On liberation

I was inspired by a post by Dean J. Baker, of the blog Push My Fu*king Buttons, Please.  If you are easily offended, I encourage you to go read and push his buttons.  Because he asked nicely.

I left a response on his blog that I wanted to remember here, for me.  I need the brain tickle.

I’ve been very interested in Wilhelm Reich’s influence on character development, bioenergetics, self-regulation, and the work he did with Alexander Lowen in trying liberate people and return their good sense to them.

There is a tremendous potential for liberation if people could wake up to the fact that they’ve been been alienated from their natural drives and tendencies through shaming by others…and really know they don’t HAVE TO stay that way.

Shame is a POWERFUL de-motivator, (which, by the way is first introduced in CHILDHOOD, a nice legacy of pathological pedagogy.  I dare you to go read Alice Miller’s work, and you’ll know what I mean).

Which I think might be (well, I highly suspect IS) why most people who haven’t detached from the shame response can be mastered by those who know how to induce it.

Thought I’d share something I recently discovered,


On another note, have you read Bernay’s Propaganda?


It would be in everyone’s best interest to find their path to liberation, and sooner rather than later.

About Casey

“the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes ‘Awww!’ ~ Jack Kerouac, On The Road Again
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4 Responses to On liberation

  1. billgncs says:

    I once worked with a brilliant programmer from another country who commented about the US in general, “You people have no shame.” Sometimes I look about and think he might have been right. Just a thought that sometimes our boundaries define us for the better.

    thanks for the thoughtful post. It made me reconsider shame, its value and detriment.

    • Casey says:

      Ah, but what appears on the outside doesn’t reveal the whole story.

      Many people have been conditioned to the point of having no real autonomy over themselves and are subject to seek the approval of others (external orientation) versus self-approval (internal orientation). We are a heavily addicted culture. Our addictions to drink, drugs, food, shopping, drama, sex, point to the reality that they are masking our underlying shame. In addition, those addictions numb us and keep us enslaved. All the addictions work pretty much the same, to dull the senses and ameliorate the shame response. This doesn’t even touch the numbing we do with various sanctioned pharmacological agents meant to quiet our angst at being shut down in shame.

      If you step inside any 12-step program, the message deals squarely with shame and how addictions arise from that shame.

      The minute you step outside the dominant culture of your particular group, you will experience social pressure. If you haven’t mastered the shame response, going against the norms is a considerable challenge fraught with many perils.

      If you do what is expected of you, one encounters no pressure. But when you don’t, one encounters social tactics to keep one in line.

      Here’s one example:

      We live in a sex-saturated culture, right? But in many places, breastfeeding an infant in public is considered very shameful and many women are discouraged from the practice.

      Here’s another:

      Someone’s family are devout Catholics, Protestants, Muslim, Jewish, etc. How easy would it be if that person renounces faith or converts to another one? Or renounces the idea of Hell? ( for a really good interview about how a well-known evangelical Christian minister fell from grace because he renounced the idea of hell, you can listen to this interview here: http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/304/heretics)

      At yet another:

      The dominant culture is pro-monogamy. But there’s been a few studies to indicate that humans really aren’t truly monogamous for life. But rather than sanction ethical non-monogamy (ethical polyamory) and keep families intact, we sneak around and often enjoy the sneaking around BECAUSE of the heightened thrill sneaking around invokes (because at root, it’s deemed shameful), cheat, blame, divorce, and remarry with little concern for the effect on children. Try to have an open, honest, and informed conversation about polyamory and you’ll not get very far. Serial monogamy is sanctioned, but polyamory is not. It’s not because monogamy is inherently superior, but because people can hardly handle ONE relationship at a time. And it’s shameful to consider loving more than one person.

      And still another:

      There is a small but important population of underachieving gifted adults. I’ve spoken to many the world over via a message board for gifted adults. The NUMBER ONE issue they all faced was the stigmas associated with being gifted without emotional or financial support for their gifts. A young child’s precocity often irritates parents and teachers and if they question the teacher too much, there can be harsh consequences. They’ve been shunned by their chronological peers because of their out of the mainstream capacity for thought and barred from entering into the educational track where they can blossom. For some it’s due to financial constraints. For some women, it’s due to the fact that the most resources of the family go to the male offspring, not the females. In the workforce, the ideas generated by the gifted often go ignored. There is a high social cost for being highly intelligent and many gifted adults have been shamed throughout their lives for being intelligent.

      And my final example:

      How many adults have retained their creativity? Many children are naturally creative and express their creativity in original artwork. And how many teachers have squashed that natural capacity for originality by insisting that the product must accurately represent their subject (and therefore shaming the child)? The focus is on the product, NOT the process of creating. And of those children, how many grew up to retain free creative thought and expression? Most people have their capacity for creativity squashed by adulthood.

      Do you have 20 minutes to listen to this TED talk by Sir Ken Robinson about how schools kill creativity?

      He’s got other beautiful TED talks about changing educational paradigms…I’d encourage you to check out.

      Yes, this has been something I’ve been thinking about for a long time. Shame is what keeps people from truly knowing and accepting themselves and what they can’t accept in themselves they can’t accept in others, and shame keeps us from honest expression and true communion with others. Feel free to read some of my other musings on related topics



      Thanks for the comment.

      • billgncs says:

        I have seen that lecture – our schools are designed to make drones – but our whole culture is really about finding square pegs for square holes sitting in cubicles or factories.

        From my own experiences, I have found lack of love to be at the core of most issues.

        Here’s a lecture by a young man who was defined as autistic as a youth… Watch the vid – it is very interesting


        • Casey says:

          I’ve always been intrigued with genius, creativity, and autism (among a blizzard of other pet interests). Thanks for sharing the link. I’d be really interested in following up on that family, particular since they are fellow Hoosiers. As for me, my IQ is much, much lower. At least 120 (I didn’t have formal IQ tests, I took other tests converted into IQ). I’m dumb as toast in comparison, LOL.

          I’ve worked with some autistic/Aspergian kids as as substitute teacher. I am always intrigued by their minds and the minds of the ADHD/ADDers. They are some of the most creative kids I’d ever seen…

          I’d have to agree with your comment about lack of love. But not romantic love. Whitney Houston had it right when she said the greatest love of all is loving oneself. Not in a narcissistic way, but in nourishing oneself first before spreading it around to others. We should have been taught we had value as children by our parents That didn’t happen so much because traditionally we were conditioned to value the thinking life over the feeling life. The mind over the soul. Technology over poetry. Product over process.

          At any rate, so glad for the dialogue. I decided to check out your blog and I gave you a follow.

          I’ll check out the video later, I have some housework to do (never ends round here…)

          Be well.

          From one square peg….


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