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Livin in theTwilight Zone...
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    #1326762 - 02/22/03 03:41 PM (13 years, 7 months ago)

My general thesis is that many of the communication difficulties between persons are the byproduct of communication barriers within the person; and that communication between the person and the world, to and for, depends largely on their isomorphism (i.e., similarity of structure or form); that the world can communicate to a person only that of which he is worthy, that which he deserves or is "up to"; that to a large extent, he can receive from the world, and give to the world, only that which he himself is. As Georg Lichtenberg said of a certain book, "Such works are like mirrors; if an ape peeps in, no apostle will look out."

For this reason, the study of the "innards" of the personality is one necessary base for the understanding of what a person can communicate to the world, and what the world is able to communicate to him. This truth is intuitively known to every therapist, every artist, every teacher, but it should be made more explicit.

Of course I take communication here in the very broadest sense. I include all the processes of perception and of learning, and all the forms of art and of creation. And I include primary-process cognition effects that we mean to have upon other people; it seems also to be true for the effects we do not mean to have.

Those portions of ourselves that we reject and repress (out of fear or shame) do not go out of existence. They do not die, but rather go underground. Whatever effects these underground portions of our human nature may thereafter have upon our communications tend either to be unnoticed by ourselves or else to be felt as if they were not part of us, e.g., "I don't know what made me say such a thing." "I don't know what came over me."

To me this phenomenon means that expression is not alone a cultural thing; it is also a biological phenomenon. We must talk about the instinctoid elements in human nature, those intrinsic aspects of human nature which culture cannot kill but only repress, and which continue to affect our expression--even though in a sneaky way--in spite of all that culture can do. Culture is only a necessary cause of human nature, not a sufficient cause. But so also is our biology only a necessary cause and not a sufficient cause of human nature. It is true that only in a culture can we learn a spoken language. But it is just as true that in that same cultural environment a chimpanzee will not learn to speak. I say this because it is my vague impression that communication is studied too exclusively at the sociological level and not enough at the biological level.

Pursuing this same theme, of the ways in which splits within the personality contaminate our communications to the world and from the world, I turn to several well-known pathological examples. I cite them also because they seem to be exceptions to the general rule that the healthy and integrated person tends to be a superior perceiver and expresser. There is both clinical and experimental evidence in large quantity for this generalization; for instance, the work of H. J. Eysenck and his colleagues. And yet, there are exceptions that force us to be cautious.

The schizophrenic is one in whom the controls and defenses are collapsing or have collapsed. The person then tends to slip into his private inner world, and his contact with other people and with the natural world tends to be destroyed. But this involves also some destruction of the communications to and from the world. Fear of the world cuts communication with it. so also can inner impulses and voices become so loud as to confuse reality-testing. But it is also true that the schizophrenic patient sometimes shows a selective superiority. Because he is so involved with forbidden impulses and with primary-process cognition, he is reported occasionally to be extraordinarily acute in interpreting the dreams of others or in ferreting out the buried impulses of others, for instance, concealed homosexual impulses.

It can also work the other way about. Some of the best therapists with schizophrenics were schizophrenics themselves. And here and there we see a report that former patients can make exceptionally good and understanding ward attendants. This works on about the same principle as Alcoholics Anonymous. Some of my psychiatrist friends are not seeking this participant-understanding by having an experience of being transiently psychotic with LSD or mescaline. One way of improving communication with a Y is to be a Y.

In this area we can learn much also from the psychopathic personality, especially the "charming" type. They can be described briefly as having no conscience, no guilt, no shame, no love for other people, no inhibitions, and few controls, so that they pretty well do what they want to do. They tend to become forgers, swindlers, prostitutes, polygamists, and to make their living by their wits rather than by hard work. These people, because of their own lacks, are generally unable to understand in others the pangs of conscience, regret, unselfish love, compassion, pity, guilt, shame, or embarrassment. What you are not, you cannot perceive or understand. It cannot communicate itself to you. And since what you are does sooner or later communicate itself, eventually the psychopath is seen as cold, horrible, and frightening, even though at first he seems so delightfully carefree, happy, and unneurotic.

Again we have an instance in which sickness, though it involves a general cutting of communications, also involves, in specialized areas, a greater acuteness in skill. The psychopath is extraordinarily acute at discovering the psychopathic element in us, however carefully we conceal it. He can spot and play upon the swindler in us, the forger, the thief, the liar, the faker, the phony, and can ordinarily make a living out of this skill. He says "You can't con an honest man," and seems very confident of his ability to detect any "larceny in the soul." (Of course, this implies that he can detect the absence of larceny, which means in turn that the character becomes visible in mien and demeanor, at least to the intensely interested observer, i.e., it communicates itself to those who can understand it and identify with it.)

Masculinity and Femininity

The close relationship between intra- and interpersonal communication is seen with especial clarity in the relations between masculinity and femininity. Notice that I do not say "between the sexes," because my point is that the relations between the sexes are very largely determined by the relation between masculinity and femininity within each person, male or female.
The most extreme example I can think of is the male paranoid who very frequently has passive homosexual yearnings, in a word, a wish to be raped and injured by the strong man. This impulse is totally horrifying and unacceptable to him, and he struggles to repress it. A main technique that he uses (projection) helps him to deny his yearning and to split it off from himself, and at the same time permits him to think about and talk about and be preoccupied with the fascinating subject. It is the other man who wants to rape him, not he who wishes to be raped. And so there is a suspiciousness in these patients which can express itself in the most pathetically obvious ways, e.g., they will not let anyone get behind them, they will keep their backs to the wall, etc.

This is not so crazy as it sounds. Men throughout history have regarded women as temptresses, because they--they men--were tempted by them. Men tend to become soft and tender, unselfish and gentle when they love a woman. If they happen to live in a culture in which these are nonmasculine traits, then they get angry at women for weakening them (castrating them), and they invent Samson and Delilah myths to show how horrible women are. They project malevolent intentions. They blame the mirror for what it reflects.

Women, especially "advanced" and educated women in the United States of America, are frequently fighting against their own very deep tendencies to dependency, passivity, and submissiveness (because this unconsciously means to them a giving up of selfhood or person-hood). It is then easy for a woman to see men as would-be dominators and rapists and to treat them as such, frequently by dominating them.

For such reasons and others, too, men and women in most cultures and in most eras have misunderstood each other, have not been truly friendly with each other. It can be said in our present that their intercommunications have been and are still bad. Usually one sex has dominated the other. Sometimes they manage to get along by cutting off the women's world from the men's, and making a complete division of labor, with concepts of masculine and feminine character that are very wide apart, with no overlapping. This makes for peace of a certain sort but certainly not for friendship and mutual understanding. What do the psychologists have to suggest about the improvement of understanding between the sexes? The psychological solution stated with especial clarity by the Jungians but also generally agreed upon is as follows: The antagonism between the sexes is largely a projection of the unconscious struggle within the person, between his or her masculine and feminine components. To make peace between the sexes, make peace within the person.

The man who is fighting within himself all the qualities he and his culture define as feminine will fight these same qualities in the external world, especially if his culture values maleness more than femaleness, as is so often the case. If it be emotionality, or illogic, or dependency, or love for colors, or tenderness with babies, he will be afraid of these in himself and fight them and try to be the opposite. And he will tend to fight them in the external world too by rejecting them, by relegating them to women entirely, etc. Homosexual men who solicit or accost are very frequently brutally beaten up by the men they approach, most likely because of the fears they arouse by being tempting. And this conclusion is certainly fortified by the fact that the beating up often comes after the homosexual act.

What we see here is an extreme dichotomizing, either/or, Aristotelian thinking of the sort that Goldstein, Adler Korzybski, et al., considered so dangerous. My psychologist's way of saying the same thing is "dichotomizing means pathologizing; and pathologizing means dichotomizing." The man who thinks you can be either a man, all man, or a woman, and nothing but a woman, is doomed to struggle with himself, and to eternal estrangement from women. To the extent that he learns the facts of psychological "bisexuality," and becomes aware of the arbitrariness of either/or definitions and the pathogenic nature of the process of dichotomizing, to the degree that he discovers that differences can fuse and be structured with each other, and need not to be exclusive and mutually antagonistic, to that extent will he be a more integrated person, able to accept and enjoy the "feminine" within himself (the "Anima," as Jung calls it.) If he can make peace with his female inside, he can make peace with the females outside, understand them better, be less ambivalent about them, and even admire them more as he realizes how superior their femaleness is to his much own weaker version. You can certainly communicate better with a friend who is appreciated and understood than you can with a feared, resented, and mysterious enemy. To make friends with some portion of the outside world, it is well to make friends with that part of it which is within yourself. (This logic can also be applied to racism as well.)

I do not wish to imply here that one process necessarily comes before the other. They are parallel and it can start the other way about, i.e., accepting X in the outside world can help achieve acceptance of that same X in the inside world.

Primary- and Secondary-Process Cognition

The repudiation of the inner psychic world in favor of the external world of commonsense "reality" is stronger in those who must deal successfully with the outer world primarily. Also, the tougher the environment is, the stronger the repudiation of the inner world must be, and the more dangerous it is to a "successful" adjustment. Thus the fear of poetic feeling, of fantasy, of dreaminess, of emotional thinking, is stronger in men than in women, in adults than in children, in engineers than in artists.
Observe also that we have here another example of the profound Western tendency, or perhaps general human tendency to dichotomize, to think that between alternatives or differences, one must choose either one or the other, and that this involves repudiation of the not-chosen, as if one couldn't have both.
And again we have an instance of the generalization that what we are blind and deaf to within ourselves, we are also blind and deaf to in the outer world, whether it be playfulness, poetic feeling, aesthetic sensitivity, primary creativity, or the like.

This example is especially important for another reason, namely that it seems to me that reconciling this dichotomy may not be the best place for educators to begin in the task of resolving all dichotomies. That is, it may be a good and practicable starting point for teaching humanity to stop thinking in a dichotomous way in favor of thinking in an integrative way.

This is one aspect of the great frontal attack upon an overconfident and isolated rationalism, verbalism, and scientism that is gathering force. The general semanticists, the existentialists, the phenomenologists, the Freudians, the Zen Buddhists, the mystics, the Gestalt therapists, the Humanistic psychologists, the Jungians, the self-actualization psychologists, the Rogerians, the Bergsonians, the "creative" educationalists, and many others are all helping to point our the limits of language, of abstract thought, of orthodox science. These have been conceived as controllers of the dark, dangerous, and evil human depths. But now as we learn steadily that these depths are not only the wellsprings of neuroses, but also of health, joy, and creativeness, healthy instincts, healthy nonrationality, and healthy intuition. We begin also to desire the salvaging of these capacities for ourselves.

The general theoretical answer seems to lie in the direction of integration and away from splitting and repressing. Of course all these movements which I have mentioned can too easily themselves become splitting forces. Antirationalism, antiabstractionism, antiscience, anti-intellectualism are also splits. Properly defined and conceived, intellect is one of our greatest, most powerful integrating forces.

Autonomy and Homonomy

Another paradox that faces us as we try to understand the relations between inner and outer, between self and world is the very complex interrelation between autonomy and homonomy. We can easily agree with Angyal that there are within us these two general directions or needs, one toward selfishness and one toward unselfishness. The trend toward autonomy, taken by itself, leads us toward fuller and fuller development of our own inner unique Self out of its own laws, its own inner dynamics, autochthonous laws of the psyche rather than of the environment. These psychic laws are different from, separate from, and even opposed to the laws of the nonpsychic worlds of the external reality. This quest for identity, or search for self (individualization, self-actualization) has certainly been made familiar to us by the growth and self-actualization psychologists, not to mention the existentialists, and the theologians of many schools.

But we are also aware of the equally strong tendency, seemingly contradictory, toward the giving up the self, toward submerging ourselves in the not-self, toward giving up will, freedom, self-sufficiency, self-control, autonomy. In its sick forms this results in the wild romanticism of blood, earth, and instinct, in masochism, the contempt for the human being, in search of the values either outside the human being altogether or else in his lowest animal nature, both of which rest on contempt for the human being.

Elsewhere I have made the differentiation between the high homonomy and the low homonomy. Here I should like to differentiate the high autonomy from the low autonomy. I wish then to show how these differentiations can help us to understand the isomorphism between inner and outer, and thereby lay a theoretical base for improvement of communication between the personality and the world.

The autonomy and strength which is found in emotionally secure people is different from the autonomy and strength of insecure people. Very broadly, and without too much inaccuracy, we can say that insecure autonomy and strength is a strengthening of the personality as over against the world, in an either/or dichotomy in which they are not only quite separate but also mutually exclusive, as if they were enemies. We might call this selfish autonomy and strength. In a world in which one is either hammer or anvil, these are the hammers. In the monkeys in which I first studies the different qualities of strength, this was called autocratic or fascistic dominance. In the college students who were later studied it was called insecure high-dominance.

Secure high-dominance was another matter altogether. Here there was affection for the world and for others, big-brotherly responsibility and a feeling of trust in and identification with the world rather than of antagonism and fear toward it. The superior strength of these individuals was therefore used for enjoyment, for love, and for helping others.

On various grounds we can now find it possible to speak of these differentiations as between psychologically healthy and unhealthy autonomy, and between psychologically healthy and unhealthy homonomy. We find also that this differentiation enables us to see that they are interrelated rather than opposed to each other; for as the person grows healthier and more authentic, the high autonomy and the high homonomy grow together, appear together and tend finally to fuse and to become structured into a higher unity which includes them both. The dichotomy between autonomy and homonomy, between selfishness and unselfishness, between the self and non-self, between the pure psyche and the outer reality, now tends to disappear, and can be seen as a byproduct of immaturity and of incomplete development.

While this transcendence of dichotomy can be seen as a usual thing in self-actualizing persons, it can also be seen in most of the rest of us in our most acute moments of integration within the self, and between self and the world. In the highest love between man and woman, or parent and child, as the person reaches the ultimates of strength, of self-esteem, of individuality, so also does he simultaneously merge with the other, lose self-consciousness and more or less transcend the self and selfishness. The same can happen in the creative moment, in the profound aesthetic experience, in the insight experience, in giving birth to a child, in dancing, in athletic experiences, and others which I have generalized as peak experiences. In all of these peak experiences it becomes impossible to differentiate sharply between the self and the not-self. As the person becomes integrated so does his world. As he feels good, so does he look good. And so on.

Observe first of all that this is an empirical statement and not a philosophical or theological one. Anyone can repeat these findings. I am definitely speaking of human experiences and not of supernatural ones.

Secondly, observe that this implies a disagreement with various theological statements which imply that transcending the limits of self means spurning or repudiating, or losing the self or individuality. In the peak experiences of ordinary people and in self-actualizing people as well, these are end products of the development of greater and greater autonomy, of the achievement of identity; and they are the products of self-transcendence, not of self-obliteration.

Thirdly, observe that they are transient experiences, and not permanent ones. If this is going into another world, then there is always a coming back to the ordinary world.

Full Functioning, Spontaneity, B-Cognition

We begin to know something in a scientific way about the more integrated personality as it affects receiving and emitting communications. For instance, the many studies by Carl Rogers and his collaborators indicate that as the person improves in psychotherapy, he becomes more integrated in various ways, more "open to experience" (more efficiently perceiving), and more "fully functioning" (more honestly expressive). This is our main body of experimental research, but there are also many clinical and theoretical writers who parallel, but there are also many clinical and theoretical writers who parallel and support these general conclusions at every point.

My own pilot explorations (not exact enough to be called researches in the contemporary sense) come to the same conclusions from another angle, i.e., the direct explorations support the finding that integration is one defining aspect of psychological health. Secondly, they support the conclusion that healthy people are more spontaneous and more expressive, that they emit behavior more easily, more totally, more honestly. Thirdly, they support the conclusion that healthy people perceive better (themselves, other people, all of reality) although, as I have indicated, this is not a uniform superiority. A current story has the psychotic saying, "2 plus 2 equals 5," while the neurotic says, "2 plus 2 equals 4, but I can't stand it!" I might add that the valueless person--a new kind of illness--says, "2 plus 2 equals 4. So what!" And the healthier person says in effect, "2 plus 2 equals 4. How interesting!"

Or to put it another way, Joseph Bossom and I have recently published an experiment in which we found that secure people tended to see photographed faces as more warm than did insecure perceivers. The question remains for future research, however, as to whether this is a projection of kindness, or of naivet?, or more efficient perception. What is called for is an experiment in which the faces perceived have known levels of warmth or coolness. Then, we may ask, are the secure perceivers who perceive or attribute more warmth right or wrong? Or are they right for warm faces and wrong for cool faces? Do they see what they want to see? Do they want to like what they see?

A last word about B-cognition. This seems to me to be the purest and most efficient kind of perception of reality (although this remains to be tested experimentally). It is the truer and more veridical perception of the percept because most detached, most objective, least contaminated by the wishes, fears and needs of the perceiver. It is noninterfering, nondemanding, most accepting. In B-cognition dichotomies tend to fuse, categorizing tends to disappear, and the percept is seen as unique.

Self-actualizing people tend more to this kind of perceiving. But I have been able to get reports of this kind of perception in practically all the people I have questioned, in the highest happiest most perfect moments of their lives (peak experiences). Now, my point is this: Careful questioning shows that as the percept gets more individual, more unified, and integrated, more enjoyable, more rich, so also does the perceiving individual get more alive, more integrated, more unified, more rich, more healthy for the moment. They happen simultaneously and can be set off on either side, i.e., the more whole becomes the world. It is a dynamic interrelation, a mutual causation. The meaning of a message clearly depends not alone on its content, but also on the extent to which the personality is able to respond to it. The "higher" meaning is perceptible only to the "higher" person. The taller he is, the more he can see.

As Emerson said, "What we are, that we can only see." But we must now add that what we see tends in turn to make us what it is and what we are. The communication relationship between the person and the world is a dynamic one of mutual forming and lifting-lowering of each other, a process that we may call "reciprocal isomorphism." A higher order of persons can understand a higher order of knowledge; but also a higher order of environment tends to lift the level of the person, just as a lower order of environment tends to lower it. They make each other more like each other. These notions are also applicable to the interrelations between persons, and should help us to understand how persons help to form each other.

Coffee should be black as hell, strong as death, and sweet as love.

Edited by SkorpivoMusterion (02/23/03 12:30 PM)

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Re: THE KNOWER....AND THE KNOWN [Re: SkorpivoMusterion]
    #1326919 - 02/22/03 05:32 PM (13 years, 7 months ago)

This sounds interesting im out for the evening but I will read it later.
It had better be worth it!! :wink:

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Re: THE KNOWER....AND THE KNOWN [Re: SkorpivoMusterion]
    #1327817 - 02/23/03 02:12 AM (13 years, 7 months ago)

Your post seems like you put a lot of effort into it. I suggest that you break it up into paragraphs if you want it to be read though.

Whenever I see a post like that I scan it for swear words and name calling and go on to the next thread. I am sure many do not even do that.


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Livin in theTwilight Zone...
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    #1328635 - 02/23/03 12:33 PM (13 years, 7 months ago)

Ok there ya go....it is now rrrreaaadable...... :grin:......and yes btw...it took me a LONG time to get all that typed up....but if it makes at least one life breathe easier...then it's worth it =) 

Coffee should be black as hell, strong as death, and sweet as love.

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The AlmightyLord & Master ofThe Universe

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Re: THE KNOWER....AND THE KNOWN [Re: SkorpivoMusterion]
    #1329309 - 02/23/03 06:22 PM (13 years, 7 months ago)

wow!....that was very interesting....great post indeed....I dont think I've ever seen a post quite like that...where did u get this from? Keep em coming!  :laugh:


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Re: THE KNOWER....AND THE KNOWN [Re: SkorpivoMusterion]
    #16336948 - 06/05/12 06:29 PM (4 years, 4 months ago)

You need to proof read before posting

....This example is especially important for another reason, namely that it seems to me that reconciling this dichotomy may (not) be the best place for educators to begin in the task of resolving all dichotomies. That is, it may be a good and practicable starting point for teaching humanity to stop thinking in a dichotomous way in favor of thinking in an integrative way....

This is a big mistake.

For all you fucking Special Olympics Bronze Medal winners, here's a link.

Edited by Naimish (06/06/12 01:03 PM)

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Folding@home Statistics
Registered: 01/09/03
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    #16337547 - 06/05/12 08:28 PM (4 years, 4 months ago)

You bumped a nine year old thread to correct a typo? :archiebunker:

Republican Values:

1) You can't get married to your spouse who is the same sex as you.
2) You can't have an abortion no matter how much you don't want a child.
3) You can't have a certain plant in your possession or you'll get locked up with a rapist and a murderer.

4) We need a smaller, less-intrusive government.

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The Minstrel in the Gallery

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    #16337561 - 06/05/12 08:31 PM (4 years, 4 months ago)

We have another one on our hands.  Someone get the net. :satansmoking:

"Don't believe everything you think". -Anom.

" All that lives was born to die"-Anom.

With much wisdom comes much sorrow,
The more knowledge, the more grief.
Ecclesiastes circa 350 BC

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Too fucking cute!
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    #16337877 - 06/05/12 09:44 PM (4 years, 4 months ago)

It is a portentious first post.


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Re: THE KNOWER....AND THE KNOWN [Re: OrgoneConclusion]
    #16338015 - 06/05/12 10:08 PM (4 years, 4 months ago)

any port in a storm...


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infinite layers

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    #16341863 - 06/06/12 05:47 PM (4 years, 4 months ago)


Diploid said:
You bumped a nine year old thread to correct a typo? :archiebunker:


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Too fucking cute!
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Re: THE KNOWER....AND THE KNOWN [Re: keeponrockin]
    #16341899 - 06/06/12 05:52 PM (4 years, 4 months ago)

Is there a Statute of Limitations on Grammar Naziism?


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Re: THE KNOWER....AND THE KNOWN [Re: SkorpivoMusterion]
    #16342200 - 06/06/12 06:50 PM (4 years, 4 months ago)

i read the few first paragraphs.
i agree that the way we express ourselves might have to do with our genes or maybe who we were before.
i think the goal of social people should be to truly be themselves so when to talk or whatever they do, it could be an expression of who they are.


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Re: THE KNOWER....AND THE KNOWN [Re: HungryHipp07]
    #16345885 - 06/07/12 01:31 PM (4 years, 4 months ago)


reading this one later.

interesting / poignant thesis.

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