All posts by Bernard Gluckstern

Effective Modes Of Psychological Treatment

        The conversion of which I speak can only be accomplished through either spiritual or psychological processes and protocols. Within the clinical realm the arduous efforts to confront and neutralize their pernicious, false, and horribly negative self-perceptions, is achieved with the continuing assistance of a skilled therapist, initially in exploring the content of the individuals unconscious where these atrocious messages and warped notions reside.

         These communiques of misinformation have frequently been placed there over decades of reiteration by parents who themselves have sustained substantial scarring and cognitive deformities, as the result of the nuclear family environment in which they were reared. Subsequent to this investigation are attempts at behavioral modification implemented to remediate the self-destructive patterns of activity in which these individual are ensnared.

         In the absence of a successful intervention by clinicians or by continuing immersion in a program of spiritual enlightenment, the intergenerational transmission of pathologies continues ad nauseam, ad infinitum.

          However, within such spiritual practices as those found in twelve steps fellowships, ever-lengthening sobriety often produces beyond abstinence from drug or alcohol use, a mentality of substantial and warranted self-regard. It is as the result of the implementation of these steps in daily behavioral actions and the cognitive alternations which are possible by the retrieval of sanity, and the crucial task of invoking the assistance of a capability which transcends their personal resources, that this spiritual transformation is enabled.

         In addition, it is by the application of these modalities that the toxicity of self-loathing is supplanted by the awareness that we are deserving of self-esteem, intrinsically by virtue of our inherent status as sentient beings, as well as by the recognition that our conduct has been transformed from exploitive, manipulative, narcissistic, contemptuous, and self-absorbed, to a pattern of interacting with others that is customarily  considerate of their priorities and concerns.

          Moreover, this interpersonal modality is also kind and respectful in tone and tenor, and reflects a continuing desire to be of service to our fellows in a selfless manner, seeking no recompense other than the awareness  that these acts of kindness produce an extraordinary sense of well-being and  contentment, which far exceeds the pleasure they derive from any efforts predicated on self-seeking or ego inflation.

          The fundamental truth of the human experience is the sublime irony that the greatest happiness we can experience is attributable not to those efforts which seek as their objective  the augmentation of rewards or accomplishments for ourselves, but rather are derived from the exertion and actions we undertake to assist our fellow human beings.

           Those attempts to both mitigate the suffering they are experiencing whatever its causes, and augment their opportunities to live fulfilling and meaningful  existences, is the primary source of our contentment. It is in these acts that salvation and self- -transcendence can be found  beyond all other locations in the human experience.

          

Psychological Profiles

   Surely the group of CEO’s who comprise the Forbes 400 who are experiencing lives of unparalleled accomplishment, and who reside at the epicenter of an orbit of professional associates and reverential acolytes, must have acquired a peace, contentment, and sense of self-worth, that few others have known.

           However, for the vast majority of those who occupy those exalted locales at the pinnacle of these corporate and financial institutions, a quite different and in fact regrettable dynamic characterizes the fundamental essence of their awareness.

          Many of them who have devoted extraordinary effort in their quest to become CEO’s of these corporate behemoths, or in postures of a rabid entrepreneurialism have created companies that through their unrelenting efforts now reign supreme in their respective areas of commercial activity, are propelled toward these heights as the result of enormous insecurities and nuclear family pathologies.

          These disease syndromes have produced self-images that are deformed and reflect a primary sensibility of self-loathing, and an unremitting sense of inadequacy and deficiencies that often relate to physical characteristics of homely countenances, diminutive stature, and anemic or corpulent physiognomies.

           Thus, what frequently fuels their  desire to succeed is the transcendent need to demonstrate to detractors  that their assessments of their abilities were flawed, and their predictions of failure or mediocre destinies were in error.

           In the final analysis their vindication will be derived from their triumph to amass personal fortunes that exceed those other plutocrats, who are also engaged in the ruthless and all-consuming exertions to ascend to an ever more rarefied status on the holy grail of annual financial rankings, the Forbes 400.

           It is these rankings in their view which will demonstrate to other captains of industry and the general public the accomplishments for which they are responsible, and thus empirically demonstrate to all their superiority and the incomparable qualities they represent and embody.

          The crucial question which must be posed at this juncture is as the result of expending herculean energy and  virtually every waking moment of their consciousness in the pursuit of these financial objectives, when they have achieved their objectives and reside virtually alone on the apex of Mount Olympus, do they then experience  a sensibility that is joyous, passionate, creative?

        Are their lives  populated with loving family relationships, and substantive and rewarding sources of friendship, that nourish their capacities to become empathetic, selfless, compromising, and affectively vibrant, (all of which are required to create and sustain mutually beneficial human arrangements)?

           Regrettably, in most instances they assuredly do not experience that marvelous eventuality. For those who are compelled to demonstrate their fundamental self-worth and by the accumulation of wealth and the influence that flows from it, the traits of solipsism, self-absorption, narcissism, and obsessive-compulsive behaviors, as well as arrogance, contempt, and condescension, become ever more entrenched and preeminent as the central hallmarks of their consciousness and behavior.

            Continuing forays into episodes of alcoholic and pharmacological excess to anesthetize the isolation and boredom and emptiness of life in their palatial but sterile residences, recur with frequent regularity.

           Often in the quest to resuscitate a meaningful and substantial sensorial dynamic, repetitive immersion in  sadomasochistic sexual practices in which orgasmic and violent rituals commingle, are recurring requisite activities.

            However, the most tragic and cruel irony about the lives of those who are committed to this mode of existence is that regardless of the magnitude of wealth they acquire it is never sufficient to satisfy their appetites, or silence the insatiable demons that reside in their consciousness.

           It is patently impossible in the material realm to achieve the conversion of a state of frantic desperation and alienation into a consciousness in which serenity, Agape, and the joy of a leisurely immersion in  human fellowship emerges.

          Moreover, the profound yearnings and self-exploration of the wounds and vulnerabilities of an experiential compilation, in the both the past and current segments of their life, will continue to elude them as well in this physical environment.

 

 

 

Social Deficiencies (Economic)

   Examining contemporary American society through the lens of those moral prerequisites, what we discover is a civilization that in so many regards and contexts fails abysmally to translate these ethical underpinnings into institutional realities.

          Though various elements of our population are beset with disparate challenges that are endemic to their economic status in our financial hierarchy, all are buffeted by the evolving negative impacts of  ever-increasing concentrations of wealth among ever-decreasing miniscule numbers of our citizens, by the declining employment opportunities within our society as the technological juggernaut continues to replace human labor with computers, as well as by corporations that relocate manufacturing elements of their organizations to overseas locales where labor costs are less expensive.

           These trends trigger the unremitting, reality of unemployment statistics which when such categories as underemployment, part-time, and positions that have been stripped of health and other forms of traditional employee benefits are included,  impact approximately one-fifth of our fellow citizens.

          Among those who live in poverty, the struggle to  survive demands herculean efforts to obtain the meager  salaries of multiple minimum-wage jobs, as well as navigating the challenges of public assistance programs, to supplement these anemic wages.  Health care even with the advent of the Affordable Health Care Act remains beyond the financial capacity of millions of Americans.

           Drug and alcohol dependency are escalating in all segments of our nation, but particularly within our deteriorating urban cores, where the physical environments  continue to crumble and become uninhabitable. As a result residents desert their unsafe homes and deteriorating neighborhoods, awash in crime and single parent households, and a disintegrating social and religious fabric that reflects the harsh, cruel, lawless, communities that these regions have become.

         Ultimately the hopelessness that afflicts these individuals depletes their will to escape this imprisonment, and they become resigned to futures that are bereft of joy, achievement, happiness, and material adequacy. When those for whom a life that is comprised of sorrow, emptiness, and extraordinary anguish, becomes insupportable, they exit from this human circumstance by their own hand.

          And if the plight of those who dwell in these society’s basements of impoverishment is appalling, the contemporary circumstances of the middle-class is not a significant improvement. Declining median incomes, stagnating wages, evaporating jobs, are cumulatively eroding both the material platform and psychological serenity of this segment of our fellow Americans.

          Moreover, the supreme irony is the financial circumstances of those who have succeeded in attaining an asset base which places them in the upper-middle class and beyond, (with the exception of the miniscule numbers who comprise the apogee of our pyramid of wealth) is the intensifying pressures to retain their privileged status in an economy that continues to shed employees and reallocate to ever fewer senior executives in the corporate and financial communities, remuneration packages comprise of salaries, stock options, perks, and retirement incentives that dwarf in some instances their average employees income by a multiple of 300.

          

Content Of Ethical Values

          From these three points of consideration i.e. major religious traditions and Humanistic, and Existentialist philosophy value systems other equally critical necessities flow. The crucial obligation to view human beings as inherently deserving of unqualified respect, and personal sovereignty, as innately capable of contributions to our collective welfare, and as demanding by simple virtue of our human status, environments in which ample opportunities are provided to enable these individuals to experience the full richness of a robust and dynamic spiritual and intellectual consciousness, as well as a social atmosphere that will make provision for the satisfaction of their basic requirements.

         

 

Sources Of Social Wisdom

Social wisdom can be detected within both the theologies of the ancients and the more contemporary assertions of those who embrace the central tenets of the philosophical system of Humanism, and that aspect of existential epistemology which embraces the teleological dynamic. In these realms whether the source is a prophetic Judaism or the Christian gospels, the revelations of Mohammed at the center of an Islamic consciousness, or the assertions of primary texts within Buddhism, and in sacred Hindu pronouncements, can a normative predicate be discovered.

In other sources which are secular in character such as Aristotelian and Kantian epistemological prescriptions, and within the optimistic life-affirming existentialism of Camus, can we unearth a commonalty of vision and moral definition that speaks to the most imperative requirement of all civilizations; i.e. to regard both the individual human life and the collectivity of mankind as inviolate entities and sentient beings of unparalleled intrinsic value.