What is happening in our times? Are we experiencing a serious crisis? Why do people suddenly have the feeling that something got broken and now feel disappointed? What does the future hold for us?
A Czech newspaper started a series of articles where writers describe how they see the changes taking place. Today we shall hear an author who knows the Czech soul from the inside out., namely Dr. Max Kasparu, physician, theologian and psychiatrist:
Every student of medicine is taught from the beginning by his professors to ask himself when treating a patient the two basic questions- why and how.
Why is the patient sick? A diagnostic question which leads to the determination of the disease. How to heal it? A therapeutic question- finding the way to health.
If our society is sick- and it definitely is- we all keep asking both questions. Except perhaps a few high-ranking politicians who generally have other problems than ordinary people. Everyone has a different opinion. Some people blame communism, some blame consumption, others the new liberalism or hedonism. In my opinion there are no abstract mysterious –isms at work here, but rather three corruptive illnesses: The loss of shame, the expansion of society without respecting natural social norms and a feeling of oppressive helplessness emanating from the previous two sicknesses.
“ You are living in a country where nothing is shameful”. This was said by an Asian student after he had spent a year in the Czech Republic. His evaluation of the climate in our country was short but exactly to the point. He was right. Somehow decency evaporated from our Czech lands. Today very few people understand the concept of shame. A child is not ashamed to make fun of his teacher, a man is not ashamed to leave his wife and children for a mistress, children do not feel ashamed to raise a hand to their parents. It is not shameful to live like a parasite or to publicly promote evil. Why then should the politicians serving the various mafias feel ashamed to lie, steal and deceive?
A big part of the blame should be assigned also to the media that make a tragedy out of a banality and conversely handle a tragedy like a banality. We live in a time that tells us to wear everything inside out. The norms of behavior are presented to us by some abnormal soulless celebrities of all kinds. They have actually become the gurus replacing the wise poets and enlightened authorities- the so-called idols that a modern Czech United European should kick into the gutter. The programs of some television studios which should cultivate the human soul and refine the sense of beauty, truth and goodness offer instead blood, adrenaline and testosterone…
Whenever I am called as an expert witness in psychiatry to a court hearing which deals with a young delinquent’s behavior I want to often accuse the system that rules this country and whose victims the young people have become. But who is interested? Certainly not the politicians. They have other concerns. The ones in power try to keep their positions in the service of the various mafias as long as possible by any means available and the ones who are on the outside are looking for some tactics to replace them without the relic that used to be called decency.
Ordinary mortals in this country naturally suffer feelings of injustice and violation, but the steamroller of politics and business continues merrily on its course. And why not!
The promises, phrases and sweet smiles of the candidates from campaign posters disappear very quickly. And nobody is ashamed of anything. I suggest that everyone in our society receive an infusion of shamefulness and that some selected individuals receive an implantation of a conscience. Both procedures would be difficult because in the first case we might not find any usable non-collapsed veins and in the second case we might not be able to cut through their thick elephant skin.
Instead of homes there are barracks.
In the past- when a mason wanted to build a sturdy and straight house- he needed, in addition to stones and bricks, also mortar and a plumb bob. The mortar was needed to hold the stones and bricks together, the plumb bob was necessary to make the walls straight. The contractors of modern times are using for their buildings economic rocks and legal bricks- i.e. always new and different laws and regulations, but they absolutely refused to use any cement and have no respect for a straight wall. They place brick over brick without any mortar which is a mixture of humility, generosity, well-wishing, gentleness, chastity, temperance and diligence. In the past this bonding compound used to be known as the seven major virtues. The plumb bob- which is ruled by the natural law of gravity- was now made into a pendulum. Things that were once clearly taboo were made to oscillate proudly thanks to modern relativism. Also- when building a wall, it is customary to place the stones in the foundation and the bricks on top of it. In other words , the laws are above the market. But in a Czech project it is vice-versa. It appears that the market has precedence over the laws. The stronger the teeth of the market the more toothless become the laws. Without mortar and with a pendulum in hand one can build at most a shack. So much about diagnosis.
What about it? There are two solutions- either one can tear down the foiled construction or run away from it in time. The first solution would mean a revolution, the other suggests emigration. If I suggested the first course of treatment I might be prosecuted for a criminal act- i.e. for damaging foreign property. Really foreign property. I am afraid that nothing in this country belongs to us anymore- not even the rickety shack. Should I suggest emigration, I might be asked: Where shall one run? Not into any European country because any European house was restored by the same architects that had helped us to build that rickety barrack.. They all also built without morality with a pendulum in their hand.. Maybe it would be wise to run after that Asian student to the country where shamefulness has not yet died out.
The third disease is an epidemically spreading feeling of helplessness. It appears that we all are gradually drowning in it. Once every few years a lifesaving boat is thrown to us in the form of general elections, but soon it becomes clear that even the boat has a hole in it. Depression is replaced with frustration, disappointment is replaced with helplessness. And that helplessness combined with a feeling of inconclusiveness is very dangerous. If it lasts for a long lime, it changes into aggression. And that is already present. We can see it growing even among school children.
Let us be honest and let us not complain only about the ones “in power”. We caused all of this ourselves when we accepted the perverted lifestyle which tells us:” Live richly on the outside and poorly inside.” As long as our nation will not make a change and refuse to live richly outside and poorly inside, we do not have a chance… Then I won’t be able to do anything else but lock up my office, stop making diagnoses, suggest therapies and run somewhere to hide. Run among the crazies. It will not be out of cowardice and I wont’ be the only one. Without intrinsic change and without penance we all shall end up there.
Translated by Marie Dolanska
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