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“Anything that offers success in our unjust society without trying to change it is not revolutionary – it just helps people cope. In fact, it could also be making things worse. Instead of encouraging radical action, mindfulness says the causes of suffering are disproportionately inside us, not in the political and economic frameworks that shape how we live.” #mindfulness #altwoke
A few years now (2014) but Mark Fisher on David Smail’s concept of “magical voluntarism” on the class-based structural causes of depression: “For some time now, one of the most successful tactics of the ruling class has been responsibilisation. Each individual member of the subordinate class is encouraged into feeling that their poverty, lack of opportunities, or unemployment, is their fault and their fault alone. Individuals will blame themselves rather than social structures, which in any case they have been induced into believing do not really exist (they are just excuses, called upon by the weak). What Smail calls ‘magical voluntarism’ – the belief that it is within every individual’s power to make themselves whatever they want to be – is the dominant ideology and unofficial religion of contemporary capitalist society, pushed by reality TV ‘experts’ and business gurus as much as by politicians. Magical voluntarism is both an effect and a cause of the currently historically low level of class consciousness. It is the flipside of depression – whose underlying conviction is that we are all uniquely responsible for our own misery and therefore deserve it. A particularly vicious double bind is imposed on the long-term unemployed in the UK now: a population that has all its life been sent the message that it is good for nothing is simultaneously told that it can do anything it wants to do.”
Mindfulness as a product is a pretty decent measure on where technology has lead us.
My friend and spiritual mentor, Dr. Miles Neale has been on a crusade against what he defined as McMindfulness for quite some time. Catch one of his podcasts if you’re interested in learning more. He’s a powerful and passionate speaker and doesn’t hold back his opinions.
Thanks for sharing this link, almost didn’t catch it. This part in particular struck me right out the gate: “What did we think was going to happen if human beings, particularly the younger generation in the West—who are ordinarily hyper-aroused, over-stimulated, prey to a whole slew of addictions from caffeine and sugar to alcohol and pornography, whose main form of socialization is technology based, who often feel angry, depressed, marginalized and alienated, and who, as a result, act out with violence to themselves and others—were invited to take a 30 minute time-out, each and every day, from the whole ridiculous rat race we call urban life, and asked to gently turn their attention inwards, to follow their breath, to relax their bodies, to connect with their feelings, to enter into a caring relationship with themselves, to dis-identify with their obsessive thought streams and compulsive habits, and instead identify with a loving embrace with all living beings?”