The paragraph goes like this: " Old bureaucrat, my companion here present, no man ever opened an escape route for you, and you are not to blame. You built peace for yourself by blocking up every chink of light, as termites do. You rolled yourself into your ball of bourgeois security, your routines, the stifling rituals of your provincial existence, you built your humble rampart against winds and tides and stars. You have no wish to ponder great questions, you had enough trouble suppressing awareness of your human condition. You do not dwell on a wandering planet, you ask yourself no unanswerable questions; lower-middle-class Toulouse, that's you. No man ever grasped you by the shoulder while there was still time. Now the clay that formed you has dried and hardened and no man could now awaken in you the dormant musician, the poet or the astronomer who perhaps once dwelt within you" (p.11-12).
This piece of literature describes so vividly our lost capacity for self-determination. I do believe that the best psychologists (meaning the best observers and meaning-makers of the human behaviour) are the artists and especially writers/authors/poets!
We have adopted an external regulatory style which imposes automatic compliance in order to seek for reward or avoid a punishment, because this seems to be what we have been told either verbally or by the models we have at our environment. And then there is all this huge brain-wash of how wrong things will go for anyone who will not be willing to comply! Fear, to freeze our emotions! Because they carry so much energy that could be really powerful, therefore a danger; a real danger for the peaceful, quiet routine of the society, for the status of a senior, for an authoritative father, for a victimized mother, for a manipulative friend, for an abusive partner and so on. So where it the space for our self-determination? Where is the room for doubt in our motives and motivation?
Well...it is where we left it!
If we never tried to create this space for ourselves to question why we do things that they do not quite feel as if they reflect our values or our needs or our preferences, then we left no space for the doubts to come, for the embrace of our dreams and our true selves to take place.
We need to go back...to the place where things used to make sense and if our environment was has been always that twisted so that things never made sense, we need to imagine a starting point and take it slowly from there.
A practical way to start creating this connection with the unknown inside is the exercise: "The felt sense" by Ann Weiser Cornell's, 1996:
Take time to notice how you are feeling in your body. You might notice sensations, emotions or a kind of an overall mood or atmosphere..There is no need to be particular about what you are looking for; you're interested in anything that feels like something. What you notice might be unclear, slight, subtle or vague, or it might be very strong and definite. Sense anything' an emotion like sad or scared, a sensation like tight or jittery, an image like a knot or a rock, anything at all! Don't worry about whether what you are feeling is a felt sense. Just keep on sensing. Each felt sense is unique.
I wish you all the best if you choose to embark on any boat for this journey...
I hope I will manage to keep the winds kinder for you through my posts or any other communication you may choose to have with me.
Thank you very much for your company.