Do you have control (or does control have you) ?

Hillman: ... "You are out of control," "I am out of control," are big sentences now in this culture. And the important thing is to be able to control your behaviour, get your shit together. I think control is one of the most dangerous words we've got right now in our vocabulary. First of all, it's a word that belongs with Honeywell, it's a "control systems" idea - that the controls (not the psyche or the Gods) are what run everything, run the ship, run the air conditioner, run the factory. Second of all, it's a word that belongs in the police world. So it's a combination of technological and bureaucratic or oligarchic or fascist. And it's become an ideal of therapy!

Ventura: And yet when your life is out of control --

Hillman: When is your life out of control? Tell me about it.

Ventura: When you're falling in love your life's out of control. And when you're falling out of love.

Hillman: Your life is very out of control! Out of control.

Ventura: You get fired or let go or have an accident, your life's out of control.

Hillman: When you have a breakdown of any kind - bankruptcy, a death, a big illness - your life's out of control.

Do you realize the conditions we've just described are the great dramatic moments of life?

Ventura: Which we're supposedly living for!

Hillman: That's what we're living for. Falling in love, being heartbroken by love -

Ventura: - revelations that turn you inside out -

Hillman: - mourning and grief -

Ventura: - victory, defeat - because when you get a big victory you're often as out of control as when you're badly defeated -

Hillman: - losing it, finding it -

What is all this emphasis on control? Isn't that what they call secular humanism, to ban the Gods?

Ventura: We're banning the Gods -

Hillman: - with that control system.

Ventura: We want to control all the things you supposedly live for - all those things that, if you get to be an old person, and have not had them, you go, "What was my life about?"

Hillman: All the times you drove through the storm, all the times that bastard broke your heart.

Ventura: And the old-timers smile and cry when they tell the stories. So on one level what you want is to be out of control, and on another level you're fighting that. That's your dialectic.

That's called, being around on the planet.

Hillman (laughing): That's called being around on the planet.

[James Hillman]
with Michael Ventura
We've Had a Hundred Years of Psychotherapy - And the World's Getting Worse, p.203, 204

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Live the straight and narrow
Incursions of the Unknown