This post is also available in: Engleză
de Ichiro Kishimi și Fumitake Koga
Am găsit pe net cartea în format .pdf și în limba engleză (ia de aici). Este deja tradusă și publicată în limba română, cred că se găsește în majoritatea librăriilor online. Cu siguranță o voi cumpăra și o voi recomanda tuturor.
PHILOSOPHER: Yes, it’s a matter of courage.
YOUTH: Well, alright. There are tons of objections I would like to raise, but I get
the feeling it would be better to go into them later. I would like to confirm that
you are saying ‘people can change’, right?PHILOSOPHER: Of course people can change. They can also find happiness.
YOUTH: Everyone, without exception?
PHILOSOPHER: No exceptions whatsoever.
YOUTH: Ha-ha! Now you’re talking big! This is getting interesting. I’m going to
start arguing with you immediately.
PHILOSOPHER: I am not going to run away or hide anything. Let’s take our time
debating this. So, your position is ‘people cannot change?’
YOUTH: That’s right, they can’t change. Actually, I am suffering myself because of
not being able to change.
PHILOSOPHER: And at the same time, you wish you could.
YOUTH: Of course. If I could change, if I could start life all over again, I would
gladly fall to my knees before you. But it could turn out that you’ll be down on
your knees before me.
PHILOSOPHER: You remind me of myself during my own student days, when I was
a hot-blooded young man searching for the truth, traipsing about, calling on
philosophers . . .
YOUTH: Yes. I am searching for the truth. The truth about life.
PHILOSOPHER: I have never felt the need to take in disciples and have never done
so. However, since becoming a student of Greek philosophy and then coming into
contact with another philosophy, I have been waiting for a long time for a visit
from a young person like you.
YOUTH: First, let’s plan the points of discussion. You say people can change. Then
you take it a step further, saying that everyone can find happiness.
PHILOSOPHER: Yes, everyone, without exception.
YOUTH: Let’s save the discussion about happiness for later and address change
first. Everyone wishes they could change. I know I do, and I’m sure anyone you
might stop and ask on the street would agree. But why does everyone feel they
want to change? There’s only one answer: because they cannot change. If it were
easy for people to change, they wouldn’t spend so much time wishing they could.
No matter how much they wish it, people cannot change. And that’s why there
are always so many people getting taken in by new religions and dubious self-help
seminars and any preaching on how everyone can change. Am I wrong?
PHILOSOPHER: Well, in response, I’d ask why you are so adamant that people can’t
YOUTH: Here’s why. I have a friend, a guy, who has shut himself in his room for
several years. He wishes he could go out and even thinks he’d like to have a job, if
possible. So he wants to change the way he is. I say this as his friend, but I assure
you he is a very serious person who could be of great use to society. Except that
he’s afraid to leave his room. If he takes even a single step outside, he suffers
palpitations, and his arms and legs shake. It’s a kind of neurosis or panic, I
suppose. He wants to change, but he can’t.
PHILOSOPHER: What do you think the reason is that he can’t go out?
YOUTH: I’m not really sure. It could be because of his relationship with his parents,
or because he was bullied at school or work. He might have experienced a kind of
trauma from something like that. But then, it could be the opposite—maybe he
was too pampered as a child and can’t face reality. I just don’t know, and I can’t
pry into his past or his family situation.PHILOSOPHER: So you are saying there were incidents in your friend’s past that
became the cause of trauma, or something similar, and as a result he can’t go out
YOUTH: Of course. Before an effect, there’s a cause. There is nothing mysterious
PHILOSOPHER: Then perhaps the cause of his not being able to go out anymore lies
in the home environment during his childhood. He was abused by his parents and
reached adulthood without ever feeling love. That’s why he’s afraid of interacting
with people and why he can’t go out. It’s feasible, isn’t it?
YOUTH: Yes, it’s entirely feasible. I’d imagine that would be really challenging.
PHILOSOPHER: And then you say, “Before an effect, there’s a cause.” Or, in other
words, who I am now (the effect) is determined by occurrences in the past (the
causes). Do I understand correctly?
YOUTH: You do.
PHILOSOPHER: So if the here and now of everyone in the world is due to their past
incidents, according to you, wouldn’t things turn out very strangely? Don’t you
see? Everyone who has grown up abused by his or her parents would have to suffer
the same effects as your friend and become a recluse, or the whole idea just doesn’t
hold water. That is, if the past actually determines the present, and the causes
control the effects.
YOUTH: What, exactly, are you getting at?
PHILOSOPHER: If we focus only on past causes and try to explain things solely
through cause and effect, we end up with “determinism.” Because what this says is
that our present and our future have already been decided by past occurrences,
and are unalterable. Am I wrong?
YOUTH: So you’re saying that the past doesn’t matter?
PHILOSOPHER: Yes, that is the standpoint of Adlerian psychology.
YOUTH: I see. The points of conflict seem a bit clearer. But look, if we go by your
version, wouldn’t that ultimately mean that there’s no reason my friend can’t go
out anymore? Because you’re saying that past incidents don’t matter. I’m sorry,but that’s completely out of the question. There has to be some reason behind his
seclusion. There has to be, or there’d be no explanation!
PHILOSOPHER: Indeed, there would be no explanation. So in Adlerian psychology,
we do not think about past “causes” but rather about present “goals.”
YOUTH: Present goals?
PHILOSOPHER: Your friend is insecure, so he can’t go out. Think about it the other
way around. He doesn’t want to go out, so he’s creating a state of anxiety.
PHILOSOPHER: Think about it this way. Your friend had the goal of not going out
beforehand, and he’s been manufacturing a state of anxiety and fear as a means to
achieve that goal. In Adlerian psychology, this is called “teleology.”
YOUTH: You’re joking! My friend has imagined his anxiety and fear? So would you
go so far as saying that my friend is just pretending to be sick?
PHILOSOPHER: He is not pretending to be sick. The anxiety and fear your friend is
feeling are real. On occasion, he might also suffer from migraines and violent
stomach cramps. However, these too are symptoms that he has created in order to
achieve the goal of not going out.
YOUTH: That’s not true! No way! That’s too depressing!
PHILOSOPHER: No. This is the difference between etiology (the study of causation)
and teleology (the study of the purpose of a given phenomenon, rather than its
cause). Everything you have been telling me is based in etiology. As long as we stay
in etiology, we will not take a single step forward.
PHILOSOPHER: I am not denying that emotion exists. Everyone has emotions. That
goes without saying. But if you are going to tell me that people are beings who
can’t resist emotion, I’d argue against that. Adlerian psychology is a form of
thought, a philosophy that is diametrically opposed to nihilism. We are not
controlled by emotion. In this sense, while it shows that people are not controlled
by emotion, additionally it shows that we are not controlled by the past.
YOUTH: So people are not controlled either by emotion or the past?
PHILOSOPHER: Okay, for example, suppose there is someone whose parents had
divorced in his past. Isn’t this something objective, the same as the well water that
is always sixty degrees? But then, does that divorce feel cold or does it feel warm?
So this is a “now” thing, a subjective thing. Regardless of what may have happened
in the past, it is the meaning that is attributed to it that determines the way
someone’s present will be.
YOUTH: The question isn’t “What happened?” but “How was it resolved?”
PHILOSOPHER: Exactly. We can’t go back to the past in a time machine. We can’t
turn back the hands of time. If you end up staying in etiology, you will be bound
by the past and never be able to find happiness.YOUTH: That’s right! We can’t change the past, and that’s precisely why life is so
PHILOSOPHER: Life isn’t just hard. If the past determined everything and couldn’t
be changed, we who are living today would no longer be able to take effective steps
forward in our lives. What would happen as a result? We would end up with the
kind of nihilism and pessimism that loses hope in the world and gives up on life.
The Freudian etiology that is typified by the trauma argument is determinism in a
different form, and it is the road to nihilism. Are you going to accept values like
YOUTH: I don’t want to accept them, but the past is so powerful.
PHILOSOPHER: Think of the possibilities. If one assumes that people are beings
who can change, a set of values based on etiology becomes untenable, and one is
compelled to take the position of teleology as a matter of course.
YOUTH: So you are saying that one should always take the “people can change”
Of course. And please understand, it is Freudian etiology that
denies our free will and treats humans like machines.