Romance, Ideals and Transcendence: Living a Meaningful Life

We have become inured to the huge levels of injustice and corruption perpetrated by our political/economic system today, and this needs to change. The current disturbing levels of apathy appear to be the reason for the success of Stéphane Hessel‘s Cry Out! – a French publishing phenomenon. This 13-page pamphlet encourages youth to recapture the French spirit of resistance by rejecting the “insolent, selfish” power of money and markets and by defending the social “values of modern democracy.”

Norberto Keppe‘s, Liberation of the People, written the the mid 1980s, offered a call to all idealists, all who believe in goodness, truth and beauty, to unite so a new society could be built, the Kingdom of Man on Earth. Keppe foreshadowed Hessel’s admonitions, and he goes deeper, too, explaining how we got so off track and offering concrete solutions to fix things.

We explore how that’s more than idealism and actually approaches true romance, today on Thinking with Somebody Else’s Head.

Join the discussion at

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Man’s Inverted Desire to be a “god”

Dec. 1, 2010

We go deep to the source of humanity’s problems on our show today, which we can do thanks to the science of Norberto Keppe, who is a master of human psycho and socio pathology. Join host Richard Lloyd Jones and special guest, Dr. Claudia Bernhardt Pacheco in an expansive and thrilling discussion that looks at how the desire to be like gods manifests in every area from politics and business to the spiritual world. We’ll also have a special report from the field with Gilbert Gambucci discussing the true basis of civilization.

Click here to listen to this episode.

The Prison of Victimhood

It is enticing to follow its seductive lure. “It’s not your fault. You couldn’t help it. There was nothing you could do.” These are the beguiling voices we hear.

Victims drive the ratings on daytime TV, after all. Blaming, finger pointing, laying on the guilt – so common, so righteous, so … convenient.

And so wrong.

Today on Thinking with Somebody Else’s Head, freeing ourselves from the Prison of Victimhood.

Now you who are regular listeners to Thinking with Somebody Else’s Head will already have a good idea which side of this theme we’re goint to come down on, don’t you? Our program, based as it is on the cutting edge psychological research coming out of the Brazilian school of Analytical Trilogy, could do nothing other than focus the discussion inward. Because that’s where the trail inevitably leads.

Norberto Keppe, the scientist behind the profound work coming out of Analytical Trilogy these days – and it is formidable indeed, in the areas of education and medicine and economics and physics – Keppe puts forward the idea that we have contact with all the magnificence and glory of Creation through our inner selves, that beautiful atmosphere of universal knowledge and wisdom that resides within each one of us. Plato called it the world of infused knowledge, meaning intelligence and savvy that we are born with. In Keppe’s language, these universal knowings within would be divine concepts inside the human mind.

And this opens the door to a staggering thought given all the modern science that points in the opposite direction, and that is that we are not creatures who are evolving to greater intelligence and knowledge at all, but we are instead creations with all possible understanding already infused in us. And coming to re-discover that is an inner journey.

There is already evidence of the presence of this native intelligence and sense of ethics from our very beginning as babies in excellent research coming out of the Infant Cognitive Center at Yale and University of California at Berkley professor, Alison Gopnik’s studies into the Philosophical Baby, and they’ve reached fascinating conclusions about the rich and intelligent inner life of babies from the beginning.

All of this to say that it’s by treading the inner path that we really come to know reality, not through our external machinations. Not to say we don’t gain substantial wisdom from our experiences – of course we do – but I mean that it’s through this outer contact that we come to know ourselves, that self that already exists and is not simply a product of our outer experience.

Which is what Socrates was contending 2500 years ago.

So victimhood, that state of being shaped and fashioned by our outer traumas, can be re-considered, which is exactly what we’ll do today. Helena Mellander, a frequent contributor to Thinking with Somebody Else’s Head, is a Swedish journalist who’s been having quite an impact with her new blog in Swedish written with our colleague, educator Sofie Bergqvist. Helena wrote about this recently to interesting discussion from the Swedish community.

If this also stirs your desire to comment, I’m always happy to hear from you.

Now, freeing ourselves from the Prison of Victimhood.

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Self Centeredness – A One-Way Street Going the Wrong Way

What is the relationship between looking out for yourself and looking out for others? How do you keep the balance? Or … and this may be controversial, is there any balance to keep? There are many opinions about the merit of self-interest, but we could turn to one great example for his thoughts. Benjamin Franklin cautioned us to deny self for self’s sake.

Today on Thinking with Somebody Else’s Head, Self-Centeredness – A One-Way Street Going the Wrong Way.

I first wanted to make another quick announcement here while I have your attention about a new program we’ll be launching soon for you to learn more about the concepts that form the basis of our work on this program. The great and important work of Norberto Keppe and his studies in psycho-socio-pathology. This will be a monthly program of articles and teleclasses where you can participate directly and learn more about yourself and how to apply this to helping others in your families, workplaces, communities, schools, etc. I’ll be sending out something more specific to those of you who are interested, so make sure I have your email if you are. Write me at

A couple of weeks ago, Claudia Pacheco and I had a look at narcissism, one of the hot topics down here in Brazil in our scientific meetings about psycho-socio-pathology. And very popular as a download on iTunes as well. And I wanted to approach the subject again – one because it’s something of a way of being that I see creating havoc, not only in my life, but in the lives of many of my friends and family members. And second, because it is such a key that opens a door to understanding many of the problems we face in our society.

You see self-interest blatantly expressed in huge corporations driven by greedy shareholders who don’t give 2 cents for the company except as a vehicle to make them money.

You see it in financial advice books like the one by Donald Trump and Robert Kiyosaki which cautions that the world’s economy is going down the toilet and the best way to protect yourself is to make as much money as you can. Incredible! Contribute to the destruction of the world (and the economy as a consequence) by focusing on making money only (a prime reason we are destroying the planet now) so that when the economy and everything else is completely destroyed by actions like yours, you can move to some paradise and leave everyone else holding the bag.

You see self-interest in the desperate drive to look out for number 1 first while millions starve.

Norbert Keppe writes and speaks about this constantly in his books and TV shows.

Today, I’m going to take a look at self-centeredness with psychiatric nurse and psychoanalyst here at Keppe’s International Society of Analytical Trilogy, Kerstin Arviddson.

Click here to listen to this episode.

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The Destructive Culture of Narcissism

What’s in it for me? Looking out for #1. Blow your own horn. If you want a job done right, do it yourself.

North American culture is full of sayings like these, and they reveal something pretty clearly about our philosophy of life, don’t they? One we are spreading all around the globe. Human beings really do look out only for themselves … and this is killing us.

Today on Thinking with Somebody Else’s Head, the Destructive Culture of Narcissism.

It’s a appropriate time of the year to do this program because it’s a time of the year when we are maybe (although it’s debatable whether we really do this or not) a little more open to thinking of something other than me, me, me. And it’s this opening we’d like to exploit today on our program.

As you must know if you’ve been listening to Thinking with Somebody Else’s Head at all, our association here in Brazil – the International Society of Analytical Trilogy – and our sister organization, the STOP the Destruction of the World Association, have a large objective: to make human beings more conscious of the problems in the human psyche which have never been adequately addressed and which lie at the root of our inverted society and feed all the destruction we are doing to our beautiful planet.

We offer Norberto Keppe’s TV programs in many languages to community TV stations all over the world, we have books and publications available, we give lectures and classes. And there are two other important things to tell you about:

1) We’re holding an International Congress on Keppe’s science of psych-socio-pathology in July of 2008. Write me for more information on that …

2) We’ll also be starting a new program very soon where you can learn more about our work and how it can help your life. We’ll be offering monthly newsletters and teleclasses and Q&A sessions so you can really begin to penetrate this world of the human psyche defined by Keppe. Again, just write me at and I’ll make sure you get the information about this. We’re pretty excited about it and are hoping many of you who are regular listeners to Thinking with Somebody Else’s Head will take advantage of it. After all, we need to build a community of more conscious people, and that means understanding ourselves and our difficulties more completely.

Which is what all of our work, and this radio program, are all about.

Today, narcissism. Dr. Claudia Pacheco joins me again to look at this volatile subject.

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The Tyranny of Cool

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

Today on Thinking with Somebody Else’s Head, The Tyranny of Cool. How can we understand – and help – our teenagers?

Listen, I know I’m dangerously close to sounding like every other person from the older generation here, lamenting the lost younger generation. But at the risk of sounding like every parent you’ve ever heard, I’m going to go out on a limb and propose that really, today, something is different with our teenagers. I’m open to the consideration that maybe it’s just a matter of degree, but I think something is dreadfully wrong in the soul of our young people.

Of course, we can’t separate that from the corruption in values we’ve witnessed in society, and that process has been aided and abetted by, among others, my generation, so I don’t mean to separate myself from the problem and suggest, “Hey, we were wonderful, what the hell happened to you guys?” I have rather sobering memories of Mrs. Kent coming up to me in the halls after English Lit. class when I was surrounded by my basketball-loving friends and asking me embarrassingly, “Richard, wasn’t Milton´s Paradise Lost wonderful today?” My response was not particularly full of gratitude and enthusiastic agreement.

So, it’s always been somewhat this way. But I still maintain that the adolescents are in worse shape today.

Let’s analyze this a little. Selma Genzani is one of the lead analysts at Norberto Keppe´s Integral Psychoanalysis clinic here in Brazil. She has vast experience with adults, children and, of course, teenagers.

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The Fattening, and Thinning, of America

Up to 10 million teens develop disorders in this area. And worries about it can start much younger than that.

Adults are worried about it, too. And companies make big profits on our neuroses.

We’ve become a culture obsessed with it to a degree unprecedented in history. But solutions to it remain elusive.

Today on Thinking with Somebody Else’s Head, we’ll look at why, with all our focus on weight in today’s culture, many of us are getting fatter and fatter while millions of others are wasting away to nothing.

What in the world is going on with our weight?

There are so many factors at play here, aren’t there? A skinny-as-a-rail 13-year-old looks in the mirror and sees a whale. The advertising agencies air-brush models to within an inch of their lives and dramatically alter how we see beauty. Plastic surgeons give whoever has the moeny to pay whatever body they want. Doctors and drug companies push their solutions in packages of pills that make them richer and the rest of us sicker.

Research shows that 42% of first to third grade girls want to be thinner. And 81% of 10-year-olds are afraid of being fat. Our neurosis is being manipulated to make money. And not just that – our food industry has been seriously corrupted by a totally skewed profit motive that makes us realize that our corporations and political systems are exhibiting strong psychopathic tendencies.

The work of Norberto Keppe can help us to understand what’s going on here, and shows us how to develop new business and residence structures designed to take the power out of the hands of the banks and corporations, and put the resources, money and power into our hands. These ground-breaking structures and ideas are outlined in Keppe’s revolutionary book, Liberation of the People: The Pathology of Power. This book highlights his great idealism, but also his astute social critique, and his solutions. It’s great stuff. Write me at if you’d like a copy of this book.

We’ll look at our topic today – the Fattening and Thinning of America – in a very expansive way. My dear friend, Susan Berkley from New York City, joins me to talk with Claudia Pacheco, psychoanalyst and vice-president of Keppe’s International Society of Analytical Trilogy.

Click here to listen to this episode.