For any real creation, there must be a rage. It takes rage to break through the chrysalis of fear, pride, conventional thinking, our need for approval, or whatever is encapsulating us. Creativity requires the concentration of all our passion, our love, our anger, our rage, and our hatred—the concentration of all of these combined with our sensitivity and our thoughtfulness.
As our democracy has weakened, we have become increasingly ruled by predators and fear. We are afraid of taking risks, of speaking out, of being criticized, of not being politically correct, of being confronted, of offending family, friends, neighbors, and of losing business. Have we become afraid of being free?
Dear Reader, “Few are guilty but all are responsible,” the great religious scholar and leader Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel wrote about the moral state of a people. As a people, we Americans are at a turning point in our history. …
There are some things we need to wake up to and learn from this shipwreck of our ability to be civil to each other. The first thing we need to learn is that living in a world full of turmoil — poverty, crime, violence, or more commonly, anxiety, tension, frustration, serious illness, and clashing parents and battling kids — teaches our biology early on that we are in a scary world. We learn we can’t feel safe or trust people to be good.
We who have been living in the more affluent bubble the last few decades seem caught in a double bind. On the one hand, we want to be compassionate, or at least seem that way. On the other hand, we are afraid of and want to defend ourselves against the people, the culture, and the communities caught in the clutches of drastic economic hardships. We fear them as if we are being threatened by foreigners. We fear their crudeness, their potential violence, their anger, their drug use, their failure to know and respect our rules; most of all, far too many of us fear how much it might really cost to give them a helping hand. Well, all I can say is that, if we have learned anything at all from our history at home and abroad since World War II, it should be that whenever we allow ourselves to be driven down the path of fear, we are on a direct road to disaster. This is a time for us to help each other without fear and to invest in our country with creativity to rebuild the structure of our democracy, beginning with its human infrastructure.
Dear Reader, The following is a continuation of my blog series based on my book The Midnight Hour: A Jungian Perspective on America’s Pivotal Moment. If you are just now picking up on the series, you might start with the …