Have Your Cake and Eat It?… Impossible!

Nov 15, 2013 by

Note: The above is an old saying which means, if you eat the cake you no longer have it.

Almost every patient that looks for help from a psychotherapist seeks something at the outset that they can never get: They want relief from the consequences of their self-destructive behavior but they don’t want to change their behavior.

At this time Costa Rica can be likened to a neurotic individual who is driving itself more and more crazy every day. Like those who suffer from self-administered conflicts, Costa Rica is on a collision course toward self-destruction.

The other day I heard a television commentator (all dressed in white to commemorate The International Day of Peace) say something like: “Thank God we live in this island of peace. God bless Costa Rica for that. Too bad however, that we have so much violence. It’s pathetic. All kinds of crime including murder is the order of the day and no one seems to be exempt; but how fortunate we are to be in Costa Rica, the land of peace.” The commentator also noted that she had been in television for many years and for all that time the main theme has been violence and associated atrocities. What kind of peace is she talking about?

Now we are asked to accept the notion that we have two alternatives to cure the violence. One, counter violence (violence engenders violence) and two, community education that informs our citizens of the consequences of violent behavior and the like. Like the neurotic patient, there is no self-exploration in these tactics and as such the promise of spiraling even more devastating violence maintains its devilish trajectory.

The powers that be and their extended families want us to play in the big leagues. Even though we’re little, they want us to play as if we were big. In psychology, we call that inappropriate self-glorification—“ego ideal”— which is an unconscious defense mechanism that doesn’t correspond to reality.

Additionally they tell us that we must concentrate on attracting big industries and big money to invest in Costa Rica, and with that will come the fulfillment of what others tell us should be our primary goals: Employment, employment, and employment which of course means; serve the passions and objectives of others, renouncing our own creativities, acumen, idiosyncrasies and special yearnings.

The so called big business which has been questioned for so many years has an inherent dependency on technology which obligates us to prepare people to operate and maintain equipment of one kind or another. In the process of dedicating oneself to technology one is supposedly led to believe that family life not only will not suffer but will benefit from these machines that are foreign to the basic Tico nature. (I believe they are foreign to everybody’s nature.)

The “educational” preparation to satisfy the needs of the machines and those who own them, distract people: As they knock themselves out to get a few bucks, they lose hope of ever integrating with higher special energies. They spend their money on goods and services invented and offered by other out of touch human beings. Satisfaction is non-existent. What is sought after is momentary irritation which substitutes for the potential of a life full of love.

Women are encouraged to get out and get money to supposedly strengthen the “position” of the family which in actuality is great promotion for criminal life of all kinds. It’s a more than vicious circle: Children are abandoned to, at best, day care centers usually “manned” by women who “have to” abandon their own families and feel the guilt and frustration inherent in that. (I can just hear some flat affect congressman (woman) pooh-poohing the devastating effects of this absence-of-love routine.) The abandoned children feel they are worthless. They are not taught to have worth by capacitating them according to their strengths and limitations. They are taught they have no purpose…”yet.” This formula of abandonment and purposelessness is perfect for the formation of an army of delinquents. This same formula however is extolled in our society as the route to progress and prosperity. In reality what we see is domestic violence, divorce and general humiliation of the spirit of life in the name of what’s “best” for us.

All the while we live with the specter of increased costs of living, increased taxation; increased pollution, increased life manipulation (food, water, air, energy sources are heavily taxed and controlled). At the same time refreshing, life-enhancing alternatives are summarily suppressed. The burden of these obligations doesn’t offer time or peaceful enough circumstances to adequately reflect on what we’re doing. The likes of introspection, meditation, and solemnity in interaction are shunted off into the misunderstood and not understood. Possibilities for the emergence of a more reasonable spiritual climate are the butt of snide sarcasm. As so many gringos say, “First, we have to feed the monster.”

No Costa Rica, you can’t have your cake and eat it too. The answer for all of us is self-understanding and self-perception. That entails the recognition of our strengths and weaknesses such that this hysterical quest for empty “luxuries” will stop separating those with money from those who are held at margin and practically forced to turn to criminality and violence to express their helplessness and indignation.

The product of self-understanding and self-perception is what the great philosophers, psychologists, and religious leaders of all time have yearned for and in some cases even practiced: A unity, an identification with the spirit of all mankind and all that is intimacy and respect for our essence. That definition is incompatible with a society that forces its inhabitants to live in senseless conflict with themselves and society itself. The problem is that we don’t have a tangible enough understanding of what the conflicts are and where they come from which leaves us doomed to live as victims of obsessions, compulsions, addictions and wayward passions. What’s more, as sexual beings we are stimulated by and are forced to adhere to these negative energy formations because they convert themselves into sexual preferences. The outcome is we don’t know where or how to start a betterment of things because we don’t understand who and what is the enemy (which is the energy force in each of us that insists on and practices the pursuit of suffering).

Of course we deny everything that’s been stated here. Why? Because we want our cake but we want to eat it too! Absurd!

Note: To begin your adventure in self-understanding and self-perception, read We’re Having Sex Right Now! by Dr. William E. P., Fairmont, author of this article.

Dr. William E. Paer Fairmont Clinical Psychologist

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