Sunday, February 03, 2013

Empty Yourself Out: Start Bitching

Yesterday I ran across some of the best political advice I've seen in my 38 years so far. It appeared on page 104 of We've Had A Hundred Years Of Psychotherapy And The Worlds Getting Worse. But before I type the quote I want to say one reason why I like James Hillman's writing: he stays within Western civilized thought and brings ideas that are thousands of years old to the table.

"I used to get stopped cold in political arguments. I would be going on about something, and the other guy would say, 'All right, if you're so smart, what would you do about it?' And I had no positive idea what to do, no program, nothing. It wasn't just that I was impractical; I was empty. My protests were suddenly emptied out because I had nothing positive to offer. They say that the '68 revolution in Berkeley and in Europe among the students were so easily crushed or petered out because the revolutionaries had no positive programs.

"Kenosis puts the emptiness in a new light. It values the emptiness. It says "empty protest" is a via negativa, a non-postivist way of entering the political arena. You take your outrage seriously, but you don't force yourself to have answers. Trust your nose. You know what stinks. Don't try to replace the helpless frustration you feel, the powerless victimization, by working out a rational answer. The answers will come, if they come, when they come, to you, to others, but don't fill in the emptiness of the protest with positive suggestions before their time. First, protest! I don't know what should be done about most of the major political dilemnas, but my gut (my soul, my heart, my skin, my eyes) sinks, creeps, crawls, weeps, cringes, shakes. It's wrong, simply wrong, what going on here."-- James Hillman, Pg.104

So, there it is. The planet is burning up, nonhuman species are going extinct faster than they should be, the human population is doubling every 50 years or so, the tension between women and men just keeps increasing, I can't eat too much fish out of our local lakes because of mercury, the whitetail deer in my area now have Chronic Wasting disease, the elite in this country have to much money, our food has been poisoned by pesticides, the cancer rates are increasing, forests keep getting cut under the guise of improvement, we keep losing top soil, my house might get bombed by a drone, the local landfill just keeps growing, the post office is falling apart, and I could go on and on and on.


Megadoom said...

There doesn't have to be a solution if there is none.

Curt said...

No, there doesn't, Megadoom.