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    Is sanity a social condition?

    Watching this a few times has gotten me thinking... Would we have issues with persecutory delusions in the first place if we didn't choose to deal with each other through superficial persecution most of the time when we don't like what someone else is doing? Would what's going on in the above video happen in a world where more constructive, proactive processes of trying to change how other people act were in place?

    Not to say that there's a definite causation link between people being awful to each other and internal mental conditions that I know of, but when it comes to the mentally ill, most people tend to be awful to them. It's easy enough to pull off treating them like shit, as mentally ill people can be pretty awful to deal with, but all human interactions are a loop, and it's easy to fall into a sort of solipsist trap where people forget that some people have a harder time dealing with controlling their own thoughts. There is the difference between those who expect themselves to adapt to the world, and those who expect the world to adapt to them. When you're messed up in the head, you have trouble realizing the benefit and way of absolute personal responsibility for one's own wellbeing, but when you put it in the perspective of social workings, there's self-ascribed 'healthy' people who do directly messed up in the head things (Abuse, coercion, taking advantage of) to people who are messed up in the head. Then there's 'healthy' people doing loosely socially acceptable things where they don't tangibly understand the extended psychic effects of those things such as persecution and other such oversights, which people seem to act as if it's a consequence of natural proceses. Aldous Huxley once said that "I wanted to change the world. But I have found that the only thing one can be sure of changing is oneself." I think that everyone should take it upon themselves to really reflect on the fact that their actions flow into feelings, which drive more actions, throughout every other human being on earth.

    Mental suffering is one of those things that people got a really weak grasp on, considering the degree of metacognition required. It's also hard to truly empathize with people whose states of mind are ones that you instinctively don't want to empathize (As in feel/relate in synchrony) with. Going back to how people seem to act as if their way of acting towards other people is just an unavoidable condition of our way of socializing, I think it's worth it bringing up any other condition you could think of that many people thought was unavoidable that we've cured, or perhaps even think of some condition where they thought they knew the cure but were doing the stupidest, wrongest shit to try and cure it (Think putting holes in peoples heads to cure insanity as the above picture illustrates). I think that most people suffer from not being able to change their thoughts and behaviour, and that some people are more obviated in that regard than others. What's the difference between someone locked in thought patterns like, say, the above video, and someone who (likely more socially acceptably) gets away with spouting off a lot of persecution and judgement themselves?

    The difference I'm trying to highlight here is the difference between people's ability to choose a better world. Chances are that if you aren't suffering from anxiety-related, mind-clouding disorders that you're more able to help the world become a better place, one which provokes less feelings of suffering. There's another difference, and that's the fact that 'sane' people are locked into mutual patterns of action which sort of maintain homeostasis within individuals relative to their environmental conditions. People are the environmental conditions, and favorable social workings are something that I see most of the world's population completely missing out on a lot of the time. It's easy to conceive of consciousness as a local-to-the-mind phenomenon, but when you really think about it, it's also a distributed one. If you have the capacity to, you should choose to distribute pleasant consciousness and filter out expression of vexation to the best of your ability. Feels good when you get the hang of it, and hopefully it sparks the fire of good feelings in those who have major trouble with attaining them.

    I'll end this with a snippet of an interview of Dr. Gabor Mate I found while in the process of writing this post, who seems to have a good lot more insight and experience with this matter than I do:

    AMY GOODMAN: Talk about the people you treat.
    DR. GABOR MATÉ: Well, the hardcore drug addicts that I treat, but according to all studies in the States, as well, are, without exception, people who have had extraordinarily difficult lives. And the commonality is childhood abuse. In other words, these people all enter life under extremely adverse circumstances. Not only did they not get what they need for healthy development, they actually got negative circumstances of neglect. I don’t have a single female patient in the Downtown Eastside who wasn’t sexually abused, for example, as were many of the men, or abused, neglected and abandoned serially, over and over again.
    And that’s what sets up the brain biology of addiction. In other words, the addiction is related both psychologically, in terms of emotional pain relief, and neurobiological development to early adversity.
    AMY GOODMAN: What does the title of your book mean, In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts?
    DR. GABOR MATÉ: Well, it’s a Buddhist phrase. In the Buddhists’ psychology, there are a number of realms that human beings cycle through, all of us. One is the human realm, which is our ordinary selves. The hell realm is that of unbearable rage, fear, you know, these emotions that are difficult to handle. The animal realm is our instincts and our id and our passions.
    Now, the hungry ghost realm, the creatures in it are depicted as people with large empty bellies, small mouths and scrawny thin necks. They can never get enough satisfaction. They can never fill their bellies. They’re always hungry, always empty, always seeking it from the outside. That speaks to a part of us that I have and everybody in our society has, where we want satisfaction from the outside, where we’re empty, where we want to be soothed by something in the short term, but we can never feel that or fulfill that insatiety from the outside. The addicts are in that realm all the time. Most of us are in that realm some of the time. And my point really is, is that there’s no clear distinction between the identified addict and the rest of us. There’s just a continuum in which we all may be found. They’re on it, because they’ve suffered a lot more than most of us.

    Tue, Jun 14, 2011  Permanent link

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