As you can see from the above Ngram, the “mid-life crisis” was invented in the mid-1960s. It’s like many things in modernity—in the 2010s, everyone was autistic; in the 2000s, everyone had OCD; and, in the 1990s, everyone had anorexia. And in the 1960s everybody had a “mid-life crisis”—even young people, prematurely.
We live in a pseudo-reality created by the media—over half the things people talk about as if they are important are cues created by the media that brainwashes them from birth.
I haven’t heard the term “mid-life crisis” in years, but I saw it the other day—the fact I haven’t heard it in years conforms to the above graph, the media moment has passed. We have something else now—the “mid-life crisis” trails off.
Where did the term come from, though? Now, I didn’t want to turn this article into another tirade against the Jews, but reality forced me to because the man who developed the concept, Elliott Jaques, was a Canadian psychoanalyst and, despite his very Québécois name, “the son of immigrants from Eastern Europe”.
He worked at the Tavistock Clinic, same place that cooked up the transgender craze in many respects, under the tutelage of Melanie Klein—she of “the good breast and the bad breast” (left breast good, right breast bad—I have marked them in felt tip to help you).
Jaques started out in industrial psychology where he analysed factory workers and managers at the Glacier Metal Company. The “insight” that Jaques derived from this period that “informed his whole career” was that ordinary workers were paid by the hour or week, whereas managers were paid by the year (yes, Jaques discovered the difference between “pay” and “salary”).
Edward Lawler, director of USC’s Center for Effective Organizations, summed up the upshot as follows: “He argued that pay level ought to reflect how much time span there was in your job. The greater the time span, the greater the pay. Then he argued that...some people would never be able to handle more than a few seconds of discretion. And some thought that sounded like the English aristocracy justifying their position at the top of the heap. It made him unpopular.”
Jaques’s obituary, from where that quote was taken, notes that the scheme was picked up by only 100 companies and was unpopular (although the US Army and the Church of England deployed it—another black mark for the theory). It’s probably because it re-invented the wheel—organisations with no market pressure, like the US Army and the CofE, sometimes adopt these “theories” to become more efficient, but they can never replicate the gains because these aren’t market-based organisations (though they are always pressured to be more efficient).
It’s not really a very penetrating insight; he basically says that if you have to think ahead, as managers do, you should be paid more (the more foresight you exercise, the greater your pay should be)—it’s linked to ideas like IQ research, especially in the notion of “a few seconds of discretion” (ability to delay gratification).
After that, Jaques turned his hand to the problem of genius. The people who had “mid-life crises” were, per Jaques’s research, geniuses—men like Gaugin and Dante had mid-life crises. Naturally, in the democratic world “everyone is a genius”—so, once the research was published, everyone had to have a mid-life crisis.
He summed the crisis up as so: “The compulsive attempts, in many men and women reaching middle age, to remain young, the hypochondriacal concern over health and appearance, the emergence of sexual promiscuity in order to prove youth and potency, the hollowness and lack of genuine enjoyment of life... are familiar patterns…they are attempts at a race against time.”
Now, where he really took this from was Dante. Because Dante’s Divine Comedy begins with the phrase, “Nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita” (“Midway upon the journey of our life”). Dante, who narrates the poem, is 35. Today, due to female influence, people say, “Oh, 56 is young these days”—that’s what all women say, because they can’t be objective about age (every age is “young these days” for a woman).
But man’s lifespan is 70—so held the ancient Greeks and the Bible. So 35 is when you reach middle age. Anyone over 65 is in old age—anyone over 70 is in extreme old age. This isn’t about average lifespans recorded by science, this is what a man’s lifespan is in accord with the wisdom of antiquity—it’s a normative category based on experience.
Really, you don’t need more than 70 years on this earth—in 70 years you can do everything you have to do. A few people might enjoy living to 75, but life over 75 is a curse for almost everyone—except for a few exceptional Methuselah-like figures with some spiritual mission to complete.
The problem with Jaques’s theory is that it destroys the spiritual. Dante’s journey that he begins in mid-life is an initiation—The Divine Comedy is about a man’s initiation through a descent and resurrection; it reflects the ancient journey of the heart from ancient Egypt. It’s about what Jung called metanoia—a change of heart.
A crisis means, literally, “branching of the paths”—so it’s that way for Dante, he is treading along life’s path and then he chooses the descent into hell (and the rise into heaven).
Here is what Jaques’s fellow Jew, Daniel Levinson, turned the sacred initiation into instead:
”The late Yale psychologist Daniel J. Levinson, in his best-selling 1978 book The Seasons of a Man’s Life, credited Jaques as an important originator of the idea that normal adult development often includes an intense emotional struggle—manifested in such events as sexual flings, divorce and face-lifts—in the middle years of life.”
So the Jews turned it into “face-lifts”, “sexual flings”, and “divorce”—the spiritual has been sunk into the material. Further, it’s not for a selected elite—not even Jaques’s “geniuses”—it’s for everyone. So this is what everyone is expected to do when they reach middle age, have a “last fling” because they’re afraid of death—you see similar themes in the media today with “Boomers” blowing inheritances and “grey divorces”.
The Jews are atheists: their inventions—Christianity, Marxism, “the mid-life crisis”—are designed to keep you from the divine and are from the Devil. The Tavistock Clinic is from the Devil. There is no such thing as a mid-life crisis—it is just a perversion of spiritual initiation.