is my eros your thanatos?: There is a way of explaining the nature of those who cannot seem to act on their own behalves (or on the behalf of others).
I’ve come to see many more of the problems we face in a shamanistic light having read this book, which is by no means “mystical”, but has a last chapter that veritably sheds light on how some people in society can become somehow afflicted with a static, unresponsive and (fundamentally) unplastic nature, in a way that robs them of their power to be themselves. Although the paradigm is Freudian, the issues can be dealt with in terms that are explicitly shamanistic, for one is dealing with “soul loss”, the loss of ontological integrity.
It is no suprise, then, that among the soul-dead, the advice they give each other runs much like this: “You can’t change anything. You are stuck. Your vital forces have been depleted, so don’t try. Reality sucks, but none of us can lift a finger to make it any different.”
It is, in effect, that people have become afflicted with Thanatos, and that their inner condition is one of devitalisation — and that is why they give each other this kind of advice.
I was brought up in a context that was almost entirely unafflicted by such a heavy wave of Thanatos, so it never ceases to suprise me how little most people these days feel that they can do for themselves. But the gadgets that bind them, to prevent them from reacting more effectively, are invisible. They accept their debilitating condition as simpy “reality” and “human nature”, and can’t imagine how the rules imposed by an embrace of Thanatos do not apply to those who operate primarily on the basis of Eros.