Psychology: a note for a friend

Thursday, June 5, 2008 10:26 AM By Stephen J Christophers

I would like us to revisit this quote from Freud’s best known essay: I would like us to revisit this quote from Freud’s best known essay: Civilization and Its Discontents (1930): “At best, civilized living is a compromise between wishes and repression - not a comfortable doctrine”


All of my life I have been searching for something, with the hope of fulfilling a mandate, helping me to piece together a great mystery and open the door on a time that has yet to pass; a time of fulfillment; a time before death. This search has led me to strive for knowledge; it has seen me at home on three continents; it has shaped who I am, and how I view the world - from a subjective vantage - and still, for better or worse, my purpose has continued to elude me ... but, for the people, music, art and literature I choose to subtly invade my life.


There are people like me: those whom strive for that which is reflected in everyday living; its commonness is as abundant as the smell of morning coffee. We experience it through others, although, it’s at best personally aloof – this drives us, it determines our passions and creativity, but also leaves us longing.


Our current suffering is in some respects universal. We hold onto our deepest desires, and without reason or logic pursue them by default, those wants and ideals; that which seems just beyond our reach, compels us forward, with the belief that: with ultimate achievement comes physical and emotional satisfaction.


I was drawn today by a most unusual case of entanglement. When pondering on the issues of a very close friend, and about my current situation. It dawned on me that we were suffering from much the same problem. Even though, at first glance, the connection between our individual cases lack clarity under physical context. Nevertheless, our cases share a fundamental biological truth: they're a reflection of much the same tendencies, a desire to fulfill that same mandate; the desire to achieve our individual goals based on our personal instinctive nature, at the root of which lies our individual passions for life; a subjective state of being, from which we as individuals contribute to the ebb and flow of human existence.


Our biological desire to grasp onto that which is most common - an every day thing - one of commonness and life, as mundane to the whole, as that which we personally take for granted. But absence in self, while creating and defining our individuality. At the root of our desires to achieve commonness: ones’ ability to drive our selves forward contributes to the essence of all human drama.

Two opposing realities entangled in this complex web; realities offing up the same perplexing human inter relationships, with clear, logically defined answers, that conflict our personal chemical and biological addictions. These force us to pitch battle amidst the confronting nature of natures mechanics. In many ways the answers to our personal contradictions lie in the very essence of that we suppress.


I would like to finish this topic with an insight from Bill Hicks, his ability to articulate the measure of life with such humor and sincerity, inspires in me moments of similar magic those which enable one to see light through every crack.


“How about a positive drug story: Last night a young man on acid realized that all matter is merely energy condensed to a slow vibration, that we are all one consciousness experiencing itself subjectively, there's no such thing as death, life is only a dream and we are the imagination of ourselves....... here's Tom with the weather.” – the late Bill Hicks

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