Which of Arno Gruen’s conclusions and insights have “hit” or affected you?

As a multiple cult dropout, I first discovered and devoured Arno Grün’s book “False Gods” (1991).I had even more Ahas when I read “The Madness of Normality” (1987) and “The Betrayalof the Self ” (1984).
At that time, Gruen was still practising as a psychotherapist in his adopted hometown of Zurich.I called him quickly, and he promptly got on the phone. No, I did not want to become his client (he let me know without being asked that he had a stop to admission), but wanted to present my sect career in short strokes to a trained ear.
Gruen replied: “Amazing!” Then he asked me if I knew what “Amazing” [German: “Amazing” means in the figurative sense).I denied it.
He declared “Ahh” is the soulful insight and the chamber tone A, which springs from the heart and makes the heart rise, opens the inner center, the real intact core.Heart(coeur in French) means courage [to tell the taboo truth.Courage in Swabian means cutting [the unhealthy, cutting up and down the sick.
“Maze” means maze, the thicket, the thorn hedge into which the “False Self” has spun.
If, like me, one has found the way out of the maze several times (sect entry, everyday life and exit), has arrived in the middle (in the heart), in his “right mind” [common sense), and at the same time has found the exit from the maze.

Later it turned out that I met Arno Grün in person at two public events in southern Germany (Narcissus Congress in Ravensburg, evening lecture in Unterhaching).

Arno Grün did not respond directly to my public questions on the subject of narcissism.He was just shy of pushing someone as a narcissist or something as narcissism. He always answered indirectly – both with the same story:

  • An Eipo boy from western New Guinea enjoys eating a large piece of “chocolate” from the fruits of the currant tree.

His younger sister also wants to take a piece of it. She squeals as he stubbornly refuses to give her anything. She starts crying, her brother roars.
Due to the noise, the mother comes hurried.She recognizes the sibling dynamics and the learningopportunity.Silently, she takes the sweet from the boy’s hand and mouth and breaks it in half.

  • Question: What does a Western person do next, in place of the mother?
  • Answer:In the West, the higher rank era settles the dilemma by choosing the child instead of letting it decide for himself.Traditionally shaped parents put the shared sweet bread in their two children.

  • The Eipo mother returns the two pieces of “chocolate” to her son without further instructing him.
  • The boy now has two parts in one hand and is faced with the choiceof what he will do with the two treats in both hands.One hand feeds him, the other can (give off).
    After the maternal intervention and in view of the new situation, the boy decides after a short period of time to give his sister a piece of carobbread voluntarily.She takes and eats of it. Her tears quickly dried up. [1 / Minute 22:13

    The German-Swiss psychologist, psychoanalyst, civilization critic, writer Arno Gruen (1923-2015) left the following insights, which I have noted down over the years:

    • “The addiction to power destroys the soul of the man.

    In his blind insistence on it, he diminishes himself and the womanhe needs to do so in order to reduce his image, which, consciously or unconsciously, has become the meaning of his being.”
    The Betrayal of the Self, 1984, p. 81, 1986

  • “Because it is because it is afraid to be one’s own self, the self has been betrayed.
  • To regain it first of all is to suffer the feelings of helplessness, pain and anger that were once so overwhelming that it seemed advisable to sacrifice the self so as not to feel anything more of it. Unlike those Reagans who seek to seal “windows of vulnerability” everywhere, thereby betraying the fear of their power, the freedom encouraged to autonomy [is genuinely encouraged) finds freedom in accepting its vulnerability.
    Only the Vulnerable Man Is Strong, Der Spiegel, August 5, 1985

  • [The madness that overplays itself and masks itself with mental health does not have a hard time hiding in a world where deception and cunning are realistic.
    While those who can no longer bear the loss of human values are considered crazy, normality is attested to by those who have separated from their human roots.”
    The Madness of Normality , 1987
  • “We would rather Forgive the evil proliferating all around us
    than the rebellion against it, which we mistake for the
    true evil.
    The Betrayal of the Self.
  • Fear of Autonomy in Men and Women, Grove Press, New York, March 1988

  • “If the empathic perceptions of a toddler do not correspond to the programmed perceptions of the parents, the discrepancy between the two worlds, that of the child and that of the parent, becomes the “mistake” of the child.
  • Paradoxically, by making the discrepancy his own mistake, the child keeps himself alive. For being rejected by the parents, of experiencing oneanother as unloved, that means being at the mercy of hopelessness.”
    Betrayed Love, False Gods, 1991, 2003

    Analogous thinking – outward-oriented thinking
    All or Nothing Realism – More-or-Less-Symbolism

    • The analogdecision-making process is based on philosophical thinking.

    He has the quality of a more-or-lessdecision, not the division of our experience into an all ornothing.The analog decision contradicts outward-directed thinking, which leads to success in those societies that separatetheir members from their hearts.”
    Betrayed Love, False Gods, p. 64, 1991, 2003

    Foiled view of the “big picture” [the larger context

    • “Psychopaths and bureaucrats together consolidate and promote the fragmentation of our vision and perceptions,because their own personal cohesion requires division.

    [… At the beginning of the 21st century, we are threatened by the end of nature and thus of the world itself, because a technique that allows seemingly full domination of planet Earth is in the hands of psychopaths and bureaucrats.”
    Betrayed Love, False Gods, 1991, 2003

  • “Separation means separating parts of the psyche that have become a danger to a human being, so that they can only persist in isolation.”
    Betrayed Love, False Gods, 1991, 2003
  • “This fear, when it reaches a climax, automatically forces the children to submit to the will of theattacker, to guess and follow each of his desires, to forget for himself completely, to fully deal with the attacker. identify [… This condition is generally induced at the age of between four and ten months.”
    The loss of compassion , 1997
  • “Those who have had to reject their own in favour of identification with loveless parents (and by this are also pampering parents […) are often driven throughout their lives by an unconscious inner terror, idealizing the oppressor and To turn love for one’s own into hatred.”
    The Stranger in Us, 2000
  • “It is hard to face one’s own terror, to admit the shortcomings in the love of our parents and to experience (again) one’s own pain and injuries.
  • But it is the only way to a real liberation from bondage. Confucius said, “Hewho suffers his suffering becomes free fromsuffering.”
    The Stranger in Us, 2000

  • “We must ensure that our children grow up in such a way that an inner sacrifice does not arise in the first place [… and strengthen the well-being of our children.
  • It would cost so much less to invest in life, rather than funding armament and wars.We have no other way than that of life.”
    The Struggle for Democracy, 2002

  • “When pain, sorrow, helplessness are denied, [… then the inner world is switched off and encapsulated by the transmission of everyday life.
  • And so the inner world sinksmore and more into the unconscious.But it remains the motor, albeit unrecognized, of our actions, feelings and thinking.”
    The Madness of Normality , 1987

  • “But when pain is excluded from consciousness, this pain becomes the foundation of a revenge on the pain itself, which finds its expression in the destruction of man and nature.
  • This is the cause of our disease, and not in the economic,political and religious ideologies that we use as a pretext for our destruction.”
    The Loss of Compassion, 1997

  • “The origin of violence and destructive is our dealings with our children.
  • Through the six thousand-year-old history of childhood in the so-called high cultures runs like a common thread the rejection of the liveliness and life of thechildren.”
    The Loss of Compassion, 1997

  • “The source of the violence lies in what has been experienced and suffered.”
    The struggle for democracy , 2002
  • “When the great religions are needed to bind people to rules and thus subject them to abstract principles, this always leads to a perversion of the doctrine of theheart.
  • The martyrdom of the fundamentalists turns the love of life into a love of death, whereby death is declared a real life.Such people and their leaders seek false gods because they have no access to the Divine [realness] in themselves.
    What is a good religion?, Neue Zürcher Zeitung (NZZ), September 4, 2006

  • Empathy leads to inner strength.
    Our evolution was not produced by struggle and competition, but by cooperation.
  • People capable of the cold crimes of the Nazis have experienced too little compassion and love.
    Mindfulness ? This makes sense, but empathy is not a cognitive-rational process.It’s a natural perceptionthat goes much, much deeper.”
    Controversy for Compassion, The Daily Mail, August 8, 2013


    Book list of Arno Gruen

    The Fear of Autonomy in Men and Women, Causa, Munich 1984, 1986, dtv, new edition January 1, 1992

  • The madness of normality.
  • Realism as a disease. A theory of human destructiveness, reading sample, Kösel, Munich 1987, dtv, 1 January 1992

  • The early farewell.
  • An interpretation of the sudden death of a child, Kösel, Munich 1988

  • False gods.
  • About Love, Hatred and the Difficulty of Peace, newly titled: Betrayed Love – False Gods, Econ, Düsseldorf 1991, Klett-Cotta, 2nd edition November 2003

  • The loss of compassion.
  • On the politics of indifference, dtv, Munich 1997

  • The Stranger in Us , Klett-Cotta, Stuttgart, July 1, 2000
  • with Doris Weber, hatred in the soul.
  • Understand what makes us angry. Herder, Freiburg im Breisgau 2001

  • The struggle for democracy.
  • Extremism, Violence and Terror, Klett-Cotta, Stuttgart, 2002, dtv, 1 October 2004

  • Betrayed Love, False Gods , Klett-Cotta, November 2003
  • I want a world without wars, Klett-Cotta, Stuttgart 2006
  • Estranged from life.
  • Why we need to learn to feel again, Klett-Cotta, Stuttgart 2013

  • Against Obedience, Klett-Cotta, Stuttgart 2014
  • Against Terrorism, Klett-Cotta, Stuttgart 2015
  • Posthumously published: Against Cold Reason, Klett-Cotta, Stuttgart 2016
  • Footnotes

    [1 SpiritualWiki – Paedagogics

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