“…[T]he state, even when made up of three hundred million zeroes, cannot possibly add up to anything but one big fat Zero….” (Jungian analyst Dr Wayness Tamm-Clattuc)
by Wayness Tamm-Clattuc
Everyone has “the terrible secret of a lifetime” concealed in their past; in this context, mine is none of your affair of course as I am not running for any elected office, and I do not aspire to tell off everyone in the whole world or else be all things to all people. Similarly, at least to the extent that you reading this preserve the oldtime middleclass amenities and the private idea, you are under no obligation to “tell all”.
We here are analyzing a public phenomenon, it is an article of public business and hence no question of the “impermissible” discussion of private mental contents can enter in.
Politicians as public figures because of the implicit vanity naturally set themselves up for much more searching treatment. This is the more so as, increasingly, through such studies as depth psychology and the work of the sufis, we see that the political realm is an important mechanism for diverting the weaker personalities; it is to be into a realm of self-absorption where they in effect can keep themselves out of the way of the more mature, or freer, creative personalities whose work, in the sufi phrase, “is in creating the the values of the Future”.
In the ordinary political personality, then, the two extremes in response to the guilty feelings in ones life are reticence and abnegation, as in the case of a Gandhi and with which of course we are not dealing in this case.
Or else there is an extreme drive to the “display of self”. It is by this same display to get a validation from external attention (polls, elections, getting on the radio and television and the internet) that must be endlessly renewed, to cover the void, or else self-horror and self-regret as in this possible case, lurking within. This “showing off” reaction is all the more hard to root out when it enters in in adolescence or late childhood; then there can result especially the continuous screaming for attention. Naturally, it all centers in adulthood on abducting “legitimate” issues with which to seal the compensatory “high up” identity. However, it remains driven by the child’s very real feeling, at bottom, in the dark, especially of having been overcome and overwhelmed, particularly by ones own capacity for doing evil.
The one good is that such a person will not so easily put on the halo of the innocent victim so false to our general human reality; and, the repeated attempt to do so in vain tells its own tale, certainly to the dis-illusioned eye of wisdom.
Naturally, though, the problem is still unconscious through suppression. And why ever not when the choice in the worst case is only suicide? The adult values will then center on such themes as “self-reliance” and personal responsibility; that is the nature of the compensatory function. However, if in an analysis one tries too quickly to touch on this problem that the analysand is skirting so tenderly, why, they will just go right up the the moon and then you will really get your head washed, as we say in Bern! Sometimes the pussyfooting can go on endlessly and for years in a kind of “swindle analysis”, and the doctor of the soul simply has no choices in it all but to endure and go on and on with the endless circumambulation, or else to cancel the whole affair. What is at stake, as in all our lives, is the successful completion of the personality.
Over a lifetime, of course, to the wise it becomes how evident a self-compensation the outward-directed political career is, telling others what to do and seeking to be “the big bug”; how all of that, with all of its sometimes irresponsible extraversion, so often is nothing but a quest above all for self-redemption. Fortunately in such cases there are always jews, smokers or the obese to carry the can! I have commented in other places on the sheer range this can cover and I have contrasted the negative inferiority complexes of our first two “baby boom” Presidents with all of their palpable inner deficits, and the comparatively “positive” inferiority of our present President. So you can see for yourselves that, although I personally am quite conservative, I am also professionally objective enough to range the field; the topic now, however, is Congresswoman Michele Bachmann.
She has, as I see it, abducted for reasons of “self-talk” a set of values and beliefs and opinion which indeed do have a certain constitutional value and represent the real gold in so much of the emotionalism and dross, otherwise, of the “tea party” movement. These positive values are mine, and as an analyst, simply because the state, even when made up of three hundred million zeros, cannot possibly hope to add up except to one big fat Zero; and, still less can it play always the good parent. Therefore, the Congresswoman’s motives of course are not exclusively “bad”; motives and purposes, what Bodwyn Wook following emeritus professor of history John Lukacs calls “the push of the past and the pull of the present”, are complex and many-layered.
But, it is the lowest level that determines the final outcome, always:
In the extremest case, Adolf Hitler died in a sewer in Berlin. Sir Winston Churchill lingered for more than ten years in an awful senility, Dr. King succumbed to his own marytrdom in collusion with the hideous shadows of his killer, and two of the Kennedys were sacrificed to nothing but the vicious inferiority both moral and social of the driven sexualizing father. The run-of-the-mill Congressmen or county board members, by contrast, do not enjoy such extreme fates, but there is about it all an awful futility, anyway. Not all of us can even hope to have an inner attitude in the first place, of course, so in this context I am not suggesting that the Congresswoman has any sort of vivid sexual history for instance, far from it; it would perhaps be all to the good if only she did, naturally, as this would be closer to the admittedly low norm in the first place. That in turn would impose the saving demand on her, sooner or later, to shut up about it all and to get back down onto the common level! In such a case, some dirty highschool videocassettes from the first camcorders of the 1980s could be actually her paradoxical personal salvation, supposing they would even still play.
However, in a parallel early adolescent history of bullying, perhaps on the schoolbus and in the schoolyard as well as in the classroom, and over a period of several years, I am aware of a case that produced in adulthood parallel compensations. In the latter case which must remain anonymous it was of over-identification with christian religious contents in a cultic atmosphere. It happened in rather short order after a teacher ordered a pretty female student in a speech class to play the rejector-part in a “role-play” episode. The teacher’s shadow was a sewer of murderous evil intent and he infallibly picked on an ill-favored, poor and dirty youth in the class to be the rejected young man. The game was “asking for a date” and the youngsters were to perform ad libitum. The young woman sailed into her part with zest in front of her friends as a kind of ding an sich, and within the month the utterly broken young man who was a universal butt in the highschool here in western Wisconsin was dead by his own hand.
The woman came to me many years later after exiting a frenzied life of many indeterminate episodes; it turned out that the suicide of the young man in highschool to whom she had actually been sympathetic amounted to murder in her inner mind, and it was the great sorrow of her life. I am not saying she was centrally a figure or the instigator, nor I am saying so about Congresswoman Bachmann. But the doctor of the soul as does any other practitioner over the lifetime does develop a certain fingerspitzengefuehl for cases; we are all more typical than “individual”, after all, at least we are all merely social animals until real individuation can begin. I form the impression therefore from her public manner that Michele Bachmann may well indeed have a kind of similar undercurrent, perhaps no more than half-horrified and half-entranced teenaged onlooking, for instance at prolonged bullying to death of a classmate; and, that this is a matter of course in this case of the greatest public concern in view of the professed public intentions of the career, the claims of a high-value or even “moral” or “superior” position and so forth.
[all rights revert to holders
[26 January 2011]