Wellness and Oppression

wellness is not about being well; unless you are already sick.

I saw this article this morning through my Apple news. my wife sent it to me; she’s definitely not caught up in this type of mind control, but I can’t know for sure that similar type of thinking and reflection don’t go through her mind at times. She passed this article along to me because she is more concerned with instruments of oppression than she is about keeping up with the Joneses.

It got me to thinking about curvy women or larger women or just whatever the correct word is for the other 99% of the real women who are not the mega media image of oppression.

By the way: I am not trying to get in an argument with people who might read this who might say that I am using incorrect terms or not politically correct or am using some terms that might offend people. I admit I don’t know all what the hell words to use so To not offend people, but I am open minded enough and intelligent and understanding enough to know that I might be using words that might bother people or that might offend them in someway, and so here I am, and I apologize if I’m not using the correct verbiage.

Ok.

So it seems to me that any non-media obsessed real woman is told that she might do better if she just accepts her body The way it is. And I don’t mean to be stereo typical to say this is women only because I’m sure there are plenty of men that obsess over making their body fit into some “accepted standard of wellness”. But I think the sane thing is that people are OK with themselves; I think that is the universal standard of being human for every aspect of being human: everyone just wants to be OK with them selves and should be, no?

I am going to get really philosophical here because I am a counselor and I am a philosopher so here we go.

The article above is a kind of critique of An oppressing discourse. It addresses what at least I see and I would imagine the author understand, as a kind of oppression that is being an acted upon people across the world having to do with body image, food, and behavior in general including reaching over into psychology. Please note;My little bit right here is not making a comment upon whether the article is right or wrong or true or false; I think it is right and I think it is true, but this post is not critiquing that article nor its methodology; I am more using it as an occasion to point out or indicate what I understand as the two routes.

The short of my position is that everyone is exactly the way they’re supposed to be. The real issue then is why people don’t feel that way or think that way about themselves. Now, also I am not suggesting that there is some sort of “actual utopian ideal human being that is totally comfortable with themselves”. Rather, I am indicating a certain manner of being that human beings are.

Everyone is exactly the way they’re supposed to be and perfect in that way, whatever it is. I think that is a good statement of really what we’re after so far is human being in the world; I think when it’s all said and done and we’re sitting there taking our bong hits or drinking a glass of wine at the end of the day, ultimately we want to be OK we want to feel OK we don’t really want to be angry we don’t want to be sad we don’t want to have to do all the myriads of negative self talk, etc.

OK, do you have that picture?

The next question is: why are we not? The real question that comes up in everyone’s mind is why am I feeling bad about myself; why do I think my large body is somehow not too “well”; why do I doubt myself?

And I think the answer to that is telling: The typical answer to that is always that something else is making me fucked up. Now, again, I repeat, I am not suggesting that we need to come to some sort of inner acceptance within ourselves. Of course, that is what we have to do, but that is not the point that I am suggesting, nor is that the medium upon which I am placing this discourse of this post right here.

Already, if you are understanding what I just wrote then you might be able to begin to understand what I mean by two routes, or, two orientations upon objects. Subjective and objective is of the one route. The idea that there is some thing that is making me do something that I would rather not do, or is making me think a certain way or behave a certain way –that is an absolutely valid and real way of understanding oneself in the world.

But I’m getting at something when I do that I feel is more significant. I was tempted there to say “more substantial”, but I try to tend away from suggesting that something is “more real” or “more true”. I am not involved in this essay right here, of the two routes, in a capitalistic frame of trying to discern what is more correct or better. I am more concerned with establishing a ground of facts.

So we might ask ourselves where the idea that I am perfectly OK comes from. And then along with us we might ask ourselves where the idea that something else is making me do something or look at myself in a way that I don’t like comes from also.

In particular I point out the part in the article above that the author points out when she finally got comfortable with eating intuitively I guess, where she just Kaina eats what she wants and doesn’t trip out on it too much, she has the same body that she has had through all her obsessing about the various diets and the binging and they’re restricting and the eating healthy and all their various facets of trying to stay skinny, I guess.

What this says to me is that however she was being, she was not being in any particular way because something else was telling her to be that way. Rather, that both of those real items were arising in existence simultaneously and conspiratorially for her being.

Now try and keep in mind the two routes as I’ve tried to describe them briefly so far in this essay as I go forward: it is not that society is erecting this image of women and people such that then people get low self-esteem and want to do terrible things to their bodies or eat only lettuce or work out three times a day seven days a week. There is no element that is causing them to behave in such a way or to think in such a way, if we can include thinking as a kind of behavior.

And to stack up on that kind of awareness, I’m going to bring in something a little more personal to me; because I am a white man, many people would probably say I’m filled with shit commenting on this kind of stuff. Which I admit maybe I’m overstepping my bounds and I am actually filled with shit, that’s OK, I’m totally open to learning where I might be failing.

My daughter died suddenly two months ago. It was a purely random event, she died of viral meningitis. Sure, we could probably sue the hospital and get to the root cause of it and get people in trouble for malpractice and stuff like that because no one diagnosed her with meningitis until it was really too late. So put that aside, that we could’ve retaliated. There is also no reason why she should’ve got it, no one we know nor no one that she has come in contact with has meningitis that we can find her that we know of. The doctors hypothesize that it was just kind of a perfect storm of infection that got into her brain.

I am dealing with it pretty well, I suppose overall. But even at times I find that suddenly I will randomly start to cry. Sometimes, or actually somewhat often, Some innocuous thought our image, like a tree or a song, will lead over into some sort of reminder that Marley is gone or some other thing that Hass to do with various things around her death, and I find myself getting emotional and getting teared up. And it is kind of interesting to me in a way that something will start that kind of cycle but then there is this also kind of sub cycle where some part of me feels like I have to continue in that cycle and ruminate and be emotional and miss her and be sad. I’m not making judgments upon myself; I’m just looking at it through an intellectual lens; I am fortunate to be studying counseling and so I had many people and do have many people that are helping me on this path.

So, of course I can say that I am grieving I am involved in the process of grieving still and that the reason why I cry at times that seem random is because, is caused by, this outside thing that is my daughter having died. There is something that occurred that is not me that is making me behave in a manner that I would not otherwise enjoy. As I said, not only do I find myself getting welled up with tears at random times, but then there’s also a further kind of talk to myself of myself that somehow feels like I should continue to dwell in these images and thoughts of loss and sadness and death and missing her, etc. it literally is as though something from the outside, something that is not me or something that I’m not in control of controlling how I am being, how I am viewing myself, how I am behaving, how I am thinking, that I really would not like to have to go through.

And yes all you psychologists out there, don’t read this as though I am in denial or I’m trying to reject my feelings or anything like that because I’m not. 🙂 I am positive that no one would choose to have to mourn for someone they loved dying. So I’m not saying anything about maybe criticizing myself about the fact that I am mourning and grieving; I am not beating myself up or trying not to grieve or trying not to feel.

OK I just had to clear that up, because this is a philosophical consideration based upon a real valid and significance experience that probably millions of people go through every day.

So if we look at the fact that I just start crying at random times. There is no immediate cause that I can really know of; of course, Though, Ido it all the time: I reflect upon myself (like I am doing here, coincidently, lol) and I can say oh it’s because I went into her bedroom which is still set up the way it was when she was alive. I can say that oh the cause that I just started crying randomly was because I brought some water into her lizard into her room. But that’s not really the cause. Maybe we could say it is a proximate cause; but I’m not getting into trying to define a system right at this moment. So if we back up, we get into the general category of grief trauma and loss and so we have to say that my behavior overall is conditioned, or caused by, the loss of my daughter.

Yet, there is no reason that she died. Without going into all the various aspects and break down all the arguments of possibilities about why she died or the cause of this and cause of that, The very simple conclusion is that she got sick for some unknown reason, and this sickness developed until she died despite the best efforts of her doctors. But that doesn’t really give us a true cause; it satisfies a desire for reason, but only if I don’t think about it too much. 🧐

So what I’m really saying is, what I really must be saying is that the cause of my grief cannot be found. There is no reason why a cry at those specific random times; sometimes there is a trigger, other times it just pops up. Because, if I say the reason is that Marley died, and then I say that there is no reason why she died, I would kind of have to say also that the reason that I am grieving has no cause.

And so I must repeat again, here, I am not making a reduction in my thinking to justify or somehow deny the fact that I am in grief or that Marley died or that all that stuff.

This is the nature of the two routes that I’m trying to convey: The basis of the two routes is that they are mutually exclusive and do not reduce to another common unity. The fact that I can understand this ontological truth does not mean that somehow I am comforted by it or somehow I’m trying to deny the fact that my daughter died or trying to prevent myself from having to experience grief or sadness. There is no underlying psychology (Reason, cause) which links these two aspects; and this is to say that where a linking is understood, there we have fallen back into the one route. And that the distinction that I am making is the nature of the two routes, the nature the way that consciousness indeed functions: reduction is a particular function of consciousness, it does not necessary constitute consciousness toward its entire truth.

I’m saying that these events arise conspiratorially in the same sense that there is nothing wrong with my body. There’s nothing wrong with me. I am exactly the way that I am supposed to be.

And so coming back to the article that lead this post. Accepting who I am as a person with all my flaws, whether or not I’m binging and purging and doing tons of exercise every day and being on comfortable with myself and otherwise worried about people not excepting me etc., is both at once caused by other people and arising coincidently. And these two ontological situations do not indicate a further unitive cause.

And so the radical idea I think I’m trying to suggest is that me being OK with myself has nothing to do with rejecting that thing which I understand as causing me to be in a way that I would rather not be. The fighting, the rejection of that perceived outside force really, it seems to me, just reifies the fact that I am not comfortable with myself as a type of comfort. It allows me to be in this particular world that I know so well; the reduction we call “world/subject”. I call this the cosmology which positions the subject in reality.

The radical move of the two routes says that I am never removed from the struggle in reality even as I am entirely OK with myself, and at that, even as I might be totally in shambles. The world is not causing me to be any way; neither is something wrong with me. They are Co-incident, parallel. The reduction to a further “psychological” meaning is ultimately of the one route, the “real world”, the cosmological argument.

And that is not an indictment; it is simply a fact.

3 Comments

  1. What gets on my nerves is word picking and word using. I can’t name anything by its name anymore in order not to offend. But the more we are picky about wording, the more oppression grow somehow. Since we didn’t fight the oppressive social ideology. We have never been more oppressed and we have only think we are have never been more free. Totally delusional

    1. Yeah. Zizek makes a point somewhere about how people should be allowed to offend one another; that that’s how we remain respectful of one another.

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