Becoming Aware of Your Repetition Compulsion

Do your love relationships start in the stars and end in the gutter? Recognize the pattern.

Are you unclear about what loving is? Study your history to see how your thinking developed. You may have a lot to unlearn in order to know love.

Are you attracted to mistreatment as much as it troubles you? “Nice people” strike you as boring.

Do your friends worry about whom you choose to love but you see it as representing your true self and feel compelled to continue. Your needing this is not a conscious action. You admit your lover has abused you, particularly when pressed to do so but in your heart, the abuse is dismissed or taken as a sign of love.

Do you always take the blame when things go wrong? It is your fault with Mr./Ms. Perfect. They agree with you as faulty, an ongoing hurtful harmony.

Since you cannot see that you deliberately choose to be with an unloving person, how are you to change it? Awareness precedes change. Awareness is your goal.

You need to develop an adult mind that properly labels abuse. This means leaving your inner child behind as a deciding factor. The inner child may scream about it as frustrated children do which does not make their opinion justified or right.

You can do it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Return to the Garden

Mother Earth is beginning to shake us off like a dog does to mud and water and fleas.

What we do is causing Earth’s shaking. We call these self-created incidents unintended accidents although we are deluged with facts which say differently.  We refuse to connect this with that. We ask the engineer to correct our designated “mishaps” rather than change the basic notions of how to live.

We are not horrified at being labeled “consumers.” Our ability to adapt to the impossible has consequences. It was eating the forbidden apple that caused God to throw us out of the Garden. What was in that apple? I imagine the ability to detach ourselves from life so that we can consume it. It is the hungry consumer’s “mouth” which banishes us still.

The Gaia vision shows that all things are interconnected. We nix that. We treat Earth’s living parts as “things.” Destroying the part unravels the whole. All life is connected.  One energy. As a result of our incursions, life is held together by fraying strings.

Let us look at a few of our attacks on the web of life. We bombed Hiroshima and Nagasaki to impress the Russians. Now Fukushima, victim of a tsunami is spewing radioactivity into air and ocean but we refuse to discuss it. We fear our knowing “fear” itself as well as a reprisal for speaking the truth by the nuclear industry. Our silent mouth destroys us. We napalmed the Vietnamese which poisoned their land for generations. We poisoned the soldiers who dropped our napalm and then refused them medical care. People who do our catastrophic bidding are treated as “things.” War is a tremendous money maker. Those who sell war stuff create catastrophes to alarm the citizen who is minding his own business to go out and fight.

Consider what we eat. Our national food is burger and fries. We kill cows raised in the suffering of a factory. They do not wander the fields and eat grass. We unthinkingly devour them. In our mind, the beef on our plate never lived. Trees in the Amazon are cut down to plant grass for McDonald’s. A couple of rainy seasons and is all is dragged away by the seasonal flood. McDonald’s should have the logo of a desert flying over her inviting doors.

We frack for gas which poisons the water and causes landslides. What we inject in the earth is unknown. It is a corporate secret. We accept a gas pipe being laid alongside the spent fuel pools at Indian Point. In a school where performance counts, someone with this idea would be left back. Instead, we gamble away our safety and secretly accept the death of millions to save a few bucks. Eyes on the prize, we are harbingers of death.

The methane pouring out of the heating up of tundra in Russia which holds onto heat adds to the heating done by gas. All is setting the world on fire. Mother Earth is growing angry at the shredding of Gaia by folk who do not use the enormous energy of the tides and the lesser energy of sun and wind.

Mother Earth is shaking us off with landslides and tornadoes and droughts and floods, with new diseases brought on by its being too warm, too wet by starvation because it’s too dry. Animals and plants die in the heat. Roots rot in the flood. Food is disappearing. Life is clinging but losing its grip. But still we kill our animals to gorge on life; still, we buy clothing made by slaves in China. We grossly overpay our CEO’s and conversely underpay our teachers. We wait for a better tomorrow rather than change our ways today.

Earth will shake us off as a failed experiment. Gaia will recover over millennia. Time means nothing to her.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How Do You Know If You Are in a Repetition Compulsion?

You don’t know. You can’t know. Others may spot it but you don’t The internal bricks from an unloved childhood are lined up against the door of knowing. Other people who are not like you can easily see your repetition but you deny it. You call it “chance event,” an insignificant coincidence. Say that it is not a close a resemblance. Says you, as they remark in my native Brooklyn. The part of you that resonates with inexplicable fear, instead of finding out from whence it comes, makes you deny it harder.

Your friends say that they are trying to help you and probably they are but you do not think so. You react instead as if they are trying to hurt you. The issue as discussed in my book Unloved Again is that three of you reside inside your mind. One of you is the sensible adult, a not sufficiently developed sense of self that does not want to be with the unloving people you find yourself with. I use the word find because you have no idea of how this has happened. You think, “I certainly wouldn’t choose this.” You see yourself as passive.

Those behind the bricked-up mental door are the internalized parent and child of childhood. They work to  direct your adult mind away from them while sending messages which shape what you think and feel. You are easily seduced. You treat what enters your mind from behind the bricked door as coming from your true  self. Your adult mind has fallen into the past and does not know it. The internalized “freezing parent” and “frozen child” tell you how to think.

It is the “freezing parent” which demands fealty and submission. It is the “frozen child” which submits. These run who you love and how. The reason you do not see this is because the “freezing parent” needs you not to know. You are not to know that the “freezing parent” wants to turn you into a “frozen child.”

In order to end the repetition compulsion, your adult mind has to separate from r past identities, to see a difference between then and now. The adult has to stop paying attention to ancient feelings of loss and dread. It is the adult’s right to let the past be past.Sometimes ignoring the past involves an internal (or even verbal) statement of “shut up” and “get lost.” Sometimes it involves laughing as if told a good joke.

The adult has to pay attention to his choice of  unloving partners until he stops attributing them to chance. The adult accepts that “It is I who choose” and “It is I who end it” if it turns out to be another repetition. The aduIt knows he has little experience with loving people but vows to search until he/she finds someone whose feelings warm me up. With that person, I will make a home.

Get my book Unloved Again today! Email me directly at elangolomb@gmail.com in order to get your signed copy. Hardcover ($25 including shipping) and Paperback ($16 Squareup.com/store/elangolomb.

How Did I Come to Write Unloved Again

I Wanted to Study how I learned to love those who could not love. It was writing Unloved Again that taught me the origin is childhood pain denied.

You who love those who cannot love you or reject those who can, do not know why you do it. It is like you are in a state of amnesia. You do not know how you got here. Things simply happen to you. If you are unable to see that it is you who make the choices, in effect the same mistakes, ask the opinion of people who are objective. Repetition is a tell-tale sign of choice.

It is like you are perched on the roof of a dark and shuttered house. You do not know how you got there nor how to enter. You periodically receive messages from that house along with feelings. These messages tell you who to love and hate including to hate yourself. You think these messages come from the “real you.”

Why do you assume that this inner voice represents your adult self?  It is like believing advice from someone who profits if you make the “right  choice.” Accepting the terrified thinking of your inner child and the terrifying directives of your inner parent denies that you can grow. You are to remain fixed in childhood. You may fool yourself into accepting  these opinions by calling them your “intuition.” There are so many ways we fool ourselves.

The internal structure of the darkened house is very fragile. Its parts connect one to the other like cripples leaning against one another for greater balance. If one of them steps out of the pack, all the rest fall down.  The source of this mad circumstance of lasting disorder is that it represents half fighting and half surrender. It is the power of surrender which brings the parts down together – I fall into you. It is the power of resistance which binds the two together – You can’t get up without me. This building is covered by a dark roof which protects its contents from the wind and rain of recognition. You are to hear what it tells you and feel what it sends you but not understand the source.

How the child survived with unloving, brutal and rejecting parents is what the house is about. Many of these aspects have to do with denying the reality of what happened. The child turns his abuse into something better or takes the blame for it. If it all was his fault, punishment was called for. Does he need more? The parent was a bully whose nails of hatred were hammered into the child’s wood of self-identity. How does the adult handle this? How does it color his view of love?

The adult perched on the roof hears the child’s distant cry and takes it as his own. He has not separated from his internal child. Some neurotically-driven people dedicate their lives  to saving the inner child. But you cannot rewrite the past. You can only understand it in order to leave the past behind. Those dedicated to saving their remembered inner child, sacrifice their present life. There are many forms of arrested development and this is one.

To accept the feelings and directives from that darkened house is to declare yourself invalid. You need to break into that mental building and examine its every piece. Study the child’s willingness to surrender. See the rationalizations and lies that make this possible. Study your parent’s emotional weakness which underlies their terrifying behavior. Remember them as hungry ghosts, throat too small to swallow and fill their endless need  (Dante’s Inferno) Get a calendar in your mind so that you can distinguish past from present.

You will be energized to follow this difficult path by pain. See that your pain was inflicted by a cruel parent who needed to injure their child. Reject accepting pain as the path to love. Do not identify punishment as love. Pain is pain and  nothing else. Pain is a terrible connection. Sever yourself from that kind of union. Pain is there to alert you to do something about its source not to surrender, not to quiet you down. Growing numb does not free you. Feeling my pain and understanding where it comes from and especially not accepting a guilty position helped me stop choosing people who could not love me You can do it too.

Unloved Again shows people struggling to understand their history. The internal child will always cry in terror. Is that terror relevant to your “now?” The internal parent will always threaten the child. Should you, the adult be afraid? An adult mind declares these experiences to be from the past. It is time for achieving great emptiness in order for something new to enter.  Loving someone who can love you now is living in the present.

Get my book Unloved Again today! Email me directly at elangolomg@gmail.com in order to get your signed copy. Hardcover ($25 including shipping) and Paperback ($16 Squareup.com/store/elangolomb.)

Life Is Calling You

Survivors of concentration camps were the ones that were motivated to get through great hardship in order to tell their story the starvation and freezing and cholera and typhus, typhoid, and diphtheria; the murder of parents and siblings and children. The weak ones were chosen to go first, the strong ones consigned to back-breaking work half clothed in freezing weather until they succumbed. Some were shot in groups after digging their graves, many perished breathing poisonous gas after supposedly cleansing showers. The survivors see themselves as griots, who sustain their lineage by telling its history. Not knowing your history keeps you from knowing what makes you who you are.

What kind of history created this Anthropocene era, leaders pulling the masses into a murderous spree in which we use up everything possible , consuming all of it now as if there is no tomorrow in which we may need some more of it, no consideration of that object’s right to exist; we kill as an act of power over those we want to subdue like knocking off most of the buffaloes even from train windows to subdue the natives. Currently, we see economic value which turns an earth-object,mineral, animal or plant into money. We exterminate whole species of sea life, as a necessary byproduct of using gigantic nets to harvest certain fish, dumping the rest all dead, overboard, the turtles and sharks and porpoises and….We transform sensate beings and living plants into inanimate objects. We turn everything into nothing.

Since Congress said that money is a form of speech and that corporations are people, everything is for sale. Protective fences can be removed by those who claim ownership often at the point of a gun. The corporation or corporate man buys the local “commons” so that the local dwellers  can no longer graze their sheep, later sheer them for wool which is woven and made into clothing. The man is deprived of the land he needs to raise what he eats. If he buys instead of inheriting his farm, bank interest makes it impossible for him to keep it. He cannot control his destiny. Has no place to call home.

We who argue for the preservation of life have insufficient funds to “persuade” elected officials to support it. Greed and stupidity rule them (rule us as well if we believe what we are told about the wonderful advancement that will soon be ours if we give up our land connection. Greed and stupidity  are driving us all to extinction.

How important are trees in the Brazilian Amazon rain forest, trees that hold onto shallow top soil with their roots and create oxygen from their leaves? Not as important to the “modern man” who wants to raise cattle to sell to McDonald’s. The man is rarely native. He does not love the earth and his connection to it.  His only connection to it is his need for wealth. He and his gang kill natives who object to losing their home and garden; either that or allows them to work as near-slaves. He cuts down every tree in order to plant grass. It is not long before the rainy season washes away the topsoil with its grass. Nothing grows there now. Cows without grass become stringy and unsellable. The cattlemen will have to move on, to destroy a new section of the forest and leave behind a growing desert.

Why are there no magnet-powered trains which can take us to every little town? How did the auto industry take over so that now we only can travel by car on endlessly expanding roads? Corporations that build cars, dig roads, extract, refine and sell gas, have purchased Congressional votes. Lawmakers go deaf whenever a natural approach is mentioned. Those who want non-polluting trains have insufficient funds to get the ear of Congress. Humans are amazingly repetitive. Once some process has been installed, it becomes the only way to do it. Money is the glue for this. A terrible fear of poverty annihilates the possibility of change.

Environmental solutions are called “romantic” by those in power by which they mean unrealistic and unimportant. The Anthropocene “extractors” have the fantasy of a future solution to the damage they are causing. They have no sense of time, no idea that time is running out. Anthropocene means man-created disaster.  If we admit to harming the earth and all its dwellers, to what extent have we come to think our destruction is inevitable? Such an idea is a severe narrowing of vision. The “use-it-up” society is mentally myopic.

Corporations exist in the present. They have cash registers in the place of hearts. Congressmen are on a short leash. When environmentally sensitive people argue against turning trees into paper/plywood; or cutting them down to plant coconut trees for coconut oil, they turn away. Who can convince them of our need for the multiplicity of living things instead of making a profit? The Anthropocene mentality regards the market as its god. All living things which suffer from corporate “taking” and are disregarded.

We feel our loss of a clear sky and pure water, of bird song. We react to starving iceless polar bears and emaciated baby seals and …. How are we to react to these losses? Hopelessness guarantees permitting more destruction especially by denying its existence or its size. Unable to handle hopelessness we give up our morality. Shades fall down between our sense of self and our painful feelings. We become robotic. Or we accept the market mentality, a join them if you can’t lick them approach. It is OK to devour nature.

Indifference is the attitude of those who have given up. They are dead before their body falls. A spirit disconnected from life is into dying. I say no to that. What is our tax money going for? What do we want our government to provide? We want free schools and free medicine, woods to walk in, bird song in the spring, clean air to breath and clean water to drink. We want a living world.

We are told that the great extinction we are causing is a natural thing and that some animals will adapt to their loss of habit. Lies. Feel your pain. Your anger. What are you going to do about preserving life?

Get my book Unloved Again today! Email me directly at elangolomb@gmail.com in order to get your signed copy. Hardcover ($25 including shipping) and Paperback ($16 Squareup.com/store/elangolomb) .

Humor Lifts You Out of Acquiesence

Make a joke of it. Laugh yourself right out of being mired in your culture’s negative perspective, your neighbor’s mindless receptivity , your newspaper’s acceptance of the inevitability of something totally bad  happening as if we have no relationship to the cause. We need to reject, to  fight against submitting to the destruction of all things. We have an important device to do it. It is humor. We can laugh at newspapers which try to shade the truth to the benefit of the owning corporation. We can laugh at the advice (not necessarily to their face) given by frightened  and biased Mom and Dad, laugh at the whole damn world telling  you to join them in an unstated suicide pact when you need to opt out.

The insight about the role of humor came to me last night. I was feeling very sad and helpless upon learning about the disappearance of Julian Assange of Wikileaks from the Ecuadorian embassy in Britain. I feared that he had been captured and possibly killed, possibly tortured  to get him to reveal and submit. The subsequent news silence about where he is either damns or supports hope for his survival.

Then I read about the mistaken spraying with a bee-killing spray of bees in 2 US states. The staff wasn’t supposed to spray infected trees by day when bees are out gathering pollen. But whoever was in charge of spray timing did not know,  did not remember or did not bother to tell the workers so they merrily sprayed by day and spread enormous death. How can we as a group be so stupid, killing those animals on which our food source depends?

Is it due to jobs being made automatic, transformed into parts done by strangers who are not plants lovers, farmers, workers who do not know, see, feel the consequences of what they do? We cannot do it right  by Mother Earth after disconnecting from her. We have to be/feel part of the family of life in order to sustain our “right action.”

US companies are using neonicotinoids,  an insect-killing poison known to kill bees. Neonicotinoids are currently forbidden in Europe where natural survival  is honored. But not in the US where the congressional members get money to run for office from neonicotinoid selling corporations and in turn have to do their bidding.  Congress is not part of the family of life.  It is now a business connected to the living world in terms of power and money.

So they/we are killing bees which spread pollen that fertilizes plants which keeps the plant world growing. Does our education deliberately miss understanding pollen as an essential part of our existence?  Or is this oversight due to ignorance? The bee world is dying due to our propensity for using killer chemicals  against whenever we fear “out there.”  We treat nature as our enemy rather than as our Mother. We believe ads which tell us to that the chemical is not dangerous. We make choices without knowing. We  revert to childhood with frightening parents we had to obey or else. We keep ourselves from seeing the result.

When I originally studied psychology, Freud was said to have theorized 2 basic forces in man, a life and a death instinct. The life instinct leads to sex and procreation, to being social and enjoying life. The death instinct leads to harming/killing others as well as to harming self over and over and over again. We call this the “repetition compulsion.” It is a choice of death.  But why would we choose death over life? Why would we choose to be enemies to ourselves? All matter  is vibrating.  We vibrate. Do we need to re-emerge into the whole and abandon the self as a seemingly separate part? Does energy need to leave its temporary fleshly abode? The why of it, so basic to life should be studied.

I was reading a bit of Krishnamurti, who said that the only thing that will keep us alive is love. It is a matter of what moves us, either love or hate; love or death. Our current leaders are in the pockets of the war machine. They make money by selling war toys and by using them. Every invented object, like small nuclear bombs created to “protect  us” will be used. Children play with their toys.

Armaments make money when sold to others and by us when used to steal other countries natural resources. Corporations have a single objective which is to make money. They go for making more  of it even if the consequence is death. They do not weigh consequences. They are a programmed machine for which humans are treated as pawns on the chessboard of life. Unintended death is “collateral damage.” There is no feeling, no flesh and blood reality to a machine.

I was asking myself how to emerge from my emotional paralysis. I had an inspiration, not for the first time. We often discover the same thing over and over, pushed out of our consciousness by our need to fit in. I thought we need to laugh at what plagues us. We need to laugh at our collective and individual life-destroying behavior. Humor creates a needed separation from our frightening objective. Humor is the basis for our saying, “no.”

When you feel down, defeated and isolated, find a humorous way to depict your plight and then  share it.  Another person laughing with you empowers your separation. It is humor that says “No problem.” It is humor says “keep your madness. I’ll have none of that. ” It is humor that says “…calling me names is a baby act that proves nothing.” Humor leads us to new ways to look at and handle problems.  Humor sets us free.

Instead of Psychic Numbing

Saturday night, about 15 years ago, there was a concert at the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine to raise money for the homeless of New York. It was a most tender and wonderful evening. Many of the performers, dated back to the social minded sixties There they were, still alive and giving of themselves. It gladdened the heart to see again those endless links of minds and hearts that once were so evident; to know that nothing was lost but had been going on underground.

There was Ginsburg, the Beat poet, Ram Das the psychologist turned acid head turned guru turned humanitarian, also Paul Simon, Crosby and Nash and others. Graham Nash was fat. They sang new songs as well as old favorites with the audience joining in, 7,000 strong. Paul Simon’s new song was about the broken dreams and illusions, not only his but almost everyone he knew. He sang sadly but that’s o.k., meaning he would hang in there and mend what he could.

They say that artists are the antennae of the race. These antennae are pretty scorched these days. There is too much pain around to simply get on with with business. Artists are probably not the healthiest of people since they are less able to summon up the rose-colored glasses that allow you to flourish in the midst of a debacle. Rose-colored glasses permit the illusion of invulnerability, permit you to think I and my family will survive because bad things only happen to “them,” to those other people so different from myself. Rose-colored glasses allow an exaggeratedly high self-opinion without external substantiation. They create a positive bias towards reality, which can whitewash the seriousness of the issues with which we are confronted.
To be sure a modicum of whitewashing, or rose-coloring is necessary. It keeps the person functioning. Too accurate a seeing can lead to pessimism and debilitating depression. But reading your own and other people’s suffering as meaningless and random does not help you to cope and move on. One needs to find meaning i life’s events, including its suffering, in order to summon up one’s best energies.
At the concert, Alan Ginsberg read a manic and deeply touching poem about a man seeking a home. He walks out of the pristine glass and steel of midtown Manhattan into Harlem where he is surprisingly confronted by relatives he thought long dead, but sill alive, existing in culturally steeped poverty. He finds his grandmother speaking Yiddish, eating borscht and blintzes in her bed; he encounters a tough and bitter elderly bag lady living in the alley between two buildings. She has set up a platform to sleep on surrounded by her bundles and packages. She even has a stove. She is out there in all kinds of weather.

She complains about her lot, showing him teeth worn out, ground down like the tusks of an ancient horse. He wonders how she can continue to eat and survive. He admires her hardiness although she bothers him as well. Little by little he recognizes her. It is his mother, Naomi, also thought to be dead. He thinks that he will live with her again in that alley. He can use the steps down to the basement as an office. His grandmother won’t be far away and perhaps those two ancient enemies mother-in-law and daughter-in-law shall be reunited. He’ll fix his mother’s teeth! Then he awakens in his comfortable Colorado home, and weeps.

The poem was so good and true. The bag lady along with all the disenfranchised and homeless people of the world is our mother. The elders are our immigrant grandmothers. They are ourselves. It is fate alone that puts a roof over our heads and not theirs.

The child within the “advantaged” person, inflates his worth and says he is a fairy prince or princess unlike the other who must suffer for their birth rite. The child within says “Everything without a doubt, will turn out alright,” without having to make the last adjustment.

Childish optimism and denial says that things outside our narrow world are o.k. when they so obviously are not. It allows us to override the messages fro the planet ultimately threatened by our greed and waste and to avoid the eyes of the homeless in the streets. The streets are full of the homeless not due to their own poor efforts but put there by administrative fiat, by destructive housing policies that make coops out of S.R.Os (single room occupancy), and warehouse empty buildings until they can be renovated for sizable profit. Rather than being lazy and worthless, many homeless people , at least 25 percent, work full or part time but can’t afford the inflationary rent.

The lesson of those people on stage and of the cathedral filled with humanity, is that we want and need to help. It is possible to be both realistic and emotionally intact at the same time, but only if we join seeing to acting. Instead of psychic numbing, we can acknowledge the suffering of others, can speak out against destructive environmental programs for people, plants and animals since all are one. We must continue to feel our sadness, anger and fear, our helplessness. We must act.

The only possible illusion we can afford is that our individual actions can make a difference in a global situation which is very serious. Of course they do, at the very least to ourselves. By acting in accord with our conscience and our ideals, we are fulfilling out potential as human beings.
Written as the Mind’s Eye column for the Warwick Advertiser in 1991.