Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Barbara Ehrenreich on the darker side of positive thinking



It's got nothing to do with masks or my Goddess project (although a trickster mask, black and white, seems to be evolving on the worktable.  Wonder what she has to say?) but I felt like sharing this fascinating animated video in which acclaimed journalist, author and political activist Barbara Ehrenreich explores the "darker side of positive thinking", with an emphasis upon the corporate world.

At the movies recently Coca Cola announced some kind of program whereby they're going to save the polar bears, and we saw some happy, singing polar bears leaning against an iceberg drinking Coca Cola.  Was I the only one  stunned by the hypocrisy?  Coca Cola addiction has produced millions of diabetics.............and is it really so easy to forget that the reason polar bears are becoming extinct is because our civilization, including the factories that produce Coca Cola, is changing our climate?  Wouldn't it be better for children (and adults) to at least experience the truth, rather than soothing images of dancing polar bears?

I am not really a "positive" person by nature, and often have to work very hard to shift my consciousness away from habitual dark tracks. Sometimes, I don't want to. A good depression can inform one of authentic needs, a tantrum releases blocked or stagnant energy, getting pissed off is sometimes not only appropriate but absolutely necessary.  Don't get me wrong..........I absolutely agree with the necessity for positive thinking and affirmation......but not at the expense of empathy and reality.

Sometimes the soul needs a wailing wall,  sometimes  spirit needs to ferment and incubate in its depressions, and sometimes the heart needs to tell its dark story in order to heal.  Sometimes we need to face the truth, which gives us the power to be present.

3 comments:

sukipoet said...

sometimes i get so frustrated an much new age positive thinking esp when it means someone does not empathize with my sadness or trauma but instead gets into that tsunami thing of you chose this, you invited this into your life etc etc.

to me such thinking is the opposite of being humane. I enjoyed the video, it was a refreshing take.

Lauren said...

Thanks Suki! Yes, isn't she an original thinker? It's a conundrum for spiritual people today - yes, we do affect our lives and health with how we think, but it's a complex process, not simple.

I remember in the 80's knowing people who had AIDS, and suffered under the idea that somehow they had "thought" themselves into having the disease. It only compounded their sense of shame and suffering.

Trish and Rob MacGregor said...

I agree with you on how anger can often break a blockage and how a depression can inform of us our real needs. It don't know that any of us understand the complexity of thought and beliefs and their connection to health and vitality.

A lot of new age stuff seems too simplistic. Yet, the popularity of people like Esther Hicks is, I feel, that positive thought helps to empower us.

The polar bear ad was insulting.