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C37: Certainty and Urgency


Today’s episode borders on daytime TV drama – if only Daniel and I had lamps to throw at each other!

Just kidding. Sort of.

Daniel first talks about stating things as fact, the challenges of giving the “answers” without “showing his work,” then reads his first draft of a new essay (only hours old), “The Briefest Nutshell of My Whole Point of View.”

I thought the essay was awesome for lots of reasons, one of which was that it shines a glaring light on “the gap” that I experience between Daniel’s point of view and my own.

More food for thought, in case your thoughts get as hungry for food as mine do.  Although to be honest, at the moment I’m feeling rather stuffed and ready for a nap.


5 comments to C37: Certainty and Urgency

  • Paul

    Looking forward to the upcoming season!

    For me, this matter of rushing illuminates what I was trying to say in criticism of Daniel as a father figure.

    I picture Daniel as a father who’s rushing his kids to get their shoes on, shouting at them and telling them to do it the way he has told them.

    Perhaps Daniel is unconsciously transferring/projecting/acting out (i’m not sure what the correct term is) the treatment he received as a child, not onto his children, but onto his audience, his surrogate children, perhaps.

    So, maybe Daniel or his audience arn’t fairing any better from him not having had children, for as long as his traumas remain unresolved, as he would say, he will act them out on others and retraumatize others as he has been traumatized himself.

  • Paul

    It occurred to me some of what I like about Amy and her podcasts. One thing which I find so refreshing is that she is in a way puting herself out there but not as someone with a message or anything but as someone who is just being honest and vulnerable and questioning. It seems that a lot of people put themselves out there because they are trying to do something in particular. I like the way Amy seems open to questioning herself all the way down and puts herself out there as a kind of anti-message: just a person that doesn’t know anything for sure. Okay, I’m sure there are motivations untold, and sometimes they are made known, but to these too, she seems alert and willing to question.

  • Phil

    Hi Paul – when did Daniel say he intended to rush people? I get the sense from you, and Amy, that you think Daniel is advocating the “rushing” of people directly. I don’t feel he’s saying people should do anything to other people at all. What I interpret him saying is that this “rush” is necessary because of how dire the situation is, ie. It’s not simply that the carpet is smoldering from an ember that’s escaped from the fire – indeed the entire house is ablaze. We need to get out! = We need to heal ourselves!
    For me this “rushing” is not something that can be willed anyway – it’s simply an effect of understanding. Healing my traumas has become of paramount importance in my life because of the understanding I’ve yielded from reading Alice Miller’s work, Stefan Molyneux’s, Daniel’s and seeking therapy as well.

    It has not been an easy journey. It took me a long time to realize my claims of “caring about the world” did not line up with my actions. On a daily basis now I think to myself – am I making choices that are aligning me with the defense of children, or am I abandoning them to the cumulative abuse of countless generations?

    “It seems that a lot of people put themselves out there because they are trying to do something in particular.”
    So… when you chose to comment on this podcast, is it you intended to do nothing in particular?

  • Paul

    Hi Phil

    I think those are valid criticisms you make. Without thinking about it too hard, I’m likely filtering, or projecting onto, what Daniel is saying some of the psychological stresses I am experiencing within myself at the moment. I don’t have a precise handle on what is going on within me but I’ve been thinking that something of it has to do with a problematic relationship between my superego and the other parts of my psyche. Therefore, I am perhaps overreacting to any sense I get that I am being told what I ought to do by Daniel.

    I see what you’re saying, that the urgency of change can be thought of, or just is, the response of understanding the reality of a situation in need of change. Maybe I don’t quite share in this exact understanding at the moment.

    I know Alice Miller and a bit of Stef as well. Including Daniel, the three of them all have some powerful ideas and are powerful communicators. But I think it’s possible that while they have all deeply interested me and many others, that their messages are problematic. I think it is healthy to crtically discuss their ideas which, in respect of Daniel, I have tried to start doing in my comments on this site. Daniel is publically putting out quite a forceful message and is making sweeping criticisms of people, especially parents. I think I wanted to suggest that he himself is perhaps not immune from these parent-directed criticisms just because he doesn’t have kids. So, while Daniel advises us not to have kids till we have substantially healed our traumas, I reflect this back to him, suggesting that perhaps we should not take a position of public influence, towards many of whom he will old enough to be their father, until he has done the same. I largely intend this as a rhetorical point for the sake of opening up ways in which Daniel’s meassage can be crticised, rather than a statement of fact, although I did not make that clear in my previous post.

    My friendly comments towards Amy were put in quite clumsy terms. Of course, we are all trying to do something or other by presenting ourselves on the internet. I just wished to sketch a quick distinction between what I see many self-help related website authors and forum posters doing to what I see Amy doing. I see Amy’s approach as open-minded and having less of a preconceived agenda than others and I find these qualities pleasing in her role as virtual happiness person. I would like to think that I share some of this approach in my own presentations although I am open to seeing otherwise.

    Really nice to engage with you, and I hope therapy related things are going well for you.

  • Julie

    Where did the month go?! I didn’t even notice this podcast was up!

    At the beginning, I briefly thought, “well. . .if only the smart people stop breeding. . .” Then that question was addressed, though briefly. It is a very important point. We need to stop thinking about children as ours/not ours. The aphorism “it takes a village to raise a child” is true. Children are not our possessions/projections. We live in a society (so called) that still believes that what one does with their children is none of anyone’s damned business unless we overtly abuse them.

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