Some thoughts on “systemized knowledge”, with remarks about the “dilemma of the word” and becoming wordless

Here’s a thought I had:

As I reflect on much of my life, especially since about 1990, its clear that much of it has been a rebellion against what I call “systemized knowledge”. 


“Systemized knowledge” consists of these qualities:

  • It is an already established body of knowledge 
  • It is a pre-established way or pattern of thinking
  • It is associated with some form of power structure
  • It is pre-approved and accepted by a power structure
  • It requires one to conform to it

These conditions create a particular quality of knowledge that is geared for a specific purpose . . .


I would say that the primary purpose of “systemized knowledge” is that it is a form of knowledge, and thinking, that is used as a means to the power contained in a system.  This consists of three main points:

  1. The system
  2. The power contained in the system
  3. The knowledge, and thinking, that allows one to use the power contained in the system

As a result, “systemized knowledge” isn’t about “knowledge” at all but in being able to associate with and/or gain from a system.  In this way, everything is focused on the system and its power.  This tends to bias this knowledge to the system and its power structure and, as a result, it becomes narrow and one-sided.  This is because everything becomes “true” only in relation to that system and its power.  People who live “in the system” tend to not be aware of this bias and narrow thinking, I’ve found, and tend to not realize that there are other ways to interpret and view the world.


There are a number of things that promote “systemized knowledge” and make it relevant, useful, and important.  There is something like a progression that slowly leads up to an organized system.  Its pattern goes something like this:

  1. Beliefs.  Established beliefs, culture, customs, traditions, etc.  These are primarily conveyed by words and observation/imitation.
  2. Written words.  Books, documents, and things associated with written words.
  3. Organized institutions.  This could include things like organized religions, Universities, professional associations, clubs, etc.
  4. An organized system. The existence and success of an organized social system like a country.

These tend to make “systemized knowledge” something that becomes necessary, particularly the further along the progression one gets.

One could say that human society could not function without “systemized knowledge”, in one form or another.  At the bare minimum we need “beliefs” to hold a society together.  In many primitive societies, beliefs are the only “systemizied knowledge” they have.


The effects of “systemized knowledge” are both good and bad:

  • Good – it helps create a unified, holistic, and working society
  • Bad – it tends to degrade, dehumanize, and undermine the person

In this way, it has a “double edged sword” quality . . . it hinders and helps.

My rebellion reflected the bad side of it . . .


Much of my rebellion came about as a result of all the schooling I went through in my life.  I’ve probably spoke of this before but I will try to describe it simply.

After a little less that 20 years of schooling (public and college/university) I found that I just “couldn’t take it anymore”.  I was going to the University at this time and dropped out.  This was mystifying to me.  It took about 25 years before I began to understand why I “couldn’t take it anymore”.  I began to realize that I was rebelling against the bad effects of “systemized knowledge”.  For me this encompassed things like:

  • Of having to “stuff my mind with crap other people came up with”
  • Of having to do learn things that are already pre-made
  • Of having to do everything in a pre-established way
  • Of always having to do things that are “approved”
  • Of always having what I do “approved” by the system

These prevented me from doing things such as:

  • Of not being able to discover things on my own
  • Of not being able to solve things on my own
  • Of not being able to create things on my own
  • Of not being able to “earn” these things

The result is that I felt destroyed as a person and human being.  Looking back on it now I can see that all this schooling was destroying me.  I was becoming a person who does nothing but repeat whats already been created and in the “approved” way.  I was becoming what I always call an “intellectual robot” . . .


“Systemized knowledge” tends to create a robot-like system and tends to turn people into robots who act and think like robots.  A person is given knowledge ready-made and must follow it.  In this way, “systemized knowledge” has a quality not unlike children inheriting the wealth of their parents.  They already “have everything” and don’t really have to do work for anything.  As a result, it creates a particular form of stupidity as a person does not know why it was created, or what it means, nor did they work for it . . . but yet they “know” it.  The effect is that they “know and don’t know”.  This is one of the reasons why “intelligent people” are often “dumb”.  I often associate University trained people with this particular form of stupidity.  Its probably really no surprise that it was while I was at the University that a dilemma began involving this subject which caused me to rebel against it.

I refer to this phenomena as being “system dumb” as “systemized knowledge” has made them dumb.  This has qualities such as:

  • A person knows and does what they system wants (perhaps we could refer to this as being “system smart” as they are “smart” only in the system?) . . . this helps them get ahead in the system
  • As an individual person, independent of the system, they are dumb and stupid, like a fish out of water

As a result, a person is as if undermined by “systemized knowledge”.  In some sense, its like a form of deprivation or poverty.  As I said above, I felt destroyed by it all.

Some qualities I can tell if a person is “system dumb” include:

  • They say predetermined and already known things
  • They display predetermined and established patterns of thought and thinking
  • They say things that are already approved or accepted

In addition, they do these things:

  • They do not stray off already established viewpoints and patterns of thought
  • They do not do things that may not be already accepted or approved
  • They don’t discover or create things on their own

These give them a quality of “doing what is always right” which, I have found, is often mistaken as intelligence.  In short, people are considered intelligent because they do “what’s right and accepted”.  I often speak of this as “intelligent-by-displaying-right”.  Many people go to school to do just that, to learn what is right and accepted, which they then display, like ornaments, to other people giving the appearance that they are intelligent.  Its like a game.  When I began to discover this I was quite stunned by it . . . and by the extensiveness of it.


What became clear is that there is a big difference between natural intelligence and “intelligent-by-displaying-right” of the system.  It made me question intelligence and what it is.  It became clear that there were two forms of intelligence:

  1. System intelligence.  The intelligence used in a system.  Being “system smart” and “intelligent-by-displaying-right”.
  2. Natural intelligence.  The normal day-to-day intelligence used in life.

My observation is that natural intelligence is not that dramatic.  In fact, it is so common and everyday that on one even notices it.  The primary reason for this, it seems, is power.  Natural intelligence is based in everyday life that everyone lives.  Therefore, the power one gains is “common”.  Its an intelligence that allows a person to live everyday.

But system intelligence tends to be more dramatic because of its association with power.  It does this in several ways:

  • It caters to power
  • It uses the power

This means that its not the intelligence that is dramatic but the power it is associated with.  This gives it a more impressive quality.  There are several forms of power it uses that gives it this impressive quality:

  • A social power.  This includes things like social status, prestige, etc.  This is largely a power based in the social condition.
  • Created power.  This includes things like being able to build a car, a ship, etc. that, from its existence, on gains power.  This is a power based in what it creates.

My observation is that system intelligence is actually natural intelligence applied in a different way.  In other words, it seems different but it isn’t.  To put it another way, the logic used in something like calculus is based on the same logic used by a farmer to figure out how to irrigate his fields.

System intelligence is different in a number of ways:

  • Its used for different motives
  • It uses a different “language” (such as it uses math or a specific logic)
  • It has a different form of power

Despite these, the same intellectual processes are used.

After discovering this, I began to see that the intelligence people use in everyday life (natural intelligence) was far more complicated and involved than I originally thought.  This rather stunned me as I was always taught that one goes to school to “learn”.  I thought this meant to learn new forms of intelligence.  But my observation is that a person is already using the intelligence.  What is “tricky” about school is learning to direct already existing intelligence’s in different directions with different motives, “languages”, and power.  In this way, “learning” is not about learning a new intelligence but, rather, directing already existing intelligence’s in new directions.  All this would mean that there is a “base intelligence” that everyone uses everyday, which is really natural intelligence.  One could then say that upon this base there are “specialized applications” where the “base intelligence” is directed for some specific thing or motive.  There seems several forms of “specialized applications”:

  • Physical-based.  This generally consists of movement in some way.
  • Mental-based.  This consists of things involving language and what language produces, such as logic, science, etc. (see below).

It seems, to me, that most people have the same basic skill and ability of “base intelligence”.  This is probably why societies that live in a “basic” and “natural” way (such as primitive tribes) tend to not develop any specialized types of knowledge.  When skill and ability come into play is when something becomes more specialized.  In this way, we could say that there are a number of societies:

  • A “base society”.  These live a “natural” way of life, such as primitive tribes.
  • A mixed society.  They are a “base society” but with some specialization.
  • A specialized society.  This is a society that is predominately specialized, such as modern society.

The difference in these societies is the type and level of specialization.  The more specialized the society the more “systemized knowledge” there is and the more it becomes a system.


As I said above, there is a mental-based form of “specialized application”which is primarily a result of language and what language produces.  This includes things like ideas, thoughts, symbols, etc.  As we grow we learn to speak, play, have ideas, think, etc. and apply language in many ways.  In actuality, we are really learning many “languages”, so to speak, that have a basis in language and originate from them.  This means that language, as I use it, means more than language, of speaking and communicating.  What this means is that any mental-based learning is really learning a new “language”.  This is why any learning, and field, is really a form of a “language”.  In this way, we can then say that history is a language, economics is a language, etc. and that one goes to school to learn to “speak” these languages.  As a result, the taking of natural intelligence and applying it in a “new direction”, as I said above, is nothing but learning a new “language”.  This would mean that “systemized knowledge” is a language and that the system is the product of that language.  As a result, everyone in that system must learn that language.  In that way, the system is like a country and “systemized knowledge” are its language and ways.  Could we not then say that the system is an “intellectual country”?  That is, its not a country bound by a borders, a people, a race, etc.  Its a country that is bound by ideas, thoughts, etc. . . . intellectual fabrications.  The problem is that it is too much rooted in language and what language produces.  That’s its whole framework.  As a result, it becomes narrow, restrictive, and constraining.  It causes a problem . . .


I tend to define intelligence as “the ability to maneuver through the variable conditions of life”.  If I am walking and a table is in front of me, then I walk around it.  That is intelligence.  That doesn’t sound dramatic but that is what most intelligence consists of.  This means that intelligence is rooted in the condition of variability.  This variability appears several ways:

  • A variability in ones surroundings, environment, or condition
  • A variability in ones wants
  • A variability in one means and abilities

To put all these together one could say that intelligence is using ones means to satisfy ones wants in relation to ones conditions.  This means, more or less, that intelligence needs variability.  

As a result, anything that destroys variability undermines intelligence.  This is exactly what “systemized knowledge” does.  It creates a system and knowledge that is constant, unchanging, and lacks variability . . .


A system, by nature, tends to degrade variability by creating a constant and non-changing condition.  But, in this way, it actually undermines intelligence which is rooted in variability.  


It appears that I was rebelling against the constancy of “systemized knowledge”.   This seemed to be destroying me.  This, it seems to me, is because intelligence is a means of associating with the world.  As a result, it plays a big role in the self and the development of the self.  Because of this, to destroy variability is to destroy the self.  All the years of schooling I went through, with its pre-determined knowledge and constancy, undermined my self which is why it seemed to devastate me.


After dropping out of the University I found I did a number of things to as if regain that variability.  These include:

  • I abandoned “systemized knowledge”
  • I abandoned the system
  • I abandoned the power of the system

I then did things like these:

  • I followed my inclinations, wherever they led me
  • I put great emphasis on my intuition, of what I “felt” was correct
  • I sought to discover on my own
  • I put things together on my own
  • I failed and made mistakes as well as succeeded
  • I began to appreciate “not knowing” and feeling perplexed (these reflect variability – certainty reflects constancy)

The net result of this is that I began to put emphasis on my “self”.  Looking back on it now I can see that I exchanged the constancy and power of the system for a constancy and power of the self.  I did this by abandoning the system and seeking variability in order to regain my self that was destroyed by so much schooling.


This rebellion against “systemized knowledge” seems common in history.  Some examples include:

  • Humanism.  This put emphasis on the person as opposed to systems controlling things.  I often thought it was reacting to strict Catholicism.
  • Protestantism.  This is really humanism applied to religion.  It basically emphasized that what the person believes is what mattered.
  • Neo-Confucianism.  I often suspect that this was a rebellion against traditional Confucianism which became a dead recitation of Confucian classics.  It was greatly influenced by Buddhism which put emphasis on the person.
  • Hasidism.  This seems almost like a rebellion against the rigid Jewish scholarship of reciting the Talmud.  It put emphasis on personal spiritual development.

Many of these show interesting qualities:

  • They are reacting to a strict intellectual tradition.  In this way, they are really reacting to different forms of “systemized knowledge”.
  • There is emphasis on the person, the self.
  • They involve a quest or seeking for deeper meanings and significance in things.  That is to say, they don’t involve knowledge of “how to change a tire”, and other mundane activities, but knowledge as a means to find the deeper meanings in things.

These are themes similar to what I dealt with as well.

What we see, then, is that there is a tendency for rebellion against “systemized knowledge”, when intellectual and thought-based ideas become so overly rigid and strict that they are suffocating the person.


In actuality, the rebellion against “systemized knowledge” is really a reaction against over education.  In a simplistic way I often define over education as “stuffing your mind with so much knowledge that it becomes impairing”. 

Over education is a big problem in societies that are a very organized system.  In fact, I tend to feel that many peoples problems, nowadays, are somehow related with over education.  Its a problem that is not acknowledged, as far as I know.  In this society, there is so much of a worship of knowledge for people to see that it has a bad side.  Not only that, the problems that it causes are easily ascribed to other things.


As I said above, “systemized knowledge” is a product of language.  As a result, it shows a dilemma associated with language.  I often speak of anything associated with language, and what it produces, as the “word” or “words”.  The basic problem is that deep down, “words” are alien to us.  As a result, when we use them a lot we tend to become “alienated from ourselves”.  But “words”, and what they produce, has great power and we need this power to survive.  This causes something like a tug-of-war:

Our deeper selves (not “word” oriented)<<<>>>The power of the “word”

This tug-of-war I call the “dilemma of the word”.

Its interesting that I use the word “power” of the “word” in the statements above.  Previously in this article I spoke of the power associated with “systemized knowledge” and how it harnesses a power within a system.  I speak of it here again.  Not only that I am repeating the good and bad qualities of “systemized knowledge” that I said at the beginning of this article.  Basically, there is a dilemma between our deeper self and the power of the “word”.  In fact, I think that much of the conflict of humanity is based in this dilemma, the “dilemma of the word”.  It is the source of things such as:

  • Religious despair
  • Philosophical questionings
  • Meaninglessness
  • Existential problems

It seems, to me, that humanity has alienated itself by using “words” to a great length, particularly emphasized by the development of organized systems and “systemized knowledge”.  The primarily reason for this is to harness the power of what they create.  But once we find ourselves alienated by “words” we feel despair, anguish, lost, meaningless, etc.  As an attempt to solve this problem we try to use “words”.  In other words, we use the thing (“words”) that caused the problem in the first place!  In this way, we as if go around in circles and get nowhere.  I call this “beating around the word” as we are as if “beating around the bush”.  Much of philosophy, speculation, thoughts, etc. is nothing but this “beating around the word”.  What often happens is that we end up deceiving ourselves again (or, rather, alienating ourselves) with fancy “words creations”, such as philosophical concepts, religious beliefs, thoughts that “make sense”, and so on.  Generally, these last a while and then their influence tends to fade and disappear and we’re back where we started.

The fact is that when we deal with our deeper and natural self “words” become increasingly inadequate.  This is why I always say that “to reach our deeper and natural self we must become wordless”.  The more word-oriented we are the more alienated we are from our deeper and natural self.


This society is a word-based society and, being brought up in it, there is great difficulty in becoming wordless.  One must remember that this doesn’t just mean “being wordless”, that is, not using words.  A person still must have the same passions, self, and such, as when one uses words.  Its more of a different orientation, an orientation where words, and what they create, are not dominant.  This, it seems to me, opens up a whole new world, a whole new reality.  I generally speak of this as “becoming wordless”.

It seems that several things are important in “becoming wordless”:

  • Experiencing. There is great emphasis on experiencing and doing things.
  • Intuition. One must rely on what one “feels” is right deep down.
  • Expression. There is great importance in expression.
  • The self. There is great influence on the self, that one is a “person in the world”

To put it another way:  “In the doing of life (experiencing) our deeper side comes out (intuition) which needs to be given a form (expression) . . . all this must be done within the framework of a center (the self).”  

All of these have their unique problems.

It seems, to me, that the more wordless a person becomes the more a person becomes like someone in a primitive tribe.  They display qualities such as:

  • A persons doesn’t think things out
  • There develops a “mythology” to explain the world
  • A person tends to think in a more “magical” way
  • A person is more “ritualistic”
  • There is more belief in things that control things in life, such as “spirits”, gods, forces, etc.

Overall, it seems that a person lives in a more active participation with the world, as if it is alive and living. 

When a person lives in a word-based way, the world tends to lose its “aliveness” and there ceases to be a relationship with it.  In addition, ones life is more based in some form of word-based system which becomes like a “shell” that one lives in.  What we see, then, is that the “word”, and the systems it produces, becomes something that surrounds us and protects us but, at the same time, it alienates and detaches us from life.  This, of course, is the “dilemma of the word” but stated differently.  What this shows is that to live in a wordless way exposes us to life, so to speak.  This “fear of exposure”, which surrounds the wordless way, is one of the great hindrances to it, I’ve found . . . there is just too much security in the “word” and the system.

Copyright by Mike Michelsen

Posted in Education, learning, and over education, Existence, Awareness, Beingness, Consciousness, Conceptionism, and such, Modern life and society, Philosophy, Psychology and psychoanalysis, Stuff involving me, The 'system', 'systemism', and the power structure, Words, the dilemma of the word, becoming wordless, seeking what is before the word, and so on | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Thoughts on the damage caused by the millennial generations – the creation of the “millennial nobody”

In a recent conversation I said something that stunned me:

“The damage caused by the millennial’s needs to be repaired”

As I thought of why I said this I noticed that I seemed to think that this was somewhat serious and that the damage these generations have done must be undone.  In fact, I seemed to have this belief that a generation will rise up that will oppose and destroy what they’ve done.  This is because the world the millennial’s created is an unnatural and inhuman world that only reflects the era they live in.

I should point out that, to me, the millennial’s are really the generations who were teenagers from about the 1990’s to today.  I originally referred to these generations as the “drone generations” and still do.  I also refer to them as the “post cold war generations”.  I only use millennial because its commonly used (as, personally, I don’t like the term).

Here are some things I said about it:

The Damage

I said that, overall, the millennial’s basically turned humanity into a bunch of “nobodies”.  It did this a number of ways:

  • By turning humanity into an appendage to a machine.  This especially includes the computer and cell phone.
  • By creating a lifestyle based on a machine, in which it dominates and controls them and which they have to rely on completely.  I’ve heard many jokes on this such as that these generations “can’t do anything unless they consult google”.
  • By turning people into a bunch of people who do what they’re told.
  • By turning people into a bunch of people who agree with everything.
  • By turning people into a bunch of people who believe what they’re told.  Many of us are stunned out how they believe everything.  Not only that, not very often do you see any of them question, or even doubt, things.  A common joke I’ve heard is that “if they read it on the internet they believe it”.
  • By turning people into a bunch of people whose value and worth depends on what other people have done or created and not on what they’ve done or created.   For example, I’ve seen quite a few who think they are these great people because they know how to work a specific program or machine as if it puts them on a higher plane of existence.  I’ve seen this to the point of arrogance.

The effect of this is that it has created people who have qualities such as:

  • They have no individuality
  • They have no personality
  • They have no originality

Its like they basically turned humanity into “unpersons”.

Many millennial’s have a specific type of look, what I’d call a “blank carbon copy look” . . . they all seem like the same person with no individuality.  I’ve never seen anything like this before.  Its like they sit all day in front of a screen and their expression has become “fixed” in the expression of looking at a screen.  It seems, to me, that by favoring technology, they forsake and abandoned their humanity.

Over the years I have found that I’m not the only person who has made observations like these but I’m the only one who has spoken of it in this way that I know of.


Some causes of this damaging quality include:

  • Technology.  This turned people into an appendage of a machine, making them depend and rely on it totally.
  • Of how parents, and society, are trying to turn these generations into the countries ideals.  This made them have to do things which they either do not want to do or have no inclination to do.  It created an attitude of doing what you’re told.
  • Spending too much time in school . . . being over-educated.  This creates a conforming robot and minion-like attitude who believe whatever they are told.

The effects of these are to turn people into something like a drone or automaton.  It destroyed or squashed a persons individuality, destroys a person originality, and undermines a persons personality.  Its like they have slowly eaten away at their humanity.

The Male

I said this about the effects of this on the male:

“The millennial’s created the perfect nobody male”

Basically, they turned the male into a castrated powerless person who has no originality, personality, or unique quality.  A lot of males act like they are scared to do anything.  I’ve never seen any express an original idea or how they truly feel about things.  All he does is what technology tells him and to do what his education has taught him to do.  He doesn’t seem to stray off of what he’s “supposed to do”.  The male has become, in many ways, a vegetable.

The Female

I said this about the effects of this on the female:

“The millennial’s created the perfect slave female”

Unlike the male, the female hides behind a slavishness to society, trend, and social ideals, completely following things like the social media.  The slavishness of the female, nowadays, is almost unreal to me.  I have never seen anything like this.  Many females whole value and worth depend on doing what society says they should be doing and will spend their whole life pursuing the social ideals.  It becomes a measure of themselves, their self-esteem, and value as a human being.  But all they are doing is slavishly imitating society . . . it doesn’t reflect them as people.  In many ways, the female has become what I call a “puppet”.

Origins and Effects

I tend to view that all of this is not the millennial’s fault.  I see it as primarily a result of society and the parents, making the millennial’s more like victims at least at first.  Once many of them became adults they ended up promoting it as well.  In fact, it seems that adult millennial’s may actually be worse than society and parents were at first.

I have always been under the impression that this was largely a result of the end of the Cold War which America thought it won.  As a result, there was a campaign, beginning in the 1990’s, to glorify American ideals through the youth.  Some effects of this include:

  • American ideals that were particularly emphasized were achievement and success.  This tended to cause a tendency to emphasize schooling . . . and more schooling.  As a result, kids tended to be forced into schooling.  This caused a tendency to over-education and a robotic minion-like mentality.
  • The coming of the “digital revolution”, and internet, gave a new means for the accentuation of American ideals.  This began a process where technology was overvalued and emphasized as a means of success.  But it turned them into appendages to a machine.
  • The consumer effects of the the “digital revolution”, and internet, caused something like an addiction in many of the youth.  This turned many kids into minions to it all.
  • The prevalence of technology, computer games, etc. caused a tendency for kids to “play through technology” which deprived them of being children and playing like children. This caused a decrease in imagination, symbolism, and expression.  I was not the only one who noticed that children’s play changed in the 1990’s and showed less of these.  This, it seems to me, had a great impact on the “nobody” quality of the millennials.
  • The prevalence of liberal ideas and mentalities, in these generations, caused a tendency to nihilism.  This is because a lot of liberalism is against upholding beliefs, traditions, and so on.  To many liberals “freedom” means “to have nothing affect you”.  As a result, they create something like a “nothing world”.  If anything does affect you then it violates your rights or impinges on your freedom.  This creates a nihilistic type of attitude and point of view.
  • The effects of all this caused a tendency to abandon cultural beliefs and wisdom so that their life is controlled by things like the social media and whatever the schooling system says or a nihilistic point of view.

All these contributed to the creation of the “millennial nobody”.  I consider this a phenomena of post cold war society which is a continuation of post WWII society . . .

The End of Post WWII Society and its Glory

I often wondered if the “millennial era” is the end of post WWII society and its glory.  To me, there is a unique quality about the “millennial era” . . . it seems “old”, as if its just a long drawn out continuation of post WWII society, as if this society is being overstretched.  Its like the “millennial era” reflects the U.S. trying to maintain the glory of the post WWII era when the glory is already gone.  It reminds me of an old man trying to relive the glory of his younger years.  I sometimes get that impression.  If that is true then it means that the post WWII society is dying.

I wonder what the post WWII society, or “post millennial era”, will be like?

In many ways, this article is a continuation of these articles:

Reflections on the 1980’s – aspects of the “shadow era” which follows a “glory time”

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

Copyright by Mike Michelsen

Posted in Education, learning, and over education, Modern life and society, Society and sociology, The "drones" and stuff associated with them, The effects of WWII, the Nazi's, the Holocaust, the Cold War, and the Vietnam War era protests, The U.S. and American society, Twenty first century and post cold war society | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Some speculations on music, harmony, speech, and communication

Here are some thoughts I had:

Some thoughts on music

Orchestration has always fascinated me.  I have always loved to hear symphonic music and listen to the interplay of instruments and how they manipulate them to achieve certain effects.  I’ve spent many hours following music along with the scores and in studying the scores.  It never ceases to fascinate me.  Orchestration is truly an art that, I think, very few people realize it exists.  Its one of the many things that people never think about.

I should point out that I am no musician (though I tried to play the violin, drums, and recorder . . . pretty much on my own but without success).  It seems I have no real musical ability and I often wondered if I was tone deaf.  I also never went to school or took classes on music.  I always felt that this put me in a unique position.  I always wanted to look at music, not from a trained eye, but from an observers eye, and one who is not an expert at music.  Learning all the notes, and everything else, tends to make all our perspectives lean to that perspective which is always the same pre-established perspective.  What would it be like if someone didn’t look at things from that perspective?  This is what I have sought and tried to do.

The importance of a tune

To me, a big part of listening to music is that it has a tune.  It seems to me that tune determines everything.  The tune, often, determines if I will ever listen to it again and if it will be memorable.  With tune, music is made, sustained, and continued.  It makes it something and gives it a power.

Not all music has a tune, though.  Some music has the quality of a machine, with notes going up and down almost randomly.  Generally, though, they are made to sound pleasant and pleasing to the ear.  I consider this a certain type of music.  It has the quality of a ‘background music’ to me.  I often call it ‘ongoing music’ because it is music that seems to just go and go.  It has no real tune, no climax, but is made up of notes that are ongoing and usually somewhat constant.  Many older symphonies and concertos have this quality.  This is probably why people often complain of symphonies as putting them to sleep.  Some music has this quality because it is, in fact, a ‘background’ to something else, such as the story a song may be telling or to some ceremony or even because it is music lightly played in the background of, say, a restaurant.  Seldom does this type of music become memorable and seldom does anyone want to hear it again assuming, of course, that they noticed it was playing at all.  This is because, often, with ‘ongoing music’, it is hardly noticeable.

But what I speak of here is music as an event, a memorable event, that moves and affects a person.  This requires that it has a ‘substance’, something to make it impactful.  This, it seems to me, is based in the tune.  Without a tune the music seems to pass through us, going from one ear and out the other and quickly forgotten.

To me, a tune is a pattern of notes that, somehow, “speaks” to us, as if making a statement. In some sense, a tune is like a sentence telling us something but in a different language.  This “speaking to us” makes the tune more than just notes being played.  Anyone can make notes, but to make a tune out of notes is more difficult.  I’ve often felt that the hardest part of composing music is the creation of a good tune, one that “speaks”.  To me, this is still a mystery I cannot explain.  I’ve always felt that what made many of the great composers is their use of tune.  It is through tune that they gave their music a ‘stamp’ and meaning.

Because tune “speaks” to us we must be receptive to what’s said.  As a result, tune requires the person to be susceptible.  There are a number of things that affected this such as:

  • Culture
  • Conditions of the times
  • A persons mood
  • A persons character

I’ve noticed that I can love a song or symphony one day and care less for it the next day.  This can also be true of a style of music, composer, or a band.  In this way, I cannot say I have anything that is “favorite”.  I think it would be more accurate to say that there are those that I “favor” and like to hear more often than the others.  This shows a personal susceptibility, of how an individual person is affected by music.

There also seems to be a social susceptibility.  This shows that the social or group environment can affect a persons susceptibility for music.  In this case, people would not listen to the music individually or because it personally appeals to them but, rather, they listen to it only when they are part of a group of people . . . the group makes the individual person susceptible to that form of music.  In this way, we could say that some music “speaks to the individual person” and other music “speaks to the social person”.

Social susceptibility seems to be influenced by things like:

  • A sense of unification
  • A social belief system or way of looking at things
  • An association with some social movement

In these ways, it seems that the more the social person is involved the less its about music.  The music only becomes a “referral” to some social condition or reality.  In this way, one could say that the social person really has a “watered down” music appreciation.

Types of tunes

Often, music requires more than a good and memorable main tune.  The tune is often  accentuated.  It does this a number of ways:

  • The “developed tune”.  This is when much of the music is actually an accentuation of the main tune.  This developing often goes through stages:  the music builds up to it, elaborates it, plays the tune, complements it, and completes it.  This can be repeated a number of times, sometimes with variations.  In many cases, this is the bulk of the music itself with the actual main tune encompassing only a small proportion of the music itself.  Symphonic music uses this a lot.
  • The “cycled tune”.  This is a tune that is cycled, or repeated, throughout the music.  Often, there is little or no development of the tune . . . the main tune is just played.  In between there are other smaller tunes or effects that connect the cycled tunes.  This is seen a lot with rock’n roll.
  • “Tune mass”.  This is the overall unified quality of the musical piece that is created by all the tunes, effects, etc. that make it up.  It makes the piece “whole” and one piece.  It requires great interplay between all the tunes and effects in the piece.

Sometimes, there can be a combination of these in some music.

Often, music uses many tunes to create its effect. There are:

  • The main tune or tunes.  This is the tune, or tunes, that the music is based on.  There is usually great emphasis on it and it is often memorable.  There can be one main one or multiple ones.
  • The supportive tunes.  These are tunes that are scattered throughout the music and seems to support or complement the main tune.  There is usually little emphasis on it and its often not memorable.  Often, a person doesn’t even notice it.

The main and supportive tunes interchange as the music progresses.  There are a number of ways tunes progress in music:

  • The ‘continuing tune’.  These are when there is no separation between tunes.  They go from one tune directly to the next.
  • The ‘separated tune’.   With this there are supportive tunes that separate the main tunes.  This separation doesn’t necessarily need a supportive tune.  Often, its just various notes or effects.

I often feel that its important to have “rests” from tunes in music.  I speak of this as the “tune pause”.  In this way, its generally not good to have a ‘continuing tune’.  Its best to break it up with a number of things such as:

  • Supportive or minor tunes
  • Ongoing notes that have no specific tune or obvious function, such as seen in ‘ongoing music’ and ‘in between notes’ (see below)
  • Musical effects

This shows a relationship between the tune and the self . . .

The tune and the self

The need for this pause is rather interesting as it shows that tunes actually have an exhausting quality.  This, I suspect, is because they “capture us” and “pull us in” when we listen to them.  We are as if transforming ourselves in response to its quality which, in a way, is like molding us into a different shape (as if we were clay).  Its as if we need a rest from this molding and reshaping of ourselves.  As a result, music often tends to allow for this rest by the use of these pauses.

These pauses seems to reveal the power of tunes.  Its as if they somehow hit deep within us, deeper than our self.  This is why they are so exhausting . . . they are bypassing our self to a deeper part of our mind.  The self is as if “muddled” in this process and is unable to grasp anything as a result.  This exhausts it.  If this is true then it shows two effects of the tune:

  1. It hits a deeper part of our mind
  2. The effects caused by it bypassing the self

It seems there are a number of effects caused by the bypassing of the self.  These include:

  • An exhaustion
  • A sense of freedom – Music makes us “loose” and unrestrained
  • Inspiration – This can be felt as being “moved”
  • An opening to the deeper part of our mind

In these ways, one can see that music can have great psychological impact.

The deeper part of the mind that is impacted by music has always mystified me.  It seems to have qualities such as:

  • It uses no words or thoughts
  • It is associated with emotions but I believe that it is deeper than emotions
  • It is a form of expression

I have often speculated that music originates from our beginning association with people before we can understand words and in which people try to speak to us.  If this were the case, then music would be associated with these qualities:

  • Being without words
  • Feelings for and growing awareness of people
  • As people talk to us with words we can’t understand the speech is heard as having a musical quality . . . the origin of the musical sense (?)

In some respects, this would mean that music originates from an “early form of communication”.  If this were true then it would mean that the musical sense is like a transition stage to speech and actually originates from the musical quality of speech we don’t understand as we start to associate with people.

It would also mean that the style of language has a lot to do with music because music would originate from the musical quality found in speaking that language.  It would mean, in a way, that each language actually develops its own form of music.

Musical layers

A lot of music is layered with multiple instruments playing tunes and notes at the same time.  This is especially seen with symphonies.  In symphonies each group of instruments often have a specific function.  I speak of this as “layered music”.

Some of the layers of music include:

  • The tune.  These are the instruments that are playing the tune and which can be heard to play the tune.
  • The supporting of the tune.  It often does this by following along the main tune, in whole or in part.  As a result, it is often not really heard.  They often use effects to emphasize different aspects of the tune.
  • The creation of “mass”.   These are notes, often long suspended notes, that give the music a sense of mass and substance.  They help in creating dramatic effect.
  • The beat.  These are instruments that are establishing a beat or repetition in the music.  These can be beats in measure, such as a quarter note at the end of each measure.  It could even be something like the instrument playing scales in each measure.  It could also be a supportive tune played each measure.  Often, there are many forms of beats in symphonies (a beat in measure, scales, and supportive tune, for example).  When this happens I call it a “layered beat”.
  • The effects.  These are instruments playing specific notes to achieve various effects.  A good example, say, are the flutes playing bird-like sounds.  Another way they can do this is to vary the loudness of the instruments, and such.
  • ‘In between notes’.  These are notes, often without a tune at all, that connect tunes and keep a continuing movement in the music.  In some music, especially symphonic music, this can take up a lot of the music.  Often, these are really ‘ongoing music’.

All these are like the different colors in a painting.  This is why I say that ‘layered music’ is “colored”.  Layering gives music a great “richness”, I think.  I often feel that layering is one of the things that makes music enjoyable to hear.  I often wonder that, if music was played with one instrument alone (that is, without layering), would music of had quite the effect it has had?  I suspect it wouldn’t have.  Non layered music seems to be music that is more focused on a specific emotion or effect.  Layered music seems to play on many emotions and effects.  This gives it its “rich” quality.

Other musical effects

In a symphony they have many instruments with many different qualities.  One of the powers of symphonic music is achieved when all these instruments are used.  A good example of this is “musical weaving”.    This is when instruments are doing one thing, such as establishing a beat, while other instruments are doing the tune.  Then the instruments change and they skip and do what the other instrument was doing.  So a trumpet that was doing a beat would change and carry the tune.  In this way, the instruments weave together, exchanging places, as the music progresses.  This gives great variety and, often, dramatic effect in music.

A “musical theme” is a body of music (with its own tunes, layering, and effects) that is repeated in a musical piece.  It is played with other themes.  These can sound totally different from each other making it sound like multiple “songs” being played together as one piece.  In this way, one musical number actually encompasses different themes or “songs”.  This type of music can be called “thematic music”. 

Levels of music

I always thought there were levels to music that goes something like this:

  • Music played with an instrument
  • Music played with instruments and voice
  • Music with voice alone . . . songs
  • Poetry

On one extreme is “wordless music”.  On the other extreme is “word-based music”.  Notice, also, how I consider poetry as a form of music.  It is, of course, a very word-based form of music but I believe it originates from the same process and progression and is part of it.  In fact, many songs use techniques of poetry.

Comparing this to what I said earlier, about music being an early form of communication, it also is like these levels describe a process of growing communication into speech.  That is, it seems to describe a “musical quality” in communication (hearing speech without understanding) and a growing use of voice and understanding of speech.  As the speech factor grows in value the music becomes more specific in intention and meaning (whereas music played with an instrument tends to be more general not necessarily catering to any emotion or displaying any specific meaning).  As it does this the music becomes more “confined”.  What I mean by that is that the rhyming or rhythm tends to need a beginning and end to keep it “in one piece”, so to speak.  This, really, is what poetry does.  Not only does this need to be done musically but also in statement.

Going beyond music . . . the importance of harmony

I’ve always thought that this tendency to music even goes beyond poetry.  The state of poetry is the dominance of words/ideas but with some musical rhythm.  The next level tends to be word/idea dominant.  Musical rhythm continues to appear as “harmony”.

When harmony is word or thought dominant I call it “harmony of thought”.  This refers to how thoughts and ideas are worked together so that they “work together”.  I have often felt that “truth” is actually based in thoughts and ideas that have a harmony and not in “proof”, as science professes.  This would mean that truth is found in harmony.

“Harmony of thought”, also, has levels that may go something like this:

  • Symbolic thought, such as in mythology
  • Formal symbolic thought, such as in religion
  • Practical everyday thought, such as in interpreting life’s problems
  • Abstract thought, like philosophy and science

We go from “less word/idea oriented but which have harmony” to “more word/idea oriented and less harmony”.  Basically, the more word/idea oriented we become the more we lose harmony.  Sometimes, we use words so much that we actually lose all sense of harmony and it becomes like “cold information . . . nothing but words”.

Going beyond harmony . . . the importance of social etiquette

All this, going from music to abstract thought, seems to reflect a spectrum of effects that originate from the effects of speech and communication.  It shows a range from “we don’t understand but feel a musical quality in speech” to “we understand but have no harmony”.  There are two important elements in communication:

  1. Words and ideas
  2. Musical sense and harmony

In many ways, it shows that communication is more than communication.  Its not just about communicating wants and facts to people.  Its as if saying that “in order to communicate properly there must be some form of harmony associated with it”.  But there are many forms of communication in life.  It now goes into things like manners, etiquette, proper behavior, social rituals and customs, etc.  I will speak of these forms of communication, a harmonic social communication, as “social etiquette”.  This more or less means that “social etiquette” is associated with music, poetry, and such and is part of the spectrum.

This harmonic social communication also appears in friendships as many friendships are based in there being something that “connects” between them in some way.  What “connects” them is really a harmonic quality.  In other words, harmony bonds people together often appearing as something like a glue.

This “glue of harmony” can be seen in marriages, religions, societies, countries, etc.  Really, almost all unified groups of people need some form of harmony that connects everyone together . . . as the saying goes, “birds of a feather flock together”.

Is it all based in speech and communication???

Its as if there is a spectrum of effects that originate from the effects of speech and communication:

  • Music and poetry
  • Words and ideas (includes mythology, religion, philosophy, etc.)
  • Social etiquette

If all this is true (which I don’t know) it would mean that these are all effects of speech and communication.  There would be a progression as we grow like this:

  1. People speak to us as infants – we don’t understand it – the sound of the speech instills a musical sense in us – all this happens as we grow to associate with people
  2. We learn to understand and speak and develop ideas and thoughts – we use harmony in their creation
  3. This then progresses to other forms of communication between people – harmony appears as proper behavior

The importance of “blabble”

I’ve always felt that an important part of learning how to speak is what I call “blabble”.  This is when children basically imitate the speech of the adults but without saying any words.  They are really imitating the “musical quality” of speech.  This becomes the “foundation”, so to speak, of speech, or so it seems to me.  On this foundation are built several other things that are developed over time:

  • The meaning of specific words.
  • The meaning of expressions.  This is what a sentence or multiple sentences mean.
  • An intuitive understanding of the “sense” of what is being said.  I tend to feel that this is far more important in learning to speak than one may think.  It also means that learning to speak is very much influenced by a child’s intuitive ability.

I’ve always thought that all these combine, over time, to create speech and that “blabble” is the foundation of it all.  Not only that, it also means that “blabble” is really the foundation of a musical sense as “blabble” is the imitation of the musical quality of speech.

It seems that there are two forms of “blabble”:

  1. Interior blabble.  This refers to ones inner experience of the musical quality of speech.  I suspect that a person where this is dominant will be introverted.
  2. Exterior blabble.  This refers to ones expression of the musical quality of speech.  This is actually doing “blabble”.  I suspect that a person where this is dominant will be extroverted.

“Blabble” seems to reveal a number of qualities:

  • An awareness of self . . . people are speaking to you
  • An awareness of others
  • Growing feelings for other people
  • A desire to communicate
  • A frustration in not being able to communicate
  • The use of the “sense of music” as an attempt at communication
  • An identification and imitation of other people

Many of these describe a conflict . . .

The “regression to harmony”

It seems that speech and communication, by their nature, tends to cause conflicts such as:

  • A frustration with words – an inability to convey oneself through words.  My observation is that words, ideas, etc. are never quite “good enough” to convey ones feelings.  They seem inadequate.
  • A conflict perceiving ones self as separate from others.  In associating with others a person must feel themselves as separate and removed from them.  This is associated with painful and difficult feelings.

It seems, to me, that these conflicts tends to cause a “regression to harmony”.  That is to say, there is a natural tendency is to find harmony in communication at the expense of words and ideas.  To put it another way, harmony is more important than words and ideas.  This is because harmony tends to refer to the “beginning point” of speech and communication.  As a result, it has a purity about it, a solidness, a security.  It also hits deeper into ones psyche.

This “regression to harmony” is one reason why people often do what appear to be weird things or things that don’t make any sense.  The best example, I think, are the ways and beliefs of primitive tribes.  In this society, we think that everyone does things that “make sense”, that is, they think people are idea-dominant.  In primitive tribes they are not idea-dominant.  They are more harmony oriented.  Their beliefs, behavior, etc. are rooted in finding “harmony of thought” in what they do . . . it doesn’t matter if it makes sense.  As a result, they appear to do weird things to us.

Copyright by Mike Michelsen

Posted in Art, artistic expression, and things related with it, Other stuff, Philosophy, Psychology and psychoanalysis, Words, the dilemma of the word, becoming wordless, seeking what is before the word, and so on | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Thoughts on the ‘tip over” – humor, the weird, insight, and “doing”

I wrote most of this many years ago.  I think its interesting enough to record:

Recently, I have been speaking of something which I called the “tip over”.  Originally, I used in the context of humor but I began to realize that it involved processes in other areas as well, which have similar qualities.

The “tip over” is a response to a specific condition.  Its effects are usually felt deep within and can have great impact on us.  But the “tip over” is more than a reaction.  It can become a medium or avenue for expression of qualities, emotions, etc. that lie deep within us and which are often hidden.  Because of this, the “tip over” can reveal a lot about us bringing hidden secret qualities about us out in the open.  Sometimes, these are things we are consciously unaware of.


Common traits seen in the “tip over” include:

  1. The “reality tension”
  2. The “tip over”
  3. The “release”

1-The “Reality Tension”

The “tip over” seems to be rooted in what I call the “reality tension”.  In short, this says that conditions of reality causes a great tension within us.  This tension is primarily created by the fact that we are bound by reality and must follow its every whims and commands and cannot stray from what it offers.  This power of reality conflicts, of course, with many feelings that we have inside us, such as desires, emotions, etc.  We could call this the “fantasy element”, which is that part of us having difficulty conforming to reality.  It is this “fantasy element” part of us that is removed and separate from reality allowing us to fantasize, dream, imagine, create, and ‘go beyond’ normal life.  These two aspects of the self as if create a tug-of-war, sometimes reality wins, sometimes fantasy . . . the “reality tension”.  This is the tension which is ongoing in our life and never ends.  In addition, there are times when its felt, to the point of being painful, and sometimes there are times when its not noticeable, hidden deep in our subconscious and unknown to us.

The “fantasy element”, which reflects our deeper aspect of our self, often hides great inner insight and inner feeling.  That is to say, it isn’t just “blind fantasy”, of what one “would like things to be”, though it can be at times.  Because it is removed from reality it often reflects our self deep down, of what it really is and what we are.  The power and control of reality, though, often suppresses it and prevents its appearing.  Its because of this that the “fantasy element” can be so powerful.

2-The “Tip Over”

The “tip over” is one of those things that causes a relaxing of the “reality tension” allowing the “fantasy element” to come out.  In some respects, the “tip over” is a “tricking” of our sense of reality which suppresses the “fantasy element” preventing its appearance.  In so “tricking” it allows the “reality tension” to dissipate and so allows the “fantasy element” to appear.  In other words, the “tip over” amounts to being put ‘off guard’ when we expect it to be a specific way.  We’re thrown a curve ball, instead, causing a confusion in our ‘directed gaze’.  In this way, the “tip over” creates a disorientation.  This disorientation as if requires us to “seek” to make sense of it forcing us to look further into our self.  In this way, the “tip over” is something that can “open up” deeper aspects of our self.  This is one reason why it can be so insightful and times.

3-The “Release”

The “release” is the response to the relaxation of the “reality tension” which allows for the “fantasy element” to appear.   There seems to be two aspects of the “release” and which make it so relevant:

  1. That the “reality tension” has been relaxed
  2. The need for fantasy – the “fantasy element” – to be fulfilled

Each form of “tip over” creates a different type of “release” depending on the form of the “tip over”:

  1. Humor:  the laugh
  2. The weird:  an awareness of a mismatch
  3. Insight:  a sudden revelation
  4. “Doing”:  a revealing of ones abilities, capabilities, and awareness

This “release” is not necessarily felt by us because it is so deep-rooted.  In fact, one of the reasons why the “release” is often so shocking, influential, or revealing is because it relaxes this tension and, as a result, often gives us quite a shock, revealing great inner tension.


The “tip over” primarily happens when our expectations are knocked down or “tipped over”.  In other words, what we expect to happen doesn’t happen.  What we expect is rooted in the power of reality over us.  Because of this, there is what can be described as something like a “directedness” in our perception, that A will happen before B followed by C.  Perhaps we could call this the ‘directed gaze’?  This is basically a sense, and expectation, that things will go in a certain direction.  In originates from the power of reality over us, which has a number of sources, such as:

  • Experience
  • Culture
  • Education
  • Personality

These give a tendency to look at things, and the expectation, that things will go a certain direction.  This shows that much of life is based in this expectation on things going a specific direction.   As we live, this ‘directed gaze’ dictates how we view life and things. 


Examples of different forms of the “tip-over” include:

  • Humor. This consists of finding something funny or comical about something.
  • The weird. This consists of seeing an “unearthly” quality in something.
  • Insight. This consists of finding a “sudden meaning” in something you weren’t expecting.
  • “Doing”. This consists of discovering abilities, inclinations, etc. that you didn’t know you had by the act of doing things.


The joy of humor is in being put off guard by the “tip over”.  It must be:

  • Non-threatening
  • Not something that affects us deeply
  • Be rooted in the tension
  • It tends to contradict the “directed gaze”

One could say that humor causes an unexpected change in the “directed gaze”, the expectation of what we expect to happen.  This imbalance causes, in a sense, a “high”, which is the comedy.  This is why I once said:  “Humor is a rebellion against reality”.  What this means is that it opposes reality and often contradicts it.

I should point out, though, that its very important to see comedy in the right light.  When I speak of ‘comedy’ I mean that it does not have traits such as:

  • It is not sarcastic
  • It is not degrading
  • It is not expression of futility and despair
  • It is not reflective of an attitude of contempt
  • It is not an attempt to “just be happy”
  • It is not meant as a means of socializing

In many ways, things, such as these, are a form of ‘corrupted humor’.  That is to say, it is using humor to further some other motive.  We are looking at more of a ‘pure humor’.  What I mean by this is a natural form of humor that is beneficial and helpful, reflecting the original motive of humor.  This is because ‘pure humor’ is humor for its own sake, in its natural form.  It is not corrupted by other motives.

Because experience, culture, etc. are so influential to the “directed gaze” it means that a lot of humor varies with experience, culture, etc.  What’s humorous to some people isn’t to other people.

Its one thing, of course, to see something as a comedy but its another thing to play your part.  In actuality, a person never really “feels” the comedy until they participate in it in some way.  Otherwise, its just funny storytelling.  For humor to truly be effective a person must be “in it”, at least in their mind.  As a result, humor requires a person to have enough imagination, absence of self, and a mentality for them relate to the situation.  If they cannot do this then there is no humor.  There are a number of types of participation:

  • Active participation.  Acting like a clown
  • Passive participation.  Being able to relate with it, such as in storytelling

To me, active participation is the purist form of humor.  In this the person, and their behavior, takes on the role of the humor . . . they don’t imagine it.  That is to say, they make themselves the humor.  In humorous storytelling the story is humorous.  But if often requires the storyteller is a bit of a clown.

Humor as a form of entertainment requires a person to relate with the comedian.  Being able to do this is one of the greatest challenges of the comedian.  They must be able to find a way to make this “relatedness” happen.  But humor is a participation.  This means the audience needs to play a part.  If the audience isn’t willing to participate then it doesn’t matter what the comedian does.

“Humorous Attitude”

I believe that a “humorous attitude” is very important in life. The importance of the “humorous attitude” humor makes us removed from life.  It prevents us from being sucked into the vacuum, monotony, and humdrum of life.  In this way, humor can be like a form of psychotherapy.

The humorous attitude does not mean that one tells jokes and such.  It requires a number of things such as:

  • An attitude of being removed from reality 
  • Being able to not take ones self, and life, so seriously

In these ways, the humorous attitude is an attitude of being removed from reality, and self, that makes one cheerful and chuckle

Humor often causes a dilemma in life as humor and seriousness are diametrically opposed.  To truly have the “humorous attitude” a person must be at ease with a seriousness.  In other words, its not an escape from seriousness.  Though humor is being removed from reality it is tempered, and given relevance, by a seriousness in reality but at the proper times. A person cannot truly “laugh at life” all the time and expect to be healthy.


The weird can be described as something that gives you a feeling that is bizarre, eerie, creepy, and such. It has a certain unique quality. It often has a “twilight zone” quality, and unreality.  It involves things that “don’t make sense” or that seem amiss somehow.  It has qualities such as:

  • A sense of non-reality
  • A disconnection with self
  • A disconnection with life
  • An inability to understand
  • A sense of something being “out of whack”

But, at the same time, ones self is rooted in the world.  As a result, the weird is a result of a splitting of the self.  One part of the self remains firmly rooted in the world and the other part of the self is disconnected with the world.  In this way, the weird is caused by a tension caused by a split self and in which one part of the self is disconnected with the world.  This causes something like a “twisted awareness” which is the sense of the weird.

I often found myself attracted to the weird, of things that didn’t seem to make sense, and that disconnected sense.  I’ve found that the sense of weird is a means for a great insight, assuming one is willing to follow it.  The weird can be like a sign post which directs one to a number of things such as:

  • A hidden awareness
  • A hidden self

I think that it often takes great courage to follow the weird.

It seems, to me, that people tend to avoid the weird.  It seems to take a specific type of person to accept it.  It causes an uneasiness in many people.  This is because of things such as:

  • It is hard for a person to understand
  • There is no way to express it . . . that is, one often can’t explain it
  • It seems disconnected with ones expectations (the “directed gaze”)

The result of this is something which can be described as an “incomplete release” which is really an avoidance of the weird.  Most people feel this weird sense but, as far as I have seen, they don’t pursue it much. They may remark “that’s weird” or “that’s creepy” and leave it at that.  This is because it makes them feel so uncomfortable.

The weird is closely associated with other things, such as:

  • The “strange” . . . a result of being too intellectual
  • The “oddball” . . . a result of being too serious

These end up destroying the sense of the weird and is usually why people don’t benefit from it.


In insight the “release” is the sense of “that makes sense” that happens suddenly and unexpectedly.  Insight is really a condition of not knowing then, all of a sudden, knowing . . . the “tip over”.  Insight often reveals a knowing that one is not consciously aware of but knows deep down.  In this way, the “tip over” of insight is like an opening of the deeper self to the conscious self that happens suddenly.  Insight, then, becomes a “revelation of what one already knows”.  In this way, it is like a “connecting” to ones deeper self.

The manner of insight varies.  It appears in ways such as:

  • It can be a revelation of what one already knows
  • It can be a putting into a form of something that one already knows.  In other words, its putting a knowing into a form which one can understand.

Insight can come at any time and in anything.  This is because it is a random event.  Its as if everything must be exactly right for insight to appear.  In addition, one cannot force insight to appear . . . it comes on its own.

“Insightful Attitude”

There is an “insightful attitude” (similar to the “humorous attitude”) that can predispose one to insight.  Traits of this include:

  • It requires a person to be ‘open’ to it.  As a general rule, insight is a result of an openness in attitude.  A person who is ‘closed’ (such as that think that they are always right) tends to no or little insight.
  • An absence of self often facilitates insight to happen.  That is to say, a person must “forget” their self.  This shows that there is an aspect of the overt self that hinders the association between the deeper and overt self
  • There must be a willingness to accept what happens or appears

As stated above, an overly strong self tends to hinder insight.  This shows that insight is really a bypassing of the self.  

4. “DOING”

“Doing” entails the spontaneous performing of some act.  It generally means one does things without thought and automatically and without hindrance or restriction.  In this way, it “just happens”.  The condition of “doing” tends to cause something like a “discovery” of aspects of ones self.  In this way, it is as if we have “side-stepped” our self – the “tip over”.

Its the quality of spontaneity that is one of the reasons why things are fun to do when one is a kid. A kid does “doing” in the most purest of ways and, accordingly, tend to reap its benefits the most.  As we age, we start to control what we do.  This “controlling” develops prohibitions and restrictions which slowly destroy the “just happens” quality of “doing”.  This tendency to control is a result of things like this:

  • The development of organized thought and ways of doing things.  It seems that any form of organized doing, such as a formal sport, schooling, etc. decreases the effect of the “doing”.  It tends to hamper “doing” as it creates an organized mentality.
  • The need to control, discipline, or control what we do in life.
  • Things are done more intentionally and purposely.  These tend to have a dampening effect on the effect of “doing”.
  • Repetition of actions in life.  Our continual repetitious of doing things destroys the spontaneous nature of “doing.
  • The development of an overly strong self.  Aging, of course, requires the need for a strong self.  This self tends to get in the way of the spontaneous nature of “doing”.


Habit can be described as the “directed gaze” that has become “solidified”, so to speak.  It has become rigid and unchanging.  Because of this the “tip over” and “release” does not happen.  This shows that the “tip over”, and its “release”, requires the quality of variability and fluidity.  


The “release” is very important for health, in my opinion.  In fact, I’ve often felt that some of the “secrets of life” is nothing but promoting the “release” in one way or another.  Some of the effects of the “release” include:

  • It makes one not get too involved in life
  • One does not take things seriously
  • It allows inner hidden qualities to come out
  • It helps us relax

It seems that getting too engrossed in habit, or an overly organized point of view, tends to create an unhealthiness and as if causes an inner death in a person.

There seem to be various ways to help promote the attitude of “release”, such as:

  • Try to be disconnected with self and world
  • Let things “just happen” – be spontaneous
  • Avoid stress and tension – relax
  • Avoid being overly organized
  • Avoid thinking too much
  • Avoid learning too much
  • Avoid getting too engrossed in habit
  • Practice techniques that tend to cause a “release”, such as humor.  The best thing to do, probably, is find the form of “release” that best suits you and pursue it.

Copyright by Mike Michelsen

Posted in Existence, Awareness, Beingness, Consciousness, Conceptionism, and such, Inspiration, free association, and intuition, Life in general, Philosophy, Psychology and psychoanalysis, Relaxation and stress | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Thoughts on the 2020 riots – the “virus scare” and some aspects of American mass hysteria

In a recent conversation I said some interesting things about the current riots in 2020 that I thought was interesting enough to write down (I’m not sure how true a lot of it is though).

I want to first point out a number of things:

  • This article is about the riots as a social phenomena.  It is really a psychological and sociological inquiry.  It has nothing to do with the “cause” or political aspects of it.
  • I am describing things how they appear to me at this time (early June, 2020).  As with almost all the articles in this blog, I am trying to be honest with myself, describing it as best as I can at the time I write them.

Even though people see these riots as motivated by a “cause” it appears, at least to me, that it is actually being controlled, determined, and motivated by the social dynamics of mass society.  In other words, it is not the “cause” that dictates things but, rather the psychology of the masses or, rather, the mob.  Once this happens it actually loses contact, and becomes disassociated, with the “cause” and becomes a mass hysteria.  Once this happens it becomes something altogether different.  A number of things suggest this:

  • It got too big too fast
  • People who are not directly affected by the events are reacting too strongly
  • It spread too quickly
  • It got too violent needlessly
  • It is going beyond its intentions
  • There are too many “other things not associated with it”, such as other grievances, that has appeared
  • It has lasted too long
  • It seems “over reacted” and “over played”
  • No matter what is done by the authorities the people don’t change their behavior or seem satisfied

All these suggest that there is something else behind all this.  There is “some other thing” that motivates it all.  My observation of mass hysteria, through the years, seems to show that there usually is something else behind it, a “hidden force”, which means that seldom are mass hysteria’s about what they say its about.  This hysteria, from what I have so far seen, seems no different.


It seems, to me, that this is the progression of this hysteria:

  • A random event takes place
  • The incidence causes a reaction with the black community which creates a “cause”
  • Because it entails old American unresolved social problems it “sparks” a reaction in many other people
  • This reaction is exaggerated and amplified by another already existing hidden tension in society . . . the “virus scare” (see below)
  • This makes it grow and grow and it gets out of control
  • Because of its growth it attracts other grievances
  • The more it grows the more it becomes disassociated from the original “cause”

This is really the description of a mass hysteria.  Once this happens it begins to develop a life of its own.

Not only that, its not uncommon that the original “cause” becomes smothered and “pushed to the side” by the hysteria.  In fact, many good “causes” has been distorted or destroyed because it turned into mass hysteria.  This is why one does not want their “cause” to be associated with mass hysteria. Its starting to seem, to me, that the “cause” of these riots is being destroyed by the hysteria and, in the end, these hysteria’s may do more damage than good.  So far, everyone I’ve seen talk with disgust or contempt about these riots . . . that shows a lack of believability.


It seems, to me, that the hidden motivating force behind these riots originate from fear of the Covid-19 virus.  In this way, it is really a social expression of a great fear.  This seems true for many of the people involved with these riots. The incidence that caused these riots became a means for this fear to come out.  So we see these aspects of this:

  • The hidden tension.  The Covid-19 created a scare in the population because of its lethal qualities and its impact on society such as the loss of jobs, social disruption, etc.
  • Growth of the tension. The tension caused by the scare was very much propagated and exaggerated by the media and social media.
  • The “gateway”.  The incidence that caused the riots became like a “gateway” that allowed the already existing tension, caused by the scare, to come out.   In this way, it was like a “release”.
  • Established pathway“.  Once the “gateway” was opened the release of the tension followed already established and unresolved American social problems.  This was used as a “pathway” for this release.

This points out a number of things:

  • That mass hysteria is often based in an existing social tension in a population that has no way to be “released”
  • An “event” or “situation” can appear that becomes a “gateway” that allows for the release of this social tension
  • This “gateway” often becomes associated with some “cause”
  • Since the hysteria is actually based in unreleased social tension it often has nothing to do with the “cause”

This is one of the weird ironies of mass hysteria, that many hysteria’s are not about the “cause” at all . . . they are about the unreleased social tension.  This shows that there at often two things that must be considered in a mass hysteria:

  1. The already existing unreleased social tensions
  2. The “cause” stated as the reason for the mass hysteria 

They should be considered two different things.  Most people equate them as the same but my observation is that this is not always true.  As a result, one must establish the association between them. There are a number of associations between them:

  • There is no difference between the unreleased social tension and the “cause” – they are different
  • There is an association between the unreleased tension and the “cause” – they are not the same thing but are related in some way
  • The unreleased social tension and “cause” are the same – this is what most people assume

Because of the examples of the qualities of this hysteria, that I described at the beginning, I tend to think that it is the first association.

Another important point is that the release of tension in a society often tends to follow the pathways of already existing unresolved social tensions.  This is because of things such as these:

  • It has an “already worn path” to tread
  • It is a path that is already accepted
  • It is a path that is already full of tension

I often compare this process to the water behind a dam. When the causeway is opened, at the bottom of the dam, the water comes gushing out with great force. The water then goes down the path and meanderings of the river valley below the dam. The incidence that motivated these riots can be compared to opening the causeway. The water flowing down the valley can be compared to the already established and unresolved social problems . . . it takes the path of least resistance.  Its really no surprise, then, that this hysteria followed America’s unresolved social tension.


As with most mass hysteria’s there are a number of types of people involved.  At this time, it seems like there is a spectrum of people:

  • People who believe in what they are saying.  This is probably the smallest group now.  Personally, I think this group has mostly separated themselves off of the main body of people.
  • People who believe in what they are saying and use the riots for their benefit for some reason.  This probably consists of some of the people.
  • People who don’t particularly care about the “cause” . . . the main thing is that it is an “excuse” to express, rebellion, or for whatever reason.  This is a lot of the people it seems to me.
  • People who don’t really believe in the “cause” but use it as a means of expression, or rebelling, for whatever reason This is a lot of the people it seems to me.
  • People that use it as a means for other grievances.  This is some of the people.

The very existence of this “spectrum of people” shows a number of things seen in mass hysteria:

  • It shows that it is not about the “cause” because there are too many types of people and motives.
  • It shows how the “cause” becomes a means or “excuse” for other grievances, frustrations, and conflicts, hence causing the different types of people, the “spectrum of people”.
  • It shows that there is no unity in the “cause” or the people.  Typically, people in mass hysteria tend to think that they are unified in these ways.  Really, the only “unity” in a mass hysteria is a “unity in mania”.

This shows that social dynamics play a major role in all this.


Its sort of a game for me to see if can predict things when something happens, based on the past and my understanding of things.  I did this at the beginning of this pandemic.  I said things such as these:

  • People do weird things when they cannot see the threat.  This can cause many odd reactions in people.
  • The fear of infection, which can’t be seen, may cause a fear that has no “form” to manifest itself.  As a result, it tends to be repressed which can cause weird phenomena to happen, like a tendency to over reaction, obsessions over things, and such.  It can also create a need to find some other outlet for the fear and tension it causes.
  • Sometimes, a random event can take place that “touches” a nerve which can cause weird things to happen.  This event then can release the repressed fear and allow it come out, often violently or in odd ways.
  • The fear of infection, which is perceived as coming from other people, can bring out peoples hidden dislike or conflict with other people.  The fear of infection provokes a response much like “there is something in other people I must fear”.  In this way, other people are perceived as threatening them and in an unknown way.  For some people, this can provoke deeper repressed dislikes of other people and allow it to come out.  As a result, it can cause hatred and dislikes of people to surface.
  • This can turn into paranoia and fear of other people, as if people are “plotting” or against them in some way.
  • This can create something like a witch scare.
  • Because this involves apprehension between people it may bring out social problems and feelings of things like abandonment and “aloneness” in some people.
  • Some people may start to develop mental problems, “quirks”, and such.

Its interesting that only several months after I said this things a number of things happened:

  • A random event took place that touched a “nerve” in America social problems
  • It brought out peoples dislike of each other
  • It entails a paranoia of authority
  • People are acting weird and doing weird things

I didn’t think it would get this reaction but that is largely because of the random event that happened, which was unpredictable, determined its course.  Had it not of happened we probably would of seen some lesser reactions take place or that is what I suspect.

It seems, to me, that this pandemic has put a strain on people and society that seems to not fully be recognized at this time.  Its caused a scare . . .


As this pandemic developed I can see that something like a “virus scare” was developing.  This scare created something like a tension or worry.  This scare originates from a number of things caused by the virus, such as:

  • People are dying
  • People feel threatened
  • The whole world is at threat
  • People are losing their jobs
  • People lost their sense of  security
  • No one knew where the threat was located
  • There was a change in social relations (social distancing, wearing masks, etc.) that affected peoples sense of social security
  • Life has greatly changed as a result of the virus and in odd ways

This scare has caused many reactions.  Only one of these is mass hysteria, and this mass hysteria was provoked by a random event.  I’m quite curious to find out the different ways people reacted to it.  Its too early to say for sure.  I tend to feel that it has even caused mental problems in some people.  It may even affect social relations.

There is something that seems to of given this scare unique qualities:  the media . . .


Much of the scare was promoted and propagated by the news media and social media.  They as if “shoved it in our face”.  It did this in a number of ways:

  • It was almost continuous coverage.  In some cases, the whole news was based on the virus.  Some people got sick of watching the news for this reason.
  • It painted a horrible grim view of the situation.
  • The social media created a means of perpetual statements, opinions, etc. concerning the situation that only preyed on peoples fears and worries.

Many of us could see that the media was causing great panic in the general population, some more than most.  I tend to believe that the media is greatly at fault for causing this scare and subsequent hysteria.  In fact, the media is responsible for causing much of America’s hysteria’s or so it seems to me.  Its caused a continuous line of American mass hysteria . . .


America is prone to mass hysteria’s.  I’ve always felt that this was because of the prevalence of media that has become so much a part of American life since WWII.  When the media promotes a mass hysteria I speak of it as “media-induced mass hysteria”.

Since the media has been so prevalent since WWII it has created a “unity” in all the media-induced mass hysteria’s since that time.  In this way, they as if build upon each other and create a unity in themes for all subsequent hysteria’s and scares.  This has created something like a “media-induced hysteria culture” since WWII, about 70-80 years.  As a result, any current hysteria tends to be an amalgamation of the many hysteria’s that took place in those 70-80 years.  Of course, some themes are more emphasized than others, and some may show little influence, depending on the hysteria.  As a result, the “virus scare” is built upon already existing hysteria’s or scares these past 70-80 years where the media has played such a large role.  These include:

– The WWII scare.  This creates themes of:

  • The destructiveness of mankind 
  • The glorification of America’s ideals

-The Holocaust scare.  This turned into the Civil Rights Movement in the U.S.  It tends to create themes of:

  • The hatred between people
  • The subject of race

-The Cold War scare.  This is really a “fear of nuclear annihilation scare”.  The “virus  scare” has qualities similar to the Cold War scare as it is a fear that the world is at threat.  It tends to create themes of:

  • The destructiveness of mankind
  • How the world is at threat from the evil of mankind
  • The glorification of America’s ideals (since we are fighting Communism)
  • Problems of authority (which were brought out during the Vietnam war protests)

-The JFK assassination scare.  This creates themes of:

  • It destroyed America’s sense of security

-The Terrorism scare.  This created themes of:

  • It replicated, to some extent, many themes of the Cold War scare

-The “Trump panic”.  This is what I call the hysteria caused by the election of Trump (see my article Thoughts on a media-induced mass hysteria . . . the “Trump panic”).  This created themes of:

  • It brought up many old American social tensions
  • It brought out many themes from previous scares
  • It brought up problems of authority

In large part, these are hysteria’s that are not really resolved in American society. That is to say, there is still tension surrounding them, even though they seem forgotten or insignificant.  As a result, they have persisted in the back of this countries mind and has greatly affected America’s character.

The riots, it seems to me, is built upon these hysteria’s and has traits from them. Its like a culmination of tension that America has had since WWII.  In reality, its almost like a carbon copy repeat of what we’ve seen before: the same problems, the same themes, the same attitudes, the same reactions, the same solutions. Nothing, really, is new. Its all old wore out news that will, most likely, remain unresolved despite what will happen.

I tend to believe that one of the reasons why these scares remain unresolved is because of the influence of the media. Basically, since everything originates from the media people are uninvolved and only see or hear about things. As a result, they start to develop conflicts based on an “observing and reacting” and not on personal experience.  How does someone resolve issues that have originated from “observing and reacting”?  They really can’t. Because of this condition, media-induced hysteria tends to remain unresolved . . . a person cannot resolve conflicts that originate from what they have seen and heard on the media.  Its because of this that many of America’s conflicts will never be resolved, or so it seems to me.

Several themes commonly seen in America’s “media-induced mass hysteria culture” include three common themes:

  1. An emphasis on America’s ideals.  These include things such as freedom/oppression.
  2. A problem with authority.  Typically, authority is viewed as if it is some form of a threat.
  3. A sense of insecurity.  This is often a result of problems with authority

These themes originate from the 70-80 years of scares and hysteria’s that America has had.  Overall, they seem to revolve around a strong association between authority and a sense of security and that this association is established through the countries ideals.  Basically, it often entails the blaming of authority for a lack of security because it is not upholding the countries ideals.  As a result, America’s hysteria’s often have attitudes that can be described in ways such as “its authorities fault for my lack of security because I am oppressed” or “the oppression of authority causes me insecurity” or “I have to seek freedom from authority because authority makes me feel insecure” or something similar.


Though the hysteria is based in the “virus scare”, and initiated by an event that touches a “nerve” in America’s social tensions, as it has grown it has, like many hysteria’s, started to collect together many other grievances and worries with it.  As a result, much of these riots are beginning to be an avenue for many other grievances or issues.  Some these include:

  • I’ve seen people complain about things that have nothing, whatsoever, to do with what they are saying this is about.
  • I also noticed that, in many places, a lot of people are people in their 20’s, almost like its an outlet for youthful energy and rebelliousness.
  • Many people have lost their job.  This leaves these people with nothing to do and a great uncertainty about the future . . . perfect ingredients for a hysteria.
  • I also think that, for some people, boredom plays a role.  It gives them something to do.
  • I think that some people watch too much news, internet, and social media and impulsively react to it.

This phenomena of spreading to other grievances is common with mass hysteria.  Its like it snowballs.  Again, this shows how these riots are not really about the “cause” they say it is and has even gone beyond the original intention.


That’s what it seems like to me anyways.

Copyright by Mike Michelsen

Posted in Current affairs and events, Historical stuff, Mass communication: media, social media, and the news, Mass hysteria, mass society, and the mob, Modern life and society, 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, Twenty first century and post cold war society | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Thoughts on the problem of scholastic testing and illusions caused by the scholastic situation, among other things

Here’s a thought I had:

When I was in college/University I began to question scholastic testing.  By “scholastic testing” I mean testing associated with schooling which primarily professes to able to measure things like intelligence, “smarts”, and such.  It includes all the tests seen in school, as well as their qualifications.  These include things like the grading system, with all their A’s and B’s, the GPA system, various forms of competitions, and even the Masters and Doctors thesis system.  Basically, “scholastic testing” is anything a scholastic institution does to “attempt” to measure people From my observation that is what it is . . . an “attempt”.


There is a belief that scholastic testing is some sort of an accurate thing, almost as if it is the voice of god.  Of course, I don’t believe that at all.  I often say:  “I refuse to be tested or graded . . . and to be scaled down a letter or a number!”  To be frank, I find it insulting to have people associate me with a letter or number.  I don’t care what its for.  I am not a letter or number.

The very thought that a single letter or number can encompass the complexity of intelligence and understanding of a person is absurd and asinine to me.  I can’t believe that the scholastic institutions actually believe it (or anyone for that matter).  This is one of the reasons why I began to question the scholastic institutions and lost faith in them.  How can I believe an institution that is stupid enough to believe that a number or letter mean so much?  So, the questioning of scholastic testing is closely associated with the questioning of scholastic institutions.

I began to question scholastic testing when I was studying to be psychologist.  During this time, I became particularly interested in psychological measurement.  As a part of this, I began to look at grades as they are a form of psychological testing (which many people, I’ve found, don’t seem to realize).  After a period of time, it became clear that grades were totally ineffective as a form of measurement and were being taken far too seriously (see my article:  Thoughts on how grades really don’t measure anything).  After a while, this questioning eventually led to the questioning of all other forms of scholastic  measurement.

My observation is that anyone who believes in scholastic testing tends to display qualities such as these:

  • They tend to be someone who is gullible and believes whatever they are told.
  • They are trying to gain from the power structure that the scholastic testing caters to.  By doing what it says they can gain from it (like a job or prestige).
  • They are just “following along with things” accepting the way of things.

My experience has shown that there is great truth in these.

Its really no surprise, then, that I have not seen one person who has questioned the validity and accuracy of scholastic testing!  This has always amazed me.  Here they are being judged by it, with their lives depending on it, and NOT ONE person questions it!  To me, that is very revealing and shows a significant quality found in the scholastic situation, what I call the minion mentality . . .


In my opinion, what scholastic testing actually measures is how much of a minion a person is.  To me, that’s a very accurate statement.  By “minion” I mean a mentality where a person does things like these:

  • They believe whatever they are told
  • They do what they’re told to do
  • They do what they are expected to do

Typically, this is done mindlessly and thoughtlessly, much like a robot.  This means, more or less, that the scholastic institution does not create “thinking people”, as it generally professes, but people who mindlessly follow the dictates of that institution . . . what can perhaps be described as an “educational minion”.  They follow the logic and pattern of thinking it teaches and they believe the information it states.  Since these qualities are so important for success its not surprising that the need to be looked at highly by the scholastic testing has becomes so critical.  Basically, being a minion becomes the ONLY means of success in the scholastic institution.

Because of this, scholastic testing favors the minion mentality.  In fact, the prevalence and belief in scholastic testing tends to inspire and promote a minion mentality in scholastic institutions.  In this way, a scholastic institution is really an “institution of the minion mentality”.  Because of this, the minion mentality becomes the “ideal” of a scholastic institution.  A good scholastic minion will get good grades and marks and will do whatever that institution requires.


In general, scholastic testing is based on some form of a comparison, in one way or another.  Its a comparison between two things:

  1. What you do
  2. What the teacher says you should do

In this way, the comparison tends to be in relation to two things:

  1. An already pre-fab pattern of thinking
  2. Pre-established information

The important thing here is the word “pre-fab”.  This means that they are already existing.  In this way, in the scholastic institution a person is compared to something already existing.  Nothing is new.  Perhaps even more importantly, a person is compared to something already existing that is “approved”.  Its this “approval” that makes it “right”.

A persons “success” depends on how well they can fulfill these comparisons.  This is why one becomes a minion in the scholastic world . . . you do whatever the teacher wants and expects.  Remember, your success depends on it!  I can remember that I could actually feel myself turning into a minion when I was in school . . . a “yes man” to the scholastic system, a non thinking person who did what was expected.

Because of these comparisons scholastic testing, or measuring the minion, expects these things:

  • It expects a specific pattern of thinking or way of doing of things
  • It is expecting a specific answer

It does not know what to do when things do not follow one of these paths.  Typically, in the scholastic institution, they will ignore things it can’t relate to and will go right back to their pre-fab things almost like a default.  At least, that’s what my observation is.  In this way, the scholastic institution actually practices an avoidance of things it can’t relate to.  This is contrary to what it professes.

The scholastic institution has no way to measure or take into consideration things such as:

  • It does not measure creativity (unless you create something that is already a creativity that is “approved” by the scholastic institution)
  • It does not measure problem solving ability (unless it is an already established pre-fab form of problem solving technique with pre-fab answers)
  • It does not take into importance of making of mistakes and the solving of ones mistakes as well as the process this takes
  • It does not take into consideration the natural pattern of discovery
  • It does not allow time for things to take place (in the scholastic institution, you generally have to “learn on a time table” and be ready to regurgitate it properly and at the correct time)

Personally, I don’t believe these things can be measured.  But, it seems to me, that these qualities are what has actually created most of everything in the world and has allowed humanity to survive all these centuries . . . not the regurgitation of pre-fab and pre-approved things.


My observation is that some people have a “knack” or skill at being minions.  As a result of this, they tend to do good on scholastic testing.  This does not mean that they are “smarter” or understand things more.  It shows that they do what they are told in the way the system wants and, accordingly, gets its approval and support.  This creates a great illusion caused by the scholastic testing . . . a person who tests “smart” but really isn’t.  I call this the “illusionary scholar”.

I noticed this phenomena very early in college, though I saw beginning signs of it in public school.  Basically, there were all these “straight A” students that didn’t seem to understand anything.  To be frank, it was my questioning of this that first started my inquiry into grading and scholastic testing.  I couldn’t understand how these kids could get good grades when they didn’t really understand the material.  As I watched them it appeared, to me, that what they did is learn things only from the context of “what the teacher wants” . . . they learned “what the teacher wants” and “repeated what the teacher wants”.  As a result, they did good on the tests.  But doing “what the teacher wants” isn’t the same as understanding the material.  It became clear that these were totally different things.

This would become even more apparent, later, when I basically started to do the same thing.  When I was at college taking general education I took many classes that did not interest me.  As a result, I had to find a technique to get through the class with passing grades.  What I ended up doing is similar to what those students were doing above.  More specifically, I did things such as:

  • Each teacher has a unique character and way of doing things.  From experience I could predict what specific teachers would expect and put on their tests.
  • As I listened to the teachers lectures I would watch what the teacher emphasized and saw as important.  I would put emphasis on these as they would most likely put them on their tests.
  • Being aware of what they most likely would put on their tests I would only emphasize and remember that, disregarding everything else.
  • I would do things the way the teacher wanted, whether I agreed with it or not, such as writing an essay about a theme I knew they’d like or in a way they’d like.

I ended up getting good grades, believe it or not.  But, later, I was stunned how I did not understand anything.  I took all these classes and didn’t learn that much from them.  I wondered how that happened.  From this experience I became even more interested in grading and scholastic testing as I, myself, showed that a person could pass a class with good grades and understand nothing.  I, too, became an “illusionary scholar”.  As a result of this, I began to question the learning process itself, of how people learned things.

It became clear that schooling and education often created a condition of “appearing to learn while not learning” which is nothing but “doing what the teacher wants”.  I eventually called this “slotted learning”.  What this means is that, when you take a class, a person puts all the material in a mental “slot” for that specific class and for that specific teacher . . . they remember what the teacher wants in the context the teacher wants.  Because it is specific to a class and teacher it becomes “slotted”.  In that way, you are not learning the material but, rather, what the teacher wants.  Because of this, a person may do good on the test but, in the greater scheme of things, they really don’t understand the material.

Some other qualities of “slotted learning” include:

  • There is little or no application of material (unless its in a pre-fab and approved way)
  • There is little or no creativity (having to conform to a teachers material does not allow for creativity)
  • There is little or no reflection on the material (in school your job is to memorize and do what things in a pre-fab and pre-approved way)
  • There is little or no “thinking outside of the box” (everything must stay within the confines of the teachers material . . . your grade depends on it!)

In these ways, “slotted learning” tends to create a narrow point of view and perspective.  But the illusion of this is that it doesn’t appear narrow.  This is because of things such as:

  • One does what is accepted and approved by the teacher
  • Any material a school teaches is esteemed
  • A good score with scholastic testing gives it a stamp of approval
  • It is new information and ways of doing things

In this way, “slotted learning” creates a “narrow point of view that doesn’t appear narrow” in addition to “learning without learning” (the “illusionary scholar”).  We could call this narrow point of view the “mind broadening illusion” as it appears to broaden the mind when it really isn’t.

It seems, to me, that “slotted learning” is one of the big problems of schooling and the source of some of its greatest illusions.   It basically creates a lot of “dead end learning” or “learning that goes nowhere”.   In my opinion, this is very prevalent.  I tend to think that most of what people learn in the scholastic situation ends up in a “dead end”.


I often use the expression “scholastic situation”.  It refers to a condition that has things such as:

  • A teacher
  • A student
  • Material that the teacher presents to the student
  • The student must learn material
  • The student is judged by how well he repeats the material

The scholastic situation has a number of traits:

  • It is a social affair involving two or more people
  • This association is given great emphasis as if its the only way to learn
  • It is a dominant form of relationship
  • It is very organized
  • It demands submission and conformism
  • It is the basis for the learning process
  • It is done for hours and hours

We see, then, that the scholastic situation is a social affair that is long standing act of conforming ones mind to what another has created.


The scholastic situation, in my opinion, is not a natural pattern of learning.  Its based on a natural process though.  I would be more inclined to call this more natural process “instruction” and that caused by the scholastic situation as “education”.  Some qualities of each include:

  • “Instruction” is when a person is “guided” or shown the beginnings of how to do something.  They are then “let loose”, so to speak, to figure things out as they go along.  This puts great emphasis on the person and their ability to do things, discover things, and solve problems.  It is also very much rooted in doing.  This is how many trades, abilities, arts, etc. were taught all over the world since the beginning of time.  It seems, to me, that this is actually how most things were created in the world.  I often tend to feel that the trades are what created a lot of things in Europe, not the professions or the Universities.  These only became prevalent in the last several hundred years particularly as a result of the industrial revolution and probably primarily a result of the money and economic power that backed it which made the men who created more “important” than tradesman in the former centuries.  As a result, the professions and the University became more powerful.
  • “Education” is when a person is told something pre-defined and who then primarily repeats it over and over again in some way.  Their “success” depends on how well they repeat the pre-defined procedure (such as on a test, some assignment, or in a profession). In this way, education is primarily based in a comparison with something already existing, as I said above.  Unlike “instruction” it does not put emphasis on the person, or emphasize ability, or a persons ability to discover or solve problems.  This is why, to me, “education” became mind numbing and seemed to squash me as a person.  As a result, I felt dumber as a result of being educated.  I found that this feeling is not uncommon in people.

It appears that the scholastic situation is a result of specific conditions.  In Europe, it appears that the more involved scholastic situation is a result of things like:

  • The Christian conversion, which requires everyone to “learn the truth of Jesus Christ”
  • The rise of the University, which turned learning into a controlled system of pre-defined knowledge

These created a more intense, controlled, and systemized “instruction” that slowly turned into “education”.

The problem with “education”, and why it is unnatural, is because of things like these:

  • It is too controlled
  • It takes too much time out of a persons life
  • It entails too much conformism
  • It is too intense and involved
  • It doesn’t allow the person to do things on their own

As a result of these, “education” is actually an unnatural form of learning, at least in my opinion.  Even when I look back on my “education” it has this quality of being unnatural.  I felt like I was more like a robot.  This isn’t surprising as the scholastic situation is really a “situation of conformism” where the student must conform to the material presented by the teacher.  Of course, the scholastic situation promotes conformism, by requiring the student to conform to the teacher, and this thereby, by its nature, creates the minion mentality.  

Through the years the scholastic situation has become very organized and with great social and economic power.  It has become so massive, organized, and controlled that it has taken on qualities similar to a machine . . .


By being a minion a person becomes much like a robot.  What one ends up becoming, then, is a robot to a big vast machine, the Scholastic Machine.  This is the great machine of the scholastic institutions.  In many ways, the purpose of the Scholastic Machine is to create minions to serve its purpose.  One of the ways it does this is the use of scholastic testing.  It does this by ways such as:

  • It guarantee’s that the minions will do things properly
  • It creates a form of “minion social structure” (measured by who is the best minion . . . for example, the one with the best grades wins)
  • With the “minion social structure” it creates favoritism
  • The “minion social structure” allows for the pursuit of power by some of the minions

In these ways, scholastic testing actually help bonds the scholastic institution together and creating a unified system.  In addition, scholastic testing allows a means of control of its minions.  


In the past 200 years, as a result of the Industrial Revolution in particular, the Scholastic Machine has expanded and have become a part of industry, trades, and professions, becoming the Economic Machine.  In this way, the Scholastic Machines has grown and expanded beyond its original foundations.  As a result of this, one goes to a scholastic institution, nowadays, generally to learn how to be a minion to the Economic Machine.  In this way, the Economic Machine turns people into robots or machines following the pattern of the minions of the Scholastic Machine.


The minion mentality has had great impact on the creation of systems that have become so organized that they are like big massive machines.  For example, it has created a very organized Scholastic Machine and an Economic Machine, as described above.

I would even go on to say these things:

  • That the minion mentality and the system are interdependent and need each other to survive. 
  • Because of this, one of the main purposes of the minion mentality is to create and maintain a system. 
  • As a result, one of the primary purposes of the minion mentality is to become part of the system. 
  • This means, more or less, that the scholastic situation is not about “learning” or “education”, in actuality, but to become part of the system. 

This later aspect I often speak of as the “great education lie”.  This is because people are not really being “educated” in the scholastic situation . . . they’re being turned into minions, programmed to think and know specific things.  That is actually what’s happening, at least that’s how it appears to me.

My observation is that the scholastic situation does not do these things:

  • It does not make better people nor a better grade of people.  I see no evidence of this.
  • It does not make more “intelligent” people or people that are “smarter”.  This is because people are learning information and patterns of thinking other people came up with . . . they did not create them.  As a result, the “intelligence” they are displaying is not theirs but the work of others.  I speak of this as “standing on the shoulders of others” which is prevalent in scholastic situations and is one of the great illusions of scholastic institutions.  I would even say that any schooling, or learning, is nothing but standing on the shoulders of other people.  A person is taking what someone else created.

What is actually happening is that people are learning what the system wants, which is the creation of other people.  As a result, they are allowed to participate in the system more then common people and can then gain from the system.  What this means is that “education” is really about being able to associate with a system.  It really has nothing to do with learning, knowledge, and “expanding ones mind”.  In some respects, “education” can be called “learning the language of a specific system”.  Another way I described it is as someone learning their lines in a play.  Taking classes is really learning those lines.  This makes the scholastic situation much like theater . . .


My observation is that people who are considered “intelligent” are usually not intelligent . . . they just act in a way that is accepted as being intelligent and then use accepted pre-fab information and patterns of thinking in order to justify it.  When I was at the University it became clear that this was, in actuality, what a lot of people were doing.  It was as if they were all learning their part in a play.  This is why I often compare a student to an actor learning his lines of Shakespeare.  When I was at the University this is actually what it looked liked to me.  Instead of saying “my kingdom for a horse” they say “the parts of a paramecium are . . . ”  Because of this, I often spoke of the “scholastic actor”.  I think that there is a lot of similarity between acting and education.  They seem variations of the same thing.


There is something which I call the “plagiarizing of ideas”.  This is basically using other peoples ideas as if you were the one who created them (I should point out that not only does this refer to ideas but patterns of thinking as well). This tendency is rampant in the scholastic situation. People will talk as if they “own” the ideas and they are their creator. This creates an illusionary authority that is common and is very deceiving . . . but its an authority they didn’t earn. That is to say, since they did not create it they do not “own” it and are, therefore, using someone else’s “ownership” as if its their authority.

I always say, “its an authority based in recitation”. Typically, they “recite” something someone else created (which is often what they read or heard in a lecture) and, then, in the fact that they quoted it properly, they take on the “air” of authority.  I’ve seen some people who actually start to believe that they came up with it!  Its as if there is an equation:  reciting properly=authority.  Some of the origins of this equation include:

  • It has an origin in scholastic testing.  This is because in testing a persons score is determined by how well one recites or, rather, how well one gets the correct answer on the test.  In this way, scholastic testing is really a form of telling how well a person recites properly.
  • In many ways, “reciting” is the very foundation of the University system.  Its the origin of the whole system. For example, in the early years of the University system one went there to learn how to “recite” Aristotle properly and to “recite” him properly in debates.  Since the University system is the basis of the education system this mentality carries right on down to it.  I think it would be too far off to say, “education is recitation”.  

In my observation, this “authority based in recitation” is what a lot of “scholarly authority” actually is.  I speak of this as the “illusionary scholastic authority”.  It makes people seem “smart”, “intelligent”, and so on.

This deceives many people.  In fact, a lot of what are called “smart people” consists of people who are doing nothing but plagiarizing other peoples ideas. There are even a group of people who have practically turned it into an art form.  One reason for this is that by developing this illusionary authority it allows them to deceive people, and the system, which allows them to get ahead.  Because of this I have learned to be very watchful for this as it is very prevalent in scholarship nowadays.


When I began to see all this I was actually quite stunned.  This is because I was brought up with the point of view that education somehow improved a person deep down inside, almost like a moral or spiritual cleansing, enlightenment, or transformation.  I’ve seen no proof of this.  I know, now, that this originates from a point of view coming from several sources:

  • The 1700’s which is often called the Enlightenment.  This point of view emphasized the almost miraculous powers of knowledge almost as a cure all.  This era has created great myths about knowledge and education.
  • Another origin is that I was brought up in the post WWII American glory days with the moon landing, economic progress, TV, and such.  As part of American glory they harked back to America’s origin . . . the 1700’s . . . which emphasized a lot of ideas coming from the enlightenment.  As a result, I was instilled with a lot of these ideas, of the miraculous power of knowledge and learning and such.  This was further intensified by the achievements of the US.

Initially, I believed all of it.  I had no reason to doubt it.  Of course, now I see a different picture.

I still see many people who believe that “being educated” has this miraculous enlightenment or transformation quality to it, that they are somehow better because they know Einsteins theory of Relativity, took a class on calculus, or graduated with honors.  As I once said:  “So what about education . . . you’re just doing what your told.”  


Contrary to what it may seem, the system created by the scholastic situation is a world unto itself, something like a club or a tribe.  This is why you must go to school and learn all that stuff.  In this way, learning, or education, is really more like an initiation to the “truth” of the club.  This is because a system is a “closed environment”.  By this I mean that it requires a world that is conducive to its perspective and point of view.  This is easy to maintain in the scholastic institution and, to a lesser extent, in the working world.  But this “closed environment” does not work that well in the greater world.

The “closed environment” requires specific conditions such as:

  • A controlled environment
  • A situation that favors its perspectives
  • An absence of things it can’t relate to
  • A continual reiteration of its pre-fab and pre-approved knowledge and ways

These are requirements of any system.  The problem is that the world does not fit the conditions of a system . . .


The fact is that the real world was not created by a minion mentality, the scholastic institutions, or by any system.  By “real world” I mean the world as it really is . . . not some abstract intellectual idea of the world.  In actuality, the “real world” is independent of the scholastic institutions and the minion mentality it has created.

One of the great illusions of the scholastic institution is that it gives the impression that what it creates is identical with the “real world”.  It is not.  In fact, the main purpose of scholastic institutions, in actuality, is to try and give an interpretation of the “real world”.  In this way, scholasticism is really nothing but a playing “catch up” with the “real world” which it never quite catches.  This is why knowledge keeps changing and why this goes on endlessly.

This shows some facts:

  • The creation of the scholastic minion has no bearing on the “real world” . . . they are always trying to “catch up” to it and to interpret it
  • The measurement of the minion does not effect the”real world” . . . the minions measurement only has value in the scholastic institution

This means, more or less, that there is a whole other world beyond the scholastic and minion mentality.


The favoring of the minion mentality, that is done by the scholastic institutions, tends to make everything “minion-like”.  As a result, it has qualities such as:

  • It follows a predictable path
  • There’s a lack of variability

This causes things like:

  • It depends on “next step scholarship” (this is taking the next logical step based on already established thinking and facts . . . it may seem “new” but its actually an elaboration or continuation of existing things and ideas)
  • It lacks originality
  • It displays repeatability (often this is disguised behind new words and expressions)

These create a condition that is one sided and unchanging.


It seems, to me, that a lot of creativity, innovation, originality, and new things are seldom a result of the scholastic situation, itself, but actually originate from things coming from outside it.  These include things like:

  • Peoples personal experience
  • Peoples personal abilities
  • New attitudes and points of view
  • Conditions originating from outside the scholastic situation (such as in industry or real-world situations)

The scholastic situation does not create new things as much as one would think.  I tend to feel that if we had to rely totally on the scholastic situation then very few new things would probably appear.  This is because the scholastic situation is inherently static.  Scholastic testing helps guarantee that static situation by making everyone “do what they are told”.


In actuality, the scholastic situation is primarily a place where one “learns” tools, so to speak, in an already established way.  These “tools” are the knowledge and patterns of thinking that a person must imitate in a pre-determined and pre-approved way.  These tools are “static” . . . they must be used “this and that way”.  Scholastic testing measures how well one uses these “tools” in “this and that way”, in the proper pre-determined and pre-approved way.  As a result, the scholastic situation really creates “minions of tools”.  As a result, when one leaves school a person is not unlike a programmed robot programmed to do something in a pre-determined and pre-approved way.  We must remember that this condition is actually opposed to creativity!  In this way, the scholastic situation actually tends to stifle creativity.


To me, creativity is a sporadic and unpredictable thing which makes it a lot more rare than it may seem.  It doesn’t just appear on command.   I’ve always said, “that, of all the people who go to the scholastic institutions, it probably takes thousands of students to create one act of creativity”.  The vast majority become “minions”, and robots to a system, or forget what they learned.

I always like to tell the story of when we were traveling through dinosaur country here in Utah and when I was walking through a museum I saw some new theories about dinosaurs.  I said something that amounted to this:  “Just think of it!  How many students have to go to school, how many hours have to be spent in school, and how much money has to be spent, just to create a new theory?”  In other words, for every new idea there has to be thousands of students learning the same thing, spending thousands of hours learning it, and spending thousands of dollars to do it.  I then posed this question, “Is that theory worth all those people taking all those classes, wasting all that time, and spending all that money?”  What this means is that creativity is has a low statistical probability, such as “one in a thousand”.  As a result, we have to have 1000 people doing something before one things appears.  This does not mean that the scholastic situation caused it to appear.  Otherwise, it would be more frequent.  We’re waiting, in actuality, for natural ability to appear in someone . . .


My observation is that people who are creative tend to have to overcome the”programmed” attitude and ways that the scholastic situation creates.  Many people, from what I have seen, do not overcome it or only to a small degree.

One of the ironies of the scholastic situation is that it causes a conflict between two things:

  1. It gives tools for creativity
  2. It stifles creativity

In other words, it both helps and hinders.  The scholastic situation does not allow for a reconciling of these qualities.  This is what the individual person must do on their own and, in my opinion, that is where the “real learning” is located.  This means that the great act of creativity is actually independent of the scholastic situation.  But there seems to be this belief that the scholastic situation “teaches” people to be creative.  I see no evidence of this.  People are mistaking creativity with the “approved” way of doing things . . . they think people are creative because they are replicating what the scholastic institution wants and doing it properly (“they are doing what they’re told”).

Not only that, much of creativity originates from outside the scholastic situation, as I said above.  This means that the scholastic situation cannot be viewed as the source or origin of creativity.  It may impart “tools” on people to use but its up to other things to develop it:

  • Personal effort
  • Outside influence

This means that scholastic testing has no real bearing or influence on creativity.  As a result, it cannot claim to measure it and, as a result, how well a person “measures up” has no value.  This means that how well a person does in school reveals nothing about a persons creativity.  

I’ve always said, “if ability is not brought to the scholastic situation then ability does not appear”.  This means, more or less, that any ability already lies within a person and is not a result of the actions of a scholastic institution.  In other words, ability is not really “learned” . . . its already within a person.  Its natural ability.

Natural ability appears a number of ways:

  • The ability already exists
  • The scholastic situation can bring out a hidden natural ability by doing things
  • Any ability that appears in the scholastic situation is really imitated and is not ability at all
  • A person does not “learn” in the scholastic situation.  That is, they don’t have an ability, develop one, or imitates ability

My observation is that natural ability often tends to develop outside the scholastic situation and in several ways such as:

  • It appears before they even began school, in some form or another.
  • It develops after they left school.
  • It develops as a response to conditions, such as in the working world.


Many of the so-called straight A students are perfectionist people . . . they have to “get it right”.  Because they get straight A’s they are viewed highly be the Scholastic Machine.  This is because they measure highly on scholastic testing.

The problem with this perfectionist mentality are these:

  • They don’t ever make mistakes
  • Many have problems if they do make mistakes (even to the point that their ego is shattered)
  • They don’t know how to solve their mistakes

If one looks at history one can see that the people who make mistakes, and solve them, are really the most productive people in the world.  In short, the people who do things are the people who overcome mistakes.  Its all about being about to deal with mistakes:

  • Being able to see them
  • Being able to acknowledge them
  • Being able to overcome and solve them

But because these people make mistakes they tend to do poorly on scholastic testing . . . they don’t get it right the first time.  As a result, they end doing poorly on tests and in scholastic testing in generally.  They end up struggling with the Scholastic Machine and are often not viewed very highly.

The problem is that scholastic testing does things such as:

  • It tends to emphasize getting it right the first time. 
  • It favors people who get it right the first time
  • It doesn’t teach how to solve ones mistakes
  • It excludes people who make mistakes

In that way, scholastic testing is at odds with real world reality.  As a result, scholastic testing actually pushes away the most productive people.

I will never forget the day I decided to drop out of the University.  A psychology professor had been to some national convention of schools of psychology (or something similar).  He said that, according to what was being said, “my advice to you is that if you don’t get at least a 3.8 GPA you better go into some other field”.  He then went on to say that “even that’s not enough . . . you better do more than that and do as much extra-curricular activities as you can.  That’s the only way you are going to get into a graduate school of psychology.”  I just about stood up and said, “but you eliminated the most productive people!”  I was speaking of the “average student” . . . the students who make mistakes.  I could see that the scholastic institution was all a stupid game.  As a result of this I completely lost faith in the scholastic institution.  I also knew that these perfectionist 3.8+ students would end up destroying psychology (which they did).  It also became a major motive for my personal inquiry into scholastic testing.


I’ve always felt that the over-reliance on scholastic testing is creating problems and these may become more pronounced in the future.  It will do this in a number of ways:

  • It only allows people who do what it says to do anything
  • It prevents people, with abilities it can’t measure, from doing anything
  • It hinders the development of abilities that do not follow its dictates and testing procedures
  • Everything must follow its dictates and its approval
  • It has its own social and power structure . . . a world unto itself, that is removed from the rest of the world

In these ways, scholastic testing is actually creating something like a bottleneck and is strangling innovation, new ideas, creativity, etc.  I would compare its effects to what “red tape” causes in government and business.  When things “must be done a certain way”, and only those people who “do it that certain way” can do anything, it slows everything down and hinders things from development.  To me, a lot of scholarship, nowadays, looks that way.


You must remember that the only way you can do much in scholarship, nowadays, requires a person to have “good grades”, or have this or that degree, and such, which is nothing but a demonstration of your minion mentality as determined by scholastic testing.  To me, its like saying, “you got to be a minion to do anything or be taken seriously”.  The result of this is that the minion mentality becomes firmly established in the mentality, points of view, and logic of scholarshipBehind much of scholarship, today, is an attitude of “doing what you’re told” or “doing what’s approved”.  To me, this is becoming very evident.  For example, a lot of studies, research, etc., nowadays, is done to satisfy the Scholastic Machine or Economic Machine and their dictates.  As a result, scholarship tends to be biased to gain the support of the Machine, system, or power structure that it caters to.  What its doing, from what I can see, is creating a distorted and narrow vision of the world and a narrowing of scholarship.

Much of this condition is caused by the prevalence of scholastic testing, which enforces the authority of the scholastic institution onto people.  In short, to succeed you must pass, get good grades, have a degree, etc. . . . and the scholastic institution dictate and control these.  Because of this, scholastic testing is creating a “sycophantic scholarship”, a form of scholarship that is based on doing what the scholastic institution requires, and the creation of a bunch of people who “suck up” to it.  This, then, determines all that they do and the attitude in which they do it.  I can often tell if someone has been to the University, for example, by this “suck up” attitude and their conforming to “approved” ways.  I can also see it in studies, theories, and other forms of scholarship and learning.

To me, “sycophantic scholarship” is a new form of scholarship with its own mentality that has been created, in large part, by the prevalence of scholastic testing.  One could say that it has qualities such as:

  • Its motive is not “learning”, “truth”, or “knowledge” but in repeating what is approved by the Scholastic Machine
  • Its motive is not in inquiry, discovery, or creativity but in conforming to the Scholastic Machine and its dictates

If a person goes into the Economic Machine then they tend to carry these attitudes with them . . . the Scholastic Machine being replaced by the Economic Machine.

This tendency to “sycophantic scholarship” seems to be inherent in the University system since its creation over 1,000 years ago.  It has changed through the centuries.  In a simple way I could define the stages in this way:

  1. Classical – about 1100 to about 1500.  This is a result of various old knowledge (Aristotle, Roman law, middle eastern medicine, etc.).  This learning of the old knowledge began the “repeating” and “conforming” mentality that defines the minion mentality of the Scholastic Machine.  
  2. Religious – about 1500 to about 1800.  This is a result of the Protestant Reformation.
  3. Scientific – about 1800 to about 1950.  This is a result of the economic boom that followed WWII.
  4. System – about 1990 to today.  This has come about as a result of things like organized institutions, the internet, and the opening of a world market.

It seems that all stages display the qualities of “repeating” and “conforming” described above . . . except for the Scientific and Economic stages (about 1800 to about 1990).  This period of time had great creativity, innovation, and original thinking.  These qualities, it seems to me, have been destroyed by the System stage which has ushered in a new era of “sycophantic scholarship”, which is what I have been describing.

I tend to feel that the reason why the Scientific and Economic stages were creative, innovative, and original were because of things such as:

  • It was a new form of thinking
  • It was applying this thinking to new situations
  • This caused new situations to develop
  • It was largely unregulated and uncontrolled

In short, it was so new that nothing could “harness”, regulate, and control it.  Things appeared motivated out of necessity and need.  It took a little less than 200 years for the Scholastic Machine and Economic Machine to fully “harness”, regulate, and control it.  Once this happened the System stage appeared and these qualities were destroyed.  This shows some important points:

  • Creativity, innovation, and originality are a result of an unregulated uncontrolled condition
  • Regulation and control stifles and destroys them

Once the control of the Scholastic Machine and Economic Machine became powerful enough they destroyed them.  I seem to think that this really began to become significant in the 1920’s and got progressively worse over time until its power became very great in about 1990.  A significant part of that regulation and control comes from scholastic testing which imparts a control over knowledge and patterns of thinking as well as control of the students.


Looking at it now its very evident that everything is really about power, in some form or another.  The scholastic situation has become a means to power that has developed and grown through the years.  This power appears in ways such as influence, money, status, etc.  In general, it is a form of social power.  Because of this, scholastic testing is a means to that power and is part of the power game that the scholastic situation has become.

What does this mean?

  • It means that “knowledge”, “learning”, and “education” is really rooted in a social power.  To put it another way, any worth of knowledge lies in its social power.
  • It means that the knowledge that comes from the scholastic situation is biased toward social power.  If it doesn’t gain or promote power than it is has no value.
  • Scholastic testing becomes a means for the power structure to keep control and power.

Over the years I’ve begun to see that when one looks at knowledge one should look at it from the context of social power.  Looking at it from this angle everything changes.  When social power becomes the basis for knowledge I speak of it as “power-based knowledge” and scholastic testing becomes the means of control of that power.

There are other forms of power besides social power.  These include:

  • Personal power – something that has meaning to a person
  • Real-world power – power that comes from the real world situation
  • Situational power – power that comes from a specific situation

With these forms of power no testing is necessary.  This is because there is no power structure to administer and control it.  Any testing is really a matter of whether something works or not.  I speak of this as “relevant-based knowledge”.

Here are a few points showing the difference between the two:

  • “Power-based knowledge” is rooted in a social power.  As part of its power it uses testing, such as scholastic testing, to keep a control.
  • “Relevant-based knowledge” is rooted in participation with the world.  Proof of its correctness is found by experience in the world.

To me, “power-based knowledge” is only relevant, and true, in the social power whereas “relevant-based knowledge” is relevant, and true, in the overall real world.  This is quite a difference.  This means, more or less, that scholastic testing is really only relevant in its social power which means that it is not relevant in the overall real world scope of things.  This creates a whole new form of knowledge . . .


All in all, the scholastic situation tends to favor and create a specific type of knowledge, which I call “system-based knowledge”.  This is, to me, a specific type of knowledge that is applied and used for specific ends, namely for the system.  It does this in ways such as:

  • It supports the system
  • It maintains the system
  • It organizes the system
  • It allows a person to participate in the system
  • It allows a person to gain from the system
  • It is a source of power for the system (in this way, it is a form of “power-based knowledge”)

In these ways, it is very system focused.  Once one leaves the system then the “system-based knowledge” becomes redundant and useless.  This is why most of what you learn in school has no value and is never used and, as a result, is forgotten.  I’ve often jokingly stated that a person only uses less than 5 percent of what one has learned in 15 or 20 years of schooling.  Personally, I think there is a lot of truth in that.  There are a number of reasons for this, such as:

  • It only has value to the system
  • It is never used in “life”

As a result, “system-based knowledge” cannot be described as a “life knowledge”.  It does not really help a person in life.  The fact is that a person could go without knowing a lot of what they teach in school and it wouldn’t effect them that much . . . as long as they don’t have to participate in a system of some sort.  That’s when “system-based knowledge” is needed.  But most people only minimally participate in a system that requires a great deal of knowledge.  I personally think that most people live life with very little knowledge of things . . . and if they do know it its not used.  That’s what my observation is.  This is why I say that knowledge is over-rated and most people don’t need to be “educated”.  They don’t need to know the main points of the Magna Carta, or what a spleen does, or where Timcutcorry is located, and such.  I think that, in everyday life, knowledge is not needed all that much.  Life, in actuality, needs other things, qualities, and abilities.  

A lot of what one hears today is “system-based knowledge”.  It has qualities such as:

  • It, of course, caters to a system of some sort
  • It originates from a system, such as a University or profession
  • It is often made up of statements or something intellectual and abstract
  • It is for a specific theme or subject
  • It tends to cater to certain people
  • It tends to be for specific situations
  • It expects you to conform or believe it
  • It is not “life centered” or revolves around life
  • It tends to not have meaning, except in certain situations or for certain people
  • It tends to have no practical use
  • Typically, a person could live without knowing it

Many people get “wrapped up” in “system-based knowledge”, believing whatever it says.  Its not that hard to get “sucked into it” (I know this from experience).  Not only that, its very easy to view “system-based knowledge” as a form of “life knowledge”, that knowing it somehow is useful to life (I also know this from experience).  Its very easy to start thinking that knowing what type of creature a “hippocampus kuda” is or what a “section modulus” is used for somehow benefits us and makes us better people.  In actuality, knowing it does almost nothing.  This, from my experience, is typical for most knowledge in general.  If one stands back, and actually looks at what happens, I think its clear that most knowledge has no value in real life.

Scholastic testing, though, caters to the scholastic institutions which is a system.  In this way, scholastic testing is actually measuring “system-based knowledge” and only focuses on that type of knowledge.  But, as I said above, this is a specific form of knowledge, catering to a specific system, and is not a “life knowledge” that encompasses the greater aspects of life.  As a result, scholastic testing is limited in its scope, narrow in its conception, and only see’s a partial image of things.  In this way, I often compare scholastic testing to determining what people are like by observing them in church on Sunday.  The problem is that everyone is on their “proper church behavior” and wearing their “Sunday best”.  This does not reflect their normal everyday behavior and sees people in a limited and narrow way.


Because of the way things have progressed there has developed too much of an overvaluation and dependency on scholastic testing.  This has caused whole myths about its value and effectiveness as well as an over emphasis on its meaning.  Its caused a number of effects such as:

  • Some people think scholastic testing is not unlike a judgement from god saying that a person can or cannot do something
  • Many peoples lives are determined by it
  • It can greatly affect a persons self-esteem and how they view themselves

I’ve always believed that scholastic testing has become so overvalued that it is beginning to strangle things to death.  Its like saying “things must be the way we want or else”.  Its almost like an ultimatum.  But its like what I always said:  “who made the designers of the test god?  What makes them so right?”.  Well, I don’t believe they are.  I have so little faith in them that I refuse to be tested by them primarily because I know that they will be taken far too seriously.

I’ve always liked to point out that, when I was interested in psychological testing, not one person suggested that we should ask the high and mighty applications department at Harvard how they determined who was “best”.  Isn’t that supposed to be some high and mighty institution of education and learning?  If that’s the case, then shouldn’t they have some magic wand to tell who the “best” is?  But, in reality, they don’t have a magic wand . . . no one does.  But, yet, no one notices this.  Why is this?  Because its all a game . . .


When I look at it, overall, scholastic testing is really one big stupid game of power.  Its a game where the “winner” gets things like a job, money, prestige, status, fame, etc.  Its a game because there are more people than there are positions.  As a result, there are many people fighting for a single slot.  This gives it a quality much like a fight or, perhaps, even a war.  I would say that, when I was at the University, it looked like a “quiet and silent war between people that everyone pretended wasn’t happening”.  In addition, there can be a lot to gain from “winning” this game.  This, I found, is what most people are after.  These create conditions that justifies this ridiculous overvaluation of testing (such as how a person who gets a 3.101 GPA is “better” than a person with a 2.909 GPA or that a person who graduates from Harvard is better than a person who graduates from Utah Valley University).

And, remember, the results of this stupid game and fight for power is determining who does what nowadays.  The problem of this is seen in a number of sayings I have:

  • “If the people of the past had to be qualified to do anything then very little would of happened in the world”.  That is to say, if people had to pass scholastic testing in the past then very few people would of passed and, accordingly, very little would of happened and been created.
  • “The world was not created by people who were qualified”.   I have always felt that most of the people of the past, who created things, probably could not pass scholastic testing and would not be considered qualified to do anything today.
  • “The world was created by people who didn’t know what they were doing.”  Scholastic testing implies that you “know”, hence you get the right answer on the test.  In the real world, people didn’t know.  This means they were probably more likely to get the answer wrong if tested.
  • “The world was created by people trying to figure things out.”  Much of what has been created in the past was part of a process of figuring things out.  Notice how I use the word “process”.   Scholastic testing requires a definiteness to things (that way you get the answer right) which is contrary to a “process” which is indefinite and requires a “working through” of things.

Personally, I think the overvaluation of scholastic testing is doing things such as:

  • It is halting a natural creativity
  • It is forcing any creativity into a specific direction, namely the direction of some form of a system
  • It creates a “one way” of doing things
  • It hinders other ways of doing things

In this way, it becomes like a bottleneck or a strangling.


That’s what it seems like to me anyways.


Here are some related articles:

Thoughts on how grades really don’t measure anything

Thoughts on the problem of grades, tests, qualifications, and seeking gain from the power structure, with remarks about repeatability and creativity

Copyright by Mike Michelsen

Posted in Education, learning, and over education, Grades, scholastic testing, psychological measurement, etc., Modern life and society, Psychology and psychoanalysis, The 'system', 'systemism', and the power structure | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Thoughts on “Post-Christian Puritanism” and its effects

Here’s a thought I had:

I often see the effects of Puritanical thinking.  More specifically, what I see are the effects of what I call a Post-Christian Puritanism.  When I use the term “Post-Christian” it means that it appears after the belief in Christianity fell in the 1700’s.  As a result, there is no real belief in Christianity but, despite this, many attitudes and ways of Christianity persist and continue on.  In this way, Christian ideals continue to exist but in a non-acknowledged and hidden way.

According to my observation, Post-Christian Puritanism tends to have a very negative quality with negative effects. Oftentimes, it creates a very horrible view of the world and humanity.  Many people seem to struggle with it but, yet, never let it go.  As a result, they basically maintain a viewpoint that is eating them up.  This shows one of the unique natures of Post-Christian Puritanism.  Basically, it goes something like this:

  • There develops a horrible view of the world and humanity which originates from the Christian idea that we are all sinners and must be punished.
  • Since there is no real belief of Jesus as a savior there is nothing to “save us” from this horrible view.
  • As a result, this horrible view gets even more horrible . . . the world and humanity gets darker.
  • This point of view is maintained, and continued, because it is based in Christian belief which has an attitude of self-righteous God-ordained truth.  This makes it so that the belief continues to persist even though there is no real belief in Jesus or Christianity.
  • The result:  they have a dark view of life but will not let it go even if it gives them problems.

In this way, Post-Christian Puritanism tends to create something like a “self-righteous dark view of everything”.  One could even go so far as to say that it creates a “self-righteous misery”, in some people, that can even become a “self-righteous self destructiveness”.  Some of the ways it can appear include:

  • A “beating of ones self”
  • A “sulking about life”
  • A “hatred of ones self”
  • A “hatred of others”
  • A “contempt of everything”
  • A pessimism and negative view
  • A “seeing misery in everything”

This point of view has caused many problems that people struggle with, or so it seems to me.  I think this is far more prevalent than it seems.  It seems very prevalent in England and the U.S.

I sometimes think that I was in a position to see it more clearly.  I was brought up in the Western part of the U.S. (the “old west”), and am descended from pioneers.  Naturally, the pioneers brought their Puritanical beliefs with them.  Because of the conditions of the “old west”, and pioneer life, there was a lot of stress.  I often speak of this as “pioneer stress”.  This caused them to need this Puritanical belief more than most people.  As a result, it became more pronounced.  I noticed this mentality in the older generation who often had mentalities such as:

  • A weird grim view of the world
  • A weird worship and obsession over work
  • A weird tendency to make everything an ordeal or difficult
  • A contempt of self
  • A contempt of others
  • A problem with alcohol

I do not consider Post-Christian Puritanism as a form of Christianity but, rather, an “after effect” of it after belief has been lost.  Its like a remnant of Christian belief.  As a result, it displays some pieces, here and there, of Christianity.  Puritanism, because of its more strict and severe nature, has caused more marked negative effects.  This has a lot to do with its history and development . . .


Puritanism is a form of Christianity that appeared after the Protestant Reformation in England.  Its really a reaction to the formation of the C of E (Church of England) by King Henry VIII.  Basically, many people did not feel that the C of E was effective enough for reasons such as:

  • They disagreed with the reforms of the C of E
  • The reforms of the C of E do not go far enough
  • In the C of E the King was the head of the church and many felt that this just created a new form of Pope

As a result, it put great emphasis on things such as:

  • Being more strict to Christian ideas – of course, there were variations in what ideas were most important
  • Having no leader or “Pope” – this caused a tendency to be more “democratic”
  • An over emphasis on the individual person – this is a result of the Renaissance which placed great emphasis on the individual

The struggles and conflicts that followed the Protestant Reformation tended to cause a tendency for English Christianity and Puritanism to be overly strict, severe, and controlling.   This could get to the point of being abusive.

Many of the harsh conditions and behavior of people described by Charles Dickens, for example, is a result of strict Puritanical thinking and its abusive manner in English society.  But, interestingly, many of what saves people, in the stories, are based on Christian themes.  I always found it interesting that many themes seen in Charles Dickens, and other British writers, describe the strict abuse qualities of Puritanism . . . a Christianity . . . which cause all these problems and that the solution to this abuse is Christianity but in a more kind hearted way.  In short, the solution to the problems of Christianity is Christianity!  This idea of solving the bad aspects of Puritanical Christianity with soft-hearted Christianity is a prevalent one in this mentality.  Its like Christianity is conflicting and fighting with itself.


With Post-Christian Puritanism there tends to be little or no belief in Christianity or in Jesus.  In fact, there is no mention of them at all.  I began to notice these things not by any references to religion but, rather, by similarities in attitude and points of views.  After a while, it became clear that they originated from it.

Some of the qualities of Post-Christian Puritanism include:

  • There is a great burden that is on the individual person
  • Humanity, and we, are viewed as being bad
  • The idea that we must be punished in some way
  • An emphasis on “seeing the light” or seeing the truth
  • The idea that we must reform or change
  • An emphasis on work, almost to the point of worshiping it
  • The idea that we must all conform

It tends to create a point of view that portrays things in ways such as these:

  • The world is viewed in a particularly gloomy and dark way
  • It portrays humanity as bad and evil
  • It portrays us, as individuals, as bad
  • It portrays a continual need to always change in some way
  • It tends to emphasis a need to have difficulty and a hard time
  • It tends to emphasize that we are at fault for everything we do

There are various forms of how this appears.  Some people, for example, emphasize one point in particular, or a couple of points, and some people mix a number of them.  This causes a number of varieties and forms.


Overall, this mentality tends to cause things such as:

  • A dark view of the world
  • A dark view of life
  • A dark view of humanity
  • A pessimism
  • Various negative attitudes
  • Stress
  • Tension
  • A tendency to paranoia
  • A tendency to masochism (we need to punish ourselves)
  • A tendency to sadism (we need to punish others)
  • A tendency to be controlling
  • A lack of self-respect (we are sinners)
  • A lack of respect for people (people are all sinners)
  • The idea that overcoming difficulty is a great achievement (the glorification of being “saved”)
  • A tendency to “kill themselves” doing the ideals of this mentality
  • A tendency to be conformist

Many of these originate from Christian ideas of things like:

  • We are all sinners
  • We must be punished
  • We must “convert” to the truth

This mentality seems to cause a predisposition to being neurotic.  It seems to strangle the person.  It seems, to me, that Post-Christian Puritanism tends to cause  things such as:

  • A splitting of the self:  one part of the self conforms to Puritanism, another part of the self maintains ones true self. Typically, the true self is as if repressed, or “tucked away”, deep within.  As a result, this true self is always trying to come out.  This causes many strange symptoms and manifestations as a result.
  • A tendency for things to “eat” at them.  Certain conflicts or issues, that never get resolved, continue to bother them for long periods of time.  These can practically destroy a person over time.
  • A tendency to brood over things.  They become overly preoccupied with certain themes and emotions and keep them on their mind.

In addition to the darker views and conflicts described above, this mentality can cause other qualities such as:

  • The idea that we must “save the world” (from the Christian idea that Jesus will save the world)
  • The idea that we must do “good things” and “love one another” (the Christian idea of love)
  • A tendency to have a “goody, goody” attitude
  • A self-righteousness attitude

These originate from the idea that “Jesus Christ is the savior of the world” and will be the “beacon of light in the world”.  This often makes people alternate from a dark view of the world to a “goody” attitude.  In this way, they often become contradictory-like.

The Male

This mentality tends to effect the male in ways such as:

  • It creates a contempt and dark view of things that “eats” at some males
  • It often makes some males masochistic, desiring of suffering, pain, and conflict
  • It often makes some males sadistic to the point of being abusive to other people
  • There often develops a great overemphasis on the person causing a great weight that rests on his shoulders
  • There is a great overemphasis on overcoming difficulties which originates from “seeing the light” and “converting to the truth” of Christianity
  • A tendency to “kill himself” trying to do the ideals

The male, overall, seems burdened by this mentality, as if it were a great weight on him.  This can cause great stress in his life and great pain and agony.  Sometimes, its such a burden that it is projected onto other people causing misery for others.

I tend to feel that Post-Christian Puritanism, in the male, is a common cause for things like:

  • Alcoholism
  • Contempt of society and people
  • Hatred and dislike of society and people

The Female

This mentality tends to effect the female in ways such as:

  • It makes them feel that they, as individuals, are bad
  • It makes them feel that the female is bad
  • It tends to cause low self-esteem
  • It causes a “slavish” mentality as they try to fulfill the Puritanical ideals
  • A feeling of being helpless and controlled

Overall, the female seems to be undermined by this mentality.  It seems to be a big contributor in the destruction of the female, her identity, and worth.


It seems, to me, that British utilitarianism is a result of Puritanical attitudes which have been applied to economy and society.  Much of its philosophy seems to reflect conditions caused by Puritanism, such as:

  • It tends to emphasize “happiness” and that whatever causes the most “happiness” in the most people is the best.  I’ve always thought that this “unhappiness” refers to the Puritanical Christian idea of penance and punishment.  In this way, “happiness” means the absence of these Puritanical ideas.  This means, in a way, that utilitarianism is an “escape” from Puritanism!
  • It tends to emphasize a great controlling of society in order to achieve this “happiness”.  This, it seems to me, originates from the Puritanical of a controlled society.
  • They tend to emphasize intellectualization before everything else.  One of the founders of utilitarianism, John Stuart Mill, was treated by an intellectual machine by his father.  A theme in Charles Dickens book “Hard Times” is knowing “facts” at the expense of imagination.  The emphasis on intellectualism seems to originate from Puritanical ideal of “learning the doctrine”.

Copyright by Mike Michelsen

Posted in Christianity, Christian conversion, Post-Christianity, and Christian influence, England, Britain, and all that, Historical stuff, Modern life and society, Religion and religious stuff | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Thoughts on writing 900 articles . . . reflections on the 10th anniversary of this blog

This is my 900th article in this blog. Its also the 10th anniversary of this blog.  As a result of this, I have reflected a lot on blog writing.  I have thought a lot on what I should write on this occasion but no one theme has appeared.  Instead, many themes appeared and no one theme was dominant.  Here are some of the themes that came up:

A Sort-of-an Experiment

In many ways, this blog is a sort-of-an-experiment.  I’ve been writing my thoughts down since the 1980’s.  But, one day, someone told me to write down my thoughts in a blog . . . so I decided to try it.  For 10 years I have written down many of my thoughts and put them down here.

Looking back on it now this blog has been both good and bad.  Its good in that I’m continuing to do what I was doing before . . . writing my thoughts down.  But, to put them in this blog, I have to spend a lot of time “dressing the thoughts up”, so they are presentable and readable, which actually takes a lot of work and is rather exhausting.  This tends to detract from the thought process, I’ve found, and can hinder the process.  It makes we wonder if I should end this blog or at least reduce the amount I put in it.  I guess we’ll see what I do next.

The Question of Purpose

The primary purpose of this blog was to ask myself “how do things truly appear to me?”  The intent is to reach down within myself and be truly honest, saying things bluntly, plainly, and without distortion, and without reliance on other points of view and explanations.  In short, I was trying to find “my explanation”.  In actuality, most people don’t use their explanation but, instead, use other peoples or societies explanation which they use wholeheartedly or as a basis for theirs.  Because of this, we are not truly honest with our own explanations.

Finding out what “my explanation” is may sound easy but its actually quite difficult.  I often described it as being painful, almost like giving birth.  It can also be very difficult and hard.  In many cases, I had to venture off into areas of interpretation and explanation that were so alien to me that it was like walking into a foreign country . . . and without anyone or anything to help me.  I often felt like I was walking into a land where no one else has been before.  Oddly enough, I often had difficulty trying to “digest” and accept my own explanations.  It was easier to accept generic explanations that were already established.  It took great effort to resist this impulse.  Overall, I’d say that it has qualities of excitement, fear, confusion, and pain, as well as a joy of discovery.  In addition, there is something that can be called the “fear of what I may discover”.

Continuing to Blog

I think I continue to write in this blog because I continue to think about things and write them down.  Since I write them down why not put them in this blog? I think that’s the main reason why I continue this blog . . . why not?  But, as I said above, it takes a lot of work to make them presentable and readable.  In fact, at this time, I have over 700 articles that are started but have to be finished and be made presentable.  Whether that happens, or not, depends on if I “get in the mood” and do it.  Unfortunately, that mood comes and goes and isn’t all that prevalent.  Its like there are stages before something is written down in this blog:

  1. I have the idea
  2. I note the idea down on a slip of paper (I always keep a slip of in my pocket to note an idea when it comes)
  3. I think about the idea and elaborate on it
  4. I start to write it in a blog entry in a simple way
  5. I elaborate on the idea but its not presentable
  6. I make it presentable and publish it on the blog

For every idea that is written in this blog there are probably over a 100 that don’t make it.  In this way, what is written here is only a fraction of what I actually think.  I would actually say its the “tip of the iceberg”.  There’s just so much . . .

The Amount of Material

I have gone through a lot of material these past 10 years. The material I’ve gone through is immense and varied, ranging through many fields and subjects. Its almost unreal. I’ve gone through so much material that I can’t even recall most of what I wrote! In fact, I’ve forgotten so much of what I wrote that I tend to restate things in articles. I often wonder how many articles are duplicates. In addition, its not uncommon for me to look at stuff I wrote years ago and I don’t even recognize it as something I wrote.

When I look at my old articles there are many reactions that I have:

  • Some of it seems naive or horribly simplistic
  • Some I don’t agree with anymore (I often wonder if I should remove them)
  • Some I don’t even know what I was trying to say
  • Some needs to be rewritten (which I have done)
  • Some seem stupid and dumb to me
  • Some seem absurd or ridiculous
  • I even feel embarrassed by some articles I wrote
  • I often wonder if I have revealed too much personal information in some articles
  • Sometimes, I wonder if I should of even written about some themes

In short, my own reactions to my own articles range from “good” to “bad”. I’m probably my own worst critic.

Writing to Myself 

To me, these articles are really personal thoughts that I am really writing to myself.  Much of these thoughts are, in a way, a means to offset the fact that there is no one to talk to.  I have found that there is really no one to talk to.  Many articles are initiated by thoughts I have when talking to people but are not based in the conversation itself as there usually is none.  The conversation initiates the thought process, basically, and I finish the thought on my own.  I guess one could say that, in a sense, this blog is a conversation with myself that is often motivated by the fact that there is no one to talk to.  Perhaps that’s why I like to publish them, as it gives an illusion of a conversation with people.  In this way, it describes a loneliness of sorts, of a loneliness for conversation.

A Desire to Share Thoughts

I do not believe that this loneliness for conversation is the only cause of my writing though.  These thoughts are motivated by a personal need.  I would describe it as a need to “share” my thoughts with people.  I often find it very hard to have thoughts and keep them to myself.  This more or less means that this blog is motivated by a desire to “share” thoughts.  Why I want to “share” my thoughts I don’t know.

This is further complicated by the fact that, according to my observation, thoughts really don’t mean much to anyone nor does it influence anyone.  It seems, to me, that thoughts and ideas have no real value anymore. They are a dime a dozen.  As a result, “shared” thoughts have no real worth or, at least, I see no evidence of it.  This often makes me wonder why even bother with this blog.

The Importance of Creation

I should point out that all that I write are my ideas.  I came up with them.  What this means is that I had to think all of it up on my own.  This means that the material I’ve gone through is the material I have created.  Its not like, say, going through material in the sense of reading a lot of books, watching educational videos, or taking classes at the University, which largely consist of prefabricated material that one repeats and maybe reformulates in a new way.

In that way, I tend to view this blog as a blog of creation.  I have to create everything.  I have to trudge through the discovery of something, the inquiry of it, the elaboration of it, the working through the details, and ironing out the wrinkles.  Frankly, that’s a lot of work . . . and I’ve done it god knows how many times and in god knows how many subjects.  I got to admit that this gives me a sense of pride.

The Motive of Creation . . . the Joy of the Hunt

To me, there is a great joy in creation.  There’s a joy in bringing things out, of self discovery, of hunting.  I’ve always felt that I was a hunter at heart.  I’m continually hunting and I love to hunt.  There’s something about the hunt . . . it seems to bring out a deep primal need.  I can’t really explain it.  But hunting is not the same as “looking” or “searching” or “learning”.  To me, that is like sitting in an armchair and “casting a glance” at things in a casual and safe way.  The hunt, at least as I see it, requires a person to walk into the darkness of life, into the midst of an awareness where one is exposed, disoriented, and vulnerable.  It requires more from a person.  In a way, the hunt entails a death.  To me, every true inspiration comes with a dying of self, at least in some way.  And this dying of self must be complimented by a rebirth of a new self . . . the inspired self.  In this way, inspiration isn’t coming up with new ideas but, rather, coming up with a new self.  This is why I have always maintained that “I do not seek knowledge but a new self”.

The “Intellectual Tradition” . . . Just a Matter of Interpretation

One thing that is apparent after pursuing the “intellectual tradition” for 40, or so, years is that its actually all a matter of interpretation.  Practically every idea, and form of knowledge, is an interpretation that someone does.  None of it is “written in stone”.  It seems that the “intellectual tradition” should be called the “interpretation tradition”.  That is to say, intellectualism is not the “quest for knowledge” but a “quest for an interpretation”.

I have always been particularly appalled by how science and the Universities, and some professions, state their knowledge as the absolute truth. I think that the idea that there is only “one interpretation” of things . . . as science professes . . . is ridiculous.

For me, the important thing is “what does it mean to me?”  That’s the critical thing.  Writing this blog has shown this to be very true.  Frankly, I don’t care if people disagree or think that something I say is wrong.  I’m not trying to solve the world or claim to give the correct and only interpretation.  I’m only describing it as it appears to me and in a way that has meaning to me.  Not only that, I know, from experience, that the interpretations that I do are in continual change.  What I feel is correct today I may not feel is correct a year from now.  And so, for me to say that I am correct, and what I say is the absolute truth, is ridiculous.  I think that the situation is no different for anyone else, any institution, any organization, any group, or any profession . . . we’re all just giving our interpretation . . . and it will continually change.

The Question of Authority . . . the Importance of Inspiration

I often mention how I have nothing to look up to in this society. There’s no authority, no mentor, no example, no direction.  These are the facts that I have found:

  • I cannot rely on society
  • I cannot rely on other people
  • I must rely on myself

As a result, I have to do these things:

  • I have to be my own authority
  • I have too look deep within myself, to look beyond myself, for any authority
  • I have to follow what I feel is right

This society, and the condition of the mass society and the modern world, has made it necessary so that I must rely on myself.  The U.S., in particular, has done everything it can to destroy belief, culture, tradition, social hierarchy, and other human institutions . . . all in the name of freedom, democracy, and progress.  What it has left is a cultural, spiritual, and human wasteland with empty vacuous beliefs based in the unstable footing of political theory and intellectual idealism.  Not only that, the “intellectual tradition”, knowledge, science, and the education system, try to portray themselves as an authority but they’re really not.

As a result of this, I have found myself in a position (as many people do) where I have no choice but to abandon society and rely on myself which is, in many ways, all that’s left and all that remains constant.  There’s no one to look up to.  There’s no god.  There’s no leader.  There’s no authority.  All that’s left? . . . The authority within ourselves!

The problem is that I am very much aware of the fact that I am not authority.  Because of this, I take the point of view that I am only standing in the “stead of authority”, which is absent, but that is needed nonetheless.  As a result, I must “be authority without being authority”.  To put it another way, I must be an authority without presuming to be authority. This is a precarious position but a position I have found myself in.

I found that that the to “be authority without being authority” has caused a perception of two parts of my self:

  1. The “outer me” . . . this is my normal self and does not contain authority
  2. The “deeper me” . . . here lies a form of authority

The “deeper me” is “beyond me”, out of reach of my normal “outer self”.  It is as if separate and removed from my normal self and mind.  As a result, I must find ways to “connect” with it.  One way this is done is the reflections that make up the articles in this blog.

When reflecting I must do these things:

  • I must abandon my self . . . I must become dumb . . . destroy my “outer me”
  • I must feel a need to inquire, to seek the “deeper me”
  • I must not judge what I say (that’s the “outer me” judging the “deeper me”)
  • I must rely on intuition to determine what is correct (this is following the “deeper me”)

This sometimes appears almost like a “divining”, or consulting an oracle, in some respects.  I generally speak of this as “seeking inspiration”.  I’m basically seeking that inner part of me that “knows” and displays an authority.  This is basically an intuition.

In “seeking inspiration”, many of the thoughts “come as if from nowhere”.  Oftentimes, I am stunned by much of what I think and write.  They are seldom a result of deliberate thought.  In fact, many articles are written “off the top of my head”, the words just flying out.  I often struggle trying to keep up.  But it is through this process I’ve had some of my greatest and most insightful thoughts.  More importantly, they seem to possess an authority that normal thought does not have.  Inspiration, really, has become one of the substitutes for a missing authority.  It has guided and helped me in many things.

Continual Change and the importance of “Pattern of Thought” and the Interpretation of the World

Its interesting how much has changed in these 10 years.  Contrary to what is often supposed, later thoughts are not necessarily “built upon” or “improvements” on older thoughts.  Some may be and some aren’t.

Overall, the thoughts of the past 10 years seem more like a meandering to me, through a great labyrinth of speculation about things.  But there are definite “patterns of thought” in many articles.  In many ways, that’s the most important thing.  Its not the thought, itself, that is important but the pattern of that thinking for in the pattern is the base of all thought.  In the pattern of thought is revealed the character of the interpretation of the world.  The thoughts, themselves, are like building blocks.  The “pattern of thought” is like the building.  In this way, the writing of these articles have helped to reveal the character of interpretation that I use.  That, really, is its main benefit, not in the actual ideas themselves.

At the base of much of this writing is the idea that I am really perplexed by the world . . . I’m not sure what to make of it.  I should point out that I still don’t, even after all this reflection and speculation.  I have often said, “I was thrown into the world and my reaction has been, “huh, what?””.   This is complicated by the fact that I was thrown into a world that has become a never ending war of “my explanation is right”.  I speak of the intellectual, philosophical, religious, and scientific wars of Western society.  As a result of this, I have explanations coming out of my ears . . . and they all profess that they are right.  To be frank, there was so much of this that I turned to the only real authority that remained . . . myself and my intuition.

The Importance of Organizing Thoughts

One reason I like to write my thoughts down is because writing helps me to organize my thoughts.  If I just think about things then the thoughts as if “go to and fro” like the wind, and most thoughts would pass away and be forgotten.  In addition, there would be no organizing of many different thoughts into a coherent whole.  Most certainly, writing helps me to organize my thoughts which has helped me a lot.


Writing is a form of explaining things to me.  It implies that I do not know, which I don’t.  In fact, I don’t care if I know.  I have found that the knowing is not what is important.  I find the act is what’s important, not the results.  In other words, the power is in the experience.  It is explaining-as-an-experience.  To me, there is great joy in this.

My form of explaining is to focus on the inspiration of explaining, not the use of established knowledge or explanation.  In this way, the explaining is always new.  In fact, seeking this “newness” is critical.

To me, thoughts are really a labyrinth of confusion.  In some respects, I’ve become dumber than when I started.  I’ve found that knowledge just clutters the mind.  Looking back on it now I think it would be safe to say that if it wasn’t for the explaining-as-an-experience the confusion of all these thoughts would of destroyed me.  

The explaining-as-an-experience implies the importance of two things:

  1. The expression passion – this refers to the yearning for something, the experience
  2. The establishing of the self – this refers to me as-a-reality, the center of the experience

To me, these are intimately related and reflect two sides of who we are.

Both passion and self need a “form” to manifest itself.  They can’t just “sit there”.  In many ways, explaining is a creation of a “form” for the passion and self.  In this way, explaining-as-an-experience becomes something like an art.  But this form of art is really not for public show, its not an art to display to other people.  Display has no value in this art.  Its the experience, the doing, that matters, and how it is done.  What is written here is just the “after effects” of that process.

The Illusion of Thoughts and Ideas

One thing that has become very apparent, to me, is the illusion of thought and ideas.  If anything, writing this blog has made it apparent how vague thoughts and ideas really are.  By this I mean that they are “right in a way” and “wrong in a way” . . . and they are all that way.  I look at most of the stuff coming from the Universities, for example, and almost want to spit because of how they talk as if they are “right”, as if they have discovered the only truth.  Practically everything coming from the Universities is opinion, no different than what anyone else has ever done in history.  This is the same with all the books, studies, articles, etc. that are out there.  In other words, I found that to talk of thoughts and ideas as being “right” is hypocritical and nonsense.  No matter what we say today, and believe is right, it will change when a new point of view, and way of interpretation, appears . . . and it will.  Not only that, it doesn’t matter what you say, or believe, there is someone to contradict it . . . and they will have their proof, don’t you worry.

Going Beyond Thoughts and Ideas

With the failure of certainty caused by the illusion of thoughts and ideas I find that I tend to look beyond them.  I often speak of this as “seeking what is before the word”.  I found that thoughts and ideas are a product of “something” and that’s what is important, not the thought or idea.  Writing this blog has greatly shown me not to look to thoughts and ideas as if they are what one is seeking but, rather, to look for the “something” that inspires them.  In this way, writing this blog has actually led me further away from blog writing which is writing down thoughts and ideas and to look at motivates them, which cannot be written down.


Writing all this stuff in this blog has caused a great humility in me.  It could probably be best described in the statement, “what the crap do I know?”  Writing things down, and publishing them here so that everyone can see, makes me feel like I’m saying that I am the authority in the matter and know everything.  This, of course, is not the case.  I have never professed that.  Writing all this has only made me realize that I know so little about life, and things, and that I am not this great person.  I am only “a person”.  I can see that, behind these thoughts, is a person who is striving, a person “in need”, and with a great desperation.  Its given me a great humility.  Its helped me to put who I am in the context of life, that I am “just a person in life, striving to make the most of life, just as everyone else has done since the beginning of time”.  In many ways, this humility is the greatest thing I gained from writing this blog.

Copyright by Mike Michelsen

Posted in Books, movies, and music, Education, learning, and over education, Inspiration, free association, and intuition, Opinions and things associated with them, Philosophy, Stuff involving me | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Reflections on the 1980’s – aspects of the “shadow era” which follows a “glory time”

Here’s a thought I had:


I was talking to someone about the 1980’s the other day.  I stated that there was a quality about the 1980’s that I couldn’t quite put my finger on.  There was something “different” about it.  After some reflection I began to say that the sense I got from the 1980’s was that we were living in the shadow of all the success that followed WWII.  For the youth that followed, it made us look incredibly small.  How could we ever compete with all that?  We simply can’t.  The generation before us was so successful that it was almost unreal.  During their time they increased the economy, created all sorts of gadgets and gizmo’s, rock’n roll music, fantastic movies, TV, automobiles, split the atom, created jets, landed on the moon, etc., etc., etc.  We were standing under the shadow of this big massive thing which none of us could even hope to compare to no less begin to outdo.  Another way I described this is like being the son of an incredibly wealthy successful father who pioneered something.  These sons tend to become very small insignificant people.  In many ways, that’s what many of us were like in the 1980’s.  No one discussed it or stated it outright . . . at least I don’t recall it . . . but the sense was in the air.  As I reflect on it now I tend to think that this sense had great impact on the 1980’s mentality and attitude.  I think this is one reason why I didn’t like the 1980’s that much.  I just felt so small (see my article Thoughts on the American scramble for the “inheritance” of their parents and grandparents – the fight for “post WWII glory”).

In the conversation I stated that I was of the 1980’s generation but, on reflection, I don’t feel that’s true.  I would say that I’m really of the 1970’s generation and reflect many attitudes from that time.  I think this is one reason why I didn’t fit into the 1980’s that well.  In fact, while living in the 1980’s I used to call it the “sterile 80’s” and looked down on it.  It was only in the 1990’s that I began to realize that there was a lot of unique and neat things that happened in the 1980’s.  It was also the last decade to have a unique style all its own.

I should point out, though, that most of the neat things were not done by the younger 1980’s generation, themselves, but the older generation before them who happened to do things in the 1980’s.  In this way, most of the neat things in the 1980’s were not done by the youth of that era (I don’t recall us doing anything).  The younger generation was following along, so to speak.  The “sterile 80’s” point of view was from the perspective of being one of the youth (who lived under the shadow of the success of the former generation and was small as a result).  It was only when I looked at it from a greater and broader angle (that is, no longer from the perspective of the youth) that I began to see it was a neat era and that it was the previous generation that caused all that.

In actuality, the effect of the youth of the 1980’s era would happen in the 1990’s and later.  And how did that appear?  I first began to see the signs of it in the early-mid 1990’s.  I began to notice an almost obsessive tendency, sometimes to the point of abuse, for parents and society to force the kids to be successful.  What I saw the most was how every kid, and their dog, has to go to college and has to achieve in some way, and have some fantastic high paying job.  In effect, the children of the youth of the 1980’s generation were turned into “machines of the American success story”.  This mentality has continued on down to today.  I’ve often been appalled how parents of my generation, and later, treat their kids . . . often like show ponies or machines.

This “machines of the American success story” is reflective of the quality I described above for the 1980’s . . . living under the shadow of the post WWII generation . . . and then trying to recreate it (see my article Thoughts on some origins of many ridiculous attitudes of the American mentality – the ongoing effects of WWII, Cold War, and the Vietnam War era, fear, and on how the U.S. is living in the past).  In this way, the legacy of the youth of the 1980’s generation seems to be one of reenacting the post WWII glory time.  In particular, they forced this reenactment on their children.  Because of this, the children of the youth of the 1980’s generation are continuing this same mentality.  In fact, its actually gotten worse.  This seems largely due to the success of the so-called “digital revolution” which, in some respects, is like a “mini post WWII glory time”.  As a result, it only catered to and fostered the “reenacting” mentality making it worse and worse.  This mentality has gotten so prevalent that I often call the 21st century the “century of reenactment” and now assign it as a dominating trait (see my article Thoughts on how the 21st century is a reaction to the 20th century – the ongoing effects of the “dramatic century”, with remarks about “historical disruption”).

The “Small Generation”

I went on to say that we, in the 1980’s, were part of the “small generation” because we were made small by the success of the post WWII world.  We were looking up at this massive thing that we couldn’t compare to.

The “small generation” is primarily a result of a condition, a situation which made us small and insignificant.  Some of the effects that this had on us include:

  • A lack of ambition (why do anything? . . . its already been done)
  • This caused a tendency to apathy (we can’t surpass what’s already been done)
  • A blind continuation of attitudes and ways started by the successful generation before us, even though they may have no meaning to us or we didn’t really care (for example, one group tried to maintain the success theme by becoming “Mr. successful” – the yupi’s – and another group continued the rebellion started with the hippies – the stonies, and so on)
  • An attempt at trying to recreate or reenact the “former glory” in some way

These caused a lack of genuineness and originality which, in a way, made us even smaller.  About the only thing to make us “bigger” was to somehow replicate the post WWII glory in some way and many people made a life out of that . . . and still do.

The “Nobody Generation”

I then said that the generations that followed the “small generation” were the “nobody generation”.  The “small generation” are their parents.  Because of this, the “nobody generation” is really the next step after being made small.

Unlike the “small generation” the “nobody generation” were not reacting to a condition.  Instead, they are reacting to the instruction and guidance of the “small generation”.  Its as if the “small generation” were trying to force the post WWII glory and success, that they could not receive, onto their kids.  In this way, they would receive the glory and success through their children, so to speak.  But, in the process, they turned their kids into “nobodies”.  Basically, the “nobody generation” were made nobodies because they were treated like nobodies by their parents and society.  This happened a number of ways, such as:

  • Because they were treated like “machines of the American success story” having to reenact and display American success
  • As show ponies of their parents and societies desire to reenact the post WWII glory and the cult of success and achievement it created
  • As a result of having to be educated to death, spending a lifetime in school and cramming their head with information (remember that this is motivated out of the desire for American success)
  • As a result of being dominated by all the creations that success created (for example, becoming enslaved by the cell phone)

These as if degrade the individual person, making the person insignificant to the point of becoming a nobody.


All this brought up a subject which I call the “shadow era”.  This is the period of time following a “glory time”.  In this article, I am primarily looking at the glory time that happened during and after WWII (1940’s, 50’s, 60’s, and into the 70’s).  I generally speak of this as the “post WWII glory” as most of its effects became apparent after WWII.

The “glory time” has qualities such as:

  • It consists of new and novel things
  • It brings people together and has a unifying quality
  • Its massive in its effects
  • It has many positive effects

The “glory time” is something so impactful that the generations after it are “living under its shadow”.  In this way, the following era becomes as if enslaved to it (see my article Thoughts about “living in the shadow” and its effects).

The “glory time” has phases

  1. The phase of creativity.  This actually causes the “glory time”.  It tends to be overshadowed by what it creates.
  2. The phase of creation.  This is the result of the creativity.  Because it is something that is “grasped” this is often what’s remembered.

The “shadow era” is primarily a reaction to the creations of the “glory time”.  In other words, the “shadow era” tries to replicate the creations and, as a result, tends to not reflect the creativity that created them.

This replication is done a number of ways such as:

  • Imitation
  • Attempts at sustaining it
  • Recreating in some way
  • By reenacting it

The idea of the “shadow era”, generally, is to keep the glory alive by keeping what it created alive.  As a result, it tends to not display the qualities described above:

  • There is little that is new or novel
  • It does not bring people together nor has a unifying quality
  • It has minimal effect
  • It has minimal positive effects

The result is that things tend to slow down and, in a way, the society slowly falls apart.  This more or less means that the attempt at recreating a former glory actually tends to impair the society . . . it becomes as if “stuck” in a hole.  I have always felt that the U.S. is in this situation in the 21st century.

Some Effects

In the “shadow era” a measure of a person is often based in how well one can imitate the qualities of the “glory time”.

Success in this imitation can cause a number of things such as:

  • Many peoples “happiness” is often actually a result of success in this imitation.  That is to say, they are not happy because they are happy . . . they are happy “because they can imitate properly”.
  • It can create a feeling that one is entitled to the glory
  • It makes people view themselves as bigger than one actually are (for example, I am noticing that many females are now trying to make out anything the female did in the past as some great thing)

Not being able to do achieve this imitation can cause a number of things, such as:

  • Dejection and low self esteem
  • Lack of ambition and apathy
  • A tendency to rebellion and contempt
  • A tendency to become envious and feel hatred if one did not benefit from the glory (in the U.S. many people have begun to use politics as a means for this by claiming that they are being discriminated against, had their “rights” violated, and so on)
  • It can create a condition where people fight and scramble for “a piece of the pie” that the glory created

These are all common in the U.S. in the 21st century and are, I think, reflective of living in the shadow of the post WWII glory.

Copyright by Mike Michelsen

Posted in Historical stuff, Society and sociology, The "drones" and stuff associated with them, The effects of WWII, the Nazi's, the Holocaust, the Cold War, and the Vietnam War era protests, The U.S. and American society, Twenty first century and post cold war society | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Thoughts on my statement, “the femalehood is on the verge of extinction” – the “Regency Ailment” and the coming of new types of extinctions

In a conversation, recently, I stated something interesting.  I said:

“The femalehood is on the verge of extinction”

This means that a sexuality is becoming redundant and worthless and is slowly disappearing.

This, it seems to me, is a whole new idea.  We’ve seen the idea of the extinction of things such as animals, beliefs, cultures, etc. but I have never heard of something like a sexuality going extinct.

But, from what I have seen, the femalehood is slowly fading away.  As it appears to me, the female seems a degraded person whose life is often based in trying to be someone else (such as the male) or by becoming something else (such as seeking social ideals) primarily because the femalehood no longer has any value.  By “femalehood” I mean naturally appearing female traits and qualities that are developed and grown so that they have value both socially and personally.  

I first became aware of this problem in the late 1980’s and have been inquiring about it ever since.  I’ve stated many aspects of this inquiry in many articles in this blog.


I first became aware of this problem when I began to question why females seemed so preoccupied with abuse in the mid 1980’s.  This preoccupation appeared a number of ways, such as:

  • Many females want to be abused and will seek it out.  This is actually what started the inquiry.  I was quite stunned how many females wanted the male to “hurt” or abuse them in some way.  There is a small segment of the female population who desire and want this and will deliberately seek males out who will “hurt” and abuse them.  It didn’t take long to discover that the females desire to be abused was a reference to sex.
  • Then I found that many females found abuse in everything even down to everyday things like opening the door for them or even looking at them!  I saw females who could find abuse in anything . . . you name it.
  • Then I noticed that many females fabricated abuses.  The desire for abuse is so strong, in some females, that they will create abuses when nothing has happened.  The extent of this, and it is quite extensive, completely stunned me.
  • I then noticed how many females falsely accused people of abusing them.  Generally, when a female fabricated an abuse she falsely accused someone for it.  The male is the one usually blamed.  I was completely appalled by this observation.

It seemed that, every time I turned around, there was something involving abuse with the female.  It is so prevalent that it was sickening.

There are many ways of how this abuse appears, such as claims of such as these:

  • Sexual abuse
  • They are being degraded
  • They are oppressed
  • They are slaves

Oftentimes, it appears as a paranoia to the point that they think all the male population is plotting against them, or even the whole world is against them.

Overall, I found that there is really no difference between the different claims of abuse.  That is to say, they are speaking of the same theme and mentality but in different ways.  For example, a female stating a false claim of sexual abuse and a feminist claiming the male oppresses her is really nothing but different ways of saying the same thing: the male is “hurting” her in some way.  Some examples:

  • I always love to quote a statement I heard one feminist say . . . “the history of the world is the history of the enslavement of women” which more or less says that history is nothing but an example of the abuse of the female by the tyrant oppressive male.
  • A good example of a false claim of sexual abuse is an instance where a female claimed she had been raped by a guy.  She said she was traumatized and he should be put in prison.  It was shown to her that there was evidence that he was somewhere else at the time he was supposed to of raped her.  At first she denied it but finally she agreed that he wasn’t there.  She then went on to say ” . . . he should still be put in prison because I feel traumatized”.  But the man didn’t do anything!  She’s too convinced that a male has “hurt” her.

These are examples of the type of mentality that I was seeing.  The more I looked at this mentality the more fascinating it became.  But I must admit that, after a while, it sort of became sickening and disgusting.  It started to reveal a not-so-good quality of the female character and, I must admit, it made me lose some respect for the female.  Its prompted a number of statements by me, such as:

  • “You don’t come up to me, look me in the face, and tell me that half the population is trying to oppress, enslave, and degrade the other half and expect me to believe it!”
  • I sometimes will add something like this, ” . . . and what’s even more ridiculous is that you expect me to think that the male is doing this because they hate females!  You actually expect me to believe that?”  (As we’ll see below, behind a lot of this mentality is the females contempt for being female, which they often project onto the male making them mistakenly feel that the males hates her . . . actually, the females hate themselves!)
  • “You have the audacity to come up to me, quote the Constitution, and expect that this automatically makes you right and that I’m supposed to up and believe the nonsense your dishing out? (As we’ll see below, the themes of the Constitution, freedom, etc. play a big role in the “Regency Ailment”.  This is because it has a lot of origin in the effects caused by the French Revolution and the problem of the aristocracy.  As a result, they wield political theories like a weapon.).

A Psychological Inquiry . . .

Keep in mind that this came at a time when I was studying to be a psychologist.  As a result, I saw all this as a psychological problem, as I still do now.  To me, this is all psychology.  I say this as, for an insecure female, any statement about themselves that they don’t like will be viewed as . . . you guessed it . . . an abuse.  Because I’m a male I am obviously a tyrannical oppressive beast and hate females and am trying to degrade them by saying all this!!!  Don’t laugh.  That line of thought is very common and reveals a lot about the mentality behind it (as we’ll see below, there is an association between abuse, the male, and female self-contempt which that line of thought reflects).

For me, this was my first independent psychological inquiry with the intent at being a psychologist.  After I abandoned psychology I continued the inquiry primarily because it was so prevalent (I see it everywhere I turn) and because it became fascinating and interesting.  In fact, I’d say it is one of the more fascinating things I’ve inquired about.  This is because it entailed so many different things, such as general psychology, female psychology, sociology, and history, which I had to bring together to create a complete picture.  It also deals with themes no one talks about (such as female psychology, female problems, menstruation, etc.).  This personal inquiry has gone on for about 35 years now.

A Progression of Thought

Here is a brief progression of the themes I saw with this problem during this inquiry:

  1. I found that the preoccupation with abuse to be a reference to the desire for sex (for example, females wanting to be abused by the male reflects their sexual desire showing the association:  abuse<<<>>>sex)
  2. I then discovered that, behind the preoccupation with abuse, there was a victim mentality, a viewpoint that the female is being “hurt” or “damaged” in some way
  3. I found that the victim mentality is associated with menstruation which is viewed as “hurting” or “damaging” the female
  4. Menstruation eventually leads to childbearing and motherhood which, as we’ll see below, is also associated with “hurting” or “damaging” the female
  5. The problem that they had with menstruation/childbearing/motherhood is a result of a failing of the female identity which no longer gave meaning to these things
  6. The failing of the female identity tends to cause a contempt of the female, the female role, and what a female does
  7. This contempt of the female tends to cause a devaluation, degradation, or undermining of the female by the female themselves (but they usually blame someone else for it) . . . this can even appear as a desire to be a man or like a man
  8. The failure of the female identity began in the early-mid 1800’s in England and spread after that, permeating Victorian society and passing on into modern society

In other words, in the past 200 years there has seen a breakdown in the female identity and one of the ways it appears is a preoccupation with abuse and being “hurt”.  Further inquiry revealed even more manifestations and effects of this breakdown.

Abuse and Motherhood

What I found is that there is an association of abuse, and the female being “hurt”, with these themes:

  • Menstruation
  • Childbearing
  • Sex
  • The male

These can all be viewed as “abusive” to the female, or as a threat, and often has this uncanny knack at “hurting” them in one way or the other.

From an overall perspective we can see that being “hurt” is a reference to things associated with motherhood.  From menstruation to childbearing to sex, motherhood “hurts” the female.  In other words, there is a connection between abuse, being “hurt”, and the theme of motherhood in general. 

Keep in mind that this “motherly desire” entails everything associated with motherhood, such has the male, sex, childbearing, menstruation, etc.  Generally, there becomes a “fixation” on something specific, such as the male or sex, which tends to make it seem removed from “motherly desire”.

Looking at it closer, its apparent that motherly desire has become “repressed”.  There are a number of reasons for this, which include:

  • The failure of the female identity which does not allow motherly desire to manifest itself 
  • The Christian moral code which forces the motherly desire to be “repressed” (in other words, motherly desire is repressed just like sexual desire)

These then cause motherly desire to become repressed and to come out in other ways, such as feeling that they have been “hurt” or victimized by the male.

One thing that is often associated with this conflict is a great irony and dilemma which can cause great conflicts for some females.  There becomes a dilemma between these two things:

  1. The mother instinct makes it so that the female perceives herself as being “precious” (what she’s feeling is the “preciousness” of motherhood, so to speak).
  2. The problem is that she has to be violated or damaged in order for that “preciousness” to be realized (sex and pregnancy).

The dilemma then becomes much like “I’m precious . . . I must be hurt though . . . I’m precious . . . I must be hurt though . . . ” or something similar.  For many females this becomes the base of a victim mentality.  It also often creates in females a great sense of being “vulnerable” and “fragility” which is the source of the quality of being “feminine”.

The Drive to be a Victim = The Drive to be a Mother

My observation is that many females have a drive to be a victim.  This causes them to do things such as:

  • To see abuse in everything
  • To interpret the world as an abuse
  • To see the male as a threat
  • To want to be victimized or abused
  • To become obsessed with abuse and victimhood

Its as if they want to be a victim, deep down, but are as if denying it consciously.  But, as I said above, the theme of being a victim, abused, and “hurt” are references to motherhood.  As a result, the drive to be a victim really hides a drive to be a mother.

Many females, it seems to me, are no longer able to acknowledge these motherly desires no less know what they are about.  It seems, to me, as if the whole subject of “motherly desire” has been completely forgotten or neglected.  As near as I can tell, I’m the only one who talks about it.

Female Identity

What all this shows is that the female identity is necessary to deal with, and give meaning, to naturally appearing female impulses.  In particular, it shows that there is a close association with the female identity and the impulses associated with motherhood, which I generally call the “mother instinct”.  What I was seeing, in actuality, was a bunch of females who have become alienated from the mother instinct.  It often appears as a preoccupation with abuse and being “hurt”.

This began a long inquiry into female identity, how identity affects them, and why there was a breakdown in the identity, and its effects on them.  My further inquiry revealed a great conflict in the female identity.  Here are some quick thoughts on it:


Ever since a previous article I have written (Thoughts on the ‘failed sex’ – how many female traits have failed – a hidden crisis of the American female) I have stated as a description of this problem:

“This is the first time in the history of the world where a sexuality, meaning the femalehood, has failed to maintain itself as a distinct and viable institution in the society”

From what I have seen, that is very accurate and sums it up rather simply.  Here are the main words of that statement:

  • Sexuality.  This refers to naturally appearing female quality traits.
  • Failed.  This refers to an inability or inadequacy.
  • Maintain.  This refers to being able to keep ones self “constant”, and uphold ones self, even though things may try to change ones self.
  • Distinct.  This refers to keeping themselves as separate, unique, and removed from everything else . . . a distinct identity.
  • Viable.  This refers to the giving of ones naturally appearing traits value and worth, to both oneself and society.
  • Institution.  This refers to a collective social organization specifically catering to the female and naturally appearing female traits, and giving them value as a result.  That is to say, an institution is not a bunch of girls preaching how females are victims which has nothing to do with the value of naturally appearing female traits, such as we see with feminists.

From my observation, the female life, nowadays, offers only few paths for the female to be, such as:

  • A victim mentality – perceiving themselves as victims
  • Trying to be a man, or like a man, or even trying to replace the male
  • A female puppet – being a slave and puppet to society and social ideals
  • A false and exaggerated sense of superiority
  • Self-righteousness – becoming high and mighty, usually by using law and politics as a defense, which hides a deeper unconscious feeling of being a victim and a bad view of the female

We see a number of qualities:

  • An absence of natural female tendencies
  • An absence of any form of an institution
  • An absence of the value of being female

None of them promote any value in the femalehood.


At first thought I thought that this was a result of dehumanization caused by the modern world.  My inquiry has shown otherwise.  It revealed something worse.

As I said above, from what I’ve seen, this looks a failure of the female identity.  It would probably be more accurate to say that it describes a breakdown of the female identity.  This breakdown has been going on for over 200 years now . . .


It seems, to me, that the origin of this identity problem seems to of originated in England during the Regency years, or thereabouts (really from about 1790 to 1820).  This period of time became as if a pot that brought together all these ingredients and made a soup out of it.  One of the products of this soup is the female identity problem.  I often speak of this soup as the “Regency Ailment”.

Because it originates in the Regency years, the female identity problems tend to reflect much of the conflict of those times.  In fact, if one looks closely one can see that many females are still stuck in the Regency years and still continue its mentalities . . . some more, some less.  This means that many females are 200 years out of date and are still viewing things as if those conditions were still existing!  This is one reason why many of us listen to what some girls say and go “what?”

Some common qualities I see with the “Regency Ailment” include:

  • A self-righteous cause.  This is often to the point of an arrogance and pigheadedness.  It is generally rooted in the themes of freedom which originate from the ideas of the French Revolution (see below).  Its generally used as “justification” for what they do.
  • A preoccupation or obsession with status or doing what is socially esteemed.  This has origin in the aristocracy and the attempt at imitating the aristocracy (see below).
  • A preoccupation with oppression, rights, equality, slavery, etc.  This also originates from the French Revolution and the aristocracy problem (see below).
  • A tendency to be slavish, particularly toward society and social things.  This primarily originates from the desire to imitate the aristocracy so they become slavish so society and imitate it often to ridiculous proportions.  It also has origin in the growth of media which made slavishly following society more prevalent.
  • A victim mentality.  This originates from alienation from the mother instinct that the “Regency Ailment” causes (see above).
  • A tendency to view ones self as threatened.  This is part of the victim mentality but also has root in how the female feels threatened as a result of the fall of female society (see below).
  • A poor view of the female and female things.  This originates from alienation from the mother instinct that the “Regency Ailment” causes (see above).
  • A desire to be a man.  This originates from alienation from the mother instinct that the “Regency Ailment” causes (see above).  As I always say, “they are so insecure in being a woman that they hide behind the identity of a man”.
  • An inner insecurity which can appear like a mental instability, anger, hatred, etc.  This is largely an effect of the failure of the female identity.

Generally, a female will tend to focus on one, or several, qualities.  Seldom do you see all qualities though they may display all qualities occasionally.  The focusing on one, or several, qualities can be done to such an extent that it defines their personality.  In this way, the “Regency Ailment” often creates specific character types.  Some that I see include:

  • The “superior female” – she tends to think she’s on a higher plane than everyone else, particularly the male
  • The “social climber female” – she tends to want to do what is socially esteemed so she can be esteemed
  • The “oppressed female” – she is convinced she, or the female, has been oppressed
  • The “fighting for my rights” female – she is convinced that she has to fight for her rights for everything
  • The “male-want-to-be” female – she tries to be a man
  • The “social puppet female” – she slavishly does what society wants

The character types and qualities described above all originate from the conditions of the Regency years and the effects it caused.

It seems, to me, that the “Regency Ailment”, and the qualities it creates, has strong roots in what can be described as “the problem of the aristocracy” and its effects . . .

The Problem of the Aristocracy

The 1700’s, and into the 1800’s, which includes the Regency years, there was a great conflict of the aristocracy.  There became a conflict between two things:

  1. The aristocracy began to lose its value in society and even began to be viewed as a threat
  2. Despite this, the image of the aristocracy was so favorable that people wanted to emulate and be like them

Some of the themes associated with this conflict include:

  • The appeal of the aristocracy – This causes a tendency to be like and imitate them.
  • The effects of the French Revolution – This causes a tendency to be preoccupied with “oppression”, freedom, rights, etc.
  • The rise of the bourgeoisie –   It also in response to a growing wealth which eventually caused a desire for social climbing.  This is began a process where people began to imitate the aristocracy.
  • Nationalism caused by the Napoleonic Wars – This caused an arrogance and pride as well as a patriotism associated with the aristocracy which made people want to emulate and imitate them.

What we see is that this whole mentality is actually rooted in the social class problem of England . . . the aristocracy versus the common people . . . and reflects the common peoples desire to be like the aristocracy.  This reflects an irony that pervades the “Regency Ailment”, and is the source of many qualities of the Regency years.  These are:   

  • The hatred and dislike of the aristocracy.  This originates from the problem with the aristocracy which culminated in the French Revolution, which is like a war against the aristocracy, and the idea of being “oppressed” by them.
  • The desire to be like the aristocracy.  This causes a tendency to imitate and emulate them.

Its like they are trying to imitate and be like the people they despise and view as a threat!  This creates something like a weird irony.  On one hand they are all trying to imitate “proper aristocratic ladies” but, on the other hand, they are condemning the aristocrats as “oppressors”.  This irony eventually caused several tendencies:

  • A slavishness toward society and social ideals as they try to “ape” the aristocracy
  • A viewpoint of being “oppressed”, which would turn into a preoccupation with abuse and being a victim

The effect of all this is a tendency to things such as:

  • A concern over status and social climbing
  • A preoccupation with imitating the socially esteemed
  • A preoccupation on social image or how one appears socially
  • A slavish attitude toward society
  • Viewing themselves as “oppressed”, as abused and victimized in some way

These themes are very prevalent in the “Regency Ailment”.

“Oppression” and Abuse

In the “Regency Ailment”, several things are significant:

  • The conflict with the aristocracy and social class 
  • The French Revolution

These become intimately bound up with the idea of the “oppression”, abuse, and victimizing of the female.  These caused a number of things to happen:

  • It causes a tendency to exaggerate and blow any “oppression” and abuse, real or imagined, out of proportion.  Its like it gives them a license to exaggerate it.
  • It causes a tendency to make a political issue out of things. Some girls get really carried away with this and some have even made a life out of it.

I tend to believe that these are instrumental in causing the preoccupation with abuse.  In this way, we could say that the females obsessive preoccupation with abuse are a result of the aristocracy, social class, and the French Revolution.  Without these events, there probably wouldn’t be the obsessive, ridiculous, and exaggerated concern over abuse that we see today.

A Puppet Mentality

For the female, the “Regency Ailment” primarily created what I call the female puppet.  In many ways, the female puppet phenomena is the root of this problem and the fall of the female identity.

The female puppet does things such as:

  • They slavishly follow society and social ideals
  • They are so slavish that they abandon, and give up, who and what they are
  • Society takes the place of their “self”

In the most extreme forms of the female puppet mentality the female will literally lose a sense of herself as a distinct individual . . . she ceases to exist as a person.  Her sense of “self”, and who she is, lies in society . . . society becomes her “self”.  As a result, the female identity no longer lies in “being female” but in “slavishly following society”.  In this way, we see that the female puppet destroys the female person and identity. 

This is exactly what it did too.

The “Female Slave Cycle”

Basically, the slavish attitude of the “Regency Ailment” makes many females become utter slaves to social ideals.  They will utterly enslave themselves to them and seldom notice that this has happened.  But when the craze dies down their slavish attitudes continues with the net result that they now “feel slaves”.  They will then blame someone else for this even though they were the ones who enslaved themselves.  I speak of this is as the “female slave cycle”.  There are stages to this cycle:

  1. Something becomes popular
  2. It gets social support
  3. It grows as a mania in the females
  4. They become enslaved to it as a result
  5. It reaches a high point of popularity
  6. It begins to fall in influence
  7. The mania ends
  8. All that remains is their slavish attitude
  9. They then begin to feel “enslaved” or “oppressed” . . . they are actually feeling their own slavish attitude
  10. They blame someone else for these feelings of enslavement

The important point about this is that the female tends to enslave themselves to something, on their own accord, and then blame someone else for it when they realize that they are slaves.

This cycle became very prevalent with the “Regency Ailment” mentality.  This is because slavishness to society is so prevalent in this mentality and, in many ways, is a particular trait.

A New Way of Bringing Up Daughters

During the Regency years, this desire to be like the aristocracy caused many mothers to teach their daughters something like an “artificial female identity” which is based in the aristocracy but which has no real practical value.  This caused them to practically abandon the female identityThis is an identity that was already existing and which is the product of generations of females.  This tendency spread rapidly in the mid 1800’s.  It caused a number of effects:

  • The female no longer followed an established identity based on experience
  • The female identity was now based in “aping” the aristocracy
  • The abandoning of existing female identities undermined the femalehood, destroying it as a distinct and viable institution in the society
  • The female society, that replaced the destroyed female institution, became an imitation of the aristocracy and society

Because of all this the female life, really, became not much unlike a performance, a play acting, a theater performance.  This often gives the female a phony or superficial quality.  In fact, many females feel this phony performance quality and its not uncommon for them to refer to it in some way, often making fun of it.

As time when on they started a ball rolling that got bigger and bigger as time went on, completely destroying the femalehood, the female institution, and the female identity.  All that is left after 200 years . . . the female puppet.


It seems that a common trait of the “Regency Ailment” is a great self-contempt in females.  I am often amazed of the poor views that many females have of themselves.

This female self-contempt come from Christianity and the idea that we are all sinners and should be punished.  It has several origins:

  • The aristocracy.  The Crusades were influential in the rise of the aristocracy.  They were defending Christianity and, as a result, represented Christianity.  When females tried to imitate the aristocracy they also took on these attitudes of “representing Christianity”.  This is why many females think they are the representatives of “peace and love” . . . those are Christian values not the representation of the female character, as many claim.
  • The Christianity of the common people.  The normal Christian beliefs emphasized that we are all sinners.

With the failure of the female identity, and the problems it creates, it becomes an avenue for female self-contempt.  Because of this, female self-contempt is often a sign of a failed female identity.  

My observation is that many females with self-contempt feel a dislike of being female and then blame other people for it . . . usually the male.  This tendency to blame is often because of the female puppet mentality.  Remember that, in this mentality, the female gives up her self for society.  As a result, she has no sense of self, only of society.  Therefore, any problem she has cannot be hers but must be someone else’s fault.  This shows how the female puppet mentality tends to create an “innocent victim” viewpoint. 

Trying to be a Male Knight

Many females will try to be like a male or try to display male qualities.  In many ways, they are trying to be a “male knight” or aristocrat, so to speak.  They will try to emulate male ideals and basically be like a man.  For example, many females seem particularly preoccupied with being “strong”.  This is for a number of reasons such as:

  • The failure of female identity
  • Female self-contempt that makes them not want to be female
  • The males association with motherly desire . . . a manifestation of the repressed desire to be a mother . . . being a “male knight” satisfies this desire but in a neurotic way

Some females view this trying to be like a man as some sort of a cause, as if they are somehow going to be saved by it.  In this way, the females imitation of the male is really a continuation of the “knight in shining armor” theme, except that the female tries to be her own “knight in shining armor”.

From my observation a female trying to be a man or “male knight” has greatly undermined the female and their identity.  How, exactly, does it help the female identity?  In addition, it never helps them regain any self-respect or dignity.

The “American aristocracy”

Of course, in America, the aristocracy has been greatly replaced by American ideals.  Some of these include:

  • Work. The obsession over work often prompts me to say that “one of these days the female is going to wake up and find that all a female is is a person who has a job”.
  • Achievement.  They “have to” achieve that.  They “have to” achieve this.
  • Success.  They are all measured by success.
  • Materialism.  Of course, “whoever has the most toys wins”.

Because these reflect the “new American aristocracy” many females kill themselves trying to achieve these in much the way the English girls killed themselves trying to be like aristocratic ladies.

From what I’ve seen, nowadays, I would hate to be a female between the ages of about 10 to the late 20’s.  The slavishness, and puppet mentality, they are now displaying is probably worse than was seen in England.  In fact, this mentality may be worse now than it ever has been in 200 years.  One of the reason for this, I believe, is the prevalence of media and, in particular, social media.  These offer new avenues of slavishness and puppetry for the female with the “Regency Ailment”.

The Growing Problem

Some things that made this problem grow bigger include:

  • The growth of media.  This made the mentality spread and grow more easily.  Social media seems particularly damaging.
  • Consumerism.  This made it easier for females to imitate and follow society.
  • Overpopulation.  This gave a social environment for all this to grow.
  • Mass mentality.  The tendency to mass mentality, which many females are prone to, make many females blindly “follow along” mindlessly

These made it a greater social issue and problem causing it to spread and grow in force.  To me, the “Regency Ailment” behaves much like an infectious disease.  It spreads through the female population almost too easily and quickly.

The Fall of Female Society

The “Regency Ailment” undermined and basically destroyed female society.  By “female society” I mean a sub-society in the society that is made up only of females and that reflects their natural appearing qualities and mentalities.  In every society there is a male society and a female society.  These societies do not have physical boundaries, typically, though they can.  Their true boundaries lie in things like:

  • Identity
  • Unity
  • Value and worth
  • Dignity
  • Security, social, and personal

Its in these societies that each sex develops their naturally appearing qualities and traits and give it meaning, worth, and value.  Its in these societies that they have example and direction.  It is here that they develop a unity and an identity of who they are.  Because of all this there develops a dignity and a security in who they are.

The loss of this society undermines all the above and causes things like:

  • Loss of sense of who they are
  • Little sense of being part of a group and lack of belonging
  • Feelings of worthlessness
  • Feeling that one has no inner value
  • Insecurity

The “Regency Ailment” caused all these by undermining female society.  As a result, these are common traits of the ailment.  It undermined female society a number of ways:

  • By abandoning established female identity
  • By trying to be someone else (such as the aristocracy or male)
  • By becoming a puppet to society

In many ways, the conditions and effects of the “Regency Ailment” caused female society to disappear and to be replaced by a “society-as-a-whole”.  By this I mean that female society has been replaced by the greater society which encompasses everyone and everybody In this way, females are looking for an identity, meaning, and dignity in the greater society which has little to do with the female or female character traits.  The result:  an inadequate and failed female identity.  As a result of this, the female has had to force herself to “fit in” to “society-as-a-whole”.  The problems is that they don’t fit in.  This has caused many problems for many females.  In fact, this trying to “fit in” to the greater society has become one of the main activities and efforts of many females and encompasses many problems that females now face.  Overall, it has only intensified their alienation and identity problems making them feel more a victim.

In fact, this has created a new type of female character.  I often call it the “force-herself” female.  This is because they have to “force herself” to fit in to greater society.  These girls tend to put forth great effort and work to “fit in”.  As a result, they tend to be greatly strained, stressed, nervous, and uptight.  This is because female society and greater society are actually opposed to each other in character.  Because of this, the “forced-herself” female is trying to force an unnatural condition to take place.  Many “forced-herself” females hide behind things associated with social approval and status.  This isn’t surprising as the “Regency Ailment” is very much rooted in a slavish puppet mentality to society.  For many of these females, the measure of themselves will be based on how well they do what is “socially approved”.  This can become like an obsession and completely dominate their lives.  Despite how well they hide behind the “socially approved” they are actually insecure alienated females deep down, with an identity problem.  As a result, there develops a “social self” and a “deeper self”.  The “social self” generally appears stable but when the insecure “deeper self” appears it can be quite dramatic.  What comes out are themes associated with the “Regency Ailment” described above (for example, claiming that they are oppressed or are abused).

Much of this tendency to replace female society by “society-as-a-whole” is caused by things like:

  • The abandoning of established female identity
  • Trying to be someone else (such as the male or what is socially esteemed)
  • The slavish attitude toward society

It seems that the slavish attitude toward “society-as-a-whole”, in particular, plays a big role in the undermining of the femalehood.  This became particularly apparent with the “Regency Ailment” because it tended to turn females into puppets to society.  In some respects, one could say that the slavishness to society causes the female to “lose herself” in society causing the female to lose value as a person and society.  

The fall of female society often causes a sense of being threatened.  When the female replaces females society with “society-as-a-whole” they feel vulnerable to it.  This is further proof that female society and “society-as-a-whole” are opposed in character.  It also shows that females society offers a security for the female.  “Society-as-a-whole” does not offer this.

I tend to feel that the fall of female society is one of the main problems of this problem.  This is why I often say, “the fall of female society is the fall of the female”.

The Overall Effect

The effect of all this is that it undermined and slowly destroyed the female identity.  Basically, there has become a loss of dignity and value in the female.  This caused a number of reactions:

  • The female began to try to be like someone else, such as the socially esteemed, or a man
  • The female became a puppet to society
  • The deeper effect of the loss of identity which alienates them from things like the mother instinct and causes neurotic problems, such as feeling an abused victim or a paranoia that all men were trying to degrade the female

These all have eaten away at the female these past 200 years causing a slow deterioration and obliteration of the female both socially and as a person.


This brings up the question of the nature of this extinction.  It seems, to me, that the female, as a group, is making themselves extinct.  In this way, this is a new type of extinction, and in two ways:

  1. The extinction of a sexuality . . . femalehood
  2. A self-extinction . . . females making the femalehood redundant

I’ve not heard of either form of extinction.  They seem totally new.  To me, though, they seem very real.  I see examples of it almost every day.

This is how it appears to me at this time anyways.

Copyright by Mike Michelsen

Posted in Dehumanization and alienation, England, Britain, and all that, Feminism: a destructive philosophy, Identity and identity problems, Male and female, Modern life and society, Psychology and psychoanalysis, Society and sociology, The U.S. and American society, Victorianism, Bourgeoisie, noble imitation, and sycophancy | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment