To strengthen my magic charm yet further I am continuing to repeat that I cured chronic depression, first contracted long ago in Reeducation, in just a few weeks by deciding to pull Reeducation out by the roots. This is to say that I stopped trying to resign myself to depression and live with it. I also stopped trying to get over it. Instead, I decided to pull out Reeducation – having seen that Reeducation and not anything else was depression’s major cause.

There are three main operations involved in the uprooting of Reeducation. First, remember that the essence of Reeducation is self-doubt. All self-doubt which may still arise is residue of Reeducation, and must be thrown directly out the window. This is accomplished by declaring yourself not guilty. I did that by deciding that I was perfectly within my rights not to be as ruined as Reeducation expected me to be. I further declared myself perfectly within my rights not to fear the world as much as Reeducation would have liked me to do. I am not guilty of not knowing what is going on. I do in fact know myself fairly well. If it hurt Reeducation’s feelings that I wished to consult, but not defer to it on this matter, that is Reeducation’s problem and not mine. To grant myself more authority over myself than I grant Reeducation is not to be “too controlling.” It is, in fact, appropriate. And guilt is, in any case, a direct conduit to the demons. Its absence clears the body to that it may receive the stronger spirits.

[What is strange is that I always felt guilty toward Reeducation. I knew I was stronger and more advanced than it was, and that it wanted to be the stronger, more advanced one. Somehow I thought I owed it this illusion, or rather, that I must deliver it this illusion if I were to also receive the benevolence from it I felt I needed. This set of feelings could bear deconstruction, I am quite sure, as it smacks of projection and displacement, among other things. Do I hear defer to a patriarchal authority so you can receive benefits only it can dispense? In any case, this is why I have decided not to condescend to it any more, not to make allowances for its failings any more.]

Second, do not merely ignore Reeducation and expect it to go away. It must be confronted and faced down. Its ideas creep up insidiously, especially when one must frequent authoritarian and hierarchical venues as I often do. I am amazed to see nowadays, when I begin to feel burdened, how the world snaps back into perspective when I recognize the residue of Reeducation for what it is and brush it off like a fly.

Third, remember to trust not only your knowledge, but also your perceptions. It is all right to believe that things are going well when they appear to you to be doing so, and badly when they appear to be going badly. Reeducation believes that you do not know how things are going or how you feel. It believes, furthermore, that you do not feel comfortable when things are going well. All of this overcomplicates matters and sows doubt. Trust your judgment. It is entirely possible that things really are as they seem.

People did not realize I was chronically depressed since I am optimistic by nature and quite reliably fun, but on my handwritten list of problems only three months ago were such items as “feeling like a ghost.” My attitude improved in late June when I received a document separating me legally from a great deal of the Reeducated past. It has improved yet more in the past month, in which I have decided to stop trying to understand Reeducation – stop making allowances for it, stop being patient with it, stop remembering to take its good points into consideration, in sum, stop condescending to it, and pull it out by the roots. I can remember, but I now barely identify with the list of problems I had made.

They were the problems I contracted in Reeducation. As I become more and more able to see what Reeducation really taught, I realize how precisely backward-looking it was. Virtually everything I learned in it was not a road to greater awareness, but to greater confusion. The things it found problematic in me were precisely my spaces of greatest enlightenment. Still I wondered for years after leaving Reeducation, whether it had been right. Was I permanently impaired? Should I make some phone calls, talk to somebody, try some legal drugs? To stay in character, though, I would have done better to lie in a stone niche sucking maguey juice. So I pulled the thorn right out.



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6 responses to “Maguey

  1. Sounds like you had some interesting experiences with the reeducation. I think that you are dead on with your attribution of your catering to reeducation as an approach which might have have validity as stemming from patriarchal relations.

    Some people, no doubt, desire that the patriarchal relations which predominate in society by confirmed as justified. They are waivering in uncertainty, but desire to go in the opposite direction in relation to patriarchy than you do. So, for some — probably those that reeducation implicitly caters for — it is desirable to have one’s confidence undermined, to plunge oneself into doubt, and to feel guilty or inadequate. This is a solution to their COGNITIVE DISSONANCE that has them feeling that not everything about patriarchy is ok. They allow themselves to be made weaker so that they can shrink into the embrace of Daddy-O.

    But for those who are stronger, this is entirely the wrong direction and the wrong solution. We need to deal with our cognitive dissonance about patriarchal values by uprooting the remains of those values in our lives. We have already achieved such a high level of maturity that to go the other direction, towards childlike supplication, feels like violent contradiction and self destruction.

    Reeducation wasn’t for you, and it would not have been for me. But, for those whose cognitive dissonance is bothering them, making them unsettled, it does supply some kind of a solution — albeit an immoral one.

  2. “albeit an immoral one”

    Key, key point.

  3. I lift a glass to toast your health from my outpost in middle gringolandia.

  4. “middle gringolandia” LOL!

  5. reminds me of a simple rule for myself i learned a long time ago, one that our culture here in the USA seems to go against in a million ways:

    Intuition is a Great Gift. Trust it.

  6. I know – but that was what Reeducation would not allow! I hadn’t figured out it was un-American but maybe that’s the problem! Anyway, Reeducation was mad at me because I worked by intuition. It said it could not be intuition, it must be impulse, because people who have worked the 12 steps have intuition, but people who have not only have impulses.

    Reeducation said that if any of your parents were ever alcoholic, you had no positive intuition and should only ever do the opposite of what your intuition tells you. I said that was ridiculous and they said I was an alienated intellectual. Thoughts could not be trusted, they said; only feelings could, and/but if I could think, then I could not feel or had only invalid feelings. So you could neither be logical nor intuitive, and thinking was bad, and true feelings could not be felt by me. So I was supposed to act according to what *Reeducation* felt. This was how Reeducation was 100% narcissistic and 100% authoritarian – not to mention plain old bossy! 😉

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