http://media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/b8/61/ae/b861ae74872ab6710b4cc8a708b8f146.jpg I used to study psychology with my own individual health in-mind. Now I am beyond that stage. I put collective modern western culture on the couch. After- all neurotic psychological problems are (to some extent) contextualised by collective culture. The above picture now reads to me as follows: Modern Western Culture says: “Once everything falls into place, I will find peace.” Health says: “Find peace and everything will fall into place.” The cure for psychological attachment is to be NON-SPECIFIC. i.e., attachment can be to anything. The person who attaches often does attach to multiple aspects of culture. There are ‘common’ attachments. (e.g., nicotine, alcohol, money, drugs, material possessions). This demonstrates that attachment psychology is not merely an individual problem but is also a cultural problem. Just being born in the western world means that there is a decent chance you will be a sufferer of a common attachment. Hence attachment psychology is a cultural problem and modern western culture needs to be put on the couch. I am fully supportive of our progress being made to overcome physical suffering. Nothing is more important than that. If you feel physical pain then psychological pain comes with it. Normally (albeit not always) a psychological neurosis has no accompanying immediate physical symptoms. So the promise of eradicating physical suffering is a positive phenomenon of our time. However with so much criticism of our modern world (which easily goes as far as equating to cynicism) and with so much psychological suffering, it’s time to put our collective modern western world on the analysts couch. Our problem is that we put so much above HEALTH. Health should be all that matters. Yet just like in war, peace is (unfortunately) often considered secondary to whatever is being fought over (e.g., territory) so too in our culture health is secondary to attachments. And remember that although there are common attachments, attachments can be to anything. For example ideas can be an attachment. Maybe that is a common attachment too. It’s impossible to judge how widespread the attachment to ‘ideas’ is because of the invisibility of ideas. However, sometimes they become very visible when they are fought over. Liberation is when you move beyond attachment psychology and only value health. It is made all the easier if the collective culture makes the move. This is due to conformity. Of course, you shouldn’t wait for the culture to make the move first. Otherwise you could be waiting seemingly forever. I will not say much here about the sort of faulty thinking that ends up in such a mess. Besides one can use their own language. People who think in terms of ‘memetics’ will have their own language that they can use. Personally, I am content to pick up here on the word used in the picture… ‘ego’… well our ego- orientated culture desires things. i.e., the individuals that collectively = collective culture… desire things. Hence in order not to slip into attachment psychology the modern westerner needs to watch themselves. This is practically what we are born into. It’s unhealthy. Distrust emerges because people like to think of themselves as of ‘sound mind’ yet they can’t fail to be aware of unhealthy minds. Hence they suspect others and are vigilant. (This is often projection or a mix of projection and suitable hook). This suspiciousness of others can easily drift into paranoia. Enough said already about our unhealthy culture. CONCLUSION We need a doctor’s clean hands culture. What we have is collective neurotic modern western culture. We see much change occurring within modern western culture hence we cannot accuse it of possessing a characteristic of stagnation. Well, psychological change is necessary. Yet this is the one aspect of it that is so unchanging. My advice to the individual is to dump attachment to modern western culture. i.e., dump attachment to aspects of culture per se. Don’t be specific. Only value HEALTH. Some may say that this sounds like Buddhism. The hardest task for many Buddhist's must be to resist attaching to Buddhism and the Buddha. I prefer to refer to "HEALTH" as opposed to Buddha/Buddhism because 'health' sounds more universal. The mind’s drift is inevitable and needs to be met with daily focus on non-attachment.
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