Here's the title of a June cover story of NEWSWEEK Magazine: "Mommy, Am I Really Bipolar?"

The caption underneath reads: "Hundreds of thousands of children in the U.S. have been wrongly diagnosed with the trendy disorder, argues a noted psychiatrist. And the results can be tragic."

Let me cut right to the chase, because you can otherwise find many posts on my blog railing about the disgrace that is the rampant drugging of our children. The real problem is that so many people don't want to know the truth. The three main groups of adults whose charge it is to see to the well-being of our children - parents, teachers and doctors - are in fact, the three most destructive elements in our children's lives.

Parents have children that they aren't equipped to raise, because they haven't done the self-work to even remotely attain a level of self-actualization before they procreate. Consequently, they seek drugs for their children so as not to have to deal with their offsprings' complicated, evolving emotional lives and the direct challenge that presents to their egos.

Doctors drug children - and if we don't face this, we're really screwed - because it's easy and profitable. Real healing is a calling, not an intellectual exercise or the application of mechanical techniques for profit. And people, especially children, don't need to be "fixed," as much as they need guidance on how to use their own inner healing resources.

Teachers, overwhelmed and underpaid, have sadly devolved into not much more than prison wardens merely trying to control their charges and get through their day without the disruptions that the bundles of energy known as kids create as part of their natural beingness.

We so desperately want to believe in our images and idealizations of authority figures, but let this NEWSWEEK piece be a warning, folks: the price of denial is high.


Well over a decade ago, I read a book called "THE SADOMASOCHISM OF EVERYDAY LIFE: Why We Hurt Ourselves and Others and How to Stop" by John Munder Ross, Ph. D. The book illustrated quite lucidly how we act out impulses to hurt ourselves and others regardless of what our main character structure is. As I mentioned in my introduction to the Masochistic Character Structure, everyone has some of this baby, and it is the lynchpin of so many of our dysfunctional dynamics.

But here's an interesting thing I never really noticed before: in the Declaration of Independence, the founding fathers understood that masochism was a species problem for the whole human race.

For real! I'm telling you - these guys were channeling!

Check out the highlighted passage below.

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed."

Wow! "...more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed."

Translated: "We are more inclined to continue our painful impulses and actions than to dismantle the structures we're familiar with."

This is one of the biggest barriers in any healing process, and I point it out constantly to people when they complain, not consciously understanding why they keep finding themselves in the same painful circumstances over and over.

"Because it's familiar," I'll say.

And human beings cling to the familiar to their last breath, practically, or for as long as "evils are sufferable." In other words, until things have gotten so bad that facing oneself is unavoidable, we will choose our old, dysfunction habits, what Freud called our "repetition compulsions."

So, I offer this suggestion - that you all discover your rights to "Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness" by abolishing the sadomasochism of your everyday life through a commitment to some serious self-work. Because it's not about wearing a mask of "being nice," people, it's about being free, being real and vibrating with vitality and pleasure.

Do it!

Declare your independence!


Here's Auntlori:

I would have to agree with this, particularly at this time while I have two preschoolers. I watch in awe at some of these parents signing their children up for activities every single day of the week - in addition to preschool. The parents I am talking about have children the exact same ages as mine- 2 and 3! Many parents believe that if they get "them" started early, they will be ahead of the game, they will somehow advance past their peers because they have been doing "it" longer. There is nothing said about whether the kids actually enjoy "it" or show any kind of special talent. I never tried to "teach" my kids to walk - they did it when their bodies and minds were ready to (one at 12 months and one at 16 months). One was not a better walker as a result and no one felt left behind because his friends were walking and he wasn't! People should stop trying to mold their kids into what they think they should be - leave the kids alone - they do things in their own individual time and their beautiful special talents will emerge naturally if they are given the room to express them. The foundation for the preschool I picked for my boys is Learning Through Play. If it's not fun, no one learns anything and really, if it's not fun why bother? because you'll be ahead of the next guy? Who cares if you're not having a good time?!

Here's PL:

Amen, Auntlori! Thank you!!


Below is my response to an article from a couple of years ago on the question. It is one that is getting asked more and more frequently these days as marriage itself as an institution is being challenged. As a sociologist and a psychotherapist, I see this challenge as a very positive turn of events. Intention is everything, I often say, and far too many people have jumped into marriage and parenting with a negative intention - i.e. - to satisfy the demands of their egos, images and societal conventions.

Here's my edited comments:

If we’re talking about having “an affair,” as in having sex and romantic interludes with someone outside of your marriage and keeping it a secret, then we’re talking about unactualized behavior and a limited level of consciousness.


Well, implied by the secrecy aspect of the scenario is that there is some dissatisfaction in the marriage that hasn’t been addressed over time, which means there is a limited level of honesty and open communication between the spouses, which is unactualized behavior.

On the other hand, if the purported reason for the secrecy is “structural” – i.e. - to keep the “intact family” intact, then what you’re describing is a household without Eros. There might be love all around, but a marriage without Eros does not provide a healthy environment for either spouses or children to live in.

Moving towards the so-called “open marriage” scenarios, well... polyamory is certainly a valid life-choice, and an interesting way to engage in relationships, but once you’ve played that hand out (usually before middle age, if you're developing normally), a self-actualized individual will inevitably gravitate towards the rich mine of “spontaneous monogamy,” (as opposed to the contractual kind) in order to have that ultimate experience of love, Eros and sex focused like a laser through one person meeting you at the same of intensity.

Deep levels of self-revelation, which deepen, sustain and expand the experience of love, Eros and sex, takes time and focus. The “free sample” of falling in love, be it in an affair or otherwise, is exactly that – a free sample. To really cash in, you have to do the self-work necessary to keep the channels open to your inner self and to your partner's inner life.

Regarding affairs or polyamory, some participants in extramarital explorations worry about the consequences - i.e. - “What happens if my partner falls in love? This would be a betrayal of the deal, no?”


Betrayal only starts with betrayal of yourself, from denying yourself fulfillment, from not having the will to tell your partner that you might be dissatisfied with some aspects of your marriage, or even that you’re having feelings for someone else. Some well-timed “havoc” is very often what saves a marriage and a family from a life of hunkering down into masochism, martyrdom and unhappiness.

And there’s no valid reason that raising kids, pursuing careers, or getting older has to kill the Eros, either, folks. It's all about the honesty and exposure, and it's all worth it!


I'm reposting this from 2 years ago because Elizabeth Warren is finally running for higher office. She's got my vote for everything!

As regular readers of my blog know, I have my heroes... I mean, besides Mickey Mantle, who was my childhood role model for my masochistic character structure. Peter Breggin, Alexander Lowen, William Kuntsler have been a few among several public figures who've I admired in recent years.

One of the criteria to become a present-day hero of mine is that you must be willing to speak Truth to power or convention.

Currently, two of my top tier heroes in that department are Matt Taibbi, the stunningly brilliant and ruthlessly thorough journalist, and Elizabeth Warren, Harvard Law Professor and Chairperson of the Congressional Oversight Panel, and the rare academic and person in government willing and able to explain in plain language the facts of matters that the crooks and liars who are pillaging our country would rather have not understood.

This week, it's all been brought together by Taibbi in a piece on his blog called: "ELIZABETH WARREN FOR PRESIDENT!"

I have had that exact same feeling as Matt every time I've heard Elizabeth speak or read her words. (See my piece: "CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE ECONOMIC SOUL!" LISTEN TO ACTUAL HISTORY FOR A CHANGE!!!")

Also, read two pieces by me on Taibbi: "TOUGH READING" and "YOU ARE THE ONLY GAME THAT ISN'T RIGGED."

[NOTE: Now, don't write in telling me that I'm turning on President Obama prematurely. I am still fully confident in Obama's adult levels of maturity and presence of mind, as well as his intellect and relative egolessness. I believe that the country is moving forward progressively because of the consciousness that he represents, and as a result, I am more confident in the direction we are heading than I have been in over thirty years. I just love great Truth-tellers, that's all.]


You know, one of my 3D fascinations has always been baseball, a timeless (literally) endeavor that bridges the definitions of "game" and "sport," is originally and uniquely American, is the subject of one of my favorite movies, "Field of Dreams," and, of course, my favorite up and coming TV show, "CITY ROCK." (Softball-baseball, same thing.)

But my love of baseball isn't "traditional," nor of its traditions. In fact, in most cases, relating to most things, I abhor tradition, because adherence to tradition tends to be what fear of growth and resistance to change like to hide behind. Furthermore, so-called "traditionalists" most often, and barely disguised, are operating from their childish egos which idealize parental authority.

Case in point - there is a debate currently raging in baseball (finally!) about the absolute authority of umpires. In a technological age such as ours, when we are able to follow the trajectory of a small sphere, less than 3 inches in diameter, moving at 90+ miles an hour, in such super slow motion that we can see a speck of clay on its surface and count the number of rotations as it travels the 60 feet to home plate, more and more people feel that relying on the utterly flawed judgements of men (euphemistically called the "human element" by purists) is just a bit too traditional!

Too many baseball games (and yes, they are just games) are being blown by umpire mistakes, which, because we have the technology to see them more clearly, are seeming more and more absurd. It's not about winning or losing for me. A good game is a good game, whoever wins. For me, the umpire debate is about the refusal to grow up and let go of the illusion that parental authority is somehow inherently "good." It's not. It's just parental.

Here's a piece from yesterday's Sporting News entitled: "It's time for baseball to scrap the 'human element' and bring in more instant replay!"



"You're not selfish enough to be a good boyfriend!"
("Mindy" to "Frank" in Season 2 of CITY ROCK)


CITY ROCK's First Video Trailer: "The Decision!"

City Rock - The Decision (Final) from Platinum Platypus on Vimeo.

CITY ROCK's Second Video Trailer: "The Face Off!"

CITY ROCK's Third Video Trailer: "The Project!"

"WORKING CLASS HERO" (Full version from CITY ROCK: "The Project!")

Performed by Jesús Cristal, with Christina Giordano on background vocals and Peter Loffredo producing.

Slide Show from the set of City Rock's Soon-to-be Released Fourth Video Trailer: "The Heat Wave!"

Repost: "Eric Erikson on Adulthood!"

This is from Erikson's famous work: The "EIGHT STAGES OF THE LIFE CYCLE." It was rare that psychologists wrote about adulthood in the same way that the stages of childhood were explored in such depth by so many. Yet, we do not stop developing once we reach adulthood, which Carl Jung says doesn't really occur until we are around 40 years old.
Following are excerpts from Erikson's book about the three stages of adulthood, as he saw it, that I used for a class I taught on adulthood:

"6. Intimacy and Distantiation Versus Self-Absorption – It is only after a reasonable sense of identity has been established that real intimacy with others can be possible. The youth who is not sure of his or her identity shies away from interpersonal intimacy, and can become, as an adult, isolated or lacking in spontaneity, warmth or the real exchange of fellowship in relationship to others; but the surer the person becomes of their self, the more intimacy is sought in the form of friendship, leadership, love and inspiration. The counterpart to intimacy is distantiation, which is the readiness to repudiate those forces and people whose essence seems dangerous to one’s own.

7. Generativity Versus Stagnation – Generativity is primarily the interest in establishing and guiding the next generation, although there are people who do not apply this drive to offspring but to other forms of altruistic concern and creativity which may absorb their kind of parental responsibility. This is a stage of growth of the healthy personality, and where such enrichment fails, regression from generativity to an obsessive need for pseudo intimacy takes place, often with a pervading sense of stagnation and interpersonal impoverishment. The mere fact of having, or even wanting children does not itself attest to generativity.

8. Integrity Versus Despair and Disgust – Only a person who has in some way taken care of things and people and has adapted to the triumphs and disappointments of being the originator of others and the generator of things and ideas – only that person may gradually grow the fruit of the [prior] seven stages. [The state of] integrity is the acceptance of one’s own life cycle and of the people who have become significant to it as something that had to be and that, by necessity, permitted of no substitutions. It thus means a new, different love of one’s parents, free of the wish that they had been different, and an acceptance of the fact that one’s life is one’s own responsibility. It is a sense of comradeship with men and women of distant times and of different pursuits who have created orders and objects and sayings conveying human dignity and love. The possessor of integrity is ready to defend the dignity of his or her own lifestyle, knowing that an individual life is the…coincidence of but one life cycle with but one segment of history, and that all integrity stands and falls with the one style of integrity of which he or she partakes. Lack or loss of this accrued integration is signified by despair and often an unconscious fear of death. Despair expresses the feeling that time is short, too short for the attempt to start a new life and to try out alternate roads to integrity. Such a despair is often hidden behind a show of disgust, or a chronic contemptuousness. Integrity, therefore, implies an emotional integration which permits participation by followership as well as acceptance of the responsibility of leadership."


I wrote the pilot episode of City Rock a few months after 9/11/01. Over the next 2 years, I wrote another 9 one-hour episodes, including a season finale that I was very happy with. The scripts just flowed out of me, effortlessly, coming from a place other than my intellect or memory. Two years ago, in 2009, it occurred to me that I should finish the first season according to the contemporary standard of 13 episodes, so I wrote and inserted three more scripts where I felt inspired to do so.

"ORIA," the story of a young Dominican girl caught up in the crack cocaine trade in Washington Heights in the early 1980's, was one of those new scripts, and a favorite of some fans of City Rock.

Here is the finale of the episode:

CAMERA follows Frank as he moves through the sea of intense teens. Many of them acknowledge Frank with various nicknames and street slang, almost all are affectionate in their energy towards him.

He sees her, sitting in a corner, hunkered down with her book.


She doesn’t look up. He squats down next to her.

FRANK (cont’d)
What are you reading?

She closes the book.


I’m sorry about Manny, Oria.

We were going to go back to Santo Domingo and live on the beach.

He told you that?

She shakes her head.

FRANK (cont’d)
You know, Oria, I don’t think that would have ever happened.

Manny always meant what he said.

He may have meant it, but... Manny was hurting people and heading for a bad ending.

You mean because he was selling drugs?

Frank nods.

ORIA (cont’d)
So many people seem to really want drugs, though.

That’s true. It’s confusing.



It’s confusing.

Frank is sitting on the couch, across from the therapist.

FRANK (cont’d)
Why do we desire things so desperately that are bad for us?


Frank looks curious.

BARRY (cont’d)
When someone abuses us, it often seems to come out of left field. When we do it to ourselves, we’re in control of the abuse. We know it’s coming. There’s no shock factor. We’re making the choice.

So, what am I doing? Why am I so drawn to all of this... drama? I don’t think I was abused in my childhood.

Think again.

What do you mean?

In a way, you’re at a disadvantage compared to someone like Jennie. It’s easy for someone to know they’ve been abused when a parent was a drunk or was violent or flamboyantly crazy. But when the parents seemed normal, seemed to be in control of themselves because their dysfunctions were outwardly masked or socially acceptable, that child’s got a tougher time in their healing process.
Who are you trying to save, Frank? Really?

Frank reflects silently.



Jennie is smoking a cigarette on a cement bench in front of the center. The building behind her is a 2-story adobe structure painted in pastel colors that blend in with the desert surroundings.

CLOSE-UP of Jennie shows her lost in thought.

Guess you didn’t know you had so much to think about.

Jen doesn’t turn around. She knows the raspy voice. We see who it is. It is the tall, thin, weather-and-life-beaten black man who looked in on Jennie while she was detoxing.

He is CONAN MATHIAS, counsellor at the Phoenix Center. He walks over and stands next to her.

Who says I’m thinking?



Frank enters his apartment and turns on the light. The place looks somehow particularly empty tonight.

He walks in and takes a beer out of the fridge, pops the top and takes a deep draught.

He sees that a note is on the floor, near the door. He goes over and picks it up.

He reads:

"A leader is at his best when after his work is done, his aim fulfilled, his followers will say: we did it ourselves."



I am floored, bowed, crushed, humbled, bathed in the glow of the gifts bestowed so freely and powerfully and generously by all of you yesterday at the 4th City Rock shoot. Not only does this just never seem to end, but the depths of your talent and the light of your souls bursting through your hearts keeps getting brighter and brighter! My unconditional love to you all!
Pictures to come!


I frequently make reference to "character structures" on this blog, the conglomerate of defenses and deformations that we create in childhood in order to survive the slings and arrows of growing up with less than self-actualized parents in an imperfect world. But underneath each character structure lies an evolving, magnificent soul, our true essence, the "template" of who we are in a particular lifetime - our "Higher Self."

It is from that Higher Self that we draw the material that shapes the "style" of our character structure, and back to that unencumbered Higher Self that our journey ultimately takes us, sooner rather than later if we do the self-work necessary to actively dismantle our defenses.

So, here is a breakdown of what each Higher Self looks like underneath each particular character structure. It is always valuable to be reminded that whatever our dysfunctions, our true nature is a thing of great beauty.


- Strong connection to and awareness of the profoundly spiritual nature of life;
- Access to vast universal wisdom and the capacity to teach others how to make the connection to that wisdom;
- Great courage and fearlessness to connect with feelings;
- Great capacity to create and appreciate beauty, including through artistic abilities.


- Great capacity to give to others in a deeply nurturing, truly healing way;
- An appreciation for the vastly abundant nature of existence and the joy of sharing;
- Genuine independence, autonomy and self-confidence with full capacity to surrender to the oneness with another;
- Powerful intuitive abilities and the capacity to follow insights through to fruition by sustained, patient effort.


- Great capacities for pleasure, humor, optimism, playfulness and joy;
- Genuine supportiveness, strength and desire to be of service to others;
- An expansive, open heart with deep compassion, true kindness and understanding;
- Positive assertiveness and healthy aggression with substantial amounts of energy;
- Ability to be spontaneously creative in the moment, surrender ego control and trust the natural order in all things;


- Great leadership and executive qualities and capacities to bring people with differences together in a harmonious effort;
- Strong abilities to guide and inspire others to accomplish their chosen tasks in life and see their own specialness without competitiveness or separation;
- True innovators and adventurers able to travel “the road not taken”, or “to boldly go where no one has gone before”, without recklessness or excess;
- A genuine seeker of truth, with genuine humility, honesty, loyalty and unwavering integrity;
- A truly big heart full of love and fearlessness to surrender to the flow of feelings, life and the Higher Self.


- Tremendous passion and connection to the sensuality of human relationships, with a true appreciation for and capacity to express the wonder of coming together physically in love with another;
- Great capacity to let go and surrender to the flow of love, to fall in love with life and with others;
- Genuine capacities to make and sustain commitments;
- Strong organizational skills combined with flexibility, patience and acceptance of new approaches to situations;
- A deep appreciation for the beauty of physical life, and sensibilities to integrate the elements of form to create beauty.


Read the cover story article in Rolling Stone on George Harrison. Here's a good one from the piece: in addition to the infamous rejection by Decca Records ("They'll never go anywhere."), the Beatles lost a local talent show "to a novelty band fronted by a midget!" After that, they went from performing at a Hamburg, Germany dive bar to recording "Sergeant Peppers..." a mere 6 years later!!
Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.


"As breath has a power to join body, mind, and spirit, so too and more passionately does music."
(Krista Tippett in a beautiful blog piece on Bobby McFerrin)


Ugh! Here we go again. First week of school. HERE is a link to some pieces I've written over the course of this blog's existence on why kids would be better off is teachers and parents left them alone.


Check out the hot new blog on the block - "ThroughHarley" - and enjoy the wisdom, humor and honesty of the old soul inhabiting this unique young person!


Read THIS: "Unprecedented Run Of U.S. Natural Disasters Costs Billions, Strains Infrastructure

You could be like "the experts," who say "What's happening is mostly random chance or bad luck, though sometimes the luck seems downright freakish."

Or you could read about The Wave on this blog!

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