23 thoughts on “Awareness is the root of all mental health.”

  1. As Heidegger pointed out, we are each ‘thrown into’ (Geworfenheit) existence in this world. We were given no choice. In fact, this is why anti-natalists deem procreation as immoral, as opposed to those who feel life is sacred. Not only are we thrown into the world, but we are thrown into a particular country into a particular family at a particular time. We control absolutely none of this—though some schools of metaphysics with a belief in karmic reincarnation would disagree.

    As for the rules, they have already been established before we arrive, though they are subject to amendment. And though not necessarily capricious, they are arbitrary. Instead of football, think of the ancient gladiators. Many of these participants were slaves with no agency. They were tossed into an arena and forced to play by the rules. Society is in many ways less brutal, yet one cannot deviate very far from the dictates. These are defined as right.

    We can look at the typical slavery chestnut. If you were born into an antebellum US state, it was ‘right’ to own another person as property. In the past, and in some cultures still, it is (your) right to engage in sexual activity with your wife whether or not she wants it. A husband cannot be charged with the rape of his own wife.

    So, social contracts and compacts aside, you must abide by the rules or be punished. You may be simply shunned or you may be imprisoned or executed depending on how far astray you’ve gone from the rule set you’ve been born into. If you were born in Afghanistan versus Canada, the rules differ. Even definition and tolerance for so-called ‘mental illness’ changes contextually.

    Sartre might argue his Existentialistic ‘no excuses’ doctrine, where you always have one degree of freedom in your possession: that is the option to end your existence. That’s his notion of true freedom.

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  2. In a mental health context, there is a heated debate between allistic neurotypicals (AKA normies) and those outside of these defined boundaries, persons on the spectrum, diagnosed with ADHD, and so forth. I don’t buy into the established boundaries, but personal and societal judgement do.

    In context, a lot depends on what society values. In the Western world, we laud people like Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg, people likely on the ‘spectrum’—which to be fair should also contain ‘normies’—, but if your focus is less acquisitive—perhaps your skill is collecting military paraphernalia or Skittles—, then you are deemed unuseful.


    1. As to the mental health aspect: I approach it more from the standpoint of the individual. I don’t see ideology as the significant factor. What I see is an individual in a relationship with this ideology. And I see that most people understand themselves with reference to what is allowed by the ideology so far as how we are to be and manifest ourselves as individuals. But if we change that, if we alter that relationship and say that ultimately ideology is really stemming from an idea of myself, as opposed to the reverse, then by myself become a critique of ideological power, I myself become powerful by not asserting power, which is to say, by fully excepting myself as my self manifested with the world in relationship.

      I see the fundamental issue is awareness of what is actually happening, what the truth of the matter is. Hence I see this video as an example of someone who is advocating for the truth of the situation, rather than apologizing or making some sort of rationale for why ideology functions the way that it should and does.

      This person in the video is talking about coming to an awareness of herself despite ideological restrictions and ideological proclamations. The rules have no effect except in as much as now she is being herself, as opposed to a subject of rules.

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      1. This is akin to Jung’s individuation. The question I ask is what part of the individual has been imposed on them and what, if anything is in-born? Ask anyone practising Catholic, and they’ll likely believe that they chose that belief system rather than calling it an indoctrination.

        My question is always, how do you identify ‘truth’ over opinion or belief? Pragmatically, it may not matter, but then we need to find another term than ‘truth’ to employ.


      2. The truth of the matter is that there is no part that has been imposed upon me for my individuality and there are some parts. That is the truth. Lol. But if you really want to get into the nuts and bolts of how this might be the case then you can read papers of mine and stuff. 😁
        In short, the questions you raised are insufficient to find the answer that they ask toward. They are phrased incorrectly for the questions that they suppose to address. I’d say.

        You already know what the truth is. And if you say that you don’t, then that is the truth. I put it in terms of Hiw we are oriented upon things.

        I would say you know exactly what the truth of the matter is. But whether or not you are able to understand that, I think, is really the issue. Not whether or not there is some sort of reality out there that is separate from me sufficiently enough for me to make judgments upon it. For sure we can, but for sure we cannot also.

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      3. My truth is that everyone has their own truth. Collectively, societies decide what is true for them (despite have no actual truth value) and run with it.

        I can call ‘a car’ ‘une voiture’ and have it refer to the object, but there is no truth in this assertion. It’s just a tautological definition.

        As for truth, there are things I though were ‘true’ in my youth that I no longer believe are true. Which truth is real. The fact that I have to ‘believe’ something to be true is also somewhat disconcerting. haha

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      4. Yes I saw that movie. In a strange way, I wonder if that’s what we are all doing all the time anyways. 😆

        I appreciate your comments and our discussions. I am currently writing a paper called “the interpretation of dreams” perhaps when I’m done I could send it to you and you could give me your appraisal .

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      5. No. And I haven’t read his book I don’t think. I don’t remember. But, I am titling it “the interpretation of dreams“ as kind of a rebuttal to Freudian, psychotherapeutic version of consciousness. Im a way.


    2. …. 😝. Zizek refers to human existence as “a catastrophe”. Something has gone terribly wrong in any estimation of intelligible existence. Becuase, in the last instance, we are having a conception of things that should not exist in the way that our conception gives us. Which is to say that if the concepts that we have of the world the universe existence actually arise in someway according to those conceptions, etc., then the result is that those conceptions should not exist in themselves, which is to say, as a necessary part of the universe, which is to say if we reflect upon what we know what we can know as history and philosophy and etc.

      But also, inasmuch as we might be acting upon such knowledge, all we create is more problem. And every solution that we invent to address that problem just makes more problems. So it’s a catastrophe!! Lol

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      1. My opinion is the only ‘should be’ is archetypal, but archetypes are all constructed, so there is no objective orientation. As Hume says, you can’t get an ‘is’ from and ‘ought’.

        All of my exposure to Žižek is secondhand. In some ways, this is a Buddhist concept. You suffer simply because you are attached to a notion of identity, but there is no identity—there is no spoon. Once you realise this, the dissonance vanishes because it was an illusion from the start. To go further, Buddhism makes the claim that we are all one. To be Enlightened is to understand this.

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      2. I’d say whatever is going on is exactly the only thing that can go on. There is no overcoming suffering, and there is no enlightenment. And yet there is. And just to refer to Buddhism, I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of that saying: when one becomes enlightened they realize that there’s no such thing as enlightenment. And then there’s another saying, Buddhist Sage somewhere in history : if two bodhisattvas where to meet, they would not be able to recognize that the other was a bodhisattva.

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      3. My introduction to Buddhism was in temples in Japan circa 1980. And, yes, where everything is illusion, enlightenment is, too.

        I’ve never quite understood why an ‘enlightened’ would ever return as a bodhisattva. Just why?


      4. I can argue any position. All of them are true, and some of them are false, and all of them ate also true Becuase they are false. Lol. Yes?
        It depends on what I come upon, where I find myself.

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      5. Right. This is why context is everything, and nothing can be true outside of this context.

        Fun Fact: 3 + 4 = 5

        When isn’t 3 + 4 = 7? When context changes.
        When I studied Physics as an undergrad, we learnt vector maths. As minuscule as it might have been, I had an epiphany when I was summing perpendicular forces. The sum of a northward force of 3 and a westward force of 4 is an equivalent force of 5 to the northwest.

        And, neither so ,despite popular belief, is 1 + 1 always 2.

        Context is everything.

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      6. Yes, I agree with context.


        I would say that to say that everything arises in context Is True. But the rising itself is real. When I’m walking my dog, there is a whole set of true situations that are actually occurring in reality. But “the reality” of the situation can be taken apart and any number of an infinite ways such that I am never walking the dog and I’m always walking the dog and only sometimes not even walking a dog or walking. This latter is real, but it is not true. The truth of the matter is that I’m walking my dog. There is no amount of intellectual dissection which would ever convince me that I’m not standing on the sidewalk. Regardless of what language I use. Regardless of what poetic transformations I want to juxtapose over this truth. “In reality” I might indeed find myself in a number of contacts, but the truth of the matter always remains the same. I am wearing a hat. It is true in any instance that you would wish to bring up.
        It is only in my intellectual justification that I could wish away and argue away the truth of the matter. If I hit you with a log, and your nose is broken and you get a concussion, the meaning of it, the context in which it Rose, matters little, even as the context may have real repercussions.

        As I say: A rose by any other name would smell as sweet because it is a rose. I could call it a tire iron, and still the truth of the matter would be that there is this flower called a rose that no matter who encounters it they’re going to get stung by its thorn’s and it’s going to smell great and it has roots etc.

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      7. « There is no amount of intellectual dissection which would ever convince me that I’m not standing on the sidewalk. »

        Paging Timmy Leary. Perhaps you need to meet Ayahuasca or her friend LSD. They have a reputation of convincing.

        My late brother was schizophrenic, and he not only swore that Jesus his brother, alive and well, but that he was at times sitting beside him. If you took him at his word, Jesus was the favoured son, and no one recognised him for who he (my brother) was.

        Off his meds, he held dialogues with Jesus, God, and any number of other figments. They were 100% real ‘to him’, but there was no concurrence.

        Idiomatically, facts and truths operate are synonyms, but for an academic conversation I feel it’s important to distinguish between the two. It may be a fact (or not) that you are standing on a sidewalk, but there is no truth content to the statement.

        Speaking of terrain-mapping reality, I’ve always been intrigued by quarks, who don’t comply with our ordinary sense of reality. Quarks have a quality termed ‘spin’. In our usual world, things have a spin of 1. If you are facing me and spin around 360°, you are again facing me. Some quarks exhibit this behaviour. Others, have a spin of a half or one and a half; respectively, the first spins 180° to re-show it’s face and the second 540. Imagine if that happened ‘in reality’, beyond the level of quanta. Imagine if this was not just some idiomatic anecdote.


      8. …But still I have very real things to contend with, and then they all just fly in the face of whatever ideas I wanna have about what is true and false. Because ultimately I can only be however I am in that instance. Any analysis I might have about why or how will fall short of what I am trying to prove, except that I proved it.


    3. There are no mental health problems unless the person thinks that there’s a problem. The idea that there is “people with problems“ is merely an ideology. If I have schizophrenia, say, and yet I am able to somehow feed myself and not get arrested, then what is the point of saying that something is wrong with me such that I have schizophrenia?

      Why would I say that Bill Gates or Zuckerberg or whoever might have autism or be on the schizophrenia spectrum if indeed there’s nothing about them that would ever bring them into any sort of mental health clinic or whatever?

      They are not asking for help. Any proclamation I would have over them about what might be wrong with them is merely me attempting to justify my situation according to some rules of mental health, and denying the fact that these people have no problems with themselves whatsoever at least in the context of mental health.

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      1. Right. All of this requires (A) a subject, (B) a norm or set of norms, and (C) an observer comparing 1 and 2. In this comparison one of two outcomes are likely: (1) the subject dopes not fall within the boundaries of normality or (2) the boundaries are misdefined. A third option where there is leeway on each side is available but like likely to be chosen.

        So a schizoid in the woods with no observer has to reference. The activities may be unsustainable from a Darwinian perspective, but this is different to the normal notion.

        If you’ve read (or seen) Into the Wild, the story of Chris Mccandless, you might recognise that he was not normal and isolated. Unfortunately, his omnipotence got the best of him. He was the tree falling in the wilderness without a sound. But cause and effect was not suspended, so his denouement still occurred and could be assessed forensically.

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      2. As for ‘asking for help’, society acts in a paternalistic way, as they think that ‘the right way’ protects people from harming themselves or others, so they impose limited ‘for their own good’, as the saying goes. Whilst some of this is practical, as much of it is moral.

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  3. Responding to your two questions instead of the video, everything is contextual and relative to the defined and accepted context. In this sense, nothing is inherently wrong—or right, for that matter.

    Analogously, games have context codified by rules. One can’t play baseball on a football pitch or tackle an opponent in basketball. These would be ‘wrong’, but only because the agreed-upon rules have been violated. In a social sense, rules, regulations, laws, and mores have been developed the world over, and these are not universal in any sense of the word. Certain rules favour power structures, and so these rules seem to propagate in most such situations.

    Similarly, the fixing can go either way, perhaps playing hockey with a wiffle ball could be interesting. Traditionalists will insist on a puck. In any case, wiffle ball hockey would just be a different game, as is arena football or women’s basketball. The rules are slightly tweaked. When does a rules change render the activity different to that of the original intent? My recent post on the ship of Theseus threads this ground. Hockey on horses is polo, right? No harm, no foul.


    1. The only critique I’d have of this is that it is not a choice. In baseball, we are consciously agreeing to play by the rules. Life is not like this, for even if we choose it to play by the rules, we are doing soon response to the rules, and thus ate it really making a choice about the rules. For, we have to model our choices already today or by designate that I am making a choice, say.

      Model of sports, by that analogy, we would be saying that I am making the rules for a football game with reference to what I don’t like about the baseball rules.

      I see these kinds of explanations, these kind of meta-explanations of what is occurring, kind of as an apology. In the same way that say scholasticism back in the middle ages or whatever was an apology for what had been given to them already, and then the discrepancies that seem to arise in regular human interactions compared to the rules that everyone was kind of implicitly agreeing to, namely Christianity in a loose sense.

      So it’s not really that there are rules that we have to play by as that analogy of sports, but that we are already just playing with no rules, but we are implementing these ideas as if there is some sort of choice involved and whether or not we want to play by them.

      Because the fact of the matter is ultimately I have to do whatever it is I’m doing, and I have to play by the rules. There is no choice. So there’s no point in me having that sort of relational discrepancy to “the rules”. Or, even better, I’d say that what are we are involved with when we come up with these kinds of discourses is really an argument to establish as firmly in reality as a free agent, which is to say that somehow I have a spiritual essence, some sort of sore, some sort of existence that is separated from what I don’t like. And that kind of attitude that I bring into the world is a reflection and also perpetuates the problem I see around me.

      I was going to comment a little bit on your Theseus problem. Yet, Where I see these are real situations, they are real by virtue of the fact that that is all we have to deal with, that we must deal with these things in this way in order to establish myself as this individual, this modern free agent. Again, it’s a kind of religious apology, kind of an excuse for myself in the world because I don’t like to admit that indeed this is all me.

      i’m not saying that it is wrong to do so, but I am pointing to what is true of the situation, inasmuch as what is true of the situation does not require us to change it or to come up with some other solution for the problem. What is true is true. So far is the ship problem, I would say every instance that we refer to his ship is indeed that ship, is in deed that true thing that is Theseus ship. But that these kind of intellectual exercise about what is “really going on”, is merely justifying the problem of myself in the world. And that the truth of the universal existence of things is somewhat different than how I would want to intellectually rationalize what is real.

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