She asked my honest response to his talk, and that response can be found in the blog below.
Gabor Mate' doesn't begin where I begin, asking, "What normal, necessary and purposeful roles do chaos, disintegration and pathologizings play in the development of human consciousness (and what I call "soul" or "soul-making")?" The same question may be asked and answered at the cosmological level, "What normal, necessary, and purposeful role did the countless icy comets play by violently smashing into the arid molten earth hundreds of millions of years ago?" We are pretty sure that such violent chaotic (pathologizing) periods occurred purposively, in order to provide water and eventuate in a "sustainable" ecosysyem of interconnected organisms. That is what I believe, and what I think. Mate' provides some great provisional solutions on the journey to a more thorough solution, but does not address the larger issues of why such phenomena are here in the first place, and what necessary role they might play. That is why I turn to depth psychology, world mythologies, religion and theological studies. These four distinct disciplines are not synonymous, but they all have in common an ontological basis of reality that goes beyond mere human rationality and sensory data.
I am always frustrated by the postponing approaches of the historical regressionists who just keep moving the problem back in history as if there was no original reason for such problems coming into existence. Someone needs to say, "Look, pathological occurrences play a huge and purposive role in this drama of existence--cosmic and psychological disintegrations are normal, necessary and meaningful. Please stop blaming yourself and your ancestors and recognize the nature of this Cosmos--SHIT HAPPENS." The bigger question that needs to be addressed is this: "Does shit happen purposefully or by random meaningless chance?" And yes, I understand that this position is fraught with horrific implications--my son was slaughtered in Afghanistan and I nearly died twice (that I know of) from alcohol addiction.
A psychologist who worked with veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan once said to me, "I have renamed Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) to Purposeless Traumatic Stress Disorder. Once the vet can see the role of his/her pathologies as part of a larger psycho-cosmic tapestry, many of the symptoms disappear, and the others can be weaved into his/her life story as part of his/her narrative with a plot, destiny and vocation." Hopeful thinking? The positivist would say yes. But to that positivist I would reply, "How is a therapy of victimization empowering anyone?" The man or woman who cannot locate a higher meaning in his/her suffering is at a severe disadvantage in making sense of this life.