“The reasonable man adapts himself to the conditions that surround him… The unreasonable man adapts surrounding conditions to himself… All progress depends on the unreasonable man.”–George Bernard Shaw
He is unreasonable in his consistent integrity of his ideals.
Some say, because of that, he is unsafe at any speed of change.
Max and Ida Caesar ran a restaurant, a 24-hour luncheonette. By waiting on tables, their son learned to mimic the patois, rhythm and accents of the diverse clientele, a technique he termed “double-talk,” which he would famously use throughout his career. He first tried his “double-talk” with a group of Italians, his head barely reaching above the table. They enjoyed it so much that they sent him over to a group of Poles to repeat his native-sounding patter in Polish, and so on with Russians, Hungarians, Frenchmen, Spaniards, Lithuanians and Bulgarians.
He was the King. Hail to King. Long Live the King. The King of early television comedy.
“He was frail and drained of energy; his eyes were dull, his face contorted with pain.
— and I was, frankly, worried about his health. Was this drawn and ailing man slumped in a wheelchair the legendary healer I had read about? Had I come west on a wild goose chase? ” [The Voice (Kindle Locations 70-71)]
Yes, he was the legendary psychotherapist. Wild goose chase? — maybe, actually in retrospect, no ambiguity here.
“Dr. Erickson asked to be excused, and then, about an hour later, I was astonished to see him wheel himself back into his study, fully alert and revitalized, cheerful, eyes twinkling, ready to get to work.” [The Voice (Kindle Locations 72-73)]
“Each person is a unique individual. Hence, psychotherapy should be formulated to meet the uniqueness of the individual’s needs, rather than tailoring the person to fit the Procrustean bed of a hypothetical theory of human behavior.” – Milton H. Erickson
Brian Alman was Milton Erickson’s last student. The last student to benefit from the personal experience of The Wizard of the Desert. Brian had terrible back problems, and Erickson invited him to come to Phoenix, and work with him. Also called “the Mozart of psychotherapy,” and grandfather of modern hypnosis, Milton Hyland Erickson, MD (1901-1980), pioneered hypnotherapy and brief strategic therapy. He never promoted himself, so not many individuals know about his life, but …
Now there is a full length documentary about Milton Erickson and his life: The Wizard of the Desert: An Alexander Vesely Film.
Noted for his positive approach to the unconscious mind. A humanitarian, teacher, physician, loving husband, and caring father (to eight children), Dr. Erickson was a colleague and friend to preeminent intellectuals including Gregory Bateson, Aldous Huxley, and Margaret Mead.
The film was long and tough in the making. This documentary explores the personal life and incredible career work of Milton H. Erickson, M.D., founder of Modern Hypnotherapy. This unsung American genius was a pioneer in psychiatry using radical and unconventional hypnotic techniques to cure not only patients, but to control his own debilitating pain and paralysis.
“… Thus it is the lever, above all other tools, that fascinates and preoccupies the Rational to the seemingly infinite possibilities of harnessing energy that can be used to impart thrust to levers.” [Personology]
“… there are complex mechanisms, such as automobiles, airplanes, and ships, towers and buildings, stairways and bridges, derricks and lifters, drill presses and band saws, milling machines and lathes, as well as cameras, monitors, printers, and even computers, all strategic aligning tools. … the strategic aligning tools, that are used more efficiently by Rationals than by any of the other characters, this because they are frequently intent upon getting remote pragmatic results by strategic building.” [Personology]
He was fascinated by the leverage of the computer. As he put it, “the computer is the bicycle for the mind.”
There were some of us that saw it coming. Note this was 1990, three years before the Web (with Mosaic) actually started to explode.