Thursday, 21 February 2013

Terrarepression and Terrasublimation

A correspondent of mine has asked the following important question:

"What term can you/we invent to describe the general fear many people feel but are afraid to express about the world's ecological & social direction and the corporatocracy? I'm thinking of the fear that if I express my true passion and fears, I will alienate others, especially friends and family. This leads to silence/self censorship". (Paul Lipke 2013) My best response so far is:

Terrarepression conveys the idea that we try to deal with the stress of global dread and other negative psychoterratic conditions by repressing them in the classic Freudian manner. We can also temporarily sublimate them by shopping and consuming. However, terrasublimation would involve the deliberate 'disturbance' of that which is repressed and its replacement by terraliberating forces (terraliberation).
I tackled this idea in an essay about Organicism and the Organic University some time ago:

“Freud's psychotherapy was based, in part, on a process of 'transference' where there is a creative and empathetic engagement between therapist and patient leading to the patient's previously ‘repressed’ motives are unblocked and given release. Anderson (an Australian philosopher) links this particular application of cooperative 'assistance' to a more general ethical context. He argues:
But the same may take place within one person's mind, when a conflict is resolved and a new type of activity emerges by the aid of certain abiding motives or sentiments. This is the process of sublimation, where one motive finds for another a means of expression, provides it with a language, puts its own ideas before it as objectives. This is also the process of education. It may be argued, then, that all good motives have this power of transference or conversion, whereby from hitherto dissociated material a new motive is formed which can cooperate with the good motive.  Goodness is associative, evil is dissociative; goods have a common language, evils have not.”

To find good motives in the education of our children (and many adults) to overcome terrarepression and ecoretrogression (see post below) is the big challenge of our time.

As usual all this is work in progress! Get back to me at
 if you have a creative and constructive comment to make about these ideas and their value.

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