The Issue of Modern Philosophy and Mental Health: Disease as Ontologically Basic

xo

In modern philosophy, only one argument is Being formulated over and over; it is only the terms that change.

The basic and fundamental issue concerns if this is noticed or not. If it is not, then we have a multiplicity of issues which arise out of the individual’s immanent communion with transcendence.

If it is, then we have the total formulation of the existent human and the universe.

Kiekegarrd formulates the possibility of notcing this phenomenon in a number of ways. One in particular is the difference between what is ‘interesting’ and what is ‘genius’. And then there is the basic existential offense. This reverberates in the tongue And cheek saying “the talented imitate; the genius copies”.

Society is interesting…

*

This LA Times Op-Ed piece, Why so many people want to believe the election was stolen, got my mind wondering… The United States have seen ‘stolen …

Institutionalised

—– I like this analysis. That’s why I reposted it. And I agree. There is the freedom that is upheld because there is a system which works to assure the freedom of everyone within the system, and then there is sort of a religious belief that freedom is some thing innate to people despite the system.

And then I saw the Suicidal Tendencies video at the end. About six months ago I posted a post with this video in it, as well as one of the more recent videos from the 2000s I think.

In reading this repost, though, My mind went to a different place than politics: mental health.

Consciousness as Retreat

In our global mental health crisis, where pretty much everything nowadays has to do with mental health, I can’t help but wonder if it’s because there is no “non-systematized freedom” anymore. Everyone with any issue immediately is turned to “someone who can help them”, as opposed to looking to themselves first. For, they cannot, they are unable because that is how thier consciousness is manifested.

Let me try to explain.

Only Problem

I’ve talked about this with friends of mine. I think my generation was the last generation that honestly felt like there was some corner of the universe that we could be a part of that was ultimately our own. Where we felt free. Indeed, Grunge music from the late 80’s early 90’s was about the frustration that there was no more essential freedom to be had. Indeed, we hear this in Jane’s Addiction song “Nothings Shocking”

https://youtu.be/JVTsubtQjms

…but all though the Grunge bands that came to be called by various other genre names.

And I think it was this feeling of freedom which allowed us not to have mental health problems. Which is to say, it allowed us to deal with our mental health problems by ourselves, through our own artistic expressions, through our own life living, and strange communities.

But now, in a very Foucaultian way, I wonder if “the space of disease” has overtaken the body completely. Such that consciousness itself upholds no essential space of freedom, The consciousness of clinical mental health has so completely taking over the being of human, that there is no actual freedom, there is only freedom which is systemically permitted.

Thus is to say that perhaps this is where depression and anxiety really stems from, and a bunch of other mental health problems such as eating disorders and drug addiction. People are naturally, their bodies are naturally reacting to the conceptual limitation which denies that the body even exists in itself. So it is that “dysfunction” manifests because people are having no “outlet” to be themselves, that is, without being automatically accused by their own sense of self.

This is exactly the point that Foucault makes in his book, the English title, “discipline and punish”. Namely, that consciousness it’s self has been made or has developed into a self monitoring system. That is the point that he is making in that book. That consciousness itself is or has developed in a self monitoring action or activity. This is what subjectivity is. This is what modern subjectivity is, that the ideal of crime, the ideal of trying to control peoples behavior and move them towards a “civilized” manner, is to get the people themselves to monitor themselves. To punish themselves. To have consciousness which automatically disciplines and punishes themselves. 

This makes sense from my standpoint as a counselor, because we are finding more and more that the solution to mental health is to get back into one’s body. As counselors, not so much as psychologists and psychiatrists and those who adhere to the clinical ideal, counselors as a discipline of our own, see the problem from a more philosophical standpoint. And this is to say that many of us see the problem of mental health in the light that I am describing: That the imposition or development of synthetical a priori knowledge, Manifested as the symptom of disease, shows itself as real Being in so much as the actual body is ultimately totally excluded.

Coincidentally, this is what we find in the philosophy of phenomenalism; namely that the body itself disappears. The Self “in itself” disappears, objects “in itself” does not exist, and that the ultimate ground of freedom is found in the Pure Reason.

We then might discover the reason why reality is ultimately filled with problem, as well as technological solutions that seem to give us some solace at least for a minute, or distract us from the problem-saturated reality which is consciousness itself, modern subjectivity .

Foucault’s over arching argument, although oriented differently for our moment, is that the The body itself has been displaced as the ground from which knowledge arises. This is the argument that he makes in “the birth of the clinic”. Basically, he describes how in the 18th century our current paradigm of medicine, but indeed reality as well, was overtaken by synthetical a priori knowledge. He traces how consciousness itself took place by evidence of discourse. And this is to say that consciousness itself transformed reality.

*

Side note:

University of California at Santa Cruz has a department called “History of Consciousness”. Angela Davis and Donna Harroway and Gary Lease are more noted scholars of that department. The premise is that consciousness is itself manifestations of discourse. That’s it.

I am inclined in that direction, though I definitely was not when I attended there.

What happened after Foucault was what we call “Postmodernism”. I repeatedly suggest is that postmodernism As a philosophical kind of movement in academia, misunderstood-misunderstands what Foucault was really saying, what he was really indicating. This is not to say that Derrida Lyotard Deleuze Guattari And maybe a couple others misunderstood, but most everyone else, somehow, was misunderstanding what they were really saying.

Such “authors of the truth”, as I would call them, were describing how consciousness unfolds in history, automatically. But then, oddly enough, what seemed to happen is people kind of intuitively understood the historical motion, and took it upon themselves to manipulate discourse. So they then proclaimed that every human individual gets to create their own reality by manipulating discourse. And everything started to go to shit. Because that is not really what post structuralism, as again I miss applied name for what was actually going on, and postmodernism was actually describing. Both of these movements we’re trying to correct the missed understanding that kept rising every time someone would attempt to describe what is actually occurring.

This phenomenon, where even though people were conveying the truth of reality, somehow that truth was commandeered and co-opted for an agenda which didn’t have anything to do really with what these philosophers were saying– It is this oddity that then we find the philosophers which came after post modernist, what I call the “post post modernist”, Badiou,Laruelle, Zizek, These authors noticed this problem and then these authors philosophies are based on the perpetuated discrepancy between the truth of what the philosophers before were saying, and then the general academic application of those truths which were a mistaken application of the Philosophy.

We find with these post post modern philosophers that they just figured this is what is going to happen, that this problem cannot be corrected. That no matter how much we try to describe the truth of reality, most people, academia in general, will misunderstand and use the misunderstood meaning For the sake of the synthetical a priori knowledge. or modern agency.

The post post modern authors just take it as a given that the truth will be used for an agenda that misunderstood the truth of the philosophy they read. This is Badiou’s supporting argument, that the truth is left behind; as well Zizek’s described situation aka Lacan psychoanalysis, as well Laruelle’s reaction was the reason why ‘sufficient philosophy’ is, basically, insufficient.

And yet we find this same situation described in various ways through all of the authors of the 20th century. We find it written and rewritten over and over using different phrases, different coordinations of terms, different terms all together, all of these philosophical discourses attempting to get at this problem of The real situation. This notice of this basic problem of modernity begins with Kierkegaard.

Modern Consciousness and Disease

And so here we are now, a presidential election event that manifests the essence of both sides of this problem, and Biden and trump. Ironically…

…we find it pervading our world in a very real way. We find people everywhere with mental health issues that are more aggravated than they ever had been in the past.

And it brings me back to the necessity for grounding knowledge and what is actually occurring, deriving from the body itself in coordination with, as opposed to only by, of the synthetical construction of given Ness, which we call disease, the symptoms of which being imposed upon Being as consciousness — this is the modern problem, the significant philosophical issue. It is this issue, then, that the Realists attempt to confront, albeit not very well, because they have missed the basic pervading issue of modern thought as it is manifested as Conscious Being.

Clinical medicine has so overtaken reality that now peoples whole bodies are unable to be accessed. Disease itself has taken over the body such that the body is identical with the diagnoses of disease...

Rephrase.

So when we listen to the Suicidal Tendencies song called “institution”, it should Really give us pause. Less as some nostalgic funny group of people playing hard rock, but actually more how it was back then when people who were just trying to live their lives, kids, us, who refused to be “depressed”, or to have “anxiety”, as a disease.

Instead we used these things, we took responsibility for these things of course, as just the way we were, and we used them to go forward in life. Free. However fucked Up we were, we weren’t blaming anyone else. We were just asking them to let us be.

But they would not. That’s what that song is about.

…But not that everything was all good back then; i’m just using that as an analogy…

And now everyone is so anxious and depressed there’s almost nothing you can do with that, nothing you can do for them except to give them medicine, something that is not their body. And yet still they go on in their lives ultimately sick, of themselves, of the world, with really no solution except to take medicine and hope for the best.

…and I will try to help you come back to your True Self, founded in your Real body…

It makes me wonder…

Community of the Absurd

”i’m not crazy… you’re the one that’s crazy.”

 another part of the solution advocated for mental health is connection and community. 

And so the real issue for our times so far as mental health but indeed reality itself, is how to we find connection with the body, thinking and intelligently being, without falling into the trap of systemitized synthetical a priori knowledge?

But more so, how do we get someone who is so indoctrinated into clinical medicine, as the basis by which reality is understood and perceived, to find the body within that saturation of synthetical disease?

xxx

In the philosophical sense, the political sense, as well as the real sense?

o

Author: landzek

My name is Lance Kair, a philosopher, a counselor and a musician who is being questioned.

9 thoughts on “The Issue of Modern Philosophy and Mental Health: Disease as Ontologically Basic”

  1. I can’t see how to ‘like’ this post. It’s interesting that you mention the chosen to call out the English-language title of Foucault’s ‘Discipline and Punish’. Int he original French, it is ‘Surveiller et punir’: to surveil and punish. The sense of ‘surveillance’ in French is more nuanced than the spy-state it connotes in English—despite a central place for Bentham’s surveillant panopticon—, so the publishers opted for ‘discipline’ over ‘surveillance’.

    Tangent: Translation choices have an interesting life. This nuance besmirches other authors, like Rousseau. He employed the term, sauvage. In French, this translates to ‘wild’, but in English, they have a judgement-laden term, ‘savage’. Through this lens, English speakers judge Rousseau as more of a classist than he otherwise might have been. But he didn’t mean intend to denigrate. He was a Romantic. Like Thoreau, he respected Nature.

    Reading Lance’s commentary—and borrowing from Foucault—, mental health is about normalcy. One is either within boundaries—some mean and accepted variance—or outside, an ‘other’. This is Camus’ Meursault in ‘L’Étranger’, ‘The Stranger’, ‘The Outsider’.

    Jung had a different take, which feels in line with this content: Individuation. This is to find one’s self among the crowd. Respect society, but don’t get subsumed by it. Find your inner self. And to channel Campbell, follow your bliss.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks ! That is a significant issue within “mental health”. I feel that mental health mainly leans toward Jung in as much as it is about “being ones self”. But philosophically I work toward a ‘substance’ of ones self as opposed to an idea.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. On balance, for Foucault, everything centre’s on Power.

        Therefore, any human construct is about gaining and retaining power. So, whether you are discussing law enforcement, sexuality, or mental health, in his mind, maintenance of power is paramount.

        You can see how this dovetails nicely into Derrida’s ‘differance’ and even Beauvoir’s concept of otherness.

        Liked by 1 person

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