An Interesting book.

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Submitted by Arnold on
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I ran across a book recently that intrigued me a great deal and I think is giving me clues for self-healing. It was called : A First Rate Madness by Nassir Ghaemi.

His premise is that psychological health is not always good in a leader and psychological illness not always bad. Amongst his survey of many famous leaders and their struggles with mania, depression and manic-depression were the Nazi leaders at the Nurenburg trials . Interestingly they came out as psychologically healthy (Hitler was dead by then). Their violence, however, was quite obviously extreme. In my mind, it put into question the value of the diagnostic system being used. Unfortunately, we still use it today.

I think there is alot of violence in our culture that is seen as psychologically healthy. Most intimate relationships between men and women that I'm aware of are mostly driven by politics (power over the mate) rather than cooperation and mutual support. (When you are stuck together, need each other to get high and/or raise the kids, and don't know how to heal with each other, what else are you going to do?) Interestingly the control group that came closest to mirroring the Nazis were Kansas state troopers. It was suggested that they both share an interest in having power over other people. It made me wonder about Cold War military officers with whom I am far more familiar.

It's very refreshing for me to see that the most violent people in our culture are considered "healthy". No wonder I struggle. Smile

If you have a chance to read the book, I highly recommend it.


My theory about relationships

is that the "power over" aspects are sometimes born of neurochemical ripples that make people who are insecure overreact by trying to control or manipulate others.

I say that because the power struggles tend to fall away when couples switch to karezza. There may still be honest disagreement, but it feels like disagreement between teamates rather than warring factions.

I agree that true power and gentleness can go together. The idea that power is only control is mistaken.


Hi Marnia,

Thanks for your thoughts. I sometimes wonder if it's the thought pattern (insecurity) or the neurochemical ripples that come first. Maybe it's a chicken and egg thing with both operating in concert? Too bad that Hitler wasn't into Karezza eh? Smile

I can imagine that power struggles fall away with an approach to intimacy like Karezza. I've had a very brief glimpse of that. I haven't found anyone that's interested in anything but sex or politics (same thing in my experience) around here since that one brief experience a couple of years ago. Karezza is such a different world. Around here, it seems to be a good idea in theory. Reality is about getting laid, making babies and staying in a relationship regardless of the cost.

Recently, after experiencing an intense degree of anger around my experience of local people, I decided that if I want a love-based community around me, I'm just going to have to do it in spite of the people around me. It seems that as long as I show an interest in women, I get sucked into their politics one way or another. So I decided that creating that kind of connection with my own body might be a good place to start. So far, it seems to be working. My body is responding to my sincere interest in its needs (as part of my spiritual interests rather than simply trying to keep the ?!#@$ thing alive) and my more loving inner dialogue with it. I'm curious where this direction will lead.

Perhaps once this better dynamic with my own body is solidly established, I'll be in a less needy place with respect to women (I'm sure that women often trigger a mother-child survival trip in me), and perhaps be better able to keep the energy moving in a healthier direction. Maybe then, they'll start to show an interest in a healing approach to intimacy such as Karezza with me. Regardless of the eventual outcome, it's nice to have a friendly, loving connection with my own body. It's a relief from the intense pain I've often been through.


The challenge

Hi Marnia,

Thanks for your observations on Karezza. I certainly expect them to be true. The challenge for me is that when I get my mind fixated on a particular approach to healing which needs a partner who doesn't exist, the frustration in me can get intense. That doesn't really help. It's useful for me to have a number of possibilities for healing available and pursue the one that seems most rewarding and possible given the available resources (human or otherwise). Perhaps, some day, a local woman will wake up to the possibility and I'll be able to explore Karezza with her. At this point, however, it's just not possible. Around here, the lights are on, but no woman is home. Politics rules the day. Sigh. I'm also extremely sensitive to sexual politics and react to it physically and emotionally intensely. That doesn't make it easy.



Snap your fingers.

Hi Marnia,

Now wouldn't that be the trick! Smile Snap your fingers, wiggle your nose and voila! instant partner! Smile
I wish.

If you ever run across that kind of magic, please let me know how it works.

Otherwise I guess it'll just take whatever time it takes. Working on a healthy, loving mental/emotional connection with my own body seems to be the order of the day for me for now.

Thanks for writing.