11 February 2009

Psychic Poverty: A North American Epidemic

Joe Bageant's article may be written with a hint of humour, but the message I get is that those of us living in the wealthy nations are suffering unnecessarily. Is it lack of personal spirituality? And I do not mean the man-ufactured religious kind.
......it causes me to wonder why is there enough pain and alienation to sustain America's umpteen-billion-dollar mental health business and its 400-plus specialties, not to mention the inner self-help industry and Deepak Chopra's royal court. Why is it that during the months I spend in America, I meet so many obviously sick fuckers, some successfully practicing law or politics, others homeless and schizophrenic?

It would seem were are stupified by having too much stuff with access to more, anytime we want it. Or become ill because we don't have the money to obtain more.

...this psychic poverty has been around so long that it has become something of a norm. Despite that we have not resorted to cannibalism, single-payer health care, or god forbid, socialism, we long ago passed into the realm of what we like to call an "unhealthy society."

Might not America's psychological malaise be the result of knowing deep inside that life can hold more meaning -- be more joyful? More emotionally rewarding and fulfilling? In a word, healthier?

As I read Joe's ruminative narrative, I considered my own impoverishment. I am poor in the material sense, only. My health is excellent, visiting the doctor but yearly for a physical check-up. I am vegan and have chosen to live simply. My spiritual aim is to live in the present moment, a constant challenge.

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