Friday, December 26, 2008

personal vs.political.

personal is real, political is metaphysical......or imaginary.

that`s why there are no political solutions, only personal ones, done by real people with thier own efforts.

so next time, don`t vote......act.

voting feeds politicians.

taking action effects change.


Vincent said...

Now having reached some understanding and agreement on your previous post Abundance, I feel ready to take you up on this (and expect that you will be ready to respond too!)

I suppose there are those who seek political "solutions" but there is an ambiguity in that word. There may be a few fanatics who think that there are political solutions which solve most human problems, but the majority take a more limited view, that political solutions can solve certain problems only.

To starve out politicians by not feeding them is to disenfranchise ourselves. To act only on a personal and not a community level is to place an intolerable pressure on individuals leading to breakdown.

Surely in your therapeutic work you recognise the impact of a sick society on its members?

Do you not agree that a society whose economy and institutions value consumerism and efficiency (measurable in return to investors) above human dignity contributes to sickness, mental and physical, amongst its members?

Every decent society looks after its weakest. Except in societies where teaching and caring are undertaken at family or village level, politicians (as well as other community leaders) must be involved, and there needs to be a way for individuals to participate in the process, in both decision-making and execution.

Unless you agree with the foolishness of Margaret Thatcher when she said "there is no such thing as society".

dr.alistair said...

you make some assumptions that i find questionable.

are societies that look after thier weakest decent, or merely affording a luxury out of a convenient morality?

and who says we actually do look after our weakest?

i see substantial marginalisation of those who, for whatever reason, are unable to contibute to productivity.

i agree that we have to have an executive branch in communities because we have become so substantially populated that we have lost the family and village mechanisms, for the most part.

as i stated earlier, i work one-on-one and in small groups commonly called families, and in that i feel i`m most effective.

my approach won`t work politically because i recognise the individual above all else and so cannot reresent a metaphysical entity in good conscience.

i believe that my work in session allows the individual to re-join the group or community or company with improved coping strategies, and therefore improving the community at large.

regarding a sick society, we are undoubtably suffering, but only the individual can recognise and effect change on themselves.

society at large is a juggernaut driven by the needs of corporations and bureaucrats protected by laws.....

and there is no such thing as a society, outside of ideas.

we can grind this out six ways to christmas,but the fact remains that we are only as happy and effective as we decide we are individually, whether we live in costa rica, madrid, canada or tibet.

there are only individuals.

eating, sleeping, eliminating, procreating, ideating......

the only question really is; why are we here?

unless we are asked to subscribe.

then we are being sold something.

no society, law or political act will gve the individual dignity.

you have to choose that for yourself.

dr.alistair said...

oh yeah, and we wouldn`t have the luxury of theinternet without commercial enterprise.

nor would we have society, culture or anything else other than individuals trying to exist.

Vincent said...

I don’t say that “we” look after our weakest. I was just defining a decent society. There may or may not be such societies in the world. I completely agree with what you say about the “substantial marginalisation of those who, for whatever reason, are unable to contibute to productivity”. That was my point.

But my point also was to help the individual understand the human dilemma and not take on the full burden himself. Don’t call it society if you don’t want to. Call it the other, the environment, the goldfish bowl in which the goldfish has its being. The goldfish doesn’t have infinite choices and can’t blame itself for their absence.

That is my entire point.

dr.alistair said...

the full burden is impossible to carry for one person, but one`s own burden, once understood, can be put down and left.....freeing one up for living one`s life seperate from spurious issues and red herrings.

dr.alistair said...

and to further the fish bit, we can chose the direction we swim in.....attachments are based on beliefs, which are suprisingly flexible.

for example, the cubans rowing rafts across shark-infested seas to get to florida, or morroccans riding on the outside of high-speed trains to get to britain.

it depends on how determined you are to have a better life.

Vincent said...

Your solution to the problems of third world poverty is illegal immigration to North America or Britain?

Ha ha, I understand why you restrict yourself to the psychotherapy of the individual rather than the healing of the world!

Vincent said...

In any case it's a very narrow definition of "better life" which places USA higher than Cuba; one which I would refute with as much determination as those who risk the shark-infested waters.

dr.alistair said...

it is no solution, but here are those who take these steps, believing it is.

and the better life is always the one you make for yourself, whether you are in cuba, morrocco, or the us......

but to directly address third world poverty is a seperate issue, and one difficult to even define.

what is your definition of povery, and that of the particular poverty of the third world?

Vincent said...

Not being a lexicographer, sociologist, aid worker, politician or other interested party, I need no personal definition of poverty. I try to understand the definitions that other people use, even when not satisfied with them.

Indeed I also accept other people's subjective definitions of a better life, so long as they only apply it to themselves and don't project it on to others.

In some ways I find Cuba a shining example of what is possible---to live so close to USA yet defy its toxic values.

As everyone knows or should know (and in this I agree with you) it is for each individual to pursue his betterment and his destiny in ways which only he can direct and measure, and according to his values.

All I am "campaigning" for is a recognition, an awareness of our human predicament, which I don't suppose has changed much in itself over the decades or millennia. The stakes are higher of course and have become so in my lifetime.

When I was in my teens you could be an illiterate halfwit yet still get a manual job. The tragedy of the Industrial Revolution had been softened a bit. You could get a bit of coal to heat your house, or scavenge for timber otherwise. It was only a few years since the slogan was “Dig for victory” – grow your own vegetables, since war had made the importation of food difficult. The war had been grim. I arrived in England in 1946 from Australia, so had never seen the war itself, only its grim aftermath.

My wife was born in Jamaica in ’54, a decade before the British gave that country self-government, and barely a century after the Jamaican blacks had been released from slavery to till their own land and create a free culture. There survives in her generation an immense pride in a way of life, based on its cuisine, its rural roots, its folk tales (like Anansi the spider, legends which are still known in parts of West Africa). But I don’t think those centuries of slavery, terrible as they were, were quite as destructive to the human spirit, to community and to ecology as the social changes I have seen in my lifetime.

What can I do? I can only bear witness. I can only through the best of my vision and art try to speak; hoping that one day the human spirit as enslaved currently in North America (that’s where it is most enslaved) will obtain its freedom and escape from its delusion.

dr.alistair said...

you`ve obviously not been to cuba......and jamaica`s "self government" is kept purely because of dollars and euros delivered by enslaved and repressed middle income tourists.

and the reason why i was interested in your definition of poverty is that you use the term as part of the basis of your criticism.

words form you so keenly understand when challenging my posts, but yet when i ask for clarification of your points and your positions you resist defining them by stating that you are not expert.

projections? we all do that as a natural process of existance. your projections are that of tyrants and kings.

when one accepts and embraces one`s inner tyrant, one is then free to choose when and where to act out.....otherwise we are prone to losing control unexpectedly.

personally, i like monarchy, and find the queen a benign matriarch and i see charles a mildly goofy old tweed....

...but that`s just me.

and castro is an eighty-year-old party animal with a zany appetite for other people`s pain.

idi amin? stand-up comic.

saddam? someone`s slighty cranky uncle.

etc, etc.

Vincent said...

I don't defend the governance of Jamaica, nor Cuba, nor most of the nation-states of Africa. I don't have a solution to anything. Even so, I would sooner - if only from a sentimental, not a practical point of view - live in a country which has not sacrificed soul to efficiency.

I'm the last person you should ask to define his politics. I am a conservative - not to conserve capitalism or old money, not any of those things, but human dignity and self-sufficiency, in spite of the rulers and the big business.

I don't want to see the old ways die out. Poverty can be defined in many ways and it depends whether we are praising it or cursing it. If we are praising it, then we refer to a subsistence sufficiency, in which dignity has not been sacrificed to efficiency; in which it is possible to be slow and aware. If we curse poverty, then we refer to pain, disease, humiliation, heartbreak and starvation.

are my projections those of tyrants and kings? I'm not aware of it. I live physically amongst humble workers of the lowest class. In imagination and the company I keep via books and in other ways, I like to live amongst the aristocrats of the soul, valuing always the spiritual quest above the practical solution.

But then, we each are driven to our own specialisation, our own way to fulfilment; and are dependent on someone else to be what we are not.

For I believe we are different parts of one organism; whilst putting no energy into beliefs, projecting as little as possible.

Yes, I like Queen and Charles for their personal qualities, and the institution for having survived and adapted.

Don't expect rational argument and consistency from me. I'm too busy being true to my inner self.

dr.alistair said...

i don`t have solutions either. too much chaos.

i believe also that we are all aspects of one thing, each with their own unique perspective.

the older i get the more i accept that and while i don`t agree with much of what most choose to percieve, i respect thier long as it isn`t pressed on me.

the one thing i believe we are part of is a benign creative force that does what we ask, as long as we see it as actually happening and are willing to join in the game.