Always speak of it, never think of it

Instead of working to gain self-awareness, the initiates become adept at subsuming all instinctual conflicts under such concepts as inferiority complex, mother-fixation, extroversion and introversion, to which they are in reality inaccessible. Terror before the abyss of the self is removed by the consciousness of being concerned with nothing so very different than arthritis or sinus trouble. Thus conflicts lose their menace. They are accepted, but by no means cured, being merely fitted as an unavoidable component into the surface of standardised life. At the same time they are absorbed, as a general evil, by the mechanism directly identifying the individual with social authority, which has long since encompassed all supposedly normal modes of behaviour. Catharsis, unsure of success in any case, is supplanted by pleasure at being, in one’s own weakness, a specimen of the majority; and rather than gaining, like inmates of a sanatorium in former days, the prestige of an interesting pathological case, one proves on the strength of one’s very defects that one belongs, thereby transferring to oneself the power and vastness of the collective.

Theodor Adorno
Minima Moralia

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