1st letter to the Readers
For the past eight years we, Americans, were ruled by people who shared with each other the feature that can be named as a fundamental psychological defect – the armored self. You could see this deep psychological infirmity in their facial expressions, in their pantomime; hear it in their intonations. These people are simultaneously aloof and hot aggressive, not reachable and over-familiar. The transparent wall encircles them and separates them from the world and from Being. They are as if psychologically locked up in the bunker of their soul.
One of the consequences of this entrenched position vis-à-vis reality is their reactive and a psychologically defensive style of feeling and thinking. They are always on guard even when they are smiling, strenuous, even when relaxed, calculating even while joking and laughing. The other consequence is their intuitive and sloppy, under-mentalized manner of acting in life.
They can never take existential initiative. They move first only when they attack, only in a context of reacting (over-reacting) to the world, which they perceive as being full of dangers and intentions to hurt and to subvert them, a world that has to be neutered by their over-controlling and over-powering posture. For them reality is a terrorist phenomenon regardless of the presence or absence of actual terrorists. They are simultaneously hooked on prevention of dangers and are unable to be effective. On the level of feeling they don’t differentiate between their (glorious) intentions and their (chaotic and disordered) actions.
My book “Ideological Superstitions and Political Misperceptions in the 20th-21st Centuries” investigates the structure, the dynamics, cultural and historical roots and the ontogenetic etiology of the ARMORED SELF.
With Obama’s appearance on the political stage you can physically see what it means to be psychologically healthy – to be able to take emotional and intellectual initiative with the world, to be opened without becoming vulnerable (without exposing yourself to danger), not to be provocative by being “preventively” belligerent, to be capable of keeping positive rapport with reality.
You can notice a drastic difference between Obama and Bush Jr.’s mental condition just by seeing how the both men walk down a flight of stairs after leaving the plane. While Obama looks strong, relaxed and confident – athletic and yet gentle at the same time, Bush is strained, and stiff as a spring to instinctively hide his emotional vulnerability.