Complimentary Not Equality

Be patient with me. Everything I have written so far is leading up to what everyone wants to know about human relationships. Mother and son, mother and daughter, father and son, father and daughter all the way through all the different relationships up to the last two which are the most important: husband and wife (or call it long term partners if you like) and the relationship with ourselves.

The starting point is that men and women are complementary to each other. To say that they are equal, is a misuse of the word.

Equal payments for doing the same kind of work? Yes equal. Women and men are different in their physical construction, and therefore there are some jobs that men can do better than women and some can be done better by women. These are the main differences but there many more. As the man in the French parliament said, “Vive la Difference!” If I could be a man for one day I am sure I would learn more about what it is to be a man than a lifetime’s observation. Two phrases we hear repeatedly are “I wish I could understand women” and “I wish I could understand men.” Ask any mother who has had babies of both sexes, myself included. It’s the difference that makes us interesting and, of course, the

something that cannot be done by one person. Despite the development of science, it still takes a sperm to fertilize an egg.

Back to good and bad. I’ve decided to keep these words because they are laden with emotions. After all we are not robots. First and foremost, we all have different ideas about what is good and what is evil. I am not in favour of organised religions because they, more than any other groups cause dissents about the meaning of the words that end up in wars, torture and many other evil things. My friend Jerry Planus, who is now dead after living into his late eighties, bless him, was brought up by nuns in an orphanage. He was an excellent writer and honoured me by sending me details of his early life “Cos you are an intelligent woman” by which he meant the nuns were most certainly not. I would love to publish it because it is very enlightening and fascinating. But I cannot, because it is his and I do not know if there is anyone in his very small family still alive. What he learned from his early experiences was to be an atheist and that he must trust himself and no-one else in his life decisions.

I know several stories about Jerry, but here is the one I like best. When he was fifteen years old he was sent to train to be a soldier. Despite the disgusting way he was treated by the nuns he enjoyed the new life he made for himself. When he had completed his time in the army he first cured himself of a long-standing stutter so that he would be able to be a travelling salesman and then to be a dealer in antique clocks.

He was in the army when he went to France with the infantry; part of the freeing of Europe in the Second World War. He was a big strong man and didn’t understand the meaning of fear. He got rid of that in his own way from his early experiences.

After some time had passed and he was getting tired of the slow movement forward in France and all the things he had to put up with, he found himself one day separated from his mates. Shells were dropping all the time. He looked for a safe spot to hide in. He soon came across a big crater caused by a shell. He ran and threw himself into the bottom and breathed a sight of relief.

There, shrivelled up in a corner, he spotted a very small man. His whole body was shaking with fear. He could hardly speak. Jerry stared at him, looked down at his own body and found he was quite still and relaxed. A strong feeling of anger burst out of him and he tried to learn to shake with fear himself but he found it was quite impossible.

He then turned his rage on this poor little soldier. He lifted him off his feet and shook him as hard as he could. “You blighter!! Stop shaking!” This had no effect on the little man. Jerry threw him to the ground and said “I wish I could shake like you but I can’t however hard I try. You are so lucky because you will soon be home again, but I’ve got to put up with all this to the end.” What a remarkable man!

Equality General Power and Control


Equality is a dangerous word. Everything and everybody is different from everything and everybody else. To stay in a state of open-mindedness is my basic premise. Every group has rules and regulations. The worst thing about them is the uniformity.

I have just joined The British Humanist Association, mainly because of my loathing of organised religion. I opened the envelope and two round badges popped out. I popped them straight into my waste basket. How could I walk around with the two messages that conveyed, ‘happy humanist’ and ‘good without god’ ? I treat the word ‘happy’ with great reservations, only as a state of mind that is one of many. Everything is defined by its opposite. Otherwise it cannot exist. A well-balanced human experiences both misery and happiness.

As for ‘good without god’ the word ‘good’ does not exist without the word ‘evil or bad’ and the word ‘god’ has as many different meanings as there are people in the world. My particular god is that of the philosopher Spinoza for whom ‘god is nature’, one of the best definitions I have come across.

After my first introduction to psychotherapy, the first book I ever read by Freud, when I was 18 years old, I have read everything I could find out about the subject. I knew one day I would be a psychotherapist. When I was in my sixties after my book business collapsed, I felt that the time was ripe. I knew I must get some sort of qualification. At that time anyone could give training or set up as a psychotherapist. Since I had a vast knowledge of many different methods, I decided to study NLP (neurolinguistic programming) which was relatively new and looked like fun. I joined another organisation that focused on hypnosis, because I am a natural hypnotist. I didn’t realise for decades that my gift for making myself invisible was auto-hypnosis which helped me through so many boring teachers.

After the failure of my business I took myself off for a trip round the world with the few thousand

pounds I had left. When I returned I set up in private practice and very soon had a good list of clients. At that time there were no regulations although many of the trainers had their own lists of rules.

Since psychotherapy is relatively new it is only recently that it has been a subjects for universities. When that happened the government began to take it seriously. That, of course, meant that sooner or later the government would interfere.

Now there is far too much interference in the medical profession, education and now psychotherapy. The UKCP was set up after I began my practice. I didn’t have to join, but it might be necessary once the government insisted.

It has taken the government a long time to know what to do with us. After 15 years I decided to give up my practice and get on with my writing and research instead. This was three years ago. I resigned from the UKCP Why? Because I was very dissatisfied. First, I resented having to be supervised when I was working in my own way and getting very good results, and I resented the movement to regulate which method was most important. CBT was the choice. You may notice in newspapers articles that tell us that we need more CBT practitioners. Don’t believe a word of it.

Now students who want to join the profession are being led by the nose to do a four year course which is ridiculous. Psychotherapy is not a science but it is treated as such. First class therapists and first class teachers are not made by university degrees. They are creative beings just as much as musicians, writers and all other creative beings who work in their own way.

Equality Intelligence

Liberty, Fraternity and Equality

The Marseillaise was the bloodthirsty war-cry of the French Revolution: exactly the sort of thing that aroused the hatred of those who sang it. Such powerful feelings were easily heightened. The three words liberty, fraternity and equality constantly repeated and shouted out loud had a powerful hold, especially on all the underdogs. Enhancing the envy of the have-nots by appealing to their grievances with emotive words has always been very effective. Here again we note the power of three. One word more or less would immediately spoil the impact. Look back to my article “The Magic Three” which tells us of the impact over the mob exercised by Mark Anthony in Shakespeare’s play “Julius Caesar”.

I shall now examine the three words, liberty, fraternity and equality and how they affect people in their attitudes to life.

Liberty is the most powerful word of the three. We all want freedom, or we think we do. So what does ‘freedom’ mean?

The psychotherapist, Erich Fromm, wrote a splendid book ‘The Fear of Freedom”. Why should we be frightened of it. With very good reason. The more freedom we have the more we are obliged to make decisions and take responsibility for them. Those people who feel insecure and won’t think for themselves still feel they want to be free. Free from what? Free to do what they like. But you can’t have your cake and eat it. Freedom is for the brave who do not depend on others and think for themselves. The American President, Harry Truman, quoted from Harry Vaughan “Don’t go into the kitchen if you can’t stand the heat.”

Fraternity comes next. I believe that what was meant here was that we are all connected and should respect our fellow beings. Weak people who cannot stand their own company, love to have lots of

folk round them for support. Real friendships are made when we speak openly to each other and do not try to make people like us.

Equality is linked to fraternity, but is not quite the same thing. George Orwell wrote in his book “Animal Farm”, “All animals are equal but some are more equal than others”: a delightful tongue-in-cheek comment in one of the best satires of the 20th century.

Equality does not mean that we are all the same as each other. It does mean that everyone should be treated in the same way in the eyes of the law regardless of their status in society. We are a long way from having reached such an attitude. People are still very much judged not by what they are but how much they know.


Snot Fair

Marx and Engels came up with some very good ideas which they hoped would completely change Russia for the better. But, however unsatisfactory might be the lives of most people, things cannot be changed overnight especially in such a vast country as Russia that had not been affected by an industrial revolution which meant it was very backward and very poor.

The paradox is that people do not like change, neither do they like starving to death. Since everyone is unique and at the same time everyone wants different things, it is very difficult for everyone to agree on what actions should be taken.

The times when bloody revolutions erupt are when things have got very bad because most people have lives hardly worth living. Two good examples are the French and Russian revolutions. When whole countries have suffered so much that a change is necessary, the first thing the sufferers think of is revenge. Most revolutions of this kind end up with the deaths of a vast number of people because the majority are so full of rancour that they cannot think straight and are led by the nose by power-hungry and unsuitable (to put it mildly) leaders.

Hitler’s case was rather different. Although he was a revolutionary, he was legally voted into power as President of the Reichstag, the German government, assisted by the SA, a branch of the army that backed up Hitler but wasn’t entirely under his command. In 1935 Hitler brought into being a new army, the SS, over which he had much more control. The German people were in a bad way economically after World War 1 and Hitler soon began to improve everyday life. Needless to say this made him very popular which was enhanced by his gift of oratory combined with a powerful charisma.

In a very few years Hitler managed to achieve full employment, impressive architecture, good roads and railways. He was also building up armaments under the excuse that Germany needed protection and more space.

Many people in Great Britain admired him. He kept very quiet about his plans for the holocaust of the Jews. Most of the German people knew nothing about it until the end of the war.

When I was a teacher for five years when my sons were small, I noticed how much importance the children gave to fairness. They loved to do things for me, such as cleaning the blackboard. I had to make sure that I asked for a different pupil every time. If I accidentally asked the same pupil who had done this small task the week before, a great outcry would ensue:”Miss, ‘snot fair. She (or he) did it last week!” Children would put up with anything, as long as it was fair. I realised soon why this was so important to them. Everyone needed to be recognised and no-one wanted to be left out.

For some reason this reminds me of the French Revolution and their cry “Liberty, Fraternity and Equality” Why these three? That will be my next article.