Rank Soul and The End of Blogging

Started reading Otto Rank yesterday–Beyond Psychology. It’s probably the most jolting, direct writing I’ve ever encountered. A deep wave of sadness has overtaken me since facing his words. A sadness that has not (mostly) left since. It has made everything I’ve ever written or thought about seem so useless, superficial, and abstract. All of the political, theological, cultural, social, philosophical, technological, psychological, scientific theories and facts. They have their place. Others can do a better job (for now anyway) at them.

He writes that all of mainline psychology has been predicated on the belief that the ir-rational is to be made rational. The issue we have been told is one of being “un-conscious” or “sub-conscious” which requires then a movement to make conscious (rational) what is inherently ir-rational. However effective in certain ways these procedures, they have always existed to promote an overly ideational-conscious only model, which is easily co-opted by Systeme, the abstracting social and political forces of Death and Control in our World.

What if the ir-rational and rational are always to remain in tension, thereby becoming the source of creativity and acts of liberation?

I’m starting to think Rank was on to something big.

The deep wave of sadness indicates that I am being pulled away—for some period of time anyway–from relative truth. All relative truths. Even relative words used to point to the Absolute. Even relative schemas of the trans-schematic. My heart is simply crying and pulled apart and its time I just sit in the misery of the Absolute and let the sorrow flood.

Rank has silenced me. There is nothing for me to say. This is how I feel.

Not much point in long posting, thought out pieces on this blog in my current state of mind. I have nothing left for that. I may link articles I find (relatively) of value, though no guarantees.

I feel the pain of the entire Universe and in the face of that I don’t know how to respond. I don’t know what point speaking in the more intellectual-academic manner I normally do matters—for now. I’m not in that teaching-socially constructed role at this point in my life and my words are not doing anything to ease the pain of the zillions upon trillions of beautiful, suffering beings.

I’ve been so afraid of “Zen-sickness” being just melting primarily into the Absolute as an escape. In my desire not to fall into that trap, I’ve apparently swung the pendulum too far in the other direction. I have sought to live completely in Relativities.

The “cure” to this “sickness” will not be found outside.

It’s time I cut even the however faint and nebulous psychic-emotional ties I’ve bonded myself to through this work.

It’s time for it to die. Perhaps it will be re-born at a later time, in a new form. But for now, it is a time for endings.

God bless you all. Love, CHRIS

Published in: on March 8, 2006 at 1:48 pm  Comments (5)  

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5 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Every temple man has made, every religion, every rule, every apologia, they are all as dust once you stand before the Living God. I hear you deep.

    Don’t fall too hard under the burden of your past. You have realized that your position is too far in one direction – good! (How many religious people never realize that?) Move toward the center. Meh, forget moving. For now, maybe, just be still.

    In the Buddhist (I think?) tradition, once one reaches enlightenment, he returns to live a regular life among regular people. The fullest life is lived neither strictly in the clouds nor soley on earth, but both-and.

    May you find your heart toward God always.

  2. Chris, there’s a lot of this going around. My friend Isaiah just stopped his blog, Mark has been on hiatus, and I’m withdrawing temporarily.

    As I’ve read your entries, I’ve been quite struck by your intellectualism, which I expect you know is a great strength, but in terms of awakening, it’s a challenging obstacle. I know this, because my teacher has been helping me with this for a couple of years now. (And yes, the egoic mind can be disciplined.

    My gut reaction is don’t be afraid of getting “Zen-sickness.” Only after you’re awake can you really decide whether to become a Buddha and enjoy Nirvana or a Bodhisattva-Christ and try to wake us up as well.

    There’s nothing at all wrong, though with sharing the process as you experience it–in fact, I look forward very much to your future posts on this. But it is different from reacting to the world as the real, which I’ve sensed you’ve been doing to an extent. It’s also different from analyzing the metaphors and maps… Identifying the “quadrants” of the labyrinth is not a substitute for walking it. As you focus more on your internal journey, your intellect will become more the car that you drive and will drive you less with its distractions and insistence that mental reality is ultimate reality.

    You’re right that the answers will not come from the outside. So go in!
    Find the real, and tell us about the adventure!


  3. Chris,

    Do what you must do, of course. But lest you discount them altogether, please also know that the words you’ve posted here have, in fact, done something to ease the pain of this particular beautiful, suffering being.


  4. Chris

    Just to say that I’ve read you E/W article and found interesting & helpful. I’m studying social psych with the UK’s Open University, and the articles, especially VII, are great.

    Hope your reflection goes well – I’ve ordered Otto Rank’s Beyond Psychology, and look forward to getting stuck into it.

    In terms of articulating the sickness, I have found some of Aimee Mann’s songs helpful – including some of those in the film Magnolia.

    Take care of you and yours.
    Tim Page

  5. And I too agree with all of the above. However, I also think this is all part of growth and letting go.

    Right now I have two dogs that are dying. The first of the three passed on in December! (All are within the 16 year mark and I knew this would happen, but not at once.) I will be putting them down within the week.

    One of them was my sister’s dog – my sister died a few years ago and we were in the midddle of a 6 month tiff! I did not have an easy time of it – guilt and more guilt left me feeling very very sad, to say the least. At any rate, I got her dog and have kept my sister with me…now the dog is fading and I won’t have my sister with me any longer, other than memories.

    My point is simply, life happens! We can’t hide from it or dress it up as something more or less than what it is. It is up to us to do the living and get out of our own way. For me, it is in letting go of sadness and sorrow and moving into something else. I don’t know what your burden is or your past, but whatever it is, it is within your ability to let go and move on to living in full. The idea of psychology is to understand and then live!

    Be well,


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