“When Myth Becomes History” Transcript

Guest: Jules Cashford

(Listen to the audio on the episode page.)

Betty Teng: Welcome to Mind of State, a podcast for both political junkies and armchair shrinks. I’m psychoanalyst and trauma therapist Betty Teng.

Jonathan Kopp: And I’m political communications strategist Jonathan Kopp. Join us as we welcome experts in politics and psychology to consider this, the state of our nation through the state of our minds and the mind of our state. Hi Betty.

Betty: Hey, Jonathan.

Jonathan: I am exhausted, Betty. I don’t mind telling you. I am glued to the TV, I’m watching every minute, I’m reading every article, I’m watching the videos as they continue to pour out from cellphones and other devices that were in the Capitol at that siege a couple of weeks ago.

Betty: Yeah.

Jonathan: And the more we learn, the more I want to know more, I want to understand what was going through the minds of these people. Why were they there? What were they hoping to achieve? And it’s incredibly unsettling.

Betty: Is it a shock or are you over the shock?

Jonathan: You know, I’m afraid of the normalization of it, frankly, because we need to be shocked, we need to be outraged, and we need to recognize that this is not normal.

Betty: Yeah.

Jonathan: We need heavy consequences and reckoning.

Betty: Yeah. And I think we really need to think about this, as you’re doing, you’re trying to mull this over and look at everything and think. I mean, I’m doing the same thing. It’s sort of like the, how could this be and where did this come from because it didn’t happen overnight.

Jonathan: Yeah and how do we prevent it from ever happening again. And that’s where the reckoning comes in and it’s in this moment where we are, it’s incredibly difficult to process because not only is there an overwhelming volume of content and conversation, but we’re also experiencing it in real time. We don’t yet have the objectivity of time and distance from these events that are ruling our lives at the moment.

Betty: Right, and that’s, you know, the paradoxic nature of being overwhelmed. It’s that you’re in it and you’re consumed by it and you’re feeling it and flooded by it. And yet you can’t have that distance from it to think about it, which is our objective here, is to think about the chaos, to make sense of the nonsense.

Jonathan: Indeed. I think what a wonderful stroke it is that we have an expert here with us who will help ground us with context for history, for mythology, and a remote detachment from our events here that maybe helps us give some context and a more nuanced understanding to what it is that we’re experiencing. And to help give us some perspective, our next guest is Jules Cashford. She’s a Jungian analyst who studied literature at Cambridge. Her books include The Moon: Symbol of Transformation and The Myth of the Goddess: Evolution of an Image. She’s joining us from her home in the U.K. Thank you so much for being with us, Jules.

Jules Cashford: Well, thank you very much for inviting me. It’s a great privilege.

Jonathan: You know, you’re an outside observer, can’t help but note your accent. Our audiences will identify a British perspective.

Jules: Sorry about that.

Jonathan: And you’re an outside observer of American politics and an expert on myth and history, and I wonder from your perspective, Jules, what is the view from abroad of Donald Trump’s second impeachment, this seditionist siege on the capital? What does it look like to see insurrectionists in fur pelts and horned Viking helmets and warpaint storming the U.S. Capitol?

Jules: Yeah, what a question. Well, it looks absolutely incredible, something that we could never, ever, ever have believed and yet somehow something that we could have anticipated if we had begun at the beginning of Trump’s presidency and saw the divisiveness of the way that he thought and how, right at the beginning, from “lock her up” to Hillary Clinton. I mean, I suppose from abroad, it’s inconceivable anyone would say that about their opponent. Just to start right there, and we can be over-English and over-polite, which doesn’t help either. But it’s just that the level of sneer really I think is unprecedented. It’s acknowledged and clapped really is, that’s what’s so frightening. And therefore, you sort of wonder if you haven’t seen this coming all along. And then, of course you can, one can, overdo that. But it is a culmination. It doesn’t come up completely out of the blue, does it?

Jonathan: I think it’s really, it’s instructive and it’s useful for us to think back to the beginning, as you suggest, in Trump’s attacks on Hillary Clinton. I’m reminded of his attacks on Hillary when just last week, reportedly, Donald Trump said to his vice president, either you’re a patriot or a pussy.

Jules: Yeah.

Jonathan: The paradigm there that Donald Trump is laying out, you know, using gender and sneer and this sort of personal attack really harkens back to those earliest fights that he was having and his attacks on Hillary Clinton.

Jules: Yeah. And anyone afterwards who disagreed with him. I mean, he’s bullying Pence in that moment, isn’t he? He’s threatening him–

Jonathan: Absolutely.

Jules: If you don’t go with me, you’re going to be in trouble. And that’s what he said to so many people. And that’s really what was happening in the Capitol. They weren’t going with him.

Betty: And Jules, you have written about liberty and freedom and the Constitution and the Statue of Liberty, these icons of American democracy from the perspective of from across the pond. Looking at this bullying, looking at this aggression and with your base in myth and philosophy and history, how do you make sense of what is coming out? What is the grounding in perhaps our attitudes about liberty and freedom here in the United States?

Jules: I think probably that freedom means different things to different groups of people in the United States, perhaps more polarized because it’s such a big country and also because people live slightly different kinds of lives, more than, say, in England or Britain or Scotland or Wales. And you wonder if the people who Donald Trump appeals to have felt so disenfranchised, i.e., so lacking in the freedoms that the more metropolitan, more, sort of, regular people, what we would call the establishment in English, but the political correct, as it were. What they may be seeing that they enjoy and the Trump supporters have felt sided out, really, and he spoke for them, albeit when I listened to the talks, I think, oh goodness, don’t be divisive. But from their point of view, they’re thinking, gosh someone’s on our side for once. Nobody’s been on our side and that increases. And I think it’s a projection of their own sovereignty, I suppose we might want to say, if we’re being psychological, but then at the same time, we also have to say that Trump projects his own sovereignty onto the office of president, and he unites those two so that he’s actually doing the, really, the forbidden thing to do with archetypes, which is to identify yourself with one. That’s to say, that the man Donald Trump identifies himself with the office, he becomes like a king. Therefore, he’s not subject to checks and balances that the rest of us are or that, even now, I mean, like in old England, the kings weren’t. But now, ironically, they are. And it’s therefore, you asked me about what it looks like from abroad, it’s astonishing to see that, actually, because you were the ones that broke away. You had the freedom and you wouldn’t be colonized by a wretchedly miserable, disgraceful king. And if you’re founded on freedom and that is, we would think, what would actually liberate all our feelings and make us more welcome to life, because we’re not having to defend ourselves all the time from a bad thing.

Jonathan: And yet here we are. We elected this wretched king, right. And so it was democracy that brought us there. And I wonder what, in your perspective, I’m struck by your writings, Jules, where you said in ancient cultures, the moral character of the leader was believed to have consequences for all the people and even for the land itself. So what does it say about us in light of Donald Trump’s moral failings?

Jules: Well, it’s rich. It should start the other way round, really. I mean, what does it say about him first? Because after all, this comes from Oedipus and Oedipus had made the mistake, as we might say, he did, poor man, he didn’t know he was doing it, of killing his father and marrying his mother. And therefore, the land of Thebes begins to die. And he fights it, of course, as we would. And then when he goes, he’s sent off, to the Delphic oracle who gives the word. We took the analogy that the land suffers from the king’s failings. And I’m not sure that this isn’t somehow linked. I don’t know, maybe you could tell me, is there a link between that way of thinking and the fact that Trump has ignored the pandemic pretty well and it has increased and everybody is suffering? I know they are everywhere, but–

Betty: The metaphor or the ancient story of Oedipus and the fact that Thebes suffers because he has done this dark crime does reflect something about the fact that something was wrong in our land, which may have been manifest by the pandemic of COVID-19, because COVID-19 has exacerbated a lot of the issues in the United States, more so than other parts of the world, shockingly to us. And so therefore, not only has the pandemic illuminated the illness of the leader, but has pointed out the previous illnesses that were sitting there, that this leader has for five years ignored and may have been the result of denials of these ills. You know, we have this perennial debate as to whether all of this is Donald Trump cause or symptom. And I think it’s a big question right now. I think we’re still asking that question, you know, even in this attack last week, is this because of Donald Trump? We can say yes, but were these issues embedded? And when you say, when the leader overidentifies, I mean, obviously this is a, you know, an identification as king in a democratic leader, or supposedly democratic leader, but can you tell say more about that, like what happens? Because I think it relates to something about, like, when you say history becomes myth. Yeah, you know, and you’ve written about. And I think that that’s really key and important for us to kind of be able to hold what’s going on a little bit better or see what happened, has history become a myth?

Jules: Yes, it’s a very important question. Well, I think it comes to the problem of freedom, how we interpret freedom because if we just zoomed in on one tiny little thing, the refusal of followers of Trump, because he says so, to wear face masks, because they were free not to. Well, of course, everybody has that freedom not to, but that’s just the first part of it. And the second part never seems to follow, which is the responsibility to other people’s freedom that the people who come towards us with their masks have also a right to their freedom not to be infected by our not wearing them. And it seems to me that what Trump has done is to inflate himself completely into the role of presidency, of kingship, it’s easier to say, but it comes the same thing, doesn’t it, of all powerful. My word is the God really.

Betty: Mm hmm.

Jules: That’s what we call an inflation. I mean, we can all get caught in it occasionally, can’t we, a bit of inflation, when we look at ourselves afterwards and think, oh God, and you come back down, you know, you think don’t be ridiculous. But this is a permanent thing. And if we listen to his niece, it’s always been the case that his inflation has been fed by his family and by his money dealings with people and how he can get away with it, everything.

Jonathan: Right, lack of restraint in every–

Jules: Yes, lack of restraint.

Jonathan: Just unchecked.

Jules: Yeah, so that’s the thing that, that’s the shadow side of freedom, isn’t it? That’s what we–

Jonathan: Yeah, but hasn’t, I mean, freedom as a concept, at least when we’re talking about society, community, government has never been suggested by anyone that it is unchecked, right. I mean, it’s a regulated freedom. And it’s, there’s a social compact. And that goes back to the, you know, to biblical writings, the social compact. So when did it get metastasized to meaning that freedom means I could do whatever I goddamn please?

Jules: Well, I think it’s whatever Trump goddamn pleases, that Trump said what I think is free is free. Don’t you think? If, I’m quite sure, if he said, told everyone to wear a mask of the Republican troop, they would wear one.

Jonathan: Yes, I think that’s right.

Jules: So it’s directly linked to the inflation of the leader.

Betty: And do you think that, you know, these seditionists that attacked the U.S. Capitol and, you know, threaten to attack again, we’re in this position of transition of power and a democracy’s stability is measured by a peaceful transition of power. We’re not in that right now. We’re not having a peaceful transition. And yet these seditionists who assert their freedom to not wear a mask, to carry a gun into the chambers of the House, if they so please, if they’re a member of Congress who insist upon being able to carry firearms wherever and, you know, insist on the right to have an automatic weapon here in the United States, this is not been just limited to Donald Trump’s word. You know, this has been an issue that we have grappled with in the United States for a long time. And you have talked about this, Jules. So is this uniquely American? And there are people wearing pelts and furs. And we were debating whether that was some kind of pioneer sort of symbolism, this Daniel Boone image of pioneers retaking the government. You know, I wonder what you think about that, given that you’ve kind of looked at how things have become mythologized.

Jules: Yes, I certainly think that it is a return to the original wildness of freedom from which they can do what they feel for. And as you say, it’s the same with the Second Amendment. And one of the things that that brings my thoughts to always is that it’s almost like the Constitution is such a sacred text that it can’t be rethought or adapted at all. And therefore, you’ve always got a dead certainty, as it were, to go back to, whereas we know that we’re all evolving and especially with weapons, for instance. I mean, the Second Amendment couldn’t have dreamt that, of machine guns that could finish people off or Las Vegas with bump stock or whatever it is. And yet if you tried to say, could this be updated, you get a no that’s my creed, as it were, that’s my belief, that can’t happen. And Trump, of course, endorsed that because that’s his base, isn’t it? I mean, there is a kind of narcissistic internecine relationship with his base whereby they feed each other, don’t you think?

Betty: Absolutely, absolutely.

Jules: And therefore, and if you can’t up, I don’t mean update the Constitution, because that’s obviously wrong language, but if you can’t sort of massage it a little bit into the future, for instance, I heard, and I can’t remember her name, but she was a lovely, quiet spoken senator or historian, and she was saying just what I was thinking at the time, which was that perhaps the Founding Fathers didn’t, could have imagined something a little less gentle, a little, they could have been a little more suspect about the people that would become the leaders. It was so sweetly put, and then they would have put in more checks and balances. But honestly, it’s the only [garbled] that I know, I watch Anderson Cooper every night, but I mean, I wouldn’t know therefore the whole, and I have The New York Times and all the rest of it, but it’s not enough, obviously. But you don’t see many people talking of checks and balances, like, for example, the power of the president to pardon, as in Manafort, whereby it would be very difficult to impeach someone if the president, before he leaves or in his next term, can pardon them. And this, however many days it is supposed to be between the vote and the next president, is a gap for someone who is ruthless, isn’t it?

Jonathan: It’s a dangerous period. You know, but I think what you’re, some of what you’re talking about, is the myth overtaking actual history because to say that the Constitution is sacred text is sort of buying into the mythology of it because it can’t be sacred text if it has amendments–

Betty: Right, amendments themselves.

Jonathan: –written into it. The very fact that amendments exist demonstrates that the Constitution was not perfect, that it was mutable, and the very fact that gun rights, to the extent that they exist at all in the Constitution are embodied in the Second Amendment. Yeah, it demonstrates that, right?

Betty: Right.

Jules: Yes. And that’s subject to different interpretations. It doesn’t actually say everybody can have the right to bear arms.

Jonathan: No, absolutely not.

Jules: Yes, I think that’s absolutely right. That myth, history has become mythical in the image of the, well shall we say, inflated king, who wants it that way. And that’s terribly dangerous.

Jonathan: Right. So once myth gets confused with history, you’ve said that the myth becomes destructive.

Jules: Yes.

Jonathan: And I’m wondering if there are any examples that run counter to that maxim. I mean, is the fate for every myth that it will inevitably become confused with real life and therefore always become destructive? Or are there some myths that actually work constructively?

Betty: And I think, you know, before that, can you say some of the mechanisms by which when history becomes myth, it is dangerous, Jules, in your conception of this.

Jules: Yeah, well, I mean, Joseph Campbell’s Hero with a Thousand Faces is brilliant on this, but basically myth, like the myth of freedom and the beautiful goddess of liberty, they reach down much deeper into our psyches than we probably realize. We’re moved by them and then we get inspired. And it’s that deep down place where we have to go with an honest state of mind, really, or else we can just, it can overwhelm us and we can do what we feel like, we can justify what we do because we feel it so passionately. And so it’s really about the relation of the conscious to the unconscious that decides whether a myth is going to be destructive. I mean, if the myths, if the passion of the myth is allowed to go wherever it feels like, we’re into two different levels of the psyche, aren’t we, the mythic level which is usually mediated to us through poetry or song or dance or contained, it has a containment in it, perhaps because it, as it were, knows how dangerous it can be.

Whereas if our own little stories suddenly become larger than ourselves, like [garbled], then that’s very dangerous because we take on the level of the psyche that doesn’t belong to us. So we can do anything, like Hitler, you’re all powerful. So therefore, you can’t possibly lose an election. It’s got to be stolen. And I don’t think he means it, but you could understand if he did, because it would come from this confusion, conflation of myth and history. And they should be very much kept apart, usually myth dies once it becomes into history and you just carry on, then you’re not as inspired as you might, as you were once. But suppose it doesn’t. Suppose it’s fueled by another mythic person who’s making that connection with himself, then that can go anywhere like we’ve seen it throughout history. I mean, we’ve seen the Third Reich, haven’t we, came out of nowhere, the man came out of prison.

Betty: Right.

Jules: It’s just the rhetoric and the poetry of myth. What I’m trying to say is, terribly long winded, sorry, but that the poetry of myth moves us beyond ourselves. And that’s very dangerous if we attach it to a historical position that we want, because then we get the worst of ourselves, what I want I should have, with some of the best of ourselves, as it were, which says, look, of course everybody’s born free, of course we should have freedom and of course, and therefore they can get confused, especially if we have a leader who confuses them for us in everything he does and praises us when we follow him.

Betty: So, I mean, I think it sounds like there’s also, like, a relationship between myth and, say, you know, myth has a different tenor and function than fantasy. But like, there’s a way in which we can all imagine ourselves as heroes prevailing over dark forces or opposing forces in a metaphorical sense. But if it becomes concretized, if you are actually imagining yourself as the, quote, pioneering hero attacking what you conceive to be your enemies on the U.S. Capitol, that is not symbolic. That is act literal. It’s like a–

Jules: Yes.

Betty: You know, this conflation between myth and history is almost like a literalization of myth into actual events, which is dangerous because the power and the emotions that are wild and that are bigger than ourselves, that can be destructive, that can be as aggression and anger and fear are, are best contained by art and interpreted and digested that way.

Jules: Yes, absolutely.

Betty: So then this is what’s happening. We are concretizing or some people, through Donald Trump’s permission or aegis, are concretizing these big feelings or aggressions, notions or frustrations and making them real.

Jonathan: Right. They existed long before Trump, but Trump somehow uncorked the bottle, right. He brought them out and he said–

Jules: He ratified them.

Jonathan: Yeah, he ratified them. Exactly. And so, I guess, you know, I wonder how damaged is America within ourselves and in our world standing by this moment that has been the Donald Trump presidency. If de Tocqueville said, all right, America is great because she is good, and if America ceases to be good, she will cease to be great. Have we lost our standing or do we have an opportunity for redemption?

Jules: Well, of course, there’s an opportunity for redemption, but I do think that something serious has to be done to separate from Donald Trump’s actions. And it’s really disheartening to see so many Republicans not thinking that, that they put their party beyond their country and you can’t do that and, at a time like this, and I think if they don’t do something radical like this is not us, we, America, is not like this, we are good and great, then I think it will damage the standing of America for Americans themselves, most primarily, which is really much more than mattering than what anybody else thinks of it. But I don’t think it would be so easy to be a leader in the world, and that would be terrible for the whole world.

Betty: I want to ask you about this is not us, because to a certain degree, you know, looking at it psychologically, that might imply something is cut off, meaning maybe this is us. Maybe the shadow of us is actually, needs to be acknowledged, but not in this manner.

Jonathan: No, I think you’re right, Betty. I mean, the dissonance that would be created by hundreds of elected federal officials who ran one way hard in support of Donald Trump to now do an about face and break with that. The dissonance would be too much to bear.

Betty: Well, the hypocrisy is writ large and, Jules, this is what you’re addressing in some senses. And I read something by a historian that was talking about the ratification that the Republicans gave to the lie of the steal. So I think in your conception of myth and history, they gave a ratification to the lie by defending it in the House and in the Senate. And so then the joint meeting, those that said it was a steal when it was actively not a steal, the facts bear that it was not stolen. And yet these congressional members, they make it kind of real. And so I wonder, Jules, if they are making history into myth like they are actually turning a lie into reality.

Jules: Yes.

Betty: And that is where Donald Trump’s alchemy, dark as it is, is in this mixed place because his lies are, he lost, but he, quote, won for some people. So you can’t ever lose because if you just twist the reality into what you want it to be, is that right, Jules? You’re always in the myth.

Jules: Yeah, you’re always in the right. Nothing else can happen. And the fact that three times, in many cases, honest people went through every single vote, even by hand in Georgia, that’s never mentioned. That’s, I find that fascinating that I haven’t heard anybody come back with yes, but three times and by hand and are you accusing God knows how many people in Georgia of all that day’s work and then another day and another day for nothing. Are you assuming they’re all lying? And why would they do that?

Jonathan: Well, right. Because people are only useful to Donald Trump as long as they agree with him. And then once they don’t, even if it’s because facts suggest that they shouldn’t, then they become an obstacle.

Jules: Yes. And I mean, it’s almost like kindergarten like that whenever you win, there’s no problem. But whenever somebody else does, they cheat. I mean, it’s one of the first lessons we learn, isn’t it? There’s an objective reality.

Betty: Right. And it speaks to the primal nature of Trump’s psychology or his psyche. He’s very toddler-like, you know, and that’s been commented upon. And his followers seem to join him in that or it brings that out in them. And I wonder, Jules, like, looking at United States historically and over time in its mythology of really prioritizing liberty and freedom, you know, where we’re sitting in this moment where this transition of power is not peaceful and so therefore our democracy is unstable and do you feel like we can recapture the distinction between history and myth?

Jules: Well, I would have thought that every single lie should be taken into the factual level. What I hear quite a lot is that there’s so many of them that people can’t keep up.

Jonathan: It’s a torrent.

Jules: And they can’t say that’s not true. How do you know? Oh it’s true. Well, what are your criteria? Oh you don’t need any. It’s just that no one ever follows him, as far as I can see, because they’d be kicked out by then. I mean, that’s kingship, isn’t it? No one ever gets to the end of it except his niece, who–

Betty: Another psychoanalyst.

Jules: –who is wonderful, but, you know, he’s never accountable. He’s never asked to be accountable for anything. And no one ever asks the questions, that I can hear, except in tones of despair, but never personally to him. He never has to answer anything. And I’ve been thinking so much about how he never actually says anything. It’s like a sort of movement on a dance floor. It’s like–

Betty: There’s no substance

Jules: –a way to create a snare and an opposition and a further inflation of himself, and it, sort of, each time he talks, it’s almost like he gets larger and larger.

Jonathan: But it’s so transparent, isn’t it? I mean, it’s such an obvious grift, right, the notion that people say I’ve heard it suggested, it might have been, it’s so obvious and facile that it continues to astound me–

Betty: And yet, interestingly, it’s working. It’s worked.

Jonathan: –yeah, that it succeeds, right. And that this is the party of, supposedly, of law and order that has not only cheated its way to this position, Donald Trump has cheated his way, but now he’s just overturned the table. He’s no longer even cheating. He’s just, they’re just ransacking the capital.

Jules: Yeah. And, I mean, the irony is that it takes a technical company to shut him up.

Betty: Twitter and Facebook.

Jules: I mean, it’s–

Jonathan: They should have done it four years ago.

Jules: Yeah, they should have done.

Betty: Right. I mean, I think that there’s a cynical view that is that they were making too much money, up until they didn’t have to, now that he’s not going to be president anymore. And I think that that’s something to identify. We are speaking on the advent of Joe Biden and we are still talking about Donald Trump. And I’m sure that that’s, you know, a mark of his continued impact of his psychopathology. However, you know, in this moment where so many historic things are happening, it’s hard to even process. There’s this raid on the U.S. Capitol, which is absolutely unprecedented, a second impeachment of a President of the United States, which is still hard for me to read and make sense of, impeached again just almost sounds like an absurdist joke. There is a question of a transition of power that is going to be or is unstable in the United States. And where are obscuring the very interesting fact of we’re having our first vice president who is a woman and a person of color, and that just gets sort of like left far, far down the table. And Joe Biden is going to enter into the, ascend the presidency with a majority rule in the Senate, which we didn’t think was going to happen.

Jules: Yeah.

Betty: And so, you know, how do you see that moment, Jules? You know, with your perspectives on myth, politics, and history, you know, how can we use that expertise to think about this differently than, say, the folks do on CNN and MSNBC and Fox News?

Jules: I would have thought it would start by stopping the obsession with what Trump says, thinks, and does, that he should be just not spoken of if possible.

Betty: Mm hmm.

Jules: And leave it to the banks. I mean, there are other people who he might listen to, as it were, because he has to. And I think what we’re doing, of course, we have to, but we’re at the end of it. We’re at the end of talking about Trump, hopefully–

Jonathan: Let’s hope.

Betty: Yeah.

Jules: It should only be thought of as a mirror to something good that’s happening from now on. I would have thought that the best thing that we could do is simply embrace Joe Biden and try and protect him and Kamala Harris from these, the people who will look for everything they do to run them down in the name of Trump, presumably. Thing is, he’s not gone, is he? I mean, he’s not going to go, unless he’s sort of frozen out.

Betty: We may have to sort of do something like banish him from our minds. Some kind of, you know, act that way.

Jonathan: He whose name must not be mentioned.

Betty: Yeah, right.

Jules: That’s right.

Betty: It may not, I mean, you know, this is something that we have to mull over and have to think about, you know, and what we’re doing as putting a lens of psychology onto politics is how do we think about this in a different way and make sense of nonsense?

Jules: Yeah.

Betty: And so I think your wisdom on, you know, not giving fuel to the attention fire of Donald Trump might be a great way to sort of conclude our conversation.

Jonathan: Well, I have a question for the two of you, though, before we go, because I need the insight from the mental health professionals. And that is given that the U.S. electorate and perhaps the world has become so addicted, for better and for worse, to the chaos that has been the Trump era, how will our minds adapt, reset to the predictable boredom of a technocratic professional who is not keeping us at, you know, at these manic levels of highs and lows with every news cycle? Are we capable of adapting back to some normal set of predictable behaviors and emotions, or are we going to need the fix?

Jules: I think one of the things that keeps us going on Trump is that we have the delusion that we can convince anyone through argument and we are absolutely nuts to carry on thinking that. And I can’t prevent myself from thinking at every moment of the time I ever see him. But I know it’s wrong at the same time. So maybe we can actually just give up that because it may have, we may have some deeper longing for our own worldview to be reinstated at the heart of it, which would be our unconscious, not being very helpful. And maybe we should just let it go again and just focus on curing people, on healing the pandemic. When we’re in these states, it helps, doesn’t it, when we do something most precise and particular, and we set ourselves some limited goal and we don’t mind about the noise and we don’t want, don’t care if anybody agrees with us, we just do a little bit and then a little bit more. And it’s a goal that’s a good one. And that’s enough, really. I think his inflation doesn’t help our own anti-inflation on him. Certainly speaking for myself, I know as some people raise their eyes when I start to talk about Trump, and I definitely understand and I try not to, but you know what I mean probably.

Betty: Absolutely.

Jules: I think it’s, I just, listening to Joe Biden’s talk, it’s very precise and particular, and it’s measured. And if we just followed the next stage next and tried to help people not be ill, that is enough, isn’t it, to be getting on.

Betty: Yeah.

Jules: That would probably cure us, do you think?

Betty: I think that’s well said, Jules, and I think what you’re both point to is that there’s an addictive quality to what has been going on. And so we need to recognize that, which is what we’re doing right now and detox, you know, we have to go into rehab. This is, we need to start to take ourselves off this drug and go with, it will be a relief. It is a relief. And we have to take care, just like you were saying, Jules. Heal, take care of the pandemic, deal with healthcare, deal with the economic crisis, focus on wellness. And I think that that will actually settle the ills of all of this over-anxiety and uncontained aggression and rage. It sounds simplistic, but it really is like, on following what you say, Jules, and Joe Biden himself is really focused on this. And I think it’s the right way forward.

Jules: No, I think that’s lovely. Yeah.

Jonathan: Thank you. It’s a wonderful prescription. Thank you so much for joining us.

Jules: It’s been lovely to talk to you. Really, it has.

Betty: Thanks for joining us on this episode of Mind of State. If you liked this episode, you’ll find plenty more on Apple podcasts or anywhere else you get your podcasts.

Jonathan: You can also find us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram at Mind of State Pod. Our website is MindofState.com.

Betty: Mind of State is produced by Alletta Cooper and Jenny Woodward. Special thanks to our co-founder, Thomas Singer. I’m Betty Teng.

Jonathan: And I’m Jonathan Kopp. Join us next time on Mind of State.