More thoughts on knowledge, opinions, and interpretations – the “systemizing of opinion”, the “learning derby”, personal relevance, opinion as in-the-real-world phenomena, etc.

Here’s some thoughts I had:

AN ILLUSION OF TRUTH – THE “SYSTEMIZATION OF OPINION”

It seems, to me, that most of what is called “knowledge” is nothing but opinion.  That means that all the studies and research are just a form of opinion and are not some great truth.  The problems is that these opinions are being passed off as science or as absolute truth.  In fact, I think science has created a great myth about knowledge and truth.  It has given this idea that if there is any form of “systemizing” of knowledge (such as through organizing information, research, and experimentation) then the results are true.  In actuality, all that is being created is a “systemizing of opinion”.  Its like creating a structure out of opinions much like building blocks.  This “systemizing” gives an illusion of truth . . . but it doesn’t mean that it is true.  In other words, the “systemization” of knowledge, that science does, is deceiving and misleading.

It seems, to me, that almost all knowledge is opinion.  Very few things are “sealed in stone” and absolute.  This includes things like biology, history, economics, and so on . . . this even includes everything I think and write.  In fact, the more I think about things, and look at knowledge, the less “solid” it all looks . . . it all starts to look like opinions.  This means that almost all the “stuff” coming from science, research, studies, the Universities, investigations, etc. are all opinion.  It also means that almost all of the classes at the University, textbooks, books at the library, articles, documentaries, etc. are all opinion.

I’ve often said that everything should be considered opinion unless it can fulfill these requirements:

  • It can be measured
  • It can be controlled
  • It can be put in a controlled environment
  • It can be repeated

About the only thing that fit these requirements are some aspects of physics and chemistry and, even then, most of them are opinion.

My feelings is that most everything should be viewed as opinion.  The problem with opinions, of course, is that they are not “solid” or definite.  How, then, does one view opinions?  Every day we are being bombarded with opinions that are portrayed as fact.  One way to explain how the situation of opinion should be looked at is an interesting thing I said about movie reviews . . .

THE PROBLEM OF MOVIE REVIEWS

I’ve never been impressed by movie reviews.  I seldom agree with them.  What I found is that it wasn’t that they were wrong or right but that, in actuality, movie reviews reflect the opinion of the reviewer.  As a result of this, I began to say that one shouldn’t believe just any reviewer.  Instead, a person should find a reviewer that reflects ones likes and dislikes and use them as a guide and disregard all the other reviewers.  To listen to anyone else is like being misled, in a way, and only leads to confusion.

A SIMILAR ATTITUDE TOWARD KNOWLEDGE

I tend to feel that this same attitude should be taken with knowledge or, rather, opinion.  In other words, a person shouldn’t immediately believe any statement of knowledge that one hears.  A person needs to find the knowledge, or perspective, that reflects ones point of view and focus on that. Otherwise, a person is going to hear a bunch of “stuff” that is contradictory and confusing.  If a person does this then a person is only going to get confused listening to all the various opinions.  I tend to believe that all the opinions and interpretations people hear, nowadays, are why many people are so confused.

ITS BECOME A DEMOLITION DERBY

To me, assuming all knowledge – that is, opinions – are correct is like being in a demolition derby, with ideas flying here and there crashing into each other and ending up in a big massive heap.  As far as I’m concerned, knowledge is becoming one big massive heap.  In fact, knowledge and the learning environment, nowadays, is so much like a demolition derby that I jokingly speak of the “learning derby” or “knowledge derby”.

It seems, to me, that this “knowledge derby” is creating a particular quality of stupidity.  This is primarily because of the tendency where people believe whatever they hear.  But, as I said, all the information and knowledge has become a demolition derby of ideas and principles that clash and conflict with one another.  If a person believes all these conflicting ideas then one develops a perception of the world that is a mishmash of conflicting ideas.  The result . . . a particular quality of stupidity.

INTERPRETATIONS – PERSONAL RELEVANCE

The reason why a person should follow similar points of view is because knowledge is opinion and opinions are a matter of how a person wants to interpret things.  This means a number of things:

  • There are different points of view
  • There is no single point of view
  • Interpretation depends on the person

The point of this is that knowledge, opinions, and interpretations are not a science or absolute.  Regardless of how we try to create a “one interpretation” there will always be variations.  The reason for this is that opinions are subjective because interpretations are “personal”, reflecting what is personally relevant to a person.  In some ways, there is a progression of interpretation, opinion, and knowledge that goes much like this:

  • Interpretation . . . find personal relevance in something
  • Opinion . . . a statement of what is personally relevant
  • Knowledge . . . a formal representation of opinion

In this way, we see that everything rests on personal relevance.  Once personal relevance reaches the knowledge stage it tends to become rigid and”dead information” and, as a result, often loses its personal relevance.  Because of this, it seems that a person should not seek knowledge but interpretation or, rather, personal relevance.  In short, a person must find a “connection” with knowledge, that makes it personally relevant . . .

“LEARNING” AND PERSONAL RELEVANCE

It seems, to me, that a person “learns” by focusing on knowledge, opinions, and interpretations that one relates with and not by believing everything one hears and assuming its true.  Because of this, “learning” is closely associated with personal relevance.

In many ways, it is personal relevance that “opens” a person up to learning and exposes them to it.  When there is no personal relevance knowledge just become dead “information” and “stuff”.  In this way, the need for a relation to something, through personal relevance, shows that “learning” is something that is already “in” the person, so to speak.  Knowledge and “learning” basically “brings out” qualities that are already in a person.  I’ve always felt that this is one of the main powers of knowledge.

THERE’S NO GUARANTEEING THE BEST INTERPRETATION

I should also point out that things like these don’t necessarily mean that its the best interpretation:

  • Experience
  • The time investigating a subject
  • Degrees or qualifications
  • Systems of measurement

Of course, depending on the subject matter, some of these things can play a critical and important role (such as with a medical doctor or chemist).  But, in general, they aren’t as important as it seems.  What this means is that nothing guarantees the best opinion and interpretation.  

THE IMPORTANCE OF INITIAL REFLECTION

Some of the best interpretations I’ve heard are from people who have only “casually” looked at the subject or looked at things for the first time.  I often think that there is often a point where a person has “looked at a specific subject too much”. I find that this happens to me often and I will literally cease thinking about a subject for weeks, months, and even years, almost forgetting it.  I then have to “rediscover it” and as if see it again with new eyes.  In other words, I have to keep seeing subjects with new eyes or else it becomes a “dead subject”.  To me, some of the most powerful insight I have comes from this “initial” reflection, when I look at things with new eyes.  Because of this, I tend to rotate through subjects, going from here to there, and not seeing some subjects for long periods of time.

OPINIONS AS AN IN-THE-REAL-WORLD PHENOMENA

I should point out that all this doesn’t mean that opinions are bad.  How can that be?  Everything is opinion.  The problem, really, is the tendency to take opinions too seriously, as fact, which is an easy thing to do.

To me, opinions are transitory and reactive.  This is because opinions are a phenomena that is reacting to the real world in real time . . . that’s its nature and purpose.  As a result, they are ever-changing and varied.  It also shows that opinions are a natural way of associating with the world and has helped humanity survive for centuries.  In other words, the transitory and reactive quality of opinion is natural and a part of self-preservation.  

My own observation is that I can say one thing one day and contradict it the next or that one seemed right one day is wrong the next day.  This shows that its not the idea of the opinion that matters but, rather, the reaction to the event-as-it-happens.  In this society, which worships knowledge, we are told that the idea is what’s important.  But, it seems to me, that it is the event that’s important and dictates what we do and how we view things.  This means that the nature of opinion is that it is a second-by-second reacting to the event-as-it-happens.  Things that affect this second-by-second reacting include:

  • The cause of the event
  • The subtleties of the event
  • Stress
  • The mood of the times
  • Ones mood
  • Ones character
  • Ones experience
  • Ones knowledge of oneself

All these can make opinions change from day to day.

The problem is that the “systemization of opinion”, which is so prevalent nowadays, destroys that in-the-real-world quality of opinion and turns it into rigid and dead information which causes a dilemma.  The more “systemization of opinion” we have the less in-the-real world we become.  In addition, we become less natural and lose the self-preserving quality of opinion.  In short, the “systemization of opinion” tends to alienate.

A REFUTING

All this means that this point of view is a refuting of the authority of studies, research, knowledge, science, and education.  They are not what they seem or pretend to be.  In fact, I seem to feel that we need to begin to refute all these.  I know that I am.


Copyright by Mike Michelsen

Posted in Advice???, Books, movies, and music, Education and learning, Philosophy, Science and technology | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Thoughts on freedom, alienation, and rebellion in the past 200 years – the effects of being controlled by the “mass mind”, with remarks about culture and “mass loneliness”

Recently, I had some thoughts that are really a continuations of thoughts from this article:  Thoughts on on my reaction to social hysteria, with remarks about the self and other things.

A PROBLEM IS FELT . . .

In the early 1990’s I began to feel that something seemed wrong.  I felt that something was amiss or out of place.  I said that I felt controlled in some way or that something was controlling me.  I also seemed dissociated with myself as if I was removed from myself.  I also felt as if I was lost in life.  It had a weird quality about it.  I couldn’t quite put my finger on it.

I began to question it and some thoughts began to came out of it . . .

THE VIETNAM WAR PROTESTS AND HIPPIE MOVEMENT

I said that what I was feeling were the effects of the Vietnam War protests and Hippie movement on me.  I was brought up after these events and was naturally influenced by them.  In fact, I always thought that I was “hippie-like” in the 1980’s and took many hippie views.  As a result of this, I adopted a lot of its mentality and ways.

As I looked at it closer it became clear that the Vietnam War protests and Hippie movement were a form of mass hysteria that was greatly aggravated by the media.  It is here that I first began to use the term “media-induced mass hysteria”.  I was feeling the effects of the mass hysteria of these events.

This started my inquiry into the phenomena of mass hysteria and what it did to people.

MASS HYSTERIA, MASS MENTALITY, AND THE “MASS MIND”

Mass hysteria is really a condition of mass mentality which are a result of what I call the “mass mind”.  This is a a condition where one abandons ones mind to a social awareness which views the social situation in ways such as these:

  • It is perceived as a single “whole” or single entity
  • It is perceived as a separate living thing
  • It is perceived as an extension of ones self

These create an awareness where the social condition develops a quality of a separate and independent mind.  The “mass mind” creates several conditions:

  • Mass hysteria. This is when an emotion, or idea, has control over a population of people. It tends to be specific, appears in a dramatic way, and tends to be transitory.  In extreme cases, mass hysteria can be like a bunch of people acting like chickens with their heads chopped off.  Oftentimes, it appears more like a controlled “over-reactibility” (that is, people are overly and easily reactive).
  • Mass mentality. This is when the “mass mind” affects a person in an overall sense, being somewhat subtle, and tends to last a long time.  This mentality can be so prevalent in a society that we could speak of a “mass mentality culture”.

In mass mentality, and mass hysteria, the “mass mind”, takes on the qualities of a mind and replaces a persons mind.  In this way a person “loses their mind”, so to speak, to the “mass mind”.  One becomes subservient and a slave to it as a result.

THE EFFECTS OF THE “MASS MIND”

The feelings, that I described above, describe the power of the “mass mind” over me.  In short, I was not controlled by my mind but by this other mind and these feelings are its effects.  In this way, I was feeling what could be described as a “forced splitting of the mind”.  My mind was as if split into two parts and, what’s worse, one of those minds isn’t even my own.

The effects of this “splitting of the mind” include these feelings:

  1. Feeling controlled – I felt controlled and wanted to not be controlled
  2. Feeling disconnected – I felt that I wasn’t myself and was not in control of myself and who I am
  3. Feeling desirous of change – I felt that I did not want to be in control or be disconnected

Overall, these caused a number of effects:

  • I felt as if something was depriving me
  • I felt deprived of being my own self
  • I felt deprived of not being able to live
  • I felt a sense of emptiness
  • I felt disconnected 
  • I felt an unhappiness
  • I felt a desire to change this situation
  • I do not know how to change it

Being controlled by them I was as if stuck in these feelings unable to get free from them.  This caused something like a dilemma, a problem has been created which I could not solve.  For me, it started an inquiry into it.  As I looked I found historical origins in this phenomena . . .

THE “ERA OF MASS HYSTERIA”

It seems, to me, that much of the events since the late 1700’s are really mass hysteria related.  This includes all the wars, social upheavals, conflicts, etc. since then.  I felt that mass hysteria has far more impact than people think and may actually be dictating things in the past 200 years.  In this way, we could say that, since the late 1700’s, we are living in the “era of mass hysteria”.  Typically, in Western mentality, we say that these things are caused by things like economy, politics, and such.  I tended to disagree with this.

Several important things has appeared during the “era of mass hysteria”:

  • Overpopulation
  • The growth of media
  • The fall of culture, belief, and social identity

These tend to promote mass hysteria.  They have grown a great deal since the late 1700’s and have continued to grow ever since.  They may be responsible for why it has become an era of mass hysteria.

As I looked at it closer I began to see that this condition was associated with several themes in Western thinking during this time . . .

THEMES IN THE “ERA OF MASS HYSTERIA”

Several themes dominate in the “era of mass hysteria”:

  1. Ideas of freedom – this is usually looked at from a political viewpoint
  2. Alienation – this is usually looked at as being a result of technology and the modern world
  3. Rebellion – this is usually a rebellion against society, morality, etc.

These themes are very prevalent during the “era of mass hysteria” and, in a way, dominate much of what has happened during that time, in one way or another.

If one looks closer one can see that they are reactions to the conflicts created by mass hysteria and the “mass mind”, as described above:

  • Being controlled >>> freedom
  • Being disconnected >>> alienation
  • Being desirous of change >>> rebellion

What all this shows is that what these themes describe are actually the effects of mass hysteria and the power of the “mass mind” over us.  In other words, they are describing a whole other origin than is what is normally supposed.

REVEALING A NEW ANGLE

What all this means is a number of things:

  • Freedom is not about politics
  • Alienation is not a result of technology and the modern world
  • Rebellion is not rebelling against society, morality, etc.

This places a whole new angle on these themes.

What these themes are referring to is a fight against the effects of the “mass mind” and what it does to us.  They are actually attempts at trying to remedy its effects. In short, in the “era of mass hysteria” there is a great conflict, a prevalence of the effects of the “mass mind” and attempts at trying to destroy its effects.

This fact shows a couple of things:

  • The “mass mind” has a control over us which we are powerless to fight
  • That the effects of the “mass mind” are unconscious and no one is overtly aware of it causing us to ascribe its effects to other things
  • Because the effects are unconscious the attempts to solve it are haphazard and tend to not work that well (so far, none of the attempts have worked)

In short, the “mass mind” has control of us without our knowing.  This is, as I said, because we “lose our mind” to it . . . how could we possibly be aware of it?  I am the only person, as far as I know, who has acknowledged that we are controlled by another social “mind”.

Since the “mass mind” is so prevalent we could say that the “era of mass hysteria” could be better described as the “era of the mass mind”.

BEING CONTROLLED BY THE “MASS MIND”

The “mass mind” has a great control over us and can literally replace our mind.  It does things such as:

  • It makes our decisions
  • It thinks for us
  • It dictates what we do
  • It determines who we are
  • It becomes identified with us

In these ways, it can have great impact on us.  There is like a spectrum to this impact:

  • It influences us
  • It dictates what we do
  • It becomes us
  • We lose our selves to it – A loss of self

This spectrum is much dictated by the strength of our self.  For the stronger self it only influences us.  For the weakest self there is a completely loss of self.  In this way, we see that there is a close association between the “mass mind” and the strength of the self.  In general, the stronger the “mass mind” the weaker the self.  In this way, people who are brought with the “mass mind” tend to have weaker self’s. This may be why modern people are more weak minded than non modern people.

THE COLLECTIVE SELF

I do not feel that society is a product of the “mass mind”, though it can resemble it at times.  Normal society reflects the “collective self”.  It has qualities such as:

  • Its based in a specific way of life
  • Its a unifying of people as a result of a condition, such as primitive people living in the middle of nature

The “mass mind”, on the other hand, tends to be a product of things like:

  • Being in a mass of people where there is no real sense of unity
  • Where its the media that unifies
  • There is no real reason for unity . . . any unity is based in the fact that people just happen to be living near each other

What this shows is that the “mass mind” is based in a unique situation and, as a result, cannot be considered a normal phenomena of society.

“AN INDIVIDUAL PERSONS FORCED UNIFICATION WITH SOCIETY”

The above brings up several unique and important points about a society:

  • A means of unification – the importance of a way of life
  • A reason for unity- the importance of some condition holding everyone together

These seem to be necessary to make a healthy society.

When the means and reason are lacking a “mass mind” tends to develop.  In some respects, the development of the “mass mind” seems to suggest that it is an attempt at a unification with society when there is no means or reason for unity.  It is as if trying to force a unity to take place when it is not taking place naturally.  Since the “mass mind” is a reflection of an individual person it reveals that the person is trying to force this unity of society.  In this way, the “mass mind” can be described as “an individual persons forced unification with society”.  Its almost as if the person is trying to create what is not there.  This seems to suggest that the “mass mind” is a product of a failure of the social condition.  

DEALING WITH THE “MASS VOID”

In some respects, the “mass mind” shows that too much burden has been placed on the individual person and that society has taken a “back seat” in our lives.  To put it another way, we are expecting society to take much of the weight of life but its all on our shoulders.  This shows a number of interesting points:

  • We feel inadequate to deal with life
  • We look up to society to help us with this inadequacy
  • This is naturally appearing, as if an instinctual need

In short, there is an innate need for an individual person to feel a unification with society because our self is naturally weak.  More importantly, it shows that society creates something like a “greater collective self” to help us deal with life, as if an extension of our self.  This “greater collective self” has qualities such as:

  • It originates from a healthy society where there is a means and reason for unity
  • It satisfies a need
  • It is supportive of us
  • We participate with it

The “mass mind”, on the other hand, has qualities such as:

  • It originates from a society where there is no means and reason for unity
  • A need is left unsatisfied
  • It doesn’t support us
  • There’s nothing to participate with

The society, that we are expecting to be there, isn’t really “there”, so to speak, but is as if absent.  In this way, we are looking at a society that “is there but isn’t there”.  This the quality of “mass society”.  I also speak of this as the “absent society”, as it isn’t really there.

The “absent society”, and the innate need for unification with society, creates a dilemma . . . one looks to something that isn’t there but which we want to be there.  In this way, we start to look at the void of the “absent society” as if there is actually something there when there is actually nothing.  I call this phenomena the “mass void”.  One then does things like:

  • We continue to look to this void as a source of unification with society . . . it becomes our focus
  • We fill the “mass void” with a projection of ones self to make it seem real and alive

These qualities creates these effects of the “mass mind”:

  • We follow whatever it says as, deep down, we are seeking a unification with society
  • We see “mass society” as a part of our self, as if we and it are the same

The effect of these is that we “lose our self” in the void of “mass society” . . . the “mass mind” is created.  In this way, the “mass mind” is created to deal with the void of “mass society”.  In this way, its like an illusion or deception . . . it creates something when there’s nothing there.

The result of all this are the qualities stated at the beginning of this article:

  • Feeling controlled
  • Feeling disconnected
  • Feeling desirous of change

In some respects, these describe a conflict of the perception of self . . . when we project our self into a void we can no longer tell where our self begins or ends.  As a result, we see these effects:

  • Our sense of feeling controlled is actually our desire for unification with society but, because its directed to a void, its origin is unclear and we don’t know what’s controlling us . . . this means that whats actually controlling us is our own desire for unification with society
  • The self-in-the-void makes us feel disconnected
  • The problems created by the self-in-the-void makes us desirous of change

These are the origin of freedom, alienation, and rebellion.  What this suggests is that these problems are actually describing conflicts created by the “mass mind”.

CULTURE, CULTURAL LONELINESS, AND TRIBALISM

Interestingly, as I look back on it I find that one of my responses to the effects of the “mass mind” was the emphasis on what I called Culture.   This refers to an aspect of society with these qualities:

  • A defined quality or way of being
  • A reason or cause that makes us feel a “united people”
  • A participation with it
  • A feeling a part of it, as if it is an extension of me
  • An authority that is Divine-like

Culture made society more than a society, a group of people, but created what I often called a “people”.  I used to say, “I yearn for a people”.

My observation is that the modern world has basically destroyed Culture.  This caused me great problems and I began to speak of Cultural Loneliness.  This refers to a desire for the qualities of a culture – a “people” – but in which conditions don’t or won’t allow it to take place.  Realizing this fact only furthered my sense of alienation.

As I looked at it closer I could see that what I called Culture was really a form of Tribalism.  In other words, what I yearned for was to be part of a “tribe”.  To be part of a tribe means more than belonging or associating ones self with it.  I found that what I called the “tribe” had this mystical quality about it, as if I somehow was transformed by it and made into a new person.  It seemed as if primal-like in quality, as if it originated from the very beginnings of time.  Interestingly, many primitive societies have rituals that transform a person when they become part of a tribe.

A PROGRESSION

As time went on I found that a “tribe”, or a culture, was never going to appear.  I then found that I became more mystical-like and developed an emphasis on transforming the self.  This transformation of self refers to a desire to become a new person.

There is something like a progression in my reaction to the “mass mind”:

  1. A sense of alienation and feeling disconnected
  2. The discovery of the “mass mind” and its effects
  3. The yearning for a culture
  4. The yearning for a tribe
  5. The realizing that a culture or tribe is not going to appear
  6. A tendency to become mystical and seek a transform self and become a new person

So we see that the progression begins with an alienated and disconnected self and ends with a seeking to transform the self and become a new person.  In the process of this I sought help from society which seemed to reflect an innate need and tendency.  But, because of societies impaired state, it ended up hindering me.  In the end I had to rely on myself.  

“MASS LONELINESS”

This, I think, shows that the “mass mind” creates a bunch of people who are actually very “alone” and in different ways, such as:

  • Alone in alienation
  • Alone in feeling controlled
  • Loneliness in belonging
  • Alone in the reliance on self

This “aloneness” is very unique.  The “mass mind” makes it so that it doesn’t feel like loneliness.  In the “mass mind” people tend to blindly obey “mass society”.  This blind obeying gives the illusion that they are not alone.  Perhaps we could speak of this as “mass loneliness”?

I do feel that people are alone in “mass society”, though they don’t seem that way and that there are people all around them.  I often have said, “never have I been so alone than in mass society”.

PROTESTANT CHRISTIANITY AND THE “MASS MIND”

I tend to feel that Protestant Christianity has had great impact on the development of the “mass mind”.  Its very likely that Protestant Christianity laid the foundations for the development of the “mass mind” in the past 200 years.  Several qualities found in Protestant Christianity seem to of helped promote the “mass mind”:

  • The emphasis on the person alone
  • The idea that everyone is “one”, the body of Christ
  • The attack of authority
  • The abstract way of looking at things

These had the effect of shifting the emphasis from society to the individual person and the undermining of society, culture, and the tribe . . . the individual person was now looking at a void society.  This seems like a basis for the “mass mind” that would develop later.

DEMOCRACY AND THE “MASS MIND”

It seems, to me, that democracy also tends to have an impact on the development of the “mass mind” in ways similar to what’s described above in Protestant Christianity.  In some respects, democracy is just a continuation of the effects of Protestant Christianity but in political form.

LIBERALISM AND THE “MASS MIND”

It seems, to me, that what has become liberalism, recently, is a manifestation of the “mass mind”.  In short, liberals are generally people who have made the “mass mind” a way of life.  One could say that liberalism is basically saying, “lets give up our selves to mass society and let it run everything”.  In this way, we see several qualities:

  • There is the “loss of mind” that is a trait of the “mass mind”
  • They see the “mass society” as an entity
  • They feel that blindly following “mass society” will be a source of unification with society

In many ways, liberalism is making a whole life out of the “mass mind”.

INSECURITY AND ITS EFFECTS

As I said above, the “mass mind” makes people “lose their minds”.  In this way, people don’t feel “in control” of their lives.  One result of this is a particular quality is an insecurity which can cause other emotions such as:

  • Nervousness
  • Anxiety
  • Fear
  • Paranoia

In short, the “mass mind” tends to predispose people to these emotions.  These, in turn, can cause other problems to happen, such as:

  • Low self-esteem
  • Unhappiness
  • A sense of being threatened in some way

This means, more or less, that the “mass mind” often tends to weaken a person psychologically and predispose them to problems.  Its no surprise that these feelings play a big role in the themes of freedom, alienation, and rebellion.


Copyright by Mike Michelsen

Posted in Christianity, Christian conversion, Post-Christianity, and Christian influence, Culture, cultural loneliness, etc., Dehumanization and alienation, Freedom fanaticism and the freedom cult, Historical stuff, Mass communication: media, social media, and the news, Mass hysteria, mass society, and the mob, Modern life and society, Overpopulation and its effects, Psychology and psychoanalysis, Society and sociology, The effects of WWII, the Nazi's, the Holocaust, the Cold War, and the Vietnam War era protests, The U.S. and American society, Tribal society and the tribal sense | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

More thoughts on the media – on how media is becoming a new form or avenue of gossip with remarks on how we never really know whats going on despite the media

Recently, I said some interesting things about the media:

In response to someone talking about something they heard on the news I said ” . . . and you assume that its true?  You never assume anything the media says is absolutely true.”  I then said that “one should treat the media as gossip”.

To me, media is becoming a new form of gossip or maybe it would be more accurate to say that media has become a new avenue of gossip.  Perhaps we could call this “media gossip”?  Frankly, the media is starting to sound like gossiping women to me.

Gossip is seldom motivated to seek or convey the truth, even though it usually begins with the truth and sounds like the truth.  It generally has some other motive that moves it along.  As a result of this, the truth seems to change along the way.

A number of things make this aspect of gossip particularly deceiving, such as:

  • It tends to portray itself as the truth to the public which causes people to blindly believe it as truth.
  • Most “media gossip” begins with the truth, typically, but is eventually distorted in some way.  This gives the “initial look” of what the media says a quality of truth which is deceiving.

Gossip creates a number of relationships with truth, such as:

  • It may be completely true
  • It may be a distortion of a truth
  • It may be fabricated

Of these, the highest probability is that it is a distortion of truth, at least in my experience.  As a result, one should treat anything coming from the media as having a high probability of being a distortion of a truthThis means that its usually based in a truth but its been distorted in some way.  This quality is one of the most deceiving aspects about the media . . . where does the truth end and the distortion begin?  Trying to figure this out is quite a project to do and is really a waste of time.  What I end up doing is not paying that much attention to the media at all, as a general rule, and I certainly don’t seek it as a source of reliable information.  As I go through my daily life I’ll hear things coming from the media and say to myself, ” . . . it might be true . . .” and leave it at that, not taking it too seriously.

It seems, to me, that there is less likely to be distortion when there are situations such as these:

  • Its something mundane
  • It involves local happenings  

The more it becomes something more than mundane (like a controversial subject) or involving the nation or world (such as national news) the more likely it is to be distorted.  This means that a person needs to be more cautious, and suspicious, when these subjects come up.  To be frank, when these subjects appear I often ignore what they say.

Because of the distortion of media it means is that we never really know whats going on despite the fact that the media professes to be telling us what’s going on.  To me, that’s a fact of life that must be accepted.  That’s just the way it is.  In fact, I’ve always said that “after any really big event, particularly if its political, it will probably be 10 or more years before the truth comes out . . . and it won’t come out through the media . . . so don’t be in a big hurry to find out.”  Many people believe the media because they are in too big of a hurry to find out what’s going on and the media is ready to dish it out, true or not.  I want to emphasize, again, that when the truth does come out it does not come through the news media.  That’s an important point.

That’s how it looks to me anyways.

I’ve written some additional stuff on the media in these articles:

Thoughts on how to watch the news media with remarks about problems associated with news media

Thoughts on the “media situation” and its effects


Copyright by Mike Michelsen

Posted in Advice???, Mass communication: media, social media, and the news, Modern life and society, Twenty first century and post cold war society | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

More thoughts on female hysteria and the “womb sickness”, with remarks about its nature, the weak ego, and different forms of hysteria

Here are some of my recent thoughts on female hysteria:

FIRST THOUGHTS

It seems, to me, that female hysteria is alive and kicking as much today as at any other time in history.  Hysteria, as a term, ceased to be used about WWI.  I have revived it.

In the late 1980’s I began an inquiry into why many females were so preoccupied with abuse.  I was particularly appalled by the fabricated claims of abuse and false accusations of many females. Due to my own observation of female claims of abuse (I’ve written many articles on it in this blog) I began to see that there was an association of the female preoccupation with abuse and the mother instinct. To put a long story into as short an explanation as possible: “abuse” is a reference to childbearing as well as sex . . . the preoccupation with “abuse” is really a repressed desire for children!   This is one reason why female claims of abuse tend to become sexual abuse, or a form of it, or involve the male in some way.  Generally, the emphasis has primarily been on sex no doubt as a result of Christian morality.  But I began to see that this was only a stage in the process to childbearing.  In short, behind what is called “sexual desire”, “sexuality”, and such, is really a desire for children.  As a person who was studying to be a psychoanalyst this seemed the subject of a drive for childbearing is a subject seldom, if ever, mentioned.  This puts things on a whole new level.  But I found it to be a major role in things.  In effect, people sought childbearing in life but it even went further than that.  I found that this was also associated with a drive to be productive in life.  I started to call this “the principle of productivity” (see my article The Principle of Productivity and psychoanalysis).  In this way, I found that sex lead to childbearing which led to a desire to be productive in life.  

What I found is that the theme of childbearing, in particular, is a very neglected subject.  But, as a result of these observations, I began to inquire about it and eventually began to speak of what I called the “womb sickness” in the 1990’s.  Interestingly, hysteria means “womb sickness”, basically, which is why I began to reuse the term.  As I looked closer I began to notice similarities to the classical traits of hysteria.  Because of this, I began to feel that the old claims of hysteria has some truth in it.

As a result of my inquiry into females claims of abuse I began to see that females were afflicted with many problems associated with the mother instinct.  Much of these problems have been “intellectualized”, “trivialized”, and passed to the side as nothing.  Interestingly, this is primarily done by the females themselves.  In fact, according to my inquiry, since the 1800’s, there has developed something like a contempt and denial of “femininity” in many females in Western society.  This includes the mother instinct and motherhood.  As a result, much of the problems that originate from the mother instinct have been as if forgotten or neglected since then by the females themselves . . . and this has been going on for around 200 years!

It seems, to me, that this contempt, denial, and forgetting of femininity and the mother instinct is part of the new form of hysteria that began in the 1800’s and dramatically affected its symptoms.  In this way, we see two phases in female hysteria:

  1. Pre-1800’s female hysteria – tends to primarily be physical manifestations
  2. Post-1800’s female hysteria – tends to primarily be mental manifestations

When I was looking at females claims of abuse I began to look into, and inquire, into post-1800’s female hysteria with its mental qualities.  Occasionally, I saw physical manifestations but they were minimal.

As part of this inquiry I began to see hysteria in a new light and a new way . . .

ORIGINS

I tend to feel that hysteria is an ailment caused by a weak ego.  A weak ego makes causes things like:

  • It makes it hard to resolve conflicts which tend to be “misdirected” to other areas
  • It makes it so that impulses, passions, and desires tend to be “misdirected” to other areas

So we see that a weak ego tends to cause a tendency of “misdirection” of impulses.  The symptoms of hysteria are primarily caused by this “misdirection”.  These “misdirected” impulses can go in almost any direction and location which is one reason why the symptoms of hysteria are so varied.

For the female, the main impulse that is “misdirected” is the mother instinct because it is so strong and influential.  Because of this, female hysteria is closely associated with the impulses, passions, of the mother instinct.

But the mother instinct is not the only impulse the female has.  Many other impulses can be “misdirected” as well.  This means that hysteria doesn’t always originate with the mother instinct.

But we can see that, in female hysteria, we have several forms:

  • Female hysteria as a result of a weak ego
  • Female hysteria as a result of womb sickness

Females are predisposed to hysteria because of the mother instinct which, as part of its effects, tends to create a weaker ego in females.  Basically, the mother instinct makes the female “dependent on another” (the child) and, accordingly, makes them not develop a firm sense of an independent self.  This phenomena inhibits the growth of an ego.  I often call this the Partial Self or Partial Mind.

Forms of Hysteria – Hysteria Complex

Because hysteria originates from a weak ego it means that males can have symptoms of hysteria as well.  The big difference, of course, is that it has nothing to do with the “womb sickness” or mother instinct.  

In addition, society tends to create a weak ego and this causes a social form of hysteria, what we call mass hysteria.It does this because society creates something like another “mind” which becomes as controlling as ones own mind.  In this way, we are controlled by our own mind and the social “mind”.  Mass hysteria is when the social “mind” takes control of us.  When we do this we are no longer in control of our mind and, accordingly, our ego is weakened.  This causes things like doing things we normally wouldn’t do, letting emotions overpower us, and losing a common sense.

So we see three effects of a weak ego which cause three forms of hysteria:

  1. Female hysteria
  2. Male hysteria
  3. Mass hysteria

The later two aren’t really hysteria’s, in the sense of a “womb sickness”, but the term hysteria has become so prevalent for these things that I keep using them as a result.

This is an example of the confusion that the term hysteria has created. In  many ways, hysteria has become a conglomeration of different phenomena that have been lumped together over the years.  This is primarily because of a number of reasons:

  • The multitude and forms of the symptoms of hysteria makes it mysterious
  • The symptoms have no other explanation

By the 1800’s hysteria was being used for practically any ailment that couldn’t be explained by any other means.  In this way, by the late 1800’s the term hysteria, as something defined, became as if confused, which eventually led to it no longer being used in the early 1900’s.

My inquiry into female claims of abuse led me right back to it by showing a pattern much like this:

abuse—mother instinct—womb sickness—hysteria—weak ego

Unlike previous people, though, I saw the common denominator of it all as the weak ego.  This point of view, as far as I know, is new.

Previously, people have said that hysteria was caused by things like:

  • A “floating womb” that migrated around the body
  • Sexual desire that isn’t satisfied
  • Bewitchment
  • A physical disease
  • A result of some trauma
  • Repressed feelings and desires

All these explanations only confused hysteria and what it is.

But, to me, I’d define hysteria in this way:

Hysteria is a phenomena created by a weak ego.  It causes a tendency to “misdirect” impulses in unusual directions causing unique symptoms.  Because the mother instinct tends to inherently weaken the ego, hysteria is more prevalent in females than males.  

As a result of this definition there are many forms of hysteria which may or may not involve the mother instinct.  As a result, I call all these phenomena the “hysteria complex” which allows us to use the hysteria term but to note that they are not related to the “womb sickness” necessarily.

Causes

Female hysteria, in my opinion, does not necessarily originate from a problem, as if often supposed, but has many causes.  These include:

  • The nature of the mother instinct . . . it just causes symptoms
  • An aspect and part of growth for a woman
  • An “initiation into womanhood” that as if reveals the mother instinct to girls
  • A conflict due to a clash in the females character with qualities of the mother instinct
  • Because they struggle with its effect and end up wrestling with it
  • As a result of some conflict they are having
  • As a result of something traumatic that has happened to them

What we see, then, is that some aspects of hysteria is actually healthy and normal and do not originate from a pathological cause.  It seems to suggest that the mother instinct often causes naturally appearing hysteria or hysteria-like symptoms in females.

THE WEAK EGO

As stated above, a weak ego basically causes hysteria.  But what is the ego?  Here are some qualities of it:

  • It collects ones being and makes it separate from the world and other people
  • It identifies ones being as a single entity with unique qualities
  • It directs passion, impulses, desires, etc. in healthy ways
  • It helps controls ones world, surroundings, and ones association with the world

In this way, the ego as if consolidates ones being into a single entity in the world.  In this way, it is associated with a stable self and a stable association with the world.

An Incomplete Self

One interesting effect of the mother instinct is that it does not allow the female to consolidate herself into a whole entity as a single person.  Why is this?

The mother instinct, by its nature, makes the female “incomplete”.  The female is “whole” only when there is a child . . . the child “completes” her.  This shows the power of the mother instinct.  As a result, the female has an inherent inability to consolidate themselves as a single entity and person.  The effect of this is that females tend to inherently have weak egos.

In fact, its the females weak ego that creates the quality of “feminine”.  It gives them the qualities of being weak, frail, sensitive, vulnerable, insecure, etc.

The effect of this incomplete self, weak ego, and “femininity” is a predisposition to hysteria in females.

ASSOCIATION OF HYSTERIA WITH THE WOMB

One thing that has mystified me is how the people centuries ago made the association of hysteria symptoms to the womb.  Its not an easy association and not one that’s immediately obvious.  How, then, were they made?  I think there are a number of ways:

  • The biggest thing is that hysterical symptoms are almost always displayed by females.  This naturally made them assume it is related to the female exclusively and, therefore, must be related to the womb.
  • They describe similar symptoms.
  • The symptoms often originate after of an event.
  • The symptoms seem unrelated to any other ailment.
  • Personally, I think that intuitive sense plays a big part.  How many times have I watched female behavior and “felt”, intuitively, that there was something else behind it?

We must remember that the mother instinct is not an organ nor is it necessarily “centered” in the womb or any organ. Its something that is within the female herself, as part of her makeup.  As a result, the mother instinct has no center or organ.  When I say “womb sickness” it would actually be more accurate to say “mother instinct sickness”.

THOUGHTS ON CHARCOT

In the mid-late 1800’s Jean-Martin Charcot worked with hysterics at the Salpêtrière Hospital in Paris.  He would have great influence on hysteria in the 1800’s.  His point of view, though, was that hysteria had a physical cause much like a disease.  The hysteria he was looking at, during that time, is a very extreme form of ailment that seems to be going on in France at that time and were rather unique in manifestation.

I’m no expert but I’m more inclined to say that the extreme and unique symptoms that he was witnessing was probably a result of a mass hysteria though that’s difficult to say.  I say this for a number of reasons:

  • It was extreme
  • It was unique
  • The symptoms often followed a pattern not seen elsewhere
  • It appears to of only lasted in the mid-late 1800’s
  • It seems unique to France

This suggests that it is cultural and time-related.  The question then becomes “what was going on in France at that time?”  Personally, I’m inclined to think that this is a form of a reaction to the French Revolution/Napoleonic Wars era.  Its part of a post war phenomena in which the society as if reacts after the war.  Its prevalence would suggest a post-war mass hysteria but I’m not sure.

Several interesting things come out of Charcot’s investigations:

  • There was an establishment between hypnosis and hysteria.  Hypnosis, in a way, is a form of an absence of self.  Because of this, people with hysteria are more easily hypnotized.
  • Many hysterics were said to be false or faking the symptoms.  This seems to be stated, in various ways, throughout history.  I often think that this shows that people can sense the “absent self” in hysteria which makes the hysteric not appear genuine giving the appearance of being a fraud.  I’ve often had this sense when watching females.

FORMS OF FEMALE HYSTERIA

There seem to be two forms of female hysteria:

  1. Physical hysteria
  2. Mental hysteria

The difference between these two seems to be related with how females lived their daily lives.  Since the ego is associated with hysteria its no surprise that which form of hysteria females display seems to be related to where the female mind (ego) is most directed in their daily life. 

PHYSICAL HYSTERIA

Physical hysteria is prevalent in females with these qualities:

  • They are before the mid 1800’s in Western Europe.
  • It seems prevalent in females that live a more physical life, such as in farming.  This causes a tendency for the ego to direct impulses into physical directions and manifestations.

The Problem of Physical Hysteria of the 1800’s World

There are a number of problems with physical hysteria in the pre-1800’s world:

  • The great physical manifestations of hysteria are rare now, or I have never heard of them.  As a result, its hard to assess them and their origin in the pre-1800’s world.
  • More than likely, over the years, many different problems have been lumped together under the heading of hysteria.  In this way, hysteria has more than likely become a conglomeration of many ailments in the pre-1800’s world making it hard to assess what is real and what is not.

Physical Conversion

To me, many physical symptoms of female hysteria is a reflection of what I call “physical conversion”.  By this is meant that some mental tension is directed to some part of the body which causes symptoms in that part of the body.  For years I have seen females display this quality, but never to the scale of the extreme forms seen in the pre-1800’s world.

I’ve often been stunned by how, and complete, this “physical conversion” can happen in females.  This is one reason why physical hysteria seems so believable to me, even in its extreme form.  Females have a closer connection between emotion and body than the male, or so it seems to me.  Their emotional state will have great impact on their bodies.  I’ve even heard females state this fact, and with pride!  Oddly enough, when they do this they are basically bragging about their proneness to hysteria.  This close emotion/body connection is one reason why females are more prone to display physical hysteria symptoms.

Some of the “physical conversion” I have personally seen include:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • A tenseness of muscles
  • A rigidity of muscles almost to the point of epilepsy
  • A shaking
  • Having false symptoms that they have obviously created in their minds

None of these are that dramatic but they display qualities similar to what is seen in the symptoms below.  I tend to believe that even the more extreme versions of symptoms were somewhat rare in the pre-1800’s world.  Most were probably somewhat mild but were appear to be seen more frequently than today.

I have displayed some of the symptoms described above, but it is always momentary.  I think we all have.  We all do “physical conversion”, to some extent, but because females have a stronger emotion/body connection it is more prevalent in them.  In a way, these simple and mild “physical conversions” can be described as a mild hysterical symptom.  Its when it gets out-of-control that it becomes hysteria.  Some ways it does this include:

  • It becomes particularly strong
  • It becomes damaging in some way
  • It lasts a long time

In this way, the physical symptoms of hysteria, described below, are really an exaggerated manifestation of a common thing we all do.  As I said above, “physical conversion” seems an intensification and localization of tension in some part of the body.

Problems Created by a Weak Ego

The weak ego causes many symptoms of its own that are unrelated to “physical conversion” and still make an appearance in the pre-1800’s hysteria.

The weak ego causes an incomplete self which causes a tendency to take on the “self” of other people.  This causes a number of interesting effects:

  • Hysterical contagion.  This refers to the tendency to imitate other people.
  • Hysterical identification.  This is when they make other peoples problems as if its their own.

These are good examples of the effects of the incomplete self by trying to become the “self” of other people.

One effect of the adopting the “self” of others is the creation of problems with ones own self.  These cause things like:

  • Losing a hold as to who one is
  • Problems with ones identity
  • Problems with growth and maturation
  • The feeling of being threatened by other people or the world
  • The feeling of being controlled
  • A tendency to mindlessly follow
  • A predisposition to mass hysteria

In these ways, the weak ego, that causes hysteria, can also cause other problems.

Symptoms

Here are some symptoms, as described in the pre-1800’s world:

Symptoms possibly caused by “physical conversion”

Head, neck, throat, chest, and abdomen symptoms:

  • Suffocation
  • Choking
  • Pains in head, eyes, etc.
  • Blindness
  • Deafness
  • Palpitations
  • Vomiting

The muscles:

  • Paralysis
  • Weakness
  • Contraction or rigidity of limbs
  • Stretching
  • Tremors and shaking

Neurological symptoms:

  • Epilepsy
  • Numbness and anesthesia
  • Convulsions
  • Paroxysm
  • Palsies – paralysis and involuntary tremors
  • Spasms
  • Neuralgia

Other symptoms:

  • Difficulty walking
  • Catalepsy . . . can’t move or speak but conscious
  • Passing out or losing consciousness
  • Sweating
  • Shivering
  • Feeling as if there are lumps in ones body

Symptoms possibly caused by weak ego

  • Voice problems, such as being unable to speak
  • Anxiety
  • Oppression (feeling as if something bearing down all around you)
  • Depression
  • Fits of laughing
  • Delirium
  • Confusion
  • Weeping
  • Trance states
  • Loss of sensibility
  • Sleepiness
  • Hallucinations
  • Becoming dumb
  • Loss of identity
  • Hysterical contagion
  • Hysterical identification
  • Mass hysteria

Other important points about the symptoms

  • Some symptoms start and stop when seeing certain people or things or in remembering something
  • Touching a specific part of body can sometimes affect symptoms

The symptoms of females hysteria are rather deceiving in that they are a result of where the tension went, for whatever reason, and do not hint at or describe its origin.  This is because its a “physical conversion” of a tension.  It shows that the symptom originates from the mind and that the “symptoms” often don’t reveal much.  I call this the “indirect associative phenomena” of hysteria because the symptoms are often associated indirectly with the source.  In many ways, this is a characteristic trait of hysteria.  Its one reason why the symptoms seem so bizarre at times and seem unrelated with anything.

Some ways the associations are made include:

  • By an association of an event which dictate how the symptoms appear
  • By a physical association . . . that is, something is associated with a physical part of the body
  • By an outlet of tension association, such as tensing the neck muscles when stressed
  • By an association with physical anatomy or characteristics where the body takes a tension and manifests it physically without ones will or knowledge

The Dramatic Effect of Female Physical Hysteria

Many physical forms of female hysteria can have dramatic effect on people because of their intensity and severity.  This is especially if its like an epileptic fit that happens regularly or entails screaming, hallucinations, or other things.  This dramatic effect may have a lot to do with the witch hysteria of the past and why it caused such a panic.

MENTAL HYSTERIA

Mental hysteria is prevalent in females with these qualities:

  • They are after the mid 1800’s in Western Europe
  • A more mental dominated life
  • A more social orientation

This form of hysteria seems to be a result of a redirection of the impulses in other directions than physical, as was seen in the previous form.  This made the symptoms appear in a totally different way.  They do not resemble the classical forms of hysteria at all but, remember, I am defining hysteria as the effects of a weak ego . . . that’s whats determining everything.  The symptoms of mental hysteria are caused by a weak ego but its effects are different.

Something that seems particularly influential is the creation of this form are:

  • A more urban lifestyle that is less physical and more mental
  • The coming of a multitude of media forms
  • The bourgeoisie mentality which is a want-to-be and imitative mentality

The effect of these is that it turned the female into a person whose whole life is mentally dominated, imitative and a suck-up to society.  In this way, the tension was no longer directed in physical directions but developed new directions, primarily turning to mental areas and manifestations.

Overall, I would venture to say that the symptoms of post-1800’s female hysteria is primarily caused by the effects of over-imitation and being a puppet to society.  These have weakened the ego and caused several things to happen that are quite dominant:

  • By being a slave to society it made the female more susceptible to mass hysteria.  Because of this, the post-1800’s female hysteria has a close association with mass hysteria.
  • Being controlled by society the female lost a control over who she is and what she is.  
  • It caused the contempt and denial of femininity.

Because of the different conditions the symptoms are different.

Symptoms

The female puppet

The female puppet is a result of the female becoming a complete slave to society and its ideals.  Hence, they become much like puppets.  As a result, they lose a sense of who they are to the point that they cease to exist as a separate person.  Some effects of this include:

  • A mindlessness
  • A feeling of being controlled
  • Always trying to be someone else
  • A loss of a sense of self
  • Leeching . . . trying to “live of other people”
  • A slavishness to society
  • Hysterical contagion

Interestingly, many females can feel that they are slaves or controlled by things and often complain about it.  The problem is that they blame the wrong thing . . . usually the male or society . . . never themselves.  In actuality, the slavishness they feel is what they have imposed upon themselves . . . they are slaves to themselves.

The alienation of the mother instinct

As they lost hold of who and what they are they developed an alienation of the mother instinct which caused things like:

  • They develop a victim mentality
  • They neglect the mother instinct and female things
  • They develop a contempt of the female

Alienation with self

Since the female is no longer herself she tries to be other things:

  • They try to be the social ideal
  • They follow trends
  • They try to be a man

Other manifestations

Interestingly, much of these can be described as a “weak mindedness” reflecting the weak ego:

  • They become easily traumatized
  • Over sensitivity
  • Over reaction
  • Anxiety
  • Low self-esteem
  • Insecurity
  • Depression
  • Obsessive-compulsive tendencies

The Dramatic Effects of Female Mental Hysteria

The effects of the mental hysteria can be as dramatic as the physical forms but in a different way:

  • They’ve created a whole world of victimhood that has convinced many people of its truth and created many false myths about the female
  • There has been extensive false accusation negatively affecting many people
  • There has become a degradation and destruction of the female identity

In other words, mental hysteria has developed many negative and destructive qualities over the years.  In fact, I’d say that the most destructive overall effect of mental hysteria is the degradation and destruction of the female and the female identity.  In many ways, this makes it far worse than the physical form.  The female is no longer a “woman” but a puppet to society.


Copyright by Mike Michelsen

Posted in Historical stuff, Imitation and the problems it creates, Male and female, Mother instinct, womb sickness, female hysteria, and such, Psychology and psychoanalysis, Victorianism, Bourgeoisie, noble imitation, and sycophancy | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Thoughts on the Salem witch trials, with remarks about female hysteria and the witch hysteria in general

Here are some thoughts about the witch hysteria of the past (whether they’re true or not I don’t know):

SALEM WITCH TRIALS

I think everyone knows about the Salem witch trials of 1692 and 1693.  This caused girls to have fits which alarmed many people eventually causing a witch scare.

I’ve heard all sorts of causes for the girls fits, such as:

  • The prohibition of doing magic in Puritan society. Though there was a prohibition, many Puritans did do various forms of conjuring and magic in their life.  This was viewed as the work of the devil.  This is possible but I have a hard time believing this, by itself, caused it.
  • The effects of the strict Puritan lifestyle. This is possible but if it is then why hasn’t other girls suffered like this?  I also tend to think this is a point of view of the 1800’s as a result of the French Revolution and its effects in which everything is portrayed as oppressing everyone and, as a result, we are all fighting for freedom against this oppression.  In this case, the Puritan lifestyle is viewed as the oppressor and the people are wanting freedom from it.  I have doubts about this point of view.
  • The female being oppressed by society. This, to me, is just part of the Victorian portrayal of the female as a victim and the attempt to make the female an oppressed person. I don’t accept this point of view.
  • Some form of sickness.  I guess this is possible but I doubt it.  Too many people are involved.

The actual cause of these fits is unclear.  Often, it is supposed that Tituba, an American Indian slave, had inspired a “circle” of girls with voodoo and magical stories and techniques.  There is no proof of this.  I get the impression that people just assumed it to be true because she was brought up in a non-Christian world.  It was the most obvious explanation at the time.

But there is a story that was told by Pastor John Hale who said that the fits were apparently caused when a girl was looking at the white of the egg in a glass of water.  The shape of the egg white in the water was supposed to tell the profession of their future husbands.  As she looked at the shape that appeared in the water she saw that it looked or resembled a coffin.  This, it is said, precipitated the girl to have fits (he states these fits lasted to her death).  These fits are what was supposed to of started the witch hysteria of Salem in 1692.  Soon, other young girls she knew were doing fits and other odd behavior.  Some aspects of the fits and behavior that the girls did include:

  • Crawling into holes
  • Getting under chairs and stools
  • Getting into rigid postures
  • Making weird nonsensical statements
  • Weeping
  • Laughing
  • Shaking
  • Shivering
  • Sweating
  • The tongue was curled back on itself in the mouth and could not be moved
  • The tongue was extended over the chin
  • Body pains
  • Feelings of being strangled
  • Speaking through closed lips
  • Becoming deaf
  • Becoming dumb
  • Becoming blind
  • Opening the mouth so wide that their jaw becomes dislocated
  • Getting in weird contortions and shapes
  • Barking and purring
  • Seeing specters or images . . . hallucination
  • Running around the room on their toes, flapping their arms, as if flying
  • Claiming they’ve been hit, roasted, stabbed with knives, having their head nailed to floor, etc.

Many of these are qualities are seen in female hysteria (see below).

Is John Hale’s story true?  I don’t know.  Or did Tituba teach the girls magical techniques?  I don’t know.  I don’t think we will ever know.

But, interestingly, the story told by Pastor John Hale reveals something interesting.  It tends to fit into a scenario that I have seen in regard to females, motherhood, and hysteria and brings up some interesting points.  Keep in mind, though, that this is speculation.

An Old Maid??? . . . The Fear of the “Infertile Female”

Why would the coffin elicite a response of fits and odd behavior in a young girl?  Here are some possible thoughts:

  • It refers to the fear of death and damnation because she was doing the sinful act of magical conjuring . . . I see this as possible
  • That her husband will be an undertaker . . . I have a hard time believing that
  • That her husband will die . . . perhaps, but why would that cause fits?
  • Something unknown . . . possibly some personal meaning of hers that we will never know
  • That she will not have a husband . . . perhaps

I had another alternate scenario of the possible meaning of the coffin.  Could the coffin be a reference to the idea of a fear of being an old maid?  That sounds funny when you hear it and seems rather trivial.  But this fear was prevalent in many females minds.  I’ve heard it many times in England and here in the U.S.  Even when I was a kid girls sometimes threatened each other by saying that that they will “become an old maid”.  I recall asking a girl why that was such a big deal and she said that it means that you won’t have any children.  This statement supports some aspects of my observation over the years.

We must remember that these are young girls on the verge of motherhood and are starting to feel motherly feelings as well as a wonderment for their future.  To be an “old maid” is a frightening thought as it means that you are, in a sense, infertile.  By this is meant not being able to have children for whatever reason.  This doesn’t necessarily mean in a physical sense (such as having some ailment that prevents a female from getting pregnant) but in a more overall sense, particularly as a result of conditions.  In this way, the fear of being an “old maid” is a fear of being infertile, of not having any children, where the female does not ever become a “complete woman”, so to speak . . . a great and terrible fear.  I’ll refer to this as the “infertile female”, referring to the female that has no children and, therefore, never becomes a “complete woman”.  Remember that this was in a time when females respected and saw value in being a mother, an all important point of life.  To not be a “complete woman” was frightening.  This is unlike today where all females worry about is getting a job, doing the latest social ideal, and who treat motherhood like an inconvenience.

Naturally, there became many types of people who represented this “infertile female”.  Some of these include:

  • Old maids . . . females who never married and had children
  • Old ladies, often described as “old hags”
  • Widows
  • Ladies who live alone
  • Deformed people
  • Ugly people, especially females
  • People who are not socially accepted
  • People who are rejected by society

And who did the young females generally first condemn as witches?  From what I understand it is primarily people that fit the qualities described above.  These became the people who were usually first accused as “witches” during the witch scare era.  Of particular importance is the image of the old lady as the source of accusation of being a witch.  To me, this is particularly revealing as the image of the 0ld lady is one of a female way past her childbearing years and often seeming to be withering away to nothing, so to speak.  It is the person who is exactly opposite of what a young female is.  The old lady is the best image of an “infertile female” for young females.  As a result, the old lady brings up fears associated with motherhood.  Because of this, there is often a great fear, apprehension, or disgust of older ladies for many young girls.  This is one reason why there are many bad connotations about older ladies, such as that they are “old hags”.

What all this shows is that the image of the witch originates from a representation of the “infertile female” which reflects the fear of being an “old maid”.  This, then, associates the whole witch phenomena to the theme of motherhood . . .

The Association with Motherhood . . . Hysteria . . . “Womb Sickness”

Naturally, the fear of the “infertile female” – the childless female – is associated with motherhood.  As a result of this, it entails themes and issues that are related with it.  One of these is hysteria.  Hysteria means “womb sickness”.

To me, hysteria is the result of the effects of the emotions, passions, impulses, etc. that the mother instinct creates.  For some girls this can create problems all their life and greatly affect their character.  It often creates problems in young girls because they are prepared for it when it first appears.  This is why hysteria is common in young females in the teens and twenties.

For centuries it has caused some unique phenomena in the female.  Common symptoms include:

  • Epileptic fits
  • Feelings of being choked
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Paralysis
  • Weird sensations
  • Anesthesia
  • Problems with speech, such as being unable to speak
  • Speaking in unusual ways, sometimes as if speaking a different language
  • Also includes many of the symptoms the girls displayed above

These symptoms were somewhat prevalent from before Christ to the 1800’s.  These symptoms are primarily physical in manifestation.  I tend to think that there was a change in hysteria that took place in the late 1800’s and is largely in response to the new conditions created during this time.  Basically, hysteria turned to neuroses . . . the “womb sickness” went from physical manifestations to mental manifestations.  As a result, the “womb sickness” in females primarily appears as mental problems since the 1800’s.

A common psychological manifestation of hysteria, that we see nowadays, is when females see themselves as victims of everything.  They find victimizing in just about anything you can imagine.  They then start to accuse people of victimizing them.  This is the “I’m-a-victim-of-you” mentality which is very prevalent nowadays.  Sound familiar?  Isn’t this the same point of view taken by many females in the witch hysteria?  The females would have a fit and then falsely accuse someone of bewitching them.  Nowadays, they feel themselves a victim and then falsely accuse someone for it.  Its the same.

An important point is how the female hysteric uses the belief of the times to justify their accusations:  in the witch scare it was Christian themes of Satan . . . in modern democratic times it tends to be themes of oppression or sexual abuse.  In actuality, they originate from the same source and have the same cause . . . motherhood.

The females in Salem displayed characteristic and classical signs of hysteria that have been described from Ancient Egypt to the 1800’s.  This suggests, to me, that the first girl to suffer from it was probably a genuine female hysteria reflecting aspects of motherhood.  This may be why the coffin had such an impact on her personally.  The dilemma then manifested itself in her hysterical fits.

But this first female hysteria then spread to close friends who then displayed it.  After a while it then to many other females.  This shows a fact about hysteria, of how it has an infectious quality.  This brings up another aspect of hysteria . . . the absence of a self and its effects . . .

The Absent Self in Female Hysteria

One of the fascinating effects of the mother instinct is that it tends to create an absent self in females.  I often call this the Partial Mind.  Its probably no surprise that this often appears strongest about the time the female starts menstruation and for a little time after words (teens and twenties) which is the common age range of many of the accusers in witch hysteria.

It seems, to me, that the absent self, or Partial Mind, is a manifestation of motherhood.  Basically, the mother instinct creates a natural “motherly love” in females.  Contrary to what is often supposed, motherly love is not an emotion.  Instead, motherly love is an absence of self which creates a need for another self – the child – to make them whole.  In this way, the child is an extension of the female making motherly love a form of female self love.  As a result, several things are created:

  • A feeling of “absence”, of something missing
  • A desire for “something”, another person, to fill the “absence”
  • A desire to incorporate this “something” into ones self

This desire to incorporate the “something” into ones self tends to create an infectious quality in hysteria.  It causes a tendency to incorporate “anything” into ones self, regardless of what it is.  Hence, it causes an infectious quality. Its particularly infectious with other people with the same absent self quality.  Typically, girls with the infectious quality tend to imitate other girls symptoms, sometimes almost exactly.  What this means is that there is a first girl, with genuine hysteria symptoms, whose symptoms are then imitated by other girls who don’t have the genuine symptoms.  The next thing you know there are a bunch of girls with the same symptoms.  This is hysterical contagion.  This is what happened in the Salem witch trials and in other witch hunts.

The “womb sickness”, the absent self, and hysterical contagion, predispose females to hysteria which makes them more prone to this phenomena.  But its not the only form of hysteria . . .

A Society that Demands a Loss of Self . . . Creating a Social Hysteria

Puritan society requires submission and conformity to a great extent.  Basically, this means that it demands a loss of self by a denial of self in favor of Puritan ideals.  As a result, people are very “suggestable”, they “follow along” very easily, and do what they are told.  This makes people prone to hysteria.  Its for this reason that once a scare starts it seems to of spread throughout the society rather rapidly. It had now turned from female hysteria to mass hysteria which brings it to a whole new level.

Just like the females, with their loss of self, this social form also displays a hysterical contagion.  Its different in that it tends to revolve around social themes whereas the female form tends to be related to motherhood themes.  In this way, we could speak of it as social hysterical contagion.  This then brings the witch hysteria to a new level.

The Social and Power Structure Supports the Social Hysteria

Once the social hysteria gets noticed by the social and power system of a society it will often try to influence it generally to get rid of it.  In this way, the social and power system takes the social hysteria and justifies it with law and politics.  It now becomes intellectualized and formal belief starts to appear.  Once the social and power structure takes hold the witch scare tends to get out of control.  This is because the social system is harnessed and used.  Because of this, its when the social/power system starts to make an appearance that it truly becomes tragic.  It causes the witch hysteria to be  thrown into another level.

This becomes particularly bad when there is a belief in a greater conspiracy like the black mass.  Once this happens the social and power structure gets involved with the witch hysteria and tends to make it go out of control.  This means that much of the witch hysteria wasn’t about witches, diabolic possession, etc. but the idea of a conspiracy of a group of witches with a leader who are signing pacts with Satan.  In the Salem witch trials it reached this point when George Burroughs was accused as being the leader of witch meetings and signing the devils book with blood.

The Inability to Understand Female Hysteria

The appearance of female symptoms is hard for people to understand.  Throughout the centuries this is a common event. This is because of things like these:

  • The symptoms appears in weird, unexpected, and unusual ways
  • Its not associated with motherhood . . . in fact, its hard to tell what its associated with
  • It appears out of nowhere

As a result of these there is a tendency to try to explain it.  The physical manifestations of female hysteria has a resemblance to demonic possession or magical bewitchment which is why, in Christian times, they saw it as just that.  In this way, the “womb sickness” would become associated with the witch.

I have never really seen the physical manifestations of female hysteria, as they are somewhat rare nowadays, but it appears to of had great impact on people.  In the Salem witch trials it had a tremendous impact.  At the beginning, the girls were admitted into the court room and they would go into fits from time to time.  Once the girls were no longer in the court room the Salem witch trials slowly began to end.  This shows that the girls fits had a tremendous impact on people in the court and influenced their decisions . . . to the point of 20 executions and over 150 imprisoned!  This point, I think, has never been acknowledged in regard to these trials.  It shows that the Salem witch hunt is a reaction to the physical manifestations of female hysteria which alarmed people to a great extent because it was dramatic and in which they could not understand.  When the girls, and their fits, were removed from the court it dramatically affected the trials.  In this way, one could say that the Salem witch trials were a product of the reaction to the fits of the girls.  It caused it and kept it going.

STAGES IN WITCH HYSTERIA

I always thought that there are stages that often take place in the development of many witch hysteria’s in history.  In other words, its a conglomeration of different things that add up and create it . . . not just one thing.

Keep in mind that I am speaking of a witch hysteria that begins in female hysteria.  This was only a form of witch hysteria.  Some witch hysteria’s were caused by things like misinterpreting facts, ecclesiastical mania, overzealous witch hunters, and such.

The stages of a witch hysteria, originating from female hysteria, seem to be:

  1. The manifestation of female hysteria
  2. A fear and apprehension of the manifestation of female hysteria with an inability to explain it
  3. The accusing of people by the female hysteric
  4. The society starts to try and possibly execute people
  5. A social panic and fear develops as a result
  6. When the idea of a greater conspiracy beings to appear (such as the black mass) then the witch hunt gets the greater social/power structure involved
  7. It turns into a great hysteria

We could say that there are three levels in the progression of witch hysteria:

  1. Personal – female hysteria, womb sickness
  2. Social – hysterical contagion, social hysteria
  3. Legal/Political – the power structure steps in and often escalates the problem

It seems that the further it progresses the worst the hysteria becomes.  This is primarily because it begins to harness more and more of the power structure of the society.

In this way, the different levels all contribute to the hysteria in different ways.  Because of this, the witch hysteria took many forms, levels, severity, and manifestations, depending on how many levels it had gone through.  This is further complicated by the fact that the conditions that surrounds the witch hysteria affect how it appears as well as its severity.

In some cases, 0nce the witch hysteria progresses, particularly after the social/power structure gets involved, the influence of female hysteria decreases, often to the point that it completely disappears.  The witch hysteria then becomes more “abstract” and intellectual, based in legal, theological, and political viewpoints.  This “abstract” image is the origin of how the witch hysteria has been portrayed down to today.  In other words, the effects of the legal/political phase has completely overshadowed the female hysteria.


Copyright by Mike Michelsen

Posted in Historical stuff, Male and female, Mass hysteria, mass society, and the mob, Mother instinct, womb sickness, female hysteria, and such, Psychology and psychoanalysis | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Thoughts on a quality of the twenty first century – a witch scare quality – with remarks about the influence of social media and the natural dislike of people

In a recent conversation I said some interesting things:

A NEW WITCH SCARE QUALITY

I first began to say that this century hasn’t really created anything new.  Its as if everything is a continuation of the last century.  I went on wondering when a “new mentality” is going to appear.  I then said that the only thing new seems to be a quality similar to a witch scare.  The term “witch scare” may not be the right word, or the wrong expression, but its the word I keep using and I don’t know what other word to use.  Even its quality is not easy to describe.  I even had difficulty trying to describe it.  I used these expressions:

  • Its like there is a “quiet apprehension” between people
  • There is a “quiet paranoia” going on
  • Nonsensical things people do offends or bothers people
  • People seem to find hatred in things
  • People jump to find fault with people
  • People seem to find abuses in things
  • People are too willing to accuse people
  • There are divisions happening between people
  • I’ve often said that “we seem to be moving into an era of bias and favoritism”

Overall, this quality seems to conjure up threats and enemies and there is an easy tendency to accuse and blame.  In this way, it is something like a witch scare but it can also be compared to the McCarthy era.  Its a much more milder version of these but seem similar in nature.  But the important thing, I think, is what it reveals . . .

Despite what it may seem I actually seem to see divisions happening between people nowadays.  Many people think that people are becoming more “unified” in the world, but I tend to think that, behind all this, there are actually growing more divisions, fears, and apprehensions between people.  This gives it a witch scare quality that, in the midst of “world unity”, people are growing more apprehensive and accusative of other people and are willing to find people to blame for this fear.

This witch scare quality is not new.  It seems a continuation of what I saw in the last century, with the cold war scare, conspiracy theories, law suit crisis, every ones rights being violated, and such.  But it has a different quality . . . there’s a “something” about it.  To me, this different quality gives it a “newness” even though it originates from a previous mentality.  It may be the something else has added a new side to it . . .

THE INFLUENCE OF SOCIAL MEDIA

I then wondered when this all began.  I then said that this all seems to of begun about 15 or so years ago.  I then realized this was about when social media got really big.  I began to wonder if this may be a result of the social media.  Thinking on it further I felt that it probably has a big impact on it.

The social media is often said to “bring people together” or “connect people”.  There is some degree of truth in this.  But it has also brought great and tremendous tension between people.  Its conjured up whole new avenues of dislike between people and is as if amplifying them.  Its done this in ways such as:

  • Its made people more aware of people.  There is more awareness of the differences between people, how people think, etc.  It also brings out misanthropic tendencies in some people.
  • People find out what people really think.  I’ve always said that “if we found out what other people truly thought, we wouldn’t like them anymore” and I think that is sort of what has happened.
  • Its made people reflect too much on people and what they do.  This causes people to become more judgmental and critical of people.
  • Its made people take things to seriously.  A statement or word is often taken far more seriously than it really should.
  • Its a means to express bad feelings.  Some people use social media to express hatred, discontent, etc.
  • Its an avenue of social hysteria.  Any panic, threat, etc. spreads easily in the social media.

In this way, the social media has become an avenue for a naturally appearing dislike between people . . .

THE NATURAL DISLIKE BETWEEN PEOPLE

The Christian idea is that everyone is supposed to love one another.  This is the point of view that Western society assumes to be true.  I have never believed this.  I think this witch scare quality reveals what I have always said:

“People don’t really like each other”

This doesn’t mean that people automatically hate each other and want to kill each other.  It also doesn’t mean that people can’t get along.  Nor does it mean that there is always tension between people.  It means that there is a natural dislike that happens between people.  It often underlies peoples association with each other which is one reason why people can jump from a love to a hate of people very easily.  Best friends can become enemies over a small thing.  This natural dislike is a natural phenomena and is always there.  Its always been like that.  Even many primitive tribes will avoid each other.

This natural dislike has great impact on peoples association with each other.  To deal with this dislike it causes many things to appear in relationships between people in ways such as:

  • There is emphasis on politeness, courtesy, and etiquette
  • There are “codes of behavior”
  • There are oaths and promises in relationships, such as in marriage
  • There are motives behind the association that “bond” or hold it together, such as in a family

What we see is a prevalence of rules, or some rigid condition, in associations between people . . . that is, “structured”.  If one looks closely one can see that almost all relationships between people are not “free” and “open”, as one would think, but are actually “structured” with many rules and regulations.  If often does not appear this way because we accept this “structure” as a part of relationships.  Part of the reason for this “structure” in relationships between people is to prevent this natural dislike from appearing.  This is why when the “structure” is broken it often unleashes this dislike.  For example, if someone does something that is viewed as impolite, or viewed as rude, it can cause great tension between people . . . the dislike surfaces.

I have always felt that the dislike is not just a hatred of people.  If it was we’d see a lot more of it.  To me, it seems that it is part of a greater story.  I would describe it this way:  When we associate with people we see them as a part of our self.  As a result, we “project” our whole self toward them, good and bad.  Since we feel love and hate we both love and hate them, so to speak.  As a result of this “projection”, both love and hate are always there “under the surface” in any association with people.  This means that a dislike of people is always there even though you don’t see it.  It also means that there is always a  love of people as well.

In Christian/Western society a natural dislike between people is not acknowledged.  I would even say that there is even a fear, a phobia, to acknowledge any dislike between people in Christian/Western society.  This is because of things like:

  • Christianity preaches that we are supposed to love everyone
  • The fear caused by war (WWII, Cold War, Vietnam War, etc.)
  • The fear caused by the Holocaust and the Nazi’s

As a result of these, its a feeling that no one wants to accept causing them to be unable to relate to it.  People want the association between people to be “good”.  This causes these natural feelings of dislike to go “underground”, so to speak, causing the “quite apprehension”, “quite paranoia”, and such, that tends to give it a witch scare quality.

For many years I have always maintained that we need to accept, and be aware of, this natural dislike between people.  We need to quite condemning it, denying it, criticizing it, villainizing people for displaying it, and such.

Over the years I’ve grown to accept the natural dislike between people as the way of things and I expect it.  I also try to understand and respect it.  I’ve always said that “I respect the natural dislike of people until it starts to adversely affect people”.  The vast bulk of times it doesn’t do anything.  If you stand back and look you’ll notice that everyone displays it to some extent and in some way . . . even yourself!  Like a lot of things, its a problem only when it gets out of control.  But its always there . . . there’s no point of denying it or trying to change it.  In some respects, this witch scare mentality is a result of trying to deny a natural tendency that all people have . . . a natural dislike of people. 

Interestingly, the people that are often displaying this witch scare quality the most are people who are promoting “peace”, “love”, and such, between people.  This is because they are denying any dislike between people.  They are as if trying to force everything to fit the “Christian ideal” where we all love one another.  But, deep down, they are displaying the dislike the most.  This often appears as a fierce condemnation of people who don’t support their views.  In the end, even the preachers of “love and peace” display this natural tendency.  More than once have I said that these are the people we need to most be leery of for they harbor the repressed dislike.


Copyright by Mike Michelsen

Posted in Historical stuff, Mass communication: media, social media, and the news, Modern life and society, Psychology and psychoanalysis, Society and sociology, Twenty first century and post cold war society | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Thoughts on the “era of drones” with remarks about its legacy and effects

Recently, some ideas kept coming to me which is quite interesting and which got onto some interesting statements and observations:

I kept saying that we are in the “era of drones”.  This refers to a character of person that I call a “drone”.  They have a specific mentality which I call the “drone mentality”.  It seems, to me, that this can be called the mentality of the 21st century.  It primarily consists of a strong drone or minion mentality.  I also stated that this mentality may pose a threat, in some way or another, in the future.  In other words, I felt that it would leave a bad legacy for the future.

THE “DRONE”

The “drone” is a character of person that has been largely created by conditions that started to appear in the 1990’s.  A lot of people may think that this is primarily a result of technology but there is more to it than that.  A lot of things have contributed to create this character. Some of these include:

  • The over prevalence and over power of technology, such as the media
  • The extensiveness of media in all its many form, such as social media
  • The overwhelming use of social media
  • The overabundance of consumerism and various forms of consumer products
  • Over-education and spending too much time stuffing your mind with information someone else created
  • A slavish attitude, and endless pursuit, of all the above
  • Living in a mass society where everyone is a blur
  • There is no authority
  • The fall of belief and culture which causes a need to believe in something else

It seems that several things are particularly influential in the development of this character:

  • Technology.  This has made people into something like a “subsidiary” or appendage of a machine.
  • Over-education.  This as if turns people into “programmed robots” who do and repeat what they are told and in the way they are told to do it.
  • The absence of a belief and culture.  This causes an absence of direction and a need to believe in something . . . anything.

The conditions these have created are as if turning humanity into something like a machine with a bunch of people who are becoming machines and with a machine mentality and who worship the machine.  The result of this is the “drone” character of person.

THE “DRONE MENTALITY”

The character of the “drone” – the “drone mentality” – has a number of qualities, such as:

  • A tendency to blindly obey
  • A tendency to do whatever they’re told
  • A tendency to believe whatever they’re told
  • A condition where people are “programmed” to think a certain way (primarily by education and the prevalence of media)
  • There’s an absence of questioning 
  • There is a blindly following of social ideals, trends, fads, etc.
  • There is a mindlessness
  • There is a lack of individuality and a sense of a person
  • There is an absence of belief or belief system
  • There is an absence of authority
  • There is an absence of social structure
  • Where life is based in looking or catering to some machine
  • Where one lives life through a machine
  • A tendency to mass hysteria and “following the mob”
  • A tendency to try to reenact former glories, people, or events

The effect of all this is an almost ant-like mentality where people, and society, has more the quality of a machine, automaton, or a robot.  Humanity begins to take on the quality of an ant hill more than anything else, and people become like ants.  Sometimes, when I see an anthill, I often joke to myself, “there’s the great example of modern society . . . if we could only get to that level of perfection!”  I also sometimes add, ” . . . and, just think, they reached that level of perfection without technology!”

THE “DRONE GENERATION”

The “drone mentality” is particularly prevalent in the younger generation who are brought up in the “era of drones”.  I often call them the “drone generation” as a result (see my article Thoughts on the post cold war generations – some observations . . .).  I guess they could be called the “millennials” but I think it goes beyond that.  Most certainly, they are a part of the “drone generation”.  To me, the “drone generation” are people brought up from about the mid 1990’s to today.  They would of have to be at least in junior high during this time.  I should also point out that it doesn’t include everyone brought up during this time.  It refers to a specific character that is prevalent during this time.

The “drone generation” has become its proponents and preachers of this mentality for a number of reasons:

  • Since America worships the youth as the “hope of the future” they are basically taught that they are the representatives of the future
  • The “drone mentality” is associated with technology which is associated with American greatness which gives it an authority which, in turn, gives them authority
  • Because they are “indoctrinated” with this mentality
  • Because they have enslaved themselves with technology and machines

To me, the “drone generation” is characterized as having relinquished their life to this mentality, to technology, and media.  Because they have given up their life to it, and made life revolve around it with no other options, they do not leave much of a legacy for the future . . .

THE LEGACY

Many times I have found myself saying “when the mentality of the drone generation passes away will be a great event in history”.  To be honest, I feel it is.The legacy of the “era of drones” is the creation of a world and lifestyle where a person is controlled by technology, media, stuffing ones mind with information, etc. and to be completely subservient to it. In other words, it leaves little room for the person and human being.  As a result, the legacy of the “era of drones”, and the “drone generation”, will be things like:

  • A robotic mindless people
  • An ant-like and humanly empty society
  • The “era of drones” is so empty that its not creating anything like a style, a culture, or even a character of its own.  Its like a big blur.  The only thing that’s going to be remembered of this era will be all the app’s, graphics, machines, etc. that was created.  Have you ever noticed that no one has appeared, during this era, that has any character or personality?  For example, there’s no longer any movie stars.
  • The “drone mentality” is creating people who don’t seem to be people at all . . . its an era of characterless people.  To me, the image I keep seeing of the legacy of the “era of drones” is of a faceless person looking into a screen.  The faceless person is a “nothing”, a nobody . . . the only thing that has any importance is in the screen . . . that’s all that mattered.
  • It leaves a world in which a person must be this way in order to survive.
  • The “drone mentality” justifies the dehumanization of humanity . . . it makes it “OK” to not be human and to be a minion and to destroy the human quality in life.  In this way, it has an “anti-human” quality.

I went on to say that this ant-like “drone mentality” is one of the greatest threats we face today.  It doesn’t seem that way as we are too busy being dazzled by everything.  In other words, I felt that it is a very damaging and destructive point of view.  I always felt that, when this is all said and done, we will look back on the “era of drones” and see that it was a great era of destruction.  It seems, to me, that the “drone mentality” is a mentality that is like an erasing, an obliteration, a wiping out of things.  I often compare its quality to something similar to a lobotomy.  From what I’ve seen that’s somewhat accurate.

A common statement of mine is:  “It will be nice to get away from the drone mentality and get back to being human beings again.”

SOME EFFECTS OF THIS MENTALITY 

The Influence of the Self and the Creation of Psychological Problems

The “drone mentality” requires the loss of self or, rather, an absence of self.  There are a number of effects that this causes such as:

  • Some people are attracted to the “drone mentality” because of a lack of a self or a weak self . . . the “drone mentality” basically replaces their absent self. 
  • Some people, who are affected by the “drone mentality”, tend to lose their self or it gets weaker.
  • It tends to degrade the value and importance of the self overall.

The effects of these tend to give the “drone mentality” a destructive quality.  In general, the “drone mentality” tends to undermine the self and create people who don’t have a self.  This can create mental problems and “issues” which are quite prevalent with the “drones”.  In fact, I tend to believe that many mental and psychological problems of today are caused by the “drone mentality”.  

The Male

Because the male has a strong self the “drone mentality” tends to have a more varied effect on the male depending on the strength of his self.  Its effects are much like a spectrum that goes something like this:

  • The male caters to the mentality because of a weak self (everyone else is doing it, etc.).
  • They cater to the mentality because they get some gain from it (they are interested in it, they get some power from it, etc.).
  • The male is effected negatively.  For many males, the “drone mentality” is causing something like a stasis or halting.  They as if “stopped” in life.  They’ve become apathetic and ambitionless.  In this way, the “drone mentality” has actually impaired most males.  Many males are as if staring into space into a vacuum they can’t relate to almost like they are uncertain what to do.

The Female

Because the female tends to have a weaker self she tends to fall to the “drone mentality” more strongly.  Because of this, the perfect “drone” has become the female and, as a result, a large part of the female population have taken to it.  They are fitting very well into the “drone mentality”.  In many ways, the female has become the “machine of society”, doing whatever it says and wants, mindlessly and without thought.  Because of this, much of the life of females, nowadays, is nothing but learning to be a “drone”.   I tend to feel that this is going to backfire on the female.  I’ve always said, and believe, that many females will wake up one day and find that they have sacrificed all that a female is just to have a job.  That is to say, the female is sacrificing everything that makes up who they are in order to be a “drone” . . . and they are doing this in droves.


Copyright by Mike Michelsen

Posted in Dehumanization and alienation, Historical stuff, Male and female, Modern life and society, The "drones" and stuff associated with them, Twenty first century and post cold war society | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment