passed to the next generation… if there is someone interested left…

Join the Conversation

  1. Yes. Self-improvement isn’t possible without Self-destruction. First you have to make space , then only can let something else enter. Something needs to be destroyed to build something else.
    The act of making space itself is destruction of current self.

    1. Hopefully there is a new Self ready to enter the scene. Because if you have nothing prepared to replace the old, or you have a child that is not ready or willing to be and behave like an adult, destroying the old is the worse thing you can do.