[The Seven by Nine Squares home page] [YAWN 37] [Art Strike 1990-1993]

PSYCHOLOGY Inside and Out

Cultures draw lines to separate the inside from the outside of themselves. The magical pentagram that an adept Faustian magician draws around him as he dares face the realm of dreams, demons, and self-contradictions is a symbolic barrier that he hopes will keep the "good" within and the "bad" without. The Mephistopelean message he begs of the cosmos is a self-temptation to receive without harm both what scares and motivates him. This is a mystical moment; it is also an event currently de ned by society as a "psychotic episode."

The distinction between psychotherapy and mysticism is a symbolic wall. It is a line drawn that makes spirituality circumspect and any spiritual assertion "symptomatic." Psychology is a form of behavior control that tells practitioners of "culture" exactly what the acceptable parameters of subjective experience and ritual will be. Currently, it countenances no version of "spiritualism" because society cannot "verify" to itself such arcane notions. This is the same as saying that society mistrusts its members, and if so, perhaps society is on a decline. For however "irrational" may be society's wellsprings, they are to be answered with better than derision.