This post was originally written as an e-mail to a psychotherapy group
Ladies and Gentlemen
I have been thinking about yesterday’s Group. There are one or two things that came up, which I would like to discuss.
The first thing I would like to mention is that we spent quite a lot of time discussing politics. In some groups, the discussion of religion and politics is banned. I don’t want to do this for two reasons. First, because religion and politics can have a profound influence on a person’s mental health. Second, because of the very fact that other groups ban the discussion of these important issues, I believe there is even more need for a group like ours to discuss them!
I say religion and politics can have a profound effect on a person’s mental health. I am not simply going to leave it there. I am going to give you an example from my own life. At the age of nine, I went to a Roman Catholic School. They told me:
a) If I did not love God he would send me to Hell for all eternity.
b) Sex was wrong. Even sex between married men and women was wrong, if they actually enjoyed it.
Since my Roman Catholic teachers were arrogant enough to spout this nonsense, I am going to be equally arrogant in my reply to them: What they said was pernicious nonsense. However, as a nine-year-old boy, subject to this indoctrination every day, I bought into it for at least five years. It had a seriously detrimental effect on my mental health.
Believing that one’s entire life (and eternity) is subject to a vindictive and spiteful monster (The Roman Catholic conception of God) can have a huge impact on one’s mental health. This is especially the case when one is also told that this vile creature is all seeing and all powerful and can see every single thought in one’s head.
Subject to a Roman Catholic education, one more or less feels that one would be better off to simply cease to exist, rather than endure such a horrible state of affairs. However, since the Catholics also tell one’s soul is eternal, suicide is not an option. As Shakespeare’s Hamlet realises (“But in that sleep of death, what dreams? Eh. There’s the rub”) killing one’s self would mean escaping the threat of Hell by diving straight into the eternal reality of it!
That’s one aspect of my religious education, which damaged me and would have continued to damage me, had I not eventually realised it was complete and utter hogwash.
The other aspect of my religious education which damaged me was the fact that it put me at war with my sexuality.
I now believe that the Roman Catholic Church is nothing but a control mechanism, invented by Emperor Constantine, as a means of controlling the masses. If you put a man (or woman) at war with his (or her) sexuality, you have weakened them to the point where you can do whatever you want with them. They will never have the strength to oppose you. I believe this is the real reason the Catholic Church says sex is a sin. They say it because they want to enslave us!
Religion, the wrong sort of religion, can have a very pernicious effect on one’s mental health. That is why I believe religion is an appropriate subject for discussion within a psychotherapy group.
Now for politics:
Politics creates our reality. Politics (the politics or the rich and powerful) creates the very society in which we live. I happen to believe (very strongly) that the people who rule our world (especially the Tory party, but it’s not limited to them) do not have our best interests at heart. I believe the rich and powerful want all the wealth and all the power. I believe they could not give a rat’s arse about ordinary, everyday people, such as you and I. I believe this is creating a very hostile environment. I believe this has a profound influence on our mental health. It is, for this reason, I believe it is right to allow the discussion of politics in a psychotherapy group.
John Lennon once said that he thought the world was run by insane people with insane goals. Here he is saying it:
The World Is Run by Insane People – I agree with him.
I would be the first to admit that I have some very unusual ideas about religion and politics. That is because I spend, and have spent, a lot of time reading books or watching YouTube videos by (or featuring) people like General Wesley Clark, Naomi Klein, Naomi Wolf, George Galloway, Noam Chomsky, Christopher Bollyn and Francis Richard Conolly. If you are interested in what these people have to say, you will find links to their work (excepting Noam Chomsky – He’s brilliant but he’s ponderous. He sends me to sleep) on the Writers and Thinkers page on my own Website. Here is a link to it:
Richard’s Favourite Writers and Thinkers
I have gone on about this for far too long. I apologise. However, I felt it was worth putting my ideas about religion and politics (and why it is important to discuss these things) in writing. This is what I have done above.
There is a caveat to what I have said above. I am not saying, “I know the truth”. In my view, nobody does. One can only dig for the truth. One can never possess it pure and unalloyed with error and nonsense. This is (not least) because we live in a world literally flooded with lies and propaganda. There is more, however. I once took a degree in physics. Physics is a very good subject to study. The reason is simple:
Anyone who has spent any time whatsoever studying Relativity and Quantum Mechanics becomes aware of a very simple but important truth:
Nothing. But nothing is what it seems!