New Article by Tony Devaney published in Creative Resources.
Exploring the cultural determinants of depression In a Channel 4 television documentary in 1999, called ‘New Britain on the Couch’, the psychologist Oliver James observed, ” The thing that puzzles me is that with all this freedom and affluence, the happiness bit hasn’t come about.’ He commented that the Government was doing nothing to address our psychological well-being and in fact ‘they might be making things worse.’
He went on to pose the question as to whether consumer culture was poisoning our minds via the media, causing us to compare ourselves with others and to feel a sense of failure – a manufacturing of depression. One of the participants interviewed in the documentary said, “I have achieved all my goals. This is as good as it gets, and I hate it.”
It is the continued denial and repression of suffering and its underlying causes that keeps us from experiencing true happiness. The principles of utilitarianism and free market economics provide us with only shallow and illusory choices and fleeting satisfactions that keep us emotionally enslaved and unfree. The more intense and successful our efforts on a purely social level, the greater may be our failure to connect with our essential Self and our true ‘spiritual homeland.’