Chapter 3: PSYCHOLOGY, Mental Mechanisms - Let's Prehend
Let's Prehend
A Manual of Human Ecology and Culture Design

Chapter 3: PSYCHOLOGY, Mental Mechanisms

"Mirror, mirror on the wall, who's the most complex of all?"

It seems that we humans are the most complex organisms in the universe. Other intelligent beings may call our universe home, but they haven't yet spoken to most of us.

We humans have been making theories of mind from the beginning. Many theories work well for those who use them. A theory is a tool, not a truth. This new process theory may be helpful to some. It should be compatible with and inclusive of other theories, but alas, the task is endless.

RIDLY Mind Body Split

Let's assume consciousness mind is an operation of the human organism, not some temporal visitation from outer space, even though it may feel that way at times. It seems that the mind happens mostly in the brain, in spite of religious tradition picturing it as incorporeal or spiritual. This splitting off of the mind from the brain, the spirit from the flesh, idea from reality, looks like a RIDly hangover from the 'certainty' of faith and science of centuries past in Western culture. More than just an error in thinking, this mind-body duality exemplifies a flaw in the human mind as an information processing machine. Let's examine this flaw later in this chapter.

Epistemology is displaced by psychology and its cognitive Sciences. Philosophy may remain as a medieval verbal pastime, but is displaced by human ecology and culture design. Recent neuroscience is beautifully presented in the BRAIN issue of Scientific American, September 2003.

Mind as Brain

The meaty brain is far more complex than we can imagine, yet we often disparage it as 'merely physical', not grand enough to carry our consciousness. This belief exposes a reductionist impulse to make the physical world trivially simple. Objectivists see the physical brain, like all of reality, as mystical enough, as discussed in Chapter 10, RELIGION.

Disclosing the details of how the brain 'does' mind is the work of the neuroscientists. Let's use the following charts to describe the mind. Although our model is extremely oversimplified, it offers an image that may be helpful. As long as we use it a tool, and not a belief, it should not detract from the advancing scientific knowledge, but might even help us to grasp it.

E Chart of Mind

Let's apply the PROCESS MODEL to the human mind. Our goal as objectivists is not to be right, correct or true, but only to offer a tool to facilitate a broader and deeper understanding of personal and cultural life. Let's try out E and D charts on psychology.

Fig 3-1: E CHART of MIND

Conscious Ego

Consider conscious ego as supported by the Great Subconscious Life, GSL, as represented on this E CHART OF MIND. Notice on the chart that beneath the i level of intensity that we call ego lies a vast network of subprocesses from which the stream of consciousness derives. GSL is the supporting levels of neural process from which the train of thought is abstracted. Ego is the Minor System, derived from and supported by the Major System's Great Subconscious Life, GSL. This grand model in the mind includes all the inborn patterns, a life history of memories, a tangle of learned responses, and, hopefully, real time sensory inputs.

E, on Fig. 3-1, represents the number of subunits. Since we are thinking in terms of mind, this E might be the number of elements, such as the number of neurons or connections in the nervous system, or perhaps units of information such as bytes or engrams.

But i is more difficult to label. Let's call it intensity or integration, referring to the amount of organization of the E units. In the ordinary subjective sense intensity, i, is something everyone experiences, but objectively we describe the underlying mechanism as the number of neuron pulses or other measures of organization. Imagine a dead brain as having the same number of neurons, E, but very little integrative process, i.

Imagine the mind as a vast ocean of unconscious processes. The waves of consciousness ripple along the surface, affected by external winds, shores, and beings, by internal currents, and by complex bottoms. Like waves, human consciousness arises briefly from the winds on life's ocean, is blown through life's path, gradually develops whitecaps, and finally dies on the beach.

Ego as the Minor System

Let's use the word ego in its common sense, the self. Essentially, ego is a Minor System that more or less manages the Greater Self. But the Dissociation of the Minor System, DMS, manifests as the ego asserts a Life Of its Own, LOO.

Dissociation of Ego, DOE

This Dissociation Of Ego from its own subconscious and body is a war with its reality. DOE conflict is not some fault or error, it is the nature of mind as an information processing machine. DOE is the major problem of the human condition.

Crisis of Ego, CEG

As the ego continues to gain in power, the Fragility Of Contraction, FOC, shakes the greater self. The contracted ego comes to a crisis and breaks. This crisis needs a name. Call it Crisis of Ego, CEG. CEG can be a sick psychotic breakdown or a healthy expanded self. CEG can manifest itself outwardly, as a Hitler. We might call this unfortunate ego position, the Ayn *Rand Syndrome, ARS, in deference to archo-objectivist Ayn Rand, who takes the self so seriously. CEG can happen throughout life, but seems most common as the ego comes to fruition but the frontal lobes are not matured, the teens. For some people CEGs are easy and barely noticeable, while others suffer raging storms, fail to flourish, or barely survive.

CEG can also be a result in a new more expanded ego, often called enlightenment or being born again. CEG loosens the old patterns and offers an opportunity for new integrations, like the Zen 0. In a healthy organic culture, this break is socialized and ceremonialized, but in an abstract culture, most people must go it alone.

Jean Paul Satre summed in his FLYS, "Human life is on the far side of despair." Maybe the Cartesian French have a harder time.

PIPs

Unfortunately personal fortitude may not be enough by itself. For example, some folks are so intelligent that they can talk themselves out of it, postpone the crisis, never let down, nor give an inch, never break under the strain of contraction, never look out the portholes of their yellow submarine. This Problem of Intelligent People, PIP, has been addressed by thinkers and therapists through the ages, and the problem concerns us ordinary folk too. The great educator and author, Max *Learner, said on many occasions that the more intelligent a person, the more unhappy - an expression and an illustration of PIP.

And from Ecclesiastes, third century BC: "...In much wisdom is much grief... he that increases knowledge, increases sorrow...", unless he DIPLs.

The ego might be described as that funny animal who lives in your head and thinks it's you. The mind is far more than we think it is. In other terms: the inherent and inevitable price of consciousness is the endless struggle with alienation from reality.

Unconscious

Let's use the term 'unconscious' to refer more generally to those human processes that are not conscious, like the tooth that does not hurt, or the monitoring lower visual cortex. Let's use the word 'subconscious' to emphasize the dynamic unconscious processes that construct consciousness. Call it the Greater Self, GS. I apologize to the Freudians, who apply the term to primitive instincts and diabolical drives. Joseph *Campbell explains Jung's view of the subconscious as "biological", contrasting with Freud's as "biographical". This theory also presents the subconscious as infinite empathy and objective love, too often tormented by its own structure and outrageous fortune. Perhaps it's the Freudian's rationalist tradition, RIDs, that drives them to see the sub-rational support system for consciousness as a threat to reason rather than as the upsurge of the understanding heart.

The subconscious itself can be dissociated - as in the major and minor mental illnesses. People as well as animals respond to the trauma of outrageous fortune by fixating maladaptive responses and over-learning unhealthy lessons. The *TALKING CURE, used by both grandmothers and Freudian psychoanalysts, is the classic method of healing these dissociations, as we shall see later in this chapter.

Dreams, Royal Road to the Unconscious

The massive integration of our mental model takes place in the subconscious, of course, since consciousness itself is the expression of the integration, not the integration itself. In dreaming, when the mind's intensity is below the i line of awakeness, we still get images that can be remembered, that are properly considered important and profound. Notice how the ego, burdened with the tyranny of the self, is quick to forget, deny, disparage, and perhaps try to use or even control the dreams, another example of DMS, Dissociation of the Minor System. It would be a net gain in i integration and value, Ei, to honor the dream, and acknowledge its contribution to mental life. Many associate dreams with healing, both mental and physical.

We might also acknowledge that everyday banter comes from the same depths as dreams do and therefore deserves the same respectful perception we give to other dream. Freud, cited "free association" as another window to the subconscious, in addition to dreams. Everyone's ordinary dreams display marvelous creative imagination. May we infer that such creativity is inherent in all minds, but has little place in common conscious life? As *Goethe wrote in his short story, Das Wunderkind, "There's a bit of genius in all of us."

D Chart of Mind

The degree of this DOE conflict between mind and reality is a crucial issue in life and culture. To analyze the amount of this let's derive a scale, the Dissociation-Accord scale, by using the two E charts below.

The E chart on the left, Fig. 3-2, represents the more contracted or abstract mode in which the ego, the high i part of the curve, is more dissociated from the great subconscious life and rest of the human organism. The right-hand chart, Fig. 3-3, represents the ego as more expanded, more organically related to, more in accord with, the greater self. Compare the slope.

E CHARTS OF MIND, used to derive the D CHART OF MIND
Fig. 3-2:     Fig. 3-3:
More Dissociated system More in Accord system

The contracted mind, represented on the left chart is intense but has a very narrow base. It's more rational, highly dissociated from its own subconscious support system and more alienated from its own intuition. The expanded mind on the right has a broader base. It's is more intuitive, and has easier access to subconscious integrations, disclosures, and syntheses. Many theories explain this as rational vs. intuitive, right brain vs. left, verbal vs perceptive. [essay????]

The more organic mind is healthier than the abstract mind because it is more i integrated with its own subconscious. Thus the D chart can be called a "health" as well as a "diagnosis" chart. In any D-A Chart, we call it "dissociated" when considering the D side and "health" when attending to the Accord side.

Fig. 3-4: D CHART OF MIND

The two E charts, Figs. 3-2 & 3-3, describe the human mind in terms of total complexity, Ei. This D chart derived from them depicts the degree of dissociation of the minor system, the ego. Ai would be the measure of Accord or health. The opposite might be called i Dissociation, Id, a measure of pathology.

The D chart is an important tool for the analysis of the human condition because, in every aspect of life and culture, dissociation is the basic problem. Let's use this scheme to diagnose mind, and in later chapters, other complex systems.

Contracted vs Expanded Modes of Mind

How dissociated is the ego from its own supporting systems? That is the important issue in psychology. ACCORD on the D chart Fig. 3-4 refers to an efficient supportive organization of processes up and down the i scale of the E chart, Fig. 3-3. With high A, consciousness has full advantage of the vast integrations of the lower i levels, the greater self. A mind at high Ai has got itself together. This vertical integration is the mechanism, not just of a deeper and more participative life, but also of intuition, empathy, understanding, and creativity.

This i Dissociation, Id, is a more general and mechanistic term than Freud's "id" which he applied to "repression" - the rejection from consciousness of the vital vigor and the naughty impulses that intruded into Viennese civilization. In general, Id also implies the denial and rejection of the greater self, an intensifying conflict within the greater self, a gain of power and intensity but a loss of depth and creativity. Subjectivist therapist Christina *Grof explains, in elegant vividness, the processes of ego expansion and contraction in her book THE *SEARCH FOR WHOLENESS.

Human nature is versatile and roles change as the culture demands. We all oscillate between these extreme mental modes, contractive and expansive. We must all master the contractive mode to protect ourselves and get along in abstract culture, and the expansive mode to produce and create and get along in organic social life. Imagine the ordinary cycle of awakeness and sleep, up and down the isovalue line on the E chart. Imagine the cycle of distress and serenity up and down the isohealth line of the D chart.

The contraction-expansion dynamic, CED, can be used as a gross measure of personality and character, perhaps corresponding to popular personality assessments and every-day intuitions. Somewhat like introverts and extroverts, some people are more expansive than others, and at different times more or less so.

Dr. Hans *Selye uses the designations "type A" and "type B" to describe personality types once thought to be associated with, and presumably predicting, coronary artery disease. The Type A person is hard driving, high cortisol, high risk with "fire in the belly". He gets a lot done, but is hard on himself and everyone else. Type B may also get a lot done, but is more harmonious within himself and with others. On the D chart: Personality type A is up-left, #4 at 1,9, the ego at war with the world and its own cardio-vascular support system. B is also a high achiever, but more easy going, cooperative and nurturing, like the good boss. B is up-right toward #1 at 9.9, on the D chart.

We might push the good doctor's theory for two more letters: Type C is harmonious with self and others, easy-going with low energy, but never gets much done, #2, low-right. Type D doesn't get along with self or others, and messes everything up, #3, low left, like a bad hair day.

Cognitive psychologist Jonathan *Winston and others point out that thought, in and of itself, contracts choice. When attention focuses, one's view narrows. One's total integration is displaced, as if ego, threatened by the emergency of unintegrated data, contracts. In one experiment, subjects who were asked to pick a painting quickly, made choices which brought longer satisfaction. In contrast, those who were asked to give 'reasons' were less satisfied with their choices. Presumably their criteria was trivialized by the contractive nature of consciousness itself in the rational mode, by reason instead of intuition. So much for aesthetics and the art market.

Choice and Free Will

As for motivation: people do not do things for reasons. People often ask for reasons, even expect a rational explanation and receive it as requested. We magnificently adjust to circumstance, then talk ourselves into it. As in classic sociology, circumstances change behavior and attitudes follow. The usual subjective reasons are rationalizations - usually trivial, always distorted, and more or less fixated. Objective reasons are psychoanalytical, multifaceted, complex, and existential. But these deeper more valid explanations are still burdened with the same false-focus and there-and-then that plague subjective reasons. Of course, that's no cause to stop trying. See the book Choices, Values and Frames by Amos *Tversky.

Reason, Intuition and Creativity

In common thinking, reasoning and logic have a place, especially in law and other adversarial systems. Some of my best friends are reasonable. Notice scientists don't 'reason', they observe, infer, generalize and share. Overemphasis on verbal truth and its manipulations doesn't do justice to the infinitude of reality and the complexity of the human condition. The objectivist task is to have it both ways, to be able to pretend to reason through any situation while at the same time keeping the broadest possible context in the back of ones mind. In this sense, from a D chart analysis of mental process, logic is a pathology - and I can prove it!

Reason thinks it integrates by itself, but the real work of integration is done in the subconscious. Reason is the horizontal integration, words referring to words, strung together on the conscious level. Reason rationalizes, confirms, or argues in an adversarial mode, horizontally, pretending to relate one word to another, i dissociated from deeper meaning. Perhaps when people reason together, like lawyers, they are agreeing on the consensual myth, a myth that each intuitively grasps and accepts for the sake of loyalty, status, and profit.

In contrast, what is called intuition is the more direct accessing of these integrations up and down the i scale from the depths of the subconscious, where all the work gets done. Intuition is the vertical integration, iI. Dr. Marcia *Emery, author of *INTUITION WORKBOOK, takes a positive view of the subconscious as an integrative apparatus.

Similarly, creativity is the process of putting it together, necessarily in the subconscious, then raising the integration to consciousness and manifestation. Imagine the accumulated data being organized in the great subconscious life - mostly while asleep - then bubbling upward to consciousness as the "AHA!" of discovery, design, or gestalt. Einstein had this experience in creating his theories, every mother has this experience with her baby, and every father in finding the misplaced rattle. Notice in more contracted modes, the Dissociation of EGo, DEG, interrupts and rejects this subconscious input. This is called "Writer's block"... .

Self-Concept

From earliest human evolution to today, success and survival in the social world has rested on our ability to be natural psychologists. According to Nicholas *Humphrey, Cambridge Psychologist, "We have to introspect, to use ourselves as the model of what it's like to be human. ...The way we understand our own minds allows us to understand and manipulate other people's minds. That is the key to social smarts. But the way we see ourselves is an illusion, a patchwork bag of tricks that creates the impression that we are running the show."

Self-concept is always trivial and fixating, and mostly wrong. Daniel *Dennett writes, "...self is a fiction we create to compensate for (and reject) the real self (Greater Self), which is an aggregate, a center of multiple streams.... "

Related to self-concept is self esteem, an attempt to rescue the embattled ego from outrageous fortune. The concept of self esteem has deep roots in our intellectual heritage. Freud's disciple, Alfred *Adler developed the term as a transvaluation from Christian submission and forgiveness toward the warrior ethic.

In *LISTENING TO PROZAC, Dr. Peter *Kramer explains self esteem as the rationalization of bad feelings. "Self esteem is not primarily a set of thoughts about the self...." It is a power function, a 'dissociation' rather than a 'harmony'.

As for "knowing thyself", it may be a healthy move to admit a few things and perhaps unwind some of the lies of life, as psychotherapists often claim. In early times, before TV, humans spent long hours in intimate communication, an inherently therapeutic process. On the D scale of mind this would be represented by a move from the left 'power' side to the right 'harmony' side of the D chart. Knowing oneself can be an effective defense when necessary and may possibly make one healthier. Extreme self absorption, however, distracts one from the outer real world, and takes too much time. To compensate for the casualness of these comments, read A *DIFFERENT KIND OF LISTENING, My Psychoanalysis and Its Shadow by Kin *Chernin. Even this deep and personal accounting leaves unsettled the value of disclosure as therapy. It leaves in doubt whether such self absorption is healthy.

Can one ever know one's self? It's a favorite question among teenagers, appropriate to that stage of blossoming ego. The answer is "no know". As one brain scientist joked, "I wish God had made the mind simpler so that we could understand it."

Rationalization

Hypnosis theater offers an illustration of the dynamic of consciousness: A person under hypnosis is given the post-hypnotic suggestion to turn off the light five minutes after being roused from the trance. Typically, the person will do as instructed. When asked why they turned off the light, the person usually gives amazingly adequate reasons to explain why he turned off the light. This is called "rationalization". Let's infer that the ego structure is strongly compelled to reason, to make sense, to explain. The ego is a rationalizing machine. Ego eagerly sacrifices validity for its DIM narrow integrity.

As another example, a mentally healthy woman patient of Dr. V. S. Ramachandran suffered a stroke that damaged her right parietal lobe. As a result, she lost touch with her right arm. When asked what was that arm lying next to her in the hospital bed, she insisted it was her brother's arm, because it was old and hairy. Thus the mind easily makes up reasons to support its own DIM consistency. Presumably, we all continually correct and update our mental models, gathering sensory data when awake, integrating further while we sleep.

A note of explanation to the rationalists-idealists, RIDs: We offer general assumptions such as FF and TT. We use these assumptions to develop an image of thinking. Then we turn around and use this image to explain FF and TT. This may look like inductive logic to some, to others deductive logic perhaps, or more likely circular reasoning or a priori error. In objectivism, however, circular reasoning is transformed into internal consistency. We are not trying to prove anything, we are trying to describe how reality works. This may distress the rationalist, since in our culture, being right is considered important, and the mind DIMly demands integrity for its model.

Education

Often, educated people become skilled verbally but their spacial quantitative sense atrophies. Thus, these charts are very difficult to some educated people, but intuitively obvious to just folks. Chapter 10 on EDUCATION addresses this issue.

The new process model used in this book relies on non-verbal quantitative mental images rather than only verbal functions of the brain. This contrasts with the exclusively verbal dominance of most of our philosophic heritage. This post-rational approach might be called "RIDs therapy", and attempt to help rationalists out of their mental prisons. Objectivism is not rationalism, though we play at reason and idealism. This book is written in words, but words used as descriptions of quantitative i processes, not verbal beliefs.

Conscious Process, a Chart Analysis

Let's try the charts on modes of consciousness. Quantification might include measures of neural hormones such as epinephrin for fight or flight, cortisol for uptightness, serotonin for serenity, dopamine for dance. Brain sciences are making great progress, but these charts might be helpful to put it all together.

Consciousness is surely adaptable, adjustable, flexible, and profoundly complex. Life experience grows with genetic, psychoanalytical, historical, and other components. Let's generalize again and put subjective consciousness on the D chart. The i scale measures intensity, more intense consciousness at the top, measured perhaps by an amount of neural metabolism on the PET scan, or just simply how it feels. The D-A scale measures the degree of dissociation of consciousness from its own supporting subconscious, the more Dissociated on the left, more in Accord on the right. This D chart might be called an "objective look at subjectivity". In his exciting book, *CENTER OF THE CYCLONE, mystical Doctor John *Lilly, discusses modes of thought on a similar chart using "*Gurdieff numbers".

Fig. 3-5: D CHART OF CONSCIOUS PROCESS

Imagine your most common mood at x, the center at 5,5. Becoming more alert would be an arrow upward, to 5,6 and 5,7. Contractive alertness, like a coffee jag, is upwards but left of the isohealth line, toward 3,6 and 2,7. At the same level of alertness, i5, an anxiety state would be to the left, toward 3,5 and 2,5. Mellow would be toward the right, expanded toward 6,5 and 7,5. Sleep is not a simple state, but it wanders down the isohealth line just below the level of awareness, perhaps i2, in and out of the REM dream state, etc.

Let's use the D chart to classify and compare the i intensity and the D-A dissociation of various states of mind.

Fig. 3-6: D CHART of STATES OF MIND
(Modify this chart to suit your use of these words.)

Fig. 3-7: D CHART OF MOODS
(Modify to suit yourself.)

Emotions

The term "emotions" refers to subjective experiences familiar to everyone. But keep in mind, that emotions are not made of words. Words are shallow echoes of reality, the reality of experience itself. Often words trivialize and fixate emotions by false-focus and there-and-then. On the other hand poets deepen these words as they elicit connotations to enhance their meaning.

When you ask someone how she feels, this level of rational question-and-answer is surely several steps removed from the emotional state itself. Her response comes out of the complex of emotions produced in the soup of neurotransmitters and endorphins as described in TRAIN OF THOUGHT, p.111. The person 'chooses' which emotions to raise to surface of conscious experience. Then, these chosen emotions are named, abstracted yet again. Then the names are carefully selected to meet the demand for the integrity of the model, for the self image and for the expectation of the personal and social context. Then the expression is refined for the sake of interpersonal harmony, the social image, and finally reported according to the time and circumstances.

Thus, talk of emotions is apt to be what people have reported about what they refined from what they selected from what they named of the experiences gleaned from the deep complex of emotions that make up the great subconscious life. People are really good at this. Watch the children work at learning what they are supposed to feel and say.

Philosopher Friederich *Nietzsche (1844-1900) goes too far on this point, as usual: "That for which we find words is already dead in our hearts." (From Charley Rose's interview with Harold *Bloom about his book, *SHAKESPEARE, THE INVENTION OF THE HUMAN.)

When someone asks "What do you feel", the respondent must estimate which of the infinitude of emotions that lurk just beneath the surface of consciousness are of interest. Presumably some subtle contracting is at work. Cultural styles vary, as any humorist can describe. For example, Italians don't have emotions, they just live. Admittedly, gender differences exist and are discussed elegantly in Deborah *Tannen's books.

People's emotions are intuitively evident, expressed mostly non-consciously with limitless cues of facial expression, gesture, voice, odor and perhaps even electro-magnetic waves - if such were needed with such a surplus of media. Thoughts, however, are inscrutable. One can sensitively perceive what others feel, but the thoughts in one's head are free, dissociated from interpersonal (perhaps personal) process until they are verbalized or manifested. Thus, one can easily perceive how people feel, but not what they think. In this odd sense, thoughts are inherently split off, schizophrenic. Such is the burden of sapiens.

Imagine the way emotions developed during our long evolutionary period. Assuming the early humanoids had fewer thoughts, unschooled as they were, their minds must have been occupied with what we call emotions. (Discussed by human ecologist Paul *Shepard.) This early life provided a constant and deep intimacy with their kin and clan, an intimacy still vaguely experienced by modern humans.

One ploy of the contractive ego is to 'fake it', to put on a straight face. One must not think this is simply phony. Politeness is essential to alleviate interpersonal conflicts, especially in an adversarial culture. Of course, it is also an aggressive lie, and often perceived as phony politeness masking hostility. But politeness also gives the emotions a reprieve to expand from narrow rage and resentment toward broader forgiveness and love. We pay homage to the civilizing influences of MISS MANNERS and Martha *Stewart.

Another ego ploy in its struggle to triumph over emotions is to label them, fixate them by FF and TT into positions, then routinize their expression with a minimum of visceral experience. The ego uses this Conversion Of Emotions into Positions, COEPs, to detach the cool mind from the hot emotions. Evading emotion by flat affect can alleviate the burden of the crowd, or express the warrior's invulnerability. Such strategies have received comment throughout history and Freud's concept of "repression" is a recent example. D chart analysis reveals that ego control of emotions is a form of dissociation of the ego from the great subconscious life. In spite of its inherent pathology, this is an essential and valuable strategy - because more open emotions rely on a supportive culture for their protection.

The 'control' of emotions is more accurately described as the domination of some emotions, more contractive states - over others, often more expansive. "Control yourself." usually means substitute fear for love.

Objective Love and Objective Hate

Theologians refer to "agape" (ah-ga-pay), a love that embraces the infinite sensitivity that one person has for another and that each person has for any and every other. Imagine this love as a human part of the limitless processes of the electron soup. Let's call this vast interpersonal psychic reservoir of processes, Objective Love, OL. We are all fastened together by objective love, like it or not. Rarely can we afford to raise this process to consciousness and admit the profound intimacy of all people in this electron soup.

Because of the fragility of contraction, FOC, love is an inherent threat to the self, especially the contracted self. To protect and reinforce our egos, we humans engage in a variety of machinations. The result is the undeniable Objective Hate, OH, the inherent separateness of the ego from the greater self and all of reality, the manifestation of DMS.

Confusion over the term 'objective love' results from the common use of 'subjective' to refer to the loving emotions and 'objective' to indicate a hard-headed cortisol reductionist RIDs attitude. We use the terms quite differently: 'objective' is what's happening, 'subjective' is what is experienced.

Experiencing objective love as subjective is not easy. Glimmers of OL are enhanced in many ways: by a loving family or church, an intimate group, meditations and other expansive practices, and the careful use of expansive drugs. Moving toward OL usually requires cultural support and directed enhancement. We will discuss this in more depth in the section on therapy and in Chapter 10, RELIGION.

Of necessity, sex is a primary battleground between ego and reality. Sex is a basic mechanism of evolution, the way God made us all, while ego appeared more recently on the evolutionary scene and is as yet poorly integrated into the scheme of things. We have been sexual beings for billions of years, but sapient beings for only millions. Elaboration on this theme is discreetly tucked away in OBJECTIVE SEX.

E Chart of Emotions

Let's use the E and D charts to analyze subjective emotions objectively, by how they operate rather than how they feel. This is akin to a psychoanalytical view. I suspect there are better theories for this that I have only glimpsed.

Consider emotions in the battleground of ego versus subconscious, the degree of i dissociation on Fig. 3-1. Let's describe emotions by their role in the dissociation or harmony of consciousness. Imagine three stages ranging from the most in accord to the most dissociated on the D chart Fig. 3-4:

  1. Primary emotions express the unity of the person with the greater self, society, culture, and all of reality. These have the highest Accord, A, the most i integrations, Ii, unity with the universe. Primary emotions include awe, worship, thanksgiving, love, and agape - all in the high A = 7,8,9 area of a D chart. Ursula *Goodenough explains awe, wonder, gratitude, and joy as generic religious experiences.
  2. Secondary emotions experience the essential separateness of the ego, the split from the reality basic to the conscious life. Such i dissociation, iD, of the 'ego' from 'being' would be represented on the D chart to the left of the primary emotions. Secondary emotions include anxiety, fear, loneliness, grief, and loss.
  3. Tertiary emotions are indulged to increase the intensity of the ego, at the expense of its unity with the self, with others and with the universe. They function to move up-left on the D chart, enhancing the dissociation, but rewarding with intensity. Tertiary emotions include anger, pride, rejection, envy, ambition, greed, vengeance, and making-a-fuss. Tertiary emotions are a denial of primary emotions and a struggle against secondary emotions. They manifest the battle the ego puts up to strengthen or protect itself. They are the emotions the ego uses to intensify itself, to manipulate and control reality, to promote its own alienation. They resemble rationalizations or rigid ego positions derived from DIM. According to the fragility of contraction, these tertiary emotions feed upon themselves: the more the ego contracts the more contractions it manipulates in life.

In *HERE AND NOW, Ram *Dass makes a distinction between alienation and detachment. He considers alienation as a defeat of empathy, a desperate withdrawal from outrageous fortune. In contrast, detachment is a withdrawal from the contracted ego position, turning from tertiary emotions to secondary and primary. Detachment enables a clearer "looking", a broader perceiving, and increased response-ability. Detachment protects one from the fragility of contraction.

Anticipating Chapter 4, SOCIOLOGY, let's consider family emotions. Primary emotions include wonder at one's children and love of family. The secondary emotions involve the complex relationships with various extended family members, elaborated in R. D. *Laing's THE *POLITICS OF EXPERIENCE. The tertiary emotions manipulate the separation of people and often begin with the mother-in-law and end in divorce. In modern abstract culture, family emotions, this vast elaborate web of relationships and feelings, are often damaged, denied and decayed. Commonly people tend to withdraw from interpersonal life and live vicariously through TV.

The family impulse persists, however, as these family emotions are as elemental than human nature itself, being grounded in millions of years of adaptive evolution. In our degenerating culture the impulses occasionally manifest themselves pathologically. An extreme example is the growth of child prostitution, which can perhaps be explained as the complex web of quasi-parental bonding displaced and distorted into the abstract sex and power relationships. It's as if these miserable men know they love children, but they just don't know how.

Think of emotions as profoundly inter-personal, as they have been since long before we were sapiens, evolving in organic cultural life. Modern culture tends to shatter interpersonal process and replace it with media. As a result, the source of emotions has changed. They are stimulated by TV, instead of personal interaction as discussed in Jerry *Mander's *FOUR ARGUMENTS FOR THE ABOLITION OF TELEVISION and my JELLY AND JAM. Therefore, they do not develop or mature. They split off from human interaction they become isolated, 'schizy', dissociated from physical or social life. As interpersonal process decreases, the quantity of emotion lessens, as described in CULTURE OF THE GHOSTS. The emotions that survive tend to become passive, dissociated from physical movement as well as interpersonal process. Some emotions hysterically break through the straight jacket and strike out at the world. But without development, the emotions are often superficial, aimless and destructive.

Ego Trips, iDs of TW, TS, PSE, PS?

The ego runs away with itself, as everyone knows. These ego trips are essentially a mode of dissociating from the real world, an i dissociation, Id. They are derived from the basic problem of the minor system, DMS, as manifested in the conflict between the ego and the greater self.

Let's label a few of these contractive patterns, since an idea is difficult to remember or use if it has no name.

The Triumph of the Will, TW, is the name for the sense of victory the ego has when it wins over the greater self - personally, socially and politically. That's *Nietzschean. It's victory over man, woman, nature, and the universe. His TRIUMPH OF THE WILL is a foundation for Hitler's Nazism as explained in MD Psychotherapist Irving *Yalom's book *WHEN NIETZSCHE WEPT. The term, 'Ubermench' = overcoming one's self, illustrates the triumph of the ego over the greater self.

The Tyranny of the Self, TS, refers to that compulsion to remain within the narrow bonds of self-concept, perhaps even while admitting the burden of this death-like confinement. This contracted self concept is described as "disloyal" to the greater self. 'Trying harder' often exacerbates TS. The healthy opposite is loosing oneself in work or love.

The Principle of Something Else, PSE, is that deep compulsion of consciousness to deny the great here-and-now by turning to something else, a larger TV perhaps or a new set of golf clubs. PSE is turning away from 'what's so' to focus the attention on something else, thereby intensifying ego domination. PSE was formulated by a ten year old whose mother was leaving home to shop and asked him, "Do you want me to bring you something?" "Yes." "What would you like?" "Something else." Examples abound in every day life: Straight haired people curl it, curly haireds straighten it. The casserole was good, but not two days in a row.

The COmpulsion to Waste, COW, is that universal human impulse to throw it away, waste it, kill it, trade it in for the latest style or model, enjoy extravagance for its own triumph, shop till you drop, buy till you die. The impulse has components of interpersonal power, a public show of status, the cultural value of conspicuous consumption. COW is a most basic element is the ego's triumph. The admonition to conquer nature is an ancient expression of COW, perhaps marking the transition form hunter-gatherer to farmer. This transition is explained by Dr. *Gomes in the previous note. Modern Abstract Culture, with its mental media of consumerism, manifests and intensifies the contracted self through COW. "Misconsumption", Thomas *Princen calls it. For a serious consideration see Thomas *Princen's Consumption and environment: some conceptual issues. in ECOLOGICAL ECONOMICS, December 1999.

'Denial' is another mode of ego intensification, movement up left on the E chart's isovalue line and on the D chart's isohealth line. The ego decreases information, E, ("It's not happening.") on the E chart in order to intensify itself, i. As a result on the D chart, the movement is to the left as the ego gets tighter, more insecure and more dissociated ("Agree - or else."). This is up the CED line. The price of more certainty is more stupidity.

These contractive modes of thought plague the sciences as well. Science, by its tradition and predisposition, tends to specialize, trying to become more and more certain about less and less. Thus science, like consciousness itself, tends toward reductionism: the denial of the organic whole. But science also has expansive movements such as the trend toward ecological concerns, holistic medicine, the *AQUARIAN CONSPIRACY, and *THE TURNING POINT. Unfortunately these don't pay as well.

Denial is expressed by the struggle of the teenager, who at the flowering of her TW, vigorously denies attachments to her family in order to enhance her contracted integrity. Contractive therapists often enhance this alienation, as if in an adolescent conspiracy. Unfortunately the enhancement of alienation permeates much of what is called psychotherapy.

Subjectivized Objectivism, SOB

Humankind's behavior is often explained by consciousness - what people 'want', or how they 'feel', or what they 'like' - instead of being seen as the result of deeper processes in the great subconscious life. Let's call this common error Subjectivizing the Objective, SOB. The objective is a more psychoanalytical description of mental process.

For example, subjectivists often attribute wars to tribal or ethnic hatred, or to the assumption that humans are warlike creatures, or even to the absurdity that wars are caused by too many young men. Objective analysis indicates that people are drafted or hired to fight wars by political leaders, then carefully convinced to hate as an adjunct to their military training. Meanwhile, the home front is convinced by the spin doctors, as "Support our soldiers" (presumably not the questionable motives) in the Persian Gulf wars. Tertiary hate-mongering is an ageless process, an advanced art-form of all military systems. Later chapters discuss the objective causes of war, with a glance at the subjective aspects.

Another example of SOB is the psychobabble statement that people have troubles because they are victims - a SOB story. Even though Id stress usually causes contraction, such rationalization only justifies and rigidifies the position. It's true that one's psychohistory is a crucial format of one's existential position, but one cannot intervene in the past, only in the present and future. Subjectively, now is the time to choose, not to blame. Courage seems appropriate response to outrageous fortune.

Objectively, the task of the human ecologist applying culture design is to recreate a healthy supportive culture that in turn supports the pursuit of happiness. Spirited proponents and leaders are ready and waiting for the opportunity to uplift and deepen life and culture. The task of culture design is to enhance the support system, to allow and invite expressions of life values.

Consider a D chart analysis of SOB. On the Dissociation side, analytical emphasis is on the individual rather than the cultural milieu. This is a reductionist distortion. It ignores the organic nature of personal and cultural life. It derives from the idealist tendency to SOB, to indulge narrow images rather than seeing the problem in its broader perspective. Individuals can endure almost anything heroically, especially with the help of Western pharmaceuticals and Eastern religions. But Modern Abstract Culture, MAC, is driving everyone nuts, the D side.

On the Accord side, our personal and social responsibility is to see the broader picture both in our own hearts and in the human condition. Much of psychology neglects and distorts the importance of supporting organisms of society and culture. Let's consider psychological problems as cultural problems manifested as individual problems.

Compulsion to the Abstract Life, CAL

The following chapters describe how the basic Dissociation of the Minor System, DMS, as it manifests itself in the human mind, society, politics, economy, culture, education and religion. It is all too common, however, to blame individuals for society's systemic faults. Obviously, some people survive and flourish in outrageous abstract cultures, but most suffer terribly and many others perish. Individual effort is fine, but attention goes to how the more ordinary folk can lead better lives. Looking only at individual psychology without considering the broader socio-cultural context is a serious flaw. Blaming the individuals for lack of heroism seems somehow , irresponsible, rejecting, and unkind. In later chapters, we consider cultural psychology on the D charts.

The previously listed EGO TRIPS, describe the universal compulsion of the ego to triumph, not only over its own being with its trivial pursuits but over the entire universe. The ego system, by its very nature, tends to build an increasingly abstract life, as abstract as it can afford, more or less. 'Abstract' in this usage means separated from reality, especially from natural and human ecological support. This Compulsion to the Abstract Life, CAL, is an important dynamic in the psychology, society, politics and culture. Perhaps the perilous rise of science and technology may be the final epidemic that destroys homo-sapiens and all higher life forms in nuclear or ecological holocaust. Objectivists assert subjective optimism: Technology enables, but does not compel the Compulsion to the Abstract Life!

Examples of CAL abound. Our food culture is increasingly abstracted - refined and separated from its sources. On a deeper level, going to the roots of our culture, James *Burke points out that the proliferation of printing eliminated the need for oral transmission of information. The oldsters' function of carrying the culture has been displaced and as a result the mechanisms of maturity and the fabric of society began unravelling and decaying. This is the downside of the possible enabling that technology can provide. Human ecology and culture design can reverse CAL by reconstructing organic culture, as outlined in the following chapters.

Psychopathology and Therapy

The human mind is fragile. If it is not supported and nurtured, it often 'goes crazy' - the ego becomes dissociated from its own subconscious and the social fabric - what's left of it. As in any complex system, this Dissociation of the Minor System, DMS, is inherent and unavoidable. Much current research is directed toward a broader and more objective understanding of health and sickness. See book by Randolf *Nessy, *WHY WE GET SICK - The New Science of Darwinian Medicine.

The human mind with its language and its ego developed several million years ago. The ability to talk must have been adaptive, according to explanations from evolutionary psychology. Presumably, early hunter-gatherers lived in tribes. In any case, the human mind evolved in the context of what we call Organic Social Life, OSL, - a complex extended family system within some clan and tribal context. Imagine early humanoids huddled in the cold at night, perhaps in some cave or simple shelter, waiting for the dawn. Their minds must have been similar to ours, but their interpersonal relationships very different. They must have spent long hours just talking and being with each other.

Their children were undoubtedly a main focus of their lives and children must have had elaborate and intimate relationships with everyone in the group. The turmoil growing up and other life dramas provided them with endless consuming concerns. Most likely, elders and youngsters alike shared their plans and hopes and dreams. The metaphors were different, but the content of human life was basically similar. Keeping one's head straight, developing and adjusting behaviors and attitudes, recovering from wounds of outrageous fortune, and enriching and embellishing inner and outer life, all these processes must have been inherent in Organic Psychological Life, OPSL. What we now call therapy was inherent and pervasive in organic culture.

But now, many of these psychological support systems have withered away, displaced by modern abstract culture, MAC. Nowadays some fortunate children have other adults in their immediate household, but such arrangements compare poorly with human family life throughout evolutionary history. Matters of the heart that were once the content of everyday life are displaced, barely compensated by the ghostly TV.

Penelope *Leach asserts that early stress often creates child helplessness, a problem alleviated in a household with more people. This common lack of attention amounts to unintentional neglect. Dr. Leach also refers to the stress of parenting in a decaying culture and cites such authors Dr. Barney *Brazelton as "One of the world's leading nurturers of parents". She quotes Dr. David *Amberg, "Parents do the best they can, and what they do is not enough."

The transition from several million years of organic psychological life to a few centuries of modern abstract life presents us with a plethora of problems. Keep in mind that a large portion of the world's people still live in organic, if stressed, villages. Readers often read this as a plea to return to the good old days of poverty and early death. Please make no such inference or deny the high quality of modern life possible with modern technologies. [SUSTAINABLE LUXURY]

It is those stuck in Modern Abstract Culture, the MACs, those most apt to read this book, whose problems we address first. Although the psychological aspects cannot be analyzed in isolation, the sequence of thought requires a beginning. Therefore, at this point, let's consider psychology and its therapies.

Firstly, the organic mechanisms of earlier human cultures have broken down, undermining the health of psychological life. Secondly, the inherent healing processes have been abstracted from the culture and only partly replaced by professional therapy. And thirdly, these therapies themselves are burdened with the compulsion to the abstract life, CAL. (This in no way denies the advantages of comfort, health and freedom we get from prosperity.)

Let's consider that the healthiest purpose of psychotherapy is a Reconstruction of Organic Psychological Life, ROPSL, to counter the pathologies of modern abstract culture.

Psychologists explain in many different ways how people become unhappy, how the suffering of the contracted ego arises from genetic nature and cultural nurture. In order to illustrate the use of the D chart in psychology, imagine the parent-figure causing the child's ego structure to contract by nurturing the child to wake up, be alert, pay attention, and generally intensify. On the D CHART of STATES OF MIND, Fig. 3-6, p 31, this would be a push from center 5,5 up left of the isohealth line to 3,6 and 2,7. Perhaps these early patterns, almost entirely unconscious and uncontrollable, account for shifts in personality and culture, not just for individuals but also for groups and cultures.

The early choice to contract rather than to expand may be one basis of the ill health of mind and culture. Contracted personality and culture is an adaptive mode in a warrior culture, as elaborated in later chapters. Pediatrician Benjamin *Spock and many others in his tradition have alleviated the contracted child rearing practices of half century ago. Their books on child rearing are addressed to those unfortunate women who find themselves isolated in nuclear or sub-nuclear families. In his nineties, Dr. *Spock wrote again of more recent concerns.

D Chart, a Measure of Pathology

Most egos by their very nature are usually around position 3,7 on the D CHART OF CONSCIOUS PROCESS, Fig. 3-5, a highly contracted position, varied perhaps by ethnicity and culture, class and gender. Without some expansive intervention, the ego is stuck there. It seems likely, however, that the human mind could not have evolved without expansive interventions as a normal part of organic cultural life.

In the absence of expansive processes, the contracting ego tends to move downward on the i scale to 3,5. This lower intensification brings not relaxation but anxiety. At the next step down, 3,3, the anxiety intensifies to paranoia.

Anxiety & Paranoia

Consider neurotic anxiety as a busy DMS, a problem of the minor system, ego. It occurs when mental models mismatch with reality, leaving the individual helpless, unable to respond or escape. Of course, mental models have always mismatched, more or less, since we left the Garden of Eden. The compulsively anxious seem to use anxiety as a kind of stimulus to increase the intensity of their consciousness, as if struggling to overcome, or perhaps to maintain, a depressive withdrawal - a CED from 3,5 to 5,3. Think of anxiety as caused by a lie, a lie that if one is in control, fate will go "my way". It is the acceptance of reality-as-it-is alleviates anxiety - not the passive acceptance of fate, but acknowledgement, assessment, and participation.

These expansive integrations - a CED line moving upward to normal 4,6 to 6,4. Imagine manic depressives as moving CED even further, 5,7 to 7,5. In modern abstract culture, MAC, even the wealthy and secure seem to suffer psychological distress. This may or may not indicate an appetite for anxiety, but it is a reminder that mental health is undermined by a lack of organic culture. The compulsion to the abstract life, CAL, allows people to be as lonely as they can afford to be.

The healing process for phobics is the expansion of the ego, through sensory validation, interpersonal support, and acceptance of "what's so", to use the neo-Buddhist term. On a more effective if mundane level, phobics are aided by modern drugs such as Prozac, and by behavioral therapies that simply help the person deal with the fear and perhaps overcome it.

A classic anxiety is the anticipation of death, the ultimate loss of one's ego, probably. The lie is that death may not come, not today anyway. But in this electron soup, we are all linked; everyone's bell tolls for us - someone is dying somewhere. For a simple remedy, see the essay, OVER 65.

Looking on the bright side, the exaltation of ego in the face of anxiety can lead to new levels of creative endeavor, new constructions of idea and reality, and new manifestations in the real world. Handled poorly, anxiety can leads to hopelessness, paralysis, breakdown, alcohol and benzodiazepines. See [NOTAM].

Paranoia, that intense anxiety projected onto any convenient scene, is a rough measure of ego contraction. The next degree of dissociation might include hallucination, that denial and avoidance of validation, physical and social, often with energetic and manipulative anger, on the left of the D CHART of STATES OF MIND, Fig. 3-6.

The next step down, to 3,2, borders on the edge of consciousness, a state of nightmare, a sleepless sleep which resists reintegration. Finally at 3,1, consciousness has almost gone, fallen into a state of catatonic numb terror.

Talk therapy is much more expensive than chatting in front of the cave. Many religions offer not only helpful words and beliefs, but interpersonal and group processes as well a repertoire of meditative exercises, all developed over the millennia to relieve the ego as a minor system, DMS. Such programs are a modern aid to reconstruct organic psychological life, appropriate even if inadequate.

Neurosis and Psychosis

Let's stretch the charts further to describe neurosis as the problem of the contracted ego and psychosis as further dissociation of subsystems from the ego. In psychosis, the subsystems of consciousness move to the left, dissociating themselves from the integrative System, iS. (This word, IS, is a important in much modern therapy, especially influenced by Eastern thought. The assertion of reality, "It is", is rendered in Latin as EST. EST is the name neo-Buddhist Werner *Erhart gave to his program. See [BUDDHISM FOR THE BOURGEOISIE].

Several systems compete for the role of ego, sorted and chosen it seems, on the sides of the brain's hippocampus. For example, the multiple conversations that underlie the yama-yama of consciousness may assume a minor system life of their own. In extreme dissociation, the unfortunate person seems to be hearing voices that are not "his own", they are not 'owned'. Similarly, subsystems of the mind's model split off and, instead of being triggered by sensory data, assert themselves as hallucinations, unchecked by sensory or interpersonal validation. Behavior can become bizarre as it dissociates from common culturally determined expectations. Think of this psychotic dissociation as a manifestation of interpersonal dissociations - family mess - both in its origin and its manifestation. This universal theme was presented at length by Harry Stack *Sullivan half century ago in his classic *INTERPERSONAL THEORY OF PSYCHIATRY, and subsequent works. These classic schizophrenic symptoms may be alleviated with phenothiazines and other antipsychotics, but the mechanism of the loss of the integrative system has yet to be explained and approached directly.

We might take this argument to its extreme and consider consciousness itself as a pathology. This point is developed by Spanish philosopher Miguel de *Unamuno, 1864-1936. By its very nature it dissociates us from our supporting ecosystem, from Eden. But let's think of conscious ego as life's greatest gift, embellished with more or less pathology.

Alleviations of DEG, Dissociation of Ego

Complex systems heal themselves, increase their value, Ei, and their health, Ai - except when they don't. This is the principle of organic growth, OG, from Chapter 2. Diseases of the body and mind heal by themselves - except then they don't. Therapies are conscious interventions to enhance this inherent healing process, or at least support it and alleviate suffering. Consider diseases as subsystems that have abandoned their supportive role and failed to operate or intruded on the major system. Or, consider diseases as an expression of conflicts within the system, the self and the greater system. Picture a chart such as the E CHART OF FROG, ALFRED, Fig. 2-2, in which the Alfred's subsystems have decreased in i and abandoned their supportive role, or increased in i like cancers dominating their own major system.

In human disease, especially mental disease, let's consider the wide variety of therapies as to whether they are contractive or expansive.

Since diseases are a loss of value and health of the whole organism, expansive therapies are in order. As disease is essentially a problem of the minor system, treating the minor system without regard to the whole is itself contractive therapy. Therefore, the medical personnel and culture are caught in a struggle between the seeming certitude of standard allopathic medicine and the holistic approach of therapies outside so-called scientific medicine. For a survey of Modern Abstract Medicine, MAM, see NOTAM, Notes On The Anthropology of Medicine.

The first approach to therapy is to allow the healing process to take place without intervention, perhaps helping by decreasing the cause of the disease. The mind heals itself in many ways. For example, sleep is a healing and integrative process. When one is ill, one is often tired - it is healing to go to bed and rest. Sleep deprivation is often cited as a cause of mental and physical breakdown. Many experiments have shown that sleep deprivation can trigger psychotic episodes.

The dreaming process offers a glimpse of this self healing process. Although deeper mental integrations continue day and night, they are rarely brought to the level of consciousness. It has been suggested that one function of consciousness is the repression and avoidance of life's deeper integration. In a contracted mode, consciousness prefers to live in noisy desperation. Throughout history, programs have been designed to reintegrate the ego with the greater self. Dreaming is one avenue of integration that everyone experiences. We might guess that for early humans sharing dreams was an avid pastime. Modern dream groups recapitulate this ritual. Patricia *Garfield and Jeremy *Taylor elaborates the process and encourages participation in dream groups.

Humor is another therapeutic process. Norman *Cousins, in his book *ANATOMY OF AN ILLNESS, describes his deliberate use of the humor of funny movies to successfully treat his disease. Among other therapies, humor seems to be a mental mode of transcendence and integration. Humorists continue their funny function of lubricating language and mind. John *Cleese cites depression as blocked sadness and loneliness. Mr. Cleese, a Cambridge educated Englishman, cites humor as crucial for mental health. He implies that this mode is not appropriate for continental Europeans, but is too polite to say so.

Wholesome food and exercise would not be considered therapeutic interventions - if they were not so lacking in modern life. Similarly, stress and disease caused by tobacco, alcohol, smog, gun shots, auto accidents, loneliness and income taxes, is widespread - technically easy to cure, but politically difficult. Such problems require the broader approach of human ecology and serious application of culture design - as in the following chapters.

Basic to all therapies, and to human life, is meaning. Meaning in the sense of deep and pervasive integration of ego, mind and body. Victor *Frankel, survivor of the Nazi concentration camps, founded Logo-Therapy, which has deeply influenced psychotherapy and modern intellectual life. In a lighter and more subjective vein is John *James, *PASSION FOR LIFE, citing "7 urges": live, free, understand, create, enjoy, relate and connect, transcend.

Therapies

A common message of therapy is that one can be happy in one's self, regardless of circumstances. That "happiness does not depend upon circumstances." is true in the best of Neo-Buddhist traditions p. 209. But unfortunately it implies a passivity in changing the external circumstances of one's life and the broader responsibility for the surrounding culture. For a simple grasp at happiness, see HAPPINESS.

Expansive Therapy

Expansive therapies for mental illness are designed to expand the ego structure to reintegrate with reality. They include a broad array of holistic medicines and a variety of therapies that embrace the body and mind as one. Additions to Western Therapies include mantra meditations, tai chi and the other body therapies, and quasi-religious ceremonies.

An essential feature of these therapies seems to be meditation in the broader sense: a mental mode in which the ego's dominance is quieted allowing the subconscious to get itself together. In mantra meditation, for example, a simple word or sound that soon loses its meaning occupies the yama-yama of verbal centers, thereby allowing deeper integrations. Beginning meditaters often need less sleep and often lose their taste for alcohol - presumably because the grip of the ego that alcohol releases has already been released. This would be represented on the D CHARTS OF MIND, Figs. 3-5,6,7, as vertical integration, up and down the i scale.

Mantra-like expansive therapeutic activity appears in every culture. Turning the prayer wheel, reciting the rosary, chanting, singing monotonous hymns, listening to certain kinds of music, focusing on a candle or on breathing, all these show slower alpha and theta waves on the electroencephalographs, suggesting therapeutic effects.

Enlightenment, or even being 'born again', can are considered expansive therapies because they address the issue of the contraction of ego, and the tyranny of the self, by asserting the vastness of reality, God, or some other ego-transcending position.

Our rationalist-idealist, RIDs tradition, however, leads many to cast a jaundiced eye on what is considered far out, freaky, or at least irrational and unproven. The RIDs tradition makes understanding a discounting mechanism. As if something that is 'understood' as 'naturally occurring' needs no further attention. This position leads the RID from theism through atheism, beyond Buddhism to boredom, and eventually to golf. UNDerstanding As a Discount, UNDAD is so basic to mental process that it needs a special label.

Expansive modes are sometimes viewed as subverting the values of modern abstract culture, which they truly do. In a culture that exalts the contracted mind, the narrow self indulging ego trips, this response is understandable. RIDs understand and reject the expansive therapies because they deliberately decrease and undermine contractive modes, and are therefore a threat.

Contractive Therapies

No so-called therapy is either totally contractive or totally expansive. The common practices of counseling and psychotherapy have made many positive contributions to individual and perhaps social health. *MENTAL HEALTH, DOES THERAPY HELP? in the November 1995 issue of Consumer Reports, surveyed 4000 readers who sought professional help for depression, anxiety, panic, phobias, ... family problems, ...addictions...." Over eighty percent reported some relief. A government survey suggests one fifth of the population suffers mental or addictive disorders, and one third seeks professional help. Thus, professional therapy has taken a crucial and somewhat successful role in the American culture, as discussed in NOTAM and DRUGS.

Contractive therapies focus on "scientific medicine". Their practitioners often assert that what cannot be proven is not happening, not important, or outside of accepted practice and vulnerable to peer criticism and legal assault. Medical malpractice has become so highly evolved, that M.D.s are obliged to follow the narrow paths laid out by the law, deviating only at considerable financial and professional risk.

Prozac and newer SSRI psychoactive drugs are increasingly dispensed for minor and major distress. The current reductionist approach blames chemical imbalance as the 'cause', not the mechanism, of mental distress. *BLAMING THE BRAIN, THE TRUTH ABOUT DRUGS AND MENTAL HEALTH argues that relying on drug treatment might be cheaper for the HMO and more profitable for the pharmaceutical corporations, but may not in the best interests of the patient.

Contractive psychotherapies often but not always intensify the ego at the expense of the deeper processes. Does most therapy enhance anger or forgiveness? Rather than expanding empathy and responsibility, contractive therapies may lead to "taking care of number one" - a 'Compulsion to the Abstract Life', CAL. They may increase the effectiveness of the triumph of the will and other ego trips. The brutal aspects of a lonely adversarial culture may well require such ego strength if one is to carry on. Expansion may be more than the frazzled ego can expect. In many cases, ego strength may possibly allow enough respite from outrageous fortune for the healing and expansive operation of organic growth. Thus these therapies may help to hold the fort.

Similarly, marriage therapy is often 'divorce' therapy. Often it intensifies the ego, making it easier to declare independence, easier to deny the vast subconscious bonding that has provided unacknowledged support and enrichment from this fragment of family. ANATOMY OF LOVE, The Complexities of Mating and Marriage and *Why We Stay Together by Helen *Fisher, PhD, anthropologist with the American Museum of Natural History, suggests the 7 year itch is really a 4 year itch. When her child has grown large enough to be cared for by the extended family, the ambitious mother looks around for another mate, maybe better this time. Perhaps too much is expected from the couple relationship, isolated as it is from the support of extended family. The Roman Catholic Church sponsored "Marriage Encounter" is an exception to alienating marriage therapies. It reaches to the roots and rejuvenates the relationship.

As the present trend continues the nuclear family is a transition pattern - from organic culture toward alienated modern abstract culture, MAC. The solution to the pain inherent in the nuclear family is to expand and enrich it, to move toward an extended family and community, as we shall see. Another study is Susan *Page's *NOW THAT I'M MARRIED, WHY ISN'T EVERYTHING PERFECT? The Essential Traits of Couples Who Thrive.

Thus, psychological problems must be seen as personal manifestations of socio-cultural problems. Psychiatrist Philip *Cushman charts the influence of psychotherapy: how we view our society and ourselves. He argues that as a social institution psychotherapy may in fact reproduce some of the ills it is meant to heal. He recommends interpretive methods to help therapists and patients overcome a collusion with the empty self and the rampant consumerism of our time.

Many therapists think that disclosure is inherently therapeutic. Understanding how one's mind works may enable a new stance and strategy. Such self absorption may lead to even more self absorption. Recapitulating the childhood experiences and group responses may be fixating and even regressive. Worse yet, the psychoanalyst may implicitly convince the patient that the current culture is healthy, and that the patient is crazy. John *Horgan writes, "...Freud... thought the job of the analyst was to help patients achieve greater stability, or equilibrium." [See also *UNAUTHORIZED FREUD, DOUBTERS CONFRONT A LEGEND by Frederick C. *Crews, Viking $25, argues that he was not scientific - big deal. Freud contributed mightily to the loosening of the central European RIDlys.] But chaos theory, *Goldstein says, suggests that many systems never achieve equilibrium but keep shifting between an infinite variety of different states. The good news, he adds, is that chaotic systems, when prodded by even very subtle forces, can achieve higher forms of 'self-organization'. In the same way, Goldstein suggests, therapists may help prod patients into healthier, more self aware states."

Personal Problems as Cultural Problems

Interpersonal support is as crucial for mental health as it is for the good life. Common therapy is an abstract substitute for interpersonal support - implicit therapy - in a more organic culture. In MAC, the quasi-parental therapist as a "professional friend" or the artificial family of group therapy, can be a very worthwhile option. (See Jackie *Shiff and others on Re-parenting therapies.) They provide comfort, alleviate distress, and strengthen the increasingly isolated and alienated ego to survive in a competitive adversarial culture.

Individual therapy, especially psychotherapy, must be considered in its broadest context, as the treating of a cultural disease as a personal disease. The best therapy, perhaps the only therapy, is to increase the health of the culture, to help the individual attend to this empathetic and responsible task. This task is addressed in the following chapters as the Reconstruction of Organic Life, ROL.

Interpersonal Process

In terms of human ecology, psychology is best considered interpersonal. Since we have to slice the world up, let's postpone most of that interpersonal concern to later chapters. In this chapter let's outline the interpersonal process in simplest terms, as a two body problem. [This a facetious reference to the mathematical physicist's ease at describing the two body problem, and the extreme difficulty in going beyond - given the rigor of the physics tradition.]

Like any theory, this one is rife with FF (false-focus, inherent reductionism) and TT (there-and-then, static and fixated). In spite of being conscious and linear, let's try to make a theory that is inclusive and helps to alleviate these very problems.

Fig. 3-8: E CHARTS OF THE INTERPERSONAL PROCESS

The c indicates the level on the intensity scale, i, that marks the border of consciousness. Not necessarily the same for both person #1 and person #2, though we do our best. Notice that on such an interpersonal chart, more people would be represented by more high i peaks. A thousand points of light, so to speak.

Recall from the electron soup theory that each electron fills the universe. Similarly each person, at the lower levels of intensity, overlaps every other. Don't worry, our ego structure protects us. Interpersonal processes below the level of consciousness include a vast array, as discussed earlier in this chapter. This collective subconscious is rarely glimpsed as the brotherhood of mankind, or universal objective love, or mystical recognitions and communications between people. Such subtle low i mechanisms are obvious if we are measuring simple gravity, but with higher information processes they are far more difficult to pin down scientifically. Put in the opposite sense, the common contracted ego is threatened by such objective love and is compelled to reject and deny such interpersonal process. Those who admit it are shunned and disparaged, like Dostoyevsky's IDIOT.

Most of the interpersonal process is non-conscious. Just as personal life is mostly the great subconscious life, GSL, so the interpersonal process has vast unconscious systems. Envisage the complex of social bonding, power relationships, unconscious agreements, etc. that underlies our lives. Also keep in mind the possible elaboration by direct electromagnetic communications from mind to mind, or some other mechanism not yet imagined.

Non-conscious interpersonal relationships in psychology, society, culture and religion, are often slighted, even referred to as spiritual, more likely ignored, or denied altogether. One way to raise to consciousness one of the subconscious bonding mechanisms is to break it, by getting a divorce or abandoning a child for example. This breakaway compulsion is a most common and painful experiment, an exercise in the triumph of the will, the tyranny of the self and the principle of something else.

A closer look at the scientific aspects of interpersonal process offers many clues to mystical mechanisms, some better understood than others, surely some as yet unknown. The amount of information on the human face is auditory and olfactory cues are barely studied. Each tone and each motion expresses one's entire being and culture. All the information is there, but conscious process is not designed to include it.

Straight talk is enough to solve most of our problems.

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