(Permalink) As seen in chapter V-2, the raw consciousness, not psycho-educated (without method of introspection or spiritual evolution), see even not educated (in the common meaning of the term), is what I call the psychological consciousness, because it is entirely controlled by the laws of psychology, themselves totally determined by the physical behaviour of neurons, as build by the genes.
And actually the psychologists have studied in detail the functioning of this state of consciousness, where they reign as Masters, for our happiness or for our misfortune, depending on who pays them. Indeed, unlike spirituality, psychology recognizes no purpose of life or moral. And thus, many psychologists serve the manipulation of the governments, political parties, or even advertising stalkers. We shall see the apalling accuracy of their results, in chapter VI-11 on democracy. However we expect before all from psychologists that they help us solve our problems, and this is (thankfully) what will try to do the basic psychologist, who follows the common morals and the Hippocratic oath.
The basis of psychological consciousness is the neurosis. We must here be aware of a problem of definition, which differ according to the sources. What I understood, at a time, is that a neurosis is a psychological disorder (which can be treated by psychology) when psychosis is the responsibility of psychiatry. The difference would be that a person can realize that he is neurotic, and so he can remedy to this, as soon as he has a motive and methods to do so. Morality, or a purpose in our lives (chapter V-5), provide purposes, while (normally) the psychologist provides methods. Spirituality (normally) offers both. However a person cannot realize that he has a psychosis, nor to bring a remedy, because in this case the brain is damaged. Hence the requirement of a medical treatment, or even of a psychiatric confinement (to ensure the safety of the patient, or of others).
Beware that I use these definitions of «neurosis» and «psychosis» throughout this book, and no others. Well, this is an oversimplification: some mental troubles do not fit in any of these two categories. But these two definitions are still two major cases in practice, hence these two chapters.
(Permalink) Another major difference with psychosis is that, from the biological point of view, the neurosis is not an anomaly of the brain. This is the natural way the brain functions, such as genetically programmed. Neurosis is the association of a feeling of attraction/repulsion to a concept or an object. For example, in nature, a young animal sees a predator. As he does not know the matter, he is not wary. But an assault, or even a warning of the parents, is enough for the predator to cause in his mind a feeling of repulsion: the young animal does not like the predator. This is neurosis, and how it appears. The process can even be very fast, because it is a basic functionality of the brain, resulting directly from the automatic action of some among the most basic circuits, implemented five hundred million years ago to ensure adequate behaviour of the most primitive beings. Depending on the personality, this feeling will takes hues such as fear, disgust, anger, etc. and cause various reactions, llike fleeing or attack. But this very diversity is also genetically programmed: various reactions offer more survival opportunities to the group, than a standardized response.
However a huge mistake would be to consider that this way of operating of the brain would be «good», or «normal», and that we would not have the right to change it. This is however what ask the far right ideologies such as deification of nature, or the deification of genes. Others paint it of hippies colors, Marxists, New Age, or green colors, but they only reinforce their ego for better using others. (I have personally seen too many such cases in these milieus, to think it is only isolated anomalies)
We can easily realize the problem: this time it is not a young animal, but a child, who meets for the first time a person with a different skin color. Normal reactions are curiosity, or the fear of the unknown. But once this passed, young children of different races agree as well as between unique breed. Children are not spontaneously racist... If they are, it is that they were taught. In fact, a simple remark is enough to associate disgust, fear or hatred to a race in general, without any connection with the value of the individuals. We then created a neurosis against race, which is well known under the name of racism. And it works with the same neural circuitry than in animals! Nothing specifically human came into play. An oyster can also do it.
It is very clear on this example that the natural process which was relevant five hundred million years ago in worms and mollusks is now totally inadequate to the lives of humans, where it instead creates social diseases and suffering. This is why neurosis is considered a disease (neuropathy, of pathos = suffering), even if it is the natural and spontaneous way the brain functions. So therefore it is clear that «natural» is not synonymous with «good» or even «desirable» and not even of «neutral». And the ideologies which glamorize indiscriminately the raw tendencies of the human mind are extremely dangerous, even painted in green.
(Permalink) Neurosis is even more vicious than that. Not only it makes us do silly things, but in more it can interfere with our ability to objectively assess the situation. For example, if we like an object, an idea or a person, so we love the pro arguments, and we don't like the con arguments. Which can lead our brain to automatically ignore the con arguments, even before we notice them! Which can lead to dangerous situations, such as being attacked by a political party, a spouse, etc. while thinking that they protect us! The reverse is also true, if we don't like something, we cannot integrate the pro arguments. So the neurosis is self-sustaining our lifetime along, and it leads to behaviours which are ruining our lives. They can even reach an intensity totally out of proportion of the real stake, or even be transmitted from generation to generation, leading to centuries of war without cause!
This is why I say, even if the neurosis is not a psychiatric disorder, it can still be a severe and dangerous disorder, potentially leading to crimes. It is by far the biggest cause of suffering in our lives, for example when we «love» someone, or a political party, which actually harms us. Our neurosis can then prevent us from realizing that the evil comes from the loved object! This is for example what we observe with the European Union, where people vote, either for «majority» parties which sabotage Europe with their austerity policies, or for extremist parties which would destroy without distinction all the achievements of the Union. This is also, as you guessed, the reason why the victim of a cult does not see the manipulations that everyone else sees.
(Permalink) The most common neurosis is the neurosis of opinion. Such an assertion may seem shocking, in a world where freedom of opinion is held in high esteem. But precisely, the neurosis of opinion is the worst enemy of this freedom. Indeed, where is freedom, if simply to hear an argument make us develop a neurosis for the first statement heard at random, and we are unable to question this belief afterward? The fact is that people have dozens of opinions on all imaginable topics, and we shall see in chapter VI-11 how this paralyzes democracy. We can even pick at random contradictory opinions in our neurosis bag, as for example to be Christian and capitalist. Like this, whatever we do, we are sure to have problems.
In fact the very notion of freedom of opinion is an illusion: regardless of the situation, we need to examine objectively things, and for this we must not have the arguments selected by a neurosis. But what we obtain in this way is not an opinion, it is a knowledge. And knowledge does not depend on us, but of the world! We cannot choose it! How much does two and two is not a matter of opinion. To know for who we must vote no more! Just that in domains such as philosophy, religion, politics, their complexity (role of the quadripolar logic, chapter I-4) makes that we need more information to judge what is true or not. And what we find is much more nuanced than the dualistic boxes in polls. The opinion then appears as totally useless, a pure dualistic illusion which induces responses which can show totally inappropriate. We can argue that knowledge is often incomplete or uncertain. But at least we are aware of these uncertainties! A bit of non-duality (chapter I-3) then allows to manage these uncertainties, this is a thing that a simple businessman can do. It is still a much better deal than arbitrarily closing options that we may need later, from our prejudice or ignorance!
So, we can say that, rather than seeking an illusory freedom of opinion, we must protect freedom of information (and its basis freedom of expression). This, the positive philosophers and politicians defend it for long, at need weapons in hand. But the big news in this spiritual century is also the fantastic freedom that offers us a mind relieved from the attachment to opinions (opinion neurosis). And this, it is also a fight, but an inner fight, against our own neurosis.
At a pinch, to protect oneself behind freedom of opinion is often the last resort when one have no real arguments!
And why do you believe that we are asked «our opinion», while the media impose their on us? This is because, into shady «communication agencies», hundreds of Orwellian psychologists need this information to assess the impact of their arguments and manipulation methods.
A few examples to make feel in which extend an «opinion» is a psychological disorder, and not a legitimate right:
The archetype of an affair bringing as arbitrary as stubborn opinions was the French affaire Dreyfuss: people were making «their» opinion, depending if they liked Jews or not, while the situation was moving from an accusation to a rehabilitation. The affair remained known as a cause of divisions in families. With my opinion, it only revealed underlying divisions, or their neuronal egos were making fun of these people, with imposing them opinions at random, and making them fight after, as if these egos were pimply youngsters playing giggling at some insane video game.
We saw the same thing about Florence Cassez, a young French woman who was living in Mexico, in a farm where also hostages were held. The day after the arrest of her guests, Florence is also charged and arrested. The case lasts seven years, and sours the relationship between Mexico and France, until the Supreme Court of Mexico released her, in the light of the absence of evidence that she knew what was happening with her hosts. The point here, is that her guilt became a matter of «political opinion»: the «right wing» and «associations of victims» claimed she was guilty, while the «left» claimed she was innocent, in total independence of any evidence...
The climate deniers show in which extend opinion can disconnects from reality: they consider that we are «for» climate change because we are «left» (Democrat) while we are «against» because we are «right» (Republican), and that science «takes a democrat political position» when it states the reality of change! It is clear that some need serious ass kicking, and on the two buttocks, because neither the right nor the left does take action anyway.
This second example shows how neurosis is a pure mechanism of the brain, which can lead to completely absurd, dangerous or suicidal behaviour. In the case of the climate deniers delusions, attachment to the opinion even supersedes the fear of death! We then come to a true neurotic hallucination.
(An hallucination is often defined as the perception of something which does not exist. However there are many normal illusions or false perceptions, which may lead to this result. So we must normally, as the psychiatrists do, use the word «hallucination» solely in the case where a psychiatric disorder renders the victim unable to understand that his hallucination is not real. However my point is that the neurosis can too produce, if not real hallucinations, at least serious and dangerous distortion of the perception of the situation, of which the victim is unaware. This justifies the expression «neurotic hallucination». However it is not a psychiatry trouble.)
Indeed, the victim of a neurosis can believe something which is false, or he can be unable to perceive a truth, under the simple influence of his neurosis. For example a racist will feel insecure facing a person of the targeted race, which is clearly an illusion, of which he is yet convinced... to the point that the racist may attack an innocent passerby, because he «feels threatened». At the reverse, if we show to a pronuclear a text explaining the effects of his activity, he does not «see» it. If, as I say, the neurosis is not a psychiatric disorder, it can still lead to disabling social inadaptation (racism), to criminal conduct (pollution, discrimination, police persecutions) and even to delusions (climate deniers, iranian women «responsible» of earthquakes, unemployed people «responsible» for the crisis...). Seen in this light, it becomes difficult to differentiate neurosis from paranoia, and we wonder if they would not have the same root cause, differing only by the affected nerve centers.
Paradoxically, even a true opinion can be dangerous. We have lots of true opinions, such as 2+2=4 or the Earth is round. However, if we do not know to demonstrate that things are really like this, then we are more vulnerable to manipulations which would dispute these facts. Clearly, believing that 2+2=4 does not protect us against one day believing that 2+2=5, while knowing that 2+2=4 protects us against these manipulations. This may seem an extreme case, but when we see the success of the conspiracy theories which deny the most basic truths (climate change, flights on the Moon...), then we realize that it is rather a frequent situation.
Worse, having true opinions does not make good persons of us. This is however a very common opinion, and many think that they are «good» because they found some true opinion on the flea market. The reason is simple: after our opinions, we must behave on some specific ways. But our neurotic brain (or other opinions) pushes us in other directions, or even forbids us to behave after our opinions. This is the reason why there is more than a gap between saying and doing. We can find a lot of examples in every domains. In religion, Christians have the right opinion as what we must practice compassion. But they always found excuses for involving in wars or fight other opinions. In politics, communists had the right opinion as what we must practice equality. But they always found excuses to make segregations, and when they had none, they invented them using the Marxist sophistry, in order to create targets for their hazing games. More recently, the Hippies had a lot of nice ideas about freedom, love of nature and community life. However most were totally unable to implement them, turning the wonderful dream into a nightmare, to the point that many people were discouraged into thinking that it is impossible (groty-punk reaction).
Ok, we must bring some nuances to the above: our tastes, our relations, our couple, our spiritual way... are all opportunities of making personal choices which do not rely on a greater «truth» of one or the several options. They are somehow «free parameters»: to choose one or the other doesn't have a greater or lesser moral or scientific value, and this leaves us effectively free to choose. But I would prefer to call it otherwise than the «freedom of opinion». This falls anyway in the more general concept of freedom: freedom of tastes, of choosing our friends, of religion, etc.
(Permalink) In these domains, freedom of «opinion» is considered as a crucial part of the try and mistake process of searching for truth. There is a great deal of literature confirming this, that it is useless to repeat. The common practice in these domains is that each scientist, philosopher or spiritual practitioner will accept different things, like God exists or not, aether exists or not, better society is possible or not, etc. And he will engage a life of work and effort on this: costly scientific instruments, dangerous social action, or years of retreat and prayer.
I cannot disagree with this, having no more than any other received the revealed truth. So this book is just another reply in this millennia old debate. I however think that I can add something very important: these choices must not be neurotic attachment. If they are, we take the risk that the neurosis blinds us to new developments, uselessly wasting all the invested effort. And we die with it, while all the others understand the truth. Neurosis has no place in the search for truth.
So these choices must just be mere choices, in a world where the truth is often very hard to get, or different persons have different evidences. So we cannot deny the freedom for people to pose different hypothesis, and engage their lives on these hypothesis. The try and mistake process for the truth showed infinitely better than any dogmatism. But alas is entails that sometimes lives of work are wasted while posing hypothesis which show false afterwards. But showing the falseness of something is still a victory over ignorance.
Also, as seen in chapter I-3, opposite values are often Yin-Yang dialectics. In this situation, it is always a fault to choose one of the two extreme and reject the other.
At last, selecting only one hypothesis over several considerably reduces our chances of success. What I do instead is keeping all the open hypothesis in mind, in an equivalent of a «quantum intrication» (important note 91 on the use of the word «quantum»). So that, whatever reificates at the time of an interaction, I can still get a good direction. Well, of course it does not always work, because different hypothesis may imply contradictory behaviours or commitments, that we then have to choose anyway. But it is much more efficient that grasping to a sole opinion, taking the risk that it shows false and ruins all our work. And not only I do this in the science or philosophy domain, but also in daily life: will a person be my friend? Will this political party defend the good? We know too well that in the neurotic world, things like friendship can suddenly reveal hidden hates. So closing no hypothesis is the way of the minimum risk. Some people of my knowledge had to learn this at their expense, sorry.
Oh, well, I can even not claim to be the discoverer: it is just generalized Pascal's wager. My contribution is just adding this analogy of a quantum intrication, between several contradictory wagers.
(Added on September 19, 2017)
(Permalink) Our neurons have no access to facts, but to reassuring or unpleasant sensations, themselves produced by other neurons. Our neurons therefore provide us with a «feeling of truth» for pleasant ideas or perceptions, or which minimize stress. For opinions, it will be the prospect of the consequences on us. For example, an uneducated worker, blind to the violence of revolutions, will love communism, because he thinks it is mean to fulfil his dream of becoming rich (low stress, attractive sensation). On the contrary, a rich man will feel threatened by communism (high stress), and therefore he will «feel» that communism is bad. But a wide variety of personal conditions can alter the result at random. For example, a rich intellectual can become a fanatical communist, as his wealth protects him from the humiliating experience of being at the bottom of a domination system (low stress). A sociopath will support the dominant opinion whatever it is, because this allows him to have fun in his repression games (gratification). Thus they will create all the «political opinions», communism or anti-communism, at random after their personal desires, sequelae of aggressions, etc.
We can visualise that our neurons construct a map of the facts of the world. Then they rig each of these fact with a judgement: «good» (if reassuring, rewarding) or «bad» (if fearsome, stressful). We can therefore imagine this map as a landscape with valleys and mountains: the distressing places are «high» in the map, that is high energy, while the reassuring points are «low». Thus, catching a neurosis of opinion is an automatic neural process, equivalent to descending a slope, from a high energy to a low energy: we simply follow the slope. And without rudder to control this descent, nor even a brake! Worse, this map is different for each of us, because our neurons label things each in their own way, randomly from our positive or negative experiences. Thus, what for some is a summit of uncertainty and discomfort, is for others a warm valley of good conscience, where they feel good. But this pleasant opinion is then a trap of which they cannot get out.
It is these sensations which are the «energy» which drives the neurons, in the sense we mean «energy of calculation» in scientific simulations. It is these sensations which send to the consciousness the impression that an opinion is «right» or «false». But these sensations are only appreciations, imputations carried out by our neurons, at the random of our personal experiences! But everyone has different sensations for the same object, therefore they produces each a different map of opinions. This profoundly random and misleading character of the opinion forming process, therefore explains very well the diversity of these opinions, according to the persons.
This also explains why these opinions are so often disconnected from reality. Indeed, the neurons, being material objects, they cannot directly perceive this reality (only consciousness can). Thus opinions can be formed even in contradiction with reality. Worse, as soon as a neurosis begins to form, it filters out this reality, of all the facts which contradict it! This is how people with opinions lose their objectivity, not only to other opinions, but even to concrete facts which are easily verifiable: the dangers of nuclear power, climate change, and so on. To take the example of communism, in France, many sincere militants did not believed the testimonies of the victims of the Soviet regime, which upset their confidence in this regime. On the other hand, an anti-communist sees the ideal of social justice as a threat. In fact both are disconnected, because both hide to themselves a part of the reality.
It is these processes which make that our opinions govern us, at the total opposite of being a manifestation of our freedom.
Neurosis, opinions, ideologies, hate and attachment, on the contrary of defining our personalities, are terrible diseases throwing anybody submitted to the neural consciousness on a path of suffering, sowing along chaos and delusion. They will start projects at random, and then destroy them. This is especially visible in political and social project, which often last only some years before they own founders start to sabotage them.
It is understandable why questioning our opinions is so difficult: we have to climb up the slope, and return toward anxiety, insecurity, fear. Often it is suffering or depression which forces us to do so. This sometimes happens naturally, on the occasion of a shock (for example a sincere Communist who finds himself in the gulag, understands the Soviet hypocrisy). This process of «climbing the slope» in order to take a better direction is known to mathematicians as «logical annealing», as with metallurgical annealing, because it breaks frozen links and allows a new freedom of movement. In the present case, it allows us to leave a «valley», for another, by crossing a «mountain». However, it is still a neural process, tainted with error and chance: we do not control in which new valley we will land! An example is a French victim of a sect, who is offered a «serious and reassuring» Catholicism (I know, I tried). We might call this the Solzhenitsyn effect, named after this famous Soviet dissident who returned a century backward to capitalism, instead of supporting the ideas of his time.
Fortunately, we can take control of the process when we reasons scientifically: by positing all opinions as equal, we can then objectively consider them, their good and their bad points, and select the most true ones, either by the factual observation, or by an act of free will (chapter V-3) if it is about the orientation of our lives. Only this process can be called free will: the elimination of all neurosis, and decision-making based on the most accurate assessment of facts.
The classical scientist must, however, manage without tools how to disregard his neuroses. This explains why science has not produced a single saint (written in 2017, up to you to change that if you don’t like it). Fortunately, spirituality greatly facilitates the process, through appropriate meditations, capable of suppressing the neurotic attachment to opinions. More importantly, meditation on non-duality eliminates many of the fundamental errors of logic (chapter I-5 and following) which block the understanding of politics, society, ethics, and so on (sixth part). The combination of the two then allow to reason by using the doctrines of our interlocutor, and thus to override all the so-called «impossibility to communicate». This state of consciousness is the state of Aria (chapter V-9). This is one of the first spiritual achievements, which should be in the high school curriculum, and count for the examination.
(Added on September 19, 2017)
(Permalink) Belief is generally considered a form of opinion. The difference is the field of application: for example, we speak of a political opinion (on how society is managed, which arises from free will), while belief is mostly about facts and data (for example, believing that the Earth is round or flat, which is a matter of observation). The neurological process is exactly the same, although it seems much more unhealthy to believe for example that the Earth is flat, than to believe in the promises of the creators of gulags. In fact the neural process is exactly the same: the neurons mark the facts with appreciations, like/dislike. Including for «observable» and «objective» facts, because neurons have no more access to them than to high philosophy. Therefore the belief is no more barmy than the opinion.
Belief in the flat or round Earth is an excellent example of the process of belief formation, and the interaction of this process with reality. For a long time, people believed that the Earth was flat. Indeed, everything in their daily experience showed them the Earth flat, and therefore the error was perfectly excusable.
To explain with more details the progression of the conceptions, in the 6th century BC, the Greek sailors had well realized that a boat disappears down behind the horizon, indicating the curvature of the world. Anaximander, the first geographer, had represented the world in the form of a shield, to reconcile this idea with the one of a constant vertical. Hence the also popular idea that the world would have an edge. It was not until the second century BC that Erastothenus realized that the Earth is a sphere, where the vertical depends on the place. He then was able to measure its radius with an accuracy of 2%, unequalled before the industrial era.
Today, people think that the Earth is round. This change of belief is possible despite the discrepancy with daily observation, because people have confidence in science, society, school, and so on. These things then dig large and deep valleys in the map of opinions, which can receive a lot of facts, including facts incomprehensible to the common, such as Relativity, or crimes like vivisection, nuclear power, etc. But still few people are truly scientific, capable of understanding the reasoning leading to the round Earth. Their opinion then remains a belief. An exact belief, of course, but this should not lull us: it is a belief all the same, dictated by submission to society and science. This makes that this belief remains as dangerous as a false belief: risk of fanaticism (scientistism, note 92), and even of inversion of the belief:
For some years now, we notice a return of the flat Earth (the prevalence of which, however, should not be exaggerated: the media like to spread such scary false news, which I call Bugarach effect). One of the conditions which allowed this return is the appearance of conspiracy theories. These theories offer a network of «proofs» that society would lie, or that current experience would be false. This may lead to the «logical annealing» seen in the previous sub-chapter, but perversely: after reading stories of conspiracy, neurons see society or science as a source of anxiety and uncertainty, forcing them to climb the «slope», and to go down in another direction, where the conspiracy theory seems more reassuring than society. This is why people who believe that Earth is round instead of knowing to demonstrate this, are vulnerable to a counter-belief such as the flat Earth. By the way, triggering this process is of a disconcerting ease, with people who have no control over their psychology, who live in their Internet forum or in their «milieu», without any benchmark in the real world (in their mother's basement, after the common saying). But no one is truly immune, especially when confronted with these things for the first time.
It is thus the defiance of society, see the hatred, which makes the neurons of these people label the scientific discourse as unpleasant, and therefore produces a feeling of «falseness». (another older explanation is the inferiority complex, facing scientist’s intelligence). This distrust of science and society then allows all sorts of wacky beliefs and dangerous attitudes. I shall call it the Trump effect, because this guy played at watching the sun directly, in the August 2017 eclipse, from his squat in the White House. Only seconds, because it is much less stoic than me, lol! But he nevertheless had to make a tomfoolery to mark his hatred of the warnings of science.
These neural processes are therefore not benign: they can create very dangerous beliefs or opinions. This is what happens with things like racism, which propaganda selects and distorts facts. Or, in a criminal case, a sick investigator will have his «sense of truth» pointing at a person he does not like. He then selects evidence supporting his belief, or he may resort to such things as blackmail or torture to force the victim to confirm his belief. Which seems to him an «objective fact», exactly as with the flat Earth. It is what happens when an investigation clears a person, but this persons is retained in jail: the belief of the judges took precedence over scientific facts (a serious professional misconduct, which should lead to immediate dismissal)
These things are not discoveries: knowledge of these neural processes is the basis of propaganda methods, forced conversions, brainwashing, humiliation, etc. All the secret services, media, terrorists, advertisers or opinion-makers know them very well, and they pay armies of perverse psychologists to analyse our reactions and find our «neural map» of opinions (see the previous sub-chapter). So they can push us from one «valley» to another, at their whim. The computerization of the process even allows to do it automatically, with a diabolical precision, impossible to achieve by a human. For example, Netflix's algorithms list no fewer than 2000 «valleys» in our neural map! And still, they just suggest films... other companies, far more dangerous, «suggest» votes, drugs, wars!! Even a thing as harmless as the music of the supermarkets is carefully studied, selected and filtered, so that these places appear reassuring and familiar, while carefully avoiding any reference to the true artistic sources and the progressive ideas they necessarily carry. I know, I knew a manager, who told me that this «music» is imposed by the central management, with no possible choice.
Hence the interest of escaping these processes of creating or modifying neuroses of opinion or belief, by observing the functioning of our neurons (introspection), and especially by not relying on them to make our idea of the world (non-attachment to opinions). Truth can often be disturbing, but when it is known it is always a million times more useful than any lie or belief. And above all, she is wildly beautiful, when she is naked!
In the case of concrete facts, the scientific method is what makes possible to arrive at the truth. It is certainly imperfect, as a process of step by step approach of this reality, even of trial and error. But in spite of this imperfection, a science free of opinions always remains the best choice, compared to any belief. This is why I support it wholeheartedly.
This is also why I try to extend this wonderful science to the fields of consciousness, society, ethics and spirituality, in order to eliminate opinions, beliefs and lies from these fields too. However, in abstract domains, such as the nature of God, the absence of concrete evidence makes the classical scientific approach inoperative. Many religious persons then defend the belief, that they then present as a legitimate means of knowing this field. I disagree: the lack of material evidence is not the absence of any means of knowing. Mathematicians are well aware of this, who refuse any material or observational evidence in their field, yet still more precise than physics. I therefore argue that we can also approach the abstract domains of consciousness scientifically (second part), and I do so with this book, especially in this fifth part. I even allow myself to propose simple solutions to many enigmas which wory philosophers and theologians since millennia.
(Added on September 19, 2017)
(Permalink) Even excluding the case of sociopaths (who are psychiatric patients, chapter V-13), or people who have a good motive (case of conscience, self-defense, etc.), we still have many people who lie, steal, attack, and so forth, for idiotic motives such as self-interest, power, ideology (neurosis of opinion), avoidance of recognizing a wrong, superiority, etc.
Contrary to a belief, where the person is sincere and thinks he is right, a dishonest person knows that what he is saying is not true, or what he is doing is not correct.
In this case, the problem can be reduced to a single neurosis of belief: the person does not like the good. It is, neurologically, a neurosis of opinion like the others, except that it has far wider consequences: it is in a way the «general switch» which will condition most of the person's opinions, about society or about others. In patients with this neurosis, their neurons reverse the correct labelling, describing as «bad» all what is good, and vice versa. These people are easy to recognize, even if they are not sociopaths: they denigrate kindness, ecology, beauty, etc. Hence also comes the ideological virus as what «we must not do morals», or denouncing good things as «politically correct» (this expression even is a very specific marker of this problem, together with the French «ringard»).
What is funny is that people with such a neurosis ultimately know better the good than a normal person! It is their consciousness which tells them, and they cannot mute it. Then they take revenge with attacking others, or the society.
This is how appear the 20 to 50% of negative people who are not sociopaths (the latter being estimated to be 2% to 10%). If they add to this a neurosis of rejection of society, these people can become bandits. But most often they know that it is dangerous, or they have a neurosis of submission to society. Then they keep an appearance of normality, while emitting negative opinions, voting in the hide for candidates who harm society, and indulging in petty abuses whenever they can, within the limits of the law or current conventions, or when the others are not looking.
In my opinion, such a neurosis is so serious, that not treating it is a fault. Especially since it is not a psychiatric illness, and these people are as capable of free-will as I am. This is the reason why dishonest people are imprisoned, right? I know this is not the best solution, but it takes years of love and self-denial to endure a dishonest until he repents. There simply is far not enough people capable of that. So do it yourself, guys. Or paint your jail bars in pink.
Several recent researches show, nevertheless, that proposing a normal life in nature and a respectful mutual society of both sexes, is much more effective than those grey and violent prisons from where people get out hardened or antisocial.
(Permalink) The difficulty in finding the just morality, and the many errors about this, make that, for many people, it is more «economic» to join a «consensus», be it the «majority» or imposed by «the power». Indeed, in this case, having to submit to arbitrary diktats, even very painful (genital mutilations, sadomasochistic budget restrictions of the European Union, gulag...) is perceived as a lesser inconvenience than having to oppose the society. People then build a neurosis which make them «like» the system, and hate those that this system designates as «abnormal» or «not integrated» (Jews, environmentalists, Tibetans, women, «vanilla», etc.)
Some will say that the previous paragraph is imaginary, or even «subversive». The proof is however as relentless as simple: if we simply revert the definition of the «established order», then the neurosis also reverts! And if this inversion happens by direct physical threat, then, as in the ape tribe, the neurosis also reverts within a few minutes! This is what is observed with the Stockholm syndrome (note 84): in the pervert world of an hostage taking, the gangsters represent the «established order», while the police represents the threatening «abnormal»... and the hostages ask the protection of the gangsters against the police! What I say is that the neurosis of «adhesion to the established order» is exactly the same neurosis that the Stockholm syndrome, and that both can as well lead to absurd or suicidal behaviors, for example those Germans in 1945 who committed suicide at the approach of their liberators, or the blokes who oppose the required measures against AIDS or climate change.
That the causes of neurosis are benign or natural must not delude us: some neurotic disorders are serious, we saw racism as an example. And submission to the established order can have extremely dangerous consequences: genital mutilations, voting for politicians imposing sadomasochist budget cuts, honour killings, voting for demented politicians imposing climate change, helping to track down Jews, etc.
Important note on the meaning of this sub-chapter: it only criticises the neurotic attachment to society. It does not say that we should reject society, or become anarchist. Whoever would «interpret» my text in this way would just show that he understood nothing to the fist part on logic.
Indeed, the neurotic attachment to the established order is only one of the two evil poles in the quadripolar diagram between discipline and freedom (chapter I-4). The corresponding positive pole is the necessary discipline in an organization. This is not a neurosis, but a choice (not necessarily freely agreed, but necessary for a relationship which works). This good pole of discipline is balanced by the good pole of freedom, which allows, among others, to publicly question the defects of society, without having to undergo any retaliation. A society capable of functioning in this way needs only a few months to make effective decisions, facing alarms such as asbestos, tobacco, nuclear power, climate change, etc.
To adopt a hierarchical organization is not a neurosis, but a behaviour. What I denounce in this subchapter, is not the organization, but the neurotic attachment to that organization, which transforms the necessary discipline into masochistic submission.
But the opposite is also true: it is also a neurosis to hate organization when it is the most effective way to act. It is failure to adopt such a discipline, facing multiple egos burgeoning everywhere, which led to the failure of a collective attempt such as Linux, which was unable to provide with quality free systems and enough standardization to replace the toll products they claimed to replace.
Alternative software developper trying to escape a multitude of burgeoning egos
(From the «Tintin» comics by Hergé)
(Added September 2019)
(Permalink) In this common neurosis, the victims think that some others are superior to them, and they rely on them as guides. It is an opinion neurosis, but it is especially a very strong neurotic feeling, to the point of overidding common sense, obviousness, and even the most extreme suffering. The sick persons then think that this suffering is a need, a «purification», the fault of an enemy, etc. This submission is the basis of serious social diseases, like sexism, slavery, remote controlled elections, etc. The person is often imbued in his inferiority to the point of renouncing his aspirations, his projets, and bear a life of boredom in a gray world, until the ritual sacrifice of war.
We shall better study the submission neurosis in the following chapter V-13.
In biology, a bacterium is a organism complete enough to live and reproduce by itself, and act against us by causing diseases.
On the other hand, a virus is an isolated piece of DNA, unable to live by itself. But it knows how to use our genetic machinery to reproduce. So it can be more dangerous or more difficult to fight than a bacterium.
Similarly, in psychology, we saw that an ideology (chapter I-9) is a complex enough set of assertions, so that it looks like being a good explanation of the world. So, it can win the support of a significant number of people. We can compare the ideology to the bacterium. But then, an ideological virus is an isolated statement, which does not form by itself a political or religious ideology, but which, combined with other ideas, can create a strong enough feeling of truth to induce wrong beliefs or maladaptive behaviours. Generally, the ideological virus is arbitrarily taken as «a truth» by a large majority, or the demonstration of its falsity is not easy. As such, it can literally pervert more elaborate ideas or designs, block any reasoning, or denature knowledge by distorting the necessary conclusions. In addition, its discreet, unconscious nature makes it harder to eradicate than the noisy ideologies. In fact ideologies have a weak point: their arbitrary dogmas, while ideological viruses do not need any to install themselves into a mind.
There are many ideological viruses in circulation, which are all the more dangerous that people do not suspect their parasitic nature, or the way they neutralize or pervert honest ideas. But the best is to give some examples.
- «Everyone his truth», or «truth is relative» (exact meaning under the responsibility of the ones who say it). This one pretends that we cannot build any objective truth, or that our demonstration has no real ground, or it is not valid for others.
- «We must not do morality». Originally a criticism of puritanism, this play on the meaning of words is used today to prevent us from defending against attacks (since this is precisely what morality is intended for). Its use in an educational or judicial context is a serious professional misconduct.
- «It is your unconscious which makes you say that» (many variants: «your ego», «your ideology» «your mental», etc.). Is used to remove the validity of our arguments, as if they were only the result of a pathological process.
- «It is natural» «instinct» «genes» etc. arbitrarily considered as «good», «infallible», etc.
- The previous virus is also known as the «naturalist fallacy».
- «It is human nature, one can do nothing to it», usually used to deny any possibility of a positive evolution of Mankind. The concept of «human nature» has no scientific basis, right on the contrary the theory of Evolution shows that the human mind is constantly improving with generations. The purpose of psychology or spirituality is also to make it change at a personal or social level, with methods which effectiveness is no longer to be demonstrated.
- (Added on May 16, 2020:) «In a place which criticizes society, no general social rules apply». Not even hygiene, lol. Not surprisingly, I often saw that in leftist communities in the sixties, or in New-Age communities. But more surprisingly, this fallacy is so widespread that I saw it even in Buddhist centres, where criticizing society is definitively not the purpose! There even were cases in companies, and I grant the first prize to the one which had to put this sign at their entrance: «the road code remains valid in the premises of the company». Don't ask what happened, lol. The pompon of derealization goes to these guards of the Airbus factory in Toulouse, who, in their chase of «ill parked» cars, blocked an... ambulance!
- (Added on May 27, 2020:) guilt inducing automatic replies at statements which are not questions. Example 1: «I love big breasts» invariably brings the leftist «morals lesson»: «All the breasts are good», even in virtuals worlds where women just have a cursor to pull to choose their size. Example 2: «I am vegetarian» brings the automatic reply «we must not be sectarian», which then places the person in the position of accused.
- «Dualism» is not a statement, even not a generic one. It is more subtle: an error of type of logic (Chapter I-7), which systematically distorts the perception of reality. For an affected person, it is very difficult to realize the problem, because he thinks to be «logical», when in fact she just overlays invented oppositions on a more delicate and gradated reality. This result is many hatred, violence, depression (suicide), etc. Fortunately, the basics of meditation can easily heal this neurosis.
Many other ideological viruses are not strictly speaking assertions, but instead defects in thinking, such as clan mind or dualism (chapter I - 5). Such distortions of the reasoning can produce true dualistic hallucinations, which make us see deadly enemies where there are only ordinary people. Indeed, the victim is simply unable to understand other categories than friend or foe, so that any other case appears to him as duplicity or betrayal. All the extremist ideologies regularly cause such hallucinations, leading their adepts to such senseless acts as suicide bombing. But in daily life the same error also leads a vast number of people to divorce, engage conflict, etc. without any real reason.
(Permalink) That the neurosis, especially of opinion, impairs our judgement, is what I called the psychological bias, in chapter I-8. For many, this may sound abstract or difficult to understand, because precisely the mental act of rejecting an argument is unconscious (our oyster neurons do it automatically, without asking our permission, and even not informing us). So I show some examples in daily life, and then in science, where the psychological bias also plays tricks.
In his book «Le gouffre de la Pierre Saint-Martin», Haroun Tazieff tells how a tinkered winch killed one of his team mates. He describes «blanks» in his memories, when people of the team requested the designer of the winch for some basic security checks, especially the nut which was to fail: the designer violently refused to remove the cover which protected this nut from shocks! Logically, the team should have forced this barrage. But if they did, their whole expedition would be jeopardized, ruining months of preparation. The fear of questioning led to the automatic elimination of an argument from the field of consciousness! Tazieff, a both rational and human mind, was able to accurately describe the process. But exactly the same process simultaneously played for twenty persons, synchronized to the second! The laws of psychology are often of a mechanical accuracy.
I remember a nice friend, yoga teacher, that his companion was conning and cuckolding shamelessly with a not nice at all teen. She told me that one day, stooping under the table to pick up an object, she saw their entwined legs. Such a vision would actually make us jump, but not her: it was just too incredible! She therefore not accepted the fact, literally not believed her eyes. I must admit that me neither, when I saw them talking in a low voice, like lovers do. However, these visions were not «unconscious» (for evidence, we remembered them) but the final step of reasoning to the conclusion was not made, inhibited by the fear of seeing everything falling apart.
This phenomenon also plays in cults. It is one of the key elements explaining that intelligent and sensible people can get caught by phoney gurus or junk masters, while outside the cult everyone sees the trap. More often, the neurosis which plays here is the fear of losing the (false) wonderful world of the cult (but we found here the full range of manipulation and harassment). In the example of the «Amis de la Douceur et de l'Harmonie» cult which steal nine years of my life, I could simply not imagine that a person pretending to abide into universal love and non-violence, could indulge in sadistic stalking on a child, out of pure sexism! It was not the clues which were missing, but to get out of a cult always requires to rebuild our life, which is not easy in this shameless capitalist world. Okay, I did it anyway! But what a pain to get the kids out...
Science is not exempt from this phenomenon. Let us quote the famous remark of Lord Kelvin, a valuable scientist, but who nevertheless said that «x-rays are a joke». But this is not the only example. Thus, having worked for the Argos system, I heard that the first engineers, not believing in Relativity, did not wanted to integrate the relativistic correction into the system! Fortunately, junior technicians did it for them, avoiding a fiasco at the launch of the first satellite equipment. We were in 1978...
The most typical case is what I would call the «Schiaparelli effect»: in the blurry and dancing pictures of Mars, at the limit of discernment, some made themselves see the famous Schiaparelli channels, and believed hard in them, while others saw nothing. It took until the first space probes in 1965 for the media to stop showing Mars covered with channels.
Another sad example is Nikola Tesla, engineer and brilliant inventor of all our electrical machines. But he refused, until his death in 1943, to believe into Relativity: his neurotic attachment to the absolute Galilean referential made him consider Relativity as «absurd». This led him to create an alternative theory of electromagnetic waves, which included another sort of wave, called «scalar». Nothing such was never observed, but this «refusal of science to consider Tesla theories» was the cause of many conspiracy theories, claiming without evidence the reality of the scalar field, out of neurotic hatred of science.
As, logically, we come to conspiracy theories, we can understand how a reasonable person can be caught by them: the idea of conspiracy evokes a concealed evil, that the theory reveals. The logical emotion is then to want to denounce the conspiracy in our turn... until we realize that the argument is phoney (and if the media make so much propaganda for the conspiracy theories, is to divert our attention from real conspiracies, of which it is too dangerous to speak, for and isolated individual).
We understand that this process can, not only lead us into serious mistakes, but that it is also the basis of most mind control tricks. It is very likely that all the manipulators, from the petty snake oil seller to the high master of a large cult, are fully aware of these phenomena, and that they look for our «blanks» to understand our weak points. For example I have seen once a bank crook saying «Yeah nobody reads the stipulation in small letters», hoping to cause the phenomenon.
(Permalink) Psychologists are sometimes of a ruthless realism. Thus, what we call «being in love», they call it «love neurosis». Well, I understand that it is shocking when we idealized romantic love as the most beautiful and most important feeling of life. And actually we need to know of what they are talking about. In the case of racism, we saw a neurosis of aversion. But there are also neurosis of attachment. If they look more sympathetic, they nevertheless have the same ability to obscure our reasoning and lead us to suffering, as seen with the neurosis of opinion.
In the beginning, the mechanism is actually the same: the loving person feels a strong attraction for the loved one, especially when this loved one returns him tenderness. Nothing but natural, nothing wrong, and we can only wish them all the happiness of such a situation. After all, our brain has been designed by evolution to operate in this way, and produce a stable relationship, which brings happiness to the two partners. And as long as nothing comes to disturb this situation, why not to be happy like that.
But the confrontation with the defects of the partner occurs sooner or later (or he does not bend to our ego... but this is our defect!). There, things may diverge in several ways. If the person idealizes his partner, and refuses to see the bad points, so he finds himself in the position of being manipulated and controlled: the love neurosis makes a slave of him! If, at any time, the discovery of a defect in the partner (or simply that it does not comply with our own ego) produces an unpleasant shock, a sense of being betrayed, then the neurosis of attraction turns into a neurosis of hate. Many couples are victims of this problem, and divorce in insults, while initially they loved each other sincerely. Often, even the former partner become an «enemy», against which everything is good, including to destroy the children to «get a revenge». Before divorce was allowed, they carried their hell in private, their lives long. In both cases, the «natural», «positive» neurosis, turned into a neurosis producing suffering and bad actions. Yet, this is exactly the same neuronal process, see the same neuron! The physical operation of our own neurons is ruthless, totally insensitive to the suffering they inflict to us.
The true love will be discussed in chapterVI-6.
(Permalink) Is this unavoidable? Many liar ideologists and lazy people hurry in, smiling, to say yes, it is, this is «human nature», «the laws of psychology» and other shady concepts or pseudoscientifical blather.
Precisely not, it is not unavoidable, and here we come to interesting things. Nobody being perfect, the confrontation with the defects of the other is indeed inevitable. However to control our neurosis at this moment enables the emergence of a new attitude, a new feeling: forgiveness. Forgiveness is not a «natural» emotions that the neurons produce, or a feeling which would be genetically programmed (although it is commonly observed in monkeys, who even use complex rituals for this). It is something that is created, with decision and with effort. Most couples actually go through crisis, but they are followed by forgiveness, and all the golden weddings will tell you that this is their secret.
Is this enough? Not yet: It is also requested that each member of the couple does not impose his problems to the partner. And this often requires radical questioning of bad habits, with a constant effort to do this. Especially in these times of fast forced evolution, external social innovations can also bring unexpected questioning inside the couple. If one of the partner refuses the social evolution, then he is automatically out of phase, with already one foot in the court.
Finally the last point is that this effort must be reciprocal. Indeed, if one of the partners forgives, makes efforts, rises, and the other does not, then the tense increases, and at a moment, breakdown is inavoidable. The attitude of each partner about the other fully involves the quadripolar diagram on trust and credulity, cited as the first example in chapter I-4. Especially, repeated crisis with always the same motive quickly exhaust the forgiveness capacity of the best. Then rupture is inavoidable, and even necessary. After all, we marry to be happy, not to be constantly attacked.
One might conclude that not to make efforts to enhance one's psychology is by far the biggest breach in the marriage contract, and the only one which really justifies divorce. It however always justifies it. In the exclusive wrongs of the one who did no effort, of course. Then the interests of the children order that they are placed with the other parent.
(Permalink) (note 93 on the use of ©) The discussion about the couple seen above is in fact true for all types of human relationships: friendship, work, games, spiritual group, tribe, village, etc. All these situations are likely to produce relationship problems, and therefore require each member to better his behavior. However in each case, neurosis of attachment, aversion, opinion, clans, etc. will counteract these adaptations. Then, each member of the group believes that the problems are the fault of others, and he creates a neurosis of hate as a result.
The inescapable conclusion is that we need to learn to master our neurosis. Not doing so puts ourselves in the position of a pinball ball, tossed about and beaten from all sides. To do so allows us to control our lives, eliminate all the sources of unhappiness produced by ourselves, and to consolidate the causes of happiness.
This is also not a discovery: politeness, moral, education, civilization, laws, all go in this direction. However these things can control our behaviors, not our feelings. They are forcing us to act against our hate or attachments, by creating more violent ones: guilt, fear of punishment or exclusion. For example marriage force unhappy couples to stay together. Conversely, automatic divorce breaks up couples which could be saved. It goes the same for contracts or employment, and in a general way with any social obligation, which often give a feeling of being straitjackets or slavery, even if they contribute to a positive common goal. For example the labourer fastened to a factory chain is feeling bad, but he is still happy to go on vacation with the car coming out of this chain. We shall see anyways in chapter VI-10 that ultimately there cannot be any totally fair law or economy system... and what I propose instead.
Real psycho-education is about modifying our emotions, more accurately to control our neurosis, instead of letting them control us. Certain neurosis are totally unneeded, such as racism, and they can be eliminated like lice. But other neurosis are positive, like love, or protective, like the neurosis of fear of accidents. In this case, we need, by appropriate meditations and visualisations, to decouple the emotion from the object: we then destroy the conditioning. The feeling can then continue to play its normal role, of fun, or warning, but without distorting our perception of the situation. For example, if we are victim of submission in a couple, then we can take knowledge of the indices, understand the situation and act accordingly. And if the dominating partner refuses to change, then he is faulty of the divorce. (We shall see specifically marriage and divorce in chapter VI-6) Same goes with social relationship in general: each person becomes free to objectively evaluate its relationship with others, and adapt its behaviour accordingly, without having to sacrifice hmself. It is then those who do not do that who marginalise themselves of the psychoeducated society. In the virtual worlds, they are called «drama queens».
An excellent comparison would be with a car. The natural functioning of a car is to follow the commands of the steering wheel. This is its «neurosis», hardwired in its mechanics. This is not an anomaly, neither a bug nor the action of the devil or the bourgeois. But if we let the car follow its «natural way», it leads us right into the ditch, or in the other car coming in front. This is what happens when we let go our neurosis, and we do not accept any advice, or we want to be «ourself» at the expense of others. We end up «in the ditch» (lazy, alcoholic, etc.) or «in the car in front» (in conflict with others).
The clever way to drive a car is not to let it follow its «natural way», but to take the steering wheel, without ever releasing it a second. Thus the driver (the consciousness) controls the mechanics (the neurons). It is a constant effort to follow the road (the challenges and vicissitudes of life), but it is something we learn, and once this done, we do it without even thinking at it: psychoeducation is not much more difficult than driving a car, when we know how to do, and we are trained enough. And when we do it, then we are free to go wherever we want with this car (to choose our life experiences, instead of bearing them).
Being psychoeducated, it is like walking: it requires a constant monitoring (otherwise we smash our nose), but which is so well integrated into our mind that we do it without even realizing. So that our energies can go to something else.
Some may think that this is «not natural» to control our own spirit.
Precisely it is.
But it is of the nature of our consciousness, not of the nature of mater or the genes.
This meaning OUR nature.
(Permalink) Traditional methods, such as forcing ourselves, shame, being punished, keep silent despite our suffering, are painful, inefficient and often dangerous. Indeed, the human mind has only a very limited ability to support suffering or sacrifice. Beyond, serious things can happen. Clearly, the spiritual paths which have no other tools to offer that guilt, need to download the latest version.
«Psychological analysis» of the kind monologue on a couch are long and of very questionable effectiveness. «Interpretations» according to any particular conceptual system, different of ours, are not much better, and may instead lead us astray. What is the point of being told that we have an Oedipus complex or an anal stage? It does not give us the desire to forgive our companion we just find in bed with someone else.
The most effective method, while remaining within the reach of all, is called positive visualization. Okay, I know, this expression is used by dangerous cults, for instance by advertising stalkers. But the words belong to those who create them, not to the idiots who misuse them. So let us use our words, the words which were created in order to understand each other, between us.
The positive visualization, then, copyright the smart people 1000 BC, is a mental technique which uses our usual inner reverie, but directed in the following way: we think that we are in one of the problematic situation, but that we feel positive emotions, which give us energy. We must feel the emotion, it is the most important point. For example, with a neurosis of racism, we think at a person of the targeted race, and we feel a positive feeling towards him. We can for instance think that he is clean, nice, with a good perfume, he helps us, protects us, etc. (body odors play an important role in the desire or aversion, and when we hate someone, we also hate his smell. Hence the important role of a good smell). This visualized positive emotion will gradually replace the neurotic emotion. The effect is slow, hence the need of do it as often as possible, until it works. It is slow, but once the process is started, it never stops.
Of course meditation is more powerful, faster, and even more the advanced purification techniques of the Tantras. Meditation is simple to learn in yoga or taichi lessons. In a general way, it is better to associate this positive visualization with our daily spiritual practices. And if we don't have any, then this is an excellent opportunity to start, with doing the thing at regular time, or for some time a day, if needed with the help of objects, photos, etc. For example you can do while in transport, during walk, etc. (A bit of Ecology is also useful to learn: wine bottles and brewskies must be emptied into the sink, fags and hemp in black bags, TV and violence games in the selective sorting centre.) In a group or a couple, it is much better to do it together, but never wait that others do it for doing it yourselves. On the contrary, It may be necessary to proceed discreetly, without talking to anyone, neither to show objects, and especially not to hostile individuals.
I also regret to say that my experience of social workers taught me that, even when they look friendly, they don't show us what they think, and in more they use these things against our children. So, as soon as we have children, these visit can happen without warning: it is then better to hide our objects in another room.
Be careful that this is only visualization, this meaning controlled imagination. It is by no way extrasensory perception, clairvoyance or anything like that! Imagination can bring up a lot of complex and detailed scenes in our minds, but it is only... imagination!
Of course we can adapt our positive visualization to the situation. We can, for instance, think to our spouse, our co-workers, etc, so that we get a positive feeling of them.
But for really decoupling the feeling from the object, we must visualize varied situations, pleasant or unpleasant, but without feeling peculiar emotions. Better not to do it with people we know, or even resembling them. To decouple the emotion of the object allows to be no longer manipulated by people, neither from blind attraction, nor from fear.
This method does not eliminate the emotions, but it withdraws their power to manipulate us.
At this point, we may even increase the emotions, and consciously enjoy them. Effort and forgiveness of the weaknesses of the other, here is the recipe for true spiritual and romantic love. If this attitude is reciprocated, then love can last until death separates us, and perhaps even beyond.
The psychologist who taught us this, is withdrawing silently, tiptoeing out: he won his paradise him also.
(Added in September 2019)
(Permalink) The vision which comes in mind while evoking psychotherapy is a caricature of psychoanalysis: a guy lying on a couch, telling odd problems, with a psychotherapist who replies about his anal stage and other idiocies. This is clearly not what I am talking about.
It is not either about finding so-called hidden «unconscious» memories, of our infancy, or our past lives... which most of the time are mere creations of our imagination. And to take imagination for reality will inevitably create more problems, without solving any!
Psychoeducation is much simpler, for quite normal people, and can be undertaken alone without danger. And especially it is useful.
It is just getting used to another operation of our mind. To visualize that we act, think, feel normally, instead of obeying impulses which produce disputes, frustration, suffering.
To understand how we are going to correct our twisted neuroses, let us imagine that we learned to ride on a tricked bike, which handlebar would react in a reverted way: turning it to the right would make the bike go to the left. Problem, the day we have to ride a normal bike, we have to relearn! Sure in this case we shall get a lot of falls. But we can also simply visualize that we drive this bike. Quietly, sitting. Without hurting ourselves. How do we do, then? We imagine that we drive, that we move the handlebars, and that the bike follows correctly. (In the case of a physical exercise, it is better to perform the gestures of the hands. But do this alone!).
A better example, closer to psychoeducation, is learning a foreign language. We start succeeding when we start to think directly in that language, instead of translating out thoughts.
The psychoeducation I am talking about is nothing else: to visualize that we feel appropriate emotions, instead of disturbing emotions which make us suffer or make others suffer. Since these negative emotions tend to reappear, often by surprise, two ingredients are needed:
☺ We visualize the appropriate emotion, or relax to cancel the unhealthy emotion. This is told in any Yoga class or similar, under the name of relaxation. (Strictly speaking, we relax physically, but it is often the first stage of the relaxation of the mind).
☺ The conscience reminder, or awareness at the moment: to constantly monitor the emotions and thoughts which occur in our mind, stop the unhealthy ones and replace them with beneficial ones. As we tend to forget, we use for this purpose any object, sign, phenomenon, etc. which reminds us.
Of course the result is not immediate. But it is a matter of training. It is actually much less difficult than learning to play the violin. But even for the violin, the people who do this just trained!! Personally, I started the above training about in 1970, hearing that the Hippies were doing it. I continued without interruption since. I let you judge the result.
The technique is simple, and it is applied in two occasions:
☺ Sessions of pure visualization, where we make ourselves feel a positive emotion (we can express emotions physically, for example smiling, etc.) We can do this while sitting, walking, lying, or during an activity which does not require much concentration.
☺ Corrections in situation (with people): same as before, but countering the negative emotions which arise in this case. There must be a system of conscience reminder, either at regular intervals or in certain circumstances. The most difficult thing is to keep thinking about training each time the opportunity arises
(Do not tell anyone about your reminder system, because it allows their ego to interfere. And it will do, because the egos hate this stuff. Not to mention a sociopath, who cannot tolerate any method to escape his control: he will attack you violently).
What we do here is essentially a positive visualization. We visualize the positive feelings, appropriate for the situation. An excellent example was my own first victory: as a teenager, I was conditioned to be racist. Problem, this disgraceful disease of the mind, at first discrete, was becoming more and more invasive, and it began to influence my behavior. So I did the following:
Visualizing Blacks and Arabs as being nice, safe, clean, etc.
This simple practice was enough to undo these shameful racist feelings in a few years, with never any relapse.
But it's fantastic!
Anyone can stop being a dick, with such a simple method! It is the greatest scientific discovery of all times!!
And how does it work?
Very simply, and very naturally, by correcting the synapses of our neurons. It is the emotion associated with our corrective visualization which does this job, natually, because it precisely has the power to reprogram our synapses. Thus, our prejudices are by no means inevitable, and we can very easily correct them, by using the basic functioning of our neurons! The very same functioning which created the said prejudices to start with.
Here are some tips and additional explanations, for more success:
☺ You have a religion? Devote your practice to it, as a Service to Transcendence.
☺ You do not have a religion? No problem, this is not needed.
☺ You learned relaxation, Yoga or meditation? This is a great help, but beware: what we are doing here is not Yoga, so do not try to interpret it according to this or that spiritual teaching.
☺ The visualizations are good, but it is even better if you also visualize the feelings which go with them. For example, you can visualize that you are handshaking with somebody of an «enemy» country. But if you also make yourself feel love and trust, it is a hundred times more effective. And even, too, go ahead, visualize their scent, that they smell good. It sounds silly, but it is extremely efficient.
☺ Think back to the bike example above. If such a situation happened in real life, you could practically train on an imaginary bike!! Quietly sitting or lying in your bed, without the risk of falling. The effect is comparable, since it will involve the same nervous circuits! This is the principle of visualization. Even people who become saints have no better method.
☺ Shut your mouth. Speaking of what you do just allows other's ego to disturb your training. At it will do it.
☺ Don't try to direct others in their own process. Explain how it works, share your experience, but no more. Being a guru or a psychotherapist requires serious knowledge and a solid deontology. Don't improvise.
☺ If you have serious psychological troubles (trauma, dependency...), in theory the above method still works in this case. But given the challenge or complexity, you may require guidance by a psychologist. I don't take responsibility in these cases, just ensure that this psychologist is not a psychoanalyst of some New Ager operating under a psychology license.
☺ If you have psychiatric troubles, this method will not help to cure them. So, do not drop your medicines, on the contrary use the conscience reminder to also be sure to take them in time.
☺ This method is well known to psychologists, who only gave it a Latin name.
☺ The Tibetan word for meditation is «gompa», which literally means «accustoming oneself». Yes, even them did not found better.
☺ I even was able to control the content of sleep paralysis experiences (the so-called «extraterrestrial abductions»), from ugly to angelic, simply by visualizing that the entity was beautiful and nice. It was very easy in this case, only a few sessions before falling asleep!
So these are sufficient instructions to, if needed, rehabilitate you, and become someone nice.
Be careful that this is a spiritual practice, meaning that it will transform your mind. It is the point! But in this case you are completely in control of the process, without depending on a group, a master, concepts, a system, etc.
Well, if you decide to go further, you will have to accept concepts, teachings, masters and rituals. But then you will know how to make the proper use of them.
(Permalink) Any repeated visualisation, good or bad, modifies our brain, and all the more if we also visualizes the emotions. It is a perfectly normal process, called learning by the neurologists, and it is the same thing as learning to ride a bike or to play the violin. However the neurons do not have the sense of good or evil: they are objects, who know only the laws of physics. Thus it is as easy to modify the brain in evil as in good.
This is the reason why the media impose us so many negative visualizations: crimes, disasters, violent video games, ridiculous «reality» shows. It worked very well in Germany in the 1930s...
It is therefore important to do the prevous visualizations with a good motive! To do them for other purposes, such as to manipulate others, reinforcing our ego, or other perverse purposes, will ruin our own life well before the one of our target!
We saw in chapter V-5 the meaning of life, and its implications in chapter V-6. The whole sixth part will deal with morals, life in society, politics, economy, etc. and especially assess the legitimate motivations in each of these domains.
(Permalink) People who have mastered their neurosis may be called psychoeducated. They are only a small minority on Earth today, but to get there all together is still the only way to build the harmonious society that we all are dreaming of (see sixth part), free of all the unnecessary conflicts seen today (wars, social struggles, disputes, divorces, etc.). It is also a required step for the evolution of Earth and of the human species.
We are free to do so, apply the methods, explain them on the TV, teach them at school for our children.
We are even not forced to do so. But if we do not do it, our choice will still have a consequence: the only other way is natural selection. And if we are actually in a logical feedback as seen in chapter V-6, this step may arrive very quick and very strong. Please the ones who want to follow this path, do not forget that there are seven billion people to select... Think before not to act.
And if a minority refuses? Oh, the kind and harmonious society will not hurt them: no hatred, no discrimination... Just that this minority will place itself in the situation of mentally retarded people. We shall be very nice with them, promised. But there will be places where they shall not be allowed to play.
(Permalink) A small digression here, but I saw no better place to put it.
Materialism often claims to be a better way of seeing things, made possible by the scientific discoveries, or by the rejection of the arbitrarian religious dogmas.
I say that this is utterly false: materialism is only one «religion» like any other, a pure belief. But which is very convenient for attacking the basis of morality and human rights, by refusing to consider the necessarily immaterial consciousness and its content. Applications are multiple, from the simple personal stalking, to the defence of infantile financial interests. As such, materialism can be as dangerous as the masochistic religious dogma that it claims to eliminate.
And the planned effect is starting to appear: in a world increasingly deprived of any beacon, we see more and more bizarre attitudes spreading in the name of materialism, which are worthy of the oddest cult practices. One of these attitudes is the denial of emotions, and even of sensations.
This is especially visible in erotic literature, where we hear characters describing, not their emotions or feelings, but their physical symptoms: tense body, secretions, pulse... or even, in full orgasm, people start to talk about... their endorphins! I find this totally mind boggling: the purpose of sex is to have sensations, or even emotions for the more adventurous. If we no more have the right, then what is the use of sex? The sexual revolution has lost any purpose, and it is better to go back to the monastery. At least here we can moisten our shirt and accelerate our pulse in gardening.
More disturbing, we also find this language in sociology and medicine. This is especially the case for depression and suicidal thoughts, which are considered as diseases, and even as psychiatric disorders: one dissects the neural processes, administer drugs, make statistics, seek epidemiological relationships («oh, it affects more unemployed people, let us therefore be wary of these people»). However depression is not a disease, but an emotion! And, just as fear prevents us from doing certain things, or anger actually forces us to do others, depression has effects on us: it withdraw our energy, or even the desire for living. Depression is a continuous state of intense sadness (with variations such as feelings of loneliness, loss, or being worthless) which causes may be multiple: love grief, bad partner, stalking, bereaving, anguish of losing one's resources in a mismanaged economy, loneliness, sad music heard at the supermarket, etc. And, just as anger increases the heart pulse and fear can lead to fainting, depression can produce significant and debilitating physical effects, without any physical or neurological cause.
With some exceptions, I affirm that to describe depression as a disease is dishonest and dangerous. It is even a mind control trick, a way to hide the consequences of bullying or bad policies, which is not better than the religious shame of the past. The denial of our emotions is exactly the same in both cases, only the ideological justifications around are changed.
In fact, when someone is sad, the first things to do is always to ask him why. And bring a remedy if we can. If it is not possible, the person still has interest to follow a psychotherapy or a spiritual practice, which will enable him to better withstand the sadness, or even to eliminate this feeling (which anyway does not change the situation). Here are the true remedies. But those who are in charge of applying these remedies must start with being themselves clear with their own neurosis. It's so easy not to be depressed when we are rich and considered! And even more when one is a sociopath without emotions: they are always perfectly fit, them.
Personally, depression is an old enemy with which I had some serious fights, without ever really eliminating the sadness which emanates from this absurd society. It has lost the power to manipulate me, but I often see its pale face in the supermarket.
French news (December 2013) provided us with a really sad example of the negation of the human emotions: when «our» president betrayed and abandoned his companion, where does she landed? In the hospital! Thus, in this strange world of rich privileged who lost all beacons, the emotion is a «disease», an «anomaly» which needs to be «cured»! Nothing must interfere with their games of partners to consume and to discard, and especially no feelings! I still prefer the ancient male chauvinist, who were cutting their submissives to the collar, not to the waist.
However, we should not think that this problem would only happen with capitalists or materialists. Thus, during the 1980s years, the so-called «community» where I was living was friend with a family which lived in a quasi-autarcy, according to very «New Age» ideas. The mother warned us that their daughter had «psychological problems», and I actually saw her do a «crisis», with the mother «supporting» her in a very intensive way, telling her to be strong, to resist, etc. Many years later, I understood that the daughter simply had a non-authorized grief... but in this strange world which lost all beacons, the emotions were a «psychological problem»!
(Permalink) In natural neural networks, learnings like speaking or playing violin are useful, so they do not qualify as neurosis (which is a disease). Neural learnings like fearing spiders, are innate protections. They qualify as neurosis only if they become invasive. Acquired learnings like fearing black people result in unpleasant emotions or unethical behaviours. So in this case they always qualify as neurosis, that is diseases.
Artificial neural networks work the same way as natural neural networks do: they undergo a learning (this is what is called «deep learning», in order to confuse the general public and hide the neural nature of these algorithms). We can see artificial neural networks operating on a site like DeepL translator, which uses them to guess the appropriate sense of words. For instance, the French «society» can translate either as «company» (in business) or «society» (in politics). Thanks to its neural networks, DeepL is better able to choose the right meaning from the context, than a classical computer (Von Neuman), like Bing Translator.
Youtube also uses neural networks to detect our choices and propose new videos accordingly. It is very efficient at this, and maybe 90% of its suggestions are relevant. This is certainly nice, but it has its dark side: if we look at conspirationnist or hateful videos, it will propose us more, to the point that we can become locked in our «internet bubble». More serious, it connects together sick persons who would never meet otherwise, and we owe this algorithm a good share of the increase of conspiracy blather and racist terror acts. So that we can say that, in this case, these people created a dangerous neurosis in the Youtube algorithm!
There is still worse. We all remember the scandal of the Google algorithm labelling black people «gorilla». Scientists analysed their work, and found how they did that: for learning their neural network, Google employees logically fed it with numerous and varied images of Humans and animals. But, from some racist bias, they fed much less image of black people than of white people! So, this is how they transmitted their racism neurosis to their algorithm, just as parents transmit their neurosis to their children, in showing them a reduced image of the world.
The Google goof was unintended. But the Ouighour pogrom is not: people are examined in the streets by surveillance cameras, and arrested automatically on the basis of their racial appearance. After wikipedia, one to two millions would be in camps, where sadists play at torturing them to force them drink alcohol or cut their beards, as in an Alfred Jarry novel.
This is what racist sickos do with deep learning, the jewel of artificial intelligence.
We are not yet in the power taking of the robots, but we already are in a Battlestar Galactica scenario: cylon cameras under the command of human traitors. (Scene of street cams making cylon sound)
Ideas, texts, drawings and realization: Richard Trigaux.
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