The Tyranny of Cool

I’m Richard Lloyd Jones, and this is Thinking with Somebody Else’s Head.

Ask them about what’s important to them and they’ll counter your enthusiasm with a shrug and a mumbled, “I don’t know.” Somewhere between kid-dom and adolescence, your child stops asking sweek, inquisitive questions and starts acting like everything you care about and they used to care about is now completely useless.

I know, I’m dangerously close to sounding like every other person from the older generation here, lamenting the lost younger generation. But I’m going to go out on a limb and propose that really, today, something is different with our teenagers.

Maybe it’s just a matter of degree … I was pretty obsessed with being cool in my teenage years as well … but we have to be open to the possibility that the decay we see in all areas of our planetary experience has spilled over into our young people.

And I don’t mean just that difficult teenage time when rebeliousness seems a rite of passage. Of course, there are extraordinary and idealistic young people, dedicated and talented. But there’s a lot of decadence, too. Let’s try to understand it better today.

They Tyranny of Cool, today on Thinking with Somebody Else’s Head.

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Our Inverted Contra-Ego

I’m Richard Lloyd Jones, and this is Thinking with Somebody Else’s Head.

It was part of the psychic apparatus defined in Freud‘s Structural Model of the Psyche. Its role was to mediate between the desires of our uncoordinated instinctual tendencies – the ID – and our critical moralizing part called the Super-Ego.

For Freud, our Ego – caught between these two forces, has a heck of a time maintaining equilibrium. It often loses, as we all know when we do something we know we shouldn’t but can’t help, and then have to live with the consequences.

But Keppe has re-defined this battle by proposing that our neurosis comes, not from the fight between our primitive instincts and our censoring personal and social Super-Ego, but from our inverted desires against our good, beautiful and true essence. A dilemma recognized by St. Paul when he lamented, “Why do I do the things I don’t want and fail to do the things I want?”

A question perhaps all of us have asked in different ways. Keppe’s work in this area is essential for all, but lamentably not well divulged. Let’s go some ways towards correcting that.

Our Inverted Contra-Ego, today on Thinking with Somebody Else’s Head.

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