Sunday, January 09, 2011
F. Joseph Smith on the dirt in therapy.
We are not only in a purified and rarefied world but on the earth: thus we partake of the clean and unclean. The lived world is a contaminating one. Only artificial islands are clean; but they are remarkably out of touch with reality, even as they call themselves metaphysically real. Ontological ‘uncleanness,” which characterizes the good earth, means facing and encountering every thing that is earth-laden: from the unthought regions of philosophy to the great unwashed mass, which the other is. Thus a “Yes” to world and earth implies also a “Yes” to its contaminating “dirt. Being Invoked in human existence means, literally, rolling around in It. This Is not for the Platonist or metaphysician. It is not for the scientist who has developed antiseptic categories and procedures, especially if his object is the human psyche. Therapy is not a question of erasing dirtying questions and problems and giving the patient a "clean" bill of mental health. "Therapy" ought to mean helping the patient grow: in the laying bare what he can become. But true growth--i.e., growth in which truth may emerge—takes place only when we sink deep roots into earth, for it is earth that keeps us from the evasive existence in a world of idea or object, in the antiseptic world of traditional philosophy and science.

P. 196
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