Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Delusions of Difference

     Several times I've observed people who had fairly consistently been arrogant, become distinctly pleasant, approachable - essentially "more human", after being diagnosed with cancer. Sadly, they tended to return to their "old self" when they assumed that the danger had passed (new delusion: remission = immortality). 

          Only when all our hold on life
               is troubled,
          Only in spiritual terror can
               the Truth
          Come through the broken mind -
                                                                                                             W.B. Yeats

     I suspect we all have at least moments of delusion when we feel special, somehow above, completely separate & immune from common human frailties. At these times we're quick-fix superheros, right wing, law & order, hanging judges. More than a few of us retain this attitude till they "pry our gun from our cold, dead hands."
     An individual or "group may assert exceptionalism ... in order to exaggerate the appearance of difference, perhaps to create an atmosphere permissive of a wider latitude of action, and to avoid recognition of similarities that would reduce perceived justifications." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exceptionalism

     Dysfunctionally reacting to, instead of wisely addressing, existential dread, is perhaps our central problem: http://healthyhealers.blogspot.ca/2017/05/elephant-in-room.html

     "A neurosis is suffering that has not yet found its meaning."     Carl Jung

     "Shrinking away from death is something unhealthy and abnormal which robs the second half of life of its purpose." Carl Jung

     "Real liberation comes not from glossing over or repressing painful states of feeling, but only from experiencing them to the full." Carl Jung

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