HEALTH by paulbudds


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
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.


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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