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  • Dr. Stefan

Copyright Stefan J. Malecek, Ph.D. December 24, 2021: 1855 Haiku, Maui, Hawai'i

The crushing weight of contemporary society continues its onward rush, as we approach what is euphemistically called “the holidays.” I know some people (most?) might be surprised to be reading (hopefully) someone’s exposition here who is not terribly pleased or excited about this time of year.

For me, it is artificiality exponentialized. Living in a global society that is infected by the money virus, I find things getting even more amped up during this period of the year, when we are bombarded with even more advertising and pressure to spend even more money than ordinarily. And for what?

We are told (and expected to believe that we will feel better about ourselves and “make” others happy with extravagant gifts and raucous gathering at which we eat and drink too much. This speaks very relevantly to today’s topic.

I question: From whence did these notions arrive? Who created them? And why?

The simple answer can always be found by asking: Qui bono? (Who benefits?) I have found through the years that even the most seemingly inexplicable events can be explained by the answer to this question, because undoubtedly someone is always benefiting, even from the most seemingly outrageous or bizarre behaviors.

The simple answer here is, of course, business people, banks, retailers and all of the associated industries. But, if one were to look more deeply, one might see a more complex set of operations occurring beneath the surface. One might see a pattern or blueprint, a schematic, upon which the entire workings of the world (at least the contemporary society) have been created.

These mighty forces are constantly at play in humanity, creating a picture of how and why the world we live in works (or does not, depending on your point of view). Rao spoke of the “psychopathic business model” the British East India Company developed almost 400 years ago.

Let’s take greed as an example. The Oxford Dictionary of Psychology defines it as “Excessive or rapacious desire, especially for wealth, or possessions.” It is the most intense and virulent of all addictions. It is the "norm" or lingua franca in Western societies. “Naturally one should be greedy!” is an assumption that feeds and is fed by, two closely related phenomena: the concept of enough and the productivity illusion.

There is not, and can never be, enough of anything physical, even mental. Such states of satiety are extremely transitory, driven by a vast, aching inner emptiness seeking to be filled externally. Such acquisitions serve the purpose of temporarily “fixing” that craving. In this sense, it is an addiction. Various hungers drive us to devote the bulk of our time and energy pursuing the illusion of (always temporary) satisfaction, and then, again and again, to seek more in the failed aftermath. The key to this usurpation of consciousness is greed. Greed is the supreme addiction.

Underlying this universal experience is the ravening sense of lack of completion and unfulfilled wholeness. I posit this as a shame-based artifact promoted by the unexamined belief and mandates of many, many generations of individuals who simply pass along their delusions from generation to generation. They become concretized and considered to be “normal,” such as the belief that violence and war are “natural.” Or, if one were to look at the obviously false idea: “Net worth equals self-worth.” But the drive to have more in order to be more, is influential. It is directly linked to the idea that producing more results in a net benefit. (It may do so in the short run for a few, but overall, only feeds the illusion).

Violence of all sorts (against oneself and others) is intimately related to shame and rage. It depends on the degree to which one’s healthy emotions have been suppressed and/or disowned. When one is not allowed an outlet through normal neural and emotional circuits, rage may become magnified.

All children are taught to protect and idealize their parents, even see them as “gods”—certainly the parents are far more powerful than themselves. Children may learn to harm themselves instead of others, suppressing legitimate anger and hurt. Children may even adopt quasi-adult behaviors in a process known as adultification, or role inversion.

Potter-Effron and Effron once noted that individuals with “mirror hungry personalities” may experience tremendous “narcissistic rage” episodes when their immediate needs aren’t met—they experience any rejection as a threat to their sense of self, and respond by attacking the source of danger. Underneath all this is the lingering risk of empty depression that reflects a “sense of non-being.” Laing spoke to this as “primary ontological insecurity.”

Albert and his associates once noted: “Most people develop acceptable self-images by accommodating their values to the logic of their activities, which are in turn structured by society’s institutional boundary…therefore, powerful pressures push people to seek only what society is prepared to bestow upon them.”

Thus we arrive at the current state of toxicity and technology, attempting to “fix” the errors of the past created by ignoring the vibrant beauty and aliveness of the Living Planet in favor of an artificial way of life run by base instincts and machines, ignoring love and empathy at our own continuing risk and the degradation of the Earth itself.

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  • Dr. Stefan

Updated: Dec 24, 2021

© Stefan J. Malecek, Ph.D.Sunday December 12, 2012: 1814 Pe'ahi, Maui Hawai'i

I am a brilliant trauma-recovery therapist. I am a very gifted Master Addictions Counselor (though no longer certified as such).

I have experienced all manner of addictions; and, in just a few weeks, I will be thirty-nine years clean from my second round of addiction to cocaine. I consider myself to be an expert.

I am using the previous two paragraphs to frame my rather vast experience with the excruciating pain of deep and intense shame, dating from my earliest memories onward. I have become an expert on shame, its etiology and attendant artifacts and behaviors. I have lived at its debilitating behest most of my life.

Today’s installment is an introduction to the topic. My intention is to reveal the process by which we have collectively developed the current toxic society, and then I will also speak to personal empowerment and sovereignty. Of course, I will also discuss some specific practices I have used, though many of them will be best undertaken in conjunction with a professional therapist. (This last is important because no one can see their own blind spots, and therefore totally provide for one’s own deepest psychic safety).

One of the most difficult-to-learn lessons—one in which I am still a daily student—is to love myself, treat myself to all of the love and joy and honor and praise I have ever wanted or felt I deserved from others; all that wonderful validation and recognition I have always craved that was so very long denied to me (with a few exceptions) because I grew up the object of my parent’s unmet needs and their vainglorious attempts at satisfaction.

It has been the journey of most of this lifetime to achieve what Archimedes would have called “a place to stand,” in preparation for my decision “to move the world.” For most of my time in this incarnation, I have striven to feel valuable, honored and worthy by achieving transient goals that looked appealing or appeared that they would satisfy my richest inner needs. I count all of the usual suspects: sex; money; power; excitement; education; praise—and none of them even partially approximated what I craved most of all: a sense of well-being, worthiness and love.

For the very longest time, I did not believe I was worthy of love, believing I had to “earn” it somehow. That is what kept me running wildly like a hamster cranked up on amphetamines on a wheel. Massive effort. Very little return—because I was seeking the sense of valuement and caring from achievements; because I did not feel worthy of the attainment or that I had the ability to attract the magnetism of love, I sought it consistently outside myself.

It has taken me a very long time, and a great deal of healing, to have come to the internal space where in I feel worthy of loving me; of giving to myself the gentleness, kindness and attention I have always envisioned that living in love with another would entail.

It is still multiple times a day self-reminder because I have lived for so long disenfranchised from myself. Now I am capable of giving myself compliments for jobs well done; forgive myself for the all-too-human errors we all make; share moments of compassion and empathy with the ever-increasing pains that are part of the lineage of aging; allow myself to feel the value of my dreams and goals—especially since they no longer have to be the extremely grandiose ones that drove me most of my life, attempting to compensate for all of the decades when I was lost and confused, wandering hungrily.

Through all of the years of both my personal (23 years as a professional drug addict) and academic research (12 years of college), I have pretty consistently been involved in different forms of psychotherapy and personal growth work. Through it all, my goal has always been to shed shame, become emotionally healthy and capable of genuine intimacy and love.

The primary process that has worked for me to redeem (Latin, “to buy back”) myself has been the releasing of toxic energy with which I had internalized, identified and then projected, seeking some kind of soul satisfaction in punishing those who had harmed me and just generally “getting ahead in the world,” based on the standards by which the contemporary world measures such things.

I have used all manner of processes to foster this growth: Primal Therapy, Rolfing, Gestalt, Shadow Work, various kinds of group work, GUTS, Inner Child work, hypnotherapy, et cetera. (I also used various other forms of discipline such as vegetarianism, veganism, fasting, raw food eating, believing for a very long time that I could achieve the purity of heart that I sought by manipulating my diet).

Ultimately, I had to acknowledge the primacy of emotion as a driving force for the changes I wanted to make. I realized that only by shedding the accumulated toxic emotional waste I carried would I ever be free of the unwanted extra weight I carried; of the embarrassing behaviors and twists of mind that haunted me; the terrible self-denunciations and other forms of self-harm I practiced; the titanic craving to be loved that has walked with me all of my days.

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  • Dr. Stefan

Saturday December 4, 2021: 1518 Pe'ahi, Maui, Hawai'i © 2021 Stefan J. Malecek, Ph.D.

The title refers to the Festinger's (1956/1957) theory that, if individuals have two actions or ideas that are not psychologically consistent with each other, they will do all in their power to change them until they become consistent. The discomfort is triggered by the person's beliefs clashing with new information perceived, and the individual tries to find a way to resolve the contradiction to reduce the discomfort.

I recently read a brief article proclaiming/celebrating the fact that the US Government (USG) has just launched a missile to test our ability to "protect us" by destroying an asteroid (that seems to be doing nothing other than living its quiet life). Ostensibly (or at least what they are telling us) this is not an emergency. It was called a "test." Last week I read an article that there are plans afoot (funded, undoubtedly, by billions of our tax money) to build a nuclear reactor on the moon, and then possibly on Mars-- so as to facilitate the USG's desire to have US citizens (not humanity's) reach the stars!

I would be simply amazed and flabbergasted, were I not prepared for any kind of nonsense such as this coming out in the media as supposedly representing my opinions or those of the collectivity of US citizens, as being in agreement with such efforts!

I proclaim this to be yet another (of many, many such on a daily basis) manifestation of the humanity's collective delusion, of humanity's brainwashing. There was some sense, especially in the latter article, of false pride and, in my opinion, hubris--the ancient term used to define spiritual arrogance (such as famously denoted by the attempt of Icarus to fly to the Sun with waxen wings (ignoring his father Daedalaus' advice not to do so) that imbued the writing.

The kind of behavior the USG is exhibiting resonates so strongly with this word, especially since there are starving children in this country, 1500 of whom (statistically) die every day from lack of food! I know it sounds incredible, but this is just a small sample of the denial that is practiced every day by the people of this country. I get severely depressed sometimes because it feels like no on one else is really listening.

We have been collectively brainwashed (conditioned) to blithely go along our merry way, striving and seeking to obtain more, ever more; to please our every appetite; to quench our insatiable thirst; to fulfill our every desire, to the exclusion of the needs of others and certainly that of the planet. This, to me, is the utter height of arrogance and points to the collective mindset of most of humanity (and certainly of its "leaders"). To, in effect, fund massive military projects while ignoring the extraordinary depletion of natural resources (I am not talking about oil or uranium either) and the utter degradation of the planet as a whole. I am appalled at the thought of those holding the current mindset of humanity reaching the stars and creating the same kind of damage there like a virulent cancer metastasizing through the stars.

We are ignoring life-and-death decisions that affect the bulk of humanity to pursue what are basically ego-inflating and ego-preservative efforts. I believe that at the root of all of this is humanity's greatest delusion: that of being completely separate, at-risk individuals who must constantly fight for recognition, proclaiming our "greatness" in the face of the damage to all others. I believe that, at its base, it is multi-generational shame recreated through the emotional transmission of a sense of unworthiness and loss of sovereignty to children, in order to support the traumatogenic environment of the adults ostensibly "running the planet" to make money, treating the planet as if it were their own fiefdom, for which they have no responsibility. (I will be pursuing this line of thought in the following series of posts). It's way past time we woke up!

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