High Functioning Anxiety? Some philosophical notes of the modern Aria

www.huffpost.com/entry/high-functioning-anxiety-signs_l_5cd42647e4b09f321bdcc6d0

I ponder why mental health as a topic has become so prominent in our experiential awareness, concern and vocabulary.

From a philosophical perspective, it seems sensible. For, the prominent 20th century philosophy was existentialism, and thus is based in the preponderant existential anxiety.

However, aside from the more obvious considerations where history makes sense in light of current issues, and the issues make sense from historical sense, could something else be happening?

Is it that we as human beings are becoming more aware of our situation?

Or could it be that we are but filling out the meaning that has been given us?

Or both?

Irony and history

The most substantial philosophical component of modern existence is irony. From a leading edge philosophical standpoint, Everything that we understand as knowledge falls into a weighted selective bias that we call subjectivity. Subjectivity, for a term, is that aspect of existence that rejects the truth of knowledge, of our situation, for the sake of having a real world, reality.

This then is known as phenomenological meaning, and it constitutes the epistemological position of any knowledge that is able to be posited and thus known. This was not a condition of all knowledge through history, rather, it is the particular condition by which and in which we are able to know anything presently.

Hence, the issues of our day of what constitutes the legitimacy for truth and the political polemics that do not seem to be resolvable through open critical discourse. All modern knowledge is ironic, when you begin to think about it openly, critically, and honestly.

High Functioning Anxiety

It would seem, then, that what we see and experience in ourselves to say that someone might ‘suffer’ from high anxiety and yet still be able to function well, could be just that we are expected to deal with life in this way. We function as we are supposed to, yet education brings about a self reflection that is epistemologically informed by rejection of what is true of ourselves as a de facto modern agent. We find this is Jean Paul Sartre. That is, faced with brute existence and the meaningless found therein, we revolt from it an assert our free will to create meaning.

It could very well be, though, that we are this way — anxious, as a society but as well an an individual — because we have been told how to see and understand ourselves and this manner thus fulfills its teleology, and we find thus a mental health pandemic and according ‘solutions’ to the ‘problem’.

Further, it may well be that Sartre, and his ilk, were wrong ethically, and from the Kierkegaardian standpoint in which those 20th century philosopher so uncritically saw themselves. They read our situation and perpetuated it, justified it, as opposed to taking a critical view of it. The problem with 20th century existential ism is that it posits that the universe is meaningless and that human beings are the ones that make meaning. This is the seminal statement of modern ideology and why we must say that to live in the modern world is to live as problem.

The essential and unavoidable problem can be stated as this: To say that existence has no meaning, and thus it is incumbent upon human beings to create for themselves purpose and meaning, is to say that purpose and meaning is nothing.

In other words, the formulation is incorrect.

Perhaps it is some sort of intuitive understanding that the method by which we are understanding ourselves in the universe is incorrect which constitutes the anxiety we know so well.

How could anyone have confidence in the meaning that they are making if amidst this meaning making the underlying knowledge of such activity is that it is pointless, useless, and means nothing? 

And yet, the modern problem can be extended to be formulated as such:

in so much as I might become aware of this paradox, my anxiety is only increased, and I am compelled to do more things to distract myself from this dreadful condition of knowing.

Truth versus Reality as a question of method Versus meaning

Rather than asking how to solve our anxiety and accorded social issues, The more effective question as to overcoming this self-justifying anxious philosophical reflection of society (ideology and spirituality) could thus be to ask how could this be the case. Why in the sense of logistics as opposed to why as is what is the historical cause.

In other words, The short of it is:

Are you able to understand your situation as a truth instead of a product ?

What do you say?

Philosophical Mental Health Contemplation of the Day, part one

This is a philosophical contemplation of mental health, so it’s going to be a little longer than just a tip.

Anxiety is probably the most foundational element of mental health. As the early investigators into psychic and mental phenomenon noted, there are really only two adverse mental phenomenon that we are really concerned with: to use somewhat archaic terms, we have neurosis and psychosis.

In order to give context to this mental health contemplation today, we need to understand these two basic principles; then we will get into the more contemporaneously relevant third issue next post.

Neurosis, very basically thinking, is anxiety. it refers to conditions as, what Sigmund Freud termed, “amicable to the couch”. Aside from the more contemporary conflations of neuroscience, psychiatry and psychology, it is from the simple statement that pretty much every approach to psychotherapy stems. It is the principle which basically says that the client has the solution. We as counselors are really helping the person in their process of coming to their own solution. The couch, in this frame, was the actual couch that a patient would come in for Freud and others, and lay down and start talking, basically in free association, with little or no intervention or prompt from Freud or the psychoanalyst.

Now, this might be kind of a disillusionment for many people who want to go to the psychologist and get their mental disorders fixed; I would say that this kind displacement, where I am trying to get “fixed”, is merely a contemporary and modern phenomenon of mental health, and behaves more like a religious rite than it does behave towards any true recognition of what we’re actually dealing with. Hence, ironically, the idea that the problem is the problem. But that is another conversation to have.

Anyways…

Psychosis, on the other hand, names those that Freud and others noted who were ‘not amicable to the couch’. What he meant by this is that he encountered certain patients which no amount of talking would help alleviate the issue they are Attempting to deal with.

In our more contemporary terms, “Amicable to the couch” as they talked about it then is really what we call an ability to “reality check”. People who are psychotic do not have an ability to test themselves, thier perceptions and thoughts, against reality. The term “schizophrenia” Was an early term Developed by early investigators to account for persistent acute psychosis, to indicate that there was something structurally, physically abnormal about this persons brain. Early neurologist believed that all forms of mental abnormality are reflecting a structural physical abnormality of the brain. That the structure of the brain is the cause of all mental phenomena.

While there are some correlations in this structural physical situation to mental health issues, not all mental health issues can be reduced to one’s neural structure or as we like to talk about nowadays, the chemistry. A more enlightened and current view is that while there may be a propensity involved in the structure of neural tissue to yield various mental health ailments, more likely it is the environment which activates such abnormality or dysfunction. However, this is to shed light upon the difference between psychosis and neurosis; The early neurologists and their Scientific congregants were using psychotic patients in order to argue back that neurotic patients have likewise a structural physical chemical aberration in their brain.

The point that I am making is that we cannot be sure what is the actual “cause”. Classical neurology, as indeed anachronistic approaches to mental health still advocate and it’s absolute form, Propose that all cause of mental issues is always neural structure. The issue nowadays is no one can be really sure if understanding this cause actually helps us to a solution.

What we find when we actually look honestly and openly at what is occurring, as opposed to relying upon the “historical and traditional theories”, Is that what is normal and abnormal so far is neuroses does not fit neatly into the model which finds structural differences between psychotic patients and “normal”. The truth of the matter is that there is this huge gray area — no pun intended, or maybe there is! — that the Nuro chemical model of mental dysfunction is merely promoting upon an exploiting. The Nuro chemical model of mental disorder as applied to the traditional neurotic is not taking account of the facts. It is merely drawing upon a theory and imposing that upon what they speculate could be the case. Such practitioners “see“ what the theory dictates rather than having what they see shape their theory.

The Borderline

One could argue that the main problem involved in our current state of mental health is the Borderline.

The idea of a borderline personality disorder comes out of the initial polemical situating of mental health issues. This is to say, neurotics can find their solution through their own process facilitated by someone who is skilled in allowing for that process. Whereas psychotics, and it’s classical sense, cannot find their own solution through this kind of self process.

The notion of a borderline personality was derived because it seemed like there were some people that would come in who appeared neurotic, Yet the process of their self reflection Appeared to only work sometimes, at that, not very well.

Ponder: what of these three categories would you say you fall into?

More in a bit….

.

Anxiety and the Common Cold

Relating mental health physical health; anxiety is not the same as having a cold.

… but our current psychological/scientific mental health paradigm would make us believe that it is similar.

Fear and anxiety are often used somewhat interchangeably. Yet in psychological literature, They are not the same. The influential existentialist psychologist Rollo May asks the question whether or not For a client right in front of us, that is as opposed to philosophical speculation, could we be able to discern in the client between their fear, and the anxiety that shows from it.

Fear is fear of something. Where as anxiety has no object.

In my other posts I talk about how popular discourse, popular culture, commandeers or usurps power from originary discourses, from basic meaning. I even put this phenomenon in terms of modernity. It is to identify the modern method to say that what is true becomes real. (Read Alain Badiou for an excellent rendering have this motion.)

Such is the case with anxiety. We always hear and we talk about how I’m “anxious because..”. But that is not really a proper anxiety. I am anxious, really, Becuase I am feeling not becuase.

That is the irony. We want to address and solve our anxiety by finding a fundamental cause of it. The very human and logical method which would say that we need to find a cause of any effect, and then we can address the effect. Very medical model. And indeed, ultimately, often enough really the only thing we can do to solve anxiety is take a Xanax or a Valium or smoke some weed, among other chemical solutions. But that is an entirely different discussion. It doesn’t so much as solve the anxiety as allow us a certain myopia. Well like I said, different discussion.

Similarly, There is a kind of therapeutic intervention or approach, called positive psychology, which views anxiety, and indeed all mental health issues, as having an object that we can address. If you can address and alter the object of the thing that’s getting in the way of mental health, then your mental health can become better.

I submit that this approach to mental health stems from a want for mental health to be the same as physical health, where I have a pain in my gut, I can point to my inflamed liver, for example.

And this is OK. All I’m really saying is we need to get more discerning about what we are talking about when we talk about mental health. People who address mental health should be more particular and identifying as to what they are really addressing so far when they talk about or assume that there is this general human being who is having mental health issues and here they are going to propose a remedy for it. I feel it creates great confusion, and actually works to perpetuate problem more than it really works towards significant help. It might help some people, but it would probably help exponentially more people if people who are proposing to help around mental issues were more specific about who they’re actually addressing. That is, as opposed to merely saying that I am proposing a solution to “anxiety”.

I hope that resonates for you readers.

The more astute reckoning of anxiety understands that anxiety has no object. We generally put this in the sense of why is someone that would have anxiety when they’re just walking down the sidewalk. Sure, we could ask the person and the person could come up with a number of fears.And, we could say that this person is

Having anxiety because of their over concern with all sorts of various fears, then I’m going to be hit by a car, that a dog is going to run out and bite me, that I might step my toe, etc. And, we could say that this person is having anxiety because of their over concern with all sorts of various fears, then I’m going to be hit by a car, that a dog is going to run out and bite me, that I might stub my toe, etc.

But then what we have as a person listing a series of fears. It doesn’t matter whether they are unfounded or founded, because indeed everyone lives their life under the umbrella of having to be concerned about the various contingencies that could arise out of nowhere.

The person suffering from this kind of anxiety cannot be said to be suffering because of their fears, because of their irrational fears, so to speak.

So it is that anxiety is not like the common cold. We definitely can point to various objects that manifest the cold itself and its symptoms. We can address the symptoms and help the main object of the cold itself to go away. We can even directly address the object of the cold through various types of supplements.

And yet in mental health, when we approach anxiety in this way, more often the anxiety persists, mutates, comes up with other reasons, other fears Two at once explain their anxiety while also ironically arguing for it. It is as though we have an institution that does not wish for anxiety to go away, for a perpetually in forms it’s constituency that anxiety has an object that we can solve or address through the modern methods.

And just perhaps all to coincidently, it is modern methods that make people a lot of money.

It is Healthy for the World that the Humans Got Sick

Pollution is going down. And now it appears that wildlife is doing better in the national parks that human beings are not visiting because they’re not allowed to.

https://apple.news/AS6Et2Ar_TFmdPVRwXRIN7A

Maybe this might allow human beings to have a new reflection upon who and what we are in the world.

Maybe we can at least consider that the world has some sort of consciousness or Being that we are in a relationship with.

Or, and I think this most likely will be the case, we will continue to invest our souls in a God that’s going to welcome us Home after our trials on this world, as we continue to not give a shit about any one or anything else besides our human self righteousness. Idiots in the universal democracy: the human being thinking itself into isolation.

An Idiot is being alone, or separated.

And I just want to say to the ‘either/or’ people that I am not calling for some sort of “spiritual“ awakening or some sort of New Age ‘we just need to love our world’ or whatever those old kind of 1960s 70s 80s tropes are or were. If that’s what you need then great, but…

A new way to understand relationship has to do with a different manner of coming upon Being, Less becoming, more Being come upon. Like an event.

Maybe it is possible to look at all the people that are becoming or are upset or having difficulty with being in isolation less through the trope of that human beings are social creatures. Maybe it could be that we are coming upon the anxiety involved in the world rejecting us for who we are Being, Like a plea, like a call to us, for us, to join the world in the universe, as opposed to centering ourselves and desire and self-righteousness.

Maybe: A world of responsibility.

Oh no! I almost forgot. We don’t want to be responsible. We want to be right.

Fear itself is is based in transcendence

Feelings are about the body. They are immanent.

Emotions are about reactivity. They direct or tend.

Thoughts are about transcendence.

While fear can be understood as an emotion, it is also able to be understood as something which affects an otherwise functional (efficient) system. Fear is that which creates dysfunction through making its agency appear necessary to the functioning of the system itself, Or at least an integral part of it. It posits one’s arguing out of one’s limitations as a way to avoid what the limitation actually is in itself.

In this sense, Fear exploits a vulnerable teleological tendency or thread that runs through these three different aspects of Being. It then emphasizes or exacerbates the ideal of the unitive creature that Is the singular path among those things, that is, which presents those things as inherent and inseparable from Being.

It is not difficult then to see a correlation between identity, fear, scarcity and modern capitalism.

To overcome fear, one might see that fear itself is an agent which enacts operations, Or brings about and ordering to actions, as opposed to an innate (a part of, or inseparable from) feature of a functional (or dysfunctional) human being. Less as an evolutionary adaptation or trait, it is possible to use the same kind of ability to conceive in order to understand fear more as a kind of symbiotic or parasitic agent.

The dysfunction which might be said to arise around being-in-fear Is the orientation upon Being which sees the thread as granting the (only) source of valid coherence. As though the agent is necessarily a vital part of the human being it Self, which is to say The only agent that matters to identify an agent.

It is the emphasis on transcendence, the encompassment that thought wants (desire) to enact upon Being, which allows fear to color Being to a unique identity of truth, which is to say, fear inscribes subjective truth. Less to the ubiquity of opinion, and more that thinking does not notice how fear has co-opted its ability to discern what the truth is. The transcendence in which truth invests it’s self misses that there is even an emotion in play at all, and decides for itself And everything else in its imposed unity, what emotion shall be. The focusing and insistence upon thought as the designation of a true being Thereby nullifies emotion by making it subject to thought’s domain, as though thought can have an ability to know the essence of emotion outside of its own designation. Which is to say, as though thought— and only thought— is indeed being human. One might even go so far as to suggest that the concept of anxiety arises as thought continues to impose its dominion upon a body which essentially does not recognize its authority.

Fear is the thread which induces thought to link all human being processes together. Fear, in a manner of speaking, is the losing of desire. It is redundant in its operation in the sense of how we might use the analogy of a computer which has redundant operations; ie failures in one section will not cause or bring about the collapse of the whole system. Where the analogy fails for the human being though is that this idea of collapse is it self invested in the unitive being of fear. That indeed a collapse of the total system does not mean that the human being has died or ceased in its ability to be effective; on the contrary, what occurs ironically is that the human being becomes more effective because it exists no longer in an isolated fear-based world.

The Local Psyche Global. (Lacan part 2)

Ok.

The question on the table is two parts:

  1. If The modern world is really the unrecognized embodiment of the reflection of one’s self, which is the the factual state of individual alienation, then what does it even mean that the alienated self-reflection is looking at cars, trees, space, planets, stars, deers, etc….?
  2.  What does this have to do with ego development, modernity, and philosophy

 

Of Firsts.

Philosophy can be said to be involved with a reduction which has already occurred.  What I call conventional philosophy sees the effort of philosophy to be the uncovering or discovering of the original reduction.  The word we use for this original reduction is ontology.

Philosophers love Lacan and psychoanalysis in general more than the psychologists. I asked my Theories instructor once about Lacan, and she said that she had never even heard of any psychotherapist who uses him, that his theory is very complex.  But in fact, Freudian psychotherapists in general are a minority now days, and I suspect mainly on the East Coast of the U.S and in Europe. (There is a comment to be made on this but it will have to appear elsewhere.)

I don’t prescribe to the Freudian lineage for psychotherapy.  But I do enjoy Lacan and often via. Zizek’s use of Lacan’s theory.  The question above that I pose really concerns how these two worlds might meet, or, how they interact or come together.

The reader should understand that it is always possible to come up with a theory about what the material is we deal with in mental health and how we treat it which will work or produce good mental health outcomes. Though Freud was the first popular psychotherapist in the sense we think of it now, very quickly his theory about ‘what and how’ stopped holding water for the treatment of patients and clients (medical doctors, neurologists and psychologists usually treat patients, while counselors more often treat clients). Freud, and the psychodynamic psychologists who followed him, believe in a very elaborate structure of the mind which functions primarily through various polemical psychic situations and motions involving an invisible energy.  Psychic energy was posed without any actual evidence of such energy. We are able to produce electricity, measure it, and put it to use in predictable ways, and Freud was speculating that we would be able to find the same things with psychic energy, but he could not, nor anyone since then.  But the system sounded really good; when you get into it, it does appear to have some sensibility to it.  But, like Freud, when we take that idea too far and attempt to use the model to fill in more and more evident holes, the more elaborate structural interactions required to account for the new issues simply become so vague and involved that what ever at one time appeared like some sensible dynamic of structure, fails. That is, unless you are really sold on the beauty of the simple beginning theoretical structure.

I would say then that the reason why philosophy like psychoanalysis but Lacan so much is that it begins pretty good.  Freud’s theory appears really nice in the beginning and seems to make sense.  So without having to actually observe anything beyond the initial evidence, Freudian psychoanalysis is fabulous, and philosophy that likes Lacan is usually about first or reduced things: Ontology is about what things truly are, how they are first;  epistemology is about how thought must first be in order for everything else to be able to be thought. So, the Freudian structure of the mind The Super-Ego is the rules or norms; the ID,  involves the ‘unbound’ instinctual drive which produces libidinal energy, and the Ego is that which harness both  extremities: the philosophical ratio, or the Rational Mind, so to speak; this fits very well into methods that involve first things: 1,2,3…presto!  It is simple and it makes a lot of very easy sense without having to think about it too much.  It also, quite coincidentally, reflects the philosophy which was arising around the same time as industrial science of the 19th century: Hegel, Marx, Freuerbach and many Enlightenment others basically were already philosophizing around these very same ideas.  But as I have said a few times already, when we apply them to any world that we actually encounter, this ‘philosophical mind’ falls quickly short of accounting. And this is to say, like I said above, unless you are really sold on the theory.

The philosophical question here, then, becomes whether or not we are fitting reality into the theory, or developing theory from what is being observed?

Enter modern capitalism.

I submit, that most conventional Western philosophy suffers from the attempt of fitting what is observed into the theory.  Hence, the reason(s) why philosophy often enjoys a psychoanalytical involvement with philosophy.

So it is that I came across our question above: Why should alienation have anything do with the world we are coming upon? In what way does the “mirror stage” of Lacan have anything to do with modernity beyond the theorizing?

I submit, that the reason is because if indeed we make an ontological theory of what is observed, actually form or develop a theory upon what is being presented to sense, then the Self no longer appears alienated from the world.

Some may know that Lacan said something like “the mind is structured like a language”.  This is because he was making a comment upon what is inherently problematic about modern subjectivity.  This is, the subject is always in context, but the nature of the operating psyche is that is does not function as though it arises in context, but rather as though it arises indeed from nothing.  This is to say that the modern subject understands and thus operates itself as not a true subject (arising always in context) but as indeed a subject only in a thoughtful reflection of itself, as though the thinker itself exists outside of the world and as indeed the essential nature of Being is dichotomy: object and subject.

So, the next question (#1), is what this has to do with the presence of the parents for the development of the ego, and why does this have anything to do with actually being in the world?

1655-ego-depletion-an-influential-theory-in-psychology-640

A common and modern belief is that the ego is not a modern ideal but a human one.

The Gift

on the non-fixity of world identity.

It is not a definitive world by which reality is understood as a singular and fixed truththat is significant. The various opinions, attitudes and mentalities based in subjective meaning upon the stable ground of reality are not the issue.  Rather, it is the relationship that we have with things which is truly significant. 

*

I had a moment with a young individual today.

I don’t know how it is in the rest of the world, but in the US it is a strange kind of trend of adolescents who are depressed to self harm. I don’t know if this is a global thing but I know it is a United States thing.

It seems that there is a rash of depressed and or anxious young people who, lacking any particular sharp tool, such as a razor blade or perhaps a knife, will scratch themselves in one place with their own fingernail, often short, until The skin finally breaks and a wound develops. They will continue to scratch that one place longer and wider until some unknown threshold is achieved and then they will produce another one right next to it, often parallel and sometimes in squared or triangular designs. And they will do this, many of them, until their arms are covered with these kind of burn sores. When you get a bunch of these children together, it is at once striking and at the same time strangely of no concern; for in part, one might be just as inclined to wonder why a group of kids will start smoking tobacco or in our current situation, vaping. One has to admit there is a certain amount of fad or trend or whatever you would want to call it. Because anxiety and depression does not necessarily mean that you have to self harm, and indeed when I was young there was many kids my age, many who were depressed or had problematic families who were friends of mine, who never thought of self harming in the way that seems so trendy and ubiquitous for our children nowadays. It is sad and strange.

*

My intention for this post was not to discuss the philosophical fixtures of mental health theories or to offer any sort of help necessarily to these young people.

I really brought it up because this one person I was talking to today used to self harm, and then stopped for a couple years and only recently had started again because of some sort of life event that was triggering.

This person was also depressed but having more issues with anxiety. I was talking to this person and they happen to mention how they are not suicidal because their best friend had committed suicide a few years prior, so they never contemplate killing themselves.

It struck me how they said this so matter-of-factly, for it is common with people who suffer from great and long lasting general anxiety as well as depression to have to also battle with intrusive suicidal thoughts.

And I said to this person:

You know, that’s kind of amazing, in a strange way, when you think about it. What you just said…

Your best friend died? I said.

And so you never think about killing yourself, you simply don’t have thoughts about killing yourself? I said.

Then I said, you know, in a strange way, your friend gave you a gift, for he gave you a reason to live.

And this person began to slowly tear up, as I did also, with compassion in my heart.

They were looking down but then they kind of looked up at me through the tops of their eyes and gave a sleight little smile On top of that kind of frown that you get when there’s a deep hurt that just quickly surged to the surface, when your face can’t help but strain into an childish ugly grimace. A kind of embarrassment and yet of connection.

Yeah; maybe… they said.



Sometimes we need a different way to look at things. Sometimes we can hold what seems as two opposing sentiments for the sake of at once mourning and yet celebrating, missing and yet respecting.  and yet, sometimes when we see it, it seems so obvious. Like, why didn’t I think of that.

I think some of it may be not so much that this person didn’t think of that, but they did not allow themselves to think of it because of the polemically reductive fashion by which we arrive with our ethical selves to the encounter with the world. We are often not permitted to think but in specific ways about specific things.

Often we just hold the sadness a certain way because we think that’s the only way that sadness is allowed to be, holding it so dear that we fear that person is going to be disrespected, as if it is this supremely fragile thing. Whereas actually it could be a source of the most profound strength and Resilliance. 

The modern ideological and ethical sense sometimes misleads us into seeing tragedy as one way, into what Kierkegaard calls the “either/or”, which is the mentality of fixation, of limit, of finitude. 

*

How much does my identity depend upon this either/or reduction towards self and world, as if indeed they either have to be 100% intertwined and subjective, or 100% separate, psychological and objective?

Maybe the relationship changes under various conditions.  maybe it is both.





Anxiety and Addiction: A cypher of the real method. 

A Concept of Anxiety. (A nod to Soren’s genius.  With some Hegelian nonsense also 😛)
Anxiety can be said to arise as a type of synthesis of thesis and anti-thesis. In very concrete terms the problem that exists between ‘I should do this but I can’t do this’. Anxiety arises as a third factor in which both maxims arrive. It is a type of mediator but it is based in the freedom of choice, and then not knowing what choice to make against the inability to make that choice even though one knows that it is the choice that should be made. 
In common reality, analysis would have the person run some therapeutic process to alleviate the anxiety for the proper choice. The idea being that there is some sort of problem with the mental faculty, some sort of neurosis occurring that needs to be corrected. This is the fundamental basis and of the institution of psychology and therapy. It is based on the idea of righteousness that there is a proper way to be human and a proper manner against which one makes decisions upon gradiations of propriety given the condition in which the decision arises. 
Anxiety might be able to be alleviated through this psychology, but what we find is that the aggregate of the problem is not solved in this matter. We find in most cases that the person continues to struggle albeit with some therapeutic methodological steps. If we can look at the problem of addiction so common in our day, through this rubric we have the beginning of understanding of why so many are in recovery, and so few actually recover. 
In conventional psychology would say it’s because we have not figured out the proper method to address the problem, and likewise within that solution we have not discovered all the elements or aspects involved with the problem to begin with. And further that it is our hope to one day through a total or complete understanding of the situation to bring addiction under control and to a solution that can be had. And in the meantime, lets give em some drugs. 
Yet within this problem of addiction, we have the same situation of anxiety. With the addict we have the problem of knowing what the proper choice should be, which is for theadddict that I should stop using; this accompanied with the overwhelming understanding that I am not able to stop and basically that I can’t stop. 
Psychology and the recovery community in general, would have it that the synthesis of these two amounts to a psychology or a basic individual that is somehow incorrect and it’s being, that it is developed faulty skills for life and reality. So recovery develops methods by which a person is able to stop, which is to say to enact the correct decision. The problem is, in one sense, though, that the initial condition is not relieved nor recognized. 
Yet regardless of how we mean to insert righteousness upon this either or condition, which is to say that perhaps the supplied method and it’s methodological pedagogy is incorrect, the more solute and honest way to view the situation is that there are two fundamental powers at work within or otherwise ofthe human being. 
These two fundamental powers do not directly involve the initial problematic as an indicator to some deeper problem; Indeed this route is indicative of one of the powers. This power sees the indication of synthesis as a ubiquitous and Omni present potential for the human being within the context of a righteousness, which is to say to have a correct manner of being and behaving for what reality is. This is indeed a valid power because it indeed functions powerfully. We cannot say that their methods do not work because evidently they do work with some people, for example, some people who are addicted to substances actually are able to apply the method and relieve themselves from the condition whereby the negative assertion takes hold. This is to say there is a psychologcal imethod that relieves the person from the effect that is involved in the statement ‘I can’t or I am unable to’. 

It is a valid power because evidently it does work at times, but more so because of this small validation it is taken as correct in it’s appraisal of the whole situation with the caveat that we just don’t have enough information.
The problem is in the fact that it only works for a very small minority for whom the problem exists. So it seems sensible to consider the possibility that the logic around such method is not addressing all the facts concerning the addict. Hence we have the conventional method that says one day if we keep trying we will be able to apprehend all the facts and be able to apply an effective solution. 
The problem is then that even though we apply this particular conventional method to the either or situation involved in the anxious individual that we are associating with the addict, or the situation of addiction, there are many that though they may work wholeheartedly and intensely in the method who still are not alleviated from that terrible anxious condition, for which we have coined the term ‘relapse’ to indicate the fall back into that I can’t Do this contingency. So it is we say that is powerful because the method that is not working is still saught after to alleviate the problem. 
It would seem most sensible to me that it is the appraisal of the synthesis, that particular route that takes the situation to automatic recourse of a particular kind of synthesis , that is incorrect, so it is by this idea that we have to delineate two effective powers. 

Note then that where we might discern some sort of mundane psychological or scientific method against some sort of spiritual process or method, we have achieved only the same methodological approach; we have reified that there is an either or condition and that somehow it is the synthesis (The true real subject of psychology ) is fundamentally and essentially incorrect.
It is here that irony begins to play. Because when we consider the above situation it really leaves only two manners of correctly appropriating it into meaning. The first is what I call the conventional route and in general it is what is been described in the foregoing part of this essay. The second places the synthesis as a different order of being than is arrived at through a logical reduction of the initial polemic whereby the problem is realized. 
Again it is non-Sequitur to reduce these two situations to a further unitive common human aspect, and it is more proper to speak of them in terms of teleologies; only thru speaking of two different routes may we arrive at a new ontology. So long as we continually reify the ontology, so long as we see discourse as occurring along a common stratified communicative humanity, we there by stay in the same problem and I never find solutions. 
So in a manner of speaking in so much as we do find solutions we have discovered a new methodology. 
This is not to say that somehow humanity will become some different universal creature; it will only be done so within discursive contexts of reductive ontologies. In reality things will only change in as much as they always change within the same context. So much as there is a solution and an effective solution, we have there by discovered a new methodological synthesis.
Here the initial problem of ‘I should but I can’t’, is not reduced to some dysfunctional synthesis, some psychologically disturbed subject. Here instead we find that the initial polemic indicates a situation that is radically different and radically departs from the initial problem in its particular statement. We find here that the initial problem is the problem itself. There by the problem is not so much ‘I should but I can’t’, but more the inclusive acceptance of the problem as ‘I should but I can’t and that is how it is’. 
The issue then becomes not so much of making some choice upon this either or situation, as if the anxious person just merely needs to make a choice to accept his anxious state, but rather that the person neither can make a choice nor except the situation. The conventional psychological route would say that the person needs to choose to except the situation . But The usual and common (sensible, logical, rational) recourse to this is to develop a science, to fall out or step out of the situation entirely and look at it as an object to be apprehended. We therefore are no longer involved with a subjective recurrence of the problem, we no longer refer to some otherness for the treatment of our anxiety as if this other method can be applied to my situation as a tool upon a piece of clay, a theory to be applied to to my anxious subjectivity; Instead we only refer to the apprehension of the meaning of the situation as an object by which the situation is possible. 

Post-post-modern-modernism: The Mistake of Irony; Or, The Ironic Mistake.

Perhaps a little bitty on postmodernism and the, what could be labeled of our current situation, post-post-modern-modernism.

Here are a couple links that roughly define the conventional problem I will address in this essay. The first is a little less ridiculous than than the second. The first offers us an argument for why postmodernism is not dead, but is rather the condition upon which people find a new agency. David Foster Wallace is talking from so far down the conventional hole – at least, that he was at some point- his polemic reveals how deep his confusion is or was, as the case may be ( no disrespect intended).

http://partialobjects.com/2011/08/what-comes-after-postmodernism/

This is not to say that there was not this postmodern thing-era that these authors are talking about; it is also very interesting, and possibly ironic, that postmodernism has been seen as first represented in architecture (so says the first link). Nevertheless, the era was the conventional reaction to a large misunderstanding that continues.

It is not difficult to find a link between Constructive Undoing and postmodernism, especially with the irony/convention duality that has arisen here. So, in light of this parallel, and that irony is too often defined to postmodernism through deconstruction, sarcasm, posed apathy, withdrawal, multivocality and the like, as well that irony does not stem from any sort of reaction (though pm may) as it merely takes the proposed new as old hat, as already given before it became new, one has to hit it straight on, as a tangent, one might say. As the post of the link says, with “arms folded tight” one continues to lift; irony works, despite the conventional reaction.

We should look into this reaction. To do this, we will use the framework of the definition of irony, taken from Dictionary.com ( as of spetember, 2013) since the typical conventional misunderstanding involved with the coupling of irony and postmodernism is at play; the reaction allows postmodernism to be placed outside of its ironic bearings.

[Note: This essay is a shortened version.]

Irony:

1.)the use of words to convey a meaning that is the opposite of its literal meaning: the irony of her reply, “How nice!” when I said I had to work all weekend.

Literature.
A.) a technique of indicating, as through character or plot development, an intention or attitude opposite to that which is actually or ostensibly stated.
(especially in contemporary writing)

B.) a manner of organizing a work so as to give full expression to contradictory or complementary impulses, attitudes, etc., especially as a means of indicating detachment from a subject, theme, or emotion.

3.)Socratic irony. (which is defined as feigned ignorance.)

4.) dramatic irony.

5.) an outcome of events contrary to what was, or might have been, expected.

6.) the incongruity of this.

7.) an objectively sardonic style of speech or writing.

8.) an objectively or humorously sardonic utterance, disposition, quality, etc.

Generally, all the definitions reiterate the fifth definition; basically, the opposite of what is expected expressed in the various arenas. (A) and (B) are literary devices of turning plot or meaning. (3) is an idiomatic expression of the complete misunderstanding of Socrates, a one-sided view. (4) is little more than (3); (5) restates all the definitions. (6),(7) and (8) are the key definitions, the ones that have been elicited from the most offense of irony, in the postmodern sense.

The really interesting thing about irony is the absolute comedy of its seriousness; in all seriousness, this is the most offensive aspect of irony, and is the reason postmodernism has become a kind of stigma in philosophy, a kind of joke for modern thought so much that it had to ‘die’. Where do I laugh? Where do I nod? How can I tell if what is being said is really meant for what it says? The irony never ends, and everyone wants ends. Most every one wants to be told the punch line – but not overtly; everyone wants to be in on the joke. But the joke and the deep meaning are one in the same; if you have to guess or wonder, then you get embarrassed: you are offended.

Though I can’t be sure about the intent of definition number 6, I assume it refers to definition number 5. In fact, unless it is a type-o, the definition is probably intended to mean irony as the incongruity of what is expected and what actually occurs, in distinction to def. 5 where irony is the “outcome”. If I say I am a liar, and then I lie, the irony could be not very ironic or be very ironic depending on what has been signaled, but the incongruity of this is that one would have to guess, that is, unless the liar while telling the truth were indeed poetic as he lay, for then he would indeed be lying. But what if he were telling the truth?? As it is, the definition number 6, as a definition for irony, is quite ironic, because none of the other definitions reference the other definitions, but we are expected to see that number 6 does. It is a simple pleasure then to think that the authors of this definition included just this presentation (of 6) as a particular definition of irony because probably the best definition of irony is the incongruity of this, as it is not only a definition, but also an example. And just as such a simple pleasure could be a proclivity of some people, this paragraph itself will find many quite fed up and see no humor or pleasure in this exposition; they find it corny or even lacking in a certain finesse or refinement, or perhaps they find it too subtle. Yet it is just this kind of insensitivity or intolerance that seeks ends, that, if not indicated to the punch, will develop a position highly distanced from it, the ironic move so lowly and indistinctive as it is patronized.

Such a humor is of the most inside that one can fathom, so it is no wonder that most cannot help but develop a resentment concerning its irony. To them, they are being made the butt of a joke; like some sort of transcendent wit they miss, they maintain their seriousness as they pull the heavenly act down to their mundane decisions and proclaim and accuse and dismiss. It is not a wonder postmodernism has a bad rap; the dense can hardly hold a tune, let alone wish to appreciate the finest symphony in the world without the liner notes. Grinding their teeth together they talk lightheartedly and then seriously about this and that fashion, all the while truly being the object of ridicule that was never intended for them except that they made it such. “We are not laughing at them, we are just laughing,” and they have much more serious things by which to set their recreation.

(7) and (8). The definition of ‘sardonic’: characterized by bitter or scornful derision; mocking; cynical; sneering: a sardonic grin. In other words, the distasteful, ‘dark side’ of irony: “objectively sardonic”. The attitude behind this irony is an anxious individual, almost despairing of the world. The irony is a type of ‘sick’ humor; his denial is palatable. This one has come close to his theoretical, indeed actual, demise and spits out his fate upon everyone and the world (the objects) because it is the world. Ironically, the world has let him to know, and he doesn’t like it; he doesn’t like being dominated but he has found his distance from it in one of two ways: a) The world is shitty. The world of history is not the place of his childhood dreams; it has brought everything opposite childish happiness had more than hoped for. He wants to be free, but his conscience tells him its all a sham, and this is known to him due to the world’s history coming upon him. The oppressive world. b) His attitude is justified in righteousness. The offense of the shitty world is countered by the nobility of human presence: the world is great, it is working in his behalf. This nobility is held in countenance for the world, but soon the world rejects it, it counters every move. A suitable image must be maintained; the oppressive individual. In both, the object is prominent; in (a), it is the object proper to convention, in (b), the individual, the subject-object, the subject of convention. Whether it is in reference to some ‘childhood dream’ or the ‘grown-up’ approach to reality before him or her, the motion is that the nobility rejects the rejection and the world crumbles; it deconstructs because the individual is no longer complicit with the world, but again, offended by it. The individual perpetually lives in a fear of his own making, cast upon the world that is surely going bad from the activities of himself – if only he could just leave, or, can he save it in time!

*

The reaction here is ironic; the ironic-sardonic postmodernist and the individual that sets postmodernism to a proper era are both implicitly involved in the conventional reaction. Consciousness, by its very nature, is a retreat from the world; perhaps more precisely, the world is consciousness’s retreat from existence. The individual who is being ironic by realizing that the world of the great (at least, modernist in the last, but conventional in its beginning) human history has brought itself to destruction, is reacting not to the world, but to her inability to reconcile it to her knowledge; her knowledge does not ‘reach’ the object. The reaction is completely of alienation, which is to say, the individual is not alienated due to some historical social motion where she is offended at the state of the world and so withdraws from it, but rather the individual is alienated from herself due to her rather un-ironic belief (faith) in the oppressing thing of the world, that is, that there is this world, which is reality, the conventional world of the true object. This is not so much that the world brought itself to its own destruction, but that the world did not destruct, and this is to say that the world did not find solution, but that the world is insolvent. The result of the world finding a new way due to the old way not working, or bringing itself upon destruction, is not finding a solution in this new way, the result is that the new way is exactly the same as the old way, that the two ‘ways’ could not but have caused and resulted from each other necessarily, that the causes will be found conventionally. The reaction is thus not of the world but of the meaning that the individual has derived from it, which contradicts that the human was ever part of the world in the first place. Then the reaction becomes dismissive, yielding the ‘that’s just life’ tail. Asserting the priority of beliefs and their function for finding ‘the good’, the reaction wields the power of resentment in hopes of stifling and ending all dissension.

The belief itself, the act or motion the term ‘belief’ signifies of faith, is what creates or allows for the alienated individual; the condition of the human being in reality is the separated individual. This separation, basic to the individual, is what constitutes freedom, the great future of progress, as well as its complimentary spiritual form of union (yoga) and ‘return’ (Christ, messiah, or ‘anointed one’; the motion as ‘to anoint’ connotes a uniting of separate substances, yet where one significant or uncommon element is rubbed on a regular or common element, and in this moment the two are transformed; the blessed oil becomes merely oil, the common, significant. The misused idea of ‘karma’, so prevalent in the West, falls in here also.) Nevertheless, it is recognition or realization, a coming into knowledge, that develops ‘alienation’ as a lived experience. But the inherent and unavoidable condition of human consciousness is separation.

Anxiety and despair over such a realization is usually understood to be relieved by two moves, though there are really three; the first two are conventional. The first is denial, where the realization is avoided. This reaction replaces the old with the new as part and parcel of willed, reasoned progress. The initial problem here is replaced with the solution that is human agency, the negotiation of parties, be it spiritual negotiation or mundane. The second is insanity. Both of these reactions are complicit in the resolution to the problem, since there is no true overcoming of the discrepancy; faith in reality accomplishes this feat through denial; hence, denial and insanity are the only real options. I emphasize real options, in the sense that I have already been developing conventional faith; anything else is absurd, insane. Thus the third option is the non-conventional, the ‘not-real’ option (Francois Laruelle might call this the Real option); the reconciliation that can come only does so with existence, through the experience of irony: denial and acceptance become not mutually exclusive.

The human being in existence cannot but help behaving in the only way it can: ultimately determined in every activity. But this activity, this existence, is also human consciousness; it can only behave the way it does. This is to say on one hand that consciousness does not behave or operate in any way separate from the behavior of existence, but also on the other that its operation is to have a world that is sufficiently separate from itself by which it can then perform its functions, and these are exactly formed and allowed for through the partition we call free will, that is, choice. Human consciousness must have a true object, it cannot function without it, but in order for there to be a true object there must be a correspondant of at least equal stature, and this is the individual thoughtful human being. The evident aspect of consciousness is thought, and is itself a mode or motion of the existing universe. Thought thereby retains an effectively universal operational structure as part of its nature, which is to say, the processes and features of knowing resonate the very motion of the universe as course, which is unity. Yet unity, unfortunately for the individual, can only exist by separation; only in the condition of separation can a notion of unity have meaning. Separation and unity have a significance for the meaning making existent human being; the tension or motion thereof, which is vacillation, is not allowed in the progressive reality: reality relies upon the equanimity of subject and object as real things, absolutely true objects, and its privileging of either dependent upon the circumstance at hand as the circumstance is foundational in indicating progress.

Stepping back from this, we can say nevertheless, once the equilibrium, or symmetry, of the statures of true object and thinking subject are upset, existence effectively takes over its proper imperative, that is, the sanctity of the true object begins to fail for knowledge, and knowledge likewise is compromised of its ability to ‘hold off’ the encroachment of the operation of thought upon itself: consciousness then must uphold its existential operation, as its foundation is the differend between thought and object, and the reduction of the knowledge of the object to the object of knowledge eventually brings thought into a consideration of itself, as an object of itself. Only in the balance that holds the (inner) subject and (outer) object at sufficient distance in consciousness can one say that the objective dominates; psychology is the conventional method that attempts to keep the distance of thought and object, to maintain the balance. Once this symmetry is lost, however, the motion never falls toward the object, the motion is always toward the knowing subject, falling in upon the subject of knowledge until consciousness almost comes upon itself and faith is reestablished; this can be called, what is typically known as a ‘psychological breakthrough’ or a ‘spiritual experience’. Where it indeed truly comes upon itself, we call this insanity or death. Where the individual is incapable of functioning constructively in the group of humanity, conventional reality is upheld by the group through a faith that functions to keep the balance and maintain the symmetry of the subject and object in knowledge, as an objective aspect, and thought, as a subjective aspect, which is to say, in knowledge that such an individual is insane defined as a true object for the purpose of establishing the standard for the individual: the subject (subject-object), and in thought for the purpose of establishing the objective standard of reality: the object.

*

The usual reading of postmodern exposition is contained thus far; not for a reiteration of it, but to a step from it. Though more than a few authors either contributed to the development of postmodernism, or step from it, to offer their version, I address two authors here: Jean-Paul Sartre and Francois Laruelle. Through a particularly conventional lens, each offers a stating of the point of contention, a reiteration, as well as a reconciliation of the ironic problem, while saying, really, ironically, the same thing. The punch line: the discrepancy (the individual is established in separation) is solved through an assertion of essential freedom. Again, this is to say that both proposals arise through a denial of existence and an assertion of the true object. This, in effect, is the definition of what Sarte terms “bad faith”, as I have argued of Laruelle in the Direct Tangents of Constructive Undoing.

Sartre’s points are foundational. The reduction of thought to an object of itself opens meaning to an ‘abyss’ of freedom, where meaning comes to its own essential lack. To (here now) reiterate the foregoing, the essence of meaning (if we can say there is such a thing) is seen to be vacant, void, nil, as Slavoj Zizek has said of the subject. This knowledge of contradiction, meaning that is no meaning, causes the individual angst, or Kierkegaardian ‘despair’; in my terms, the individual understands that the reality through which he or she was moving, that has been established and motivated through basic, what was before thought, true tenants of reality, true objects, is found to be not true. Sartre’s move then is to ‘revolt’ from this ‘nothingness’, since the individual supposedly sees now that meaning is arbitrary, and thereby find true freedom because the individual sees that he is no longer constrained by any essential, determined, or otherwise actual truth of any matter whatsoever.

Laruelle, if we are able to set aside the conventional-temporal object for one moment, where Laruelle builds his non-philosophy due to Sartre’s and others’ ideas before him, we may find his address through what I shall use as his basic idea. While all of his terms interact and compound upon one another to indicate the same thing, which is the point of contention, his ‘unilateral duality’ works to indicate the last conventional object. The ‘future Christ’ he terms as a culmination or basic differential which allows or accounts for the total meaning of, what I call, the scheme of meaning that is conventional reality, the meaningful organization of true objects. By summoning total meanings of significant oppositional objects, his critique of philosophy proper reduces its operational terms to explain conventional reality; he limits conventional reality to the arena of ‘philosophy’ for strategic reasons, and calls the consequence or result of this reduction the ‘Real’. Using the idea of future Christ, his reconciliation poses some sort of radical agency – mind you, ‘agency’ has been likewise re-situated in non-agency – that, one is to gather, comes about through a proper understanding of reality. The reason he can appear, as we say, ‘in the last’, is the real and the Real remain for him ‘lateral’ or maybe better, parallel but are situated more properly upon a parallax. The freedom of Sartre is similarly re-situated with the ‘radical’ form of knowing and proposes some more evolved state of humanity.

Again, keep in mind that I am presenting a typically conventional reading of these authors, that the fact of their presentations are routinely and faithfully, in Laruelle’s terms, ‘made into another philosophical object’, a representation of the point of contention. The problem is at all times conventionally upheld for reality, Real or free. The problem is not the presentation that these authors enact, but the re-presentation: the overcoming of the true object is impossible for conventional reality.

Hence, perhaps a better rendition of the matter at hand can be better situated to address the impossible. To put it directly into conventional grasp, we might then see that to confront the impossible is a matter of insanity.

*

Yet before we venture into the impossible, I would like to offer a small quote from Thomas Nagel, and his effort from the possible, of staying in the possible:

“However, I do not find theism any more credible than materialism as a comprehensive world view. My interest is in the territory between them. I believe that these two radically opposed conceptions of ultimate intelligibility cannot exhaust the possibilities. All explanations come to an end somewhere. Both theism and materialism say that at the ultimate level, there is one form of understanding. But would an alternative secular conception be possible that acknowledged mind and all that it implies, not as the expression of divine intention but as a fundamental principle of nature along with physical law?”
~ ‘Antireductionism and the Natural Order’, in Mind and Cosmos, p.22.

One should see that Nagel’s situation is nothing larger than what Soren Kierkegaard offered 160 years ago: Is there a teleological suspension of the ethical? For the question Nagel asks here is nothing greater than conventional, though he might be trying to indicate something more (we shall see). Nagel is asking if there is a way to bring the remnants or basics of the bifurcated real meaning wherein we have idealist subjectivism and religious transcendence/immanence versus materialist objectivism, into a scheme of meaning that does not indicate upon such distinction, which is to say, does not reify the insolvency. The answer is: conventionally, no. All human reality depends upon the duality of meaningful categories; the real is the universal is the ethical. The answer ironically is: yes.