You Have Three Wishes

“If the development of civilization has such a far-reaching similarity to the development of the individual and if it employs the same methods, may we not be justified in reaching the diagnosis that, under the influence of cultural urges, some civilizations, or some epochs of civilization–possibly the whole of mankind–have become ‘neurotic’?”

-Sigmund Frued, Civilization and Its Discontents


Two types of “personal development” exist:

The kind that helps you get what your compulsive and conditioned monkey-mind craves (inclusion in desirable social groups, wealth, peace of mind, self-esteem, a better can opener, free fried chicken)…

…and the kind that fundamentally questions those cravings, collapsing the personality down to its bare bones and building a new being from scratch.

It goes without saying that the former category is the more common, and  new best-sellers, fads, “secrets,” and wish-fulfillment fantasies never cease to strut about the marketplace.

The latter is usually missed, esoteric even to the “esoteric.”

I enjoy observing what kinds of fads emerge, and when (for example, the immensely lucrative franchise, “The Secret” during recession time), as well as who embraces them and who derides them.

Mythic heroes, having evoked a genie, know to be very careful in their choice of wishes. Those who fail this caution become perennial examples of how we don’t really want what we think we want…

What would happen if you suddenly gained the power to manifest all your thoughts?

Probably not what you think.

So…make your wishes come true, or become a thing that wishes differently?

That’s a secret……




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3 Comments on “You Have Three Wishes

  1.  by  dreamsign

    each way has its pitfalls. the consumer pitfalls are well-known; the pitfalls of personality reconstruction less so, though they are far worse. take, for example (given the psycho-social preface to this post), the difference between consumer capitalism, which indulges consumer wishes, and the dictatorship of the proletariat, which sought to eradicate this defective impulse and make of people ‘things that wish differently’.

    ‘building a new being from scratch’ is like surgery, which can work wonders when practiced in the right circumstances by a skilled physician. otherwise, it’s unwise at best and criminal at worst.

    •  by  riley

      Thanks for the comment.

      That’s an important distinction.

      I refer here not to melting down and restructuring only of a person’s ideological prejudices, as in a transformation from capitalism to socialism, but a collapse of compulsive-reactive consciousness (which is reflected in all ideologies) and allowing the emergence of an organic mode of being. Collapse comes from technique modifying the nervous system; emergence….well, emerges.

      The physician is always skilled, since the physician is life itself.

  2.  by  Dante Romero

    I Like To Begin From This Stand Point:

    Nothing will MAKE me happy.
    Nothing will MAKE me satisfied.
    Nothing can MAKE me better.
    Just do it to do it.

    From there, it’s easy to move into the world doing things just for fun. And, paradoxically, without a sense of self tied up in things, It’s much easier to accomplish everything. Effortless in comparison. 🙂

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