MHI: How Can We Understand the Mental Health Problem?

In a 2016 Lancet Global Health study, suicide was found to be the leading cause of deaths among young people in India. In the following year, India …

MHI: How Can We Understand India’s Mental Health Problem?

——The Medical Model of mental health should be supportive rather than authoritarian. A part rather than the criterion.

Adorno on Pleasure: The Critique of Psychoanalysis

Theodor Adorno, the Arch-curmudgeon of the Frankfurt School of Critical theory, devotes a brief but substantial section of his Minima Moralia to a …

Adorno on Pleasure: The Critique of Psychoanalysis

———- A mix of critique and psychoanalysis.

Interestingly enough, I finally read Walter Benjamin’s “art in the age of mechanical reproduction”. I never realized that it was a short little essay. Lol. In my undergrad I remember reading one of Benjamin’s books for class and it was a thick ass book. So I thought this famous little essay would be a monster. But it’s really tiny.

It’s interesting also reading this post about Adorno and psychoanalysis in comparison to Benjamin’s essay.

Benjamin’s essay didn’t really impress me very much. Somehow from what I remember in my undergraduate class which was about modernity and the development of intentional city space, I thought this famous little essay would be packed with meaningful significance.

Instead I saw an author who’s whining because people are not conforming with his enlightenment view of art.

In reading the tiny essay, I got the distinct feeling of what now I can really classify as “enlightenment” review of the world, which is to say, that coming out of the 19th century, and the imposition of industrialization, the people that ended up in these densely packed cities, and indeed after a world war, look back to some sort of yesteryear of infinite promise that has been thwarted by modern industrialization.

And then I think back, or within, my own generation, and the world that we bring for the next generation, like the millennials or generation Z, and I can’t help but notice that there seems to be this incessant resistance to see what humanity actually is. It seems like part of humanity is to hang onto its childhood, grow up a little bit, find that the world sucks, think back to “the good old days”, and then just struggle every day to make the world how it should’ve been.

So this tendency for humanity I would say is part of indeed of how humanity is; which is to say, that this is what humanity does.

But then also I think what it does is it just is. Humanity literally just does what it likes to do, whatever that is. And then the world manifests in such a way that is different than it was noticeably 20 or 30 years ago. It appears as though every 20 or 30 years a noticeable difference arises with the human ability to notice.

Further, I don’t believe that human beings as a whole group are necessarily heading in any direction. It appears to me as if what human beings do also is think that they move towards something intentionally.

Wow this may happen on a small scale individually, I think I’d even go far to say that, in a very Jordan Peterson ask kind of manner, people are always looking toward the telos, Out toward the horizon, and never paying much attention to what’s going on right in front of them. It seems human beings, at least as a group, avoid the Local, or I should say, the way that human beings conceive the local it’s typically through already having gone out to the horizon and then attempting to look back. I think this is just what human beings do, and that it is not that human beings are really changing anything by doing this. It’s more that this is how human beings manifest themselves as a being in the universe.

Innoway I feel that this is wet Adorno is saying through the comment upon psychoanalysis. He’s really saying that the pleasure principle and reason are one in the same. Even though Adorno would have it appear as some sort of critique of modern industrial capitalism, I think he is saying more about what humans actually do in so much as this is what we are. 



I think there’s something to say also about The mortality of human beings 100+ years ago compared to now, the ability to see and conceptualize, and that pretty much the development of cities at least in America, was by young people. It seems that the capitalism that has been left to us for modernity is a kind of childish dream. It was not so much that they were all these mature people coming to the cities to do shit, as much as there was an abundance of young inexperienced people who came to the cities to try and get work because they were sick of farming. And then they got together and started doing all these drugs, like cocaine and caffeine and alcohol and tobacco and heroin, and started thinking about how great they are. Fueled by these intoxicants which really flame self-centeredness and Narcissist self righteousness, here is massive amounts of people who are being left a traditional culture of dog eat Dog competition. And they’re all getting high all the time with each other in a densely packed culture.

It’s no wonder that the world is so fucked up when we look back to the lineage of tradition and think that they had such wise things to say. Because in actuality they were just a bunch of kids separated from their families, raising families, being pissed off and frustrated, developing ways to put food in their mouth’s not through actually doing physical labor where they have to engage with the actual universe, but on the contrary, sitting around and trying to do the best they can to do nothing but think about things in order for them to justify why they’re sitting around getting buzzed and thinking about things.

lol

I think to move forward, we should begin to maybe look at this kind of tradition that we think was so great, populated by people who were so smart.

Maybe when we look back to these wonderful essays and ideas about what humanity is and what is not and what it should be, maybe we would be better equipped to understand what was going on when we see that they were basically having growing pains from adolescence.





 

x

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.