2nd stage of life – Second stage of life – Laughing Man Magazine – Seven stages of Life – 7 stages of life





 

SPECIAL EDITORIAL INTRODUCTION

DISCRIMINATIVE INTELLIGENCE AND THE SEVEN STAGES OF
LIFE


“The liability in the second stage of life is attachment
to independent or unreal emotional states, based in an
experientia state of undifferentiated unity with the
etheric, pranic, or material energy dimension of the world.
It is the tendency toward an emotional expansion without a
stable physical base and without a clear and fully
responsible consciousness. It is the tendency toward
subconscious or dreamlike states of awareness.”
The
Way of Translation of Man into God – CHAPTER 7: The
Enlightenment of the Whole Body

SECOND STAGE

As the child approaches the seventh year, from perhaps
five’ to seven years of age his emotional and also his
concrete linguistic or mental development is beginning to
become a little more sophisticated. Emotional responsibility
is thus clearly required. He must begin to live in
relational terms and to learn how to deal with the real
existence of other beings, human beings
especially.1

1. Da Free John, The Eating Gorilla Comes
In Peace (Middletown, Calif.: The Dawn Horse Press, 1979),
p. 265.


Both contributions in this section focus on the cultural
limitations placed on emotional development in human
society. Master Da’s short essay “The Spirit and the Flesh”
draws attention to the way human society tends to undermine
“free emotion,” the natural, innate Happiness of feeling
sensitive and responsive to the Life-Current, by suppressing
the original creative emotional responses of the individual.
This is a theme presented in full force by Jules Henry in
his provocative book Culture Against Man: There is an
unwritten taboo against human freedom which can be fulfilled
only in the realization of truly spiritual values.

Is it not curious that, in order to be able to live
together, human beings should want to deny their very
humanity? Our social ideal is not the free person, who is
attuned to the Life Current, but the productive; and
functional individual whose efficiency and productivity are
purchased at the price of his Happiness. Conventional
culture, to paraphrase Master Da, is the training in
un-Happiness. He makes the point that the cultural
suppression of the Life Current is, first and foremost, at
the level of sexuality. Most cultural taboos are operative
here and, certainly in our postmodern society, this is also
the area of the greatest conflict and suffering.

In the second contribution, George P. Elliott
distinguishes between culture, which has grown naturally out
of the fertile soil of tradition, and “pseudoculture,” –
which is rooted in ideology and technology and which Shabd
Spanglier, recalling the degenerate’ days of the Roman
empire, would call “civilization.”

George P. Elliott rightly exposes and condemns the inane
reductionism of what he styles “pseudoculture,”‘and its
recoil from reality, love, and true intimacy in favor of a
confused hedonism which substitutes orgasm for ecstasy.
However, he does not go far enough in his critique, for his
“pseudoculture,” which he proposes is a result of
technology, as contrasted with culture, which he proposes is
a product of tradition, is merely the extreme manifestation
of tendencies which are inherent in human culture, wherever,
whenever, and however it arises. Here, the Adept’s seventh
stage point of view is more radical and all-encompassing.
Conventional culture is the very mechanism of human bondage.
It lacks the wisdom to entice men to cultivate emotional
maturity. For this maturity to be genuine, it must entail
the realization of man’s full spiritual potential Thus, a
new and truly spiritual culture must come into being that
serves every aspect of human life and potential throughout
all seven stages of life.


THE SPIRIT & THE FLESH
by Master Free John

Since ancient times, the politics of state and
conventional society have been at work (via all kinds of
cultural, social, and political means) to control the life
impulse in human beings. The purpose in all of this is to
maintain and guarantee the social order and the process
whereby the human race reproduces or continues itself in
time and space. Therefore, through various social controls
on the life-impulses of every individual, every individual
is systematically devoted to collective social or at least
socially acceptable means and ends.

The primary method of this social control over individual
life is the control, confinement, and even suppression of
emotional and sexual energies. Although this program tends
to guarantee a certain social result that must be regarded
to be in some sense right and necessary, the means must be
understood to be, in general, a suppression of our natively
free Spiritual status and creativity. It forces us into the
cultural domain of the “flesh” (or mortal seeking) rather
than even bodily freedom in the Spirit of Divine
Happiness.

The social suppression of free emotion (or Life-feeling)
and sex (or Life-impulse) in childhood becomes chronic
stress, or an unconsciously superimposed self-suppression of
the life-impulse, in adulthood. The combination of external
or social suppression and learned personal or even organic
self-suppression of the life-impulse divorces us from direct
participation in the Substance, Condition, and Identity of
Life Itself. In general, it is the motive of mankind to
serve itself as a collective species that divorces every
individual from the Realization of the Truth of
existence.

Chronic and even unconscious suppression of the
life-impulse (or the Life-Current in the functional nervous
system or total body-mind) is chronically felt as a knot or
contraction at the solar plexus. Other physical symptoms and
ills develop from this basic functional contraction of the
vital center of the bodily being. Likewise, a fundamental
emotional depression becomes chronic, as well as a tendency
to emotional instability (in the form of chronic emotional
reactivity, such as fear, sorrow, or anger). And the mind
likewise develops on the same basis, constantly conceiving
problems and solutions, wandering in perpetual thought-forms
of no positive significance. The complex result of all of
this is that the average “normal, cane, and productive”
members of society are also plagued by chronic un-Happiness
and all of the limitations of un-Enlightenment.

The common individual is able to function more or less
productively in his or her social context of duties and
work, but he or she is otherwise always struggling with a
profound need for release and, ultimately, Happiness.
Therefore, human beings are individually always struggling
with physical disabilities, emotional negativity, mental
distraction, and obsessive or inharmonious desires for
sexual and other forms of functional release. This is the
basis for the common exploitation of degenerative orgasm,
alcohol, drugs, killed food and self-toxifying food habits,
violence, exoteric religious consolation, conventional
mystical or psychic inversion, worldly or merely
materialistic knowledge and power, and all the other
commonly ritualized social and personal pursuits of
distraction. All in all, humanity is devoted to the life of
seeking for Happiness while dominated by chronic emotional
depression and general psycho-physical contraction.

This pattern of learned un-Happiness and the search for
Happiness via the possibilities of psycho-physical release
(either via outer,directed or inner-directed means) must be
considered, understood, and transcended in a totally
different kind of life-practice. Only when the body-mind is
thus restored to equanimity in the Life-Current (or the
Spiritual Divine) can truly free human and Spiritual
Happiness be Realized.

Therefore, consider this Teaching Argument and understand
the mechanism of un-Happiness and all seeking. Awaken to the
Living God and be free of the conventional bondage to the
“flesh.” The “flesh” is not sex, or the body, or even life
in this world. It is all that is contrary to or unconscious
of the Spirit of Life or Happiness. Awaken and be located
whole bodily in the Happiness of the Spiritual Divine. Be
free of your Life-negative, body-negative, sex-negative, and
emotionally and mentally negative bondage to the
conventional purposes of sorry mankind. Be free of your
obsessions, your self-destructive addictions, your
illusions, and your neuroses. Be Happy in the Radiant
Current of Divine Being. If you are not thus Happy, you are
not sane. And if the world is not Happy, it must Awaken to a
new form of culture. Therefore, renounce the traditional
culture of bondage. Cultivate Happiness. Be Free, Alive, and
Creative in God, Truth, and Reality.

Reprinted from The Bodily Location of
Happiness, by Da Free John (Clearlake, Calif.: The Dawn
Horse Press, 1982), pp. 166-8.


THE ENEMIES OF INTIMACY

by George P. Allot

George P. Elliott taught English and
creative writing at Syracuse University in New York. This
article was written as a lecture, and was edited for
publication after the author’s death.

Reprinted from Harper’s, July 1980,
with permission from Georges Brochardt, Inc. Copyright ®
1980 by Georges Brochardt, Inc.

What Is Lost to Pseudoculture Culture

Culture has its built-in enemies – envy, venality, hatred
of difference, stupidity, bigotry, negligence. But these and
other attitudes like them are such familiar old enemies,
their ways so well known, that they are easy to spot and it
is pretty clear what can and cannot be done about them.
Culture has another enemy, however, which did net exist to
any alarming degree before this century and yet is here to
stay. Its ways are so imperfectly understood that many
people either do not see it as a threat or else
underestimate it. This enemy, which I call pseudoculture,
seems to me no less dangerous than the others. My purpose
here is to speculate on it and on the desolation it is
capable of spreading.

The root of the word culture means “to till,” that of the
word create, “to grow.” Genuine culture, high or low, is
connected with, comes out of, and reaches into our deepest
nature. Pseudoculture, however, is a consciously
manufactured construct that does not grow but is calculated
together; it is a product of ideology and technology, not of
custom and tradition; it so resembles the real thing. that
one can easily pay no attention to how or whether it is
connected with our deepest nature. In 1953, when media was
still the plural of medium and television was so new that no
adults had grown up with it, I visited a young air force
couple who were putting in a miserable year in the Cotswold
Hills in England. They disliked just about everything
British, and the homesick young wife, pregnant for the first
time and idle, was sentenced to watch the telly for hours
every day. Among her many complaints against the BBC was its
lack of advertising. At the time, I found her rancor against
the British for depriving her of her TV commercials little
more than funny, a matter of taste. But I never forgot that
reaction of hers, and over the years it ceased to be
amusing. It took on a serious character, it became
mysterious to me. That she preferred (and still prefers)
advertising to art, and television to play, has come to seem
less and less important; instead, I keep wondering what goes
on in one for whom such substitutions have been made. What
happens to the self when pseudoculture substitutes for
genuine culture?

Attending to the Sublime

In order to imagine reality, we must dream our own
dreams. Among other things, pseudoculture interferes with
our dreaming and thereby pollutes our imagining, especially
our imagining of reality.

A way to clarify what I mean by pseudoculture is to take
a look at surrealism, at what it originally aimed to do and
what has become of it.

According to the surrealists, Freud taught us to use
dreams to discover what the unconscious contains, which is
far more real than what the conscious, rational mind
apprehends. Art must destroy the stale rigidities of
rationalism and do for mankind at large what dreams do for
the dreamer. Dreamlike art will create a new reality
superior to other realities. (Pluralizing reality-realities
instead of ways of apprehending reality-is characteristic of
the surrealists.) This new reality should not just be a
matter of art but can and should be part of our social, as
well as of our inner, lives. The surrealist movement did not
claim to invent dreamlike art in painting or in poetry; what
it did lay claim to was an assortment of techniques by which
to achieve dreamlike effects. One of these techniques was
automatic writing-after Freud’s method of free association.
Perhaps the most important of the techniques is
juxtaposition, as explained in Andre Breton’s first
Manifesto of Surrealism (1924):

The image is a pure creation of the
mind. It cannot be born from a comparison but from a
juxtaposition of the two more or less distant, realities.
The more the relationship between the two juxtaposed
realities is distant and true, the stronger the image will
be-the greater its emotional power and poetic
reality.

In addition to automatic writing and juxtaposition, there
are rhetorical techniques: Lewis Carroll’s scattering
reasonable-seeming nonwords into strict verse forms and
simple sentences, John Ashbery’s causing elegantly
constructed sentences to fade into and out of nonsense,
leaving an exquisite fragrance of despair behind. And there
is a whole bagful of visual, typographical, mechanical high
jink – sprinting the same word all over a page or
alternating lines in italics with lines in boldface-that
seemed a lot more energetic fifty years ago than they do
now, after having been repeated thousands of times.

Fundamentally, the strategy called surreal, whether in
the verbal or the visual arts, combines lucidity and illogic
in such ways as to conjure forth some of what psychoanalysis
says is in the unconscious. In the hands of authentic,
risk-taking artists able to look into themselves, surrealism
has produced some considerable works of art. Outside the
realm of genuine art, its overwhelming effect has been not
to create a superior reality, as Breton and his fellow
ideologues intended, not to enlarge and enrich, but to
stultify; what it produces is never a tale to add to the
great store of tales, and seldom a true playing with an old
tale, such as Cocteau’s Beauty and the Beast, but usually a
Walt Disney prettification, neither out far nor in deep, a
Bambi. That young air force wife, I conjecture, wanted her
TV commercials not just because they were spry and fun,
insulating her from the terrors and lusts they teased up in
her, but also because watching television, commercials and
all, for a sizable portion of her waking life accomplished
for her something like the radical intention of surrealism,
which aimed, according to Breton, to do no less than
revolutionize human existence by altering the relation
between dream and reality. In her, this relation had been
altered.

I conjecture that the main cause of the stultifying
effect of surrealism in the great world has been motion
pictures. Whatever it is that high art does, the cinema can
do. But it also does a surreal thing no other art can do a
hundredth as well, and its offspring television does this
even better: it makes dream-substitutes.

I mean literal dreams, not figurative ones like the
“American dream” or Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream.”
How extensively a movie or TV show can substitute for a
dream is a matter of unprovable hypothesis-more in some
people than in others, of course, and never more than half,
since a dreamer makes up his own dreams. But sometimes,
especially in TV addicts, this substitution can be
substantial. Consider: the viewer is physically passive, may
be as inert as a sleeper; the images can be hallucinatory in
their vividness, and their sequence need have little or
nothing to do with rational consciousness; they can evoke,
and can be calculated to evoke, strong emotions that do not
follow from anything the viewer decided or did and that do
not immediately cause him to choose or do anything. The
crucial question is: How are these images connected with
reality? I argue that movies and TV shows, while having the
power, need not and usually do not come from or reach into
reality in any way that matters. Most of the time they use
methods taken from dreaming and art-methods honed by the
surrealists-not for the purpose of revealing a truth in
disguise or of creating something beautiful or of playing or
of doing most of the other things dreams and art do; they do
it, if not immediately then finally, for the purpose of
selling something: sometimes a product, sometimes an idea,
always themselves.

We need dreams in order to keep in touch with ourselves.
One who is chronically exposed to pseudodreams, voluntarily
or not, is likely to lose touch with his deep self; his
imagination does not shape and unify but squanders in the
shallows and swamps of daydreaming, becomes pastime fantasy;
his connections with reality become confused in many ways.
One of these ways is his muddling propaganda and truth, that
error without which the people cannot be deformed into the
masses. Another is his blurring his own memories. To
remember fully is to imagine, and to daydream is to remember
in a fog. Foggy memories, foggy self.

Pseudoculture, however, means far more than
pseudosurrealism or pseudo art. It also means ideas and
attitudes that, when put into practice, interfere with
people’s ways of being together. In this broader sense,
pseudoculture’s ideology produces such notions as that
masculine aggressiveness is pathological in nature and up to
no good-whence it follows that aggression is something to be
cured, not put to use; to be outlawed, not civilized; only
to be feared, not marveled at as well. One consequence of
this attitude in America, where it prevails to some degree,
-is an ineptitude at magnificence; we have made
discouragingly few monuments of magnificence, and most of
us, even the rich, have only the foggiest understanding of
what magnificence is. Pseudoculture is great at defoliation:
it defoliates evil till all that is visible of it is bad
guys; success till all that is left of it is a pile of
money; communication till it is a colorless, odorless
exchange of information; injustice till it is that big
stump, inequality; guilt till it is guilt feelings. But to
illustrate my larger point, I am going to consider somewhat
more amply one of pseudoculture’s variations on love-gourmet
sex.

In order to achieve literal sublimation, not the
figurative kind for which Freud expropriated the word,
mystics recommend that the pleasures of the senses be
refused, especially sexual pleasures-not repressed in
Freud’s sense of the word, but deliberately suppressed,
protecting the self from them so it will be free to attend
to the sublime. Most people, however, as all religious
systems acknowledge, are not capable of doing that; indeed,
the Enlightenment holds that the contemplatives did not do
it either but just thought they did; for example, V. S.
Naipaul applies to Gandhi’s successor, Jawaharlal Nehru, the
phrase “the stupor of meditation.” Puritans of every
religion, aiming to get at everybody, teach that nearly all
pleasure, and especially sexual pleasure, is sinful. As the
Calvinist of the joke puts it, “We may not be able to keep
our people from sinning, but we sure can keep them from
enjoying it.” But both mysticism and puritanism have lost
authority among us; believing, as we by and large do, that
psychology knows, and religion does not know, what reality
is, we relegate mysticism, or at least we try to relegate
it, to history, India, and abnormal psychology; and
puritanism, having fallen into disrepute, has gone
underground, though what it is doing down there I am not
sure, nor how violently it will break out again, nor
when.

Pseudoculture teaches us not to sacrifice any sexual
pleasure in the name of some higher good, since presumably
there is none; not homosexuality or sadomasochism is the
perversion, but chastity. Now, to say pleasure is and should
be one of the true sexual goods is not the same thing as
saying it is the supreme sexual good; to say that
sacrificing sexual pleasure to a perhaps illusory religious
belief is perverse is not the same thing as saying that
every sacrifice of sexual pleasure is perverse. The subtitle
to Alex Comfort’s Joy of Sex should have been “The Gourmet
Guide to Sexual Pleasure” instead of “to Making Love,” for,
to the contemporary hedonist, the greatest threat comes not
from puritanism or the ideal of chastity but from love. Love
is still respectable, and it has strong advocates who hold
that sexual pleasure, a splendid good in itself, serves the
higher good of helping to connect two selves profoundly;
that is, pleasure helps to make love and keep love made.
Furthermore, they hold that fidelity, too, helps to keep
love made.

Now, fidelity is a dangerous principle to a hedonist, for
it entails sacrifice, giving up all those other partners for
just this one. When pleasure is the highest good of sex, it
doesn’t much matter which body or how many you get it with
so long as you get it; besides, variety is a source of
pleasure in itself, and also reduces the hazard of loving
some one person long or deeply. In an age of the Pleasure
Ethic, pornography, that depersonalizer, is a functional
art, teaching by example how to keep from making love by
divorcing sex from the self; hence the popularity of
pornography has increased, not diminished, as the
prohibitions against it have been removed. To hedonism,
faithful sexual love is an abomination because it not only
can, and sometimes does, take you higher than pleasure ever
can, thereby making pleasure a lesser thing, but also can,
and probably sometimes will, take you down into the horrors
as pleasure never does. So can love of your child do such
things to you; hence hedonism’s enthusiasm for abortion-if
you have to give up something, let it be an embryo, not your
due allotment of orgasms.

Love pulls us into reality, and reality is what
pseudoculture likes least, what it is contrived to protect
us from, but the trouble with reality is that it is always
there, and every once in a while it may compel us to
recognize that what we have been telling ourselves is not
what is. When those who have lost faith in the exalted begin
to suspect that things are not as they seem, they always
assume that things must be worse than they seem, not better.
Those who consider ecstasy a euphemism for orgasm, who think
feeling guilty about it can atone for an injury done; whose
dreams lie to them, learn to suspect that almost nothing is
what it seems, not even such portions of reality as they are
unavoidably confronted with from time to time.

I love you even though-or is it because?you blame me
for not loving you enough. I will try to love you more. But
is it really love? Is it really you I love?

The rock on which the sense of reality stands is’ one’s
own emotions. Those who are unsure of what they feel, of how
their feelings are connected with reality, are full of
suspiciousness, are given to fantasies of conspiracy and
persecution, are prey to delusions, to disorders of
self-assertion. The madness that best characterizes our time
is paranoia, or, in dilution, paranoid tendencies. An
example is the enormous overvaluation of a novel like Thomas
Pynchon’s Gravity’s Rainbow, which does not realistically
portray complex characters who, among their other qualities,
take a paranoid view of the world, nor does it sanely
portray a mad world in the manner of great satire, nor does
it, as Beckett does, perform astonishing arabesques in the
narrow strand between lush paranoia and nothingness.
Instead, it projects paranoia-sometimes with enormous
subtlety and force, paranoia being the madness by which the
intellect can be most fully engaged and pressed into
service.

Malice flourishes in the dark of ignorance. Unsure of my
own self, I am even less sure of your selves. You are my
mirrors. The malice I cast at you I see as coming at me. You
are guilty of my blame.

VIOLATIONS OF THE SELF

Intrinsic to pseudoculture, as I see it, is violation of
the sense of intimacy-that outreaching in mutuality which,
when it is not sentimentalized or perverted, informs the
deepening consciousness.

Absolute violation of intimacy is an aspect of
totalitarianism. What better way to undermine the
individual, purposive self than to render intimacy
impossible (as in a concentration camp), to make it an
object of suspicion and hostility, as everywhere in a
totalitarian state, to limit its choices with mass
activities of all sorts, to put a taboo on privacy? But this
kind of assault is beyond what I mean by pseudoculture. I am
interested in our homegrown, less directly obliterative
varieties, the first of which, public intimacy, should be a
satiric oxymoron but is instead bitterly literal.

Familiar examples of public intimacy, of making public
what ought to be kept private, are gossip columns,
pornography, true-confession magazines. The camera also has
made possible violations of the self that were not, could
not have been, imagined before. The camera intrudes on
ordinary people without their consent: the newspaper shot of
the mother at the moment she learns her child has been
killed. It encourages people who want celebrity-that is,
many people-to do and say on camera what is normally done
and said in private, what should be done and said in public
only by actors. Finally, the camera, along with the
microphone, can become the object of gestures that should be
offered in private only to another human being.

There seems no end to the ways in which intimacy is
violated, the sense of intimacy mangled. There is the how-to
handbook of sexual intimacy; the medical technician’s
instant intimacy with a patient’s name; the mass acceptance
of voyeurism; intimacy as therapy; intimacy with Jesus, as
though because he is a lamb he is not also a tiger. The kind
I am most concerned about, however, I call mirror
intimacy.

Pseudoculture has been preaching mirror intimacy for
years and shows no sign of letting up. It is everywhere
about us. Two examples. In the June, 1979, issue of Good
Housekeeping there appeared a page of typographically free
verse entitled “My Ideal Man,” by Dinah Shore.1
The verse opens: “My ideal man is many men.” I assume she
means, literally, that if you keep looking at the same man
for long, the self of his otherness is likely to show, and
the more you see of his self, the harder it is to use him as
a mirror; and, metaphorically, that if you conceive of a man
as having many facets, each facet is usable as a mirror.
What Dinah Shore does not want, at least does not say she
wants, is one integrated man, the kind you see whenever you
look at him, from whatever angle, no matter what else you
were looking for. She goes on: “We will share.” What “we”
will share she leaves unspecified, but why is clear-so “he
will care so much that/For once I can tell him what is in my
soul. Nowhere does she say she will love her ideal man or
that he will love her..”He will know/My day begins and ends
with him,/And that the way I treat my friends, my helpers,
my dog,/My work, my play depends on how/l feel he feels
about me on that day.” Not “how I feel about him” but “how I
feel he feels about me.” Fortunately for Dinah, there are
many men not all of them in show business-who want from
their women what she wants from her man.

What do mirrors do in bed with one another? A new slick
magazine called Self is devoted to instructing young women
on how to be good to themselves; a recent issue gives this
quintessential advice: “Make love unto others as you would
have them make love unto you.” Remember reactionary old
Freud’s “Anatomy is destiny”? Nous avons change tout
cela
.

1. “My Ideal Man,” by Dinah Shore,
copyright © 1973 by Dinah Shore, reprinted by special
permission of the author.

 

MORE IS LESS

Pseudoculture regularly appropriates the goods of high
culture and misuses them. Two I especially notice being
violated for their depth of intimacy are realistic fiction
and psychoanalysis, both of which assume the supreme value
of the mature individual, the self-knowing person.

Often in life, civilized people of sufficient
intelligence and sensibility, as well as leisure, cultivate
the art of intimacy; when both the author and the characters
of a story are of this disposition, the resulting fiction
can be of a refinement as profound and exact as it is
possible for. the mind to imagine-Lady Murasaki’s Tale of
Genii, Proust’s Remembrance of Things Past, Henry James’s
great fictions. To observe the limits such novelists
respect, transgressions they do not make, mysteries of
otherness they will not intrude on, is to understand right
intimacy itself. For example, they do not share another’s
sensory experience except as he can talk about it; they
leave unnamed some of the story’s most important motives and
meanings; they take the reader up to the moment of a great
choosing and then away from it; they do not tie down,
stultify, cramp with causation the conscience itself; they
leave their characters alone to choose in that darkness
where the great moral choices are made. What of its great
popularity, high fiction has taught many readers a taste for
intimacy. So why not tinker with the rules a little here, a
little therebe unmistakably clear about what is right and
what is wrong, for example, search every wound, make every
decision a visible process, get in bed with lovers, such
like? That way, intimacy will be available to the masses. Of
course it won’t be the same any longer. Worse, they’ll get
into the way of thinking that intimacy is easy and no more
than their due-in life as in novels.

As for psychoanalysis: what Aquinas was to scholasticism
in the thirteenth century, Freud is to psychology in the
twentieth. Like scholasticism then, psychology permeates
both what we apprehend of reality and also, to some degree,
reality itself; what you do to a convicted criminal, for
instance, has a great deal to do with why you think he
committed the crime, and that in turn frequently has more to
do with what your philosophy tells you is there than with
what really is there: if he’s possessed, beat the devil out
of him; if he did it of his own free will, punish him; if
he’s a danger to society, warehouse him; but if, as liberal
psychology teaches, he is mentally ill, heal him-which
mostly means keep him drugged. Psychoanalysis is an
instrument which subtle people use in order to think
superbly about inmost matters, which the crude use to know
many things that cannot be known, and which everybody can
use to move in on everybody else.

Freud has told us about our secret selves so much we had
not known before, or had only half known, and he speaks
with, and has been invested with, such authority that many
think that what he says is there is what is there-all that
is there. Worse, because Freud’s writings have made secrets
public, and because his therapeutic method involves a
partial but extreme intimacy in which the patient may say
anything without restriction-any indecency, any accusation,
any blasphemy, irrelevancy, craziness, betrayal of
confidence-and because this method works in treating certain
otherwise intractable disorders, psychoanalysis has
contributed to the blurring of the sense of intimacy, the
sense of what nudity is appropriate there but not here, then
but not now, with you alone and with no one else. Freud
himself did not blur such distinctions. He knew how to make
public a secret without betraying a confidence: he would
tell it as a pseudonymous case history. Revering high
civilization as he did-and being, as he was, fully aware of
the many forces, some of them in himself, that want to bring
it down, wreck it, smear it, strip it-he always dressed
properly.

You can be intimate with only a few friends, only with
the few who know how to accept the privacies you offer them
and how to offer you privacies in such a way that you can
accept them; and not even to these few friends, not even to
one, do you tell everything. To tell many all is not being
intimate, it is rubbing; in this as in much of civilized
life, the more the less.

Those without intimacy have their identities assigned to
them-by biology, by the state, finally by pseudoculture.

 

SUGGESTED READINGS RELATED TO THE SECOND STAGE OF
LIFE

Bowlby, John. Attachment and Loss. Attachment, vol. 1;
Separation (Anxiety and Anger), Vol. 2; Loss (Sadness and
Depression), Vol. 3. New York: Basic Books, 1969, 1973,
1980.

Meek, George W., ed. Healers and the Healing Process.
Wheaton, Ill.: The Theosophical Publishing House, 1977.

Nygren, Anders. Agape and Eros. Philadelphia: The
Westminster Press, 1953.

Bullough, Vern L. Sexual Variance in Society and History.
Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1976.

Rosen, Raymond and Rosen, Linda Reich. Human Sexuality.
New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1981.

Clynes, Manfred. Sentics: The Touch of the Emotions. New
York: Doubleday, 1978.

Tennov, Dorothy. Love and Limerence: The Experience of
Being in Love. New York: Stein and Day, 1980.

Douglas, Nik and Slinger, Penny. Sexual Secrets: The
Alchemy of Ecstasy. New York: Destiny Books, 1979.

Watts, Alan W. Nature, Man, and Woman. New York: Random
House, 1970.


The Seven Stages of Eternal Life – Laughing Man
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