What is the unconscious mind?

I much prefer the unconscious being the relational side of the brain, rather than it being seen as the repressed vestige of the mind’s suppressed aggression and rage.  It just makes more sense not to condemn and vilify emotional experiences as such.  It’s the condemnation of emotion, common in certain cultures, that produces the repressed unconscious.   In reality, though, we can’t have any relationships without emotion.  The emotion we experience in relation to the other is, actually, the relationship itself.  Apart from this, there is no relationship, although there can be a formal agreement in place.

All relationships must be regularly fine-tuned, if they are to be maintained, and this is done by the relational side of the brain. If we are unable to maintain relationships through this fine-tuning, we end up with repressed aggression and repressed rage.  These, however, do not constitute the authentic nature of the unconscious.

Gendered discourses

1.  As Theodore L. Dorpat says, primary process thinking deals with the relational aspect of the communication. To use my own words, people are always thinking, “How does this other person relate to me? Am I someone they want to dominate, someone they want to submit to, or am I considered equal?” We can attempt to communicate to others by disregarding this side of communication, but that is unrealistic, because you cannot have a relationship with someone based purely on the exchange of facts.

Despite this, it seems that many people have been taught that an ideal relationship is based purely on factual exchange, and this method is the best for avoiding emotional complications. However, the very same people who believe this also quickly become paranoid if the other party also goes into stealth mode by avoiding signalling his intent.

This indicates that they expect to experience the emotional side of the relationship, but they don’t want to have to pay attention to it or to work on it. They reap their twisted harvest.

2.  Attempting to communicate without relating, many American men fall into a mode of paranoia.  Often this does not take long.  The subtext goes like this:

I was just trying to regale you with “the facts”, but I see you are not trying to relate to me as a human being after all.  I can’t stand it. “You’re a mess”.

Am I wrong in suggesting that a demand that only one party should express themselves in a relational manner (and will be penalized for not doing so) is a gender issue?

I am not mistaken at all, because those who start from that position also go on to condemn those who do not relate to them  for being “a female stereotype” who have perhaps also brought the condemnation on themselves.

A demand that one side of the equation should “relate” whilst the other side should avoid relating is, therefore, a demand that others play a gendered role in the communication process.

Metaphysical mutterings

I’m not close enough to tell if American religiosity is hysteria. What I do notice is compared to British crime dramas, Americans tend to make out that there is such a thing as real, palpable, evil — and not just psychological states.

This assumption, that people are, at their baseline, nasty, appears to me to thread itself throughout American culture. For instance, see my conversation with cliff arroyo yesterday, where I was trying to get across the idea that men who are anxious to read women as highly emotional creatures will end up mis-reading any failure to confess all one’s emotions as signalling intent to willfully manipulate the other. Cliff constantly misread everything I’d written as if I were saying: “Yes, women are deceptive or manipulative.”

This is the effect of the weight of religiosity on America. It has entered even secular life, to the point that neutrality is hard to understand. I’m not saying America is the only country with this problem. Australia also has it to an alarming degree, in its embrace of identity politics, which does not allow anyone to take a neutral position without seeming to harbor some evil intent or manipulative orientation.

A truly secular view would dispense with the notion that we all have knowable but hidden motivations. Communication becomes hindered to the extreme when “demographic” or “identity” suffices to clue others in one “hidden motivations”, which do not actually exist, but are ascribed to one.

2.  About the commonly held view that women are emotional and manipulative: this whole assumption makes communication seem to be redundant. Of course, the key word here is “seem”. If women externalize their minds, via the medium of emotion, one always knows what they are feeling. That would be logical.   Any woman would be an open book. First, she’s crying, now she’s acting hysterical in another way, now she’s belly-aching about the other thing she belly-aches about. No need to ask her what she’s thinking, as it’s written all over her. That is, unless she is deliberately withholding something in a way that isn’t true to her emotional nature. Well, it’s true to her manipulative nature, but not to her emotional nature — that is, true to her evil side, but not to her good side, which is where she allows herself to be read like a book. She’s holding something back, probably acting “like a man”, and this necessitates that one attempt communication with her for the first time.

But communication on neutral premises is impossible for a religious mind-set. To such a mind, one must find out what has corrupted her true female emotionalism, giving the impression that she’s holding something back.  One must find the hidden, nefarious motivation she is harboring.

This search for something evil is called “communication” by those tainted with religiosity.

After the Chimurenga

 | Clarissa’s Blog

People have tried to change me ever since the end of the Second Chimurenga, in 1980.  Both political leftists and political rightists have tried it for reasons best known to them.

This eventually caused me layer upon layer of traumatisation.

Once you get pulled into the power of evil people, the effect of their force field is hard to resist.  Other people won’t let you get away. I’ve even had people imply that because I was in such a hard place that I tried to accommodate all the demands for change, this meant I had an unstable sense of self.  If you try to give people what they’re forcing you to give, it means you had something wrong with you from the start.  The ideology of dominance and submission typically reverses cause and effect.   “If you comply with me, I will prove you are evil!” is the ideology of evil and self-hating people.

The good news is, I’ve finally found a way through — by giving up.

You know, if an assailant has you in a bear hug, you can find that difficult to resist, but if he grabs you when you have a lot of air in your chest, you can suddenly let all the air out and make your body go limp. You can then drop to the ground and escape.

This is what I’ve finally managed to do on a psychological level, because I had learned over the years that the more I resisted, the worse it would become for me.

Bullying, narratives and ideology

I’ve just read an article on Huffington Post regarding thick and thin skins. The writer was, perhaps inevitably, of a religious persuasion. He counseled prayer and dependency on “God” as a solution to stressors.

I’m inclined to think that those who differentiate between having thick or thin skins oversimplify a great deal.

For instance, there are people who do not know their own stories, and who thereby become “thin-skinned”. Their histories have been erased and they are desperate to learn their story from anyone who will give them a hint.

A fifteen-year-old Canadian girl recently committed suicide after being bullied at school and online. It seems her story was hijacked to make her look like something she was not. Since the story of the bullies became psychologically bigger than her original internal narrative, she committed suicide. She had learned from her bullies that she was a bad person. Her understanding of what sort of person she actually was had not developed sufficiently for her narrative to be the dominant one.

Being thin-skinned is a necessary part of the process we all experience in order to learn about ourselves from others. Those who are capable of the greatest learning might be the thinnest skinned of all. If their educators are ethical, educated and wise, these people can learn magnificently. If not, they will be cast onto their own resources, which may be few. They may be overwhelmed by the narratives of others, which may be false or misleading.

Being able to know how much of what others say ought to be taken to heart depends on already having a good level of knowledge about oneself. One is not born with that knowledge, and many of us are still growing and learning. We are, at least, not stagnant.

The new Philistines

Contemporary culture, including intellectual culture, appears to have taken a very philistine turn, whereby everything that is written must necessarily be taken in its most literal sense. Therefore you get entirely stupid interpretations, such as the one that my memoir is about “getting things wrong”. Sure it is, if you lack a sense of humor and are not ready to take a distant stance towards political correctness.

A lot of Jesus’ recommendations are thoroughly shamanistic in that he elevates subjective knowledge over official, authoritarian or materialistic perspectives. This is not to say the subjective knowledge Christians advocate is necessarily wholesome and good, but I’m talking about the abstract form of it.  This attention to the value of experience is the core of Christianity that is worth saving — the patriarchal stuff, not so much.

One absolutely has to be able to take things in a non-literal sense and sometimes in an ironic sense to be any kind of higher human being. Literalness is for those who are still struggling.

Nietzsche, for instance, interpreted literally, ends up being a boorish, misogynist pig with very little to say for himself. If you interpret “masculinity” to mean “males” and “femininity” to mean “women”, then we are left with a prescription for a very rigid social order, where men go about and act heroically and women can’t figure out what they hell that means, because women are too base and uncomprehending to be able to figure out much of anything.

At the same time, there is an equal and opposite danger in not realizing that when religiously based politicians pronounce, “We are loving women best by restricting their freedoms,” they are quite literally being vulgar and contemptuous of women’s intelligence, whilst using a religious veil to cover their ugly demeanor.

Perhaps the resort to literalness is a natural result of people feeling so often tricked. Dorpat says that one resorts to a very literal frame of mind when one senses a relationship has become abusive. One is no longer open enough with oneself or others to be able to dig deeply into one’s psyche.

The self and ego

I  agree with this: “I believe that it is important to listen to your body when it tries to tell you through sickness that something is not OK instead of trying to shut it up with pills and potions.”Completely Open Thread « Clarissa’s Blog

I would be working a job that was entirely wrong for me, not be in a relationship, and identify with a defunct ideology, had I not listened to my body. Listening is vital,  but this implies developing a different sense of identity from the one that remains resolute in one position, as if rigidity were a sign of strength.

Nietzsche:

To the despisers of the body will I speak my word. I wish them neither to learn afresh, nor teach anew, but only to bid farewell to their own bodies,—and thus be dumb.

“Body am I, and soul”—so saith the child. And why should one not speak like children?

But the awakened one, the knowing one, saith: “Body am I entirely, and nothing more; and soul is only the name of something in the body.”

The body is a big sagacity, a plurality with one sense, a war and a peace, a flock and a shepherd.

An instrument of thy body is also thy little sagacity, my brother, which thou callest “spirit”—a little instrument and plaything of thy big sagacity.

“Ego,” sayest thou, and art proud of that word. But the greater thing—in which thou art unwilling to believe—is thy body with its big sagacity; it saith not “ego,” but doeth it.

What the sense feeleth, what the spirit discerneth, hath never its end in itself. But sense and spirit would fain persuade thee that they are the end of all things: so vain are they.

Instruments and playthings are sense and spirit: behind them there is still the Self. The Self seeketh with the eyes of the senses, it hearkeneth also with the ears of the spirit.

Ever hearkeneth the Self, and seeketh; it compareth, mastereth, conquereth, and destroyeth. It ruleth, and is also the ego’s ruler.

Behind thy thoughts and feelings, my brother, there is a mighty lord, an unknown sage—it is called Self; it dwelleth in thy body, it is thy body.

There is more sagacity in thy body than in thy best wisdom. And who then knoweth why thy body requireth just thy best wisdom?

Thy Self laugheth at thine ego, and its proud prancings. “What are these prancings and flights of thought unto me?” it saith to itself. “A by-way to my purpose. I am the leading-string of the ego, and the prompter of its notions.”*

The Self saith unto the ego: “Feel pain!” And thereupon it suffereth, and thinketh how it may put an end thereto—and for that very purpose it is meant to think.

The Self saith unto the ego: “Feel pleasure!” Thereupon it rejoiceth, and thinketh how it may ofttimes rejoice—and for that very purpose it is meant to think.

To the despisers of the body will I speak a word. That they despise is caused by their esteem. What is it that created esteeming and despising and worth and will?

The creating Self created for itself esteeming and despising, it created for itself joy and woe. The creating body created for itself spirit, as a hand to its will.

Even in your folly and despising ye each serve your Self, ye despisers of the body. I tell you, your very Self wanteth to die, and turneth away from life.

No longer can your Self do that which it desireth most:—create beyond itself. That is what it desireth most; that is all its fervour.

But it is now too late to do so:—so your Self wisheth to succumb, ye despisers of the body.

To succumb—so wisheth your Self; and therefore have ye become despisers of the body. For ye can no longer create beyond yourselves.

And therefore are ye now angry with life and with the earth. And unconscious envy is in the sidelong look of your contempt.

I go not your way, ye despisers of the body! Ye are no bridges for me to the Superman!—

Thus spake Zarathustra.

——-

*  Note the shamanistic doubling in the form of the self and ego.  The self observes and judges one’s behavior as a whole.  One’s ego would do well to listen to it when things start going wrong.

Altered states of consciousness

The use of psychoactive drugs enables a shaman to discover a cosmology that would make us all connected to each other, in particular via a sense of unity with organic nature, as the prime source and origin of life. The insights gained through exploring this cosmology are useful. The sources of malaise can be ascertained, observed and come to terms with.

The range of possibilities for life may be greater and more widely varied than those observable in everyday existence. Thus, a shamanic journey can lead not only to healing, but to creative solutions to life’s difficulties.

Shamanic experience could also free one from idées fixes through a baptism into new experiences.

This is of course against the grain of Nietzsche, who feared, as Luce Irigaray pointed out, the element of water, including oceanic experiences.

Have no fear that water is “feminine”,as it is only so according to essentialist notions of identity.  Patriarchal religion would urge us to see it in this way, but there is no need to trust patriarchal versions of anything, given that the patriarchal priest is invested in maintaining specific power relations.  We should rather distrust anything essentializing — at least until we can test it for ourselves and work out what its value might be.

Rhodesia and I

Even as an adult, I was often very insecure about my knowledge of the world.  That was  because everything I’d grown up with had been defined in extremely patriarchal terms.   Both men and women had authority in every aspect of life in my childhood.   Women’s authority was on a par with that of their male counterparts.   The only difference was that men knew about politics in a way that women didn’t.   The men went to war and it was forbidden to tell the women back home everything they had experienced.   To this degree, women were on a par with children — although they were authoritative in public life, they were not expected to carry the emotional burden of war.

The structure of colonial society was hierarchical in terms of knowledge.  As it seems to me now, there was a cabal who knew what was really going on with regard to the war and the likelihood of winning it.  Then, there were those like my father, who went along with the program because it was the decent thing to do.  As in the second world war, the lack of men around the place meant women had fairly high status, being those who were able to manage the running of institutions with an old-fashioned whip-hand.

They had greater power than women have today, when men are present and competing with them (which leads to gender war and psychological strategies to demoralize the other).  Despite this, they did not speak of the war “we” were prosecuting, and indeed, in the high school I attended it was forbidden to speak of it.

That was how it came about that my peers and I grew up with a traditional British education, but remained wholly naïve about politics.  We studied the history of Europe but we did not study recent, colonial history.   When “Rhodesia” became “Zimbabwe” and an uncensored version of “The Herald” began to appear on the library lectern, we sometimes used to flip its pages with a sense of fascination and complete incomprehension.  The tactile sensation of flipping the pages and observing the strange imagery in the late morning sun was enough for me.

Children were a step below “women” in the Rhodesian hierarchy, so we occupied a world of our own.   We were not to know anything at all, but to be protected from it.   That was the role of the strong Rhodesian male — to protect the (white) women and children from too much knowledge.

The structure of the antiquated society explains everything about my attitudes as I became an adult and understood that I was suffering from a knowledge deficit.  I had a number of strategies to try to cope with this, most of which failed me.

One was to try to get adults to tell me what I was missing — to fill in the gaps that comprised my knowledge failures.   This was a wholly failed strategy.  Whenever I went to see a psychological counselor of person of that nature (which I did sporadically, at various points in time), I generally wanted to draw from them the knowledge I’d been lacking.   I had a feeling that if I could get the knowledge I didn’t have, I’d be able to piece together all sorts of aspects of my reality that didn’t make sense before.

Needless to say, the psychological counselors I saw were not trained to fill in the gaps of your missing knowledge and it was hard even for me to try to gauge what knowledge I had to get to make reality into a coherent whole.   A lack of substantive knowledge can become a psychological problem, interfering with one’s way of interacting with the world, but contemporary psychology doesn’t recognize this as a fact.  I would inevitably talk at cross-purposes with such helpers — and then leave feeling that I hadn’t obtained much of what I’d hoped for.

The problem was:  I never had a psychological problem so much as a deficiency in understanding, which made me seem like an idiot, walking into walls that others already seemed to know were there.  I’d tripped up on too many barriers due to my worldly ignorance (which also related to sexual matters).

Much of what had led to this was that my Rhodesian engendered superego defined my limits.   I couldn’t do the work to find out what was “out there” because to be quiet and accepting of all sorts of boundaries was my acculturated norm.

To “transgress” authoritative boundaries, whilst defying the superego, became my means to escape from the Rhodesian cultural identity that had failed me.

Freud and Failure

Why say that psychoanalysis has elements of Judeo-Christian metaphysics in it that are logically consistent with a witchcraft continuum?

For a start, when one looks at the structure of psychoanalysis, along with one of Freud’s significant cases, one sees that how guilt is always at the source of any psychological tension, not in the sense of the patient having committed a crime in real, tangible reality, but rather that lying and self-deception is considered to make up the fundamental part his/her being.   In this sense, the patient is always the criminal, Oedipus, having killed his father and had sexual intercourse with his mother, and consequently blinded himself.   That this crime is held to be true on a metaphysical level, rather than a real one, doesn’t mitigate the logic that one must seek the cause of one’s problems in one’s own actions. The patient is always the quintessentially guilty party.   Outsiders may be relatively innocent, unless they turn the torchlight on themselves and thus reveal their similar, primeval guilt.

Let us now consider the case of Dora, one of Freud’s significant cases and noted therapeutic failure.   Dora’s parents were wealthy Austrians.   My understanding is that her father was having an affair with another woman and in order to keep quiet someone who had noticed this, he was attempting to palm his daughter off onto that guy for her to have a sexual relationship with him.   Here’s the story from the point of view of a Freud researcher:

In 1898, when she was fifteen, Dora was brought to Freud by her father. Alongside her physical symptoms and general sullenness, she had developed, according to her father, an irrational belief that his close friend Herr K. had made sexual advances toward her. Freud’s initial response to Dora was not at all what her father expected: Freud concluded that her account of Herr K.’s behavior was accurate, and he agreed with her that her father had in effect handed her over to Herr K. as the price for his own affair with Herr K.’s wife. Freud’s response to Dora also seems to surprise Masson, who, in The Assault on Truth, alleged that, having abandoned the seduction theory, Freud routinely attributed his patients’ stories to fantasy, thereby excusing the abusive actions of adults. In this instance, however, Freud initially took the side of reality against fantasy, and of the child against the parent.

But, Masson complains, Freud’s loyalty to Dora was short-lived, his original alliance with her soon giving way to opposition. Instead of accepting that she simply found Herr K.’s attentions unwelcome and was understandably angered by her father’s self-interested betrayal, Freud insisted that Dora’s hostility to Herr K. was unreasonable and her anger against her father excessive. Indeed, Freud regarded both her intense aversion and her anger as manifestations of her hysteria. After all, Freud reasoned, Herr K. was a prepossessing man still in his thirties: Dora should have been aroused, not disgusted, when he embraced and kissed her (at age fourteen), just as she should have been flattered by his serious romantic interest in her. Freud even suggested that the whole matter could have been satisfactorily resolved had Dora married Herr K., which would of course have freed Frau K. to marry Dora’s father.

[Paul Robinson Freud and his Critics  UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA PRESS Berkeley · Los Angeles · London © 1993 The Regents of the University of California]

According to Freud, there is nothing wrong with being sold into patriarchal sex-slavery, whereby one’s own views, timing and intentions are overruled by one’s father.  Rather, one should welcome it whenever it happens instead of being “hysterical”.  Here is more from Robinson, who writes sympathetically on behalf of Freud:

Freud suggests, in particular, that Dora was unconsciously in love with Herr K. and very much desired a romantic relationship with him. Her unconscious attraction explains why she reacted so violently both to Herr K.’s sexual advances and to her father’s contention that she had merely fantasized them. There was in fact an element of fantasy involved in her situation: the advances were real enough, but they were not entirely unwelcome. Dora’s extreme disgust disguised feelings of self-reproach. She had, in effect, gotten what she could not admit she wanted.

Dora had desired to be metaphysically raped by both her father and Herr K (and subsequently by Freud).  Of course this is not a physical rape of the mind, but a psychological one.   When a witch says, “I wasn’t cavorting with Satan and I strenuously protest the assertion that I ever wanted a dalliance with the Dark Lord,” she is in fact admitting her guilt.   She wouldn’t be over-reacting to an honest question by a respectable Christian gentleman concerning her alleged fantasies unless she knew that the assertions made by the Inquisitor were — quote — “really true”.  Or does that even make any sense?  She no doubt felt guilty about not following the patriarchal mores of her culture.  Freud would have known that that is the nature of Superego — to induce social conformity and makes us feel badly when we breach it.  But, defying social convention is not the same as lying to oneself.   Dora defied her father because she was true to herself and she nevertheless felt guilty because by being true to herself, she was going against social convention.   In other words, as hard as is for the patriarchal mind to imagine, Dora and her father were two different people.  What’s more, Dora had a different idea about social conventions than her father did, even though the weight of public opinion was in line with “father knows best”.

Freud is of course no inquisitor of the middle ages as he never professed to read minds nor take the side of rape apologists. If that were so, it would be enough to tip us all over the edge of hysteria*. [joke]

—–

*It should be noted that I do believe in an unconscious mind.

The fact that many people will not perceive the deep nature of patriarchal hostility toward women, but opt for the easier path of attributing hysteria to those who point it out, is a function of their unconscious minds’ displacement and projection.  

The witchcraft continuum

Psychoanalysis is more often than not of the tradition of the Christian Inquisition, in that it wants to establish some intimacy within the sphere of evil.

We may be familiar with the Medieval notion of witches, being those who were morally corrupted by the devil, to the point that only torture or death could “save” them. Such spiritual corruption attributed to women, both young and old, was considered to put them at odds with the divine truth, the absolute metaphysical reality, including the ability to be aware of their condition. Only through continually wearing them down over a number of days and sleepless nights, could those accused of witchcraft be even brought into awareness of the sinister nature of their deeds. Otherwise they would deny their evil, because the devil was in them.

Much of contemporary psychoanalysis also puts individuals, especially women, at odds with “The truth”. This divine truth is always patriarchal ideology, especially in the Judaic formulations of a Freud. According to these formulations, the truth is never self-evident, never on the surface, but always has to be rummaged for. Original assertions have to be discarded, whilst one waits for a moment of unguarded speech, at which point the accused will inevitably acknowledge that everything she had said was back to front.

This is the moment the priest/inquisitor had been waiting for. He had known it was coming all along as the process of disregarding whatever the ” witch” had said whilst applying pressure to say something else inevitably brings this about.

One does not vigorously deny anything, unless those allegations happen to be true. Vigorous denials are a sign of the spiritual warfare for one’s soul, with God and the Devil battling each other for supremacy. To assure God wins, the woman has to die, and it is always a shame when she doesn’t go to her death gracefully. That’s when the stage plans are in danger of being ruined.

The priest must battle valiantly, therefore, against Satan’s forces, to win the moment of forced intimacy in which “the witch” confesses to her crimes and is willing to go to her death for her sins. This is the moment the priest had been waiting for — when he and the “witch” are one, in crime and forgiveness.

This fundamental reversal, where the one really guilty of a crime (the priest) causes his victim to confess to an outrageous level of sinfulness and guilt is the stage play constantly repeated in every patriarchal system, especially those of Abrahamic derivation. Psychoanalysis is no different whenever it posits the existence of an unconscious at odds with normative communication.

If one denies what has been stated many times, in order to find a residue of “truth” in what has not been said, then one is guilty of believing in witchcraft.

Mathematically deducing the necessary paths of patriarchal notions

Patriarchal ideologies are rife with smoke and mirrors, to a degree with can be measured by the logical inconsistencies of these ideologies.

Working out how the system of patriarchy is structured requires a logical, almost spacial form of reasoning. You have to figure out what sorts of acts, events or attitudes are included within its system and which are excluded. Secondly, there is an algebraic aspect, whereby if something is added to one side it is excluded from the other side. I had a lot of fun exploring the patriarchal proposition, “men are intellect, but not emotion.” Patriarchy excludes emotion and makes reasoning without emotion into its definition of the active principle. At the same time, we can see that males, like any creatures, are emotional.

So the question becomes, apart from these patriarchal formulations that state men are never whimsical nor emotional, where does emotion come from and where does it disappear to? Also, an entirely different question: Where does PATRIARCHY say the emotion comes from and disappears to — and what MUST it be bound to say if it is true to its own internal logic about active and passive principles?

Those codin’ ladies

Woman is a Software Professional

Woman : Good evening dear, I am now logged in.

Man : Have you brought the ring?

Woman : Bad command or File name.

Man : But I told you in the morning…….

Woman : Erroneous Syntax, Abort?

Man : What about your salary?

Woman : File in use.

Man : What about my new suit?

Woman : Variable not found.

Man : At least give me your credit card, I want to do some shopping.

Woman : Sharing Violation, Access Denied.

Man : Do you love me or do you only like computers or are you just being funny?!

Woman : Too many parameters.

Man : It was a great mistake that I married a stupid lady like you.

Woman : Data type mismatch.

Man : You are a useless nut.

Woman : It is by default.

Man : By the way who was in the car this morning ?

Woman : System is unstable. Press CTRL+ALT+DEL to reboot.

God is the reification of rational order

 Women are the made to stand for the entropy driving the universe toward more and more disorder until God (reified Reason) fades away to nothing. Just another irrational power game justifying  of one group of humans dominating another.
Even many secularists get suckered into playing this game — Richard Dawkins was, for instance, when he implied that women trying to draw some demarcation lines of their own (which is always a patriarchal no-no, since women are intrinsically without structure) is just so much whining and silliness.
The lines he would draw between rationality and irrationality are consistent with Western culture being quintessentially rational, and cultures where women allegedly (or actually) suffer more than anybody might normally do in Western culture being considered irrational.  This contrast is hardly as stark, in reality, as our metaphysical conceptions would lead us to assume.

 

Life without the bliss

There’s no bliss in participating in groups for the sake of firming up collective identities. For one, there is always a cost or some form of sacrifice required by the superego on the basis of its becoming accustomed to group enforced norms. Secondly, many a “community” in itself is not all that endearing as it engages in backbiting, threats and all sorts of unpleasant behavior in order to keep its order. Communities are often enclaves for regressive and stupid outlooks.

A an organisation M was in is being attacked from the inside by a sub-group who propound identity politics as the only way forward. They attack others who disagree with them and then they claim that others are victimizing them because of their own particular identities. I was thus attacked by one of these who wanted to set up a women’s enclave. I made a flippant, but good natured comment in support of M, and I got put down by one of those (who was demanding women should be treated differently, because she said they had separate problems). She hid behind patriarchal rhetoric by implying that I was a “wife, talking about her husband”.   Her deeper, patriarchal insinuation was that I was simply being an female airhead and was therefore not funny.

So, I did what any intelligent person would do under such circumstances, and decided to use their identity ammunition against them. “You are against women per se,” I insisted. I was severely reprimanded for saying that in a private email by a male of the group who had taken on the role of pater. He had a lot of scolding to do.

I replied, (keeping in the vein of identity politics and its poor form of logic): “How can you say that to ME, a woman?” After that, I got this very private and particularly unhumorous email from pater:

Nice attitude. Good to know that concern for others is high on your list of priorities. Who the fuck do you think you are, the Queen of Sheeba? Being a woman doesn’t give you the right to say whatever the fuck you feel like regardless of the consequences for anyone else. What exactly is it about you that makes you think that it does? If you talk shit which you do I call it out. What is it about being a woman that makes you think you’re above being held to account for the consequences of your actions?  [emphasis added]

From this I learned that contemporary identity politics is nothing if not inconsistent, also that jokes have “consequences”  (meaning that I would be charged with having adopted the immoral stance of not caring about others).

To be on the receiving end of a stern patriarchal scolding, whether from a man or a woman, is no joking matter!

Patriarchal metaphysics: the reversal of cause and effect

Judeo-Christian metaphysics maintains that the negative principle of life (woman) must submit to that which is deemed to be the positive principle (man), or else all hell will break out, civilization as such will be doomed and evil will be perpetuated as a general rule.

Everything centers around The Father in the same way as the Earth circles the Sun. Women are considered to be negative or shapeless, unless they get their true essence of being by conformity to patriarchal mores. Ultimately they must submit to a man to find their identity and redeem themselves from evil, which is related to a state of chaos and/or formlessness.

Men are to be considered always the perpetual victims of female recalcitrance. This is only logical if you assume that the force of evil (chaos) is necessarily more violent and powerful than the force of good (logic and order).  At the same time, since this sense of gender relations is founded not on empirical or psychological facts, but on metaphysical precepts, nothing really changes if women do submit to patriarchal mores.  Evil in the world is not reduced by submission, since women themselves are  evil, which is metaphysical view that remains intact no matter what women may do.  This is how patriarchal systems justify bringing to bear on women a lot of hostility “for their own good” and to “make them see reason”.  This increases the more the man in charge is feeling unstable — for he feels a sense of “evil”, perhaps fuzzy and undefined, or perhaps interpreted as the devil himself, moving through his agent of women to undermine his psychological resources and cut his courage.

With their intrinsically back-to-front consciousness, patriarchal systems continue to hold that women inflict harm on poor suffering men who just happen to be in power over them, whenever women act according to their volitions.

Tricks designed to get you laughed out of school

Patriarchal types always complain that nobody ever manages to explain to them in a logical or coherent way what patriarchy is and why it must be abolished. Some of those more contemporary ones may in fact read the words of feminists, but these words have no meaning to them, or if they do, the words seem “hysterical”, “crazy”, “emotional”, “reactive”, “oversensitive” and “exaggerated”.

In every one of these descriptions, we have precisely the patriarchal perception of WOMAN.  Patriarchal readers, some of whom may be women themselves, are unable to register any range of experience that is not already part of their conscious self-identity.   They wish to identify themselves with the opposite characteristics to those listed above.   Those opposite expressions to this are what patriarchal people view as “masculine”.

When a patriarchal fellow is unable to understand the substance of the words he is reading, but instead finds himself tripped up by pejorative expressions that enter his mind, guess who is tripping him up?  He is responsible for reading the characteristics he doesn’t want to be identified with into the written word, to the extent that he cannot make coherent sense of what is written, but keeps asking for another explanation.

Such a fellow has no doubt already been told many things by feminists, but he cannot remember any of them, because he has been so intent on projecting the qualities he considers to be negative out of himself and into the text he has been reading.  After that, he can feel disgusted with the text, but not disgusted with himself.   So far as he is concerned, he is empty, free, an undefined essence floating above everything.   Nothing moves him. He is a human being without emotion, without physical body.

Such is the nature of patriarchal projection.  Patriarchal people have been rendered insane by their ideologies, but it is always a woman who are viewed as being “mad” whenever a patriarch cannot digest her words to him.

What is projected into women by the patriarch is actually and precisely the insanity engendered in the patriarch’s mind as a result of his patriarchal ideological training.

Nietzsche,epistemology and shamanistic texts

 Due to the nature and intensity of opposition to the intellectually shamanistic paradigm, I understood there is a formidable amount of emotional investment in the view that both morality and knowledge have predetermined structures.  These are thought to be made known though the inspiration of certain wise men, whilst being inaccessible to women.  Nietzsche, too,  can be read as promulgating a foundationalist position in the pattern of old testament prophets whose oracles were only decipherable by those of the greatest spiritual elevation. Many of his contemporary readers believe that belonging to the generic category, “men”, suffices for one to understand Nietzsche’s works.Shamanistic literature is much more evasive than foundationalist texts about who has the right to understand it.  Nietzsche’s naming of one of his works as Thus Spoke Zarathustra: A Book for All and None is very much within the shamanistic tradition, which appeals to a heightened subjectivity.  If the book appeals to you, it is “for” you, but otherwise it isn’t.In contradistinction to this are the quintessentially patriarchal texts of the Christian God and Allah.  All foundationalist texts seem to fall from the sky already formed but in actual fact are the products of much prevarication and revision.  Given that none of the patriarchal texts lie on a firm foundation, despite the vigorous promotion of the opposite idea, monotheistic religion does not have a better leg to stand on than shamanistic texts.  The idea, “these texts are true because they have an authoritative source”, does not seem to hold up where patriarchal authority is shown to be multiple, historically variable, subject to the political climate and ultimately devoid of an actual God to assure the authenticity of all interpretations.Herein lies the advantage of shamanistic writing, in that it does not require one to first believe in anything in order to gain benefits from it.   One can read Carlos Castandena’s Don Juan without any concern as to whether it is a reliable text.   If Castaneda was in a sense Don Juan himself, having made up all the information and advice, the value of the text remains unaltered.   Psychological trickery is fundamental to shamanism, just as it is a means by which its wisdom can be communicated.    Nietzsche adoption of the tone of an old-testament prophet, despite being nothing of the sort and indeed inimical to the aims of religiously inspired persons, is a concession to the shamanistic spirit of mockery as a means for communicating wisdom. So if you come to the ultimate conclusion that you have been “had” by a shamanistic text, perhaps this is the principle lesson of life you needed learn all along: the meaning and value of skepticism.

According to the principles of shamanism, what one says doesn’t have to be True, but it has to work.   By contrast, patriarchal reasoning demands that something has to be true when it is based on authority.  However, it can neither show that its principles work, nor produce its authority.  One may not be better off with shamanistic texts, but at least one is not worse off.

Don’t try to mold others

Clarissa’s writing yesterday got me thinking.  I hadn’t realized it was possible to suffer from formlessness.  I may have suffered from it in my early twenties, when I craved a rite of passage to test me, teach me the lessons of adulthood and what society means and how it works.   That was a period in my life when it would have been good for me to begin learning martial arts.  More generally, though, she and I are polar opposites. Whereas she agonizes over formlessness, I have had to try to find ways to escape the imposition of too much form.This is why people who come along and try to shape me for any reason earn themselves the status of my mortal enemy. I have my own internal structure and I’m capable of reaching a fever point in self-discipline.   What I don’t need is someone coming along and arbitrarily trying to impose some structure on something they can’t see.   What I need is to extract the heat, to take off some of the pressure of being fully formed and to be allowed for moments at a time to enter formlessness.I have nothing to fear from formlessness, unlike the fear I have of too much structure, especially when the new structures imposed are unrelated to my existing structures.   To calculate multiple opposing principles and conform to all of them means the temperature rises to the point that I can no longer think. I need simplicity and clarity in order to continue to achieve my tasks.

Psychological structure  has always been a part of my life to the extent that I’ve internalized a sense of structure fully.  I never have to fear losing control or devolving into a state of formlessness, because my early childhood life had more structure in it than I’ve experienced since.   Above all, my primary school had an extremely military structure.  We marched everywhere in single file, recited our times table and greeted our teachers by standing up whenever one entered the room.   We were yelled at, threatened and sometimes subjected to corporal punishment — a ruler on the knuckles for inattentiveness.  That was how I grew up, by internalizing the necessity for such discipline.  Should I drink alcohol or move away from places where form is directly imposed, I still retain this form within myself.

But impose yet another layer of form on me that takes no account of my early training, and I’m in danger of losing my cool.   I have a form of my own and I don’t need two or three more layers of someone else’s necessities imposed on top of that.  A Christian cultural tendency for strangers to come along and morally shape others I find reprehensible. Let people be as they are and function according to their identities.   Don’t come along and try to mold or rearrange them!

Conciliatory patriarchy, but still patriarchy

How a Woman’s Orgasm Can Save a Man

If males feel that there is an implicit load of female anger they cannot handle, why do they necessarily feel so?

Freud may have the answer, although we should understand that his purportedly universally applicable notions about gender and sexuality are true only within narrowly patriarchal cultures. Luckily for Freud, most cultures are indeed that way.

Freud somehow alighted on the idea that women were “castrated” men. One would have to ask in what sense that were true and whether any of the possible senses in which it might be thought factual are meaningful. Certainly, modern medicine does not see reality in that light, so any meaning still attributable to the term must necessarily be non-biological and metaphorical, symbolic or perhaps simply psychological. In my view, it has a psychological and social meaning.

I have no wish to reread the entrails of the article to try to determine what has gone wrong with the American psyche. I can tell you that the idea of the new therapy for men is that women should say sorry to men for holding that males do not have the strength to endure the power of female sexuality and anger. Men, in turn, can recover from their sense of wounded masculinity by giving women prescriptive clitoral rubbings, possibly in group sessions.

What lurks in the shadows is the Freudian meaning of this bizarre spectacle of ideas, which like the whole of Freudianism has nothing to do with women or actual female sexuality, but relates to men alone. There are men who feel guilty for patriarchy, as they implicitly understand that patriarchal systems have castrated women — that is, robbed women of their natural power.

The clitoral rubbings may therefore serve to reassure said males that women are not, in fact “castrated”. At least, not always in sexual terms. They can still be turned on by you; there is still something going on in terms of women’s sexuality. Socially and politically, nonetheless, patriarchy still continues to castrate them. In terms of communication, they may often be silenced, humiliated and hence “castrated” by patriarchal mores. But sexually, this is not necessarily always the case.

Of course, their orgasms will be subdued to the degree that women’s self-esteem is undermined by systematic patriarchal oppression. That is why women don’t really have a mind-splintering orgasm in the context of this new therapy.

Anyway enough of that and here’s a joke:

The mortuary received a dead body it was marked jj as the name. The person who attended the corpse was fascinated with the size of the corpse’s penis which was abnormally huge to the extent that he hadn’t seen such a thing in his life. He cut it off and showed everyone at the bar and they were shocked. He went home with it and showed his wife.

The wife said: Oh, my god, my jj is dead.

What is psychological normality in relation to artificial constructs of gender identity?

Psychological normality might be conventionally defined in terms of one’s capacity to act as if one’s social and political environment were entirely neutral. That is, one is psychologically normal if one does not react defensively in relation to one’s environment. If one does, however, have defensive reactions, then this is taken as a sign of abnormality in an individual.

Yet, it is neither philosophically necessary nor justified that one must see normality in these terms. Rarely are experiments performed to determine whether the status quo is in fact rational, rather than being insane. The status quo is indeed, normative — but only in the tautological sense that it is the status quo. This by no means indicates that it is healthy, or even reasonable, to embrace the status quo.

When discussing the need for feminism with men, I generally find that most men see no need for it. Their own experiences tell them that their social environments are generally impartial (to them, as men). They do not feel the discriminatory practices that are leveled against women. Therefore, they can’t imagine that these practices are taking place.

Men who are skeptical about the existence of gender bias in the general social environment assume that men and women inhabit the same social realm, where attitudes are gender neutral. But this is only because men experience social attitudes towards them — as men — to be gender neutral. In reality, men and women do not actually experience the same social realm, even though it may seem the same in all sorts of concrete and tangible respects, for what seems to be the “same” social environment is one that simultaneously treats men in a gender-neutral fashion whilst treating women in a gender-biased fashion.

A psychologically “normal” man would be one who views his environment as being neutral toward him. A “normal” woman would be, in the tautological sense, one who sees her environment as being neutral toward her. Herein lies the problem because a woman who experiences a gender-biased environment as being neutral is not, in fact, normal in the sense of being psychologically healthy.  Rather she is somebody in extreme denial about the nature of a patriarchal society.

Psychological projection as political attack

Yesterday, I spent the largest part of my day loafing in the bed, in retreat from the cold, and reading Teresa Brennan’s book, The interpretation of the flesh: Freud and femininity.I must say that in her conclusions, she agrees with something I had been contending all along, that the manner of treatment of adult women in the public sphere can have a profound ontological effect on them.

Here is what she says:
“Of course the notion that this projection can castrate the other presupposes that psychical energetic connections work not only within but between beings. […] For the subject, the advantage of this projection is that it disposes of the affects and anxiety that otherwise inhibit his ability to follow a train of thought, and/or linguistic chain of association; the disadvantage is that this ability depends on maintaining critical blind spots.” ( p 233)
Here we have an example of the way that psychology can assert itself into the realm of the political. Brennan certainly sees that there are cultural-historical influences that determine how masculinity and femininity are constructed in the society, but she does not go so far as to label these constructions as being also political.
That does not mean that these projections onto the other of a state of “castration” — which we can understand as mental and political helplessness — are not facilitated by political mechanisms, making them profoundly political. Rather, Brennan is writing in 1992, and advancing a novel thesis about psychological intersubjectivity, that was hardly recognised at that time. Seventeen years later, we are more familiar with post-Kleinian theory, and we are able to draw more conclusions concerning the interlinking of the political sphere with our inherent psychological mechanisms.
It becomes clearer after reading Brennan’s book that the projection of “castration” onto an other — which, as Brennan points out, can be one who is biologically male or female, but for psychoanalytical reasons, is generally a woman — is a political feature of the psychological division of necessary labour.
This is because, as humans, we are all physiologically complex — which is to say, made up of both rational and irrational drives. So it is that if one is to politically represent and uphold exclusively the rational side of one’s identity, it is necessary for one to somehow do away with the irrational side of one’s self (both as representation and as, far as possible, as conscious experience).
To maintain a rational self-image, the inherent irrational aspects of human psychology — (those which intrude at times to seem to prevent the work of narrow rational thinking) — will be denied, or sublimated of projected, depending on the level of the level of the psychological resources and skill of the subject.
Brennan deals with the issue of projection in the last few pages of her book, and it is fortunate that she does so, since these days it is tacitly acceptable, within the Western socio-political complex, for projections to flow from male to female, but not for them to flow the other way around: That is, the political rhetoric that maintains ideologies imputes that “it is irrational to impute irrational characteristics to men.” It does not seem to be irrational to impute them to women, however. So it is that individual men are lifted above the possibility of criticism, by virtue of the tacit acceptability of the logic of projection.
But projection isn’t merely rhetorical: that is, there is more to it than expressing the idea that “it isn’t me, its you!” as a way of putting women back into their (traditional) places. Rather, at a deep psychological level, the subject who projects also actually believes that it is not he, but her, who is responsible for a hole in his otherwise far too fluid and facile chain of thought.
Consider the nature of the political divide in terms of this tacit division of psychological labour: Phenomenologically, those positioned as “masculine” (which can be upper division women as well as men, in the managerial classes) experience only annoying interruptions to their rational train of thought, which seem to come from the outside of their own psyches, and need to be crushed or put down. Meanwhile, those positioned on the alternative side of the political divide, those allocated to do “feminine” work, will have a variety of experiences depending on their degree of psychological and political awareness.
The end result is that those who find themselves positionally on the “feminine” side of power systems will often tend not have the same view of the world and of established systems of morality as those who find themselves on the “masculine” side (due to factors dominated by psychological symbolisations of gender and social status). At the lowest level of consciousness, women who are projected upon will find a certain need fulfilled, in that an identity — albeit a weak and shaky one — is projected upon them. Their narcissistic sensibilities (whether weak or strong) are enhanced.
At a higher level of developed recognition of what is taking place, one can openly acknowledge male projection of castration anxieties as a constant assault on one’s processes of thinking, as well as on one’s capacity to maintain a sense of identity. The males who project are inclined to expect women to identify with all of their failed processes of thinking, as if they had originated from the women themselves. In the case of ongoing assaults of this projective sort (which I have experienced), which sometimes appear to be specifically designed to weaken one’s resolve, I find the only solution is to get away from the situations that allow for these power dynamics, and to take refuge as a hermit. Otherwise, one will not be able to think very much, if at all.
When one has no choice but to associate with those (including organisations and systems) which engage in this process of projection, it does feel masochistic, despite the fact that one is on red alert for combat, and is not masochistic at all. This is because these projective attacks work against one’s inner ontological awareness — the part of the self that governs a stable and healthy sense of identity.

On transgression

I have learned from what a mid-20th Century author, Georges Bataille, came to label “transgression”, which also applies to a wind of thought implicit in Nietzsche. You work out what’s limiting you; what’s keeping you down. Generally it’s the internalization of moral inhibitions. You need to become the master (mistress) of your moral values, not allowing them to rule you.

To teach your superego who is boss, you need to act against the values you’ve internalized that don’t serve you well. I had a hell of a lot of these — values of always inquiring of my conscience, divulging the contents of my conscience to anyone who asked and making my life subordinate to creating a good impression. Ask yourself if these principles are really serving you, or are they serving an empty ideal — a pie in the sky “god”. If they don’t serve you, then transgress.

I had become quite ill with my inwardly-directed aggression.

Suppose you always turn up at work on time for fear of creating a bad impression or even being reprimanded. What is the worst that can happen? Condemnation from your boss of condemnation from your superego? When I answered a similar question, I became sure that my boss didn’t frighten me in the slightest. I feared my condemnation. I began with a small transgression, going against my rules, and found out nothing bad happened. I’d just given myself a bit more freedom to behave according to my interests, and not according to my rules. That was just a beginning, but when you become less of a routine rule-follower, you open up to be able to think more deeply and broadly.

Suddenly, I had more options, and began to use them.  This has worked out very well for me. I was suffering from a lot of internal pressure. That is gone.

 

Biologism

The capacity for intellectual shamanism is based on having superfluous energy to spend on exploring inner, psychological dimensions.   The prerequisite for engagement puts intellectual shamanism at odds with many, perhaps most, other philosophies of life that demand one’s time and commitment in other ways.  Even holding other implicit philosophies, such as a prevalent one of our age — biological determinism — moves one several steps away from understanding how intellectual shamanism is expressed.  Those whose purpose in life is sex and reproduction will not find anything of value in this paradigm.

Somebody whose life is guided and determined by biological imperatives would experience intellectual shamanism as only threatening to take them away from their allotted tasks.   A typical misunderstanding I have found in those who read Nietzsche is in the idea that one can use one’s reading as a means to gain the kind of “wisdom” that would enable one to fully express one’s innate biological urges.   Yet, the desire to move in a direction that fulfills one’s needs as a creature of one’s biology is exactly opposed to the desire to further one’s knowledge about subjectivity and inner worlds.   To follow a biological deterministic path requires a calm and yielding disposition.   Any emotion or sensation that is not in this vein is a threat to one’s determined destiny.

By contrast, with regard to shamanism a lot of actions may be done and a lot of words spent, which have no biological purpose whatsoever.   The meaning of looking into one’s inner worlds is not to lament anything, but simply to look around at one’s leisure.  There is nothing to win or lose here, in terms of any sense of necessary or inevitable destinies.   One has all the time in the world to waste and no purpose to achieve except that intrinsic to looking.  One can scream and shout all one likes.   This is actually encouraged.

At the same time, those in a hurry to take things in the opposite direction will, of course, not find anything here.