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Psyche

  • Out of your head: depression and ecstasyDepression - Bournemouth © www.martinsouthwood.com

    I examine the absence of ecstasy and how this lack of ecstatic experience is leading to widespread depression and destroying the world.

  • Waves – a journey into the quantum nature of beingA 5th cenutry CE mosaic representing the sea-goddess Thalassa in the Hatay Archaeologic Museum

    Not everything is terrible. Spring flowers and shoots may not be completely cruel, a stranger is sometimes kind, and waves break on countless shores. Ah yes, the waves. Why is it that angry vicious heads cannot hear the teaching of the waves? I wonder if the regular pulse in the sea, the heartbeat of breakers, […]

  • Donald Trump and narcissism – why he needs to fall in love with himself

    Sugar and power are both compelling . Eric Hoffer said: “You can never get enough of what you don’t really want.” With addiction one might begin to see that what is really wanted is either not known or believed impossible.

  • Bad faith – a call for a return to imaginative play

    On a crowded train I see a young man studying the Evening Standard with such an expression of rapt intensity that it might be the Book of Kells. Another wrestles with the hard plastic surround of a new electronic device: I wince as he tears, crinkles and scrapples at the transparent moulding

  • Suicide and survival – a personal reflection

    The entrance to the Tomb I’m obliged to wait at the roadside for the 4WDs, trailing behind them their stinking invisible clouds of diesel fumes and privilege. I tell you I’m okay, fix your guilt, ease your disease, because to do otherwise would be unkind. And besides, I’m frightened for your fear, knowing that my […]

  • In the woods – fear, love and the erotic

    Preamble I felt compelled to give this piece about fear an introduction, to explain it, but it is not an apologia. I wrote some time ago about honouring depression, about allowing depression to live rather than further depressing the psyche by talking to it with the voice of reason (there’s more here) and the irony […]

  • Walking the walk – honouring depression

    Some time back I wrote a piece about depression (you can read it here). In the piece I suggested that by being in nature we can honour our depression rather than attacking it. This isn’t about ‘cure’, or a moral injunction (“go and have a good walk, that’ll do you good”), it’s about valuing oneself […]

  • Love in the Ruins – why service heals guilt

    He registered a dizzy 7.6 mmv over Brodmann 32, the area of abstractive activity. Since that time I have learned that a reading over 6 generally means that a person has so abstracted himself from himself and from the world around him, seeing things as theories and himself as a shadow, that he cannot, so […]

  • A little piece about DepressionDepression

    What tyranny still surrounds depression, the ‘illness’ generally considered to be endemic to Western culture, and what fear and loathing. How quickly we defend against our trips into the cold reaches of Saturn, with manic entertainments (Saturnalia) and the ritual consumption of pills. At work a sad demeanour is treated with suspicious sympathy at best, […]

  • Zombies, Neoliberalism and Nature

    The dreadful sound of shuffling feet, and the hideous rattling groans, announce the arrival of the cultural phenomenon of zombie films and games, rich hunting grounds for psychological discovery. In this piece, with my crossbow to hand, I attempt to explore some of the possible figurative responses to the epidemic of zombies in Western culture. […]

  • Sark and the Barclays – a psychological perspectiveSark - Grande Grève

    Introduction I began this piece as a psychological perspective on the political situation in the Channel Island of Sark, but something happened to divert me into the lyrical and the ecstatic. Because the lyricism that came to me feels authentic I have let the piece stand as I wrote it, though it may appear disjointed. […]

  • A memoryGuinea pig

    Walking past a greengrocer I saw him line a box with cabbage leaves. Something different about the leaves first caught my eye, the dark crisp pungent green of them, the lighter veins, strong and juicy, the green looking almost knitted. I was eight years old and cleaning, probably under protest, my guinea pig’s hutch. I […]

  • The epidemic of running

    Where to? What from? Running has become an epidemic. For city dwellers it is now fast becoming impossible to enjoy a weekend walk – and while the internet is awash with articles extolling the benefits of running, there is precious little material that presents either the (very real) physical danger, much less the psychological risks […]

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