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WTH Chapter 9: May 29, 1984 6/21 (29%) unmanly cross purposes express boys

[... 7 paragraphs ...]

Many people believe that it is dangerous to make themselves known, to express their own ideas or abilities. Such individuals may be highly motivated, on the other hand, to become accomplished in some art or profession or other field of activity. In such cases you have two cross-purposes operating — the desire to express oneself, and the fear of doing so.

If both beliefs are equally dominant and vital, then the situation becomes quite serious. Such individuals may try “to get ahead” on the one hand, in society or business or in the arts or sciences, only to find themselves taking two steps backward for every step they take forward. In other words, they will encounter obstructions that are self-generated. If such a person begins to succeed, then he or she is forcibly reminded of the equally dominant need for lack of success — for again, the person believes that self-expression is necessary and desirable while also being highly dangerous, and thus to be avoided.

(4:14.) Dilemmas result in many ways. The person might succeed financially, only to make a serious or faulty business judgment, thus losing the financial benefits. Another person might express the same dilemma through the body itself, so that “getting ahead” was equated with physical mobility — so that it seemed that physical mobility, while so desired, was still highly dangerous.

[... 3 paragraphs ...]

Often playful, rambunctious children are told not to be showoffs, or not to express their normal exuberance. Religions stress the importance of discipline, sobriety, and penance. All of these attitudes can be extremely detrimental, and along with other beliefs are responsible for a goodly number of spiritual, physical, mental, and emotional problems.

[... 1 paragraph ...]

Such young men grow up with the desire to be independent, while at the same time they also experience the natural drive for cooperation and dependence upon others. Many end up punishing themselves for any behavior they consider dependent or unmanly. They are often afraid to express love, or to accept emotional nourishment gracefully.

[... 4 paragraphs ...]

(Joe Bumbalo came back into the hospital this afternoon in preparation for his fourth dose of chemotherapy. I visited him after leaving Jane at 7:00 p.m. He looked and talked much better. Joe expressed concern about how long he would live with his cancer. He also described a dream he’s had often during the last three months, but hasn’t told Margaret about. To me it sounded obviously symbolic of his fear of death and his battle against surrendering to it. He agreed with my explanation, which I offered quite diplomatically. In any case, I can hardly be all that sure that I’m correct.)

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