Thoughts on the progression of religion: awe and alienation

Here’s a thought I had:

I have always found it comical when people said religion was originally monotheistic and that all the ‘multiple gods’ of older societies is a result of some sort of a fall or inability to understand true religion.  Another one is that people had to “make up” gods because they did not understand the world.  And, still another, was that god was “originally a woman”.  Views such as these seem like very simplistic perceptions of the past based on current biases and points of view.  In other words, they reflect the current times, not the times they refer to.  The idea of monotheism is, no doubt, a result of Christianity and their idea of a “one true god”.  The idea that people had to “make up” gods is a result of science.  The idea that god was “originally a woman” comes from feminism with their female-as-superior perspective.  I see no evidence of things like these.  In fact, I see no evidence of things like this:

  • That people originally worshipped a single ‘god’.
  • That the original god was human.
  • That the original god was specifically a male or female.
  • That religion was created by people who do not understand the world.

The original religion appears to be far more complex an issue than that.

THE ‘ORIGINAL RELIGION’

As I use it, the ‘original religion’ is the religion when humanity did not live in civilization or a large society.  The reason for this is that these are recent developments in history.  Therefore, civilization, and its effects, cannot be considered the “original” condition of humanity.  As a result, one cannot look at the ‘original religion’ from a point of view of civilization or modernism or mass society . . . that will only lead you off the track.  One must look at it from another perspective.

No doubt, the best representative of the ‘original religion’ would be in primitive tribes as these have no basis in civilization at all.  They display, I feel, some of the most basic human qualities as well and the oldest perceptions of the world.  Because of this, primitive people are instrumental in the understanding of the ‘original religion’.

It’s this ‘original religion’ that is the beginning, and base, of everything that follows.  It is, so to speak, the starting point.  From this ‘original religion’ there would become a progression of religion throughout the years as a result of various historical and situational conditions.

NATURE-AWE AND ITS PROGRESSION

It appears, to me, that there is natural progression in the development of religion based, primarily, on the size and organization of human society.

Why is this so important?

Because the size and organization of human society ‘protected’ people from nature.  In other words, it kept nature ‘at bay’.  This is not to say that people were ‘scared’ of nature.  But nature, by its force, power, and might, created a particular sense, what I would call ‘nature-awe’.  Humanity found itself standing before the great power of nature with its tremendous and  mysterious might.  As a result, ‘nature awe’ became one of the first religious struggles of humanity.  Mankind found itself having to deal with this sense and dealing with its effects.  In many ways, the progression of religion, and much of human society for that matter, is nothing but the reaction to different forms of ‘awe’ that begun with ‘nature awe’ . . . the awe changed as conditions changed.

With the coming of larger societies mankind found itself ‘protected’ from ‘nature awe’.  But this, in turn created a new form of awe created by the growing power of human society.  I speak of this as ‘humanity-awe’.  In this awe humanity gave itself natures powers.  It often became perceived as above nature and beyond it.  In effect, humanity became in awe of itself.  As a result, nature faded into the background.

But as civilization developed,and grew bigger and bigger, this would turn into a new form of awe.  Not only nature but human society began to fade into the background.  With this a representation of awe seemed to disappear.  As a result, this new awe is characterized by an absence of an awe or, rather, there is an absence of a representation of an awe as the sense of awe remains deep within.  It’s as if the growing of civilization made us grow further from nature and further from human society making those previous forms of awe redundant.  As a result, the awe became as if detached from any representation.  This is the ‘alienated-awe’.  Here, people often misinterpret awe, so that it appears as weird fears, paranoia, and worries.  In other cases, people don’t know what it is and, as a result, become blank to it.  This makes the sense of awe go ‘deeper’ into ones psych as if buried in their mind creating neurotic-like symptoms often.

What this shows are two facts:

  1. Awe is innate.  The continuation of awe in many representations, and even without representation, show that it is reflective of an innate human tendency.  In other words, awe is part of the human experience.
  2. Awe needs a representation.  To get a ‘handle’ on awe we need a representation of it, something for it to manifest through.  Otherwise, it as if gets lost in the depths of our minds.

These two facts really describe the ‘religious dilemma’:  the need and inability to get a ‘handle’ on awe.

But awe is so powerful that it creates a disconnectedness, a sense of alienation with it.  This is caused by an inability to relate to the power and might of nature and life.  In short, awe is much like a ‘culture shock’.  Nature and life ‘shocks’ us with our inability to relate to it.  Because of this, it as if drives a wedge between us and life, separating us in two.  As a result, there are two reactions that become part of the ‘religious dilemma’:

  1. A sense of alienation.
  2. A desire to not be alienated (this often appears as a desire for some form of ‘union’ or ‘connectiveness’).

These two conditions creates a tendency of opposing themes which continually appear with awe.  They are as if always struggling, one side alienating and the other side trying to not be alienated.  It creates struggles such as:

  • Human versus non-human (nature)
  • Feeling of connection versus feeling of disconnectedness
  • Feeling of powerlessness versus feeling of power
  • Acceptance versus non-acceptance

Because of this duality we are continually in a tug-of-war with awe.  This shows how awe is rooted in polarities . . . opposites.  This means that a lot of dealing with awe is dealing with opposing natures.  As a result, it creates a continual need for balance.

One of the ways this manifests itself is in ‘ritual properness’.  That is to say, things have to be done ‘properly’, often in a ritualistic way, when dealing with awe.  Things must be done at the correct moment, in the correct way, in the correct context.  This is particularly strong in the ‘nature-awe’ phase.  ‘Ritual properness’ is strong among people who live in the midst of nature, because of its power and might over them, and tends to decrease in power as human society takes hold.

With the moving away from ‘nature-awe’, by the coming of larger human societies, we tend to move away from this tendency.  Because of the different condition created by human society it creates a new form of dealing with opposing natures.   In effect, it simplified it, turning ‘ritual properness’ into a black and white ‘right or wrong ritual’.  Things now became ‘right’ or ‘wrong’.  Because the emphasis is on humanity, it usually deals with what a person does.  In other words, its more individualistic than in the ‘nature-awe’ phase, which generally emphasizes ones relation with nature.  The ‘right or wrong ritual’ tends to emphasize what a person does and how they behave.  Nature generally never even makes an appearance.

As civilization progressed and grew this individualistic tendency would turn into the ‘follow the crowd ritual’.  In other words, it becomes a blind following of crowd of civilization and following what it says.  The crowd determines right and wrong and how things are to be done.  Following its dictates makes things ‘right’.  By following the crowd we “appear” to be in balance (though this is not true).  With this we have become completely detached from nature and humanity, in actuality.  We have become the mob.

HISTORICAL PROGRESSION:  PHASES OF RELIGION

As the above shows, it appears that there is a historical progression in religion and its association with human society with each phase creating a specific form of ‘religion’.  I often describe each phase of religion in this way:

  1. Nature centered.
  2. Human society centered.
  3. Civilization centered.
  4. Post-civilization centered or mob centered.

1. Nature centered

Originally, religion was nature centered.  In other words, this is religion in its original setting and origin, of humanity-in-the-midst-of-nature with nature as all-powerful.  As a result, religious importance was given to specific qualities and traits displayed by nature, not by humanity.  This is the pattern of the ‘original religion’.  Gods became bears and eagles and mountains and rivers.  There is typically an absence of human traits and human beings.  Not only that, human traits tend to be associated with aspects of nature, as reflecting qualities seen in nature and not as specifically “human” (as the power of a buffalo, or lightning, etc.).  Humanity, and human society, do not figure highly in this way of living.  Almost all representations, and symbols, have origin in nature.  This is the ‘nature-dominant orientation’.  As a result, awe is associated with nature . . . the ‘nature-awe’.

The ‘nature-dominant orientation’ makes it so that:

  • There are many gods, reflecting different traits of life.  Each god, usually, represents a specific trait.  As a result, the god one prays to, sacrifices to, or caters to, reflects the traits or qualities you wish to have.
  • Gods are not human.  Because of the nature-centered orientation, aspects of nature become gods:  animals, mountains, rocks, etc.

One of the effects of ‘nature-awe’ found in this way of life is that it creates the ‘lost-in-nature alienation’.  That is to say, because nature is first, and the measure of all things, humanity becomes ‘lost’ in it, insignificant, and small.  In so doing humanity becomes squashed by nature.  In many ways, much of the qualities of the nature centered orientation consists of attempts at trying to ‘hold oneself against the power and awe of nature’.  Because of this, ‘ritual properness’ becomes very dominant in this form of life . . . it often dominates this lifestyle.  Life becomes a perpetual act of ritual in one way or another.

2. Human society centered

In this phase, human society has developed enough to feel itself removed from nature.  In some sense, humanity slowly turns into something like a ‘cocoon’, protecting the individual from nature.  As a result, humanity is no longer in the midst of nature but in the midst of humanity.  This is the ‘humanity-dominant orientation’.  This causes a general waning of the image of nature in religion.  We start to see the arrival of human representations in two ways:

  1. The human-nature representation.  Nature takes on human images and traits.  Gods become fathers and mothers, heroes, etc.  Nature is interpreted in relation to humanity, often as reflecting human traits (whereas in the ‘nature-dominant orientation’ humanity is interpreted in relation to nature . . . the exact opposite).  As a result, the earth becomes the ‘mother’ and is compared to and look at as if it were a human mother, for example.
  2. The human-society representation.   There become an emphasis on human institutions (leaders, mothers, fathers, etc.) as a dominant theme in religion.  In many cases, some people become perceived as gods (such as kings) and in control of nature.

The result of these new representations is that there grows a growing distance between humanity and nature.  Over time, nature will practically disappear as humanity takes it over.  With this, the ‘humanity awe’ begins to appear and humanity or, rather, human creation, becomes the source of awe.

This new form of awe creates the ‘lost-in-humanity alienation’.  In this, humanity, and its creations, tend to overwhelm us and as if take us over.  We become disassociated from who we are.  This is different from the ‘lost-in-nature alienation’ where we become alienated due to the great fact of nature, which we feel different from.  In the ‘lost-in-humanity alienation’ we become alienated from our humanity by our humanity.  In other words, ‘lost-in-humanity alienation’ reveals the fact that human creation, though it originates from humanity, is not ‘human’ as it actually takes us from our humanity.  As a result, it shows that neither nature or human creation is “human”, which is why they cause alienation.  Because of this, it shows that there is always an alienating element in life and that the “human” is actually something that is elusive.  This fact shows that religion, awe, alienation, and the attempt at preventing alienation, is really nothing but trying to discover the ‘elusive-”human”-in-life’.   Because of the awe and alienation, humanity has always been seeking to find this “human” quality.

3.  Civilization centered

Civilization is when human society becomes like a great machine, running by itself, as if nature doesn’t exist.  In civilization, human creation has reached the point of a ‘perfection’, so to speak.  Here, the ‘system’ rules and controls things.   This, really, is just a continuation of the previous phase but more intense.  This causes a change in orientation.  What ends up happening is the development of ‘human-creation-dominant orientation’.  There becomes a slow ‘mystifying’ and ‘mythifying’ of humanity, as we saw in the previous phase.  Here, life, and the world, begins to become “de-religified” and not looked at in a religious way.  As a result, the awe is no longer based in the great mystery of reality but an awe of human creation which completely supplants the previous awe’s.  The awe begins to focus on things like:

  • Human thought
  • Human organization
  • Human achievements
  • Human inventions

These are things that are “done”, so to speak, or “made” by humanity.  This is quite a bit different from the previous awe’s which were based in “existing realities” and the mysteries of these realities.  Because of this, there becomes an absence of a sense of mystery.  It’s not uncommon that humanity begins to think it is now above nature and beyond it and, in some ways, turns itself into a “god” itself.

The effect of this is to create a “lost-in-civilization alienation”.  This is generally characterized by a sense or need of the mystery that civilization has undermined and destroyed.  In other words, its like a desire to have the earlier conditions.  This is another example which shows that humanity actually fails at creating the “human” in life.  This fact creates a tendency for many people to be ‘repelled’, so to speak, by civilization, often having contempt for it.

4. Post-civilization or mob-centered

This is when civilization has become too big and extensive.  In the human society centered phase nature is lost and replaced by human society.  In the civilization centered phase human society is lost and is replaced by human creation.  In this phase human creation is lost.  Its replacement:  the mob.  The “mob” is neither nature, human society, or human creation, though it has roots in them all.  It stands, in actuality, like an aberration of humanity.  In many ways, it is only a reference to the fact that humanity has become so big that it has become a massive beast and, being massive, it has become a ‘power’ because of that fact.  It is this ‘mob power’ that creates the unique form of awe in this phase.  There develops an awe of the mob, often treating it as if it were like a god.  It’s often characterized by qualities such as:

  • Blind following.  People follow whatever it does without a thought.
  • Little demonstration of belief or conviction.  Whatever the mob says they do.

We see here a tendency of complete blindness with the mob.  As a result, the ‘mob-alienation’ entails an abandonment of who we are, a loss of what we are.  Because of this, not only do we lose any sense of the “human” but we lose who we are.  In many ways, this phase is characterized by making us the  furthest from nature, human society, the “human”, religion, and our selves.  Generally, the sense of religion is gone by this phase.  In that way, this phase sort of marks the ‘end’ of religion.

Ironically, in this phase there often appears a ‘peacefulness’.  Because we lost who we are we are ‘free’ of ourselves, giving the illusion of a peacefulness and calm.  This loss of self, though, is not “human”.  As a result, it creates a great unrestfullness and uptightness in people.

The progression of the phases

The phases show a continual historic reaction to awe and the alienation it creates which is very much influenced by the size of society.  It shows a gradual move away from nature into humanity.  At first this is a reaction of humanity to maintain itself against the awe of nature.  But, as time goes on, humanity actually moves further into itself by moving into humanity, actually becoming more alienated from itself as a result.  In many ways, the “cure has become the disease”.

What all this shows is that there is a continual tendency of ‘moving away’ from something.  With the ‘nature-awe’ it begins.  We move away from nature into human society, and so on.  Each phase is characterized by a moving away from some trait of the earlier phase which, in turn, creates a new thing to move away from.  In other words, it almost seems to show that humanity, as a whole, is continually moving away from itself.  To avoid something about itself, humanity creates something new which, in turn, requires them to move away to avoid it and so on.  It seems as if the history of humanity is really an endless flight from itself, never being satisfied with itself or what it is.  They create something only to flee it and move away from it . . . it never ends.  I speak of this as the ‘moving away tendency’.  Much of the myth, and blindness, of so-called ‘progress’ is nothing but the ‘moving away tendency’.  What is progress but the moving away from the current situation into an imagined utopia that ends up becoming something to move away from later on.

The ‘moving away tendency’ has gone on so long that we have moved away from ourselves . . . the awe has turned into a generalized alienation.  One could say that this is the “condition of humanity”.

THE EFFECT OF ALIENATION AND AWE

As one can see, the effects of alienation seem to be a motive force in the progression and development of religion (and human society as well).  In fact, it has created religion and destroyed it.  That is to say, religion is rooted in alienation.  This is why, I believe, I have reflected so much on alienation.

Alienation means that one is ‘disconnected’.  The purpose of religion, in actuality, is to re-establish a connection.  That is to say, to get rid of alienation.  In its simplest way, this is no different than saying that religion is trying to establish a ‘connection’ with nature/god/life.  As a result, all alienation is, in actuality, a religious issue. 

Another aspect of alienation is the “human”.  In many ways, trying to establish a ‘connection’ is nothing but seeking the ‘elusive “human” in life’.  In other words, the “human” is nothing but being connected . . . that is, not being alienated.  This, truly, is what it means to be human.  This shows that awe, and its resulting alienation, has caused a seeking, by humanity, of the “human” as part of re-establishing a connection and ridding ourselves of alienation.  In actuality, this seeking has gone in many different directions over the years, such as:

  • Religion
  • Philosophy
  • Knowledge
  • Exploration
  • Achievements
  • Art

Many of these directions began to appear after the human society centered phase.  This is quite revealing.  It shows, in actuality, the failure of the human society centered phase to answer what the “human” is, in my opinion.  Because of this, it required more effort and attempts at different directions in order to try to find it.

RECOVERING THE ‘AWE’

I have always felt that the recovering of the sense of ‘awe’ is one of the most powerful things to do.  This recovery seems to entail more than experiencing awe.  I see three things in recovering the awe:

  1. The sense of awe.
  2. The alienation.
  3. Representation.

1. The sense of awe

As I said above, awe is the base, it seems to me, of the ‘religious sense’.  But, over the years the sense of awe has been changed and distorted and is basically forgotten, even in religion.  This is why its important to rediscover or recover the ‘awe’, as it is the source.

The nature of awe is like a great powerful mystery, of a looking into something beyond us, a great chasm of awareness of the unknown of something that has power we can’t imagine.  Awe is an inner reaction that there is ‘more’ to things, more than we perceive, more than we can perceive.  Some qualities of awe include:

  • A sense of might and power.  It is a perception of a power above and beyond us.
  • A sense of mystery, of unkowingness.  There is almost always this sense of mystery about it.
  • A sense of ‘livingness’.  The importance of a ‘livingness’ is critical.  In many ways, awe is a perception of the mysterious livingness of existence.  That is to say, it’s a sense that there is a “life” beyond us.
  • A deep inner sense.  It is not intellectual, but tends to be wordless and conceptless.

Notice how these are all forms of a ‘sense’ or an awareness.  As a result, the recovering of awe entails a rediscovery of a ‘sense’ or an awareness.  One does not find awe by thinking, pondering, or philosophizing about it.

Because we are no longer born into a natural condition of ‘nature-awe’ it poses some problems in that it is not naturally appearing and if it does appear it’s often distorted or changed.  In the naturally appearing ‘nature-awe’ situation the sense of awe is a reaction to ones conditions of ones reality.  This is not the case today.  Now we must search for it.  This is why it becomes a rediscovery or recovering.  We don’t have the advantage our predecessors had.  Because of this, recovering ‘nature-awe’ requires one to chase an elusive mystery which a person really never knows.  Chasing a mystery, though it may sound easy, is far more difficult than it seems.  In fact, I don’t think a lot of people can do it.  Some aspect of chasing this mystery includes:

  • Not trying to “solve” the mystery.  In reality, there is nothing to solve.
  • Be in the midst of nature away from humanity.  Live in more natural conditions.
  • Be removed from human society and the conceptions of society.  This means to not use ideas, philosophy, and even belief.  It may even mean being away from people.
  • Be receptive to mystery and awe . . . let it come upon you.  This may entail an acceptance of difficult feelings such as fear.

I should point out that awe is not a fear.  I’ve heard people talk of it as if it was like a terror.  To me, that is not awe.  There may be a fear involved, and at certain times, but it is not a continuous terror or fear.

2. The alienation

This awe is so powerful that it makes one feel alienated, or removed, from it.  Awe, by its nature, creates this sense of alienation, of ‘disconnectedness’.  Many people, I think, have problems with the sense of alienation and ‘disconnectedness’.  This hinders man people.  In other words, the fear of alienation and ‘disconnectedness’ makes it so that people are unwilling to be aware of awe.  It is probably the first great fear associated with awe.  In fact, I feel this fear of ‘disconnectedness’ is worse than the fear of ‘power and might’ that many people think encompasses awe.

Some of the responses to alienation and ‘disconnectedness’ include:

  • Apprehension.
  • Avoidance.
  • Fear.
  • Confusion.
  • Despair.
  • Humility.  Awe tends to create a humility, a smallness of self.  In fact, much reactions, like confusion and despair, are really a result of an unwillingness to be humble!
  • Yearning.

Some responses are bad and mislead a person.  Despair is a good example of this.  Others are beneficial.  One that is critical is the yearning.  This yearning is really nothing but the desire for ‘unification’ after one feels alienated or disconnected.  In other words, yearning is the “remedy” for alienation, it is the want to be connected to what one feels disconnected with.  This yearning, though, means a continual sense of “want”, of an impending “reunion”, of maintaining a continual sense of desire.  For some people this may be experienced as a love.  Others may feel it as a longing, or a wishfullness.

3. Representation

It appears that representation is a naturally appearing reaction to awe.  For much of the above to happen a representation  has to be established.  In other words, awe requires some form of representation for it to be manifested properly.  Without a representation the development and awareness of awe is impaired.  To put it another way, representation is a form of expression of awe.  Without this representation expression can’t take place.  As a result, discovering some form of representation is critical.  In the past they had established cultural beliefs and customs, which were generally considered self-evident, and which were easily used by people.  We do not have that luxury anymore.  Finding suitable representation is far more harder than it seems. I’ve found that ready-made beliefs, such as in religion sometimes, is usually not effective.  They seem to have more of a quality of a wall and tend to hinder awe awareness.  Much of the representation must be personal, something one creates on ones own, with experience.  It is a creation of ones self.  As a result, the recovering of awe has a quality similar to art, of creating a form of expression.  And, like art, it requires skill and practice.  Often, this entails something like the creation of a personal mythology or belief system that may have meaning only to you and no one else.

AFTERTHOUGHT

One could almost say that the progression of religion, and awe, has gone in a number of paths:

  • A coming to terms with awe.
  • An avoidance of awe.
  • A disregarding of awe.

In general, there seems a tendency to avoid or disregard awe.  In other words, coming to terms with the awe is not something that humanity has shown an eager inclination.  One could say that the history of humanity is a continual, and varied, bouncing around with awe and its reactions.

It’s interesting that, throughout the centuries, the attempts at avoiding the alienation caused by awe only created new forms of alienation.  No matter what we did it remained there in some form, reflecting the fact that it is part of the human condition.  No matter what we do there will always be a ‘disconnectedness’ with life.  Religion, contrary to what one may suppose, does not solve this problem . . . it does not get rid of it.  Religion, generally, preaches some form of acceptance and coming to terms with it as well as to give it some form of meaning.  In actuality, that’s about all we can do.  This shows that one of the greatest struggles of humanity is not in understanding, or learning, or achieving, or being good, etc. but in coming to terms with certain facts.  “Coming to terms”, in many ways, is the great battle of humanity, one which it finds hard to win.  A good example of this than in awe awareness.

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Copyright by Mike Michelsen

Posted in Dehumanization and alienation, Historical stuff, Modern life and society, Philosophy, Psychology and psychoanalysis, Religion and religious stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Thoughts on learning and education – putting it in its place

I have always felt that learning and education has become distorted and warped to the point that its viewed as something else than what it is.  In addition, there seems to be an overgeneralization of what it is.  In this society any form of ‘learning’ or ‘education’ is worshipped like a god when it, in actuality, its actually a part of everyday life and has many forms and manifestations.  No one, it seems, has put learning and education in its ‘place’, of how it actually fits into life, as a result of this over-glorification.  Here are some thoughts I had about it:

‘IMITATION LEARNING’

It seems, to me, that a lot of learning is nothing but a form of imitation.  This is ‘imitation learning’.  As a result, an emphasis on learning tends to become nothing but a glorification of imitation.  Not only that, how well a person ‘learns’ often is more a measure of how well a person can imitate more than anything else.  ‘Imitation learning’ is primarily done by what I call the “rehearsing”.  This primarily refers to how we only “rehearse” something, such as an idea, in our mind.  In a way, we are only ‘adopting’ something someone else created in the same way an actor ‘rehearses’ the lines in a play.  Because of this, in many ways, ‘imitation learning’ has much similarity with acting.

Interestingly, the great bulk of schooling consists of exactly this type of ‘rehearsing’ and acting.  The lectures and homework all set the stage for the ‘rehearsing’, telling us what to rehearse.  Doing homework puts the rehearsing into action.  When a person takes a ‘test’ they are actually demonstrating how well they can ‘rehearse’ it (that is, act it out).  As a result, the great bulk of ‘tests’ actually are really determining ‘rehearsing’ and ‘acting’ ability.  As with any ability, some people are good at it and some are not.  Just because a person isn’t good at ‘rehearsing’ doesn’t mean that they are dumb or can’t learn . . . this is one of the great myths, and failures, of modern schooling.

Because of the acting quality of imitation it tends to have an illusionary quality and often makes it appear what it is not (in the same way that actors are not the people they portray).  That is to say, ‘imitation learning’ tends to create an effect similar to a chameleon . . . a person changes to fit whatever they’ve learned by adopting similar qualities through imitation.  This effect creates some of the great deceptions of learning:

  • That learning actually reflects a person, their traits and qualities.
  • That it changes them, generally perceived as making them better in some way.

Most learning, to be frank, does not have these effects because it is, after all, imitation.  I call this the ‘learning deception’.   In effect, we are being deceived by the ‘acting’ which makes up ‘imitation learning’.  In a way, its like thinking an actor is actually the person they portray. 

Nowadays, this purely imitative quality, and the ‘learning deception’ it causes, makes modern schooling become more like a form of ‘programming’, making people ‘programmed’ to do certain things, much like a computer.  In many ways, modern schooling is no different than programming a computer.  This is why I often jokingly speak of anyone going to school as “being programmed”.  Sometimes I’ll say something like “go, develop your imitation and rehearsing skills and become programmed . . . I mean, educated”.  I speak of this tendency as  ‘learning-as-programming’.  In a sense, modern schooling is turning people into ‘human machines’, to do a specific job.  Isn’t that what most of this is for . . . work, to do a job?  Isn’t that why we all have to go to school?  Because of this, ‘learning-as-programming’ is really doing nothing but creating a ‘human machine’.

This is not to say that ‘imitative learning’ is bad.  Though ‘learning-as-programming’ is very prevalent nowadays (I’d say it is the dominant form of learning that I see) it is only one of the avenues that ‘imitation learning’ creates.  In actuality, ‘imitation learning’ is a normal and healthy part of life.  If we didn’t do it then we’d all be bumping into walls. The power of ‘imitative learning’ is not in imitation, rehearsing, or acting but that it becomes a base or ‘platform’ for other things.  In other words, ‘imitation learning’ is only a beginning . . . it is not the end.  ‘Learning-as-programming’, on the other hand, tends to halt this process by keeping everything on the imitation level.  In other words, it tends to bring the process to an end.  As a result, it causes something more like a stagnation.  This is why I don’t look at it very highly.  Normal and healthy ‘imitative learning’ tends to act like a springboard for many other things.  Through its effects it helps us do things like the everyday skills and abilities required in life, of dealing with events that happen, and as a means for growth and development.

The forms that ‘imitative learning’ take are varied and include:

  • Outright imitation.  This is basically ‘monkey-see, monkey-do’.  Much of the learning people do actually consists of this.  It is characterized by a ‘rehearsing’ of what you’ve seen or heard.  Many peoples learning philosophy, for example, tend to be of this nature which is why everyone “quotes” from philosophers but never comes up with anything new.  Its not uncommon for people in this group to ‘take the credit’ of the people they imitate.  For example, a person may learn (or, rather, imitate or rehearse in their mind), Einstein’s theory of Relativity.  Because they can rehearse or imitate it they tend to think they are ‘as smart as Einstein’.  Because this is almost pure imitation this form of learning becomes almost ‘mechanical’ in its quality.
  • Applied imitation.  This is outright imitation that is applied or given a use.  A good example is learning math and then applying it in life.
  • The next-step imitation.  This is applied imitation in which a person learns, or imitates, or rehearses in their minds, something and then makes the next ‘logical step’.  Much of the development of ‘organized knowledge’ (such as engineering or medicine) consists of this.  Basically, you learn what other people have done and then use it to make something new.  For example, instead of building an arch a way that’s always been done you make a new form of arch.
  • Creative imitation.  This is really next-step imitation but with the element of a creative quality.  In many cases, it takes on an artistic quality.  In fact, one could say that art is part of this field.  As a result, in this form the imitation is used as a ‘platform’ for personal inclinations and intuition:  creativity.

One can see that these really display something like a pyramid with outright imitation on the bottom and to creative imitation at the apex.  I sometimes speak of this as the ‘imitative learning pyramid’.  At each phase there is a special ‘skill’ that is displayed. A persons character determines where they will be on the pyramid.  In other words, people who “learn” often have a skill that predisposes them to a specific form of imitation which they usually adhere to.  Typically, they tend to emphasize that form.  As a result, people tend to find the ‘niche’ they are best adapted to, on the pyramid, and stay there.  They then will generally use it as a springboard to develop other things.

Some people . . . most people, in fact . . . are not really cut out for any involved learning I’ve found.  This fact is primarily forgotten nowadays.  With the drive to ‘program’ people, and to create ‘human machines’, we are seeing a lot of what I call ‘forced learning’.  This is basically the forcing of people to learn when their character does not want to.  In my opinion, ‘forced learning’ has caused a general deterioration in scholarship, learning, wisdom,  growth, etc. throughout the years.  Since this condition is created by ‘formal schooling’ it is probably no wonder that all the people I’d describe as ‘learned’ or ‘educated’ seemed to be people with little or no ‘formal schooling’.  They are the people who have the luxury to follow their natural inclinations and character.  People in ‘formal schooling’, on the other hand, are in a situation where learning is ‘forced’, often against the grain of their character.  As a result, they tend to not be following their natural inclination or character as much.

I should point out that this pyramid does not state that the higher up you go the ‘better’ you are (that is, its not a ‘higher form of learning’).  The pyramid only shows that the forms that are higher up require the lower forms as a prerequisite.  In other words, one levell builds on the other.  This does not, in any way, make it ‘better’ or ‘higher’.  What makes any learning ‘better’ is where it leads you.

SOCIAL ASPECTS

I’ve found that many people do not associate “learning” with learning at all, but social significance.  In other words, “learning” is used as a reflection of social viewpoints.  In this sense, its more of a means to an end than an end in itself.  Some of the ways this appears include:

  • ‘Learning-as-social-class’.  In many cases, learning is only significant because it ‘furthers’ a person socially.  The fact of the matter is that if it were not for this fact many people would not be interested in learning at all!
  • ‘Learning-as-following-social-ideal’.   Often, learning is nothing but a reflection of an ideal that has appeared in society.  Most of these people have no interest in learning at all, but only the fact that it is a reflection of a social ideal.  If the social ideal was to sculpt then they’d all be sculpting.

When learning becomes too associated with social aspects there is a tendency for learning to become distorted, over-rated, and exaggerated.  This is because the emphasis is not on learning but its social implications.  When this happens, learning becomes ‘lost’ in it all.  Its for this reason that the worst thing that can happen to learning, I feel, is when it becomes too associated with social aspects. 

PERSONAL ASPECTS

The tendency to learning tends, for some people, to entail many personal qualities to the point that it becomes a reflection of a persons character.  In this way, learning is a ‘personal act’ and a demonstration of who a person is.  Some of the ways this appears include:

  • A character driven compulsion.  Some people, believe it or not, learn as a compulsion.  That is to say, they are ‘compelled’ to learn things.  In some cases, this can hide a personal or mental problem.  But, for some people, it is just a manifestation of character, of the way they are.  Typically, when learning is done from compulsion it becomes just ‘stuff’ they know.  That is to say, it generally does not become a form of ‘growth’ or personal development.
  • As a way to stave off boredom.  Many people will learn because they find that they have a ‘knack’ at it and it helps get rid of boredom.  In this sense, its almost like a hobby.  Like the form above, it often seldom leads to a ‘growth’ or personal development.
  • A form of personal growth.  Some people learn as a form of personal growth.  This, from my experience, is actually very rare.  Many people confuse this type with ‘learning-as-social-class’, thinking that their illusion of social importance is a form of personal growth.  This makes many people think that learning improves them in some way.

EDUCATION AND ‘SYSTEM LEARNING’

I tend to feel that we are no longer in the era of education . . . the era of education is over.  In other words, education no longer exists . . . people are no longer ‘educated’ anymore.

Why is this?

Because education, in my opinion, is a reflection of culture and a belief system and entails traits other than learning, such as virtue, belief, faith, morality, and such. In fact, in an ‘education’ any learning or knowledge is just a way of developing these other traits . . . the traits are everything.  In other words, an education is not about learning but where it leads.  The traits that education seeks are all but lacking in the so-called ‘education’ of today.  As a result, people are not educated any more.

Nowadays, we are in the era of ‘system learning’, as I always say, not the era of education.  This means that what is needed, nowadays, are not educated people but a bunch of ‘robots’ to keep the system going.  In other words, modern schooling is more akin to a ‘programming’ than an education, as I said above.  This is primarily to create the ‘human machines’ this system requires.  As a result, modern learning is turning more and more into a form of imitation, emphasizing ‘programming-as-learning’.  This is one of the reasons why I tend to look down on modern schooling and ‘formal learning’.

LEARNING DOES NOT MAKE BETTER PEOPLE

In my life I have seen little evidence that learning makes people better.  In fact, my observation is that it often goes the other way, often making people worse.  One of the reasons for this is basic problems of ‘formal learning’, which tends to have qualities such as these:

  • It tends to require a person to ‘force’ themselves to do certain things, often against their character.
  • It tends to require a ‘learning-according-to-a-time-schedule’.  That is, you must learn so and so by a certain time.
  • The problems of determining if a person has ‘learned’.  They make a big deal about grading and other silly institutional “measurements” (I wrote an article in this blog called “Thoughts on how grades don’t really measure anything” that you might find interesting).
  • There are too many ‘threats’ if you don’t learn the right things by the right time.  By ‘threats’ I mean getting poor grades and such.
  • Its too associated with social themes, such as status and prestige.

Things, such as these, tend to create a constrained sort of learning that, in my opinion, is actually not healthy for people.  Personally, I think it strangles many people, though few are aware of it.  Sadly, its because of this that I tend to look down on the learning of people who have been University trained, as they tend to be like that.

This fact shows that the emphasis on ‘programming’ people, so prevalent with modern schooling, has destroyed education.  In fact, it shows that modern schooling has ceased to be an education, as I said above, as there is an absence of the emphasis on the traits we see with education.  All the belief, virtue, faith, etc., that makes up an education, is gone.  This fact really shows the failure of modern “education”.  Its all “program! program!”, nowadays . . . oh, and you better get good grades.

COMPLEX LEARNING IS NOT ‘BETTER LEARNING’

My observation is that people who do complex learning, such as calculus or learn medicine, are not more ‘learned’ . . . they can just do more complicated things.  Some people have a ‘knack’ at doing complicated things.  There seems to be this point of view that complexity=better learning, or more advanced learning.  I do not believe this to be true.  I’ve been around many people who were doing these things, particularly when I was younger, and none of them struck me as being these great “minds”.  Even I stunned everyone by learning basic calculus while still taking geometry . . . whoopi!  I will tell that I just had a ‘knack’ at it . . . nothing special . . . just like some people have a knack at art or playing an instrument.  But people had this idea that it was some great thing.  In other words, there is something like a myth of people with “great minds” . . . what is that supposed to mean exactly?

AN INTELLIGENT OR ‘LEARNED’ PERSON IS A CHARACTER TYPE

As I have said above, learning is greatly influenced by character.  In the same way, I’ve found that an intelligent or ‘learned’ person is more a reflection of a persons character than by any schooling.  In other words, its not something that is taught at a school.  ‘Formal learning’ can bring it out, but if its not there to begin with, its unlikely to surface at all.  Most people that I consider intelligent and ‘learned’ have not had much ‘formal training’ at all . . . I can’t think of any that’s gone to the University.

I can often see these traits in children.  And I should point out that just because a child displays these traits does not mean that they should immediately be enrolled in some form of special school.  As I said above, ‘formal learning’ often strangles people and may, in actuality, hinder the development of these natural character traits which often ends up strangling them as people.  My general feelings is that, since learning is a reflection of character traits, it is the character of the person that should determine what they do with it.  In other words, you don’t ‘force’ them to go to the University, or go through ‘formal learning’, if they are not inclined to do it.  I’ve seen many people destroyed by this (including myself).

‘TRANSFORMATION LEARNING’

To me, the end of all real ‘learning’ tends to be in a transformation.  When it reaches this point I call it ‘transformation learning’.  In actually, all forms of learning leads to some form of transformation.  There seems to be several types of transformation based on the learning, the character of the person, and conditions:

  • Common transformation.  This is transformation that everyone does, such as learning to walk and talk.
  • Developed transformation.  This is really common transformation that is more developed, such as learning how to paint or to do some craft. 
  • Personal transformation.  This is transformation that is specific to the person.  It generally entails a transformation of ones self and is often spritual-like in nature. 

The effects of transformation can entail a great range:

  • Transformation can range from insignificant to extreme.  What may be nothing to someone can greatly change another person, perhaps determine their life.  Much of the transformation of learning is so common place and normal that it is never noticed at all.  This is typical of common transformation.  Other forms of learning, such as learning about certain aspects of oneself (that is, personal transformation), can be life-changing and alter one forever.
  • The way transformation appears can range from superficial to deep.  That is to say, it can range from mechanical (monkey-see, monkey-do, for example) to a deep personal spiritual transformation.  This more or less shows that transformation affects us on all levels in varying ways, depending on the person.  In fact, this can sometimes go quite deep as there is a point where the transformation can be so deep that it becomes a form of self-transformation.  That is to say, it has great effect on ones self deep down and reflects a deep inner awareness and knowledge.  This often becomes a form of spirituality.  I wrote an article about something similar to this called “Thoughts on the process of comprehension” which describes a more deeper form of transformation called comprehension where learning goes beyond knowledge reflecting a deep change within our self.

AFTERTHOUGHT

My observation is that learning is it has qualities such as these:

  • Its a part of everyday life.
  • It has many forms and manifestations, ranging from commonplace to dramatic.
  • It affects people differently and in different ways.
  • Learning, by itself, tends to be ‘mechanical’, like programming a computer.  It requires something more.  This is where I get that saying: “learning requires more than learning to become learning”.  In a way, that ‘mystery of learning’, of what that ‘something more’ is, turns learning into an “education”.
  • It tends to be a ‘springboard’ that leads to other things.  This doesn’t necessarily happen automatically though.  Often, this requires great effort from a person.
  • It has both good and bad aspects.  It can turn a person into a ‘human machine’ or be a great ‘awakening of self’, for example.
  • People take to the learning style that reflects their character.
  • Learning primarily causes a transformation which has many variations in its effects.

In effect, everyone learns and each in our own way . . . there’s nothing miraculous about it.  As I said above, a lot of learning is so common place that its not even noticed, or no one cares.  But just because its common place doesn’t mean its a lesser form of learning.  Often, some of the greatest ‘feats of learning’ is in these common place everyday things.  Seldom does it become this great and wonderful thing it is claimed to be.  A lot of that is nothing but social hype in my opinion. Just because a grade school kid can say the species names of dinosaurs does not make him a ‘genius’. 

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Copyright by Mike Michelsen

Posted in Education and learning, Life in general, Philosophy, Psychology and psychoanalysis | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Thoughts on the ‘limbo condition’, a unique character trait of the female

Here’s a thought I had:

I have always felt that the female character naturally creates a particular form of dilemma for the female.  It’s very unique reflecting their character traits.  The more I look at it the more important it is seeming to be.  I speak of what I call the ‘limbo condition’.  In effect, the female is caught between their self and the self of someone else.  As a result, they often lie “in limbo”, so to speak, in between.  In that way, they as if get ‘lost’ between self’s, uncertain where to go or what is what.

THE SELF’S

This condition is primarily a conflict of self’s, of the females self and the self of others.  Because of this, one could sat that there are actually three selves:

  1. The ‘actual’ self.  This is the females self as a person and a human being. 
  2. The ‘limbo self’.  This is the self that is trying to unite with the ‘other’ self.  Since they cannot attain the ‘other’ self this self is as if left ‘hanging’ – in ‘limbo’.
  3. The ‘other’ self.  This is only the perception of another person (the ‘other’).  Because of this, it can never be attained.  It is the “target” of what they seek.

There is a special relationship the female has with each of these self’s.  As a general rule, the female is primarily in the ‘limbo self’ in the course of their day-to-day lives.  In fact, one could say that many females are very ‘limbo’ self centered. The ‘actual’ self is generally not emphasized at all . . . it tends to not be where their focus is.  As a result, its given a ‘back-burner’ quality.  It’s often neglected and, in some cases, practically forgotten (see ‘actual self dilemma’ below).

THE ‘SELF’S UNIFICATION TENDENCY’ – FRUSTRATION AND THE COMING OF THE ‘LIMBO’ SELF

What we see, then, is an emphasis not on their own ‘actual’ self but a tendency to a unification of their self with the ‘other’.  In effect, there is a drive to create a blending of self’s.  This is the ‘self’s unification tendency’.  This tendency encompasses a number of qualities:

  • A ‘self loss’ – a tendency to lose their ‘actual’ self because of their focusing on the unification of self’s.
  • A ‘unification drive’ - the drive to unify the self’s.
  • A ‘frustration at unification’- the fact of the matter is that a unification of self’s is not possible and is, therefore, doomed to fail . . . this naturally causes a sense of frustration.
  • The ‘self remains in limbo’ because the unification fails – the creation of the ‘limbo’ self.

Since the self of the ‘other’ can never be attained the female actually experiences a very strong frustration as a result (for some girls they may struggle with it all their life).  There seems to be two main reactions:

  1. Remain in frustration.  This can turn into anger, resentment, depression, and other things.
  2. The self remains in ‘limbo’.  Here they as if ‘wait’ for a unification (which never comes).  This ‘waiting’ plays a big part in the creation of the ‘limbo’ self.  This more or less means that the ‘limbo’ self is a ‘solution’ to the naturally appearing frustration that happens from the failure of the unification of the self creates. 

The unification drive is so strong that they often continually try at a unification, only to fail.  Because of this, either the frustration or the ‘limbo’ self grows in force as a result.  This shows the great power of the ‘unification drive’. 

Because they tend to neglect their ‘actual’ self (as their emphasis is on a unification)  they tend to not have a self . . . their self is absent.  This is the ‘absent self phenomena’.  It makes it so that many females don’t have a strong self.  This quality, in actuality, is a major component of being ‘feminine’. 

One of the effects of the ‘absent self phenomena’ is that it makes it so that the female does not have a self to control the ‘unification drive’.  As a result, the drive controls them.  This is the ‘limbo/self dilemma’.  In effect, because of their absence of self, the drive overwhelms them and they are its slave, having to follow its dictates.  What this shows is that there are several things that are very important in the ‘self’s unification tendency’:

  1. The force of the drive.
  2. The frustration.
  3. Their absence of self.
  4. Being controlled by the drive.

These create a dilemma for the female.  A major way they deal with this dilemma is the creation of the ‘limbo’ self.  Basically, because of these things the creation of the ‘limbo’ self actually has the quality of “saving” the female from the ‘self’s unification tendency’ and from the conditions it creates.  As a result of this, the creation of the ‘limbo’ self is often very critical for a females mental health.  This, no doubt, is one of the reasons why the ‘limbo’ self is taught to girls from a young age (see “teaching the ‘limbo condition’” below).

The drive of the ‘self’s unification tendency’ tends to make females do a number of things, such as:

  • To be with the ‘other’.  This is often done a number of ways:  by close proximity (being physically close to someone), by keeping the ‘other’ in their mind (often using photos, for example, as a ‘reminder’), “official” association (such as marriage, ‘going steady’, etc.), and such.
  • To ‘absorb’ the ‘other’.  This is when the ‘other’ is perceived as becoming a part of the female herself.
  • To become the ‘other’.  Here they try to imitate or be the ‘other’ and, in so doing, replace them.  This is often a sign of an illness of some sort.

This tendency is so strong that it often takes on obsessive and compulsive manifestations.  In fact, it can easily be mistaken for an obsession or compulsion.  Sometimes, though, these can become so strong that they actually create an illness.  In fact, many female mental problems originate with either the frustration or a failure of the ‘limbo’ self.  These problems are so powerful, it seems, that it often plays a big role in female life, growth, and development.

EFFECTS

This dilemma can cause both good and bad effects.  It can ‘make’ the female or ‘break’ a female.  Because of this, it has a great spectrum of effects.  For some girls, they can range the whole spectrum and they can bounce from one extreme to another, going from good effects to bad, being both helped and hindered by it at the same time.

Good effects

Some of the good effects include:

  • A ‘motherliness’. This is primarily because it is a manifestation of the mother instinct (see below).  Because of this, it is no surprise that it makes a female more ‘motherly’.
  • A femininity.  The ‘limbo’ self is a significant quality that makes a female feminine.  In some ways, it is the base for all feminine traits.
  • A liveliness and innocence.  The ‘limbo’ self seems to remove the female from the world and, in a way, makes them like children.  Many cultures have often tried to keep females in this condition.
  • A naturalness.  The ‘limbo condition’, with its absence of self, tends to create a naturalness in the female.  This is because, with the absence of self, there’s nothing o ‘control’ them.   Males, on the other hand, tend to have a strong self and, because of it, lose a naturalness as a result.
  • A lovingness and caring.  Because of the ‘limbo conditions’ association with childbearing (see below) it naturally tends to bring out a lovingness and caring in the female.
  • A bond with people.  This works similar to the above.
  • A tendency to serve people.  This is similar to the above.
  • An insight.  The ‘limbo condition’ often creates a particular quality of insight in the female.  The absence of self allows for natural intuitions and insights to appear in a more natural and direct way.  This is often lacking in the male because of their strong self.
  • A selflessness.  Because of the tendency to lose or neglect their ‘actual’ self they will often display a selflessness.  This quality, though, has often caused a great illusion about the female.  It has caused a tendency to glorify the female primarily because it coincides with the Christian ideal of selflessness.  The problem is that it is usually not something they ‘choose’ to do (which is what Christian theology requires – free will).  This is because the drive of unification is so strong that it actually controls them and, as a result, ‘forces’ girls to be selfless, sometimes to the point of a mental problem, as I’ve seen many times.  This shows that female selflessness may not be what it seems at times.

In effect, the ‘limbo condition’ brings out some of the greatest strengths in the female character.

Bad effects

There are many bad effects that the ‘limbo condition’ can cause.  Being in ‘limbo’ tends to, by its nature, cause manifestations of character such as:

  • They feel detached and removed.
  • They feel unaccepted or neglected.
  • They need a continual demonstration of need from the ‘other’.  This tendency makes many females require an almost regular need to feel they are needed, for example, by their husbands.
  • They feel ‘empty’.
  • It makes them feel tired or worn out.
  • They feel like a slave.
  • They feel frustrated, unfulfilled, and dissatisfied.
  • They have a sense of fragility.
  • They have a sense of being vulnerable.

We could probably describe qualities, such as these, as a general ‘limbo sickness’ which are common with the female character.  Generally, these are only experienced as an occasional nuisance.  For some females, though, these qualities can become extreme and turn them into a dilemma and even turn into a mental illness.

More involved dilemma’s that the ‘limbo condition’ could cause include:

  •  The identification dilemma – they think they are the ‘same’ as the ‘other’.  The political/legal idea of ‘equality’ has made this a major problem nowadays making many females think they are the” same” as males.  Because of this, in the U.S. at this time, there is almost an epidemic of male want-to-be’s.
  • A low self-esteem.  This is a result of many of the ‘issues’ the ‘limbo condition’ creates.
  • A mental instability . . . a tendency to neurosis.  This dilemma often creates this effect in females, often predisposing them to various mental problems and “issues”.
  • They tend to give too much of themselves.  This is a result of their tendency to lose their ‘actual’ self for the ‘other’. 
  • The ‘other-directed blaming game’ dilemma - they blame others for their problems.  This shows the power of the ‘other’ in the female’s life.  Being focused on the ‘other’ they tend to forget themselves.  In so doing, they as if ‘clean themselves’ of any dilemma they may have.  This makes it appear to them that it must be the ‘others’ fault . . . remember, being ‘other-directed’, they don’t ‘exist’ in their minds, only the ‘other’.  Any problem they have, therefore, must be because of the ‘other’.  From my experience, this is a prevalent problem. Its made many females make false accusations and false charges against many people as I, myself, have personally seen (a good example are feminists).   

Dilemmas involving the ‘actual’ self:

  • The ‘actual self dilemma’.   A weird phenomena of the female character is that too much emphasis on their ‘actual’ self has this tendency to accentuate any problems they may have.  In other words, its best for females to NOT emphasize their ‘actual’ self too much.  This is the exact opposite of the males who tend to need to emphasize their ‘actual’ self.  It causes a tendency for females to become vain, conceited, self-absorbed, arrogant, etc.  If this gets too extensive it turns into the ‘actual self fixation’ as they get fixated on their ‘actual’ self to the point that they will forget everything and everybody else, thinking the world revolves around them, their emotions, and issues.
  • The ‘self neglect dilemma’.  In this they don’t put emphasis on their ‘actual’ self and tend to neglect it too much.  They forget their needs and wants and growth.  In actuality, this causes many problems of the ‘limbo condition’ described above, such as low self-esteem, feeling neglected, feeling empty, etc. 
  • The ”actual’ self balancing phenomena’.  The ‘actual self dilemma’ and ‘self neglect dilemma’ shows that, for the female, there is a balancing act in regard to the ‘actual’ self . . . they need to emphasize their ‘actual’ self enough to keep it healthy but they cannot emphasize it too much.  This phenomena can put the female in a precarious position.  Much of female life, it seems, is often based around this balancing act.

As one can see, the failure of the ‘limbo condition’ can cause many problems for the female character, causing many illnesses and dilemma’s.  Some of these problems are mild, and a part of their natural growth and character manifestations.  Others can become more serious and lead to mental problems. 

THE CONNECTION BETWEEN THE ‘LIMBO CONDITION’ AND MOTHER INSTINCT/MENSTRUATION

The ‘limbo condition’ is a reflection, I believe, of the mother instinct in the female.  It is part of the mother instinct, which is very strong.  It’s so strong that it influences how the female perceives the world, behaves in it, and grows.   I spoke of how sexual characteristics affect the male and female in an article called “Thoughts on the different male and female characters – “male culture” and “female culture”“.

In general, the ‘limbo condition’ is a reflection of the tendency of the mother instinct to mother the childThis causes the “need” to unify the two self’s – mother and child.  This attitude, being so strong, is ‘projected’ upon the world causing them to see it in everything and effecting how they behave in the world.  In effect, the ‘limbo’ self is a  manifestation of the unification of self’s drive created by the mother instinct.  It is very powerful, being associated with the mother instinct, and can control a female’s life.  The more I watch females the more I can see how powerful the mother instinct is in them.  As far as I know, I’m the only one who has emphasized its power.

Because it is associated with the mother instinct it is also associated with the other aspect of the mother instinct, the ‘forbidden subject’, the M-word . . . menstruation.  Just as there is a close association between the mother instinct and the ‘limbo condition’ so there is a close association between menstruation and the ‘limbo condition’.

I’ve often jokingly called menstruation the ‘negative mother instinct’, as it seems to entail, at times, an ‘anti-life’ point of view and attitude.  Menstrual problems, in some females, can make them see the whole world as a threat to the point that they must outlash at everything in it.

There seems to be a connection between the two reactions I described above and childbearing/menstruation which follow this pattern:

  • Frustration – tends to bring out menstrual issues and themes.  This creates an ‘anti-life’ quality in a way.
  • The ‘limbo condition’ – tends to bring out the mother instinct.  This creates a ‘pro-life’ quality in a way.

As a general rule, motherliness is associated with the ‘limbo’.  This is why its qualities are typically taught to females.

TEACHING THE ‘LIMBO CONDITION’

Many cultures teach girls to develop the ‘limbo condition’ as a dominant part of their bringing up.  As a result, much of the lives of females, all over the world, is in learning a form of ‘limbo condition’ that is acceptable in that culture (as there are variations, of course)  I speak of this as the ‘limbo personality’.

Much of this training is instituted and maintained by the mothers.  Generally, males have little to do with it.  That’s really no surprise, being that it involves female-specific themes.  I always found it interesting that the ‘limbo personality’ is emphasized before marriage and childbearing.  Often, girls are greatly instructed in it at that time.  After marriage and childbearing it tends to become neglected.  This shows a good example of the strong connection between the ‘limbo condition’ and childbearing.

Some common traits of the ‘limbo personality’ are:

  • Prettiness.
  • Pleasantness.
  • Innocence.
  • An absence of anger, bitterness, and
  • Not complaining.
  • Not being forceful, commanding, or controlling.
  • An easy-going way.
  • A courtesy for people.
  • A submissiveness.
  • A passiveness.
  • A nurturing of life.

One can see that there is a complete avoidance of the other reaction:  frustration!  This shows that the frustrated female’ is not looked at highly.  Most certainly, it is to keep away the ‘negative mother instinct’ (menstruation) from society.  Because of this, the ‘limbo personality’ is really just a form of keeping the effects of menstruation out of society!  This may sound silly but we must remember that, all over the world for centuries, the females used to leave society when they were menstruating, often going to a special hut for this purpose.  In some places, they would not go back into society until they had washed themselves (as if to cleanse themselves of menstruation).  In other words, we see a pattern where there is a deliberate attempt, on the part of females, to keep menstruation, and its effects, out of society . . . to keep it an exclusively female ‘secret’, so to speak.  In fact, how did I find out about it? . . . Not because I was told about it (the only time I recall hearing about it was in a health class) but by the ‘weird’, and sometimes unbelievable, behavior of females . . . I had to inquire what was going on with no help whatsoever . . . such was the secrecy that surrounded it.

We must remember that it is the mothers who actively teach the ‘limbo condition’ to avoid the frustration.  This is no doubt, because mothers, and other females, feel it more deeply . . . females hate the frustration worse than the guys as they experience it.  What this means is that the teaching of the ‘limbo condition’ to the females is, first and foremost, a way for the females, themselves, to avoid the frustration . . . it is not done for the males!   I mention this because the ‘other-directed blame game’ tends to make girls blame males for all their problems, including menstruation and its effects.

MALE REACTION TO THE ‘LIMBO CONDITION’

The ‘limbo condition’ has great impact on the male.  In fact, it has great influence on how the male perceives the female and whether they like them or not.  It tends to have these effects:

  • Frustration – a female is viewed something like a “bitch” or difficult or ugly, etc. . . . one you don’t want to know.
  • The ‘limbo condition’ – a pleasant loving female . . . one you want to know.

It’s no surprise that males tend to seek the female that has the ‘limbo condition’.  One reason for this, I believe, is that they are easier to get a long with (who wants to associate with a frustrated female?). 

But, like everything else, the ‘limbo condition’ has good and bad effects on the male.

Good effects

Some of these include these qualities:

  • They look attractive.
  • They appear receptive and approachable.
  • They are caring and loving.
  • They are sociable and easy to get along with.
  • They have a fragility which is often appealing to the male.
  • They appear “fresh” and young.

What we see is that it makes the female more appealing to the male and someone they want to associate with.  This may not be all that surprising.  As I said above, it is associated with childbearing . . . is it any wonder that it becomes a factor in determining who a males wants to marry and have children with?  In many ways, this just further shows its association with childbearing.

Bad effects

  • They appear stupid and dumb . . . an “airhead”.
  • They appear incompetent and unable to do anything.
  • There is a lack of trust in them, as if they are not dependable.
  • There is a tendency for the male to disregard or neglect the female.
  • They tend to look down on the female.

The bad effects primarily are a reflection of the sense of the absence of self that is perceived by the male.  In other words, the male can intuitively sense that there is an absence of self in the female.  I know that from personal experience and from observations of watching males.  The absence of self is particularly felt by the male because the male character, unlike the female, is based in a solid self.  When there is a sense that the self is lacking it is generally viewed in a very negative way by most males.  This is not only true for the female but also for males, or male behavior, that does not appear to display a self . . . in fact, it’s often more severe, as I’ve seen many times.  This is such a common trait in the male that I call it the ‘no-self contempt’.   That is to say, when a male perceives that someone (male or female) does not have a self, or behaves as if they have no self, then there is a reaction of contempt or in some other negative way.  This tendency makes it so that many males will often have an almost automatic ‘downcast’ glance toward the female because of the lack of self the ‘limbo condition’ creates.  This does not mean that the absence of self in the female is inherently bad but it shows that, for some males, the sense of self is very critical and powerful making the ‘no-self contempt’ very strong.

What all this shows is that, for the males, the ‘limbo condition’ can have good and bad effects, depending on how it appears.  It’s powerful that it can determine who a males wants to associate with.  From my experience I can see that it can make a male like or dislike a female.  What it shows is that the males generally tends to favor females with these qualities:

  • A non-frustrated female (without the menstrual elements of course). 
  • A female who displays the positive effects of the ‘limbo condition’.

This shows that males tend to go ‘one step further’ than the females.  Generally, females tend to primarily emphasize the avoidance of frustration (and its menstrual elements) and that’s the limit of their ‘training’ and behavior.  Males tend to seek that plus the positive effects of the ‘limbo condition’.  This fact is generally missed by many females.  This is, no doubt, because the male emphasis on the self adds a new ‘twist’ to the equation that the female is unaware of . . . the males emphasis on the self .  This tendency tends to automatically make the female lack of self look bad in some way.  This emphasis on the self is generally not noticed or cared about by the females.  As a result, it does not play in many females view of things.  Because of this, many females will ‘bounce around’, so to speak, trying to figure out why the male displays a contempt of them, which they never seem to figure out.

AFTERTHOUGHT

The ‘limbo condition’ is a unique character trait of the female and, like all character traits, it displays qualities such as these:

  • The ‘limbo condition’, in the right time and place, is one of the greatest strengths of the female.
  • At the same time, the ‘limbo condition’, in the wrong time and place, can be the greatest weakness of the female.
  • There are times when their character traits ‘matches’ and fits in with other people’s character traits . . . I primarily speak of the male character traits.
  • There are times when there is ‘mismatch’, confusion, or conflict with other people’s character traits . . . I speak of the male character traits in particular.

In effect, we see good and bad aspects, depending on conditions.  As a result, it can ‘make’ or ‘break’ a female.

The ‘limbo condition’ is also a reflection of a deep inner drive of the female and, in a way, is a major defining trait of the female character for that reason.  Many views of ‘being feminine’ are really reflections of the ‘limbo condition’.  Because of this, it is a very significant part of the female life, but its effects are also very significant for the male too.

———

Copyright by Mike Michelsen

Posted in Psychology and psychoanalysis, The male and female | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Thoughts on the ‘era of imitation’ – the ‘learning deception’ and the ‘imitative culture’

Here’s a thought I had:

Recently, I have spoken a lot of how we’re in the what I keep calling the ‘era of imitation’.  Basically, what this means is that we are becoming nothing but a bunch of imitators in life and that who we think we are is defined by imitation, not by who we really are.  It appears to be a result of the conditions created by the modern world.  Much of this imitation gives modern people a quality of being much like actors, as we are only acting out a character.  Because of this, I speak of modern people as ‘modern actors’.  And just like actors we are only putting on a show.  As a result, I jokingly call modern society the ‘modern actors studio’.

We have become ‘modern actors’ primarily because of a number of things such as:

  • We have turned away from ourselves.
  • We have created a life where we put too much emphasis on learning.  As a result, we have created a lifestyle where everything is based on learning and defined by what we can learn.  Because of this, our learning makes us learn to be something we’re not . . . that is, imitate . . . or, to be actors.
  • We believe our imitation and acting.

The result of this is that we are actually learning deceive ourselves.  This is, in large part, a result of the ‘learning deception’.

THE ‘LEARNING DECEPTION’

The problem with education and learning is that it shows that we can learn just about anything.  This is particularly true nowadays where learning has become a science that treats people not much different than teaching a dog tricks.  In many ways, that is what learning has become . . . teaching people “tricks”.  In our case, though, we generally learn some occupational ability . . . teach a dog to roll over, teach a human to do surgery.  We can teach a human to do anything nowadays, but just because they can do something doesn’t mean it reflects them or who they are.  You can teach a person to play the piano, but that doesn’t make them a Beethoven.  You can teach a person science, but that doesn’t make them an Einstein, and so on.  Quite a few people who go to the University seem to think that they are automatically made into these great intellectuals and know-it-alls when all they are doing is repeating what they’ve been told or shown and got good grades doing it.  Education and learning has becomes so fancy and elaborate that it makes people seem to be something that they are not.  In fact, its become so easy to learn things that it too easily deceives us.  This makes it so that we believe it.  I speak of this as the ‘learning deception’ because our learning deceives us. 

Nowadays, with all the emphasis on ‘education’ and ‘learning’, the ‘learning deception’ has become a dominant influence in life and is having great impact.  We can learn to do and be just about anything . . . this is often ‘advertised’ as the greatness of education and learning.  But, in doing so, we take on, or “learn”, traits that we don’t naturally have. This means, basically, that the ease of learning is now moving people away from a natural condition, following natural tendencies, and into an artificial “learned” reality.  This condition tends to lead to alienation and dehumanization in people.  In effect, people are being “taught” not to be who they are and and to not follow natural inclinations.  Alienation and dehumanization is now something a person learns!

Much of the ‘learning deception’ is manifested in conditions that I keep calling the  ‘learning worship’, ‘ability illusion’, and the ‘going through the motions dilemma’. 

The ‘learning worship’

This society worships learning.  They’ve practically turned it into a religion.  In effect, this condition sets the stage for the ‘learning deception’, giving it relevance and importance as well as making it ‘right’ and ‘correct’.  Some of the effects it has include:

  • The worship of learning tends to put an emphasis on what can be, not what is In other words, there is an emphasis on what a person can end up doing, of what will happen or be created by a person.  The emphasis, then, turns away from what is already existing, of the qualities one already has.  This has even been glorified.  In America, they often speak of this as “looking forward” as if a person is looking at a sunrise with the hope of ‘new possibilities’.  The effect of this, though, is to make a person ‘look away’ from themselves, their condition, and who they are.  There is a tendency to look at an imaginary idealistic, almost fantasyland, world and an imaginary false self to go with it!
  • This worship makes it so that any form of learning is looked at as being good and beneficial.  As a result, much learning is done blindly.  That is to say, the act of learning is what’s important, not the result.   Because of this worship there is a tendency to overlook things and neglect things.  There is also a tendency to neglect the effects of any learning.  In some cases, the ‘learning worship’ has almost reached a state of mania . . . learn at all costs!  Many kids now, in public schools, are being taught this very ideal.  When I was going to the University I used to joke of ourselves as “mind-stuffers”, stuffing our minds with information as if was some great thing and was going to do some ‘good’ automatically, as if by magic. 
  • This worship makes it so that learning creates a ‘false front’.  Learning, in some respects, is like clothes a person puts on . . . except you put it on over your self.  In that way, it often hides ones self, disguising who one is. 

Conditions, such as these, help to create the deceptive nature of the ‘era of imitation’.  It would be accurate to say that the worship is what causes these types of condtions for once something is worshipped it becomes more than what it is and is made out as something that it isn’t.  This has what has happened to education and learning. 

The ‘ability illusion’

I first referred to this in this article “Thoughts on the female and Victorian society – “being Victorian green” – the females envy of the male and the ‘female envy culture’“.  In actuality, it is a reference to the overvaluation of an ability which has been so exaggerated that it has created a myth that this ability turns you into something or someone that you actually are not.  As a result, the ‘gaining of an ability’ is often perceived as this ‘power’ making someone something other than they are.

I should point out that by ‘ability’ I mean the learning of how to do things.  Nowadays, most ‘ability’ is usually in reference to intellectual abilities and is often associated with schools of learning, like the University, though it can refer to other things as well such as doing some forms of occupations.

Origins

The ‘ability illusion’ seems to be a continuation of situations that has been going on throughout the history of Western Europe and its derivitaves (such as the U.S.).  It seems to have a number of ‘phases’:

  1. It appears to originally begin as something that sprung up from the imitation of nobility (which are often called the bouergosie).  This gives it a ‘pseudo-nobility’ or ‘pseudo-royalty’ quality that continues on down to today.  This began in the 1600′s when the merchant class began to make enough money that they could either buy their way into the nobility or buy things that made them appear like nobility (clothes, servents, etc.).  Because of this, there is an association with social significance, social standing, money, symbols of wealth, prestige, or power.
  2. Originally, the imitation of nobility was just a social phenemena but with the Industrial Revolution it spread to the Universities, where much of the people who created the Industrial Revolution originated, particularly later on.  This caused a tendency to glorify intellectual ability in particular.  Since the Industrial Revolution involved occupations and work this glorification spread to the ability to do various occupations (such as engineering).  Because the Industrial Revolution is associated with business it caused its glorification.  The need to succeed in business has also created a tendency where there is a glorification of achievement as well.  The need to succeed would also lead to the glorification of things like leadership as well.

So we see that, as it developed, there became emphasis on many forms of ability.  Despite this, the ‘ability illusion’ always seem to hark back to its origins – imitation of nobility – and the social/monetary/power themes associated with it.  In this way, the ‘ability illusion’ is really a means of using ability, or the idea of ability, as a means to some other thing, usually some form of social prestige or money or power.  This tendency makes it so that the real ‘ability’ is put in the ‘back seat’, so to speak, even though they glorify it.  It is really only a means to an end.  This is part of why its an illusion . . . its not what people are actually after.  They are after where it leads them and that’s what concerns them.  Ability is just the road to get there.

Because of its imitation of nobility theme it has a quality of a ‘want-to-be’ or ‘pretend’ quality about it.  This pretend quality is another aspect about it that gives it even more of an illusionary quality about it. In many ways, this quality dominates this tendency and gives it many of its deceptions.  Some of these deceptions include:

  • The illusion of importance.  Over the years ability has been commonly used as a means to create the illusion that one is a ‘special someone’ in some way.  In other words, it is often used to create an illusion of importance.  This is often very common in the U.S. as a result of the worship of success, achievement, and such.  Ability, then, becomes a means to be ‘high ranking’.  This has led to a great overvaluation and glorification of ability, almost as if it was some godly act.
  • Ability does not make a genius or give people special powers.  There is often a belief that ability has these ‘magical’ qualities and can practically transform a person into someone great, like a genius or someone with special abilities.  In fact, it seldom does this at all.  The fact is that ability does not make a person an Einstein or a Newton.  I’ve seen many people who seem to ‘assume’ this to be true.  If you graduate with good grades, from an esteemed University, or something similar, then it is often ‘assumed’ that you are someone with special abilities or if you graduate with honors then you’re one notch below god.
  • Ability does not give people an identity they don’t have.   Often, ability is used to ‘justify’ some identity a person wish they had or an identity in which they benefit in some way.  Some people (such as in the U.S.) often associate ability with success.  Since many people want to be successful (or appear to be successful) many people will try to emulate some ability in order to gain that “successful identity”.  Some people may think that doing good in school gives them a “smart identity”.  Once they feel they have received these identities they will adopt this identity as true not because it reflects them but, more than likely, because they recieve something they want from that identity.  In other words, the identity is a means to an end.  As a result, the ‘ability illusion’ has led many people off the track of who they are and have caused quite a few identity problems.

Overall, the delusional qualties of the ‘ability illusion’ makes people think that they are something they aren’t. 

Prevalence – exposure to information

The prevalence of hearing information, especially, has given people the illusion that they “know”.  Everywhere you go you hear facts and figures about things.  As a result, its easy for people to hear, remember, and repeat it.  A good example of this is the thing they used to do many years ago:  how grade school kids know more than adults.  I used to hear about that all the time.  I’ve seen many people use this as ‘proof’ of how much ‘smarter’ kids were than adults, that kids now are so much better than their parents, as if the older generation is made up of a bunch of idiots.  The problem is that this is all an illusion, an ‘ability illusion’.  What people seemed to neglect is that grade school kids are currently going to school.  As a result, they are being told things at school.  Not only that, they are being told “ready-made” things that were already determined by other people (who happen to be adults).  In addition, they never had to work or do research for it.  In effect, all they are doing is repeating what they heard recently.  Because they are able to do this it gives the illusion that they “know” and have ability, which they really don’t.  As a result, the exposure to information, that is so prevalent nowadays, tends to make it appear that people have ability. 

Prevalence – the ease of teaching ability

Oddly, ability is not as rare as its made out as . . . in fact, its quite prevalent.  In fact, one of the reasons why the ‘ability illusion’ seems to be so prevalent is because of the “ease” of teaching ability.  Contrary to popular belief, its not that hard to teach people ability.  What ‘education’ has shown is that anyone can learn an ability . . . its almost too easy, you just need someone who is willing to put forth the effort (which is the real problem).  As a result, ‘anyone and their dog’ can do it.  I’ve written about similar things in this article:  “Thoughts on modern education – decreasing the value of ability“.

Much of ability, or learning of how to do things, and education in general, has become an assembly line.  As a result, its become something like a ‘monkey-see, monkey-do’ type of thing (though they try to make it appear more fancier).  This can range from simple things (1+1+2) to complex things (doing surgery).  It seems to me that public education has created a ‘monkey-see, monkey-do’ mentality in  people.  In that way, it sort of creates a bunch of robots.  Because of this, ability seems an easy thing to teach.  The “teaching” of things like common sense, creativity, wisdom, skill, etc. is another matter . . . it is very much lacking.  This is probably because these really cannot be “taught”, especially with the assembly line ‘monkey-see, monkey-do’ mentality. 

The ‘going through the motions dilemma’

This is really a variation of the ‘ability illusion’ but looked at from another angle.  This dilemma refers to the fact that a person can ‘go through the motions’ of something but that does not mean that it reflects a natural ability or natural inclination.  Just because a person can ‘go trough the motions’ of painting does not make one is a Michelangelo or Rembrandt.  Just because a male can ‘go through the motions’ of babying a child does not make them a mother.  The ‘going through the motions dilemma’ basically states that a person can ‘go through the motions’ of something but that just because they can do it does not mean that it reflects natural ability or natural inclination.  It therefore places importance on the idea of natural ability and natural inclination.  As a result, this dilemma is a reference to how there can develop a ‘gap’ between the natural impulse and the act.  This ‘gap’ gives the act a quality of being insincere, hypocritical, or false, and lacking in genuineness.  Thats because it does not reflect ones inner tendencies.  If it goes further it can actually lead one off the track of who one is.  That is to say, it can turn into a deception and a delusion, much like the ‘ability illusion’.  In other words, ‘going through the motions’ can very easily become a form of alienation. 

What this dilemma shows is that what we do in life is very much rooted in our natural abilities.  Only by catering, and developing, our natural abilities can we become who we are.  To put it another way, doing things that do not reflect our natural abilities makes us less than who we are.  It also makes what we do lack a genuineness.

THE CONFLICT OF LEARNING AND NATURAL INCLINATIONS

In short, I can see that the overvaluation of education and learning has caused a quality of imitation of people.  The illusion of this imitative quality has caused a deception of who we are.  We are beginning to believe that we are our imitation.  But any imitation is just learned.  Who and what we are, though, is innate, it lies deep within us . . . we don’t learn it education and schooling.  The emphasis on learning has caused us to turn away from our deeper self and, instead, focus on our learning, our imitation, to determine who we are.  This gives many modern people an artificial or non-genuine quality to them. 

What all this shows is that there is a conflict between learning and natural inclinations.  In other words, learning has a tendency to surpress natural inclinations.  Even from my own personal experience I have found this to be true.  Its as if learning is like a moulding.  This moulding is necessary to a point but there is a point where the moulding becomes a distortion.  With the prevalence of learning and education, nowadays, this point is reached too quickly and too often.  In a way, its become ‘overmuch’ and ‘excessive’ to the point it as if puts a damper on a person actually creating problems, such as alienation.

THE ‘IMITATIVE CULTURE’

The emphasis on our imitation has created a new self, the ‘imitative self’, which many people see as who they are . . . they learned it!  In so doing, its created a whole new reality and world, of a people, and a lifestyle based in imitation.  As a result, a persons ‘standing’ in this new society often depends on several factors:

  • How well a person can imitate.
  • What a person can imitate.

In many ways, that’s determining peoples acceptance by other people, what people do, and even how much money they make.  In this new society the question is not how ‘educated’ a person is, as they claim, but how well they can imitate.  The ability to imitate is becoming increasingly important, perhaps even a determining factor in some peoples lives.  This new society I speak of as the ‘imitative culture’.

What this shows is that the imitative tendency, that this new culture is creating, is becoming so powerful and influential that it has gone beyond the school system.  In many ways, people are being required to imitate as a prerequisite, for example, to associate with certain people.  They must imitate the current trends or the ways of the group they are associating with, for example.  In many ways, the imitation tendency is creating what can be called as ‘sub-cultural gangs’.  By this I mean that they are similar to gangs in that people are required to behave a certain way, have specific mannerisms, and such, in order to be accepted.  But they are unlike a gang in that they are manifestations of the culture, a part of it, a sub-culture (a gang is usually in opposition to culture).  In effect, imitation is replacing cultural, religious, familial, racial, and other types of bonds hereto seen in society.  Imitation is becoming the ‘new social bond’.  This gives modern society even more of a quality of a ‘modern actors studio’.   This means that social bond is not rooted in natural inclinations, of naturally appearing bonds and connections between people.  Imitation, in my opinion, is weaker and less likely to hold together and creates a weaker society.

Posted in Dehumanization and alienation, Education and learning, Modern life and society, Psychology and psychoanalysis, Society | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Thoughts on female identity problems – an example of how females are losing the ability to interpret their own naturally appearing motherly feelings, the ‘alienated mother desire’, and other things

Recently, I heard a statement from a young American female that was interesting and quite revealing.  What she said amounted to this:

“Breastfeeding is very important for females.  Being allowed to breastfeed is a way for women to be empowered.”  She then seemed to change the subject and say, “males are a threat to us and should be castrated.”

The first reaction, of course, is “what???!!!!”  But I know from experience what it means.  This type of thinking is not new to me.  I began to see it in the 1980′s.  It baffled me to say the least.  Since then I have looked into it a lot.

What is she feeling?  The desire to be a mother.

The problem?   She doesn’t understand it.  That is, she’s alienated from the desire to be a mother.

This situation is becoming more and more common nowadays.  The alienation and dehumanization, created by the modern world, is getting so bad that it has caused great identity problems in both the male and female.  Because the male and female are different characters, each is displaying identity problems in their own unique ways reflecting their characters.  One version of this, for the female, is that many females are literally losing sense of not only what it means to be a female but are unable to interpret their own naturally appearing feminine feelings.  The example above shows how many are having difficulty understanding their motherly feelings and are often interpreting it as something else than what it is. 

THE THEMES

In the statement above she brings up a number of familiar themes:

  • “Breastfeeding.”  This is a reference that we are seeing a desire to be a mother, as she is basically glorifying this act.  But it goes further than that as she was referring to breastfeeding in public, which is generally not viewed as ‘appropriate’ in this society.  This ‘hints’ that she has a problem with her motherly feelings which is no doubt why it lead to the next theme.
  • “Empowering.”  This is a reference to political/legal ideology which probably means she takes feminists views.  Typically, this point of view is usually a reference to a female who feels one or both forms of the ‘menstrual sickness’ as I jokingly call it (see entry below) which are “I’m a slave” or “I’m a victim”.  They then typically project one or both feelings toward the male and make him the cause for these feelings (the “tyrant male”).  The political/legal ideology then becomes a form of “protection” from this supposed threat.  The idea is that by being “empowered” they will not suffer from the two themes of the ‘menstrual sickness’ which they view as a threatThis shows that they view menstruation as a threat and since menstruation is associated with childbearing it shows that they feel childbearing is a threat  (I wrote several articles on similar themes called “Feminism and menstruation”  and “Thoughts on menstruation, feminism, and why girls like jerks” if you’re interested).  Because of this, it’s not surprising that she changed the subject and it went to feelings of being threatened . . . exactly what my experience says would happen . . . and toward the people that are generally blamed.
  • “Males are a threat.”   This is often a reference to sexual desire (which, of course, leads to chilbearing . . . the threat of male = the threat of childbearing).  That is to say, its her sexual desire.  Often when females feel that males are threatening them in some way then it’s not uncommon that it’s a reference to sexual desire on the part of the female.  This is particularly so if the male has done nothing to instigate these feelings or in which the female is exaggerating situations.  In other words, the threat is not from the male at all but from a desire originating from the female herself.  In that sense, the female is “scared of her own hand”.
  • “Castrate”.  My experience is that the idea that “all men should be castrated”, which is common in feminist thinking, is often a reference to the desire to take “something” from the male, to have something that he ‘possesses’ basically.  This refers, in actuality, to children which the mother instinct innately associates with the male. As a result, the female associates the male with these feelings.  Therefore, to have children is to ‘take from the male’ or to ‘castrate’ him.  In effect, it is nothing but a reference to sexual desire and the desire to have children.

All these references show strong childbearing themes.  What we are seeing is what could be described as a ‘detached experience of the motherly desire’ or what I call the ‘alienated mother desire’  In other words, it’s a motherly desire that they are alienated from and cannot relate to and, as a result, are misinterpreting.  In this case, we see a commonly seen form which entails these qualities:

  • The mother instinct is interpreted as a threat.  This is so strong that she feels she needs to protect herself from it.
  • The mother instinct is not associated with motherhood.  In this case, she associates it with not being able to breastfeed in public and the male.
  • She accuses, blames, and finds fault in someone or something.  Being that it is the mother instinct (the desire for children) its only natural that the male just “happens” to be this person, as part of the mother instinct is the sexual desire and the male, of course, is part of that.  In this way, the desire for the male (which leads to motherhood) has this tendency to make the male a threat.  In other words, the male becomes a representative of the mother instinct they are scared of.

THE POWER OF THE MOTHER INSTINCT

Because the mother instinct is innate, and naturally appearing, it is something that is a very powerful force in female’s life.  As a result, it’s often perceived as something that ‘comes over them’, controls them, enslaves them, something that they have no control over.  These perceptions are a good example of how the motherly instinct is a very strong presence in their life.  This is also not all that surprising as nature made it that way mainly because life depends on it! 

The power of the mother instinct is so strong that it ‘scares’ or ‘frightens’ many females deep down, though few are aware of it consciously.  This is one reason that many will perceive it as a ‘threat’ if they are alienated from it and don’t know what it means.  

THEMES ASSOCIATED WITH THE MOTHER INSTINCT

After all these years I see many themes as a result of the dilemma’s and problems created by the ‘alienated mother instinct’.  These themes are:

The ‘precious theme’

There is a perception that the female has been given a ‘special power’ that is all important (which it is . . . it’s childbearing remember).  It is generally perceived as being extremely precious.  This is the ‘precious theme’.

The ‘self-absorption theme’

This innate sense of the ‘special power’ and ‘precious’ quality of the mother instinct creates a tendency for many females to become overly preoccupied with themselves, and their bodies, to the point that they often become absorbed by it.  This is the ‘self-absorption theme’This can become very dominating for some girls.

The ‘protection theme’

The ‘special power’ is often perceived as being extremely ‘precious’, something that needs to be protected and guarded.  Many females, for example, develop aspects of their lives that is ‘off limits’ to everyone and ‘private’ (its no mistake that this is strongly seen with certain aspects of their body which have an association with sex and chilbearing).  Even certain subjects are ‘guarded’ (such as a male talking about menstruation, as I know from personal experience).  This is the ‘protection theme’

The ‘trespass theme’

In order for this ‘special power’ to be demonstrated, this ‘precious’ thing must be ‘trespassed’, so to speak.  This is a reference to sex and childbearing itself.  Both of these can be perceived as a ‘trespass’ because, as I said above, it is ‘protected’.  This is the ‘trespass theme’.

The ‘violation theme’

Because of the need for trespass, as described above, many females will feel violated in some way.  In effect, that which was ‘protected’ has been violated, the sanctum defiled, the clean made dirty, and so on.  This is the ‘violation theme’.  This causes a lot of the feelings of being ‘threatened’ and a generalized apprehension in females. 

The ‘partial self theme’

Part of the ‘special power’ of the mother instinct makes females as if ‘blend’ with other people and makes them lose themselves in others.  This is a tendency that can cause a loss of a sense of self, often to the point that they feel they have no self.  This makes some girls ‘flighty’, dumb, and such.  Other females will have problems feeling that they are impaired, unable to do things, and such.  I believe that this is because an important aspect of the mother instinct is that they have a ‘partial self’ which is an incomplete self.  This is an innate tendency that is associated with motherhood.  The purpose of not having a complete self is so that the remaining part can be ‘filled up’, so to speak, by the child.  In other words, the mother instinct creates an absence of self in the female meaning that they need an ‘other’ to become ‘complete’.  It also shows that ‘motherly love’ is actually not a love” but a unifying of two different self’s into one . . . it’s not the ‘emotional bond’ its often portrayed as.  A mother loves, then, not by emotion but actually by a sense that the ‘other’ is part of their self, as part of themselves and who they are.  This is the ‘partial self theme’.

The’ other theme’

The ‘partial self theme’ tends to create in the female an obsessive and overpowering need for some ‘other’ (the child or child representative).  This is because, in order to complete the ‘partial self’, the female will need the ‘other’, as I said above.  In some cases, this can become like a mania.  One mania-like version of this is females preoccupation with phones, for which they associate with representations of the ‘other’.  This is the ‘other theme’.

The ‘absorption theme’

The ‘partial mind’ and ‘other theme’ tend to make it so that the female is always trying to ‘absorb’ the ‘other’ into themselves.  This makes it so that they imitate and adopt qualities of the ‘other’ (such as when a mother talks to an infant or a female has to follow trend).  This tendency to absoption can be so strong that some people, especially males, can feel it, much like a ‘suffocation’, and require them to have times to be away from the female.   This is the ‘absorption theme’.

The ‘domination theme’

The mother instince is so powerful in their lives that it has a dominating force upon them, often controlling them, and in which they have no control.  In effect, it dominates them.   This is the ‘domination theme’

The ‘menstrual theme’

In order to have this ‘special power’ females are influenced by its negative effects which are generally associated with menstruation.  This is the ‘menstrual theme’ This becomes particularly pronounced with the alienation from the mother instinct.  In fact, it often becomes a dominant influence.  This is because the theme of childbearing is, of course, closely associated with menstruation making them deeply interrelated.  In some cases, it makes such a strong appearance that menstruation becomes something like a sickness that overwhelms them and controls them, determining much of their life and how they perceive the world.  Over the years I’ve always jokingly called this the ‘menstrual sickness’.  I generally associate the ‘menstrual sickness’ with two commonly seen qualities:

  1. Feelings of being a slave.  This comes about by the continual endless monthly coming of menstruation.  Whether they like it or not, it’s coming!  It creates, in many females, a sense of being ‘caged’ by it, imprisoned, and a sense that they cannot escape.  It’s not uncommon that many of these girls will develop a delusion that everything is enslaving them.  One response to this is various attempts at escaping from the ‘menstrual prison’.  A common one, seen in the U.S., is trying to be like a male who just so happens to be “free” from the ‘menstrual prison’.  Often, some girls will envy this “freedom” the males have for that reason.
  2. Feelings of being victimized.  This comes about by the physical and mental discomfort, and bleeding, of menstruation.  This ‘monthly fact’ impresses upon many females this sense that they are being hurt in some way.  This sense is often perceived as something that is always impending, about to happen, a continuous threat that is upon them.  As a result, it is very “real” to them, an ongoing reality.  Many will become overly concerned about ideas of being damaged or victimized.  Sometimes, as with many feminists, it gets out of control and they think the whole world is trying to hurt them in some way, seeing victimizing coming out of the woodwork.

Both of these things are a result of the continuous and powerful effects of menstruation each month that happens year after year.

Some aspects of the mother instinct

The net result of all this is to create, in actuality, a frailty and a fragility that is greatly associated with the mother instinct.  Though it is all important it is not all powerful nor do females have power over it.  Not only that, it is very demanding and expects a lot from girls . . . their whole lives in fact.

With all these different themes and qualities its clear that the mother instinct is a combination of many different things that as if have to be ‘balanced’, so to speak, to create a healthy female.  This ‘balancing’ is achieved by having a firm female identity which gives a place and meaning to these things, impulses, and feelings.

Another aspect of the mother instinct is that it is so powerful that it makes the female character ‘restricted’ or ‘specialized’ in these themes, unable to escape them.  They are, in a way, “designed” for it showing the all importance nature has given to motherhood.  As a result, it makes females, ‘confined’ as I always say, limited to certain realities in life determined by these themes.  No matter what a female does these themes are there in the background, I’ve found, in some way or another. 

THE ‘LOSS’ OF THE MOTHER INSTINCT

Oftentimes, when a female loses her identity it primarily appears as various forms of the ‘menstrual sickness’.   The other themes described above tend to become exaggerated or distorted in some way as well.  For example, they feel overly ‘precious’ and special or they have an overly obsessive tendency to have to be with others and such.  When this happens they tend to get ‘caught up’ in all the dilemma’s losing sight of the mother instinct.  One reason for this, I feel, is that the mother instinct is generally unconscious in most girls, meaning that they are not aware of it.  As a result, the mother instinct tends to be something that affects girls . . . not something they understand or are aware of.  Because of this, once it becomes alienated, and dissociated, it as if becomes ‘lost’.  It seems that this can get so bad that some females will never be able to associate things with childbearing once its been alienated.  Typically, females make no effort to even “know” the mother instinct at all nowadays nor does the culture necessarily instil its reality in them.  This makes the alienation of the mother instinct as particularly severe, something easily ‘lost’.  Living in the U.S., this observation seems almost a daily occurence now.

THE ‘THREAT’ OF MOTHERHOOD

Over the years I’ve seen many females basically state that motherhood is a threat to the female.  When I first heard these claims, in the 1980′s, I was stunned.  Some of the examples of what I heard were things like this:

  • A child is a ‘parasite’ to the female body.
  • Chilbearing degrades the female.
  • Childbearing victimizes and abuses the female body.
  • Childbearing enslaves and oppresses the female.
  • Females are ‘forced’ to have children.

In short, these are saying that childbearing – motherhood – is bad and a threat to the female.  How could something so important and necessary to life be viewed in such horrible ways?  Not only that, isn’t that one of the main purposes of the female?  Many of these statements are like saying, “I’m enslaved because I must eat”.  This style of thinking shows the power of the mother instinct and that, when its alienated and viewed as a threat, it turns everything about it as a threat . . . motherhood becomes a threat.  In that way, the ‘alienated mother desire’ often tends to take on a self-destructive and self-defeating quality in the female.

 THE DISTORTED IMAGE OF THE MALE

The childbearing theme, of course, entails the innate need for the male.  In normal girls this will turn into marriage and such.  But once a female has become alienated they often dissociate the male from the impulse.  Because of this, the image of the male changes and they develop a distorted image of the male.  Some common appearances of this are:

  • The fear of the male.  They will make the male out as a threat in some way.  Oftentimes, this is a reflection of their own sexual desire, as described above.  In other cases, they equate the male with the ordeal of menstruation and, in effect, blame the male for their ‘menstrual cramps’ and such.  The male becomes the ’cause’ of it all.
  • The tendency to be a male.  Some girls may see this as a way to ‘absorb’ the male (a reflection of a desire to have a child).  Others may see it as a way to escape their female dilemma.
  • Thoughts of damaging the male.  This usually entails something like a castration but can include things like trying to outdo the male, humiliate him, villanize him, and so on.

It as if once they become alienated they can no longer see the male in a clear vision.  This shows, I think, how powerful the mother instinct is in girls.

IDENTITY

What this shows is the importance of female identity and ‘customs’ (meaning all the rituals, manners, and such that females surround themselves with).  What female identity and ‘customs’ do is as if direct these impulses in productive and healthy directions and in a meaningful way.  When females don’t have identity these impulses appear have no place to go.  As a result, they as if go in haphazard directions, which generally are unproductive and can adversely affect them.

As I said above, the mother instinct is generally unconscious and is seldom overtly known or even sought for.  This creates a number of unique conditions between female identity and the mother instinct:

  • The female identity tends to be something that is impressed upon them from ‘without’ (their mothers, culture, etc.).  As a result, female identity problems is often a sign of cultural deterioration and failure.  This makes female identity more firmly based, and established, in the social world (whereas the males its not quite so). 
  • The female often tends to not have a firm grasp or hold on the mother instinct, even when they have a firm identity.  What this means is that, even with a firm identity, its not uncommon for females to occasionaly show characteristics similar to a female with identity problems.  When this happens, though, it is usually sporadic and temporary.  When females have identity problems it persists over a long period of time and effects their world view. 
  • There is a tendency for the female to destroy or undermine the female identity.  This seems to be a result of the ‘partial mind’ and the ‘absorption theme’ which makes it so that the female is always trying to ‘lose themselves’ in the ‘other’.  As a result, they will often easily discard the female identity, like it was nothing.  It also creates a tendency for the female to try to adopt the identity of the ‘other’.
  • Because of the conflicts associated with the mother instinct (such as the ‘menstrual sickness’) there is a tendency for the female to create bad views of the female identity.  The best example of this are feminists who have horrible views of the female (which they blame the male and society for creating!). 
  • When females do get engrossed in their identity they tend to become isolated and self-absorbed, often disregarding the world about them.  This is a result of the ‘self-absorbing theme’ of the mother instinct.  When it becomes too strong this theme will dominate and control the female.  This shows that having too much of an identity is as bad as having no identity. 

These show that the mother instinct/identity association is actually a fragile affair.  In many ways, the female identity and mother instinct can be described as a ‘free floating affair’, easily swayed and upset.      

THE CONTRADICTION

The statement above shows a trait often seen with the ‘alienated mother desire’:  contradiction.  In her statement above she showed a reference to a desire for motherhood as well as a desire to destroy an important element of the very person who will cause it!  How can you have one without the other?  This tendency to contradiction is often a dominant pattern of their thinking.  It often has a quality of “I want a car but I don’t want to learn to drive”.  This contradiction seems to show a number of qualities:

  • The lack of identity tends to make females apprehensive as they are unable to ‘grasp’ motherhood.  In other words, it shows that identity lays the groundwork of a sense of preparation for being a mother.  Because of this they tend to contradict themselves.
  • It shows a general blindness of what motherhood is . . . a lack of insight.  I have often been stunned how many females seem to have no sense of motherhood, even after having children!  I know that many females tend to think that motherhood gives the female a particular ‘insight’ into life, and such, but I don’t see a lot of evidence of this.  That ‘insight’ appears, to me, to actually be a sense of the ‘precious theme’, that there is something ‘precious’ that they have . . . its not insight at all but a sense.
  • It shows a lack of control of themselves.  That is to say, they can’t control their own thinking . . . the mother instinct runs them. 
  • It shows a lack of logic.  This shows how the mother instinct controls girls by emotion and impulse.  Because of this there is continual lack of logic, which includes contradiction, in their claims.

AFTERTHOUGHT

The themes brought up by the statement by the female have become familiar ones, which I have grown to see regularly, showing a slow alienation from the mother instinct by many females nowadays.  As she has done, it is generally misinterpreted, often as a threat.  This type of thinking, in my opinion, has done great damage to the female and the mother in general.   Its done this in a number of ways:

  • It has led many females away from a naturally appearing motherness and femalishness.
  • It has made many females view motherhood, and feminity, as a threat.
  • It often has turned the male into a threat with many unjustified harsh feelings.

(I’ve written about other things about a destruction of the female in this article:  “Thoughts on my statement: “at the rate we are going the female will be obliterated”” if you’re interested.)

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Copyright by Mike Michelsen

Posted in Dehumanization and alienation, Feminism: a destructive philosophy, Modern life and society, Psychology and psychoanalysis, The male and female | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Thoughts on the importance of comradery

The importance of comradery has, as far as I know, never been acknowledged (or, at least, I’ve never seen it).  Its importance is critical in history,human life, and society in my opinion.  It is not something to look at lightly.

DEFINING COMRADERY

I use comradery in a certain way.  It goes way beyond the military expression it’s generally associated with (that is, the bond between soldiers).  That is only one manifestation of this phenemena. I see comradery as a general human phenemena that has manifestations in many aspects of life.

To me, comradery is an innate tendency of ‘working together’ which entails a great bond between people.  As part of their ‘working together’ everyone ‘takes their place’ in the group and, in so doing, creates what can be described as a ‘greater organism’The ‘working together’, that makes up comradery, has a goal or purpose and this seems to hold it together and give its relevance and importance.  

ITS POWER

Comradery has great power and influence.  It has effects on a person individually and socially.

Individual Effects

Comradery can do many things for an individual person such as:

  • It can make a person do things that they otherwise would not do.
  • It can transform a person.
  • It teaches oneself how to be a member of a group.
  • It teaches participation.
  • It can lead to accomplishments.
  • It can grow a person up.
  • It teaches one responsibility.
  • It requires a person make sacrifices.
  • It requires a person to see a ‘greater vision’ in life.
  • It teaches one to be helpful.

In effect, comradery is very influential in a persons growth.  In fact, Much of growth and personal development, particularly for males, is based in comradery-like associations.  Even as I was brought up I found one of the greatest joys I had was when a group of us guys got together and did something together.  This could even be something as little as playing kick soccer.  The joy in ‘taking my position’ in the group, and doing my part, still ranks as a great joys in my life.  This basic sense has carried on down the years and into my association with society.

Social Effects

Comradery has, in a way, made human society.  Without it, society could never of survived.  It has kept it strong, united, and with purpose.  Comradery requires each person to ‘take their place’ and assume a role and position.  As a result, comradery is influential in the development of social structure and hierarchy.  Oftentimes, it places people where their strengths are so that all of society can benefit.

THE ‘VISION’

But comradery is not something that just appears automatically.  Though it is innate it often requires certain conditions to be there in order to fully manifest itself.  Some of the things that are required include things such as:

  • A purpose or goal.
  • A leadership to give direction.
  • The people taking their positions.

A fall in any one of these traits could cause comradery to fail.  As a result, their maintenance is critical.  One of the ways all are maintained, and kept going, is when they all reflect a ‘vision’.  In fact, a ‘vision’ is often required for comradery to exist at all.  That is to say, comradery requires each person to be united in a ‘vision’.  It is the ‘vision’ that as if harnesses and unites everyone.  In many ways, the ‘vision’ is the unifying element.  If that ‘vision’ is not there, the comradery is weak or does not appear.

THE FORMS OF APPEARANCE OF COMRADERY

Comradery appears in many different ways:

  • Naturally appearing.  Comradery often appears naturally, to varying degrees, depending on the purpose.
  • Casually.  It appears from time to time in people.  A person may even go through ‘phases’ of comradery that comes and goes.
  • As a need.  When there is a need for comradery (such as in a crisis, such as war) it often makes an appearance, even in people you may not expect it from.
  • With a definite purpose.  When people have a definite purpose (such as in a catastrophe) comradery will often appear ‘out of nowhere’.

ITS CONDITIONS OF POWER

Comradery tends to have specific war as a result of these conditions:

  • Time.  Generally, the longer the time for the comradery to exist the more likely it is to fade, unless some purpose maintains it.  The shorter the time, the more powerful typically.
  • Purpose.  The more defined the purpose the more powerful the comradery.  A fading of purpose can devastate comradery and utterly destroy it.

COMRADERY AND SOCIAL STRUCTURE

It seems to me that social structure seems to be one of the ways at keeping the ‘vision’ of comradery alive and, in so doing, keeping comradery alive.  Because of this, social structure often continues a ‘spirit of comradery’ within the people, even when it has faded.  This is one of the great powers and purpose of social structure.  It also creates an existing structure in society that comradery builds upon when needed.

But, once the ‘vision’ of comradery fades or disappears all that is left is often the social structure.  In this way, social structure is often a ‘remnant’ of a comradery, its ‘skeleton’, so to speak.  Because social structure is often only a remnant of comradery, it lacks the ‘vision’ . . . it can be used for anything.  As a result, it’s not uncommon that social structure becomes an avenue for various forms of abuse.  In other words, once the ‘vision’ is gone the remaining social structure is left bare and naked, easily misused.  This often happens in society.

COMRADERY AND THE MALE CHARACTER

Comradery is primarily a male trait.  I’ve seen very little evidence of it in the female character.  When a group of males develop comradery the effects of it can be powerful and have lasting effects, as history shows.  In addition, the effects of comradery can have great effects on the male and change him as well as make him grow and mature.  Females tend to develop what I’d be more inclined to call an ‘association’.  In other words, they mainly ‘associate’ with people.  They don’t feel the comradery bond as strongly as males and don’t ‘take their position’ as strongly in the group.  In fact, worldwide history shows that females are generally put in an ‘overall group’ with typically no specialized function, generally only to do general ‘female work’, because of their lack of comradery.

Posted in Life in general, Psychology and psychoanalysis, Society, The male and female | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Thoughts on the ‘era of alienation’ and the ‘era of dehumanization’

The other day I was thinking and made an interesting statement that got onto some interesting statements.  I said this:

“We are no longer in the ‘era of alienation’ . . . we are now in the ‘era of dehumanization’.”

In order to understand this statement you must understand the difference between alienation and dehumanization, at least in how I’m using it (I discussed this in this article:  “More thoughts on dehumanization and alienation – the ‘failed adaption culture’“).  Alienation is when a condition, which is out of our control, ‘uproots’ us and who we are.  Dehumanization is a reaction to alienation in which we, on our own accord, justify alienation and, in so doing, become even more alienated.  In other words, alienation is caused by something other than our self.  Dehumanization is caused by ourselves. 

Over the past several centuries it seems that two era’s have appeared.  These two era’s, reflecting the two conditions, have always existed together, at least to some extent, as they are really aspects of the same thing.  But what the two era’s show is that there are periods of time where one condition is more dominant than the other.  In many ways, this is quite revealing as to the nature and effects of alienation.

THE ‘ERA OF ALIENATION’

This era starts to become strong in the 1800′s, after the Napoleanic wars, and grows in intensity through the years and seeming to reach its height in the early 2000′s or so.  By this time the machines, technology, and the system have become constant in their ways with set functions and places in the society.  As a result, it has all become ‘set’, so to speak, in a specific form.  Because of this, it causes a specific reaction of alienation based on the specific conditions.   In other words, a ‘style of alienation’ has been created.  Just because a ‘style of alienation’ has been created does not mean that alienation ends here or that it is the only form.  In actuality, there are many styles of alienation depending on the conditions.  Each condition of alienation will cause different ‘styles of alienations’ which will cause different forms of reactions.  Eventually something new will be created, or the conditions will change, which will lead to a new ‘style of alienation’ in the future requiring a new reaction.  With each new ‘style of alienation’ there is created a specific ‘reaction of alienation’ in response to it.  This shows that a lot of alienation is a reaction to a specific style of conditions.

Once a ‘style of alienation’ has been created the ‘reaction of alienation’ tends to take a form and ‘end’.  Because of this, alienation actually has a limit to its effects . . .  it does not continue on because alienation is a reaction to a condition.  As a result, once there is a reaction  to that condition it ends.  But alienation does not end there.  It does continue on but in another way . . .  Once a ‘style of alienation’ has been created, and a specific ‘reaction of alienation’ created, there is a tendency for alienation to continue . . . through dehumanization.  I speak of this as the ‘ongoing alienation effect’.  It seems, to me, that this is where a lot of the real damage of alienation takes place.

THE ‘ERA OF DEHUMANIZATION’

This era becomes particularly strong in about the 1970′s and increases strongly through the years.  It appears to of completely supplanted alienation as a dominating force by the 1990′s.  This era is characterized by people alienating themselves (dehumanization).  In other words, its not the machines, technology, or the system that is the threat but the people themselves in their justification of their own alienation.  This, it appears to me, is exactly what we’re seeing nowadays and, frankly, is a defining trait of the current times.  There is now too much justification for various forms of alienation . . . the machines are no longer the cause.  This tendency to dehumanization is part of what has caused some of the worst destructions during this period of time.  Things that have been here for centuries are as if tossed to the side as if they were nothing.  Culture, belief, identity, morality, right and wrong, the family, the mother/father, etc. are now abandoned and forgotten, often as if it were some great cause to do it.  What makes up humanity, and defines it, is being whittled down to nothing, bit by bit, everyday by the people themselves.  All this justified and explained, as if it were all part of the natural order of the universe.

This is all part of the tendency of dehumanization . . . it is we, the people, who dehumanize ourselves.  In actuality, we are our own worst threat now.  We are the ones who will destroy who we are, what we are, our reality, our life.  This is usually done by a slow self-undermining of ourselves and ‘acceptance’ of the conditions of the times.  In fact, dehumanization is an acceptance of a condition one has no control over . . . alienation.  Once one accepts, one falls to it, and becomes its victims.  But this is not what it seems at first, which is why this is such a problem.  Acceptance, which makes up dehumanization, is an illusion of control.  Saying, “I accept” only appears as a form of control.  In a way, its like saying, “I accept, and therefore have control, that I have no control”.  This quality gives it a self-defeating and self-undermining quality, the unique qualities of dehumanization.

REACTION AGAINST ALIENATION IN THE TWO ERA’S

With the coming of alienation there was naturally much resistance and reactions against it (as there still is).  In fact, the reaction against alienation is so prevelent that the form of the reaction also gives a definate trait to these era’s.  Some of these trait’s include:

The ‘era of alienation’

This era created some unique reactions primarily as an attempt at preventing its effects.  These include:

  • The ‘philosophy of oppression’.  The sense of helplessnes caused by alienation made the political idea of ‘oppression’ appealing . . . the helplessness turned into the ‘oppression’.  As a result, this point of view is used quite extensively.  It got to the point that just about anything could be considered oppressive.  It became particularly popular as a result of the cold war, which emphasized freedom and liberty.
  • Rebellion against just about anything.  This could be against the government, the establishment, religion, morality, parents . . . you name it.  Practially anything that can be rebelled against was rebelled against.
  • The avoidance of alienation.  One form of this is what I often call the ‘male exodus’, which is still ongoing (I spoke of this in an article called “Thoughts on “failing” boys and males “dropping out”: “the male exodus” . . . another account of the fight against dehumanization???“).  In this, the males basically have begun to ‘turn away’ from society and tend to not want to have anything to do with it.  Another version include how many people want to live a more ‘natural’ life or in a life without all this ‘modern crap’.  I’ve been under the impression that much of the concern over being ‘green’ is probably appealing for some people who feel alienation (being ‘green’ representing not being part of the alienation).
  • The coming of nihilism.  In this, there is a tendency to believe in nothing, even to the point of not believing in themselves.  In many ways, its like saying “if I don’t believe in anything I won’t feel alienated”.  As a result, they often don’t have any opinions, views, and such.  They become, in a way, like an empty person.
  • The ‘worldview’ of despair, helplessness, etc.  Alienation causes things such as despair, helplessness, disconnectedness, etc. on such a scale that some people are overwhelmed by it.  As a result, much of their life view uses these emotions as a basis for life.  In that way it becomes a dominant force in their life.

The ‘era of dehumanization’

Since dehumanization is primarily a result of accepting the alienation, this era is characterized by various ways of acceptance or in trying to convince oneself that its OK.  A common form, that we’re seeing nowadays, is a result of the enticing way of technology.  In fact, many of the enticing qualities of technology has made it appealing to accept alienation, regardless of its effects or damage.  As a result, it has actually made dehumanization a ’cause’ for some people.   In fact, the willingness of people to become dehumanized is a big problem in the ‘era of dehumanization’.  For many people, its as easy as breathing.  But there are a group of people where this is not so easy.  And then there is even a group that is stuck in the middle and uncertain what to do and waver back and forth between the other two groups.  This shows a unique quality about this era.  The enticing quality of technology has created a condition where dehumanization is so appealing that the fight against its appealing nature is often a bigger fight than the negative effects of alienation itself.  In other words, the fight is actually the fight against being ‘sucked in’.  Many people, nowadays, are finding that they cannot fight being ‘sucked in’ . . . its just too powerful. 

In order to fight being ‘sucked in’ requires, though, that a person can determine enticing and the effects of the enticing.  Or, to put it another way, they need to be aware of two conditions:

  1. The enticing and how one is enticed.
  2. Where the enticing leads (alienation).

If a person takes this direction will depend on what a person can see.  If all you see is the enticing then that’s the direction you will take (which means that you are probably headed on the road to dehumanization).  If you are more far-sighted you can see, from experience, that the enticing leads to dehumanization.  As a result, a person can avoid being enticed.  The problem is that it requires a special person to do this, with traits such as:

  • It requires a far-sighted person.
  • It requires a person that has experience.
  • It requires a person that has felt the negative effects of alienation.
  • It requires a person willing to do what it takes to not be alienated.

Not everyone has these traits (in fact, I’d say few do).  As a result, people are falling to the enticing quite easily.

The people that avoid dehumanization seem to do it in several ways:

  • The avoidance of modern things, attitudes, etc.
  • Saying “no” to dehumanization and the justification of alienation.

Though these may sound simple they are harder than it seems.  Many people, I have found, do these things, at least to some extent, at some point in their lives.  Typically, though, they are done sporadically and half-heartedly.  This is because its very hard to maintain.  The maintaining of these things require one to stand apart from the society and to not be sucked into it.  Many people can’t do that . . .

But, because of alienation and dehumanization, I often feel that, nowadays, how one stands in relation to society is critical.  In previous era’s I don’t think it was as critical but now a person almost has to protect and shield themselves from the alienating aspects of modern society.  A person can’t just ‘accept’ whatever society, trend, or the times, say anymore.  You can’t blindly follow along with everything as was done in the past.  A person must ‘maintain-themselves-removed-from-society’.

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