Archetype in Action Organization
- Parent Category: Tools to Change Society
- Category: Movies, Theatre, TV & Videos
- Created on 05 March 2015
- Last Updated on 05 March 2015
- Published on 05 March 2015
- Written by Michael Berkowitz
- Hits: 91
They will neither thaw the new Cold War nor promote world peace. But Leviathan and Red Army, currently on a slow march through U.S. cinema art houses afford compelling insights into Russia and its people.
At first blush, Red Army appears a gripping sports story. Through abundant film clips and the voice over narration of Vachislav "Slava" Fetisov, Captain of the Red Army Hockey Team, we are drawn through the rise and fall of the world champion Soviet team. Recruited as youngsters, the principals of the team bond through the rigors of training and world class competition. They develop camaraderie that reflects and comes to represent Soviet ideals, both the teamwork of socialism and the rise of Russian power. Deep friendships are forged and championships are won as they become the world's most formidable sports dynasty.
Changes in coaching and concern for skaters weaken morale and performance. The team's decline parallels the fate of the Soviet Union. The brutal methods of replacement coach Viktor Tikhanov, which had at first propelled victory, later drive the players to resentment and ultimately to pursue fame and fortune in the West.
But the flight to fortune is rocky at first. The Soviet stars fail to thrive in the more individualist western sports milieu. Teamwork has been replaced by the cult of the individual hero. Not until Fetisov and friends are able to forge a more Soviet style team play are they able to succeed. The contradictions of the systems are not lost on Fetisov, who, after finally achieving success, western style, opts to return to his roots and try to rebuild the type of system he grew up in.
Leviathan's Kolya (Aleksei Serebryakov) has no such choice. With little skill and much less luck, Kolya is less than a survivor, caught in a downward spiral of circumstances beyond his influence. The small Russian town's corrupt mayor is trying to use eminent domain to seize Kolya's house to build his own fortune. When Kolya enlists the support of old friend, Moscow lawyer Dmitri (Vladimir Vdovichenkov), the situation deteriorates into conflict among all the principals including his second wife Lilya (Elena Lyadova), his son and officials.
Set against the bleak Russian north landscape, dotted with the decay of industry and settlement, Leviathan is the tale of modern Job in a hostile world. Failed by government, family and friends. Mocked by the hypocrisy of religion. Undermined by his drinking and temperment. Kolya is a decent everyman whose limitations make him ill-suited for the vulture capitalism of even rural Russia.
There are no signs of the teamwork ethos of the Soviet Union. There is no glorification of the working class or social safety net. A calcified bureaucratic judicial system administers New Russia's unforgiving social Darwinism.
Both films have met with high praise. Red Army which was written, produced and directed by Abe Polsky and produced by Werner Herzog was an official entry at Cannes, Toronto and Telluride and was selected as the Opening Ceremony film of the 2014 Moscow International Film Festival.
After winning a Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film, Leviathan was nominated for the Academy Award for 2014's Best Foreign Film. With this exposure and through this artistry, these films can better help us understand the people of a country which is so often portrayed as our enemy.
Michael Berkowitz has worked on various political and social movements from Civil Rights in the South to the recent Recall in Wisconsin. He was a senior manager in San Francisco's Planning Department and a Planning Consultant for 12 years to the Government of China (PRC). He was a Planning Commissioner for the City of Berkeley and a Business Agent and Organizer for Service Employees International. He holds Masters degrees in History from both Stanford and Yale.
- Parent Category: Tools to Change Society
- Category: Jungian Topics
- Created on 05 March 2015
- Last Updated on 05 March 2015
- Published on 05 March 2015
- Written by Lewis Lafontaine
- Hits: 66
Lecture II 9th May, 1941
In the last lecture, I gave you a summary of the contents of my earlier lectures, in a very condensed form.
Before going on to the quotations concerning the alchemists' attitude to their work (where we broke off before Easter) you will perhaps permit me to make a few general remarks about the importance of alchemy and the place which it occupies in the history of science.
Alchemy and astrology are pre-stages of modern science.
Modern science has created an entirely new picture of the world, a curious picture which would have astonished our forefather's and been quite incomprehensible to them.
The old image of the world was of a religious nature, which is the last thing one could say of modern science.
This is the reason for the frequent disputes, in the later decades of the nineteenth century, between knowledge and faith.
Our age simply cannot imagine a world in which scientific concepts do not play the leading role.
But science, as it has gradually develop ed in the course of the last two hundred years, is exclusively a matter of intellect and observation.
These faculties, however, only represent one half of the human psyche.
The old picture of the world, on the other hand, because of its religious nature, included the other half: feeling and intuition.
Natural science was part of the whole conception of the world, which was definitely of a religious nature, and therefore alchemy was embedded in a general religious image of the world, an image in which the religious aspect was far more important than the scientific, as we understand the term today.
Our forefathers, nevertheless, made diligent use of both the intellect and observation.
The old masters say again and again: "Ars tatum requirit hominem" (the art requires the whole man).
Naturally "the art" includes the idea of being able to, that is, of mastering the technique.
It is only recently that art no longer necessarily includes a thorough technical knowledge.
The old picture of the world was really the unfolding of the image of God, God revealed himself in nature, so knowledge of nature was simultaneously knowledge of God. Nature, therefore, supplied our forefathers with a direct approach to the Deity.
The opus of the alchemists, the scientific work par excellence, included nature, God and man.
For the alchemist, man is not separate from nature, he is contained in nature, together with the Deity, or rather nature and man are included in God.
For antique and medieval man there was still a path to the Deity which led through nature, a path followed by the alchemists in their characteristic art and science (they themselves use both terms: ars and scientia).
Alchemy rose as indeed this approach. It was a path which led through contemplation, experience and knowledge of the processes of nature, in order to reach the neighbourhood of the divine activity.
And because of the fact that man is contained in nature and nature in the Deity, the work which changed nature necessarily simultaneously changed man.
It would no longer occur to a scientist of today that his scientific experiments in the laboratory could possibly change himself, for his whole mind is set on changing his chemical ingredients.
And it is very difficult to understand how one could affect the other.
But it is the old image of the world, where nature was included in God, that enables us to compare alchemy with other spiritual methods, such as eastern Yoga, medieval devotional movements and the Ignatian exercitia spiritualia.
The goal of all these methods is to reunite man, through transformation, with the divine primal cause.
It was necessary to tell you all this in advance, in order that you may be able to understand the attitude of these old masters towards their investigation of nature. Judging by the language they use, understanding nature and her processes was the most important thing to them, and these processes indirectly elucidated God.
- Parent Category: Tools to Change Society
- Category: Wake Up Calls!
- Created on 04 March 2015
- Last Updated on 04 March 2015
- Published on 04 March 2015
- Written by Dr. Michael Cornwall
- Hits: 338
I believe that Dr. Jeffrey Lieberman, the past president of the American Psychiatric Association must judge some writers and commenters here on MIA as being “anti-science” and “anarchists.” He has now published at least two articles that, in essence, suggest that critics of the DSM-5 and psychiatry should be silenced.
In an article published online in the Scientific American in May 2013, titled, "DSM-5: Caught between Mental Illness Stigma and Anti- Psychiatry Prejudice,” he said this about critics: "These are real people who don't want to improve mental healthcare...they are to my mind, misguided and misleading ideologues and self-promoters who are spreading scientific anarchy."
Note the ad hominem attacks against anyone who criticizes psychiatry. Critics of psychiatry apparently want worse mental healthcare than we already have.
In his Scientific American article, Lieberman wrote that it was not just the DSM-5 that he felt was under attack. "I was also alarmed at the harsh criticism of the field of psychiatry and the APA...the inevitable outcry from a small group of critics - made louder by social media and support from dubious sources - who have relentlessly sought to undermine the credibility of psychiatric medicine and question the validity of mental illness."
I wonder how many psychiatrists who voted for Dr. Lieberman for APA President supported inflammatory remarks about critics of psychiatry spreading scientific anarchy?
Now Dr. Lieberman is at it again. On January 17, the New York Times published an article titled “Redefining Mental Illness” by anthropologist T.M. Luhrmann. She started her article by writing, "Two months ago the British Psychological Association released a remarkable document titled ‘Understanding Psychosis and Schizophrenia.’ Its authors say that hearing voices and feeling paranoid are common experiences, and are often a reaction to trauma, abuse or deprivation...The report says that there is no strict dividing line between psychosis and normal experience."
Dr. Lurhmann also wrote, "The report adds that antipsychotic medications are sometimes helpful, but that "there is no evidence that it corrects an underlying biological abnormality."
In response, Dr. Lieberman wrote a piece that was published on February 18 on Medscape. In it, he complained about T.M. Luhrmann’s article and the New York Times for not publishing his riposte to that piece. He titled his Medscape article, “"What does the New York Times Have Against Psychiatry?"
He began this article by stating, “My comments today could be titled- ‘Psychiatry suffers another indignity.’ " Then he dropped several pearls.
In response to the UK report on psychosis that questions the validity of claiming that anti-psychotics treat an unproven chemical imbalance of the brain or abnormality, Dr. Lieberman wrote: "The (UK) article addresses the fact that there is no evidence that antipsychotic drugs correct any biologic abnormality, which also is inaccurate. Antipsychotic drugs work through the antagonism of the blocking of dopamine. They may have downstream and upstream effects with a neural pathway, but the link between dopamine activity and psychotic symptoms is indisputable."
Note here that while he is seeming to defend the chemical imbalance story, he actually doesn’t claim that researchers have found that people diagnosed with schizophrenia have abnormal dopamine systems. He claims something is “indisputable,” even though when he presents evidence of that biologic abnormality, all he can say is there is some link between dopamine activity and psychotic symptoms. So clearly, it is quite disputable about whether these drugs correct a biological abnormality.
Next, he stated that the DSM-5 should be called the “gold standard” for diagnosis in psychiatry. "The clinical diagnoses that have been used and continue to be refined through the iterative DSM process are the gold standard of what needs to be used."
I guess you could call anything the gold standard if it is the only game in town. The gold standard of restaurants might be McDonalds if it was the only restaurant allowed to be open.
Finally, Dr. Lieberman complained that the New York Times would give T.M. Luhrmann this public forum for her thoughts. "What other medical specialty would be asked to endure an anthropologist opining on the scientific validity of its diagnoses?” he wrote. “ None, except psychiatry. Psychiatry has the dubious distinction of being the only medical specialty with an anti-movement. There is an anti-psychiatry movement. You have never heard of an anti-cardiology movement, an anti-dermatology movement, or an anti-orthopedics movement."
A psychiatrist friend of mine who read Dr. Lieberman's Medscape piece said that she was, "Used to his over the top simplistic rants, but this one made my jaw drop- and he wonders why there is an anti-psychiatry!"
I wonder, though, if Dr. Lieberman ever asks himself whether psychiatry’s own behavior plays a role in the creation of an antipsychiatry movement? Could one reason there are more critics of psychiatry than of cardiology be because people given diagnoses of a “major mental illness” and treated for it die 25 years earlier than the general public? People diagnosed/labeled with schizophrenia or bipolar or major depression don't have a potentially life threatening physical disease like cancer or coronary-artery disease, and yet they are dying young as though they did.
What other medical specialties like cardiology and dermatology that do care for people with life threatening illness are under the cloud of legitimacy that psychiatry is experiencing?
Psychiatry sets the diagnostic criteria for care and sets the best practice standards for care. The recipients of that care die 25 years sooner than people not receiving psychiatric care. Is it any wonder psychiatry is in a crisis of legitimacy? And that is to say nothing about much of that care, like ECT, forced medication and medicating children, are human rights abuses in my opinion.
Wouldn't there be a great many, very vocal critics of cancer treatment if oncologists sought to get laws passed so they could strap down “treatment-resistant” patients and forcibly inject chemotherapy drugs into them?
Critics of psychiatry shouldn't be labeled and demonized as scientific anarchists. It's dangerous, Dr. Lieberman, to throw that kind of ostracizing, condemning language around. It's demagoguery. Some people will feel that we should be silenced.
Am I wrong in believing that you want to silence us Dr. Lieberman?
I believe those of us who dare to be critical of psychiatry are not the irrational extremists you would make us out to be.
Please look to your own glass house and stop your defamatory language about those you should feel blessed to serve and help Dr. Lieberman. Don't call us derogatory names.
An Alternative Understanding of The Nature of Madness: I want this blog and the discussion it generates to help deepen our understanding of the mystery of madness and to help us learn ways to lovingly do self care when we are mad, and how to lovingly respond to others when they are mad.
He can be reached at his website - "What is Madness?."
- Parent Category: Politics & Rhetoric
- Category: Words Matter
- Created on 28 February 2015
- Last Updated on 02 March 2015
- Published on 28 February 2015
- Written by Skip Conover
- Hits: 297
“The vice is different in each writer, unique and new in the new situation of the age…. It is always recognizable, vehement and primitive.”
Elias Canetti, The Conscience of Words, P. 4
This is a story about storytelling. Stories are how we learn and pass information down the generations. As a species, we educate our young this way. In the end, if we live long enough, we are all storytellers. We assume the archetype of wise woman or wise man, and try to pass what we have learned to the next generation.
“In the beginning was the Word, and
The Word was with God,
And the Word was God.”
John 1:1 The Holy Bible
Words are the fundamental capability setting human beings apart from any other creatures, because they allow abstract thinking. As ink on a paper or black pixels on a white pixel background, they are insignificant by themselves, but as symbols of human culture, human attainments, and human failings over millennia, they immortalize the human story.
Next year, no one will remember a great ape that died in the jungles of Africa last week, nor the dead bird you found on your lawn this morning, but 2,600-4,000 years after Abraham human beings are still killing one another over his story and its meaning. [Genesis 22:1-13 ] Judaism, Christianity, and Islam all point to his story as the origin of their faith. All because of words passed from one person to another since his time.
The Rabbi and the Marine have felt called to say that the meaning of Abraham’s vision was the wisdom that human beings should stop human sacrifice in their religious observations. And yet, many still sacrifice their children every day in the form of wars and barbarism, in the vain and misguided belief that their interpretation of the story is the only right one.
In fact, all interpretations of words are correct in the sense that they are psychic facts within the minds of readers, but how, why, and if they should be brought into the physical world is a matter of personal morality.
Every writer redefines the world and in so doing seeks to make a small difference in how the world is perceived by others. The Novelist points to the hypocrisy of patriarchy, and tells us the way ½ the world sees the other ½ of the world needs to change if we are to find peace. The Dreamer guides us to the depths of our souls to help us see who we are and how we can be all we can be. The Revolutionary highlights the stories others tell thru film, while pointing to why we should all take their message into ourselves as the next piece of our education about our species; what it means, where it’s going, and why it is here now.
Some months ago The New York Times reported that the total information taken in by an British man in the 15th Century was no more than is contained in a single edition of The Sunday New York Times today. We are awash in information, but turning that information into human intelligence is the key to the survival of our species. Select well!
Nobel Laureate Elias Canetti wrote:
“But there are three attributes suitable for the representative writer ….
“A writer is original, or he is not a writer. He is original in a very deep and simple way, through that which we have called his vice…. His vice drives him to exhaust the world, something that no one else could do for him. Immediacy and inexhaustibility, the two characteristics that people have always demanded of the genius and that he always has, are the offspring of this vice.
“The second characteristic that one must demand of the representative writer today is an earnest desire to sum up his age, an urge for universality, un-intimidated by any single task, ignoring nothing, forgetting nothing, omitting nothing, making nothing easy for himself.
“The third demand one has to make on a writer would be that he stand against his time…. If he forgets his opposition, he has become an apostate, the way an entire nation abandoned its god in earlier, religious times.”
Elias Canetti, The Conscience of Words, Pp. 4-6
You may think that just because specific essays are linked to the title, that those titles apply to specific people, but they do not. Four of the descriptions apply to 2 of the writers highlighted, and three of the descriptions apply to the other three. Other titles considered for this story, which would have been as apt were:
The Scholar, the Architect, the Teacher, the Politico, and the Businessman
The Wiseman, the Witch, the Wisewoman, the Wizard, and the Magician
Holy Man, Anarchist, Crone, Socialist and Progressive
Jew, Secular, Christian, Atheist, and Buddhist
- Parent Category: Tools to Change Society
- Category: Literature
- Created on 27 February 2015
- Last Updated on 27 February 2015
- Published on 27 February 2015
- Written by Meltem Arikan
- Hits: 406
Crying always inside,
women’s tears are cried out
Words scattered beyond reach
hopelessness engulfs you
Bodies and beyond bodies
subject to pain
To be woman is torment
To be woman is crime
Feel no shame
On with talking
On with judging
Holding women down
with ingenious rules
conscience and empathy supplanting
İf I wasn’t cried out I could cry out
Somebody might hear my voice
Cascading rip the silence
Meltem Arıkan is a Turkish novelist and playwright. Her fourth novel Yeter Tenimi Acıtmayın (Stop Hurting My Flesh) was banned in early 2004 by the Committee to Protect the Minors from Obscene Publications, with the accusation of "Writing about the non-existing incest fact in Turkey, attempting to disturb the Turkish family order with a feminist approach.” The ban was lifted after two months and Arıkan has been awarded with “Freedom of Idea and Statement Prize 2004” by the Turkish Publishers’ Association. She published her 9th novel in 2009. Stop Hurting My Flesh was recently republished in Turkish and will be published in English in 2013.