Sunday, March 4, 2012

"...existence pathology..."



"What is little known in our culture is that when the desire for truth, realization, and transcendence is not acknowledged within oneself, it results in pathologies like cynicism, alienation, meaninglessness, or addiction.  Not knowing that this is an existence pathology or how to deal with it, the mind turns to the old gratifications.  But since these gratifications are not what we really need, we end up in a vicious cycle of compulsively consuming more and more, yet feeling fundamentally unsatisfied."   (italics mine)

~Roger Walsh

8 comments:

  1. Interesting — to view negative states of mind as pathologies (though addiction is both mental and physical). Having said that, I suppose cynicism, alienation and meaninglessness also have their corrosive physical manifestations. Yes, when we don't know how to deal with these pathologies, we can certainly slip back quite easily onto the worn, rutted track of our old, destructive syndromes. Because they're familiar, and, to some extent, seem safe — because they are familiar. But, of course, they're not safe at all in the end — they're addictive and annihilating.

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  2. wow...powerful quote...for an amazing picture as well...that is awesome! def one i could write to...smiles.

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  3. Solitary Walker/Robert Great observation. States of mind are not viewed clinically as pathologies ... just thought it was interesting how Walsh sees ignorance of, and inattention to, the givens and effects of existence as potentially becoming the lens through which we see and act in the world. As you intimate, inattention to the challenges of existence can be psychologically annihilating ... and thus, perhaps, qualify as 'pathological'.

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  4. I like that final line especially. I've always been struck by how the people with the most money seem to feel like they need more, not matter how much they have.

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  5. implicit in Walsh's statement is an assumption that all people have a "desire for truth, realization, and transcendence." I wonder if this is true. Do all people desire truth? It seems to me than many fear the truth and would prefer to dwell within their convenient belief systems. I also question whether most people would desire either self-realization or transcendence, because most people would probably not even understand these concepts. I defer to you, however, Bonnie, for this is your professional bailiwick and I am just tossing out questions as randomly as I would if we were having coffee together. As always, your postings are always thought-provoking.

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  6. Thank you for the comment George. I can see what you mean. I wonder if Walsh is suggesting that when we don't unearth our fundamental, unconscious desire/need for these things ... we can then easily succumb to using short-term 'fixes' that leave us ever searching and unsatisfied.

    Certainly we run into people who do not desire truth ... but often with life experience or contact with a 'teacher' we may realize that we have not valued truth and certainly not been telling ourselves the truth. Perhaps it is those dark nights of the soul that prepare the inner psychological ground to embrace truth, self-realization and transcendence.

    Spiritual and psychological growth seems to happen on a spiral that we ascend and descend throughout life - accumulating learnings and self-knowledge as we go. If we are seduced into a superficial (descending) stance toward life, we may never know about these concepts (as you say) or our fundamental inner need for them. Guess that is why writings by teachers like Walsh (or comments from wise men like yourself!) can be prompts for awakening - if we are on a part of the growth spiral that has created an opening for awareness of core inner needs.

    As always, thank you for your comments that encourage us to think more deeply about what is posted.

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  7. Simply beautiful. I want to walk down that hallway and see what's what!

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  8. Love the photo and the quote by Rumi just speaks to me! Have a great week!

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