Short Stories From 10 Years Ago – December 15, 2004
Is Analysis A Good Thing?
Short Stories From 10 Years Ago – December 15, 2004 – I can’t let the year go by without addressing one of the most important issues of our time – that of analysis and introspection. Is it a good thing? From my own experience, I’d have to answer in the affirmative.
After all, Freud parlayed his ideas of dream interpretation, transference, the Oedipus complex and the Id – the Ego and Super Ego into international psychiatric super stardom, long before the appearance of the super model.
Then Eric Berne of Transactional Analysis fame furthered our understanding of the child, parent and adult in his famous I’m Okay – You’re Okay treatise. I was in university at the time, and if I wasn’t reading The Lord of The Rings Trilogy, I was busy trying to remember if I was “okay”, or if it was the other guy who had that dubious honour. There were a lot of diagrams that seemed to require some study. Then along came Gail Sheey with Passages – and I had to contemplate delving into the predictable crises of adult life. Not to take away anything from the brilliance of the aforementioned scholars, but it was all just a tad confusing.
I’m wondering if I might have escaped the dastardly clutches of the Queen of Rationalization, the Empress of Excuses and the Princess of Procrastination if I’d just stuck to Aldous Huxley and Russian history and not bothered to explore my inner world. But then there is the pressure from Socrates saying that “The unexamined life is not worth living” and finally Browning had to weight in reminding us that “If man’s reach should exceed his grasp – then what’s a heaven for?”
It would be a miracle if we weren’t all just a little bit nuts. I’ve had some time to ponder the question of my mental and emotional stability or lack thereof and I’m fairly satisfied that I do not need long term hospitalization or even occasional therapy sessions. I went into therapy one time when the wheels came off my life, and I can’t recommend it highly enough. It was either that or buy a giant bottle of glue to put myself back together again, and think how messy that would have been.
I do think it’s an essential part of living to examine one’s day to day behaviour, motives, persistent passions, likes and dislikes. Any propensity towards buying weapons of any sort should probably be probed – perhaps by a professional. Giving up on life and sitting in a corner for long periods of time is not good, nor are uncontrollable mumbling, unseemly and inappropriate drooling or shouting at total strangers.
Aside from these undesirable traits, and a few others that I’ve neglected to mention, I think most people are probably fairly good sorts. There will always be bad people. That’s just the way life is, and no amount of wishing it was otherwise will ever change this fact. Bad people probably don’t go to therapy or examine their lives. They may not even realize they’re bad, and even if they do know – they don’t care.
So I’m tossing out the whole notion of my “Id – Ego and Super Ego” and the “Child – Parent and Adult” with apologies to Freud and Berne. In their stead, I’m introducing the “kid”, the “imposter” (pretend grown up) and the “idiot”. I’m sure there is no danger of this becoming a modern day psychological movement, so the theories of the aforementioned brilliant scholars are undoubtedly quite safe.
As I’ve already mentioned on a number of occasions, I feel about twelve years old most days. I’m able to behave like a big person in business in spite of my childlike leanings. When I do dumb things – the idiot is at the controls and the rest my time is spent between the kid and the imposter stages. In spite of my imagined inadequacies I’m really getting along just fine.
The introduction of the idiot (think politics) to the study of psychology helps to explain stupidity, which we all know is rampant around the world. Just think if people went to interviews and had to pass a stupid exam. What if politicians had to divulge their scores on the stupid test, clear an eye scan on the idiot monitor and fess up to the consequences of their dumb decisions? What if they were actually accountable and could be fired?
The Universe would be a markedly different place. I wonder if any of our current world leaders would survive? What if people in positions of authority had to be able to read “thick” books, drivers had to pass a civility test and people had to prove their worthiness to be pet owners? What if kindness, respect and love were prerequisites for marriage and parenthood?
I just caught the last of the news and heard that the George Bush Pentagon has spent one hundred and fifty billion dollars, to date, on their missile defence program. Today’s first test flight was a spectacular, yet miserable failure. Now where in the world do the “id – ego and super ego” fit in here? They don’t. Once again the idiot factor rears its stupid head.
Just think if some of the missile defence funds had been allocated to start rectifying the greenhouse gas problem in the U.S.A. – one of the world’s largest polluters. That would be progress. Unfortunately I don’t believe Dubya puts much stock in “global warming” – it’s hot in Texas and he’s used to the heat. If he could pronounce “Kyoto” the earth’s environment might have a brighter future.
There is plenty of everything to go around in this world of ours. We humans (collectively) need to look at life differently and make some major changes in how we relate to people around the world. Differences should be celebrated, not denigrated. If stupidity could be removed from the human equation, or even contained, life would be easier to manage. The cycles of life and death really aren’t that complicated, and they will continue as long as our bruised and troubled world manages to last. Kids will be kids – adults will try to act like grown ups – but analysis aside – you gotta watch out for that darn idiot factor!