Experiments in Human Kindness

The logic of being human.

The next time someone annoys you or when you get angry at someone for something they do…

Attempt to change your viewing. Of course, first acknowledge that you are feeling whatever way.

Then consider the possibility involved in their “wanting” with relation to why you might be annoyed or angry.

Ponder that they cannot but want in that way. That the connection between thier choice and their doing or behaving is not contingent but is necessary.

That their want is actually reflecting an imperative of their Being that they are unable change in that instance.

That they did not choose to annoy you or make you angry, but neither did they choose to do the thing or behavior that upset you—even if they say they did it deliberately, they could not have done otherwise.

Not Emotional, but Rational?

Is there a time when you are not emotional? That is, when you’re awake at least. 😄

What is that state? Is the only time you are emotional is when you are “feeling“ emotions? What are you feeling when you’re not feeling emotional? Are you then “thinking“ emotional?

It’s kind of an interesting exploration into what rationality is when we include emotions into our state of being.

For, rationality is kind of a ethical label. If one thinks back to the beginning of psychotherapy with Freud, it is difficult to see rationality as neutral when we see a specifically sexist mental disorder of the likes called ‘hysteria’.

And in case anyone didn’t know, hysteria is this mental illness that only women had. Never mind that there’s a whole critique of Freud in as much as all these great founding psychoanalytical issues and Theories were based upon Freud sitting in a room with various wealthy women who just talked with no interruption from him. Then the three hour session would be over and they would part and Freud would go into a study and pen these great theories of how the mind works.

So I’m still wondering what an emotionally neutral state is. What is “not emotional”? And then what does that have to do with being rational?

Is there a time in my day when the ability to think is not informed by my emotional state?

Maybe the “ratio“ of rationality is a measurement or a taking an account of emotion.

The Unconscious Mind, Part 2

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Here is the link to the part one post concerning the unconscious mind.

It seems obvious. An Unconsciousness seems to be a good name for what is occurring in oneself, as a feature of the mind: There is this, in a way, Whole Consciousness which is made up of parts which are functioning at all times. There is the “aware” part (conscious), and then there is a part that is functioning as well of which we are not aware (unconscious). Maybe there is even another part which does something else (subconscious?). Freud’s idea seems to be nearly self-evident in its obviousness: There is an Ego which attempts to get what it wants through negotiating with reality, the world, social norms, etc. there is thus also the “norm” part (the super-ego) which tries to enforce ‘what is right’, and then there is this ‘animal drive’ which just plain Wants and desires things (Id). It all seems obvious and sensible. It seems to sensible that all sorts of ideas about the world and how its works and how human beings function psychologically stem from it even without having any requirement to look into ‘what it really means’. some might even ask: what do you mean “what does it mean”? Because such a organization of consciousness and the mind appears so axiomatically and reflexively obvious that we don’t even need to refer to any history or ‘proper theory’ of it, because, it seems, any intelligent person can access this structure of mind to be able to come to certain conclusions about it.

But this is where is gets…strange.

This is where we get into such idea as intrinsic and extrinsic mythology. Less ideology than philosophy, a very large problem arises for people when we come up against what we generally know as a Postmodern proposals, but which really goes back probably further than Wittgenstein, but at least with him.

The Very Large Problem of Consciousness (VLPC) is that what we seem to understand as so obvious and true of the universe and everything in it, including our own minds, is itself organized around a use of discourse which has no relation to any other discourse. A mediated and compromised version of this is in effect when we look out into history and we talk about ‘mythologies’ or ‘religions’ that thought in whatever way, or had views of the world so different than ours and we think often out loud (because its so obvious) how such people were not so smart, or didn’t know as much as we do now, as though such individuals or cultures or civiliations exist by virtue of and for the purpose of my or our personal and absolutely righteous and perfect knowledge of how the world is in its progression and development.

But I digress…

I looked back at the development of the word “unconscious (mind)” and, at least in the Western Book of Knowledge, I found that the term itself occurs first at the beginning German Romanticism; I think Wiki and various Philosophy Encyclopedias list the philosopher  Friedrich Schelling as the first to bring up the idea. But I found that Eduard von Hartmann might have a better say.

Regardless; the notion of the unconsciousness is based in a particular romantic notion that there must be a Oneness of things, that the Universe must indeed be a Whole Thing. In this Whole thing there are human beings who think, and the short of it is, because human beings are not separate from the Universe, thinking itself must be an operation of the Universe and that we should thus be able to somehow “join” with the motion of the universe in its motion.

In my feeble opinion, this is the short short short version of the entirety of Georg Hegel’s philosophy and Phenomenology in general.

Unconsciousness, then, is that aspect of what we are able to be aware of in the universe as that part of the universe that we are not readily aware of (mark Heidegger’s “readiness at hand”). Whatever part we are consciously knowing, according to this ideal of the Whole Universe From Which We are Not Separate, the unconscious mind is that which operates as that which contributes to our ability to be and know, yet in a sort of negative sense. In other words, similar to Jaques Lacan proposal that consciousness is structured like a language, the unconsciousness mind is merely a theoretical argument that behaves like a meme; discourse orders and structures reality, and the meme ‘unconscious mind’ works to support and reinforce such reality, serving as a conveyor or carrier of the truth of that reality through communication.

I question this model this model of the unconscious mind.

The Unconscious Mind, Part 1.

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The other day I had a brief discussion with someone about psychology. In particular, his extended comment was a quasi-semi-theoretical proposal that was based upon the psychological idea of the Unconscious, the notion that there is something “underneath” the common every day experience of being conscious.

I thought his proposal ( I don’t remember what exactly it was) was not very sound, but it dawned on me that the reason was his version of the Unconscious Mind had taken the idea to such extremities. I noticed it wasn’t so much that his proposal was weak, but that his assumption about what the Unconscious Mind is as well as does was so thin. His reasoning had a certain sense, was rational and intellectually coherent, but it was a line of reason to conclusion that was based upon an idea of Unconscious Mind which has become, basically, merely a popular trope with no internal cohesiveness but the subsequent argument about its reasonable extensions.

I am generally nice and I try to be patient to find out what the person is really saying and give them the benefit of doubt that they really are interested in knowledge and learning and not just pronouncing and announcing. However, as often how things go with people who believe themselves to have such excellent thoughts about things (they get haughty and start to imply that you are stupid) after a few exchanges, I could not help but destroy his notion of the Unconscious Mind.

I told him that there is no such thing as the Unconscious Mind. That it is a particular idea that a few people came up with to explain what they were seeing and encountering with mentally disturbed people. In short, the Unconsciousness Mind has no substance outside of a specific solution for a specific problem. And I pointed to one specific psychological therapeutic approach that has no use for the Unconscious Mind. While Gestalt Therapy may use the term ‘unconscious’ as a kind of colloquial term, the therapy itself has no need to bring in a theoretical notion of an unconscious mind in order for it to be effective. Reality therapy is another approach that posits no unconscious mind. Hence, the idea of the Unconscious Mind is merely a sort of cultural phantom that tends to haunt various old conceptual structures.

Our exchange stopped after that comment.

So now I have been stewing in the unconscious mind. Lol. And as I, as a philosopher, have been attempting to come to theoretical terms with how to approach counseling, I have also come to a few tentative ideas around the idea of what the Unconscious is and how it is used.

…as I will write up in a little bit.

Right now, I am going to go and analyze the movie “Precious”. If you haven’t watched this hour and a half movie, I strongly recommend making time to do so.