What Did You Feed Your Gods Today?
Why we need to be more wary of toxic “reality” entertainment
This article was inspired by my wife and I agreeing to turn off Power Slap: Road To The Title, after seeing enough to arrive at the conclusion that this is not the launch of a new and exciting sport, rather a disparate bunch of people being invited to hurt each other for spectacle’s sake.
I once went on a date with someone who couldn’t stop talking about James Hillman, which convinced me to acquire a copy of one of his books, Re-Visioning Psychology. It’s a fascinating piece of work that covers a number of aspects of psychology, notably incorporating mythology (“archetypal mythology” is Hillman’s thing) and theology.
This was probably the toughest book I’ve ever read, as much for the density of its content as for the extreme academic nature of the work. For months, I would struggle through a page or two, then spend days digesting. In spite of the effort required to understand and internalize what Hillman puts forward, this book triggered months of introspection and an obsession with how we construct our internal multiverses (“me-niverses”, I like to call them), and how we interact with each other through the interstitial layer of objective reality.
I’m not exaggerating when I say that this book changed my life.
The most important take-aways from this book, for the purposes of this discussion, are:
a) Our personalities (or “ego”, in common parlance) are not individual and coherent, but are rather composed of communities of all the various characters that we’ve encountered throughout our lives, whether directly in real life or indirectly via fictional and non-fictional stories.
b) It is impossible to reject an idea without incorporating it. In other words, our brains cannot identify an idea as “useless” or “bad” without understanding it, and once it’s been understood that idea cannot simply be forgotten.