The Meaning and Demeaning of Mental Health

The following is an extract from an interview with Mallory Gothelf, mental health advocate and creator of ‘The Infinite Project‘. “It’s difficult not…

The Meaning and Demeaning of Mental Health

———- Like.

But I like to put it in terms more of what I choose to apply to myself. The meaning remains the same. I got enough reasons to beat myself up; it’s not that these reasons go away or I change the meaning that they have in my life. Kind of on the contrary, I just don’t allow them to make authoritarian enforcement upon what I am, but allow them to be whatever they are or were.

Of course, though, what meaning is had is ultimately determined by the person. Somehow, though, sometimes we are doing a disservice ideologically when we reduce a persons experience to meaning making. Sometimes it can be a change in ones view upon the situation. But most people just go by the ideological equation for identity, which in our moment, is based on meaning.

The New Philosophy

The Moment of Decisive Significance took more than 4 years to write and publish, and it still needs edits. The Philosophical Hack the first and second parts took a little less time, partly because of how Nathaniel approached it.  Actually, The Philosophical Hack is not yet complete, so all and all, for all 6 parts, will probably take even longer than 4 years — and being that Nathaniel undertakes other projects, the last 4 parts will probably come out perhaps in 2030. 🙂

This is true philosophy to me.  Yes, philosophy can be understood as a commodity, a product, a piece of consumer good, but that is not what I think good philosophy does and is in truth.  In reality maybe it appears as something different…

Philosophy takes time, it is out of time, and it is thus timeless. 

It arises in time and out of time, but through arising in this manner, it is essentially of two ontological natures.

One of the points the Kierkegaard makes in his book “Fear and Trembling” is that Abraham had a faith that is beyond him; Kierkegaard says that he could never make the move of Abraham and, basically, this is why a person is in despair, sinful, as he says, in despair to will to be oneself.  Kierkegaard thus uses the literary figure of the Biblical Abraham to show the irony involved of Being a Knight of Faith.

His point is that when one is willing to be oneself never does she have the faith of Abraham, and thus, for those who might be so inclined (but not everyone), the best someone who is willing can do is live as a knight of infinite resignation. His point is so long as one is willing, that is, is open to the possibility of being oneself, as opposed to actually being oneself, then that person lives in despair.

Indeed this is the modern dilemma of the individual.

Time Spiral

 

My point is that so long as one is in time, they have faith in themselves and are working towards an end which is always ethically compromised: They have faith (hope) that the world holds a place for them to Be, but they never are quite sure how they are supposed to be (how am I proposed in context is the quandary of modern mental health).  The irony, though, is that one must indeed live in time and be ethical (in the sense of Being involved with ethics), but that that this is not all that one is and does.  One does not live in a condition where she must always choose upon ethics.  This is the point that Kierkegaard makes of Abraham.

Is there a teleological suspension of the ethical? 

We find the answer through his books, and the answer is yes.  The reason for this is that Abraham’s activity was not for his time, and yet in that he was indeed there, a human being doing actions, his actions were not ethical. Indeed, the point that Kierkegaard makes is that the ethics of Abraham were vested in God, and that God thus makes the world ethical by virtue of the absurdity that is not acting in time: Abraham has faith by virtue of the absurd.

Ironically, Slavoj Zizek, a contemporary social critic and philosopher, makes the same point when he says that the subject always acts too late, that by the very ontological nature of the modern subject of ideology, action is always reactionary.  Similarly Alain Badiou says the best political move is to not act politically, to abstain from politics. The revolutionary move is thus to move out of time, and to bring Kierkegaard back in, to act by virtue of the absurd such that what is ethical arises out of the act, as opposed to the ontological act Being involved with an attempt to act ethically.

The condition which evidences this ontological contradiction is what Kierkegaard and Nietzsche as well, call angst, which was first translated into English, by Walter Lawrie, I think, as dread, but then later authors (Hong and Hong, May) call anxiety.  The philosopher who arises out of time to act finds herself in a state of anxiety because she still appears on the scene within the ethical universe, albeit, one that is being manifested by the absurd situation of her being out of time. This is particularly salient in our 21st century because we find that this is a condition of knowledge, and not a condition of every human being who thinks thoughts.

  • The question that I have been grappling with is how does one who is so out of time do the work of art (or of love, Heidegger, Kierkegaard) which is motivated through the state of anxiety? (Also see Harman’s Dante’s Broken Hammer.)
  • How does one arise in time out of time?

My next project will thus be to produce a work of philosophy which covers the whole breadth of philosophical knowledge while at once mentioning neither a known philosopher or author, nor conceptual philosophical tropes, that is, terms which have assumed (privileged) dense philosophical definition.

That is what I am going to attempt, anyways.  🙂

Good luck!

 

The Consolidation of Ideology and Mental Health

There is a long line of thinking and writing that frames ideological negation as emancipatory, or as an advancement of cognitive ability towards a …

deep adaptation as post-nihilist praxis?

———- indeed! It is our next meal because what happens when we eat, what happens when we satiate our hunger? We digest it, we incorporate it, we become it.

—-and we excrete what is not useful.

And Some honesty arises….

Love it. Reposting it.

And..

What does Nathaniel have to say ?

One should not help but make a notice to the coincidence and synchronicity that occurs between, say, work and experience and encounter with other through this blog and people all around.

…and Somehow I feel like we might differ on what is actually occurring even while that difference just highlights how the view is the same…I feel that there is an analysis that would tend toward thoughts synthesizing with brains functioning coming to conclusions of an entirely human mechanism. Yet, I come from the opposite direction to say that we are coming across the same motions of concepts in the polemic itself. The world is manifesting and for those who can see “it” report on it, just as it is the unfolding of our individual beings, just As it is the unfolding of the universe. But that’s just a very loose and rough description of two sides of the same coin; I’m not sure we need to make them exclusive and attempt to reduce to another “what is actually occurring”…

Nevertheless, as simplicity of what I see in reading philosophy just confirms it —- from my perspective, from my angle of view, it is not that ideology is going away but quite the contrary: It is that ideology is becoming functional. Like a fish swimming and water, the fish does not notice the water, it is just it’s natural environment; the water essentially disappears but it is actually just everywhere. This is really what I see happening in a real sense. Drowning, I resist. I choke on the water; I attempt to deny it .Yet, as many have reported, supposedly, for a couple seconds I’m actually breathing water and I am fully relaxed…

I totally get — it — the plunge into nothingness in nihilism. I’m not sure what I would have to say, except to reiterate the same terms that is used in the various discourses: I fully comprehend and resonate with where it came from, the process, and where we are at.

Personally, I don’t think that incredulity towards meta-discourses eliminates meta-discourses. I am quite skeptical that I am able to question a meta discourse now and then to have myself exist “suspended in nothingness“. For me the real suspension in nothingness is utter identity loss, and inability to make any headway in the world, and yet that also is a certain corresponding adaptive metadiscourse which remains in the background as a sort of “philosophy” (what Is indicated in the band “The Covert Sound Philosophy”). It is a perpetuation and insistence of doubting everything as an identity that makes me locate meta-discourses as something that I am not involved with. This denial then helps me attempt to assert my identity of getting nowhere in the world and being generally unhappy and defaulting to a certain resolve in such a state To point to ideology as if it’s something these “poor unintelligent wretches” are involved with while me and my Nietschean Uber Mench gets to sit back and proclaim How justified and superior I am to all these other stupid religious animals. In other words, I am depressed because everyone else is stupid. Really??

…coincidentally, and I do mean happening at the same time at all times, this is exactly the condition of my being despite how I would want to resist it and live a life arguing against it, as though I was forging some identity that everyone needs to recognize. Strange how I remain in my small world with little identity because I was so smart as to question every meta-discourse that I came across…

No, I do not believe that there was ever a time that me nor you nor anyone else was succesdfully avoiding existing within Meta Discourse. It was just silent, held back in irony, as a sort of sarcastic spite, like I’m better than you, but then all the while really just asserting my identity of being a pissy complainer to those pussy bitches who don’t question their existence in the proper manner…

No; I think it is once I recognize that what I was asserting in my nihilism was really everything that I was denying, but denying for the sake of my attempt to forge a new ideological identity, once I get to the end of that curve, what happens is that I become part of the ideology, the ideology the Meta Discourse actually takes hold of and begins to function properly As because that’s what’s been going on all along despite my intellectualization of the matter.

Thanks again!

x

Exhibit of Mental Health Compromised by Covid-19 Measures

apple.news/AheduBnEkSHaCcGnkhSGQ9w

This references the video posted on the Huffington article. And the protests in general.

Trump supporters Protest the stay at home orders.

It seems to me the only sensible way to view these protests is through the lens of mental health.

I do not think it is reasonable to say that these people are not intelligent or stupid or to politicize their behavior in anyway. It is not merely that they are Trump supporters; Rather, by not being a leader, Trump is taking advantage of a compromised community. Trump looks for those who are already weak and then takes advantage of them for his own profit. 

The reason why the protesters are behaving this way is because they are emotionally upset and are not able to deal with their emotions in a constructive way.

Of course they are emotionally upset. Of course their lives are being affected in a terrible way due to the virus. Their responses are perfectly reasonable in the sense of being upset and not knowing what to do, and so they act out. They are justifiably angry and scared, yet the coronavirus is an uncontrollable force of nature, and so instead of coming to terms with their relationship to this force and come together with the rest of humanity, They pull back and blame and lash out at what is around them. it’s pretty much a panic response. It is almost a textbook maxim of mental health problems.

They are unable to see the truth of the matter because, One could say and in a manner of speaking, they did not have a good mental hygiene.

 

x

The Conventional Limit

–from “Re-visioning psychology” by James Hillman.

The modern idea of ownership permeates into every thing that we think. This preoccupation with one’s “owned” ideas manifests world as some thing to be or to have as owned. Hence we have the eternal problem for the modern individual which shows up in one instance as rational subjective opinion in a world of argued relative opinions, and in another instance as mental illness. We might even begin to discern what mental health is by understanding how it seeks to commandeer the problematic modern individual which is — by the plain evidence of all the problem it vomits everywhere by simply being itself — ideologically and institutionally mentally ill, by placing it in a “positive spin”. For I think the most salient and pertinent issue of philosophy and not only psychology is: What exactly is mental health?

We tend to ignore this question as well as ignore the absurdity involved in the object of mental health by trying to reduce it to some physical state of brain or some organizational state of some “pure” mind, by trying to bring about various conceptual apparatuses, or simply talking about “ways” or practices that we can do to thus be mentally healthy by the doing of them. But none of these ever really tells us what mental health is except maybe a sort of stillborn fetus of modern science to poke and prod at.

And the people who are really suffering are the ones who mostly get to remain in a state of suffering overall.

Why do we continue to remain so myopic towards a problem which doesn’t seem to be responding very well to these narrow idealistic methods? 

But this is not really to make any sort of criticism against processes, interventions, and other efforts to help; for sure, we have to try.

 Here, we are taking on the interface or relationship between psychology, activity, and philosophy. 

The most pertinent philosophical discussion of modernity in this regard was made by Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari in their book “capitalism in schizophrenia”, but indeed their work is saturated with the attempt to come into a plural solution to the problem of the singular self. 

The issue, though, that we find permeating philosophy, or what I call conventional philosophy, can be viewed through the adjective pronoun “we”; for, what those philosophers pronounce in their philosophical works, in their psychoanalysis in one sense, is exactly “not” we, but indeed that group of people which is only able to understand humanity as a generalized and common, modern, “we”: Meaning, not the We that arises as world to form the contours of self, but indeed the modern We which is the presumed isolated self within a world of individual isolated selves “out there”, huddling in cold groups, and indeed only of beings associated with the category that we call human. The We doesn’t think of the We which involves rock formations, buildings and quarks. Anything that lives outside of this, what I call, religious and theological designation, we label and denote as ethically inferior and or in need of correction due to its epistemologically implicit error of cognition.

We might then ponder what indeed the idea of correction is manifesting around in this regard. What is this idealistic calcification attempting to protect?

*

I’ll stop there. 

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.





I have stopped watching and listening to the news.

I am cautious and intelligent. I am doing my part to be safe and protected for myself and those around me. If you are also, you no longer need the Covid daily updates.

Now, the news has become nothing more than a drug dispenser for people trying to get their fix of the fear cure.

The irony of Covid is that one becomes no longer able to tell whether it is a sickness of the body, or a sickness of the mind.

Most people think fear is something they get from “out there”. So it is the news now is just feeding that dellusion. As if they know more then their fear will be satiated.

*

Knowledge is knowing that you are hungry.

Wisdom is knowing that you are full.

Revealing the Substance of the Gap: Is the Tragedy of Peterson the Irony of Zizek ?

The Tragedy of JBP

https://evolutionistx.wordpress.com/2020/02/22/the-tragedy-of-jbp/
— Read on evolutionistx.wordpress.com/2020/02/22/the-tragedy-of-jbp/

“Come down, you distanced travelers, from your great intellectual heights, down to where we humans can meet, again, eye to eye.” –c.n.

Wow. Makes one think.

…and kinda makes one sad as well.

I decided that I’m just gonna post the comment that I put on the original post:

“Damn. Makes one wonder about celebrity. You know, I thought he had a pretty good point, I think Peterson has a pretty good point to make so far as psychology and mental health, and then some of his philosophical support I think it’s pretty good but it just goes to show that the kind of continental intellectual left… I mean, if I can say “we“, we’re kind of mean sometimes.

But I always thought Peterson was making a good point from a mental health standpoint. But it seems nowadays especially since Zizek. That a whole intellectualized group of people are really unthinking when it comes to their assertion of theory and what should make a proper argument and things like that.

When you look at the debate between Z and P. I really think that Zizek saw this of Peterson and was kind of giving him a break. People saw this is kind of like a sucky debate, but I think it was a really good debate because Zizek had the good sense to be able to see there was no point in him unloading all his theoretical BS upon someone who could give a shit about it; which is to say, and I have made this argument too and some of my posts — and I even sent Peterson a letter of what is this debate about really, but I didn’t insult him in it — that Peterson really doesn’t understand what Zizek And the generalized Continental force is really saying Nor what it’s really doing. And I have made arguments other places in my blog that I’m not really sure that the Continental’s, and the generalized group of people that support that kind of intellectualism, I.e. the Fans, really know what they’re talking about either, but they’re vicious, they really don’t think about humanity as this thing that they are a part of as a group. It appears sometimes that the Continental Intellectual Fans behave as though everyone needs to be ultra rational and that this rationality supersedes any sort of compassion or considerations of what the being of human actually is.”

…And honestly, I wonder if that is the present Continental philosophical conundrum aggravated and expressed as phenomenalist correlationalism: the frustration  involved in not being able to breach what is correlational in their existence thus being forced out, or projected, upon the object of their frustration: Peterson and his ‘weak’ philosophical-intellectualism. Yet, ironically, when you take away his Christian motif, what is left so far as a psychological approach is really the problem of ideological correlationalism,  so it would seem that Continental Philosophy. is exactly the problem Peterson psychology is aiming at. 

Peterson asks how can we use reason to make these large jumps to great ideological structures in which we are encompassed if we don’t first come to terms with who we are as being, who we are as essentially a human entity, so to speak?. He suggests that the kind of philosophy that finds the subject within these ideological structures and then attempts to solve the problem of subjects interacting according to these ideological structures, are itself the manifestation of a psychological mental health problem.

Then he further suggests that the solution of this problem is to be found within oneself, to look and see what people (we, me, I) are doing when they are using these ideas, these ideologies, to situate people in structures of power. That the solutions to our current world problems are not to be found in trying to manipulate ideological structures that influence what the subject is within this ideological space. That the ideological space is indeed the problematic space. Rather, if we want to find a solution to the problems of our world we need to get honest with ourselves and start with ourselves as the fundamental philosophical problem.

And indeed, while everyone loves to read Zizek as talking about politics only, Zizek really is indicating nearly the same thing when you begin to understand and take ownership of what is occurring as discourse, within the material world, so far as we are subjects within it. But Zizek tries to imply this kind of situation, Attempts to show the problem involved in ideological situations such that the only way to solve this problem is come back to the original source, the Hegalian-Lacanian historical consciousness, so to speak.

The “parallax gap” is that fundamental space that is left out of political focus: the subject. The Lacan angle thus shows how ideological posture function through a basic historical trope that is the ‘other end’ of the Master Signifier; the ‘petite subject a’ and the ‘barred subject’ are aspects of the discursive symbols for what is imagined to be substantial, or the ‘big other’.

Lacan says that consciousness behaves like discourse, but this is to say that the problem begins in the psychoanalytical mirror stage where the child identifies with the image and thus becomes ‘castrated’ to him or herself to become indeed the ideological subject, the basic and fundamental mistake as the heart of all political struggle.

But no one desires to realize the truth of what we are dealing with, hence what is Real is always held at bay, so the subject of this initial trauma (of constantly being confronted with a truth of the reflection it has identified with) replays the event through this post-traumatic fantasy which keeps the subject limited by a freedom of the image. Emancipation is thus always recouped by the political ideology to manifest as the mechanisms for capitalism.

Recalling the Zizek/Peterson debate, we can see how both were centered upon the same problem, working together in a dialectical manner in the effort of revealing the oppressed subject which lay at the center of the ‘mistaken’ views upon the ‘material’. One one hand Zizek playing from the ‘negative’ , and on the other Peterson playing from the ‘positive’ iterations of the emancipated subject.

Wow. Thanks for your little research on Peterson because actually just the other day I was wondering what he was doing. I figured he just kind of settled back into his academic career and was kind a like a, well that was interesting. But it kind of seems like it really affected him, and not in a good way.”

The Object of Counseling: The Subject of Counseling – A New Beginning.

I am working on a paper that I hope to get published somewhere.  Below is a few paragraphs from it.  Please tell me what you think!

The Subject of Counseling

“The subject of counseling is well known to trained counselors and philosophers alike.  Counseling concerns the human being and its mental or psychic aspects and how these might appear to be involved with a person or persons in the world, and to help such people.  Of course, definition of just what counseling might be involved with can be debated, but in a strict, open and obvious sense, the subject of counseling is what the counseling is about or for.  This does not get us very far, though. Counseling is often strongly associated with the discipline of psychology yet, being a young discipline, still routinely looks to its older siblings, which includes psychiatry, psychology, neurology, and social work, for its philosophical support.  However, counseling appears on the scene in its own right attempting to distinguish itself from these older family members.  This essay is a part of that effort.  The question on the table will be, what is counseling?

The first and primary issue which will be addressed throughout this essay is the problem with a usual method of approach on things which supposes to grant credential to criterion to articles and proposals which best site evidence-based research.  Note, however, before reactions are engrained, I do not suggest that such an approach is inherently incorrect or misinformed. The view upon this paper which sees an argument toward how the just-mentioned method is incorrect, is based in an incorrect manner of viewing the meaning of this paper.  Nevertheless counseling does admit it is plain that scientific research is only capable of encountering and making accurate statements upon a minority of experiential impressions and outcomes, that the outcomes by which it is able to honestly make comment truthfully amount to again only a portion of reason for why a person may or may not be behaving or expressing in the manner she does, and that such comments say less about what solutions are effective and should be applicable than they do about the purpose of the experiment.

While those so scientifically faithful will shudder at such blasphemy, we need only point to the miserable statistics representing any researched-based approach to mental health, to the effervescence of new approaches and theories of the psyche, its various ideals and healths, over the barely one-hundred-fifty year existence to understand the poverty and basic depravity involved in the continual advocation of an exclusive method called science upon a field which is so obviously resistant and generally contrary to its enforcements and lures.

 To answer this failure of myopic and stubborn assertion against the facts, this paper seeks to explore new possibility; the claim is that mental health will benefit more from a sure objective philosophical bedrock which allows for opening and honest viewing of subjects and outcomes than it has from the relative and philosophically arbitrary methodological reduction, restriction, workings of closure and career that we know of under the rubric of empirical research science.”


When we begin to admit our limitations and where we may have gone wrong or were mistaken in approach, we may wish to re-think just what kind of world we are creating for the health of what's mental in the consideration of such easy and non-reflective proposals such as we find here. imgbin-thought-philosophy-knowledge-psychology-philosopher-others-nq1r4f3xntnfmmmq6fe4xk5gx

“Emancipate yourself from mental slavery;

None but ourselves can free our minds.”

And yet, it is not the counselor’s job to move “one so enslaved” out of slavery or to emancipate such an individual from their enslavement necessarily. For indeed ideology serves a religious function and there are those for whom emancipation, as some ideal upheld by the counselor, can make no sense and cannot be implemented toward this person, This subject, this client, without imposing another form of enslavement that the client indeed can understand. The presumption, in this light, by the therapist would amount to a failure of therapy, another entrapment that the client would indeed feel as a kind of imposition and react accordingly; Which is to say, stay symptomatic and stay within that field of mentality that they understand implicitly is problematic .

In this light there is a discernment between ideologues.  This is an important point because it distinguishes the object of counseling from various theories of how to counsel by the fact that it does not tell the counselor how to proceed in session, or what the purpose of the therapy should be, or in what idealistic identity the client should find itself in order to be healed.

The object of counseling thus is not another theory of counseling, not another idealism, but is rather a theory of how to organize what is already there as the object of counseling.