The New Age – Mental Health Connection

It’s difficult becoming enlightened. It’s difficult practising cosmic consciousness. Suddenly all these reasoning processes in your society are exposed as not very reasonable at all. For example it’s commonly assumed that age guarantees wisdom but often the opposite is true.

Yet parts of the New Age community commonly promote enlightenment as a worthy goal that will free the person from material concerns and Earth bound trivialities. Nothing could be further from the truth. Yes, expanded consciousness is important but by it’s very nature it’s incisive way of exposing reality can be dangerous to the user who is not prepared for the responsibilities. This is especially true in a society that encourages trust in leaders and experts. A person bought up in that society will find it a shock when expanding consciousness makes them into the leader and the expert.

One of the characters of the twentieth century who is curiously missing from many debates is Reich (a pupil of Freud). In fact he may be missing because of what he was saying. I won’t enumerate his arguments here. Reich is best consulted directly (see especially The Mass Psychology of Fascism) but he basically points out that so many problems that we are left with from the twentieth century are internally conflicted psychologies that have not been faced because so many refuse to take responsibility for tackling them. Many talk about freedom but seem unaware of the hard work that has to be done to keep and culture that freedom. Reich points out that the twentieth century is full of examples of the mass of people seeking freedom. They obtain that freedom but then become afraid of the responsibilities that need to be taken and retreat back into following leaders.

The mental health community can often be full of people seeking higher levels of consciousness. altered states, insights, shamanic experiences and greater freedom. But what is true in wider society is also true there. Once someone has grasped what they were seeking they are faced with the responsibilities that all humans are capable of tackling. Huge problems from the twentieth century and their potential solutions become glaringly obvious and very very real despite the “delusions” sales pitch of the mental health profession. The trouble arises when the individual hits the Reichian psychology. The true freedom is beset by a kind of terror of it and the individual can retreat back into low self esteem and avoidant behaviour that can often appear bizarre or neurotic. This is an attempt to avoid real freedom and all the responsibilities that it entails. This was identified in the 30’s and 40’s by Reich and is part of the underpinnings of what Fascism hijacks in man in order to gain control over him.

This is also expressed in society as well which is closely tied up with the mental health culture (it hardly happens behind closed doors). An individual can be identified as “behaving strangely” when they have merely hit the internally contradicted psychology at work in society. The desire to reject responsibilities can be stronger than the desire to help that individual. There is a real terror of bringing to light certain truths. So some people are mistreated. This of course creates collective guilt therefore further stymieing the process.

With the current shift going on from fourth to fifth worlds its going to be easier to confront these kind of issues. I highly recommend reading Reich as he is a wealth of insight into sometimes difficult and uncomfortable psychologies that although difficult can be understood.

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