So I’ve been seeing my current therapist  for some time now. It’s easier to talk with her but  today talking with a friend of mine the question came up again:

How sincere can I be with someone who I am paying to listen to me.

After a great meal of Indian food on Madison and 28th I found myself articulating this question outloud, I also found myself answering the following

Thought

Well I dunno I can be really sincere with a hooker I suppose, especially since I never bought into the Richard Gere propaganda from Pretty Women that it is ok to Kiss Hookers on the Mouth and I wrap my joystick like its the first official Nintendo Joystick ever made from back in the day.

While this made me laugh this made the people around us  a little appalled (supposedly its not seen as an act of sincerity to give another human being the pleasure of being an oral host to your musty organs of generation.) After the laughing I thought about how things our in our society. do we ever get an opportunity to be recognized for our uniqueness, do we every get heard really, how original is our thinking. When i think about it there are advertisements everywhere telling me: who to vote for, who to like, who to lust after, what to eat, when to eat it, what size to get of it to eat, what to aspire to do, who to aspire to follow.

I wonder if during the course of a day whether we have a single thought that comes 100% from us. I think because of our being out ouf touch which real self expression we are collectively closer to insanity and a a dissolution of much of the ideology that our society was founded on like: Freedom for all men regardless of petty differences, a care for the environment, for our nation really – so many people have died to for the land we call home, yet we really abuse our natural resources. I could go on but I won’t go on, shout out to Samuel Beckett. Speaking of Nobel prize winning author Samuel Beckett I would like to mention Doris Lessing.

Doris Lessing and The Nobel Prize

It  a shame I happened on Doris Lessing after I was done college. For those you who don’t know she is a Nobel prize winning author. She has an amazing interview called Our Collective Cultural Insanity.  I wanted to post some interesting parts from this interview check it out. I put three excerpts you don’t have to read them all, you can skim  whatever makes you happy

Execrpt 1

My Favorite Image of Ms Lessing taken in 1957

 I think that we are all much nearer being crazy than we ever want to think about. I once sent myself crazed on purpose. I wrote about it in my book The Four Gated City. I had been struck by the fact that, if you read accounts of what shamans do when they initiate people, and what people experience in prison camps, and what schizophrenics and others describe, the symptoms are nearly always the same. They hear voices, become disassociated and have revelations. The thing they all have in common is that they haven’t eaten or slept well.

Now this thought was precipitated by seeing what happened to a girl who was living at my house at the time. A tall, thin, beautiful girl who was unhappy in her love life. She didn’t eat or sleep properly for weeks. One day she suddenly found herself floating above her own body looking down as she walked across Westminster Bridge.

So, okay, I thought, I am going to try this — and I do not recommend this to anybody. I went down to my place in Devon where I knew I wouldn’t be interrupted because it’s difficult to have a couple of weeks by oneself in London. I went without food and sleep, deliberately watching everything that happened. It took about three days for me to begin going crazy. Then what happened was that a ‘figure’ appeared that I christened the ‘self-hater’. It’s a creature schizophrenics often describe. This figure, a person who shouts and screams at us, is obviously the conditioned conscience. It is what society creates in us, what daddy and mummy do to us; “Oh, you’re a naughty girl”, or “Oh, you’re a naughty boy.” It exists inside one but sounds as if it’s coming from outside.

Anyway this voice yammering away in my head was terrifying because it was so strong. And two thoughts were running through my mind as this was happening. The first thought was that, if I wasn’t moderately sophisticated in this area, I’d rush off and tell a doctor what I was experiencing and he would fill me full of drugs and probably have me sectioned. And the other thought was the fact that some of the hallucinations I was experiencing were common in all accounts of breakdowns. For example, ‘the voyage’, which appears in different cultures all over the world and takes different forms. If you’re a Tibetan you have one type of journey or if you’re Egyptian you have another. Christians have the stations of the cross. Ancient Greeks had Jason looking for the golden fleece. There is always a journey. And I had my journey.

So I watched all these things going on inside me which would have landed me in a mental hospital if I didn’t know what I was doing. Well, my time in Devon was coming to an end and, after two weeks, I started to eat and sleep properly again. It took a long time, at least three weeks, to get back to normal. So I think that perhaps a lot of people are having breakdowns, or described as schizophrenics, who are simply not eating or sleeping enough. Students studying for exams, for example, often go over the edge. People crossing the Atlantic in small boats hear God talking to them, especially when food is running low. It also seems to me that it’s people who have been brought up too rigidly in one way or another who have this ‘self-hater’ in them — this bullying, “you are naughty” figure. And it’s not too far below the surface. So craziness is not quite as far away as we like to think.

I put this excerpt here to start things off the interview is really eye opening in many senses. Please check it out and leave some comments. ok ok I’ll leave you with one more exciting bit:

Excerpt 2

Tyrrell: How else do you think we cope with craziness?

Lessing: Yesterday I visited a friend of mine who I knew first when I was twenty-one. He is tall, thin, bony and was adopted when he was six months old. For the first six months of his life he was in an orphanage and it’s clearly quite obvious that nobody cuddled him much. He’s had several breakdowns and he’s a painter and it’s the painting that keeps him from going crazy. Nothing else helps. He can’t drink because that drives him over the top. He needs his therapeutic, absorbing hobby to keep him relatively sane. People are that close to breakdown but they find ways to cope. I know painting helps but it’s not all that easy is it? You can’t just say to someone, “Why don’t you take up painting because it’s good for you?”

Excerpt 3

Tyrrell: Some people just need someone to take a neutral interest when they’re in a crisis and listen for a while in an accepting supportive way.

Lessing: That’s the trouble isn’t it? There aren’t enough people to listen. I think that’s why some find therapy successful because they are buying a friend really. I had therapy when I was in my early 30s, for two or three years, a pretty relaxed affair. It wasn’t analysis or anything like that. But now, when I look back, I know that I was buying a friend, someone who supported me all the time because I was being got at by so many people. It so happens that she was a Jungian and a Roman Catholic, but she could have been anything. Anyway, people would say to me, “Isn’t it just the same as having a very good friend listening to you?” But the patience of a good friend is limited. If they hear the same miseries day in and day out they get fed up.