I corrected that statement to read that man is an animal that has to integrate risk into his daily living in order to feel fully alive. I don't think that this question can be reduced to the idea, necessarily pejorative in most people's minds, of a fix.
I did NOT say what form that that risk HAD to take. And I did not, I think, make any prescriptive statement about it. But I definitely believe that being vibrantly alive is a positive value.
By being vibrantly alive, I mean the capacity to feel pleasure, and pain INTENSELY, as each presents itself, and without seeking to dull down our senses, or our emotions. Without feeling that the intensity of our emotions is something bad, something that is not normal (pathological) and needs to be controlled at all times. Something that we need to get rid of with drugs, or therapy, for example.
Today I want to talk about another fundamental need that I see in human beings.
The need to believe in magic.
For me, our THWARTED AND DISQUALIFIED need for magic is one of the major forces at work in the... debt bubble.
There is something... miraculous about magic.
In shrink talk in France we talk about pensée magique. Magic thought.
Magic thought is part of our childhood development.
In this shrink context, magic thought means... having things appear out of nowhere.
It means... having lily bulbs spring up automatically the second after planting them, instead of HAVING TO WAIT for them to spend time in the earth over the winter. Being the king of the castle. CREATING the world out of nothing, just for us.
And as adults, we carry around with us at all times the memories of who we were as children, what we thought and believed.
Magic thought, since it is linked with our childhood, is a vital need for us. We NEED to SEE areas of our life where magic is at work. To feel empowered. To counter the feeling of helplessness that the passage of time engenders in us. To resist the despair that accompanies that helplessness.
Magic is at work in... sticking that credit card into the ATM machine and having the bills pop out instantaneously too.
I always say that things hang together.
That means that you can take a look at the smallest part of a human structure, and see in it the structure of the whole. (Right, Thai ?)
That means that if you look at what is going on at the ATM machines on a DAILY basis, ALL OVER THE WORLD, you can ALSO have an idea of what is going on... in sovereign default. At least, in the ATTITUDES that we have towards money, and where it comes from.
What does our daily experience with money tell us AT ONE LEVEL ?
That money comes from.. ATM machines (a little bit like spaghetti growing on trees, right ?).
Now... we may know SOMEWHERE that money does NOT come from ATM machines, but that does not mean that we know EVERYWHERE that money does not come from ATM machines.
(Remember the saying "out of sight, out of mind" ?)
Indeed.... I maintain that we have set up the ATM machines PRECISELY in order to maintain intact an infantile belief that money is magic. Or rather that... GETTING MONEY is magic.
Work is a process that implies duration. Investment too.
Work for money is like sticking the lilies into the ground, in a certain way.
But... sticking the card into the machine is NOTHING LIKE the lilies gig.
It is NOTHING LIKE work.
Now, one of my major premises is that in order of us to be able to think we HAVE to be able to perceive differences BETWEEN. (This premise is founded on the structure of our language.)
And this means that...
Money comes from work "means" something IN OPPOSITION TO... money does NOT come from work.
And working for money "means" something IN OPPOSITION TO ... working NOT for money.
No differences... no money.
No differences... no work.
This "means" that our social body is constantly creating new areas, new terrains where this NEED FOR DIFFERENCE is going to play out.
If you look at this closely you will see that... one of the functions of the financial markets is to materialize that area where "money does not come from work" plays out.
And... "money does not come from work" is a manifestation of our... infantile and oh so human desire for magic in our lives.
This little development is intended to show you, among other things that..
THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS BEING OUTSIDE THE SYSTEM WHEN IT IS SOCIETY.
There is NO outside society, for the reason that society is simultaneously defining what it is IN RELATION TO what it is NOT. A paradox, admittedly...
Now of course, this demonstration has NOT taken into account WHO does WHAT, and that is very important.
It is important to US, as individuals.
But think about it.
Is it important to the social body itself, WHO DOES WHAT, and where it comes from, as long as the DIFFERENCE is maintained ?
The social body does NOT feel, eat, sleep, get pregnant, die.
Na. It is not human, the social body.
It is us, and not us, at the same time.
Magic, right ?