I’m writing as I sip a glass of wine. Uncontroversial. I was tempted earlier today by the proferred cigarette: as I drank my strong Americano. Uncontroversial. What then is acceptable about ethanol, nicotine and caffeine – but unacceptable about the range of chemicals my children’s generation might try? Pure hypocrisy I feel. More though .. Life – FELT- is about contrast. In the western world we are cocooned from so much that would give us this (contrast). No seasons in our cities, no struggle against starvation, no urgency of cooperation with society for survival. Little experience of death close up and personal. No immediacy of experienced belief in what lies beyond. The result is a blancmange life. So aren’t drugs just logical? An altered state. A CONTRAST . Isn’t that why we smoke, booze and drink coffee?
Drugs aren’t any kind of an answer of course, but for those drowning in materialism, they’re quite logical.
O Bion he knows me
Container contained (of course)
Proclaimer proclaimed the Force
In my fifties I’m still aware of the constant struggle that I and those around me have to break out of the role that their original family gave them. Perhaps an older sibling given part as nurturing parent or youngest to be rubber-ball Labrador emotional sink?
I read a commentary on Wilfred Bion’s group work recently (extract below) and in an epiphany I realised that we are kept in these roles partly because new groups sense them and through projective identification seek to keep us there. Indeed groups probably natural form around the nucleus of individuals given roles.
Nicola Glover writes:
At the Tavistock Clinic, Bion worked with small groups of patients to help clarify group tensions, Bion stressed the importance of the emotional reactions of the observer who is often made to experience certain forms of projective identifications, from the members of the group who wish to cast him in the role of say, teacher, consultant, or parental figure. Bion deals with this by refusing to take on these roles assigned to him by the group. He describes the group’s resulting exasperation, confusion and anger, as he objectively and impassively witnessed their behaviour, noticing that there often followed a re-instatement of some willing – and usually authoritative – person who would be prepared to carry out the roles designated to him or her, depending on the ‘basic assumption’ of the group.
Certainly I can identify with the anger in a group when you “don’t play the game” you don’t adopt your given role.
The answer surely is to ENTER new groups with a different role, by acting in a new way? Tough, but surely better and more interesting than continuing to recreate your group of origin as infinitum?
No no I’m never no thing
I’m bumbling bee not its sting
Flight of a gull not its wing
Not noun or thing-y at all
‘Cos I’m the bounce of a ball
Hop of a bird and its call
The verb, I am is to be
Container containing set free
By Thee and Me to be We
“The end justifies the means”. Wrong, wrong, wrong. You only hear that said when the means are horrid. It’s a justification for evil. The mantra of the IRA, Bolsheviks, and Islamic extremists. It allows them to continue to consider themselves human or heaven forfend even Godly, whilst beheading, torturing and raping.
There is no “end”. Life is all about the journey, about what we do, how we act. We are engaged together in weaving the braid of an ever continuing rope of existence. The “means”, what we actually do IS the end. An evil act is just that. Period.