15. Negative Capability

Negative Capability is an idea first penned by the poet John Keats. He was talking about the greatest writers’ ability to hold onto artistic beauty even if it creates confusion and uncertainty. The tolerance of being able to have an idea and celebrate it even though it might not make sense.

Wilfred Bion a British Psychoanalyst expanded on the idea to mean an openess of mind. He described this as a life skill. To be able to tolerate the hurt and confusion of not knowing: rather than imposing a rigid template of certainty onto something unclear or out of control. In terms of Zen it was the talent to give up the self, to submit the self to obtain greater insight and understanding. A letting go of the ego to be open to other natural forces.

A skill to have in a lockdown? The ability to tolerate fear and uncertainty in the face of the unknown?

Copyright Adrian Scott North London Counsellor Blog 2020
All Rights Reserved
Disclaimer: This weblog is the view of the writer and for general information only
This article is designed to provoke argment and critique

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Negative Capability is an idea first penned by the poet John Keats. He was talking about the greatest writers’ ability to hold onto an artistic beauty even if it creates confusion and uncertainty. The tolerance of being able to have an idea and celebrate it even though it might not make sense.

Wilfred Bion a British Psychoanalyst expanded on the idea to mean an openess of mind. He described this as a life skill. To be able to tolerate the hurt and confusion of not knowing: rather than imposing a rigid template of certainty onto something unclear or out of control. In terms of Zen it was the talent to give up the self, to submit the self to obtain greater insight and understanding. A letting go of the ego to be open to other natural forces.

A skill to have in a lockdown? The ability to tolerate fear and uncertainty in the face of the unknown?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



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14. Threat Anxiety

These times of stress and threat of the unknown mixed in with a dose of death create understandable anxiety. Industrial nations are not good at dealing with anxiety. Avoidance of anxiety is key in the West.

Keep stressed to avoid anxiety which makes us more stressed!
We produce, create, at any cost do – to control the anxiety. Threat Anxiety

Control is a big capitalist seduction. To be brought up in a culture of control, subliminally creates in us the deceit that control is possible. Control of work, money, death, family, children, and what we put into our bodies.

As humans we might be happier believing that control is not possible all the time. Control is at times futile. But to give it up feels counter intuitive.

To cope with anxiety our primitive brain goes into fight, flight, or freeze mode. The West has frozen in reaction to Climate Change and the present pandemic. If it is far enough away: it doesn’t count and will not affect us. Suddenly its here and panic kicks in. Less anxiety (far away) too much anxiety (its here).
That is the way we like it here. Avoid avoid avoid – then oh sh*t.

Being with anxiety is more tricky. It sounds stupid – why would you want to be with your anxiety? It’s uncomfortable and makes us feel bad. The advantage of sitting with and meditating anxiety is that we get to know our own personal brand of it. Being with anxiety reduces the anxiety energy making it feel  more comfortable. This in turn allows us not to react with anxiety and make better decisions.

To be at the mercy of our anxiety/fears and prejudices is difficult.
But they are real. More real than pretending they are not there.

Copyright Adrian Scott North London Counsellor Blog 2020
All Rights Reserved
Disclaimer: This weblog is the view of the writer and for general information only
This article is designed to provoke argment and critique

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



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13. Lockdown Introvert

Introverts see themselves living in an Extrovert World. Through American Culture, particularly Hollywood – the characteristics of Assertiveness, Individuality & Getting what you want are all seen as positive talents.

Less positve are Quiteness, Shyness, & Lacking(?) Assertiveness. In Lockdown the Extrovert not used to being alone or in a limited group finds themselves anxious and alarmed.

While Introverts come into their own. No excuse not to meet people needed. Time spent with yourself doesn’t have to be explained or justified. Not playing the “humans are social animals” game a relief. Not dealing with other humans saves energy.
A Calm of Quiteness & Stillness covers the nation temporarily. Lockdown Introverts Enjoy!

Copyright Adrian Scott North London Counsellor Blog 2020
All Rights Reserved
Disclaimer: This weblog is the view of the writer and for general information only
This article is designed to provoke argment and critique

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Introverts see themselves living in an Extrovert World. Through American Culture, particularly Hollywood the characteristics of Assertiveness, Individuality & Getting what you want are all seen as positive talents.

Quiteness, Shyness, & Lacking(?) Assertiveness is seen as less positive.

In Lockdown the Extrovert not used to being alone or in a limited group finds themselves anxious and alarmed. While Introverts come into their own. No excuse not to meet people needed. Time spent with yourself doesn’t have to be explained or justified. Not playing the “humans are social animals” game a relief.
A Calm of Quiteness & Stillness covers the nation temporarily. Lockdown Introverts Enjoy!

Copyright Adrian Scott North London Counsellor Blog 2020
All Rights Reserved
Disclaimer: This weblog is the view of the writer and for general information only
This article is designed to provoke argment and critique



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12. Virus Anxiety

Virus Anxiety abounds. And naturally so. The virus is such a calamity that anxiety is a natural reaction?
Are we missing something?

The primitive brain is a natural anxiety trigger organ. Hardwired to protect, and keep us safe.
Anxiety gives us the edge to survive. We have survived very well. More than any other known species. 

Capiatlism feeds on anxiety. Life Insurance, Bigger House, Better job. We never have enough. Happiness, Perfect love. Never achieve what we feel we should have achieved. We have to keep aspiring. Bigger better. This makes us feel less than. Inferior. So we buy more to alleviate the anxiety. We strive for things which are not possible.

Anxiety is so embedded in us that when we are not anxious we invent something to be anxious about. Just keep it going. Better to be tense rather than relaxed. The media feeds on anxiety. Dramatisation, Panic, Fear. The emphasis on the worst case scenario. The bottom line. Anxiety or avoidance of anxiety creates a reactive behind the curve planning.

So when a calamity happens anxiety is waiting to be triggered. The virus is deadly serious. Countries showing cultural characteristics to risk. Panic buying irrelevant items. Testing and no testing. Underplaying or overplaying the risk. In crisis management – calmness, & clarity are taught to inspire employees to think clearly and create solutions. We need calmness, planning, clear thinking and proactive strategies.

But we are not going to get them, even though we demand them. Leaders are anxious. So – as all human endeavour is: muddled, imperfect, and compromised by our anxiety.
Anxiety creates anxiety. It’s what we are to survive.

Copyright Adrian Scott North London Counsellor Blog 2020
All Rights Reserved
Disclaimer: This weblog is the view of the writer and for general information only
This article is designed to provoke argment and critique



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11. Virus

2020 will be remembered for the spread of Coronavirus.
Crisis provokes learning. Ordinary times provoke avoidance and denial: not learning.
In the crisis of Brexit we learnt what we already knew but didn’t want to admit. A deeply divided nation with an  ever growing gap between rich and poor. Right and left giving us values so deep that neither can agree. But also an understanding that a whole section of the population is oppressed by the cruelty of global markets, and a perceived threatened way of life.

This virus has its reality. We don’t know much about it yet. Time lines of contagion or how it spreads. It will kill many vulnerable people. It has already illuminated totalitarian states denial of the start of the virus. Populist capitalist economies slow to put in place strategies. Putting self interest, stocks & shares above the weak and vulnerable. Underfunded health services yet to prove how unprepared they are. Tightly controlled governments exposed to be unable to control the uncontrollable.

The suffering and pain of families and friends losing loved ones before their time. Nothing can compare.

Yet it is our technological arrogance that we think we are immune from nature and history. Shakespeare’s life was dominated by plague. His fellow actors family and friends died. He wrote in self isolation. Plagues are a part of nature and history. They’ve always happened.
Irony that a cure for AIDS is being approved this month.

Copyright Adrian Scott North London Counsellor Blog 2020
All Rights Reserved
Disclaimer: This weblog is the view of the writer and for general information only
This article is designed to provoke argment and critique



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10. Corona Beer

Corona Beer sales have fallen. This is because it is being associated with the Coronavirus spreading all over the world. Drink the Beer and get the Virus. Some would dismiss this as stupidity and ignorance. How could you catch a virus from a beer? Fear beats logic?

But to dismiss is to miss. The human mind is more motivated by perception, particularly in times of stress and fear. Even more than logic. There is no logical sense to the Corona Beer scenario. But add fear of abuse, stress, dying or death: and the human mind starts to associate.

The mind does this to protect itself. We associate as a primitive reminder that we are under threat. It goes overboard so that any chosen(?) association can relate to the original trauma.

There are different levels. Lost love creates association of seeing the ex-loved in the street. The male perpetrator is associated being with men in power, men in confined spaces.

Perception and association inform our relationships and our lives. Call this association, projection, transference, or whatever. Ignore it and human behaviour becomes non-sensical even our own.

 

Copyright Adrian Scott North London Counsellor Blog 2020
All Rights Reserved
Disclaimer: This weblog is the view of the writer and for general information only
This article is designed to provoke argment and critique

 



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9. Stormy Oak

The Storm of 1987 was devestating to the tree population in Southern England and killed 22 people. It was not predicted and thousands of trees were blown down in the gale.
At Kew Gardens the Turner Oak was unwell and nobody knew why? The storm provided the explanation. Stormy Oak.

Visitors to the tree compacted the root table so the tree couldn’t feed itself properly. The force of the storm lifted the tree up and blew it over to an angle. It had to be propped up.

It was the last tree to be attended three years later and looked in rude health. The storm had lifted the root table giving it the air needed for the oak’s roots to breathe. From this experience trees all over the world were treated differently. With the root table given air in the soil to breathe.
Stormy Oak

Copyright Adrian Scott North London Counsellor Blog 2020
All Rights Reserved
Disclaimer: This weblog is the view of the writer and for general information only
This article is designed to provoke argment and critique

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Storm of 1987 was devestating to the tree population in Southern England and killed 22 people. It was not predicted and thousands of trees were blown down in the gale.
At Kew Gardens the Turner Oak was unwell and nobody knew why? The storm provided the explanation. Stormy Oak.

Visitors to the tree compacted the root table so the tree couldn’t feed itself properly. The force of the storm lifted the tree up and blew it over to an angle. It had to be propped up.

It was the last tree to be attended three years later and looked in rude health. The storm had lifted the root table giving it the air needed for the oak’s roots to breathe. From this experience trees all over the world were treated differently. With the root table given air in the soil to breathe.
Stormy Oak

Copyright Adrian Scott North London Counsellor Blog 2020
All Rights Reserved
Disclaimer: This weblog is the view of the writer and for general information only
This article is designed to provoke argment and critique

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



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8. Intrusion

Another celebrity takes their own life. A female presenter of popular TV shows with a girl next door image under pressure. Intrusion

The pact which celebrities make with the world of celebrity is unpredicatble and uncontrollable. Public interest in celebrities requires more knowledge and intrusion into the celebrity’s life for the press to write about. Ordinary people and their families put under extraordinary pressures of scrutiny.
Combined with a lack of privacy unimaginable to a population wanting to know more and more.

Unmonitored social media making comments cut off from feeling for the impact on the celebrity. Misogyny and mistrust towards women part of the normal discourse in the public arena and media.

What is the relationship to celebrity in 2020? Love Hate? An avoidance at looking inwards to our own lives?
A marketing ploy to sell us products? We form parasocial relationships with celebrities which are not reciprocal, like pets. We can project ourselves into a fairy tale life with the celebrity. Does this alleviate the dullness of everyday life. To imagine another life we can escape our own lives of repetition, ordinariness, & struggle?

Is there a lack of capacity populations of modern western economies have to live in their own lives?
Is this because we get what we want but not what we need? Is a life dominated by neo-liberal captialism so bad for humans? Too unbearable that we have to be somewhere else in our heads.

Perhaps it has always been so. But not as extreme?

Copyright Adrian Scott North London Counsellor Blog 2020           
All rights reserved
Disclaimer: This weblog is the view of the writer and for general information only
This article is designed to provoke argument and critique

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



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7. Fathers and Women

Fathers and Women have an impact on their children. Not what they say but what they do around women. How they treat them. How they objectify women. Children learn through modelling. Boys and Men might judge other boys and men on the way they treat women.

Men who have lots of relationships with women are curious to other men and women. Stereotypically men might like to be like them, women find them attractive. Or men hate them cos they make them look unkind, and women treat them like a threat.

In this example the Father is a romantic figure. Rushing to witness the birth of his kids he drives his Citroen SM (great car but unique and expensive to maintain) fast down the motorway oblivious to the fuel gauge. The car ran out of petrol so he too ran the rest of the way!

Bred in the Boarding School system he was unschooled in the ways of connection and intimacy. Was this the beginning of his attitude towards women? It was the chase and passion that made his world alright?

Although infidelity is more common, it is still a big factor in divorce. Emotions like jealousy and possessiveness govern our relational lives. Is it about intimacy built up over a long period of time? The sensuality of caress rather than intercourse? Or hanging onto to an old institutional structure of relationships?
Fathers and Women

Copyright Adrian Scott North London Counsellor Blog 2020           
All rights reserved
Disclaimer: This weblog is the view of the writer and for general information only
This article is designed to provoke argument and critique

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



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6. Digital Peal

Shrewsbury Cathedral has rejuvinated its bells after 50 years of not ringing. 
The controversy is that there is an automated digital system which rings the bells without the aid of bell ringers. Digital Peal

Bell Ringers seen as a volunteer force up and down the country drawing the congregations of Middle England to church. More than this they are part of the community supporting the Church but not necessarily religious.

Metaphorically the opposite of the digital world. Gentle Musical Rythmical Mechanical Natural.
No Screen Beep Button Press or Symbol. Digital Peal

 

Copyright Adrian Scott North London Counsellor Blog 2020           
All rights reserved
Disclaimer: This weblog is the view of the writer and for general information only
This article is designed to provoke argument and critique

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



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