Monday, October 26, 2015

A book with an offensive title

A blogger finds a book review in an unlikely magazine in his doctor's waiting room and thinks Thomas Aquinas might like the authors' conclusions (but perhaps not their choice of title):
.... Patients come with all sorts of problems, often wanting change where change wasn’t possible. In the process they ramble on about their feelings until Dr. Bennett stops them. Feelings, he insists, are simply facts. We need to accept them, get over them and get on with what we’re going to do about our problems.

Life, he argues, is not about improving self-esteem or making ourselves feel better or figuring out a way to be happier or solving “life’s impossible problems.” It’s about managing what are often stinking, no good, rotten and unfair circumstances and problems. “If you want to make good decisions or get good advice about them,” the Bennetts write in their “Manifesto,” “don’t pay too much attention to your feelings.”

The Bennetts recommend treating feelings as mere a data point while living instead with a reliance on reason and will. “In our world,” they write, “feelings don’t rule, many things can’t be changed and acceptance of limits, not limitless self-improvement, is the key to moving forward and dealing effectively with any and all crap that life can throw your way.”

It’s about time that people in the psychology/psychiatry world began assaulting the therapeutic culture that holds Western culture and far too much of the Church captive. We’ve become obsessed with our feelings and those feelings have become self-validating: I feel what I feel and can’t help it. If I feel it and can’t help it, my feelings must be good. If my feelings are good, I have right to act as they lead me. And if I have a right to act as my feelings lead me, I am owed validation and success. ....

Or take higher education where protecting everyone’s feelings has become a major purpose. Students today are apparently so emotionally fragile that they require trigger warnings on books that might offend, “safe” spaces in which to share their feelings, protection from speakers they might find unsettling and only the most carefully chosen and innocuous words.

Even the Supreme Court runs on feelings these days. The majority opinion extending marriage to same-sex couples begins, “The Constitution promises liberty to all within its reach, a liberty that includes certain specific rights that allow persons, within a lawful realm, to define and express their identity” where “identity,” of course, has to do almost exclusively with feelings and desires.

“When I was a child,” wrote St. Paul in 1 Corinthians 13:11, “I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways.”

It’s children who moan, “You hurt my feelings” and “That’s not fair” — or at least it used to be. Now it’s everyone and it needs to stop. .... [more]
Our Feelings are a Blind Guide | The Stream