Science tells us that the purpose of psychology is to “understand, predict and control behavior”. This is not only an inelegant idea, it’s also a very “unpsychological” idea. Twenty-first century Depth Therapy defines the purpose of psychology differently. As the pursuit of the self-knowledge needed to break free from our conditioned surface identity.
So we can enter our Deep Mind and discover, connect to and live from who we truly are. That’s a strong path to true sanity. And it’s what what life is meant to be all about.
Most therapists are no longer trained in the art of living psychologically and so their ability to do therapy is often seriously compromised. In nine years of university teaching, I rarely came across psychology faculty who lived psychologically or even understood what it means.
It used to be that psychology was defined the art of cultivating the logos of the psyche—i.e. of self-knowledge. Developing self-knowledge is among the most important things we can do in our life.
WHY DO WE NEED SELF-KNOWLEDGE?
Because without self-knowledge, there is no real and sustainable sanity or personal growth. Without self-knowledge, we run the risk of living from a script that we haven’t written.
Moreover, unless humanity comes to honest terms with its own nature, it will continue to run the risk of destroying itself. All the rational reasons that we use to justify war, for example, are often just stories that we tell ourselves to make believe that we understand what is going on.
In fact, no one knows what is going on.
TWO THINGS YOU MUST DO TO BECOME FREE AND SANE
“Depth Psychology” regards inner life, wisdom and meaning as the rightful domain of psychology and therapy. Depth psychology is based on the idea that for therapy to have any real value, it must see its duty to, as the composer Schumann put it: “bring light into the darkness of peoples’ hearts”.
We need that light, if we are to to craft our life into a work of art that can be well lived, loved and understood.
Only those called to the deep interior of life are willing and able to do the arduous work needed to connect to their own essential core identity—to their “soul”. If we are to become free and truly sane we must do two things.
1) liberate ourselves from the hypnotic trance of our surface identity conditioned by family and culture and
2) connect to and live from who we truly are, in our innermost being.
DO YOU RECOGNIZE THESE CALLS FROM YOUR SOUL?
Too much therapy fails to understand the calls of the soul and so it works to make our conditioned surface identity satisfied and “normal”.
But, in truth, the soul often calls to us through anxiety, depression and other negative states of mind. These are not just symptoms; they are coded symbolic messages containing understandings begging to come about.
They often come from our unrecognized core identity, from who we deeply are, from the parts of us who are in exile. Something in us knows that our soul has been exiled from our everyday consciousness.
But we forget this. When we forget that we have forgotten, then all hell breaks loose. We fail to realize that our despair and anxiety are symbols of our exile, not signs that we are troubled or less than we should be. Unfortunately, we fail to recognize the real source of our discomfort and our longings.
Psychology and psychotherapy have too often been associated with wrongheaded ideas about health and illness.
CORPORATE PROPAGANDA DEFINES REALITY UPSIDE DOWN
Is it healthy spending 30 years preparing for retirement, but little time living well or preparing for death?
Is it healthy to view media shows developed by people manipulating us through a never-ending flow of vile sensational images for profit and power?
Consider some disgusting recent CNN and Huffington Post headlines:
- “TEN REASONS TO LIFE WEIGHTS WITH YOUR VAGINA”;
- “COPS: MOM HAD SEX AS SONS DIED”;
- “BOY 3 EXECUTED IN MOB HIT”;
- “MAN GETS STUCK IN A WOOD CHIPPER”;
- “INDIAN WOMAN, BABY BURNED ALIVE”.
Is the anxious and depressed single mother who is having trouble finding work to support herself and her child—unhealthy?
Is the angry and depressed man who often breaks into tears because of how fake, phony and empty life has become in America—an unhealthy person?
The single mother and the weeping guy seem more sane and healthy than the billionaire who wakes up and goes to bed thinking mostly of money every day and who has 5 houses on 3 continents—but not one that ever feels like home.
WE CAME HERE FOR THIS
We came here for an adventure. We didn’t come here to prepare for retirement.
Unfortunately, because we fail to learn how to connect with who we truly are, many of us are like people who landed on planet Earth and never got more than 50 yards from their parachute.